High School DxD:Volume 9
- 1 Novel Illustrations
- 2 Life.0
- 3 Life 1 Yeah, lets go to Kyoto!
- 4 Life 2 Arrival at Kyoto
- 5 Life 3: The group of Heroes has arrived
- 6 Life 4: Showdown, Gremory Group VS Heroes Faction! In Kyoto
- 7 New Life
- 8 Afterword
- 9 Translator's Notes and References
Devils, Fallen Angels and Dragons—they are the enemies of mankind. This is common sense.
And you—both a Devil and a Dragon; humans cannot regard you as anything but a threat.
"Please... Ise-kun, give me..."
It was a certain night before the school trip.
With her hair let down, Akeno-san was cornering me on the bed!
Akeno-san was wearing her very sheer yukata loosely, but it had begun to slide off, and the pale tender skin of her shoulders was revealed. Not only that, even the chest area was quite open to view...
I couldn't help but swallow a mouthful of saliva, unable to tear my gaze away from the pink existences flashing in and out of view. With a seductive expression, Akeno-san was crawling over and approaching me on all fours!
With each motion, her ample bosom shook, creating images I will tearfully treasure for a lifetime!
"...Ise-kun is going to abandon me and have fun in Kyoto..."
Akeno-san cried out in sadness, her arms around my neck, her soft tender body leaning tightly against meeeeeeeeeeeeee!
"How, how could that be, Akeno-san, it's just four days and three nights. We'll see each other again soon."
I answered in an excited voice. To be honest, my mind was almost blown away by the sensations of Akeno-san's body.
The yukata had almost slid off completely and Akeno-san was approaching full nudity!
That-that sweet fragrance from Akeno-san's soft black hair... Slightly elevated body warmth, she must have come out of the bath just now.
Akeno-san lay on my chest and sounded as if she was about to cry.
"...Two whole days, I won't be seeing you ... ? I could die of loneliness..."
...What is this? Ever since the battle with Loki, Akeno-san has displayed even stronger desires to have me spoil her when alone together. When watching television in the living room, she leaned closely with her head on my shoulder; when she invited me to go shopping and I answered "I'm a bit busy right now..." she pouted with a cute angry expression. After I changed my answer to "Let's go" she instantly reverted to that impossibly cute smiling face. In voice and attitude, she had already transformed into such a cute girl that one could easily mistake her for being the same year or even younger than me.
This cute onee-sama has exceeded Buchou in many situations. Though she still maintained the usual onee-sama attitude in school, everything changed in front of me...
Buchou and Akeno-san must have been hiding the art of 'killing me with cuteness'!
Akeno-san clasped my hands and intertwined her ten fingers with mine.
"So, for tonight, I will refill four days and three nights worth of you."
My brain was about to boil, but I struggled to hold myself back and questioned her. If this cute Akeno-san had her way with me, I could die today without regret...
"Yes, refill. Caressing Ise-kun's skin, to be fondled by Ise-kun, to feel your manliness, I will be able to experience the true meaning of being a woman."
These words were too stimulating, and I couldn't stop another spurt of blood from my nose! No good no good! She is a respected senior! Even though she is so incredibly cute that one could mistake her for a younger girl, I cannot forget my respect!
"H-how can it be. I-I'm just a junior..."
"...Please don't use honorifics during these times..."
Akeno-san interrupted me. The colour in those irises seemed to be asking "Why?"
"But, but, Akeno-san is my senior..."
Akeno-san clutched at the bedsheets tightly.
"There is no senior or junior in bed. Only man and woman. That is the only point that matters."
"M-man and woman..."
Gulp... I couldn't help but swallow hard again. Mm-man! Ww-woman! W-What is this, what kind of invincible force do these erotic words hold!?
As Akeno-san's face approached, my lips were about to— Ah, at moments like these, the most likely one to appear was—.
"Akeno? What are you doing ...?"
...Feeling the demonic presence that was difficult to describe, I cautiously turned my head back to find the crimson-haired onee-sama with a dangerous aura released! Of course! I knew it!
The long flowing crimson hair was fluttering from the extremely strong aura! I will surely be killed this time!
Akeno-san went "ufufu", laughing seductively and began to stroke her long black hair.
"Ara ara, scary—onee-sama is glaring at me and Ise-kun. Could it be, seeing us like this, you are jealous? Ufufu."
"I just went to take a bath and then you came to seduce Ise, how daring have you become?"
"I'm always this daring, all the time. Look—like this..."
Akeno-san pressed that smooth tender body of hers against me and the grinding motions stimulated my entire bodyyyyyyy! Face! Breasts! Arms! Thighs! That uniquely feminine softness and flexibility was making me feel like all my bodily functions are going to halt!
"...Well said. Akeno-san is too sly."
—! A third voice! My wits returned to find someone hugging my head from behind. Taking a good look—
"Koneko-chan!? When, when did you...!"
Yes, that was Koneko-chan! Did she hide her presence and sneak into the room? Wearing a thin white robe, cat ears and tail deployed, hugging my head tightly with her cute small body!
Mmmmmmm! Koneko-chan's body was also smooth and soft, with a sweet fragrance...
