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Highschool DxD: A new opportunity

Life is ever changing, a choice can make great changes. A young man is given an opportunity to start over after he realizes the worth of keep moving forward, when he had already given up. Rating is M for the future content. The story is slow paced at the beginning. I do not own Highschool DxD or the characters in it, I only own my original characters. The image is also not owned by me. First Fan-fantion, I might be lacking but I hope you can tell me your opinion. An actual opinion... Might contain elements of some other anime works, particularly... the images of some characters. https://discord.gg/wezGW8yV5b Created this and have pictures for the characters there, take a look.

Nyarlathotep00 · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
111 Chs

No matter the price, no matter what, I...

Part 1

3rd Person POV

The proclamation made by the youth, along with the magatama made Saya feel a warmth in their heart that she could not understand. There was something about the youth that she could not put her fingers on. It was beyond the interest she had for the youth as a possible mating candidate or someone she could exchange knowledge. Just looking at him, Saya felt at ease and the pain of her head subsided slowly.

On the other hand, Nora glared at his foe. A 'thing' he could not even judge as a person was standing in front of him, but no matter how much hatred he directed at that, it would not change their dire situation. Snapping his fingers, Nora called back Sirius and Alkaid. The duo obediently stopped attacking the enemy but still bared their fangs at him.

"Isn't that amusing? A cat having dogs as pets..."

Sneering, the man looked at Nora. A similar motion snapped his fingers. Contrary to the youth though, the man commanded the chains, new sets of chains emerged from his coat at were directed at Nora, Sirius, and Alkaid. The trio communicated mentally using magic and they rushed ahead. The youth pulled a pair of katanas that gave a blazing feeling and frigid feeling respectively each in a different hand. Swinging his left hand, the katana created a wave of ice that made a ramp while he secretly dropped a few pieces of paper with names written on it. The tall structure was created easily and provided a foothold for the trio to jump from as well as a wall where the chains had to break through to catch them. It was not a difficult task for the chains that broke through the ramp, but it did allow Nora and the maids to avoid being caught instantly. The broadswords carried by the maids were swung once more towards the man, and he easily stopped them with the blade of his modified revolvers. Instead of striking and being sent flying, the man gently received the attack and the force was dispersed. A feature added to the guns gave the slight glow they had when the attack hit. Thanks to this, the man had them in his firing range, with a simple movement of his hands, the barrel was now aiming at their stomachs.

"I was rather lenient with you last time, but you came back to suffer it seems. Let's see if a hole in your guts makes you learn your lesson."

Before the man could pull the trigger, he clicked his tongue and looked down. Using a blind spot created by the fluffy tails of the maids, a figure rushed ahead. There was something thrown up high in the sky but when the man ignored it and focused on the youth holding a katana with a frigid aura with both hands above his head. The youth looked at the man and they both seemed to grin sinically.

"Hey there, shithead." Nora swung his katana at the man's chests.

"Hah, is that the best you could come up with?"

Saying this, the man's cloak opened on its own and a pair of tentacles rushed toward Nora. The man prepared himself to fire, but he chuckled in amusement when the shots hit only paper. Meanwhile, Nora's katana collided with the tentacles and he was unable to cut them, the impact was too great for Nora and he could not handle the force yet the tentacles were not unscathed as they began to freeze in place. While Nora was thrown back, he buried the katana in the ground to come to a stop.

"Didn't think you would become a ninja..."

The man commented, unconcerned about the damage of the tentacles.

"I would be careful if I were you, I might pull a R*sengan or a Ch*dori if I get the chance." Nora sweated coldly as a wave of weakness spread around his body.

The bullet he received before was still messing up with him and he could not remove it, a powerful curse had been cast on the bullet and while it is not impossible to remove, I would take and that he did not have.

While Nora spoke, Sirius and Alkaid had changed places with the ofudas Nora dropped before the attack. They grabbed Saya and dragged her some distance away while repelling the chains as they did.

"Buying time huh."

The man sneered and dashed toward Nora who inwardly cursed. The youth barely stood up and took a quick draw stance. That is all he could do before the man had arrived before him. The blades of the gun drew near and Nora could only meet one of them with the base of the katana before being forcefully sent flying, spinning in the hair without control made it almost impossible for Nora to avoid being shot as the man had already fired and emptied the barrel of the revolvers. The youth hastily unfolded his wings and that worked for him. The bullets still hit, but Nora avoided getting shot in the vital organs. Like flowers blooming in red, several spots on Nora's body were hit, and began bleeding more than he expected.

""Nora!!!!"" Tamamo and Yasaka's scream was filled with their heartfelt emotions as they saw the youth being hurt, nonetheless, they were unable to escape.

Yasaka tried to change forms to escape but it proved useless, she could go back to her human form and the chains would adjust, but she could not try using her nine-tailed form again. Tamamo began to analyze the chains and recalled how Nora studied all he could about it when he planned to 'borrow' it for an undefined amount of time without telling anyone. The old geezer, Odin, seemed to know about his plan and kept them while he left a copy being stolen, but given that they were no longer restraining Fenrir, Nora did not expect to be cheated by the crafty old man. Tamamo and Nora shared memories so she recalled all she could about the chains.

The main issue was found after a second, the chains were heavily tampered with. She did not know who had the guts and skills to tamper with a masterpiece made by the Dwarves. It was already effective to those with beast attributes, but that trait had been enhanced. It slowly drained the strength of the user and used that to strengthen the grip on the victim it trapped. It would follow the target nonstop, but it relied on the wilder's senses so incapacitating the wielder or being too far away would weaken the usefulness of the chain.

"I can't seem to find a weakness..." Tamamo gritted her teeth.

Having her beloved husband suffer alone did not sit well with Tamamo, but she was as helpless as Yasaka. It irked her somewhat to be at the same level as the woman who had the chance to eat Nora way back but had been putting off all the time.

"Curse you, Yasaka!!!" Tamamo yelled.

Inwardly thinking that Tamamo is silly no matter the situation, Nora feels somewhat better after hearing the fox nonsense. Thean had not given time to rest and switched one revolver with a short-barreled shotgun. Nora had no way to take on the shot and sought to evade. Using his tails, he pushed himself off the ground and avoided a full hit, but his right arm was blown off. The force of the impact was not forgiving and his balance was thrown off, he swung his left hand holding the katana as everything spun around him, but the blade hit the the revolver's blade. His attempt of attack was parried and the blade bounced off this time.

Clicking his tongue, Nora tightened the muscles around his shoulder to stop the bleeding. He cursed the timing of this attack. Nonetheless, nothing was going to change with that mentality so he discarded that thought process as fast as it came. He considered the best course of action but his prospects were grim.

"Why are you resisting?"

The man asked as he swapped the shotgun for his previous revolver, the sound of bullets being loaded in the barrel as it spun was heard. Without waiting for an answer, the man shot upward using both revolvers and by the time Nora barely got his feet on the ground, he had avoided a rain of bullets, one of his tails was mercilessly torn apart and he had to retort to deflect bullets using his blade, but receiving no damage proved to be a challenge. The best he could do was to stop the bleeding by controlling his muscles.

"The difference... I don't need to spell it for you, do I? You are half dead right now. Standing is a miracle already, yet you are... struggling against me."

Almost dropping the katana, the youth spat out some blood with a chunk of flesh. He looked at the man that slowly advanced towards him, and smiled sarcastically.

"Worrying about others? I didn't expect a shithead like you to still have a heart." Nora stopped himself from looking up.

Falling to one knee, Nora put his left hand on the ground and began draining the energy around him. The man noticed this and commented.

"You carry the power of one of the 4 nightmares."

The man raised his gun and shot Nora's hand, the youth did not move it despite losing pieces of flesh.

"Are you planning to destroy the world? Use that power and you will-"

"Oh, shut up. Do you think it is the first time I heard about that? Who are you? Azazel? Stop acting like you know it all." Nora spat out. "You are just trash that has no right to lecture me."

"...you should be able to understand."

The man shot Nora again, this time, pieces of guts spread everywhere. Looking at the man with contempt, Nora did not voice out his pain despite feeling like screaming.

"There is a reason..."

"Heh, a reason huh." Nora smirked. "Killing an innocent woman surely can be justified with a good reason."

"She is not innocent, even now, inside her-"

"What of it?" Nora asked. "Who the heck do you think you are to hunt her down? You don't have that right."

The sound of gritting teeth could be heard from the man, but his expression remained hidden.

"You don't know yet, but that woman will bring the downfall of-"

"And? So what? YOU are going to kill her, the world be damned." Nora said.

"...can you say the same thing when she turns into a monster and kills all your loved ones? By then, you will be unable to even protect a single person."

Glaring at the man, Nora continued to drain the vitality of the ground. A heavy killing intent coming from Nora was directed at the man, and he was momentarily confused when he almost felt like there was someone else nearby. However, he tried to test the waters and emptied his revolver on Nora's guts. The youth did not even utter a complaint and was not able to escape.

"Saya is already a powerful youkai, but once she becomes a host to one of the worst Outer Gods, she will become a being that will bring terror and chaos wherever she goes."

