Waking up the next morning, Jaren wondered when the first main plot event would happen. He completely forgot if Raynare kills Issei the first day of the novel, or the second. Looking at the System message log, he got his answer.
["Like a Good Neighbor" quest completed]
Be present for Issei's death 1/1
Rewards: 50 exp, 10 GP
Bonus Objective: Fight Raynare and survive 1/1
Bonus Rewards: 50 exp
For a second, Jaren was confused because he didn't remember even seeing Raynare, let alone fighting her. But then he remembered that she wiped everyone's mind after the date in the anime, and no one remembered seeing her with Issei. Luckily he checked the system log, or else he would have been very lost.
With these rewards, he was brought up to 100 exp and levelled up to level 2. This didn't actually change anything, as levels only mattered to let him use better cards. He took this time to note that the exp requirement doubled to 200, and then looked at his GP. 10 Gp was enough for 1 draw of the normal gacha, and only 1/10th of the amount required for a premium draw.
Jaren quickly decided that early on he needed to stack up strength quickly, so he chose to make a normal draw right away. Anxiety seized him once again as he watched the cruel gods of fate toy with his hopes and dreams. Luckily, as disappointing as the result was, it was also what he needed right now.
[Equipment card, armor]
Double Jump Boots
Effects: Enables a second jump mid air
It may seem useless, and that's because to any angel, devil or fallen angel, it is. But to Jaren, who is none of those things, being able to pursue those that fly is all he needs right now. If he could have jumped to Raynare and smack her over the head himself, he may have been able to do some major damage.
And while Jaren very much sought to become a devil under a peerage, due to the life span boost, power boost, and political umbrella, they're not gonna take any schmuck off the street just because he knows his way around a pipe. So, this is the best he's got and he'll accept it like the wimp he is.
Luckily, the boots can be equipped at will, so he doesn't have to wear them 24/7. With that, he sets off to Kuoh academy, wondering what's gonna happen now. Jaren's now free to interact with the main cast as he sees fit after all, so it'd be a waste to do nothing. Hearing loud commotions over by the gate, he sees Issei yelling to his two best friends. And with that, a light bulb clicks in his head.
"I'm telling you man, I brought her over to you guys and everything I'm not lying." Issei says this while panicking, almost trying to convince himself more than them. Motohama and Matsuda nod sagely and pat his shoulders.
Right after Issei had his hopes raised, they were slaughtered in one fell swoop when they said "It's okay my brother, we've all had those dreams. They are very real in your heart, but you've gotta let go." The pity in their eyes is almost palpable, while the tears in Issei's eyes very much are.
Jaren decides to lend the poor guy a line, and waves at Issei to come over. Issei doesn't really pay him much attention at first, but then his silhouette starts to overlap with the person he saw the other day, and Issei quickly runs over. What confused Jaren, however, is that he looked more angry than grateful. "You're the guy that attacked Yuuma. What'd you do to her!" Issei yells and grabs Jaren's collar.
Jaren just laughs and says "She did worse to you buddy, if you can remember that." Issei then gasps and pats his side that was originally removed. "Wait, so that actually happened then?" "Oh it one hundred percent happened. As for the specifics, I won't share them until you come with me to some place after school, okay?" And with that, he walks off, trying to play the enigmatic mystery man the best he can.
Jaren spends most of the day normally, besides being awkwardly stared at by Issei the entire time, and weirdly enough, Kiba also spared him a glance in the hall when he passed by, but Jaren quickly realized the cause of this.
The swordsman's skills he got changed the way he carried himself, something clearly visible to Kiba's eyes. This change would also be very clear and sudden if Kiba remembered him in the halls before.
Once class ended, Jaren waited outside the school for Issei, and then walked him across the campus without saying anything. The entire way, Issei peppered him with questions, but he was trying his best to act cool so he didn't want to say anything and ruin the facade.
At the end of the day, Jaren alway thought of himself as just Issei with more tact, which he decided wouldn't work, so he's attempting to act differently instead. As they neared the destination, Issei looked up and saw the abandoned dormitory, which was also the base of the Occult Research Club.
