It was usually used to refer to a Devil who was turned into a Servant Devil of a Devil with a peerage, but they had betrayed or killed their master; thus, ending their servitude. Cases like that very rarely occurred.
Those Devils leave their master’s place and cause destruction elsewhere.
That’s a “Stray Devil”.
In other words, a stray dog.
Stray dogs create trouble, and when found, the master or other Devils are ordered to eliminate them. That’s the inherent law of the Devils.
Other beings such as Angels, Exorcists, and Fallen Angels also saw them as threats and will eliminate them whenever they spot one.
There’s nothing scarier than a Devil who doesn’t abide by any rules.
With these thoughts running through the confines of his mind, Basara strolled towards an unused building located in the outer part of the town along with Rias and her peerage.
From the information she shared, it seemed that every night, a Stray Devil was luring humans to this building to feed on them.
Due to this heinous act, there was a request from the High ranked Devils to hunt it down.
[Since it has escaped to the territory of Rias Gremory, I would like to ask you to eliminate it.]
Apparently, this was another form of job that Devils had. Something that was somewhat surprising in Basara’s opinion, he could also understand, however. After all, with the current tension between the three factions, there was no way that the Devils wishing for long-lasting peace would let Stray Devils rampage as they wished.
It was already midnight, a world of darkness had descended upon them with the peeking moon as the only source of faint illumination. Basara remembered that Lucia asked him to not stay outside for too long during the night and hoped that she wouldn’t be too upset with him for not abiding by her advice.
Thankfully, while the surroundings were quite dark, be it Basara or the others, none of them had problems navigating through the dark alleys. After all, Night Vision was another trait of the Devils.
Akeno and the others who didn’t know about Basara’s prowess and abilities were a little surprised that Basara had no problem traveling with them. They even had prepared a torch lamp just for him, but seeing him, completely comfortable in the dark like this, they simply chalked it up to him being used to fighting in the dark and having the power to adapt well to it.
The more they neared the building, the more Basara’s expression scrunched up into a disturbed frown. He was about to comment but,
“…The smell of blood.”
Koneko covered her nose with her uniform with a rather disgusted expression after she said those words.
‘She has quite the sharp nose.’
Basara remarked in his mind while feeling the vast killing intent that was leaking all over the place.
‘There’s only one enemy.’
Rias and the other continued to advance after receiving the warning Koneko issued to them,
“Today, just concentrate and look at how we fight. Don’t interfere, please. I know you’re strong but I can assure you we got this situation under control. Oh yes, I’ll also explain the traits servants in a peerage have and what piece those pieces correspond to.”
“The traits servants have?”
Basara was a little curious about t his subject. He never really bothered to learn what different traits those pieces gave. Still, even though he wasn’t interested in creating a peerage, it wouldn’t hurt to know more about its intricacies.
‘Of course, I can just ask Lucia later.’
Unknown to Basara’s thoughts, Akeno began her explanation regarding the traits,
“So, I am sure you already know, but the great war had been pretty brutal. Hordes of devils and angels died and even to this day, the number of devils present doesn’t even add up to a fifth of the population we had at our peak.
“Furthermore, many of the nobles’ entire families were completely exterminated. So not only did devils lose population, they lost top power potential in droves. Of course, the same happened to the angels.
“In order to replenish our population, Ajuka Beelzebub created what is now known as evil pieces.”
Rias took it from there, explaining the core intricacies.
“Devils with Peerages decided to apply the traits of the game humans called ‘Chess’ to their Servant Devils. It was also a form of sarcasm since most servants are Devils that were reincarnated from humans. Since then, Chess has become a popular game in the world of Devils, but we’ll leave that aside for now.
“Devils who are masters are a [King]. In our case, that’s me. From there, they created 5 special traits that consist of [Queen], [Knight], [Rook], [Bishop] and [Pawn]. Since they couldn’t make an army, they decided to have a small number of Devils and give them enormous powers. This system was created within the past few hundred years, and has unexpectedly become popular amongst Devils with peerages.”
“Popular? You mean the chess rules?”
“They started to compete against each other. For example, “My Knight is stronger!”, or “No, my Rook is stronger!” As a result, High-class Devils started to play a game like that of Chess against each other using their Servant Devils. We call it the [Rating Game].