Snorting, Nora gave the man a dirty look.

"I cannot believe you. I mean, look at you. You reek. That dirty energy surrounding you means you have joined forces with that cult." Nora spoke.

"...heh, what are you talking about? If it is about my aura, wouldn't the same apply to you? You are already being corrupted, despite having the magatama, the progress has already started. Your mind is slowly deteriorating because you are weak-minded. Compared to being corrupted by the energy of the Outer Gods, Saya will be corrupted directly by the Outer God itself. Don't tell me you... are playing dumb?"

"...silence." Nora mumbled.

"You should've seen it with those eyes of yours. Everyone believes you have a terrible poker face, but you have your ways, and can even deceive the most perceptive people you know. No one could tell what you saw with those eyes of yours. Perhaps you believed it to be a mistake or even considered it to be similar to what happened to you. However, it is wrong. You saw it before telling those wolves to take her away when you handed Saya the magatama. Sleeping deep inside, waiting to wake up... It is an Outer God."

"Outer Gods were sealed a long time ago." Nora shook his head. "The seal cannot be broken no matter what since it feeds on their vitality and powers. They might be immortals, but that also means they cannot escape the prison they were put in."

Coughing, Nora patiently waited.

"...that applies to 99.99% of them. One of them is actually capable of leaving the prison without problem and has been lurking one way or another in this world."

"Heh, that so?" Nora looked at the sky and acted.

His right arm was regenerated, and he kept it simple to raise the speed, the bones, tissues, muscles, and nerves necessary for him to move were all he focused on. He pushed himself off the and struck with his left hand, the katana was easily stopped by the man who sighed.

"What is it that you are trying to do? I can't tell what happened to you, but your body is barely responding to the orders your brain is giving it. I have been hearing for a while now, that your body is crying. The only reason it has not broken down is because you are a youkai. However, there is a limit to that. There are limits to your hasty regeneration."

As he spoke, chains left his coat tied themselves around Nora's arms and chest.

"...trying to face enemies far beyond you can handle will only result in defeat. There are fates worse than death. If we let that Outer God roam free, it will cause the end of the world."

"I told you before. I don't give a damn!!!" Nora gritted his teeth.

The sound of cutting through the air was heard and the man looked up, his eye immediately caught the katana spinning rapidly, and landed where he was standing, just in front of Nora. Nonetheless, the man just stepped back and the blade missed its target. Yet, it was not the end, Nora pushed his body to the point that blood came out where the chains were holding him to grab the katana with his mouth. By twisting his body, the blade hit the man, the impact had enough strength to cut a log, but the force was not enough to cut the man. Nora knew that the man knew that, but it was not a pointless behavior. That is what Nora believed since the katana was not a normal one. The katanas that were gifted to him by the five clans were fine pieces of work with an almost impossible-to-pay monetary value. Sister swords with great sharpness, but both katanas were cursed. They were gifted to Nora as harassment since they did not expect him to actually be able to wield them given that no one has ever been able to use one, not to mention the two of them. Nevertheless, Nora has been doing just that and he was even able to draw their powers. One was capable of creating waves of frigid air and freezing whatever it touched, and the one was the opposite so-

"Burn." Nora said.

Channeling all the power he had absorbed before through the katana, it heated up and released heat capable of melting metal. Instead of creating a fire, all the power was turned into heat. The blade turned red and they finally reacted. He kicked Nora with all his might and the force pushed Nora back, he could not hold his weapon any longer and almost fainted, but the youth bit his lips and resisted with all he could to remain conscious.

The man glared at Nora and put away one of his revolvers, raising his hand to his neck, then touched the area where his flesh was melted. The cloak he wore was unable to protect him from Nora's attack and the youth chuckled at that.

"...this is useless, you know that you cannot stop me."

"I know that." Nora spat out more blood. "There has never been a way for me to defeat you. The difference between us is too great, however, I don't need to defeat you. The conditions to win are simple. Kaa-san has to escape, regardless of what happens to me. I just have to delay you. Grayfia-san already joined Sirius and Alkaid, they will find a way to succeed. I just had to buy time..."

"You are a fool."

"Then you are one as well by extension. I actually kept you busy for more time than I thought." Nora chuckled.

"...you have no idea what kind of monster is sleeping inside her."

"She is a good woman. The only problem someone might have about her is her occasional clumsy actions, other than that, she is a respectable doctor who has saved many lives. She barely had a child after her lover got killed and had to deal with a crazy and ungrateful student. To spend so many years trapped who knows where and when she was finally free to have... you, trying to kill her." Nora gritted his teeth. "It makes no sense, I know that there is something wrong about her. However, I will look for a way to fix it."

"Do you think it is that easy!? Don't you think I thought of that...!?"

"It doesn't matter what you think. You gave up. That is what it counts." Nora rebuked. "I am not giving up on her. I owe her that much. Nora Shiki owes her that much. To step on all that and try to kill her... that is just insane."

"You only say that because you have not seen true terror. The enemy I am trying to kill is not Saya. The thing living inside her is far more dangerous, once it awakens, it will be worse than Trihexa. Once it is released into the world with a perfect host that allows it to properly wield its powers, she will be unstoppable."

Walking to Nora who glared at the man hatefully, the man put a finger on Nora's forehead.

"Take a look, this is what is lying deep inside her. Observe and despair. This is... The Crawling Chaos, Nyarlathotep."

Feeling like electricity courses through his body, memories that did not belong to him flooded Nora's mind. The sheer amount of information overwhelmed him for a second and Nora could see as the man turned around.

"This is not something you can solve alone. This is way beyond your league. The faceless god has to be killed. While they are in the initial stage, and they haven't fully integrated with the host is when they are at their weakest. I have made ample preparations, I wanted to make you stand back since I find you to be most troublesome to deal with, but the state you are in will be enough to keep you away until I get to kill Saya. They might run, but I have used over half of my power to seal Urakyoto. There is no way she will escape..."

In one movement, the man left and Nora could only feel a splitting headache as the memories continued to enter his brain. One by one he saw those memories and his heart almost broke down when he noticed how they would most likely turn into reality.

Once the man was gone, from Nora's shadow, a small spider, a small snake, and a beautiful black-haired girl all emerged.

"...why would you tell us to hide!?" Miyako sounded vexed as she used one of her hands to stop Nora's bleeding.

The small spider grew in size just like the snake and they tried to remove the chains.

"...he won't kill me. He won't touch Yasaka-san... but I know he will kill you if you get in his way." Nora replied.

"Such a thing!" Miyako gritted her teeth. "As long as you do not get hurt..."

"...even if you all sacrificed, we would still lose. If you joined the fight, it would only add to the number of people with their guts spilling blood." Nora calmly said. "By now, Kaa-san should be in the protection of Kasen-san. That place will slow down somewhat that guy. Grayfia-san is a smart cookie so she will avoid confrontation and make full use of the security measures of the trial ground. That said, that monster took down Lina-san, Shion-san, and Sora-san. He also was able to seal Yasaka-san without much effort. If he prepared for it, he will use methods that will not cause much harm, but if you are a wild cards, he might kill you depending on how dangerous you can be. Fortunately or unfortunately, we are no match for him so he will not kill you or anyone, but... that guy will not stop."

"...how can we stop him from hurting Mother-in-law!?" Miyako asked.

Rolling his eyes at her choice of words, Nora looked at the chains. With a little tug, they came off, surprising him and Miyako who hastily caught him.

"As long as he is not in person, the chains can be removed..." Nora mumbled. "No, Yasaka and Tamamo are still trapped."

Nora looked toward the kitsunes' location.

Shaking his head, Nora stopped thinking about it. He had bought some time, but he doubted it was much. His body was... barely holding up. It was a miracle it had not stopped functioning, and he found it quite concerning how used he had gotten to it.

His legs were gone and his hands did not respond to him after he pulled the chains. Chasing after the man was out of the question. The rate at which he gathered ki was only enough to keep him alive. The bullet lodged in his chest made it difficult to recover. The curse was ready to take over and turn him into a mindless destruction machine once he lost consciousness. It did not matter if he started to absorb the vitality of the ground around him, his body would not recover fast enough.

Suddenly, he thought of something and directed his gaze toward the shadowy figure looking at him with deep worry.

"...are you willing to entrust your body to me?" Nora spoke.

Without even doubting for a second, Miyako nodded with a fanatical look.

"I said it before. This body and soul, everything, I dedicate it to you!" Miyako exclaimed in euphoria.

Sighing inwardly, Nora felt troubled over her nature. He hoped she could find a way to treasure her life and not waste it on a guy like him... or so he thought. However, looking at her gaze tinged with an obsession toward him bordering madness, Nora saw it. There was a deep trust rooted inside her gaze. It was overwhelming and Nora felt like he did not deserve it for a moment until Miyako put one of her hands on his cheek. This caused Nora to hesitate no more and accept it. He always knew it, but he was afraid of accepting it. He denied it all the time, but perhaps, he might be hurting her by doing so. It might've been something insignificant for him, reaching out to her, but for the girl who was feared for how she looked, for the aura she emanated, being alone must've been painful, and having someone to reach a hand was giving her light... just like the kitties at home did for him.