"...I don't want to separate from senpai either... Senpai, let's do several days worth of sennjutsu treatment for tonight..."
Koneko pressed her body against my back while showing a lonely expression!
Is this incredible feeling the sense of being hugged from behind by a little girl!? That furry white tail wrapped itself around my wrist. Ah, the soft fur on Koneko-chan's tail felt so nice...
By the way, Koneko-chan! This kind of daring display used to be only between the two of us, so now it's okay to be seen by others!?
Or was it because I am leaving on the school trip so you are acting like Akeno-san!?
"E-even Koneko... But Ise is clearly mine... He is my most adored Ise... You all are going too far!"
This was getting incomprehensible. In front of me, Buchou was trembling, her face pouting tearfully! Onee-sama! That expression is too cute!
With a sound, the door opened to reveal Asia.
Seeing the situation, she immediately began to cry out.
"How! How can this be... Not only Rias onee-sama, but even Akeno-san and Koneko-chan too! Ooh ooh ooh, leaving out just me...? Unacceptable! I have to join in too! Hey—!"
Asia jumped on the bed! Grabbing my leg, she hugged tightly with the determination of never letting go!
"I won't let go of Ise-san! We have to sleep together tonight!"
It was becoming a most incredible situation! Akeno-san, Koneko-chan and even Asia were tightly hugging me... This, did it count as happiness? But something seemed to be off? I was very happy, and completely in over my head, but why was everyone fighting with one another!?
It was clearly a situation of opulence, but somehow the atmosphere seemed to have thinned exceptionally!
Buchou finally couldn't stand it and began to yell.
"Really! You all! Why won't you listen to me, your master!"
Buchou gave her orders as the master. However, the other girls had no intention of obeying quietly.
" " "Because he is my—" " "
"Ise-san!" "...Senpai!" "Ise-kun!"
"No! He's mine~~!"
The tearful screams of Buchou echoed within the house.
As the school trip loomed near, my bed turned into a battlefield which tore my feelings between happiness and worry.
......Will the school trip go smoothly after all?
Life 1 Yeah, lets go to Kyoto!
"In the future I would like to establish a Norse magic school in Gremory territory and start a business training new valkyries out of devil females."
Rossweisse-san was describing her plans for the future.
"As an angel, I never thought I would visit the home of the upper class devils, what a supreme honour! This must be the grace of the Lord and ... Maou-sama!"
Irina was also very happy.
As the date of the school trip loomed near, we Gremory servants plus Irina were chatting with Buchou's parents, while having tea in the dining room of the Gremory home.
To commemorate the completion of her team, Buchou needed to reintroduce us all to her parents.
Elegantly sipping tea while chatting, was this a hobby shared by the upper levels of society? Or perhaps it was because I have never had the experience of having tea and chatting surrounded by so many servants, I felt very uneasy.
"Hahaha, Rossweisse-san seems very interested in devil industries. As the head of the Gremory family, I will look forward to your contributions."
Buchou's father laughed openly. As always, he acted full of noble flair.
Buchou's mother sipped some tea, put down her cup, and changed the subject.
"By the way, Ise-san and all you second years will be going on the school trip soon, right? Are you going to Kyoto in Japan?"
"Yes, yes. According to plans, we will be leaving for Kyoto immediately."
I answered. Buchou's mother was quite strict on manners so I spoke every sentence with apprehension.
"Last year, Rias brought back some Japanese pickles from Kyoto which were quite tasty."
Buchou's mother actually ate Japanese pickles? No, Buchou ate them all the time at home. Still, I felt rather surprised at the revelation. It's impossible to associate the noble Lady Gremory with Japanese pickles.
"I... your humble servant will bring some back from the trip."
"Ara... that's not what I meant... I apologise, you really don't have to do that, no?"
Hearing my answer, Buchou's mother blushed slightly and brought her hand to the corner of her mouth. This response was unexpectedly cute!
After more trivial chatting, the team completion commemorative tea party ended successfully.
After the tea party, we were prepared to return home via magic circle.
But because Sirzechs-sama suddenly returned to the Gremory castle, we had to go greet him before leaving.
"I will go too!"
Millicas-sama also wanted to see his father, so he came with us.
On a special path used only when Sirzechs-sama returned to the castle, Sirzechs-sama was meeting with someone—a certain black-haired guest.
Ah, looking closely, that guest was Sairaorg-san in noble attire!
"Thank you for your hospitality. Looking good, Rias and the Sekiryuutei."
Even under such normal circumstances, an overwhelming presence could be felt from him. His violet eyes were shining full of spirit and determination.
"Yes, it is great that you came to greet us. You too, look wonderful. —But let me apologise for my delayed greeting. Onii-sama, salutations. We heard you returned home and came to greet you."
"Don't sweat the formalities, it makes me uncomfortable. Thank you all."
Sirzechs-sama picked up Millicas-sama in his arms and smiled at us.
The reason he returned had to do with Sairaorg-san? If that was true, then it must be related to the upcoming match.
As I puzzled over this, Buchou asked Sirzechs-sama.
"Onii-sama, Sairaorg came because...?"