Jaren was marvelling at something, completely different. Rather, someone, as Rias was standing near the window, and at this moment, glanced down at the two of them, with intrigue in her eyes. Jaren tried his best to keep up the mysterious cool guy look, but after staring at her long enough, broke down laughing.
Issei stared at him like he went insane, and Jaren slowly calmed himself and explained, "No, no I'm fine it's just. Man I was so stupid for a second there. Tried being all serious and mysterious and boy, does it not suit me whatsoever. I'm going to just fly by the seat of my pants, as it was before and as it will be for years to come."
Looking directly at Rias, Jaren calls out slightly loudly, "Yo, I brought something of yours, I think it's lost." Issei looks really confused at this, but it elicits a light chuckle from Rias, as she motions to the door for them to come in. Jaren just looks at Issei and says, "Basically you died and a hot girl brought you back in exchange for owning you. Honestly it's very much a worthwhile upgrade."
This puts a fire in Issei's eyes as he rushes up to the main room, where Rias awaits. Jaren follows behind, actually just as eager than Issei is to meet her, and the rest of the devils. Issei freezes at the door, however, while Jaren just chuckles and walks in, where everyone is expecting them and waiting.
Before anyone can say anything, Jaren points to Rias, Akeno, Koneko and Kiba, saying "Okay so, I'm probably not actually welcome here just yet, so I'm gonna just let you debrief him and be on my way. Maybe stop by the fountain and get in a fight I can't actually win again."
Leaving this line in case his exp farming plan goes awry, Jaren quickly walks out the door before any trouble can reach him, and lets Issei get his lessons on being a devil and what his life will now be. He was starting to have second doubts on whether or not he could fit in with all those impressive people, and decided he'd just have to do his own thing. Speaking of which, he had another idea based on what was supposed to happen today.
With the pipe from yesterday in hand, Jaren shows up and the fountain and waits. After about 30 minutes, he feels killing intent and stands up, turning around to find the fedora and trenchcoat man himself, Dohnaseek. [Quest Received]
[Round 2, Fight]
Defeat Dohnaseek 0/1
Rewards: 100 exp
"Like they say, the villain always returns to the scene of the crime. Or, in this case, their accomplices. Oh, and in case you mock me for coming here and risking death and yada yada, if you claim I'm stupid in any way, then the fact that I could guess your move implies it's a pretty stupid one in and of itself."
This makes Dohnaseek PISSED, as he quickly forms a blue light spear and runs at Jaren. He thrusts the spear forward, with Jaren smacking the shaft with his iron pipe to the side, sliding the spear tip right under his armpit.
Clenching the shaft under his armpit, Jaren turns and shoulder checks Dohnaseek, wrenching the spear from his hands and knocking him off balance. Taking advantage of the position he's in, Jaren grabs the pipe in both hands, and makes a full baseball swing right into his chest, earning a satisfying 'crack' for his efforts, most likely a rib. Dohnaseek is sent reeling, falling to his knees a few feet away.
Jaren tries to keep the pressure up, but the follow through from the swing makes him take too long, and Dohnaseek already has another light spear and throws it as hard as he can. No matter what move Jaren makes, he won't be out of the spear's way in time, and a metal pipe probably can't block it.
So he doesn't make one move, he makes two, and dives to the side, while double jumping immediately after towards the side to stack momentum. He just barely makes it away in time, with the spear clipping his right leg.
The landing isn't very pretty either, as Jaren rolls for a bit and slams into a trash can. He thinks he's screwed, but Dohnaseek seems to be unable to throw that hard a second time, probably due to overextending himself in rage. Then again, you would too if someone you consider to be equivalent to a toddler manages to break your rib.
Jaren quickly stands up, grabs the nearby trash can and throws it at Dohnaseek, running behind it. Dohnaseek slaps it to the side, but leaves himself wide open to Jaren slamming the pipe down onto his skull. Things aren't all great, however, as he lashes out with his other hand slamming into Jaren's chest and sending him flying back, coughing blood.
At this point, Dohnaseek's head is bleeding profusely and kneeling on the ground, while Jaren's everything hurts from getting ragdolled. His endurance is still that of a normal person's after all, which brings up the next problem. He can't keep up with going all out for that long, let alone the damage he's taken. He has to bet everything on the last exchange.