"Nora-sama... are you sure...? You might lose yourself if you..." Miyako spoke in worry.

The spider and snake were also concerned but obediently waited for Nora to decide what to do.

"Do you think... I will lose myself? Don't you believe in me?" Nora cracked a smile.

His expression must've looked unsightly given his bloodied figure and he had to admit that he would understand if any woman grimaced when they saw him. Nonetheless, he was surrounded by rather unique individuals.

Miyako had a flushed face and seemed ready to pound on him and you could practically see hearts in the eyes of the snake and the spider.

"I have the utmost fate on you, my dearest! I offer you my all so use it as you see fit..." Miyako entrusted her body to Nora.

"Spiritualization: Miyako." Nora muttered.

In that instant, a chill went down every living being in the surrounding area, however, the cause of it seemed to disappear just as quickly. Nonetheless, back to Nora's location. A new form had been born.

The missing limbs had been replaced by shadows taking solid form and mist-like darkness emanated all over his body. A chilling and malicious aura covered him fully and Nora opened his eyes. Fully red was one of his eyes while the other one remained green like before.

"Come..." Nora gestured to the snake and the spider.

The small duo climbed onto Nora and disappeared amidst the darkness surrounding him. Taking a deep breath, Nora could feel the bullet eating him away. He might've created new body parts out of shadow and malice that were the core of Miyako, however, his energy was being drained in efforts to stop the bullet from putting him out of commission.

Kneeling down, Nora put his hand on the ground.

"Drain." Nora spoke.

The more he put his mind into it, the more he absorbed... to the point he got too much into it. Once he noticed, the area around him had become devoid of life and color, only vaguely retaining the shape. He was certain that it only took him a couple of minutes... but the result was beyond his expectations.

"As expected of a monster..." Nora chuckled weakly, but he felt invigorated from the energy he had just taken.

Looking forward, he leaped in Yasaka and Tamamo's direction.

As he did so, the standing figures of the trees and grass fell apart and the ground cracked until all that was left was sand, there was no ounce of vitality around anymore.

...

...

...

Landing in front of the fox duo, Nora did not waste any time reacting to Tamamo's combination of jealousy over his transformation or how he looked somewhat more handsome in her eyes. He also ignored Yasaka and mumbled something about being a chunni because of his glowing red eye. Pausing, Nora took in the chains and with a small tug, they came undone.

The youth was baffled, just like the kitsunes being kept in place because of them, but he shook his head and ignored it.

"We have to go..." Nora said.

He was about to spring away, but he noticed Asuna and Karin's figures trying to crawl closer and he moved towards them. Ignoring everything else, he laid them down and patched their wounds.

"M-Master..." Asuna is called weakly.

Karin did not speak, she also reached for Nora. The youth put his hands above theirs.

"Stay here. You guys have done enough." Nora said.

The youth was in dire need of people to fight that man, but the duo had suffered more damage than they could even tell. He was not sure what the guy did, but the damage had spread all over their bodies. That was a difference between people he considered threats or nuances.

"A... m-maid's duty is..." Asuna tried to argue.

"A maid has to obey their master first and foremost, so listen to me and stay here. If you stand up, I will not do dirty things with you again." Nora said.

This time, his words were more effective than before and the maid duo obediently stayed put.

"...hubby." Tamamo's sounded dangerous, but the youth ignored it.

He put his hand on the ground and drained the vitality around him and when he was done, he stood up and faced the kitsunes.

Without saying a word, he lowered his gaze to avoid the eyes of Tamamo and Yasaka, and simply extended both hands toward them. The kitsunes watched how the land became a wasteland in seconds and Tamamo inwardly timed it, before concluding that he was getting faster at using his ability, however, it changed nothing about their relationship so it was ok.

"Where is Saya right now?" Yasaka asked.

"...she has been taken to Forest Wraith." Nora replied.

Taking the extended hand, Yasaka and Tamamo felt their bodies being healed, and they put their hands away once they saw that Nora began to sweat but did not stop.

"Let's go. Those illusions and traps set in place will not hold him for long." Nora muttered.

Without saying anything else, was about to leave but Yasaka grabbed his hand.

"You plan to head there without a plan? Your body was already a mess, leave this to me and rest." Yasaka pleaded although she knew the answer she would hear.

"...I don't care if this body is torn down in the process. I said I would bring Kaa-san back, she will be back at home safely. Until that is accomplished, I will not stop." Nora replied.

"...don't you know that you will make her sad if you do that?" Yasaka muttered.

"...she does not remember me anyway, so it is not a problem." Nora spoke.

After saying that, Nora left.

"...you knew it was useless to say that to him, so why did you ask him anyways?" Tamamo asked.

"...sometimes, I wish he was more cowardly, that he didn't throw himself into danger." Yasaka mumbled. "I can't get used to it. The fact that he is almost dying because he faces enemies that he should not be facing. Most people would not dare to go against foes above their class. However, that idiot is like a moth chasing after fire."

"If Nora was a coward, do you think he would be the same Nora that can stand proudly in front of you?" Tamamo inquired. "Because he puts aside his fears because he takes a step forward when otherwise others would cower in fear. It is because of all that... you can see him moving forward."

"...I know. It is just I want him to stay close to me. In a place I know he will not get hurt." Yasaka sighed.

"You are a pain in the behind, you know that?" Tamamo honestly said.

"...you are rude." Yasaka rebuked.

"Heh, I am thankful though. If you had just eaten him when he was young, he wouldn't have roamed outside and the number of women after him would've been minimal, perhaps, he would never meet me either." Tamamo spoke. "However, because you dragged your feet, he is now internationally sought by women from more than 15 countries with an interest in bearing his children, as well as having saved this cute housewife shrine maiden fox."

"...I hate you." Yasaka glared at the kitsune.

"Look, we both love the same guy. Whether is for his kindness, looks, or even wallet, I have seen many women say they love him for one of those reasons. I love him for even more than that. The side he never shows anyone, the side many would call lame or just plain feel disgusted for. There is not a single part of him I cannot accept... how about you?" Tamamo posed a question.

"...I love him." Yasaka muttered. "Do you think I could remain uninterested after all he has done?"

"Then, you better become more honest next time he asks." Tamamo sighed. "I am at my wit's end here. How much do you think a lady can hold back? I am to do the deed!"

Snorting, Yasaka turned her head away.

"Hey now, stop acting like a prim and proper lady, I know you are not as innocent as you look, given that a younger Nora and you-"

"N-O-T-H-I-N-G-H-A-P-P-E-N-E-D!!!" Yasaka gritted her teeth.

"Oh dear, are you embarrassed? You surely were not embarrassed enough when you were jealous after the Musashi Great War. What was it that you said? I will rewrite your first kiss so stay still." Tamamo smirked. "How much saliva did you exchange with him back then? Heh."

Still looking away, Yasaka did not answer to that.

"...if you want to taste that heavenly nectar again, please help me help him." Tamamo sighed. "This enemy... Nora is willing to even give his life to protect Saya from him. Among all of his enemies, this one is the one he cannot forgive. He will bury this guy even if this is the last thing he can do."

"...there not much we can do against him. To win, we have to get Saya out of Urakyoto." Yasaka muttered. "That being is evil. I can feel the energy of the Outer Gods coming from him. He is similar to... an apostle. If that is the case, he is a disaster we cannot take on as we are now."

"Nora is-" Tamamo opened her mouth.

"This is bigger than what you think. Nora is not the answer to everything. Sometimes, you simply cannot win." Yasaka spoke faster. "You can indeed defeat apostles, it is no impossible. However, the problem will come once the call upon the power of the outer gods. Cthulhu, once, an apostle of that guy caused chaos in Japan. Many Youkais were hurt. So many were unable to recover. Despite being sealed, they used a method to bring it forth. The only good thing was that the rebound from trying to break out from the seal bit him and we won't be seeing or hearing about him for a while. Nonetheless, Youkais at the level of Great Youkais were necessary to put a stop to one apostle, not to mention, that the proper techniques to harm them are hard to come by. Each outer god is a threat that distinguishes itself from another. The way their bodies are made makes it so regular attacks will not work so you need to find their weaknesses."

"I don't think it can be that difficult to..." Tamamo mumbled.

"My mother died... repealing one apostle. Having control of the ley lines, the power our linage wields is enormous, however, our responsibility is just as heavy." Yasaka confessed. "It is true that apostle was special among their kind. It had been gathering powers for centuries, and it struck when our power was reduced from fights against humans and other youkais. Still, sacrifices were heavy."

"I see." Tamamo did not ask anything else.

"I am sorry, I have seen so much so I can't help but..." Yasaka apologized.

"No, that is not a problem. Traumas are traumas because they are not easy to overcome." Tamamo spoke. "I can help you get strength temporarily, although it will depend on you."

"You do...?" Yasaka looked at the other kitsune incredulously.

"However, it might turn into a situation where our powers might downgrade if the spell does not work." Tamamo warned. "Even so, it is worth a shot."