"Yes, he came expressly to deliver some fruit, a specialty from Bael territory. How thoughtful of our cousin. We were talking about how Rias should visit the Bael household to express our gratitude some time."
Sirzechs-sama spoke. Yes, for Sirzechs-sama, Sairaorg-san was his cousin from his mother's side. Thinking of it like that, Sairaorg-san's status is actually quite high.
"We were talking about a few things for the next match. Rias, he has no special requests about the rules, except that all complicated restrictions be lifted from the rules of combat."
Hearing Sirzechs-sama's words, Buchou was surprised but her eyes become serious.
"Sairaorg, that is to say, no matter how many uncertain elements there are on our side, you will accept them all, is that what you mean?"
To Buchou's serious question, Sairaorg-san smiled fearlessly.
"That is correct. Whether the vampire that stops time, or the Sekiryuutei who reads thoughts and blows girls' clothes away, I will take them all on.—If I cannot handle your all-out attacks, how can I call myself the heir of the Bael family?"
Sairaorg-san's open acceptance caused all of us servants to gasp.
...What an amazing spirit and determination. This man really wanted all of us to put our all into it.
With piercing eyes, Sairaorg-san gazed at Buchou and then shifted towards me.
...It was a solemn presence that gave a chilling and frightening feeling, but utterly devoid of malevolence. There is not a single shred of evil felt.
Just pure battle spirit. This guy was a pure battle maniac just like Vali, but similarly both did not carry any evil in their intentions.
"...So scary. T-there actually exists someone who wants to take on my power so actively... This makes it even more scary!"
Gasper hid behind my back, showing a scared expression. He's right, after all it is taking on the powerful ability of stopping time.
E-even my skills are accepted... That makes me feel so thankful! I must thank you.
Watching us all along, Sirzechs-sama made a suggestion.
"Yes, there is no better opportunity than this chance encounter. Sairaorg once said you wanted to spar with the Sekiryuutei—Ise-kun right?"
"That's right, I did say that before..."
"Then just a friendly match. Don't you want to experience the fist of the heavenly dragon?"
Due to the suddenness, my mind was a complete blank... But after a moment, I was able to react.
To have me fight Sairaorg-san right here right now!? Really! No no, even if you suddenly say so...!
Ignoring my wide open eyes of surprise, Sairaorg-san asked Buchou.
"Rias, what do you say?"
Buchou considered for a moment, then answered with determination.
"...Since Onii-sama... No, Maou-sama says so, then naturally I have no reason to refuse. Ise, is that ok?"
What are you saying! Really! I have to go? ...Uwuwuwu, if Buchou said so, I cannot refuse... And in front of Asia, Akeno-san and all the girls, I can't look weak in front of them.
"...Yes, yes! If you don't mind!"
I stepped forward and made such a declaration! Since things had come to this, I had no choice but to give it my all!
...After all, sooner or later we have to face the attacks of the strongest young devil, Sairaorg-san.
If that's the case, then let me face him now to provide a useful reference in preparation for the match! Furthermore, by watching my fight with Sairaorg-san, the other servants will definitely benefit from it.
As Sairaorg-san and I exchanged glances, Sirzechs-sama nodded in agreement.
"Then show me the fists of the first amongst the new generation of devils and the Sekiryuutei."
Hearing that, Sairaorg-san—
"Thank you for the opportunity. I will show you clearly, my fist...!"
His face showed a bold smile.
In the basement of the Gremory castle there was a vast training hall, easily large enough to house the entire Kuou Academy stadium.
We of the Gremory's and Sairaorg-san went over there together. As for Millicas-sama, Grayfia took him some place else to wait.
In front of me, Sairaorg-san took off his fancy noble attire, leaving just a grey shirt.
...Even through the shirt, his perfect body could be clearly seen... Muscular and extremely sturdy, strongly built upper arms, huge fists. The muscles on his shoulders and back were bulging.
Furthermore, he was totally handsome as well. As expected from the family of Buchou's mother.
"Ddraig, let's go."
[ Leave it to me. ]
I summoned the gauntlet on to my hand and the Balance Breaker countdown began.
Though as long as nothing serious happens in that short time, the Balance Breaker armour could be sustained for a long period of time, but battlefields are unpredictable and I would always get nervous during the short time limit.
But during the countdown, Sairaorg-san patiently waited.
...Is he that confident? It must be because he wanted to see my full strength and didn't want to do anything unnecessary. Everyone here understood that.
I cannot show cowardice in front of all the other servants, as well as Buchou. Even if I lose, I must fight to the death and lay everything out on the line... —Now, the countdown has ended!
[ Welsh Dragon Balance Breaker!!!!!!!! ]
As the gauntlet sounded out it gave off a flash of red light, covering my body. The red aura took on the form of armour—Boosted Gear Scale Mail!
Pak! Giant dragon wings spread from behind my back and I readied for attack. With a flowing motion, Sairaorg-san also entered a stance.
...Though I have already seen the match video between Sairaorg-san and the delinquent from the Glasya-Labolas family, Sairaorg-san's speed was still faster than expected.