Dohnaseek slowly generates a light spear while Jaren makes a mad dash towards him, sweating from many causes from mental to physical. Once Jaren reaches the five foot mark, Dohnaseek has already finished making the spear, and throws it at him from what's basically point blank.
Jaren decides to use the same trick twice, and stacks his double jump soon after the first to increase momentum, but this time with a front flip barely clearing the spear. He closes the distance while spinning, and uses the full rotational force to slam the pipe onto Dohnaseek's head in the exact spot he did before, knocking him out.
Jaren falls to the ground, exhausted. He then notes that his legs are now hurting like hell, but puts two and two together to realize that he's been jumping full force instantly in quick succession, and while his boots let him do that, that doesn't mean his muscles are gonna like it.
Sadly, the job's not done here yet, and Jaren forces himself to stand up and take responsibility. If he wants to fight the bad guy, he's gonna have to kill the bad guy. Jaren raises the pipe over his head, and slams it down onto the poor fallen angel's head, taking 6 full swings to actually break the skull and kill him.
By this point, his arms are also numb, but that's just how it's gonna have to be. Jaren walks himself home, spotting Rias' familiar watching from a distance, and hoping they take care of the mess for him. When he gets home, he doesn't check the system or anything and just plops in bed. Conveniently skipping dinner.
Waking up, Jaren tries to get out of bed and immediately falls to the ground. Guess he isn't walking today. Having nothing better to do, he checks his quest.
["Round 2, Fight" quest completed]
Defeat Dohnaseek 1/1
Rewards: 100 exp
Bonus Objective: Kill Dohnaseek 1/1
Rewards: 100 exp, 10 GP
As it turns out, murder does pay, very well in fact as Dohnaseek gave him enough to level up using both rewards, raising his level to 3. Instead of doubling, his exp requirement went to 300, much to Jaren's relief. After all, if it keeps doubling, level 10 to 11 would have taken 51k exp, and that would be depressing. Once again, he needs strength sooner rather than later, so he rolls a draw.
Effects: +10 strength, + 20 agility, +20 dexterity
Skills: Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū techniques [Level 3+], Battojutsu techniques [Level 5+], Flash of the Heavenly Soaring Dragon [Level 9+]
Mastery: 0/3,000 exp
'FINALLY, a character card, god hasn't forsaken me yet. Well, I mean he's dead but ah well.' Quickly equipping it, Jaren was noticing a trend in his stats going full glass canon. His stats are simply dictated by whatever card he draws that's good, so the build could change at a moment's notice, so he pays little notice to this fact. He does, however, notice the knock on his door.
Jaren yells from his room "KINDA CAN'T ANSWER THE DOOR NOW," and hopes they understand. What immediately follows is the loud crashing of his door being broken down. 'FUCK, it's probably the fallen angels looking for revenge. I acted too wildly solo!' With no other option, he grabs the nearby bloody pipe on the ground, and uses it as a cane to stand up, and gets ready to fight.
His heart practically pounds in tune to the footsteps that slowly make their way through his house and up the stairs, stopping at the top. Before Jaren could even hope they get lost and miss him, the steps start walking directly to where his room is, and halt once more outside his door.
'They clearly know I'm in this room, dammit. Well, it's all or nothing.' "Here to avenge your buddy are ya? Well come on in and get some you burnt chicken bastard, it'll be a party." Jaren realizes he's probably gonna die here, so he goes all in on the taunting, hoping to bet his life on the only attack he'll be able to make.
The door opens, and Jaren immediately jumps up, putting all of his weight onto the two handed falling strike, the Dragon Hammer Flash. As he comes down, he realizes that none of the falling angels are this short, or have white hair. 'OH FUCK IT'S KONEKO!' Luckily, she realizes the attack in time, and crosses her arms above to block.
The pipe slams into her arms, and she only gives a tiny bit, before pushing forwards and sending him flying to the wall on the other end of the room. Grunting with pain, he manages to say "In my defense, you didn't say anything when I implied you were a fallen angel, so this isn't my fault."
Combining the fact that he forced himself to do an attack when he could barely move, with getting slammed into a wall, Jaren passed out from the pain.