"That is too risky." Yasaka shook her head.

"...it is one option. It never hurts to have more options." Tamamo sighed. "...you know that Saya is not in a good condition, right?"

Suddenly, Tamamo mumbled in a low tone.

"Yes." Yasaka spoke. "We will have to divide our forces to take turns in keeping an eye on her..."

"You know what is going on...?" Tamamo asked.

"I am not sure, but that aura, anyone can tell it is nothing good." Yasaka said.

"...for now, let's follow after Nora. We were able to talk leisurely like this because that man was temporarily trapped in the trial grounds." Tamamo explained.

"...let's go." Yasaka nodded.

Part 2

3rd Person POV

Nora's shadowy figure advanced fast by using the shadows of buildings, he soon entered the training grounds. He tried to enter directly to see his mother, but the man seemed to feel his presence and rushed at him with a revolver in hand.

Cursing inwardly, Nora avoided the attack and landed a few meters away.

"Quite an interesting place to send me to."

The man spoke in annoyance.

"It seems even you cannot forcefully enter here huh." Nora scoffed.

"...you appearance, I see. So you fused with that walking disaster..."

"Calling her a walking disaster, I don't think someone like you has the right to call her that." Nora spat out.

"A child born out of the darkness, formed using negative emotions and fueled by the malice, the negative energy of the planet."

Using his raspy tone of voice, the man pointed out.

"...you sure know a lot." Nora narrowed his eyes.

"The Fox of Calamity, the Chaotic Wave, the Blue-eyed Oni, the Wicked Nun, the White Snake, Frost Lady, Disaster Spider... the catastrophes that brought down humanity and then the supernatural world, I know them all too well, they will become the spearhead of the Outer Gods along with the Cult to destroy the world."

The man shook his head.

"I wonder about that. Her appearance can indeed be shocking. Luscious black hair and red eyes were reminiscent of rubies, plump lips that tempt any man... She was a cute girl when I met her, but as she grew up, she turned into a bombshell. What if there is a threatening wave of malice expelled from her? She is a gentle soul who was plagued with loneliness until Sora-san found her. Unable to trust others... what if someone like that continues to be treated like a pest? She does not deserve that. I will not allow it." Nora narrowed his eyes. "...especially not from YOU."

Shaking his head, the man seemed extremely annoyed.

"Why do you fancy that thing? Did it open its legs for-"

The man was unable to finish his words when a shadowy figure rushed at him. A knee was about to hit his face, but the man seemed uninterested in dodging, he received the attack on the face and there was a loud sound, however, the man did not even flinch.

"Tsk." Nora clicked his tongue as he turned his body into a shadowy form and moved away.

"It is surprisingly easy to riddle you up."

The man mocked.

"A heartless bastard like you would not understand." Nora scoffed.

"...that is something I cannot deny."

Shrugging his shoulders, the man used his only eye to look at Nora sharply.

"I am sure you have noticed by now, but it won't be easy to kill me."

"Your body is a total mess, I can't fathom how are you even alive." Nora muttered.

"...guts."

Using a rather honest tone, the man replied.

"...so you are biting the dust soon." Nora smirked. "Too bad it won't be soon enough."

"Fighting Sirzechs left irremediable damage and the woman I met before entering Urakyoto was more powerful than I expected. However, I can still fight for another month or so before my body functions start to deteriorate."

"Aren't you a braggart?" Nora bitterly spoke, but he was inwardly worrying about said woman.

"I must admit I was against fighting innocent people and I still am. However, I won't deny I underestimated them. Especially that woman, she is not only skilled, but her potential is high."

"...so, why bother talking to me now?" Nora got straight to the point.

"...Nora Shiki is the type to always every single method to defeat his enemy. Dragging them down to his level is one of the most bothersome things he can do. However, I am unable to kill you."

"So there are consequences huh." Nora smirked.

"Don't get cocky. The outer god I am working with is interested in Nora Shiki, so Nora Shiki must stay alive. That is the condition for letting me be here."

"...so it was indeed something to do with the cult." Nora mumbled.

"No, this outer god is... unique. Nyarlathotep, the crawling darkness is a god beyond our understanding."

"To have heard of the name of that god, you must be in a fancy position." Nora snorted.

"Nothing as fancy as you think... it is difficult to guess which god has given blessings to anyone unless they start using said blessing, but I already knew about this one. There is no way I could forget. The loathsome god that took everything away from me..."

Giving a bitter laugh, the man looked tired.

"...yet you still took in his power." Nora spoke.

"I can't rebuke that. There was nothing I could do... it was my only choice. You understand right? The bitterness, the pain... no other choice, no other path..."

"...was it that bad?" Nora asked.

"...what do you think? I was the only survivor, the only one left... again."

"Then you were just a coward to the end. Your story should've ended right there before the last person you were supposed to protect died." Nora snorted. "Can you still use your name after doing all that? You are just... going back to how you were before everything started. A coward. You would be committing the sin, the very same sin you committed long ago. Escaping reality and forsaking the people that cared about you."

The man's gaze turned unfriendly.

Tightening his fist, Nora leaped again, his right arm was ready to punch and as soon as Nora was close enough, he punched the guy in the chest. There was the sound of flesh being twisted and bones breaking, just like that, the man was pushed back one step.

"Aren't you reckless...?"

The man was clear about what happened, he looked at Nora with a scoff.

With blood dripping from his right hand, Nora looked dissatisfied with the result.

"You are a tough nut to crack." Nora commented.

Following that, Nora sank into his own shadow and disappeared. The man was certain the youth had not run away yet, the creepy aura originated from the shadow youkai he fused with was still lingering the air and he seemed to be unable to fully hide it.

Quickly swapping weapons, the man pulled a machine of heavy caliber before he began shooting all around him. Bullet after bullet were shot and soon the area was leveled, no trees in sight remained.

The man skipped back as the youth emerged from the shadow his machine formed, in the form of a mass of darkness, the youth made it difficult to see how the next attack would go. However, the youth put his left hand on top the machine gun's barrel and pulled, the man did not move an inch, but it helped the youth to have a pivot point for his next attack. Using the barrel and his pull to get closer to the man, the youth's right knee slammed the man in the face.

Blood spread and the sound of broken bones were heard. The man used his free hand to punch the youth in his solar plexus and the area he hit caved in slightly before being thrown away like a dirty rag doll.

Nora spun and rolled on the grown full of broken trees until he could grab onto something to stop. He stood limping and from the knee down to his foot was bend oddly. The youth simply used one his hands to put it in the right place before spitting a large amount of blood. His hand hovering about his caved flesh, the youth smiled bitterly.

"It is useless, you are far too weak. If you were not using that thing's powers to fill up for you lacking organs functionality, you would not be able to move due to the bullet I put in you."

Chuckling, Nora put his hand above his injury and gripped it like he wanted to tear his flesh as he shared the sensation. The man's shoulders twitched, and he glared at Nora.

"She is not a thing." Nora said coldly. "I am in her debt for allowing me to oppose you with the meager strength I have. However, you look down on Nora Shiki too much. You should be aware that we are different people just from our beliefs alone."

The darkness enveloping Nora grew in size like mist as he approached the man again, for a moment, a purple glow was seen and the man narrowed his eye.

Nora looked different as the darkness like mist surrounding his grew to cover a large area as he reached the man. Being swallowed in darkness, the man did not seem distressed at all, however, he felt his head getting hit and he was splashed with blood while also feeling somewhat numb in his left hand, the amount of damage he was taking was small, but it was steadily increasing along with the damage the youth was taking.

Feeling annoyed, the began shooting his weapon wildly, without considering hitting a target and it was then he noticed a strange detail, the bullets were disappearing, they were hitting nothing. All of sudden, he felt danger began taking damage, his coat was not able to absorb the damage as before and it did not take him long to realize what was happening. His bullets were used against him.

"Isn't my Miyako just the best?" Nora chuckled from between the darkness.

Just when the man tried to use on of his abilities to counter the youth, he scurried away.

"Continue to use that monster and you might lose your sense of self. That monstrosity is just waiting that you lower you guard to eat you."

"...I cannot disagree with that fact that she wants to eat me. It is always difficult to manage her whenever I take a bath." Nora shrugged his shoulders after taking physical form. "However, you keep calling her a monster, you need a little punishment. You lazy cat, obey me for once. Turn him into charcoal."

Without looking back, the man tried to get away from his position, but he still was in the range of attack.

A purple flame bursted and swallowed the man, it all came from a cat made of purple flames that Nora had left behind before escaping a second ago.

"...a longinus, a god killing weapon is as effective as one would expect. Even an apostle of the evil god like Nyarlathotep can leave without suffering any damage."

Suddenly, the fire died down and the man could be seen again. Most of the upper part of his outfit was burned down, with his skin being affected as well.

Watching the face under the outfit, Nora clicked his tongue and he felt the turmoil of his familiars, to the point his fusion almost came undone. Nonetheless, to his advantage, the coat of the man was rapidly repaired and that was enough to calm down his familiars temporarily.

