“Do you know about the current situation of the underworld?”
“No. But, from the looks of things, I guess I am about to.”
Akeno chuckled at his witty remark and continued her explanation, “The Civil War that occurred 500 years ago had seen a great change happening throughout the Underworld. The four houses that ruled the underworld of the old were dethroned and four young devils rose to become what is known as the new Four Maou.”
“I do know that. The anti-satan faction won and the four leaders rose. Sirzechs Gremory became Lucifer. Ajuka Astaroth became Beelzebub. Serafall Sitri became Leviathan and finally, Leohart Agares became known as Asmodeus.”
Leohart in particular was an interesting case, a sort of anomaly among the Maous. Different from the other three, he was not born as a high-class devil but still managed to crawl from the very bottom of the food chain to become what he was today— Asmodeus.
Thankfully, he had been adopted by the Agares family, now the second-highest ranked family in the underworld noble hierarchy, and showed his blooming talents there.
“That’s right. The new Maou represents a new order. Devils became less aggressive towards humans. Many of the policies changed. Even so, it’s Impossible to completely take away the influence of the old maou factions.
Nowadays the two groups are still facing each other. The new Maou faction and the old Maou faction, that is. Or as people call them, the Moderate faction and the Radical faction.”
‘I guess only devils who live for thousands of years could continue a Civil War for five hundred years.’
“The radical factions are pretty weak, but it’s impossible for Sir Sirzechs and the others to destroy them as long as they don’t go past the line. Which is why they have slowly been weakened by breaking off their support one after the other.”
‘I guess this is where the problem begins.’
“Out of the neutral family, there’s one that is extremely influential and is in fact one of the richest families in the underworld— The Phenex.”
“Hah… Phoenix Tears.”
“Indeed. Phoenix Tears. Devils aren’t exactly good at healing magic and the like so we rely on natural regeneration. But the Phenex can produce the miraculous Phoenix Tears, a special potion that can instantly heal any injury no matter how severe.”
Basara closed his eyes in silent contemplation. The gears in his head turned rapidly to put two and two together.
For any war, the ability to heal would be one of the most important traits and resources to have. This made the Phoenix Tears a strategic resource of high importance that any leaders would try to have under their control.
“Let me guess. The new Maou wants the Phenex to stop being neutral and join the Moderate faction but the Phenex in turn demanded something in return. Some kind of price or an assurance. And…this price is something too heavy for the moderate faction, or specifically, for the head of the Maou— Lucifer to pay. “
Akeno was surprised at how easily Basara managed to deduce the situation at hand. He even went on to pinpoint the person this problem was related to with just the meager introduction she presented to him. To say the very least, she was truly impressed by Basara’s intellect and deduction ability.
“Yes. The lord of the Phenex Family asked to have a wedding between his third son, Riser Phenex, and the first daughter of Lord Zeoticus Gremory, which is Rias Gremory.”
She massaged her forehead, sighing ruefully, showing how tired and vexed she was due to the staggering problem at hand.
“Rias wasn’t particularly pleased about this decision of betrothal. But she couldn’t just break off the engagement without severely affecting the relationship between the two families and in turn make the Moderate faction lose this invaluable resource that could decide the end of this civil war. Thankfully, there is a rule for such a case.”
Since women of the devilkin weren’t inferior to men in any way, the power shift between the two genders wasn’t exaggerated like it was for humans in the past.
As such, forced marriage and such weren’t exactly common since the wife that was forced could happen to be stronger than her husband, which wouldn’t bring a happy ending for anyone.
This was why there was a rule that allowed one party, be it the man or the woman, to challenge the other party in any form of competition, and should he/she win, the engagement would be voided.
Not long ago, Sona was also engaged to someone she didn’t want to and broke off her engagement by beating her fiancee in chess.
“Rias used that rule. It was decided that it would be a rating game between them and their respective peerages. If Riser wins, he will marry Rias. If he loses, the engagement will be broken, freeing Rias of her fate.”
Basara frowned a little, a bit perturbed. It seemed to be a little rash but he could understand how desperate she was,
“I guess this is why she was asking Sitri-san to not ‘snatch’ me.”
“Fufufu~! Indeed. Rias was a little flustered there. She was not trying to treat you as an object or anything of the sort. She is just very desperate and willing to grasp whatever straw that will come her way.”
“I understand and all but I am sorry, I am unable to join.”
Basara found her situation to be sad indeed but if he had to be blunt…this wasn’t really his problem.
Basara was no saint. And, he was the furthest thing from being a truly good person. Why would he accept becoming the servant of someone just because he was pitying them? That would be stupid no matter how you spun the fact. And it wasn’t temporary either, once he joined her peerage he was in it for life, which was more reason for him to not add himself to this troublesome equation.
Akeno let out a disappointed sigh but did not seem the least bit surprised.
Generally, people accepted entering the peerage of a devil for specific reasons.
Clearly, Basara was in none of those categories. Still, she didn’t want to give up so easily. Basara was a game-changing piece she just couldn’t afford to lose.
“Could you tell me why? If you become a devil, even though an reincarnated one, you would have a lifespan no humans could match. Furthermore, you would be able to break through the inherent limitations of humans in terms of power.”
Basara shook his head and stood up, strolling towards the exit to leave. He had already conveyed his answer, there was no reason for him to stay here any longer.
Once he reached the door, however, he stopped. Even if he didn’t want to join, he could explain a bit so that they wouldn’t pester him in the future.
“I will be honest with you. I am simply not interested in joining any peerage or associating myself with any supernatural group. But, on the off chance, I had a change of mind and was willing to join, your master would never be able to put me in her peerage, anyways. So, I don’t see a point in furthering this discussion.”
“Simple— She’s too weak.”
: Leohart is the demon lord in Shinmai. Normally, the fourth Maou is Falbium but damn. Even in 25 volumes, the number of times that guy appeared can be counted on one hand. He is basically useless and I am pretty sure most fans of DxD don’t even remember his name. So yeah. Replaced that guy with someone more useful. Like how I erased Issei. This might happen from time to time. So I will warn you when I change or add characters, mixing up the two franchises to create a crossover world. Man, I am really excited about the future prospects of this fanfic.