There he stood. The man from the rumors, he had an almost unnatural color of orange hair, he was tall and muscular but not overly so. His presence radiated authority, he wore a similar garb to the video from all those years ago, except now it had a white cloth drapped over it with a strange symbol and a king piece in the middle.
At his waist was a black sword, Japanese in origin, it's scabbard was black and the broken chain that hung off the end of the blade was black. The only color were the red diamonds that formed from the cloth grip around the handle.
"I hereby announce my intention to replace Rias Gremory in the upcoming rating game." Ichigo announced to the room.
It took a moment for everyone to regain their wits, even Grayfia was a bit dumbfounded. She had no idea how Rias got in contact with Ichigo not to mention how she convinced him to replace her in the game. Grafia had wanted her sister-in-law to win so now she was happy, she didn't know exactly how strong the boy was, but from the presence he was radiation, he should be able to beat Riser.
Riser was the first to speak, "…..you….YOU HOW DARE YOU SHOW YOUR FACE AROUND ME, YOU BASTARD, YOU BROKEN DEVIL" he was raging.
"YOU ARE WANTED BY THE PHENEX CLAN, SOMEONE GRAB THE CRIMINAL." Riser screamed at his peerage.
They were about to move towards Ichigo went suddenly a large weight descended upon the room. It was directed almost entirely at Riser and his peerage, they dropped to the ground, they couldn't even move.
The familiar feeling of death crept up on them. It was if a mountain was towering over them, one they would never be able to overcome. Their souls ached, it pressed against their very cores. They were at his mercy.
This went on for several seconds until a few member started gasping for breath.
Grayfia looked towards the Shinigami and finally spoke. "I believe you have made your point." She felt the weight as well. She, an ultimate class devil could feel threatening power radiating from this boy. Her instincts were telling her that this was not even close to his full power.
"Control them or I will" Ichigo said flatly before withdrawing his reiatsu.
As the group could finally breath and stand up again, he made his way and sat next to Rias and her peerage who barely felt anything in the display. Issei was having flash backs and a cold sweat ran down his neck.
"Riser, another outburst like that and you will forfeit your right to a rating game and thereby lose by default." Grayfia said once the group caught their wits.
Riser had calmed down enough to stop yelling, "He can't compete, he's a criminal" Riser said plainly.
"I take offense at that slander, and if you say something like that again I will take action to protect my honor." Ichigo said in a threatening manner.
"He is correct, Riser. He had never been declared a stray devil nor is he a wanted man. You have been given a warning about slandering a fellow high-class devil. The next outburst and he will have the right to seek legal actions." Grayfia said with a hint of amusement.
Ichigo was a high-class devil by default due to his heritage. And high-class devils had certain rights that accompanied the title.
Ichigo couldn't help but crack a smile. He loved to abuse the rules and piss off assholes in the process. Maybe Zelretch was rubbing off on him.
"Fine" Riser said.
"It doesn't matter, its not like he could ever hope of defeating me and my peerage"
The response was only met by a head-shake and a sigh from everyone else in the room besides his peerage. They were too loyal to him to even consider the possibility that he would lose. He was the "immortal phoenix" he was undefeatable in their eyes.
"How does this work anyways?" Riser finally asked in annoyance, its not like he also wanted a marriage contract with Ichigo.
"You may request a second demand from the new comer in the case that you win" Grayfia answered.
"Perfect, I want you and your peerage as slaves. I saw that one petite girl you had, she was pretty cute, I can't wait to play with her." Riser said with arrogance.
Ichigo admirable contained his anger at the statement against his lover. He knew this kid had not a snowballs chance in hell of winning, but it was still infuriating how he talked about his Rukia.
"Please explain the rules for the game" He said to Grayfia without a hint of emotion on his face.
Riser was annoyed when he didn't get a rise out of the Shinigami. He wanted an excuse to "defend" himself if he was attacked.
"A battlefield will be created with both teams at opposite ends, first to remove the other teams "King" wins. Any member can remove themselves by declaring a forfeit or they give up." She said.
"Are there rules that prevent killing?" Ichigo asked.
"No, but there are wards and barriers in place that will activate upon a killing blow, preventing death and teleporting the individual away." Grayfia responded.
"How strong are the barriers.?" Ichigo continued.
Grayfia raised an eyebrow," As strong as the devil supplying them with energy, why do you ask?
"Because, no mercy will be given." Ichigo said coldly.
He declared to all present, him and his peerage would not hold back and they had better be strong barriers.