For the youth, the apperence below was not a secret and he was more interested in what caused the purple cat to be unsummoned.

The man was hold a certain item, a severed head, it has been dried out already but you could still see pieces of rotten flesh and hairs sticking out around the upper part, and the man used those to grab the head.

"...not everyday you see people using severed heads as equipment." Nora sarcastically commented.

"...not everyday you see someone using a woman as equipment."

Unable to retort to that comment, Nora just sighed.

"Sacred Gear Canceller, I was not sure how useful this would be, but cutting off that head turned out to be a good idea."

Shaking his head, Nora found Miyako still in shock so he would be unable to display much fighting power. The fact that when he hit the man continuously his body was destroyed in the process was also a problem. Pushing your body beyond the limits it places itself to display more power only destroys it, but the youth did not have many choices.

"You are sick." Nora said.

Snorting, the man stored the head.

Watching the youth, he noticed how a magic circle had appeared below the two. It seemed they were going to be sent somewhere else. He assumed the youth will reunite with his comrades while he will be sent as far as possible.

"...there is still time. Before the thing lying deep inside Saya awakens, she must be killed."

Offering those words again, the man was certain he would be ignored.

He was right, Nora gave him the middle finger as he disappeared.

...

...

...

The youth reunited with his people and immediately began issuing orders. Due to the situation, no one questioned him.

Even though he glared at Artoria for staying instead of running, the youth asked her to take an important role.

It did not take long everyone to have a general understanding about how things would play out and the nervously awaited for their foe to arrive.

Part 3

3rd Person POV

The field had been set. The man was alone, he was seriously injured by Sirzechs' party before and Ei managed to injure him to a point beyond recovery. Nora's previous actions showed everyone that. The body below the cloak was a mess and it was only because of his status as the apostle of Nyarlatothep and bearer of those Outer powers that the body remained in one piece. There were several traumas not caused by any of the groups so far and they were like chains holding the man back, but none of that could deny one fact. The man was strong. Absurdly, to a level that the party could only helplessly admit that there was no way to beat him.

Yet, Nora stood in the man's way, behind him, some would do everything they could for the youth's sake. Just like the difference in strength was that great, Nora had many people supporting him while the man was all alone.

"You gathered a lot of allies… isn't it stupid to give me so many targets to hit?"

"You won't do that, I will not allow you to hit anyone." Nora exclaimed.

"You know that your words have no backing."

Smirking, the man raised his revolvers pointing to the sky.

The group behind Nora all tensed up. The longer the battle dragged on, the more damage the bullets caused. It seemed to be the trait of the weapons or perhaps the modification it went through caused it. Nonetheless, they were doing all they could to protect Saya whom Nora would give his life to save.

Pulling the trigger was the signal. Bullets rained all around everyone, they fell mercilessly and did not wait for anyone to evade. Expecting that, Nora used his new form to the fullest. Becoming one with Miyako, the unique youkai, was more useful than just making Tamamo jealous. Her origins were gloomy and dark, a being formed out of darkness made of grudges was exactly a contradiction to what the youth tried to keep locked inside, and could potentially make a user of Senjutsu go mad, yet, Miyako never had that intention and Nora was not going to let that get in his way, not now. Just like the girl could swallow and store people or objects, and then spit them back, Nora could use that trait. Not to mention, using his own 'abilities', he could perform new tricks. Starting from Nora's body, darkness in the form of mist expanded. The rain of bullets was swallowed and the mist was compressed around Nora again, extending his hand, all the bullets from before exited the mist on the palm of Nora's hand.

The barrage of bullets from before were all concentrated on the man and responded with a quick swap of weapon, one of the revolvers was gone and a large machine gun replaced it, the barrel spun ominously and met the barrage of bullets with a barrage of its own, they were certainly of a smaller caliber but the rate of fire was incomparable and soon the revolver bullets ran out while the machine gun was not stopping.

From Nora's side, Grayfia was the first one to attack, her instincts almost made her jump to help Nora, but it would just hinder him from doing that.

Among everyone here, perhaps she was the most clear about the methods the man would use. The means he had to escape were far too numerous and letting your guard down was going to give him an opening for him to exploit. Grayfia dashed and got behind the man, she could feel his piercing glare on her, she had gotten his full attention once she moved, but he still kept shooting Nora and made adjustments whenever he moved to match him, once she changed position, Nora ran out of bullets. The youth began to swallow the barrage of bullets without breaking a sweat. The new form he took was ominous, but he remained as reliable as always. Smiling as she thought about how much Nora had grown since she began teaching him how to fly, Grayfia released a wave of demonic power. Raising her hand forward, she did not bother with any kind of spell. Her clan had always been apt at controlling demonic power and in the use of magic so using it in its primal form made Grayfia the most comfortable with it. The wave caused devastation in its path, the earth was gouged out and the man was hit. However, Grayfia did not celebrate. His cloak seemed to reduce damage from demonic energy by a certain amount, nonetheless, Grayfia wanted to test a detail.

Fighting him before, she had wondered if it was a mistake on her part, but this time she confirmed that the man did not nullify the damage completely. Just like Nora said, he had grown weaker after the continuous fights and because he was keeping Urakyoto in lockdown. The resources usually spent on a feat were extremely numerous, not to mention you have to cope with beings of the Ultimate class trying to break free.

"You of all people will get in my way… I guess it is fitting that it happens over and over."

In a bitter tone, the man dropped the machine guns and turned toward Grayfia, the revolvers were back in his hand as he dashed toward Grayfia, it sounded simple, but his movements were hard for Grayfia to follow. His physical abilities were slowly going up. Grayfia raised a wall of ice in front of her and the man did not seem bothered by it and cut it down with a swing of the blades on his revolvers, as the shattered ice fell down, Grayfia's reflection filled his vision, from the smaller to bigger pieces of ice, the man saw Grayfia's reflection holding a pair of ice made daggers charging at him. It was difficult to make out in which direction the attack came in since Grayfia had added extra ice shards of all sizes to create an optical illusion, nonetheless, the man could not rely on his trusty eyesight like before so he had to rely on his senses. The man chuckled once he felt Grayfia charging from high up, she had her daggers in hand but what she planned to act with was her leg fully covered in ice, adding an extra layer of toughness to her already sturdy boots. He shifted into black smoke and fell back. He smiled when there was a deafening sound when Grayfia's leg landed on the ground. She had used a large amount of demonic power to reinforce her physical abilities and blast it away once the impact hit to the point that the ground had been left with a large crater.

Ducking down, the man had failed to notice the assailant who swung an oversized broadsword above his head. It was only because of the heavy bloodlust released just as his head might fly off that the man noticed the threat. Turning around to see the woman beautifully spinning in place as she swung her sword again at him, the man recognized the woman as the youkai he found not long ago guarding Saya, rather than immediately attack him, she stood in his way as she used formations and senjutsu spells to keep away. She was also capable of commanding the army of shikigamis that got in his way over and over as well as repairing them.

Her pink pair looked extremely soft as it swayed with the wind, but once he saw her face again, the sheer animosity contained in her eyes was hard to swallow even for him. The man could tell that the woman, Kasen was totally smitten by Nora, once she learned about how he was severely injured, she dropped her pacifism and sent him a look that made him think that she would tear him apart once she caught him. Nonetheless, she was not all bark and no bite. Raising the blades of his revolvers to meet the blade she was using, Despite being able to absorb the shock, the blades still transmitted a heavy force coming from the impact. The man immediately shot Kasen, but she moved her head away, and one of the bullets only blew away the cloth forming the bun on her head. Like that, her hair was released from one side and what was hidden below could be seen. A broken horn was barely discernible on her head, and Kasen did not seem to appreciate that it became visible. With fury on her face, she kicked the man hard in the stomach and he was sent flying toward Grayfia who was ready to stab him. The man planted a foot on the ground and evaded Grayfia's attack by jumping.

"An oni…"

The man muttered under his breath once he got a proper footing. He could tell that not only Grayfia and Kasen were ready to attack him, but the strange shikigami wearing an unusual mask was already on his way. Some other members were not moving as they focused on protecting Saya, but he did not doubt they would work as one to interfere in the fight to tilt it in their favor. He felt the most threatened by the dogs of the gods, but the wolves also wearing maid outfits seemed to have something strange lying dormant in them. Yasaka looked somewhat different, but the man could not tell what kind of variables would that bring and the blonde young woman with dragon traits had been following him with her eyes since before. He had sealed her sacred gear, but she was with Nora and insisted on staying so she had a card hidden on her sleeve.

"You gathered an interesting bunch."

The man did not get an answer, at least not verbally. Nora had caught up with him with a large shadow surrounding him and the others were almost literally ready to slit his throat with their weapons, nonetheless, the man chuckled. Sorting the danger levels, he immediately acted. The first attack he met was Grayfia's. Compared to her earlier attack when all her weight was on the assault, she was just performing a round kick.