Even god speed Kiba would feel threatened by this speed. Probably, it is definitely faster than me. ...I cannot keep letting my opponents make the first move.
I must take initiative with suicidal abandon!
Firing up my back boosters to the max, I fly straight forward!
Preparing a straight right punch, I thrust forwards! Next is the fist in one motion—!
...Why isn't he dodging!? Faced with my formidable straight punch, Sairaorg-san was not making any effort to evade!
Bastard! Are you saying there is no need to dodge! Fine, you can take my punch head on!
With a deafening sound, my straight right punch made contact with Sairaorg-san's face!
—! H-he really didn't dodge! Not only that, it was a clean and perfect hit!
At the instant of contact, I suddenly felt an indescribable chill, forcing me to rapidly take several steps back.
After distancing myself, I put up a stance to attack again. ...Sairaorg-san's body showed no signs of injury.
...Wait a minute. I put quite a lot of force into that straight punch... Though Boost wasn't used, to think he is completely unhurt without defending.
Sairaorg-san pointed at the part where he got hit and smiled.
"An excellent punch. Straight and to the point, a pure punch full of strong will. A normal devil would have lost to such a punch. But—"
Sairaog-san vanished before my eyes—
"—I am no ordinary devil."
Sairaorg-san's voice and fist next came from behind my back!
Sairaorg-san's fist pounded towards me!
—! When did he get behind my back! Damn it! Though I raised my arms to defend the heavy force of the punch was shocking!
Even though the attack was caught by my crossed arms... but the gauntlet! The gauntlet portion of the armour has been destroyed by the punch just now!?
My body having completely lost balance, I quickly pull away by shooting demonic power out through the back boosters.
...So fast! My eyes couldn't follow at all! By the way, he vanished! I thought my eyes were used to catching high speed motions from training with Kiba!
Did I underestimate him? Perhaps a bit. But still, I knew that wasn't the only reason. By the way, my arms were numb and had no feeling! For my arms to become like that from the impact of the gauntlets' destruction just now..
No, at least my fingers can still move. —I can still fight! My bones are still ok!
Ddraig, please regenerate the gauntlets.
[ Ah, understood. ]
Red aura surrounded my arms and once again the gauntlets were formed.
Sairaorg-san gave an impressed smile.
"Hoho. You didn't get sent flying. Well, that was just a hello punch."
...A hello punch!? A hello punch destroyed my armour! W-what kind of joke is this!
With just a fist, this is first time for anyone to break apart Boosted Gear Scale Mail with their bare hands!?
"I have three weapons. Strongly built body, fast legs, martial arts—Here I come!"
Sairaorg-san vanished again! The side!? My opponent has instantly appeared beside me! I shrank back to avoid Sairaorg-san's attack on my body—
It was the sound of the punch breaking through the wind! What amazing force from the punch!
With a blunt sound, cracks appeared on my armour near the abdomen! How can this be! Simply brushing past was enough to crack it open!? "Damn it!"
I cursed out and punched back.
Crash! But Sairaorg-san took it with his face again without dodging! —No damage!
Feeling a counter-attack coming, I pulled back again that instant using the thrusters to jump back.
The vigorous sound of air rushing.
Sairaorg-san's kick missed... But the force of the missed kick caused huge cracks to appear from the centre of the training hall and rose along the four walls!
If that kick were to hit...
I felt shivers along my spine. —With that I was already panting.
Just a few exchanges and it was already clear.
— Extremely strong. Unimaginable. How can this devil be from the same generation as Buchou and Diodora Astaroth!? He is far stronger than Diodora!
[ Ah, this really surprises me. This man from the Bael family has trained his power to the max. Using Rating Game types, this is a power type who has kept increasing offensive power again and again. How interesting. A man who pursues pure destructive power. Totally extreme. It makes me very interested. ]
Wow, Ddraig showing an interest towards someone apart from Maou and other dragons. True, this was someone so strong that Diodora is entirely no match for him.
Perhaps he is stronger than Rias several fold, no, more than ten fold.
The devil born in the Great King's family without inheriting the power of destruction. With nothing but his body, his only choice was to train his body and successfully became the heir.
Like me, a devil without inborn talent.
—This was not the result of short term half-assed training.
And to think this young devil was from the same generation as Buchou.
...Buchou truly was in a difficult situation to compete with such a person.
Sairaorg-san is definitely a massive wall obstructing Buchou's dreams. Furthermore, he is an even higher and steeper, absolute wall in front of my dreams.
I said it naturally. From the brief exchange, I was already full of intense respect and admiration.
"So you can reach this level of strength completely through training?"
Faced with my question, Sairaorg-san replied.
"—I just believe in my own body, that's all."
Truly an amazing character. This sentence made me understand, that this person must have conquered unimaginable obstacles and hardships.
And because of that, I must attempt to give my all and test my own limits.
Even if it is me, I cannot admit defeat!
...This was a good chance to try out Beelzebub-sama's suggestion.
After Beelzebub-sama helped me to adjust the pieces within my body, he also made a personal suggestion.
About me and the pieces —
"Promotion to Rook!"
I made the declaration, promoting to Rook. Yes, Rook, not Queen.