The rest of the details were ironed out, it was to take place 10 days from now. The battlefield would be a copy of Kuoh Academy. It would also be broadcast to the world.
It was after Ichigo and riser both left that Rias and her group let out a sigh. They hadn't interacted with Ichgio that long, but they had never seen him that angry before. He did not show it, bit his killing intent was leaking out.
"Rias…..how did you come into contact with Kurosaki Ichigo?" Grayfia asked Rias with a serious face.
"I…..can't say" She replied. What was she supposed to say, the infamous troll conned her into accepting his grandson into the Academy?
"Rias, be careful. That boy is strong….very strong. I don't think I can beat him." She said to the group which brought about shocked expressions. She was the strongest queen, and she had admit defeat so easily.
"Is there anything you can tell me about him and his peerage?" She asked.
"I swore an oath….but I can say, they are all strong. Ridiculously so, and their identities….are volatile." She said hesitantly. She was being careful with her wording to not go against the various oaths and contracts.
She thought about the girl….the King. She was torn, on one hand she wanted to see King Arthur kick their collective asses, but on the other….if she revealed her identity the world would be thrown into chaos.
"Very well, I will inform your bother about what happened today." She said before teleporting away.
"That was intense" Akeno said.
"Rias…." Issei said hesitantly.
"What is it Issei?" Rias answered.
"Riser doesn't stand a chance does he?" Issei questioned.
"None whatsoever" Rias said with confidence.
The news began to spread around the world.
The elusive Kurosaki Ichigo was going to participate in a rating game that would be broadcast to the world.
Not only that, a list of names and pieces were released for both teams. Though nobody cared about riser's.
King: Kurosaki Ichigo
Queen: Shihōin Yoruichi
Bishop: Jaina Proudmoore
Bishop: Inoue Orihime
Rook: Uzumaki Naruto
Rook: Tier Harribel
Knight: Artoria Pendragon
Knight: Uchiha Sasuke
Pawn x2: Sarah Kerrigan
Pawn x3: Kuchiki Rukia
Pawn x3: Emiya Shirou
The world searched these names. They scoured the globe for any mentioned of these people. To everyone's surprise, these people were complete unknowns. There was absolutely no information on this group minus what had been revealed previously.
The Pendragon clan had many people inquire about this Artoria, and yet they denied anyone of that name in their family. The Pendragon clan even searched through their own history and family tree to see if they could located this person and they found nothing. They could only chalk it up to a coincidence in the last name.
Amaterasu searched thoroughly through her own archives, she knew every soul born under her sun in the world and she could not find records of these people except for Ichigo.
Various factions were also coming knocking again. The paper work started to pile up.
Sirzechs had the brilliant idea to charge to view the fight. They were making a killing. It was easier to name a faction that was not going to be watching opposed to those that would be.
A lot of scrutiny came at Rias as well.
She had been in contract with the boy and somehow convinced him to help her out.
She waived everything off saying she did him a favor previously and he owed her.
Rias had started to wonder if she should have just accepted the marriage proposal over the hundreds of inquires being made towards her. She slammed her head on the table, only for towers of paperwork to fall on top of her.
The group had been keeping a better eye on the "moonlit world" as Shirou called it and they started to adopt the phrase for themselves.
The internet was a beautiful thing, or it was until Zelretch got around to making various social media accounts. He was the most followed person in the moonlit world. There were gods and monsters that learned to use a computer, and make an account just to rage at the troll.
He happily posted all their comments to his "hall of fame" for the world to see.
The troll stood at the top of the virtual food chain.
One of the group alerted the others to a trending message posted by Zelretch. It was quickly becoming the most forwarded comment in the world.
"I wish luck to my grandson in his rating game 10 days from now" Was what the troll posted.
It didn't take long for the message to circulate among the upper echelon. At first the gods directed their anger at the boy. They cursed his name and swore vengeance after the rating game was over…..until they realized the truth of the matter.
They pitied the boy.
They dealt with the mans antics only every so often…Ichigo was his grandson.
For the first time in the history of the world, gods gave a small prayer towards a mortal.
Zelretch had finally resurfaced the following day.
He gathered the group for discussion, they were half expecting some sort of prank or trolling but…he was serious. Not the fake serious they had come to know from the man. Something was wrong.
"Have you all given up?" He asked the group.
"What do you mean gramps?" Ichigo said.
"Do you no longer have a reason to get stronger?" He reiterated again.