Stopping the attack with one of his revolvers' blades, he blocked a kick capable of blowing heads if it hits. With one of his revolvers extended to his left to stop the kick, he used his right hand to shoot behind him. He expected Grayfia to avoid his shots so he put most of his attention in front of him. Once Grayfia escaped, his left hand was free again, the maid remained unscathed, but she had to step away and leave the man free to move as he pleased. The next one to attack was Kasen, the bloodlust was a dead give way that she was out for the man's blood, and it gave the man a chill once he considered how much animosity she was directing at him and how many lives she had to take for it to be naturally possible. Yet, it did not matter; the bloodthirsty oni was already swinging her weapon downwardly from high up. Turning into black smoke, the man easily avoided a fatal slash that would split him in two.

Once the blade passed him, the man materialized with both legs on the other side of the edge and pointed at Kasen's head, nonetheless, Kasen was not going down that way. The bandage which was usually in the shape of an arm had already wrapped around the arm pointing at her and numerous runes covered the surface of the bandages. As soon as the man raised his arm, Kasen also moved the bandages. The runes gave ominous feelings to anyone who laid their eyes on them and the man felt the strength of his arm being depleted.

"That ain't Senjutsu."

The man raised his other arm as soon as he failed to turn into smoke.

"It's Kidou." Kasen smirked. "Or at least it was used as the base."

Dropping her weapon, Kasen pulled back the shoulder of her free hand and-

"Grit your teeth." Nora spoke.

Standing beside Kasen as he mirrored her stance, you could visibly see the amount of Touki gathered in their fists. The man tried to move his other arm only to notice that Nora even mirrored that part. A bandage full of runes extended from one of his arms and was tying him as well.

The impact sent the man flying, not even the bandages that were capable of restraining him could help him to stay in place. The feeling of his chest sinking in was transmitted vividly to his brain and even though the built-in function of his coat to reduce damage was activated, he still received that much damage. It was obvious the youth had given his all, but the damage that Kasen dealt was on another level. He could not recognize her at all; there was no data or information he had ever read about such a foe. Not to mention, she lived secretly in Urakyoto. There was no way that he of all people would not know about it. However, the man shook off his reasoning and focused. The damage would be lethal in most cases, but he was already prepared to suffer this much. The man released the chains once he got stopped rolling on the ground, but he only managed to look up once he felt a presence sneaking up to him and there it was, the shikigami that gave him a strange feeling.

"Yo! How are you faring?"

With a nonsensical question, the shikigami Forest Wraith snapped his fingers. The vegetation surrounding both responded to him and roots shot from the ground like bullets and entangled the man. Snorting at the poor attempt to stop his movements, the cloak of the man released more chains for Forest Wraith additionally to the ones already closing in Nora and Kasen, as for the man in question, he shot at Forest Wraith in close range. He expected the shikigami to evade, but it simply allowed itself to have pieces of it blown away and he could almost imagine the bored expression underneath that mask it carried.

As far as the man was aware, while the shikigami would not necessarily have a body made of paper and could replicate human insides using magic, at their core unless they turn into Tsukumogamis, they will have paper talismans as their base. If you destroy enough of that talisman, the shikigami should vanish or be unable to act anymore. However, what the man was seeing was how no matter how much he destroyed, the shikigami still looked at him with bored eyes. The missing parts of his body were being restored and the man felt how the land itself was providing the shikigami with energy.

"…are you the guardian of this land?"

"I am but a humble shikigami, my duty is to protect these grounds, I can only display my best here, anywhere else and I am weaker than a bug… but that also means that right here." Forest Wraith's body was restored after half of it was blown off. "My way to protect it is simple. I just have to kill my enemies."

"I will take that as a yes."

After the brief exchange, Forest Wraith pulled a pair of old and short curved swords, the rust on the blades did not seem to come from the lack of care, but rather because they were like that to begin with. The man could tell what kind of weapon those were right away since he had encountered them before. In a sense, they were a failure of a weapon, their uses were limited after given the abilities they carried and would break fast, but for those unprepared, it cost spell doom. His weapons were rust-proof, but there was no way it would be that easy. The man stopped the sweep of the blades aimed at his neck at lightning speed with the blades of his revolver, he parried the attack and Forest Wraith took a step back. The shikigami did not engage again and the man stepped away as well, from the ground, a spike made of ice sprang, but the man was still not safe from danger, he could feel the animosity of his foes all around him.

Another ice spike sprang from the ground, and there was no magic circle at all, the man had to evade again and did not dare to leave the ice spike in one piece, he shot the ice and shattered it into pieces, all while evading more spikes coming from below. He tried to leave the ground but as soon as his head was above a certain level, Kasen's sword was sweeping at him with almost godspeed. He used the blades of his revolvers to meet her weapon, but he was unable to kill the momentum of her sword. He lost his balance and Forest Wraith did not miss his chance, with a terrifying speed higher than his eye could follow, the shikigami used his rusty weapons to slash his revolvers. It didn't matter if the attack landed on the blades or the barrel, the shikigami would aim at the man's neck and he would automatically use the revolvers to protect himself. The attacks were always aimed at the neck and the man felt something about the blade that was unsettling so he immediately defended his body. The exchange was short but the duo exchanged dozens of blows, being unable to injure the other one, or rather, it did not matter if the man shot Forest Wraith, the shikigami restored itself immediately without delay.

"…you remind me of a lich, they hide their hearts away, their core, so no one can truly destroy them."

"That is an insult to my creator." Forest Wraith said.

Stepping back, the shikigami made way for Nora to take his place, a large amount of warped ki gathered in both of his hands. The nature of the shadow youkai he always carried with him was apparent and the man gritted hatefully his once again.

"You!!!"

The man immediately aimed at Nora's chest and shot in a frenzied state, but his revolvers failed him. No matter how hard he pressed the trigger, they would not shoot. It was then that he noticed, the rusted parts of his weapon, and he gritted his teeth harder. The man swapped his weapons, a sniper rifle fit to shoot down tanks was in his hands already pointing at Nora, the youth chuckled fearlessly and used both hands to hold onto the barrel. Larger than two meters, it had a barrel as wide as a hand. There was no need to aim and the trigger was pulled.

The loud bang was the signal of everyone going into a frenzy, however, the youth showed no signs of pain despite missing a huge piece of his stomach although the energy in his hands dissipated. He moved past the barrel of the sniper rifle and punched the man with his right hand first and then with his left. The man barely flinched, and he looked confused, it was not that he expected critical damage, but there was no power in those 'punches'.

"Have you finally lost it?"

The man asked as he tried to push Nora away to face the incoming angered individuals. Unfortunately, Nora clung to the barrel of his sniper rifle.

"Sorry to break it to you, I never 'had' it thus I cannot lose it." Nora spat out blood. "You should pay attention. From now on, you and I are linked."

The man wanted to question what that meant but he felt like his guts had been gouged open, he immediately tried to question Nora, but he felt his powers going out of control.

"Would you look at that? It seemed like I can not only link my ki reserves but the curses and malice too. Why don't you have a taste of the work you did on me?" Nora chuckled before letting himself go.

The man wanted to shoot him again, but Nora grinned. He sensed the danger but he was too slow to react. He barely moved his sniper rifle to protect himself before he felt a knee being slammed into his face. The pain was insane and he felt his consciousness slipping away, but the man did not allow himself to pass out. He was sent flying back, but he had to brace himself in mid-air since he could not evade. He was kicked twice. Grayfia stopped his momentum with a kick of her own but he was sent pluming down onto the ground when Forest Wraith hit him. Ice rained on him in the shape of icicles and he had to use his sniper rifle to avoid all damage. The man could certainly reduce the damage of the ice but he had to focus his attention elsewhere. Roots emerged from the ground and entangled themselves in him. He considered Nora as the culprit but he did not have enough ki for healing himself, much less to attack using the vegetation so the man could only think about the shikigami, the guardian of the land he was lying on as the perpetrator.

Inwardly sighing, the man had to admit that this was getting out of hand. If he could, he would rather not resort to his last trump card. Just when he thought either Grayfia or the Oni would attack him, he noticed a nine-tailed figure about to hit him.

____________________________________________

(A few minutes before)

3rd Person POV

Biting her lips, Yasaka resisted the urge to join the fight from the distance. It was not easy to stay behind, but she did not think she could work together with Kasen, even now, she felt the urge to attack the treacherous and cunning oni. Thus she decided to stay behind and safeguard Saya. Even now, her friend seemed to be having trouble. The woman was holding her head in pain and would tell everyone to get away.

"Have you considered my proposal?" Tamamo suddenly said.

Taking physical form, the fox shrine maiden looked at the blonde youkai.

"What are you doing here? You should be helping Nora-kun right now." Yasaka muttered.

Shaking her head, Tamamo glanced at Saya. The state the other youkai was in was not normal. It seemed to be because the magatama was on her neck that things have not been any worse.

"I am ready to take off with Saya once the barrier around Urakyoto is down. I am not sure what kind of technique he used, but that man was not careless. He might not know where the secret exit is, but he has definitely made sure no one can escape." Tamamo mumbled.

"Then, what about those children, Artoria, Sirius and Alkaid?" Yasaka asked.