Power flowed into my body. With that, offensive and defensive power rose accordingly!
Sairaorg-san showed a surprised expression towards my promotion. He must have expected me to promote to Queen.
Sairaorg-san disappeared once again! —It's coming! I sent power into the legs and entered a defensive stance as if my feet were rooted to the floor! Gritting my teeth, I wrapped my body in aura!
[ BoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoost!! ]
Using the dragon's power to enhance defence!
I also didn't forget to power up my right fist at the same time —
Sairaorg-san appeared from the front, and sent a heavy punch into my abdomen.
— A powerful impact! The force of the punch penetrates straight into my backbone!
Spreading throughout my entire body was intense pain as well as a feeling like everything was drying out! The impact transmitted straight to my feet, my legs trembled non-stop... Thanks to having lowered my centre of gravity, I withstood it. Though my consciousness was nearly lost at one point, but I returned to full awareness! If I hadn't gritted my teeth and struggled to endure it, my consciousness will definitely be overburdened and lost!
The abdomen armour... Though damaged, has not been completely shattered.
Aiming at the exact instant when Sairaorg-san withdrew his fist, once again I sent a powerful straight punch into Sairaorg-san's face!
Though it felt like punching a thick stone wall—I felt through my hand there was a tiny feeling that something cracked.
Fresh blood came out of Sairaorg-san, but at the same time —
Blood also spurted out from the mask area of my helmet. Blood was rising from my abdomen and vomiting out of my mouth...
...How much damage has been taken from that punch to the belly...? Ribs must be cracked, perhaps broken? Just the act of breathing, caused intense pain all over the body.
But, I endured it...! My armour and I made it through!
Lately, all these enemies have been characters who could penetrate my armour with ease and made me think about focusing my energy towards defence. Well, this was a natural feeling when I keep fighting with all these existences that were stronger than me.
However, diverting power to defence was an interesting thing to try. Though it hurt like hell, it made it clear, as long as the Sacred Gear's power was used flexibly for defence, it is possible to take the attack of a super power type straight on and survive.
At the same time as withstanding the attack, going from full defence and switching to counter-attacking was also key.
See, Sairaorg-san had a nosebleed. ...Finally, a decent counter-attack.
This was it, though it wasn't always useful, this was my everything. Promotion to Rook to enhance attack and defence had proven its worth.
I can fight with this man! Incredible new strength and motivation flowed into me simply from realising that.
Well, no matter how you look at it, it's me who got more injured, but it is no longer the case that I cannot injure him. Perhaps, even if I lose, I can break an arm of his.
Though I currently cannot defeat him, but at this level let me give it my all!
Sairaorg-san wiped the blood off his nose with his fingers. —As if delighted from the bottom of his heart, he smiled.
"...Promotion to Rook eh? Looks like it wasn't a wrong decision. I put quite a bit of power into that punch. Your attack and defence were excellent as a Rook. Perhaps the Rook which specializes in offence and defence, rather than the all-rounder Queen, is better suited to a power type like you. ...What is it? I see questioning in your eyes. You have a question about our fight?"
"No, how should I put it... Those upper class devils often... umm, look down on me... But Sairaorg-san has been serious from the start, it's surprising."
This man, I can feel he approved of me from the very beginning. All this time, Raizer, Diodora and other upper class devils, none of them gave me any respect, so the current situation makes me feel refreshed yet a little shy.
Hearing my words, Sairaorg-san let out a sigh.
"So that's why. You have been underestimated all this time. Don't worry, I will not underestimate you! To survive and win a direct battle against the old Maou faction as well as Loki the Norse god of evil, I have no reason to look down on you."
These words... made me tremble with delight. Sairaorg-san made a fearless smile.
"Fighting you also makes me happy. Your punches are pretty good. It's been a long time since I've been punched to a nosebleed. Facing a similar type is what makes me happiest. Your punch must have been trained? It is something that can be understood after being hit.—Don't worry, try to hit me with your full strength. Isn't that the reason why you are standing here?"
I felt myself completely taken by Sairaorg-san's charismatic smile.
Approving of me. ...This bastard. When clearly he is an opponent that I must beat...
You truly are an opponent I must have a good long chat with after the match!
I extend my fist and enter a stance! Abdominal armour recovered! I will take back the promise to break his arm just now!
—Even if I lose, I will break both his arms!
This is my response to you here, giving my best effort!
"Come! Hyoudou Issei! Just focus on beating me! Show me the power of the Sekiryuutei!"
"Ok, here I come!"
[ BoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoost!! ]
I fired off Dragon Shoot towards Sairaorg-san who was charging straight on.
With a single brush of his fist in a horizontal sweep, Sairaorg-san deflected my Dragon Shoot into the wall of the training hall.
No effect! After all, it wasn't the Bishop, my magic is too weak!
Right now I am the Rook! Must I go with a fist fight all the way! Now is the time to defend against a counter-attack!
I held both fists in a stance in front of me, facing Sairaorg-san straight on!
"—! You want to exchange blows with me! Interesting! Just try it!"
