It was a quiet morning. Zelretch came around breakfast time and no one spoke for awhile.
"Have you all given it some thought?" Zelretch asked the group.
"I have some theories I would like to test." Jaina said.
"Ah, always nice to have an accomplished magic user around" Zelretch said with a smile as he cast a sideways glance towards Shirou.
Shirou, noticing his smirk and look, only rolled his eyes at the vampire.
"Sarah, if you would be so kind to share with the group what findings you have regarding Demonic energy?" Zelretch said to the young redhed.
"well….like Shirou initially told me, its versatile. It can be shaped more easily than my psionic energy….but its also aggressive. It required more concentration to use and was harder to control." She said to the group.
"Very good, I'm glad someone here hasn't been slacking off" Zelretch said with a scolding.
As they finished up, they made their way outside where Zelretch had set up some extra bounded fields to practice.
"Alright, you all get some free time to experiment. I'll come check around in a bit to see what progress you've made" He said happily as he teleport away.
Ichigo sat down, Zangetsu was across is lap and he went into this soul world.
Zangetsu and the old man were waiting for him.
"I havn't had a good fight in awile" Zangetsu said with a sinister smile.
"I've always learned by having to fight….so give me your best, I'll try to use my demonic energy whenever possible." Ichigo said, taking up a stance.
"Very well Ichigo, prepare yourself." The old man said while summong his blade, Zangetsu not far behind him.
They started to fight.
Rukia did something similar, she went inside her soul realm to request the help of her Zanpakutō as well.
Orihime's practice was simple yet practical. She would create a hole in the ground or nearby trees and try to reject the damage, testing with and without using demonic energy. Along with her attack ability as well.
Yoruichi's was a bit more…destructive. She had to test integrating Demonic energy into her Shunko and Kido. The results made her very happy.
Saber was having the hardest time. She didn't have anything to actively pump the demonic energy into. Excalibur refused to accept any demonic energy and she was no magus, she had a dragon's magical core that Merlin implanted in her, but she never had to use it past drawing prana from it.
Shirou had a bit better luck, he had more outlets to test the demonic energy with. In the creation process of weapons or pumping it through his circuits.
Sarah just continued to perfect her bullets and watch the others to see if she could get any new ideas.
Naruto probably had it the easiest, the demonic energy was very similar to the kyuubi's chakra. With Kurama's help, he was able to mold it easily.
Sasuke didn't have too hard of a time, he was testing its effects on various jutsu.
Tier came to the power easy enough, she worked on integrating it with her hollow reiatsu and testing the effects.
Jaina perhaps was having the most fun. Demonic energy could be integrated into her spells, she could combine it with her existing mana in some interesting ways. For now, she trained.
Time passed, day turned to night before Zelretch finally returned.
"Alright kids, time to turn in your homework" Zelretch said in amusement.
"Tell me what you figured out about your powers" He finished.
"It's attracted to my hollow reiatsu, it almost made me lose control when I threw too much at my hollow side." Ichigo said.
"If I can get the proportions right when combining it with my other reiatsu, it can amplify my attacks to a higher level" He said with a smile.
"Very good Ichigo, that's a good start." Zelretch said with a nod.
"I focused more on my kido and body enhancement" Rukia said.
"While It can mix with my reiatsu and Zanpakutō abilities, its not as smooth as ichigo's and not very viable. But with kido there is a noticeable improvement, and I had some success with adding some demonic energy to my legs when i shunpo or when I swing my blade and enhance my arms." Rukia finished.
"Just what I would expect from a meticulous young lady" Zelretch commended.
Zelretch turned his eyes towards Yoruichi.
"I can do more damage' She said bluntly with a smile.
She was joking, but she was also serious. Her damaging ability had been greatly increased, out of the group from the Shinigami world, she was the most experienced. She could easily tell the implications after a few experiments.
"Shirou helped me find a use of the energy" Saber said.
"Excalibur refuses to use it, so Shirou showed me how to convert the demonic energy into prana through my magic core so its more accessible to my skillset."
"Simple but effective" Zelretch said in agreement.
"I had some…interesting developments' Shirou said with an odd expression.
Everyone was staring at him intently.
"First off, I figured out I can pump Demonic energy into my magic circuits to overload them for a time. I can only sustain it for a little bit but certain abilities like reinforcement will be enhanced greatly. Its more optimal than to overlay demonic energy into specific body parts and use enhancement." Shirou said.