"Nora left the maids to guard Artoria to prevent that man from interrupting her. That sword will be dangerous for that man and he will try to do something about it, but the others will stop him. Unfortunately, Artoria is unable to use it to its full potential." Tamamo bit her lips.

"Forest Wraith…" Yasaka spoke. "Wouldn't he be able to beat that man?"

"That other weapon is even harder to use… if only we knew beforehand, we could've undone the seal." Tamamo gritted her teeth and replied to Yasaka "…stop it. If you think that shikigami will miraculously save the day, you are wrong. It is already pushing its limits. Unless his master is nearby, the best it can do is restore itself. Shikigamis have limited abilities without the summoner nearby. Even if he is receiving the boost of the land, he is not protecting what he must so he is not able to do his best."

"…this place, what is the purpose of it?" Yasaka asked. "Forest Wraith built this training ground one day and many gave it a try, I included, but aside from being obnoxiously hard, people came empty-handed. Only Nora and the girls were able to get something… and many of those were dubious books, like the petting book he got."

"Isn't it because they never gave it their best? Do you know how many tears and blood Nora shed to succeed?" Tamamo inquired.

"Do not dodge the question. There is… an unusual presence past us and it has not lifted a finger even though that man appeared." Yasaka glanced back.

"…she is not going to move. If Nora is determined to not make a move on anyone before he eats you, that woman is worse. She has resisted Nora's charms. He has spent hours flirting with her, but she never showed any signs of falling." Tamamo muttered.

"Does a being like that even exist?" Yasaka mumbled.

"She will not move from that place, no matter what." Tamamo sighed.

They had tried to ask for her help, but it was useless. Kasen even said that she did not listen to her. Her duty of protecting 'that' place was not possible to be interrupted. Tamamo could tell that her devotion to her duty had a deep connection to the reason why Kasen remained hidden in Urakyoto.

The sound of battle reached their eras as they twitched in response, Tamamo and Yasaka gritted their teeth and shook their heads. They could tell the man's strength was slowly being chipped away. There was still a long way to go, but the conditions of victory were not defeating the man. They just had to take Saya to a safe place. It was a simple condition to fulfill, and the man knew that as well. He was mercilessly trampling on everyone to prevent anyone from resisting. It was why everyone refused to stand down. The reason why Nora was fighting with his tattered body.

It made no sense. Both kitsunes currently share the same train of thought. Why were they standing in place when their beloved man was risking his life? It was not like they had no idea. The duo knew one reason why they obediently listened to Nora. Yasaka knew that it was beyond her animosity to Kasen. Tamamo knew that as well. The duo could tell they both subconsciously did not disobey Nora because they were afraid of exposing their innermost feeling. It was dark and disgusting, they loathed themselves for it.

The duo, toward Saya who was currently the only thing in Nora's eyes… were jealous. They were envious of Nora's mother. They were afraid that if they said something to Nora or tried to follow after him, they could put her in danger, if that happened, how could they not ensure that it was not because of their negligence and they did not intentionally let her alone so she would suffer?

"G-Go…" Saya's tone of voice was weak, but the duo clearly heard her.

Turning toward the woman, she pointed toward the ongoing battle.

"He… you need to help him. Shiroko… no, he is… argh." Saya grimaced. "Leave me here."

The duo looked at the woman. Her gaze did not waver and she seemed to be urging them. They both knew it was dangerous to leave her alone, yet-

"I won't be handing him over after this is over. He is MINE." Yasaka declared.

"Excuse me? Could you please not say something like that in front of the true heroine of the story? Tamamo-chan's husband is out there and his wife is right here. It is only proper for the REAL wife to JOIN him. Kids should just stay on the sidelines." Tamamo scoffed.

Forming several hand seals, she then extended her arm with her index finger pointed toward Yasaka's head.

"Heh, you say that, but I will be his first." Yasaka grinned fearlessly. "I will never, under any circumstances give up on that right."

"You cheeky little." Tamamo stomped her left foot on the ground.

Touching Yasaka's forehead with her finger, the information she wanted to rely on was passed. Yasaka took one second to digest it all and her expression broke down. The corner of her lips twitched.

"You two… are insane." Yasaka mumbled. "One wrong step and one of you could lose themselves."

"Heh, scared?" Tamamo gave Yasaka a look that could only be explained with the word 'cheeky'. "He never hesitated."

"Spiritualization: Tamamo no Mae." Yasaka replied as she activated the spell.

Chuckling at that, the bickering duo soon became one.

Yasaka grew one size all over and her clothes had a hard time containing her assets. They already had a hard time and now you could hear a few places tearing down. Her hair grew larger and 'Yasaka' removed her headpiece and let flow down her hair, the tips changed from blonde to pink and a hard-to-hide charming aura enveloped her.

The first thing 'Yasaka' did was… to move her hand to touch her chest.

"Kuh, this damned chest. I will not give up." Yasaka's voice came from the body but you could tell there was something odd with the way she spoke.

After playing around, she tried to move her body until she got the hang of it.

"Very well, since you entrusted me the control of your body, I will make the most of it." Tamamo, using Yasaka's body, muttered. "By the way, after this is over, might I be so bold to suggest that we push down Nora like this? No? Ok…"

Watching how Nora was shot with a sniper rifle, bloodlust leaked from Yasaka's body and she leaped forward before she could think about it. It did not take long for Yasaka's body to reach the man being tied down. Seeing his creepy appearance, there was only one thing on her mind and it was not fear, but rage.

The figure of Yasaka delivering a devastating blow that created a crater was difficult for everyone to miss.

------------------------------

(Back to the present)

"Super Kitsune Time…" Forest Wraith could only retort once he saw the pink tips on the blonde hair. "In a sense, a disaster has been born."

Sighing, Forest Wraith continued to entangle the man. Even though the new addition to their group was going strong, her movements had many wasteful motions and the flow of the energy in the body was poorly distributed. Someone like Yasaka might not run out of energy, but the burden of continuously using it was not something just anyone could endure without their body breaking down, even more so when you were not adept at using it. The transformation itself raised the power of Yasaka, but the ones in the fusion were not in sync. Compared to Nora who was able to match up with many of the ones he tried the technique on.

The fearsome attack of 'Yasaka' was not enough to end the battle, but the kitsune made sure to follow up with more blows. A blur was formed around her arms as her arms moved too fast, the crater grew deeper and deeper with each blow and dust did not even rise.

Suddenly, the kitsune jumped from the crater and a volley of bullets came out after her. The entanglement was broken and the man was free, his body was twisted in the wrong direction in several places, however, the rifle in one of his hands remained tightly held in his hand despite this one being bent. Warily staring at the man, the kitsune raised a hand to signal everyone to stop in place and not attack him. Just then, a gruesome sight was seen as the man's body swelled in place and you could hear a churning sound as the bones and muscles inside moved, a second later, the body had regained a normal form once again.

"…I am quite surprised."

Speaking in an honest tone, the man gazed at the kitsune.

"I heard of a similar technique, or it is perhaps the same one. The ruler of the Youkais of the East, he has a similar technique where he can wield other youkai's powers. That said, that is not the case this time. How strange, you seem stronger, but… you can't make the most of it. Yasaka, cease your pointless struggle. I believe all of you want me to stop the barrier around Urakyoto after I get pushed far enough."

Looking around, the man spotted Nora who was burning his own flesh to stop the bleeding and glaring back at him. There was Forest Wraith who gave him the middle finger and Grayfia trying to get in his blind spot. Kasen had moved in front of the blonde young woman along with the maids to protect the blonde who had a dangerous sword in her hands.

"…Excalibur."

The man snorted and directed his sight toward the kitsune again.

"However, you guys have a weak point. One that none of you can ignore."

Slowly raising the sniper rifle, the man pointed at the kitsune before he changed targets to Nora and shot.

Already expecting it, Nora rolled on the ground and worsened his injuries. The shot sent stones and pebbles flying with enough to graze you and leave marks. The youth, however, did not have time to bother with that, a wall of ice appeared in front of him to protect him, but it was easily pierced.

Once again Nora evaded an attack. On the other hand, the group understood that they now had to watch out for Nora. He was already in a weakened state and seemed ready to fall at any minute.

"Can you see it? This is why you are just a burden. By coming here, you became their shackles."

Using the rifle as a shield, the man stopped Grayfia's knee in place. The pieces of ice from the armor she created to protect herself and cause more damage were numerous, the toughness of the sniper rifle was great, but Grayfia felt how the man was hardly swayed by her attack.

Grayfia was not the only one who felt it. Forest Wraith had been observing in more detail this foe before them and had been curious why he failed to exert his power like he wanted. No matter how hard he wanted to hit him, he felt a limitation to his movements. It was similar to, once he reached that point, Forest Wraith had to somberly accept it. There has always been one limitation to familiars and shikigamis such as him since the very beginning.

"…can you live with yourself after doing this?" Forest Wraith asked.

It was a simple question that could be ignored, and normally one would think it was made to distract the listener, however, Forest Wraith stared straight at the man and did not show any signs of attacking. This gave time for Grayfia to cover for Nora and stand in the line of fire.

"…I don't expect to survive."