As Sairaorg-san roared at me, I took a leap forward —
Suddenly, Asia cried out. What happened? I shifted my gaze over and Asia continued.
"R-recharge! After touching br-br-br-br-breasts Ise-san will become more powerful!"
Everyone was shocked by Asia's words. And then Xenovia went "Hah!" as if she understood and continued where the conversation left off.
"Yes, that's right! Ise is the Oppai Dragon! His power surely increases after touching our breasts! Buchou! Please fulfill the duty of the Switch Princess right here!"
"Rias onee-sama! I-I won't mind! Please, give Ise-san the power of br-br-breasts! If this continues, he will lose!"
Xenovia and Asia begged Buchou in earnest.
On the other hand, Buchou showed a troubled expression due to the sudden request.
...Asia! Xenovia! I know you don't want me to lose, but don't go yelling out breasts in such a loud voice!
But the two of them were completely serious. Asia's eyes were full of tears.
"T-that's the truth! As long as he has Buchou's breasts, senpai can become infinitely powerful!"
Even Gasper! Really, has my cute junior been looking at me with such eyes!
"Yes! Sexual desires are Ise-kun's source of power!"
...Still, everyone cares so much about me. It must be because they don't want to see me lose. It felt complicated, but comforting somehow.
"...Really, touching breasts will give a power up? I thought it was just a rumour."
Even Sairaorg-san is asking this!?
Koneko confirms decisively! Sorry, I am a pervert! I am the Chichiryuutei!
"Ufufu, what are you going to do? Rias?"
Akeno was smiling at Buchou with a subtle expression.
"...D-do you want to touch...? I-if you want to become stronger, I-I can..."
Onee-sama's face was all red as she asked me!
Buchouooooooooo! Really!? Even in front of your cousin!? If it's really ok I will fondle to get stronger!
"Is this how it works every time? Hmm, I've never seen such a custom among the Asgard."
Rossweisse-san was speaking with a frozen expression, she has made a very big misunderstanding!
I bet Kiba was laughing awkwardly, going ara ara!
Sairaorg-san heartily laughed, as if very much amused.
"So that's the case, touching Rias' breasts will make you stronger. Hohoho, I will remember it. —Sekiryuutei, let's continue another time."
Sairaorg-san made such a suggestion.
"I can still fight!"
I can fight as long as I touch breasts! With my pervert nature, the current me might possibly win!
"Your spirit is great. I too, can still fight—but, if this continues I won't be able to stop myself. I will fight to the very last blow. Which would be quite a shame. After all, aren't you in the process of awakening something inside you?"
My efforts to explore my own possibilities throughout the battle have been discovered?
Sairaorg-san put on his nobles' attire, walked up to me, and placed his hand on my shoulder.
"Let's wait until you finish your awakening. Fight in your best condition. That is the fight I am looking for with the Sekiryuutei. Our duel will conclude within the future Rating Game. In front of all the VIPs as well as the common crowd to determine our ratings.—Whether it is you or I, we both have our own dreams, so let us meet again at the match. Rias and Rias' servants, see you next time, that is on the stage carrying our dreams.—Come with everything you've got and I will beat you with my full strength."
Leaving those words, Sairaorg-san took his leave with Sirzechs-sama and departed.
The tension of the battle dissipated, I released the armour.
Sirzechs-sama came over and asked.
"How are his attacks?"
"...Too similar. It is so similar to my own fist that it shocked me."
Sirzechs smiled as he nodded.
"Yes, the same as you. In order to compensate for his inadequacies, he trained with everything he got. This is how he obtained such power. Completely direct attacks. This is what devils lack in general."
Really, Sairaorg-san is so similar to me. Foolishly direct. The same type. Hence our mutual understanding.
—This was the only way. Attack. Defeating the enemy.
And so, that man has been training himself so hard.
"By the way, in the fight just now, he already cast seals to apply heavy loads on both his arms and legs."
...Sirzechs-sama revealing the truth made me both shocked and excited.
—No matter how strong I got, that man will always stay in front of me.
It was good to have a target. It gave value to struggling hard.
Sirzechs-sama continued to explain.
"He has already reached the levels of experienced Kings in the Rating Game. He has also stopped the terrorist activities of Khaos Brigade many times. However, Ise-kun is also amazing as one of the few who fought against Sairaorg without losing their will to battle. There have been numerous cases where Sairaorg's opponents have completely lost their will to fight ever again. Finding their prized demonic powers useless against him, these proud devils take a huge hit to their self esteem when they are defeated by a bare physical body. Upper class devils have a lot pride, but find it difficult to recover when faced with defeat."
"I... just don't want to lose again. I don't want to lose another Rating Game. I have never won in an official match."
Diodora's match doesn't count. I gave him a sound beating, but that was not official. Raizer's match, Sona Kaichou's match, I lost both times.
"So, next time, I definitely—"
Against the Bael family, I definitely will survive till the end and obtain victory.
Sairaorg-san, I will defeat you and surpass you.
Please wait patiently while I catch up.
I swallowed my regret and renewed my determination.
"Ise-oniisama. When Rias-oneesama graduates from high school, are you still going to call her 'Buchou'?"