"You're worried we'll lose?" Yoruichi said in surprise.
"Of course not." Zelretch said plainly.
"You don't seem to get it, Ichigo go ask Zangetsu." Zelretch commanded towards the Shinigami.
Ichigo didn't question and dove into his soul world.
They were there waiting for him, they could hear and see everything he did. They had a talk several weeks ago when Ichigo noticed they were being quitter than usual. They had explained to him, they were going to back off. They would always be there when he needed them but he needed to grow. He was no longer that rash brat that they had first met and they would accompany him on his journey, mistakes and all he made along the way.
"Old man, Zangetsu….whats wrong?" Ichigo saw the look on their faces.
"You stopped moving forward" The old man said.
"Its like when you first found out about me" Zangetsu added.
It hit Ichigo. He was rejecting an aspect of himself. He was stagnating because of it.
He had a new source of power in his body, it wasn't much but he refused to use it or train it in any way. Maybe he was subconsciously resentful of it. His Demonic energy. He had never truly used it. Sure he learned some pitiful barriers out of necessity but he never tried to combine it with his skillset.
"Thank you…" He said towards the duo. They truly were always there for him.
Ichigo brought his consciousness up back to the surface.
The group were looking at his changed expression.
"Thanks gramps." Ichigo said with a smile.
Zelretch returned the smile. "care to share with the class?"
"We all fucked up, except for Sarah" He said plainly.
They all thought about what he said for a moment before it hit them.
"We hesitated because of the nature of the power." Saber said.
"I stopped progressing and got complacent" Naruto added.
"I was scared to use it….i felt I would lose a part of my self If I accepted it." Orihime added.
"I…..have no excuse, as an Arch mage I should have already mastered this demonic energy and
researched it thoroughly." Jaina added as well.
The whole group minus Sarah had complex thoughts go through their minds.
"You all are going to train, your going to get a good hold on your demonic energy and figure out how it interacts with your existing abilities." Zelrech said, with no room for objection.
"Get a good nights sleep, you start tomorrow."
Ichigo was laying in bed, Yoruichi was on his chest.
Yoruichi had gone limp. Her breathing was ragged and Ichigo could hear her…..purring.
When Yoruichi has a rather….explosive finish, she sometimes losses control of her shapeshifting ability. There were cat ears on her head, and a fuzzy tail brushing against his leg.
Her eyes were slightly rolled back, her mouth was wide open, she couldn't talk for several moments. When Yoruichi finally stopped basking in the moment, she noticed the expression on her lovers face.
"Ichigo, a frown is not what I want to see after the man I love gives me the biggest orgasm of my life." She said with slight annoyance.
Ichigo was caught off guard, it was nonchalant but she just told him that she loved him. He knew this of course, but to hear it….was a different matter. His frown immediately went away as he embraced his lover tightly.
"Sorry, I was just lost in thought for a moment. I didn't realize that I stopped moving forward." He said quietly.
"We all did." She said bluntly.
"It was a wake up call, he won't make the same mistake again"
Ichigo smiled brightly at her.
"I love you Yoruichi" He finally said to his kitten.
Yoruichi's eyes went wide. Tears started to gather.
She knew about the mutual love between the two of them. But he had yet to tell her the words. They were powerful words. No one had ever said them to her in her life.
She was raised since a young age to take up the mantle of clan head, she betrayed soul society and left everything behind and became the mentor to everyone.
She was always the person people went to when they had problems. She was the strong support when people were hurting. She was never allowed to be the little girl who fell head over heels. She was never given the opportunity to let someone into her heart. She had often just watched young couples around the city, jealously, as they shared a mutual love, as they said the words to each other that she would never hear.
"It took you long enough….idiot" she quietly said, barely holding back the tears.
He held her while she composed herself.
There was silence for several minutes as they shared the warmth of each other. It was Yoruichi who finally spoke.
"You know you aren't going to get any sleep now, right?" She whispered into his ear.
She immediately felt something poke her beneath the blankets.
"I'm a healthy young man, do you really think I can resist it when you purr on top of me?" He said with a smile.
Yoruichi had blushed, it was one of the rare times she did so. It would be a long night.
Que the training montage!
Chapter for the night. I'm running some errands early int he morning tomorrow so i'll start righting a bit later than usual. Expect at least two chapters but maybe more.
On a side note, i'm thinking the group come into the one piece world during enies loby and train, then meet up with the straw hats during Thriller bark. The climax will be Whitebeard war.
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