Answering in a rather honest tone, the man replied and turned toward Nora.

"I don't have that right."

Aiming again, the man shot. This time, however, the bullet did not go straight toward Nora. It curved midair and evaded Grayfia just as she planned to use her body after the ice she made was unable to even slow it down for her to take it down.

Sighing, the youth sank into his own shadow and reappeared a few meters away. He looked noticeably more tired and his allies understood why he did not use that before. Looking at the man, Nora was not sure what else to try. His body was in pain, but he did not transmit it to the man since it would make no difference at the moment. Sharing a look with Artoria, he could tell that she was almost done charging her attack. It had been taking more than usual to get the attack ready because she was hiding how much energy she had stored in reality, however, the group would be taken down one by one if they continued like this. The blonde one widened her eyes all of a sudden as she communicated with Nora via magic.

Looking hoe the blonde began glaring at him with anger, the youth was reassured to know she would follow his plan. That left what to do next. How to carry his plan was not going to be easy. Sinking in his shadow and reappearing again, Nora repeated his actions several times as the man continued to shoot at him while ignoring Grayfia, Forest Wraith, and the kitsune's offensive once he pulled his chains again. His energy was running low so Nora was in the defensive position. The more his energy drained, the more he felt the curses ready to take over and an itch on his neck that did not leave him alone. He knew the origins of the itch but he was not sure if he wanted to use it. It was not a guarantee it would change anything and the sheer amount of energy there was going to be difficult to handle. Not to mention, he had no idea how to use it.

Shaking his head, Nora resolved himself once he got an idea. With a hand on the ground, he whispered the words that would strike fear in the faces of many. The area around him was deprived of vitality and soon only sand remained. The youth got shot twice during that time, but he still tried to take in as much vitality and ki as he could.

"This bullet is a pain…" Nora grumbled.

Observing how the man used his sniper rifle to protect himself, he had an idea. It was as crazy as many of the things that usually went through his mind, but just following it proved how desperate he was. The next few moves would decide the outcome of the battle and it would be important to make every move count. He whispered to his familiars to be ready and gave out instructions to them. He had a moment to rest since Artoria seemed to have asked Kasen to join the fight. Forest Wraith and Kasen moved in synch so they were able to cause the man more trouble in close range and evade the chains, this made the man put them back to focus on close quarters more.

Once he sent a couple of instructions to Sirius and Alkaid, Nora leaped. This made the man focus on his again and Nora felt his skin crawl when the sniper rifle was aimed at him. However, Kasen used her sword to change that. The impact when Kasen swung her sword at the man and he used the rifle to take on the attack created a shock wave that reached Artoria on the ground, yet the man did not move or flinch, he proceeded to tilt his head to one side to avoid the fist that would normally shatter someone's skull coming from Forest Wraith, he kicked using his right leg to meet Grayfia's kick, and with the hand not holding the rifle, his left hand, he stopped the kitsune's straight punch aimed to the spot he tilted his head to. The man's strength seemed to be growing and he was getting used to fighting against the group. It was at this point that Nora joined the fight again. This lifted the spirit of the party. His presence did not change much, in terms of power he was the weakest even without considering his current state, nonetheless, for those around him, he gave them strength just by being close to them. It was something that few of his acquaintances had noticed, but this time it was hard to miss to the point the man spoke up.

"Staying on the ground like the helpless man you are would've been kinder for them and yourself. Seeing you standing again will only make them try harder and suffer at my hands."

"Sorry, I don't enjoy seeing you bully my women." Nora replied. "Although you can beat up Forest Wraith as much as you like."

There was no precise response from the female camp given their situation, but there were a few with heart-shaped eyes.

"That so?"

Giving an uninterested reply, the man's coat made a noise that gave everyone a chill, and followed that, the texture of the coat seemed to change and the muzzle of several weapons were exposed. They did not seem to aim at a particular target, but several were ready to fire at the party. They belonged to rifles, machine guns, shotguns, revolvers and even the muzzle of a tank was aiming straight at Nora. The kitsune had the biggest reaction to this and she was about to warn everyone.

"I recall you said you were going to be everyone's shield… learn your place, weakling."

"CAREFUL!!!"

The kitsune yelled and everyone could feel that they were going to get more than a few scratches.

With haste, Nora jumped at the man and expanded the mist-like darkness surrounding the man fully until only a mass of darkness was visible. The sound of the weapons firing wildly was heard and some of the bullets managed to get out of the mass of darkness, but most of them were swallowed by it. A second later, the darkness was gone and the spectacle was not as gruesome as the man expected.

"I told you… I would become their shield." Nora spat out some blood.

"Your vitality is as strong as a cockroach, you fucker."

Cursing Nora, the man turned all the muzzles of the guns toward Nora and the youth fearlessly smiled. He grabbed the barrel of one of the largest weapons and sighed. Using all of his strength, Nora gripped the barrel. If the man wanted, he could easily escape so he was not sure why Nora was doing that. It worked in his favor given that he planned to put the youth out of action. Nonetheless, he came to understand why the youth acted as such when he glanced behind the youth.

Lowering her blade, Artoria had finished gathering power. Excalibur had an immense amount of power stored and she had done a superb job at compressing it to the point you could barely see it coating the blade. She looked nervous but seemed to have steeled her heart. Her steps looked heavy as she approached the duo.

"You think this will be enough, I can easily-" "I wonder if that is true." Nora cut short the man's words.

Like they were following Nora to say those words, Nora's companions acted. The man tried to take a step back, nonetheless, a large broadsword, that you think would fit to kill a dinosaur was buried behind him. The edge was right on his back and prevented him from stepping back. The one who put it there was Kasen. The man tried to use his right hand to grab the sword, but a pair of broadswords of smaller size than the one Kasen used were buried in a cross shape and his hand got caught in the crossed section. His hand was instantly lowered and the man looked at the culprits, maids Sirius and Alkaid were each holding the handle of their weapons and pushing down with all their strength. The man wanted to raise his hand but the maids had an unusual level of power, their wolf ears and tails were as white as snow and seemed to be giving off a gentle glow. The man momentarily paused as he tried to recall where he had seen something like that before, but it was then that he felt his left hand getting colder.

"Frigid Heaven." "Ice Coffin."

A certain maid and kitsune made a combined effort, using both of their techniques to seal the left hand of the man in ice. Following that, the man looked down to see roots as thick as grown-up men entangling themselves on his legs while creeping higher towards his thighs and waist.

"Not a bad idea, even I would not go unscathed if I took the blow from that kind of weapon. However, that is only if I take the blow. So, how are you going to accomplish that? That weapon is made to destroy targets of great size and range, if you release that blade, it will vaporize everyone here, yourself included."

Without looking particularly bothered by his situation, the man spoke to Nora.

"Well, you spoke all high and mighty, but you seem to not care about their fate. You look like you are ok by sending them all to hell if it can protect your precious mother."

The words aimed to make his allies waver did not work on anyone other than the youth, he looked vexed and gritted his teeth harshly. Nevertheless, that was temporary as he just glared hatefully at the man a second later.

"That is where you are wrong. Kasen!" Nora yelled and the oni reacted by instinct and jumped away.

The man did not understand what was going on since his eyes went toward Artoria who hid behind Nora who began releasing a mist-like darkness to hide her figure. Looking everywhere, the man was unable to see her and he began to put more strength in his body to get away, pulling his hands, he was free from the ones keeping him tied up. However, before he could do anything… a blade pierced him. He was surprised, the man was certain that he could've reacted even if the attack came from the back. Nonetheless, he could not tell if the youth would be as crazy as to try something like this. His actions, or rather, the method that was used even made his allies widen their eyes in horror.

"You are crazy."

The man cursed as the blade shining in a golden hue was irradiating heat.

"Can I consider this as you breaking off any sort of compromise?"

The man asked as he tried to push the blade away, but Nora immediately shared his pain with the man, all the pain he had felt since the moment he was linked to the man was now transmitted to him and the man had to admit that even him was momentarily stunned. Nora, on the other hand, watched as the weapon peeking from the man's coat went back inside the coat, and he, with one hand on the blade that had pierced straight from his heart until it had reached the man, grinned

"Drop dead, you piece of shit." Nora raised his other hand and showed the middle finger.

At that moment, the sword released everything, and the surroundings were swallowed by the holy light and heat coming from it. The worried yells of Nora's allies were drowned by the sound of Excalibur and a bitter voice coming from behind the youth was only heard by the owner.

"Hope you know what you are doing, jerk." Artoria's tone was far from her usual, even sounding meek.

Hello, finally back. Can't say I am feeling better, honestly about to faint again, happened a couple of times these days at work.

Anyways, I managed to put this together whenever I could. Sorry for the delay, this is the first part of the chapter. I feel kind of bad to deliver only this, but work is harsh when you have to do the part of 3 people alone. I wish I got paid for doing those f*ckers jobs in their stead too, but... whatever.

Hope you enjoy the chapter.

Leave your impressions.

I will post the next part as soon as I finish it.

Thank you for all the supportive coments, really thank you.

Nyarlathotep00creators' thoughts