Just as I was about to go home, cute little Millicas-sama tilted his head, asking that question.
...That...well, if Buchou graduates...
How should I call Buchou then? Come to think of it, the two onee-sama in their third year will be leaving the Occult Research Club in the near future. If that's the case, there will be a new Buchou.
...Is that so, I, will no longer be able to call Buchou 'Buchou' any more...
How should I call Buchou by that time? Rias-oneesama? Or is 'master' most appropriate?
...But, there is one name that I wish to use the most.
Because she is family living together, because she is the one I love the most. If only once, I wish to call her that.
It was the day of the school trip.
From last night I had been unable to sleep due to excitement. When Buchou discovered it, I ended up sleeping soundly in her gentle embrace.
Originally burying my face in her bosom was enough to make me temporarily forget about the school trip and sleep well, but due to the extreme excitement, I was unable to sleep for a short while! Truly, Buchou's breast pillow was the best!
After this and that, our scene changed to the waiting area of the Tokyo bullet train station. The group has gathered in a corner of the waiting area, out of earshot of others.
Of the ones staying behind, only Buchou came to see us off. Though Akeno-san, Koneko-chan and Gasper wanted to come, the first and third years had normal classes. Since they were not allowed to fall behind in school, only Buchou came to the station. By the way, about the preparations for the school festival, the first and third years have no choice but to cover the shares of us second years. As for what the Occult Research Club plans to do for the festival, it is a secret.
"Here, this is a pass for each of you."
As we second years were about to leave, Buchou was handing out to us something like a card. Everyone took one and confirmed.
"This is the legendary...?"
Kiba asked and Buchou nodded.
"Yes, this is required for devils to enjoy Kyoto, the so-called 'free bus pass'."
Since most of Kyoto's sights are temples, or in other words, Kyoto is full of sites heavy in spiritual power, this normally caused all sorts of inconveniences for devils. After all, shrines and temples are normally taboo for devils. However, devils can move freely using this pass which was issued by existences (like onmyoji and youkai) from the Kyoto office in charge of affairs there. Of course, a valid reason was required beforehand.
"We used the same kind of pass last year. As long as there is a legitimate reason, they will issue passes even to devils. Gremory servants, Sitri servants, and Heaven's messenger, do you realise how fortunate it is to have certain forces backing you all?"
Buchou winked and I cheered.
"Wonderful! Long live the Gremory's! With this we can visit the temples of Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji?"
"Yes. Just keep it in your skirt or a pocket in your uniform and you will be able to enter those famous sights. —Enjoy your sightseeing there."
" " " " " "Yes!" " " " " "
After responding, we immediately placed the cards into our pockets. With that, things were OK now.
Asia's mobile phone rang.
"Hello. Kiryuu-san? Yes. Xenovia-san and Irina-san are together with me."
It seemed to be Kiryuu-san calling. Asia bowed to Buchou after taking the call.
"Then, Rias onee-sama. We will be taking our leave!"
"We are going."
"We are going now!"
"Yes, take care."
Asia, Xenovia and Irina bid Buchou farewell and turned to leave. Are they making final confirmations? I seemed to have packed handkerchiefs, tissues and underwear properly, but let me go check again later.
"Then it's about time for me to go. I will bring souvenirs back."
Kiba also bowed and turned towards where his class was gathering.
Leaving only me and Buchou. Buchou began to adjust my collar.
"Collar. Take care of your appearance. Even in Kyoto, don't forget you are a student of Kuou Academy."
Having adjusted my collar, Buchou leaned her face against my shoulder.
"...Even though I've been trying to hide it, I am the same as Akeno. I will be very lonely the days you are gone. Still, even if it's like this I have improved a bit? In the first term I really couldn't bear having you away from my side, but now I can at least endure not seeing you for a short while."
Buchou... Perhaps she lavished too much affection towards me all the time, was that why she felt sad about being separated from me?
And recently, she really treated me like true family. Certain rare expressions and actions have appeared more naturally from her nowadays.
I held Buchou's hands and smile.
"That's a bit exaggerated. Even if I'm not here there is Koneko-chan and Gasper."
"I know. But... you still haven't realised your own attraction. But then again, I like that about you too."
As Buchou smiled bitterly, she drew her face near— and our lips pressed together.
...My ability to think went completely out the window, my face turned red, and I remained motionless!
Because! Because...! This was such a sudden kiss!
Buchou smiled cutely at my shocked state and stuck out her tongue.
"This is a goodbye kiss. What are you panicking for? It's not even the first time we kissed. Let's just say, even if you were to initiate the kiss, it's totally fine."
"But, but even if you say that...! Still, it's shocking!"
Hearing my response, Buchou showed a regretful smile and said.
"I am satisfied with this. Even if you are in Kyoto, I will be able to endure the loneliness. Take care, Ise."
"Understood! I will take my leave!"
Buchou's kiss! The best! Ah, I am being so spoilt by her...
This felt like some kind of lucky omen! This trip will be a blast!
And so, we began the school trip!
Life 2 Arrival at Kyoto
It was roughly ten minutes after the bullet train had left Tokyo station.
"For me, this is actually the first time taking the bullet train."