“This game became very popular amongst the Devils to the point that there are even tournaments for it. The strength of their [Pieces] and also how strong they are at the game affects a Devils’ social position and their peerage. There’s a thing called [Piece Collect] where they gather humans with talents and make them into their [Pieces]. It’s grown very popular recently, and talented servants were even able to gain certain status in the devil world.”
Rias continued to explain. In fact, Rating games had ‘game’ only in the name. They were basically a tradition, a rule, and a law. Skilled devils in rating games could obtain riches and status. A reincarnated low-ranked devil could even become a high-ranked devil if they had enough achievement in Rating games. They were also used as a way to resolve disputes between nobles since no matter how fiercely they fought during a rating game, in the special ring, they wouldn’t die.
“I’m not a mature Devil yet, so I can’t participate in the official tournament. Even if I could, there are certain things that I need to go through, or else I can’t play. In short, my other servants here won’t be participating in a game for a while.”
“So does that mean that Kiba and the others haven’t played a single game yet?”
“Indeed. That’s why I—”
“I can smell something disgusting, but also something delicious. Is it sweet, or is it sour?”
A low voice came from below the ground and interrupted Rias’ description.
‘This energy…. This is indeed a low-level devil.’
Basara released a sigh of relief inwardly. He had been worried that they would end up meeting the ultimate class stray, but it seemed that his worries were useless.
“Stray Devil Viser! We’re here to eliminate you.”
Rias announced proudly while the others prepared themselves for combat.
Abnormal laughter echoed around them as a topless woman appeared from the shadows. Weirdly though, her upper body seemed to float in the air. It didn’t take long for them to understand what was happening.
Heavy footsteps sounded, and what followed was the body of a gigantic beast.
The stray was a grotesque being with an unnatural form, having a woman’s upper body and a monster’s lower body. It was also holding something that looked like a spear in both of its hands.
The lower body of the monster had four fat legs with sharp claws and a snake tail that was viciously moving. All in all, it was a humongous monster that was definitely more than 5 meters tall. Even more, If it stood on its hind legs.
“Leaving your master’s side and rampaging as you please definitely deserves death. In the name of Duke Gremory, I will gladly eliminate you!”
“You’re cunning for a little girrrrrrl! I’ll rip your body, and dye it red just like your haaaaaaair!!”
The monster barked and released its demonic energy, but Rias just laughed at it.
“Grunts sure do speak in a stylish manner. Yuuto!”
Kiba, who was near Basara, sprinted ahead as soon as Rias gave him an order.
Basara was immediately interested. After all, he was also a speed-type fighter. Though Kiba was much slower than him, the speed he was showing was already something that would make the fastest human runner blush in shame.
“I’ll continue the lecture from before.”
Rias said while showing a relaxed expression as she observed Kiba rush towards the stray.
“Yuuto’s position is [Knight], its trait is speed. Those who become a [Knight] have their speed increased.”
Facing the monster, Kiba was moving so fast while circling the stray that afterimages appeared. The monster frantically used its spear to attack, but no matter what it did, it was simply too slow.
“Also, Yuuto’s ultimate weapon is swords.”
Kiba stopped in track and was suddenly holding onto a European sword. He took it out of the scabbard, and the drawn sword reflected the faint moonlight, shining in a silver glow.
Not stopping even for an instant, Kiba suddenly disappeared again. The next moment, the monster’s scream echoed in the silent surroundings.
Its arms were instantly severed from its upper torso, causing the scent of human blood to be replaced by that of the monster’s as fountains of blood gushed out of its wound.
None of those present changed their expression at the sight of so much blood, and Rias continued to explain,
“This is Yuuto’s power. Speed that you can’t follow with your eyes, and the sword skills of a professional. By combining these two, he becomes one of the fastest knights.”
‘Well, I am pretty sure I am far faster than him. But, he is indeed quite fast.’
While the monster was disoriented, a small figure appeared near the monster’s legs.
“Next is Koneko. She’s a [Rook]. The trait of a Rook is its—”
“Damn inseect! Dieee!”
Blinded by pain and rage, the enormous monster tried to stomp on Koneko. Basara wondered if he should intervene, but what he saw next left him a bit astonished.
The monster’s foot didn’t hit the ground and was stopped in the air.
The girl with such a tiny body was lifting up the monster’s foot easily.