"The second is…..the tracing of my weapons. When I use demonic energy in the creation process…..the weapons change." Shirou said awkwardly.
"They become more real. If I had to guess, demonic energy is closer to the source of power that originally created the weapons so they themselves become closer to the original." Shirou said in explanation.
"That's a good theory, and not too far off. I'm honestly surprised Shirou, good job" Zelretch said in rare praise.
"My situation is closer to Ichigo's except the facet about losing control. Demoinc energy is taking to my hollow powers easily, but it will take time to perfect the way they should merge." Tier said.
Sarah didn't make much progress, she basically just fine tuned her existing knowledge.
"Since my abilities are based on a hollows power.....they were combining smoothly and i havn't found any drawbacksyet." Orihime said.
"Me and Naruto figured out the best use for now, it can be incorporated into jutsu to amply the various effects, but its easy to self destruct in the molding process. The closest comparison i can figure out would be combining a nature element into a jutsu except its several times more aggressive. So we figured that we could just keep a constant stream of Demonic energy throughout our body for an overall physical enhancement while fighting." Sasuke said.
"A good, logical judgment" Zelretch agreed.
All eyes turn on Jaina who had a smug expression.
"I integrated demonic energy into various spells at different steps in the spell creation process." Jaina said.
"The most optimized effect I could generate now would but an all around increase in effect, I opted for a more balanced approach in my spells instead of just highly buffing the damage or effects like freezing. Demonic energy is stronger and versatile but it is harder to mold into my spellset over arcane energy."
"So I created the spells around the demonic energy while molding it as best as I could for now, the results were amazing. Effects will last longer, like a freeze effect or burning flames. Damage has increased by a large margin. And certain aspects of spells that do neither have increased, like my blink ability can teleport me further and it will cast faster."
"Overall, I am ashamed I had neglected this for so long" jaina finished.
"I'm saddened you are not a magus Jaina, but alas, you did a magnificent job inn the short time you trained. " Zelretch commended.
"You all will train for another 8 days and rest the final day before I come and get you for the rating game. " He said before vanishing again.
The hype around the game had not died down. Merchandise was being sold and there were leaks to the conversation that happened in the Club room at Kuoh academy.
They heard Ichigo declare that they would not hold back.
An anonymous person was sending the Phenex clan hundreds of flowers that read "In commemoration of Riser's Pride, may it rest in peace"
No name was listed, only a familiar card was attached.
This only served to enrage the clan and Riser specifically to a higher degree.
The days approached the anticipated time. Everyone marked their calendars, no work was going to be done that day.
Various factions came together to view it, it was a large form of entertainment that they hadn't had in awhile.
They world waited.
Until the day finally arrived.
The group were standing outside the house. They all had their uniforms on, minus the masks from the ninja. They would not be holding back, they would be making a declaration to the world.
Zelretch said he would create a portal to the location himself, a little something to help show off.
The location that the rating game would take place, it was a large stadium. The field would form a pocket dimension that could be molded into any battlefield of their choosing. In the stands were almost all high ranking devils and above. The Satans were present as well in the VIP seats along with Rias and her peerage.
Riser's peerage and Grayfia were standing in the field, waiting until the clock ran down until a forfeit was declared.
Rias was getting a little nervous, it was coming down to the minutes. Everyone watching from home was getting annoyed that they had not appeared yet.
It was moments later that a strange Japanese style door appeared out of nowhere.
It was the Senkaimon. Zelretch created a portal that mimicked the look of the Senkaimon for Ichigo and his peerage.
As it appeared, it rotated until the doors were facing the correct way and finally opened large enough for everyone to walk through.
The crowd went silent as the anticipated group arrived.
The world finally saw the supposed Shinigami. They were not there in person, but they saw the confidence he radiated. The presence he shown.
The Shinto faction in particular was paying close attention, a lot of his peerage members should belong to their side.
Amaterasu noticed the facial features of the blonde boy. They resembled a fox, and she recalled the feeling she disregarded over a month ago. She narrowed her eyes at the boy.
The Phenex clan were also watching the battle. It was tense in their home as they watched the boy they had wanted to get rid of command such a presence.
Grayfia spoke up after a moment of silence, "The Rating game between Riser Phenex and Kurosaki Ichigo will now commence" She declared as the field began to shape and the world changed.
Ichigo's group entered a battle state as they were teleport to their end of the field.
The battle had officially started.