Rias and by extension the Devil faction, were in major damage control.
Quite a few factions were sending in some very strongly worded messages that they wanted to meet Ichigo and his peerage. Some of them hoped to ally themselves with various members.
About half were directed at Artoria. What Rias said in the stands about heroic spirits was leaked. The world was in an uproar, something was able to take various people after their deaths and "store' them.
The Greek factions, specifically Artemis, was VERY keen on finding out about her Chaste Huntress from Rias. Apparently this Artoria was a friend of hers in the Throne.
The Archangels made personal appearances to Rias. They asked (Demanded) the location of King Arthur. It took quite a bit of convincing on the Devil's part for them to finally believe that Rias was being trolled and that she did not know where their residence was nor how to contact them. She finally relented and said to the world that Ichigo and a few peerage members of his, including Artoria, went to her school but she absolutely refused to allow anyone else to come. If they trespassed into the school or its surroundings they would immediately be considered enemies of the devil faction.
The church didn't relent either, they sent an absurd amount of personnel to scour the Town they supposedly lived in.
The Angel/church faction made the claim of ownership towards the girl even though she was a devil. This caused a lot of headaches for everyone involved.
The majority of messages about Artoria were random people involved In moonlit world wanting to pledge their allegiance to the king.
There were a couple of disconcerting messages as well. Particularly from the Pendragon clan. They refused to acknowledge her as the king. They demanded the return of Excalibur. Rias quietly burned that letter, she did not want to see Artoria go and have words with that group of idiots.
Piles and piles of paper work. And that was just regarding Artoria.
Moving onto the one called Shirou. He was receiving hate mail more than anything. Artoria's little stunt…angered quite a few nobles around the world. There were duel challenges for Artorias affection, threats if he didn't leave her ect.
She quickly burned those as well.
And then there were the Celts. They were being surprisingly civil. She would actually try to hand off their letter to Shirou and his group. It was basically Lugh the god of light asking about his son. He sounded like a father who was upset over his son.
Naruto had received quite a few messages from the Kitsune clan and the Shinto faction in general. Amaterasu was kind enough to "invite" him to their stronghold, where there would be not witnesses.
He had also received a more civil invitation from the leader of the Youkai faction in Kyoto, Yasaka. She had asked him to come over for a chat and discuss his lineage. Rias put this in the very small pile of "worth handing over" to Ichigo's peerage.
Sasuke had a small pile himself. Some from Amaterasu, with some unbecoming language. And others from Susanoo who decided to treat him as his younger brother. He wanted the boy to come over and "hang out". Rias was a bit skeptical on this one.
Rias was scared when Serafall came and handed her a pink, glitter covered, letter to hand over to Rukia. Apparently Serafall wanted to invite Rukia to become her sidekick and "magical girl". Rias could only stare at the letter…dumbfounded. She added it into the pile to give to Ichigo.
There were generic letters for Tier, Sarah, and Yoruichi. They didn't really coincide with any group In particular. Some were asking for "dates" or their hands in marriage. Or some kind of "alliance". Rias threw all those away.
Jaina made a good impression on the world. All the various wizard or magic user groups in the world made inquires about her. They asked about her schooling, and if she was interested on joining them or becoming some sort of guest lecturer.
She was already considered one of the most prestigious magic users in the world. The word "mage" had been added to the increasing number of titles a magic user could have.
And finally, she got to Kurosaki Ichigo.
The bane of her existence.
Although not as many letters as Artoria, they had more sensitive content. A LOT of them expressed their "displeasure" towards his grandfather. But others were invitations from various factions. They recognized him as one who stood on their level. Not only that, they asked various questions about his power sets, how he acquired them. How he gathered all these unknown peerage members.
A lot of them asked about the Throne of Heroes, and how he made contact with a heroic spirit. They asked about their dead children or heroes.
Specifically, the Mesopotamian Faction asked about his comment towards Gilgamesh. The world knew about Gilgamesh. In this world, he almost ended the belief in gods, unlike the one he met who ended the age of gods. While most factions detested the man, they respected his power and what he had accomplished. So everyone was a bit unnerved when Ichigo said he had fought the man.
They made some conclusions regarding the concept of the Throne of Heroes and Heroic spirits.
And finally, the majority of the letters Ichigo received were from the Devil faction. They were letters asking for trades.
Rias barely read into those letters before she burned them with haste. She knew better than most how protective Ichigo was of his people.
Lastly were the letters from the Phenex family. Apparently they couldn't get the wound on Riser's face to heal, they requested that Ichigo stop what ever power was stopping the healing. They had opted for forcefully stopping the blood from flowing with magic, but the wound persisted nonetheless.
She had been up 3 nights straight dealing with this fallout. School started again tomorrow, she would have her revenge.
After Ichigo and his peerage came back home, Zelretch was waiting for them.
They all sat down without saying a word.
Zelretch started bursting out in laughter. He was watching the entire time and recorded it.
"Well done everyone" He said with glee.
"The world is in absolute chaos now" He said while cackling like a maniac.
This continued on for several minutes.
"Do you have anything important to say?" Ichigo finally said in annoyance.
Zelretch regained his composure and adopted a more serious expression. "What are your plans now?" Zelretch asked.
"You revealed yourselves to the world, you all are strong but there are forces that can beat you" He said with a rare case of affection towards the group.
"Figured we would do the same as before, maybe leave the world for a bit and let the heat die down….maybe a world were we could get stronger?" He said, hinting towards the vampire.