“The trait of a [Rook] is simple. Absolute strength, and also very high defense. It’s impossible for a Devil with that caliber to stomp on Koneko. It can’t crush her.”
Koneko ended up completely lifting the monster and throwing it;
Then, while it was defenseless in the air, she jumped high and punched into the monster’s stomach very sharply.
Basara cringed slightly at the gun-like explosion while the monster’s enormous body almost folded into two before getting thrown backward.
Basara had seen many things, but such a surreal sight was indeed a first. He was once again reminded that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
“Yes, Buchou. Oh my, what should I do?”
Akeno laughed as she walked towards the monster lying weakly on the ground after being hit by Koneko.
“Akeno is a [Queen], the strongest person in the peerage after me. She’s the unbeatable Vice-president of our club who has all the traits of [Pawn], [Knight], [Bishop], and [Rook].
The monster stared at Akeno with bloodshot eyes, but all it received as an answer was a fearless wicked laugh.
“Ara~ ara~ seems like you still have some energy left in you. Then how about this?”
Akeno raised her hands towards the sky then.
The next instant, the sky sparkled, and a lightning bolt struck down on top of the pitiful monster.
The monster began to scream and twitch violently while getting electrified. In an instant, Its entire body was burnt and smoke was coming out from all over.
Basara could even smell the scent of its charred flesh filling the air. But even though it was in such a state, Akeno seemed to be far from done with it.
“Looks like you still have some energy in you still. I have to say, I’m very impressed by your resilience. Then, I am sure you can take more, right?”
Another lightning bolt hit the monster.
The monster was once again electrified and released a mournful cry. It was already close to death’s door but, Akeno once again struck it with a third lightning bolt.
Her face, as she struck down the lightning bolt, looked scary and cold even though she was smiling.
‘Uwaah. She’s enjoying it… laughing as well.’
This time Basara was completely gobsmacked by her eerie behavior. The current Akeno and the demure gentle girl he knew seemed to be two different people.
“Akeno excels at attacks using demonic powers. She can use natural elements like lightning, ice, and fire, and most of all, she’s a bit of a sadist, as you can see for yourself.”
Rias confessed as if it was nothing special, leaving Basara quite lost.
“Usually, she’s very kind, but once a battle starts, she won’t stop until she calms down her sadistic desires.”
All Basara could do was give an awkward laugh as a response.
“You don’t have to be afraid though. Akeno is very kind to her comrades, so it’s not a problem. She even said that you’re cute. Next time, let her spoil you. She’ll definitely hug you kindly.”
“Ufufufufu~!. How much of my lightning can you take? Right, monster-san? You still can’t die yet, okay? The one who finishes you off will be my master. Hahaha!”
‘I thought she was the one with the most common sense.’
For a few minutes, Akeno’s lightning attacks continued and Basara, who calmed down, could appreciate the skill she was showing.
‘Her personality aside, she is the real deal.’
Even he would have a hard time avoiding her attacks. Though he was sure that he could tank a few of them without much problem, he wouldn’t be able to avoid the numbing feeling that would surely follow which would leave him vulnerable to further attacks.
After Akeno calmed down, all that was left was a monster that was barely breathing. It was clear that Akeno could have ended it long ago, but she had gauged the strength of her lightning very carefully so that she wouldn’t kill it but still inflict the maximum amount of agony.
Rias approached the monster that had already lost its will to fight. and pushed her hand toward it,
“Any last words?”
She asked calmly, yet coldly.
That was the only thing the monster said.
A cruel reply, without the slightest pity, resounded from her lips.
The wind stirred as a gigantic black mass of demonic power shot out from her palm. It was so big that it covered the monster’s entire body instantly.
The mass of demonic power devoured its body and when it disappeared, absolutely nothing was left of the gigantic monster. Not even dust.
‘So this is the famed the power of Destruction.’
Basara’s eyes twitched a bit. If even someone like Rias could bring such power. Basara couldn’t even imagine what it looked like when Sirzechs Lucifer used his own power of destruction.
Confirming the death of the monster, Rias let out a happy sigh.
“It’s over, good work everyone.”
The president said to the club members and all of them returned back to their usual selves.
Looking at them like this, no one would imagine that they had just heartlessly taken someone’s life away like it was nothing. Such was the nature of devils.