The group agreed with his words, they realized previous how they had stopped progressing. They refused to stagnate again.
Zelretch took on a thinking expression, he was rubbing his beard.
"Give me a few days to figure something out, make your preparations at school and such." He said to the group before vanishing.
"Crap." Ichigo said quietly.
"You were hoping he would send you off somewhere immediately so you didn't have to deal with Rias." Saber said bluntly.
Ichigo slammed his head on the table without responding.
"You were warned" Rukia said with a smile.
"You reap what you sow" Naruto said with a chuckle as he went to bed.
The various members got up and left to their respective bedrooms.
As Sasuke was about to go into his, he caught Sarah looking at him from the corner of his eye.
Neither spoke, Sarah made a head gesture towards her room and walked in, leaving the door open. Sasuke hesitated for a moment before closing his door and following.
Naruto saw the scene with a sincere smile on his face. He could finally have fun.
Ichigo and Orihime were sitting together as everyone else went to bed.
It was these moments that Orihime liked the most, just the warmth that Ichigo gave her.
She had the best time of her life these past few weeks she spent with him, just acting like a normal boyfriend and girlfriend. They went on dates, they spent time together that wasn't fighting or trying to survive.
She didn't detest the lifestyle they had adopted, experiencing new worlds with her new friends and family was exciting. But the normalcy was craved by her.
She would always follow Ichigo, she proved that before and continued to. She loved him dearly. But when he reciprocated her desires…it made her heart flutter. When they merely held hands as they walked to school, it was enough to sweep the girl off her feet. She had always been shy. She was with him the longest yet she was the last person to make her feelings known, she didn't regret that the others shared him with her, she loved them as sisters.
She knew how far the others had gone, but she was content to take it nice and slow.
"I….don't think I'm ready yet to take that final step…." Orihime quietly said to her boyfriend.
"But….i would like you to stay with me tonight" She barely said, before the blush consumed her face.
Ichigo didn't speak. He only let himself be led to her room by her.
Nothing happened that night, he just held the girl he loved as they both drifted off into sleep.
The group prepared for another day at school. There was anticipation all around, Ichigo was on constantly vigilance while the rest were watching, waiting for something to happen.
They were careful to avoid all the prying eyes until they were close enough to Kuoh Academy.
Though the factions watched the targets they had been searching for, they couldn't interact with them at this point. Not without he wrath of the devil faction coming down on them.
Ichigo, Shirou, Rukia, Orihime, and Artoria all were walking to school.
Ichigo quickly made his way to the classroom, he was being extra careful to avoid any devils.
The day passed normally, he made sure to stay near any large groups of humans. He could feel a pair of eyes locked onto him when he left the classroom and was out in the open, it radiated killing intent.
Everyone else refused to help the poor Shinigami.
The day finally ended, the classroom started to disperse and all that was left was Ichigo's group. He was about to leave until it approached.
Death approached, his instincts warned him.
He prepared himself.
She slammed the door to the classroom open, the wall cracked in various places. The power of destruction radiated off her.
"KUROSAKI ICHIGO, YOUR ASS IS MINE" She roared at him.
Ichigo's face went pale, he looked towards his peerage who just turned away from his gaze.
"I've been abandoned" He thought to himself.
He quickly looked for an escape route. His eyes landed on it.
Rias also noticed what he was about to do.
"DON'T YOU DAR...…" She didn't get to finish.
Ichigo braced himself as he dove head first through the third story window.
The various factions saw the scene before them, the mortal who ascended….jumped through the top floor window and took off in a sprint as the Rias girl chased after him.
They dared not get involved.
The group stared at the scene in a haze, they were trying to process what had just happened until Rias finally came back.
She was literally dragging him by his leg, with his face planted firmly into the ground. Various burns and bruises could be seen on his body.
A healing session from Orihime in the club room and they started to discuss business.
"I've sorted all letter I've gotten" Rias said handing Ichigo the stack.
"Those are the ones worth reading"
"Whats with this pink one covered in glitter?" Ichigo asked.
He read it, he tried his bet to keep a straight face as he handed it over to Rukia.
She looked at it and her face paled.
It was passed around the room, laughter erupted at the petite shinigami's expense.
"I'm sure gramps can make you an amazing Magical girl" Ichigo said to his lover.
Rukia turned to give him a death glare.
Another healing session from Orihime and Ichigo could speak again.
"We're going to disappear for a bit" Ichigo finally said.
"where are you going?" Rias asked hesitantly.
"No idea, gramps is choosing" He said with nervousness.
"My condolences" Rias reiplied with sympathy.
For a moment, Rias's rage towards the orange haired boy died down, she would not wish the troll on anyone.
"The heat should die down after we leave for a couple months" Ichigo said, waiving off her concerns.
"I'll deal with the schooling issues, just don't cause anymore trouble." She said with a hint of blood lust in her tone.
"Yes Ma'am" Ichigo responded, a slight shiver down his spine.
The group left and made their way back home in secret, as to not be followed.
There was a good smell in the air as Shirou was cooking dinner. Zelretch had decided to come back and announce the world they were going to.
He had dressed up again, but the group opted not to even mention it.
He was in a pirate costume. Complete with plastic hook-hand and a eye-patch.
"Who's ready to be a pirate" He said as he barged in.
Well, who's ready to set sail?
I needed a bridge chapter to set up future plot points and tie up some loose ends. Will continue writing after this one!
If anyone has any input on the One piece adventure, i'll be reading the comments.
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