Matsuda's face was full of excitement as he sat on the seat in front, chattering away.
I still have recollections about the first time I took the bullet train. Still, it was in early childhood when I didn't know anything, so actually, there's not much to it...
I was sitting on the last row of seats, alone. The seat beside me was empty, while Matsuda and Motohama were in front. Across the aisle was Xenovia and Irina's seats.
The scenery outside the windows was changing rapidly due to the high speed of the train. Over there, Xenovia and Irina were happily chatting away as they looked out the window.
Although the bullet train felt rather fresh to me, it didn't leave me an impression as deep as the train to the Underworld had. How should I put it? Perhaps it was because I saw with my own eyes the process of transferring to another world, which gave a feeling of entering a different dimension.
Xenovia came over to me and sat on the empty seat. Her first words were:
"Ise, I want to tell you something."
"What is it? Xenovia."
"This time, I did not bring Durandal -- I am unarmed."
Oh oh. She suddenly confessed something incredible. Was it really true?
"You didn't bring Durandal, why?"
"Yes, I think it's the alchemists belonging to the Orthodox Church. They discovered a technique to suppress Durandal's offensive aura. Hence, Durandal has been sent over to them via channels belonging to Heaven."
The Orthodox Church was another major faction within the Church, but they did not help much in the Excalibur recovery affair...
Xenovia laughed ironically.
"Even the Orthodox Church is coming out to help. Looks like it must be due to the efforts of the Seraphim under Michael's leadership. However, it is still a rare opportunity to have those alchemists reforge the sword."
Due to the current alliance, it seemed like the conflicts between Christian factions have also lessened.
"To suppress Durandal's offensive aura without diminishing its power as a holy sword. This is really something that caught my interest. However, it is truly shameful for me to be unable to control it properly despite being the owner of Durandal... How can I call myself a Knight? Am I better off dead...? Oh Lord..."
Ah, starting to self abuse. Really, doing this right off the bat.
"I understand. If anything happens, just borrow Ascalon from me?"
"Yes. Much appreciated. Always lending me this sword."
"It's fine. Though I also need it sometimes, but considering the current situation, it's much more efficient to lend it to you."
"But then, Ise really should train in sword fighting. Don't waste your gifts."
"I have. When Kiba is your training partner, your sword skills definitely improve."
Finishing the conversation, Xenovia returned to her original seat.
After that I looked outside for a while, but then I heard light high-pitched screams coming from the front. I looked ahead -- it turned out Kiba was coming from the train car in front of ours. Once he saw me, he walked over to my side.
"Eh...? W-went over to Hyoudou?"
"H-how can it be... Kiba-kun is going to that perverted territory..."
"Hyoudou x Kiba must be an undeniable truth!"
The girls began to mourn! Is my area a quarantine!? Damn! Is it wrong to have a handsome friend!
Although I once hated Kiba due to the unfairness of treatment, he is my important comrade now. A reason to hate him now... of course it still exists! Handsome guys truly are an unforgivable existences!
"Can I sit beside you?"
While I was occupied in my thoughts, Kiba had already taken the empty seat beside me.
I leaned my face against the window frame, narrowing my eyes as I asked.
"I wanted to know your itinerary once you get there. So that there's a plan in case of emergencies."
"Ah--, after all we are in different classes. Where do you plan to go tomorrow?"
"Starting our tour from Sanjuusangen-dou, you?"
"From the temple of Kiyomizu-dera. And then Ginkaku-ji and Kinkaku-ji. Though these three places are a bit distant from one another, but if we put in the effort to finish the most famous places in the first two days, then we can take it easy the third day and advance from Tenryuu-ji."
"Tenryuu-ji? Our class is planning on going there on the third day too. We may very well meet at the Togetsu bridge. What about the last day?"
"Just end it by casually walking around the Kyoto station and getting souvenirs. By the way, Irina mentioned about wanting to go on the Kyoto Tower."
The schedules for each class were prepared beforehand and handed in to the teachers. The students were even required to create travel guides for their own class to use.
After exchanging details about our sightseeing plans, we changed topics.
"Ise-kun did you join the activity with the various Maou-sama?"
"Ah ah, it was an activity that totally revamped my image of the Underworld."
A few days ago, Buchou and I participated in a mysterious Gremory family ritual. In the banquet that night, Buchou's parents were very happy and lavished me with praise.
At the banquet there were also things like banners proclaiming "Congratulations young mistress, young master!"
I felt like there was something I didn't know about, going on behind my back. But anyway, it can't be bad so I'm not going to be particularly concerned.
"Actually, after the ritual finished, I even received Beelzebub-sama's personal special suggestion."
I changed the subject and said to Kiba.
"Yes, about the compatibility between the characteristics of the Pawn and the Sekiryuutei's power. So far, when using the Sekiryuutei's power, I have been unable to fully unleash the Queen's potential."
Beelzebub-sama's special suggestion was this: though promotion to Queen increases overall power, the combination with the Sekiryuutei's power exceeds my current limits. That is why I couldn't properly control the flow of dragon power.
Overall, what I got out of it was: because there are suddenly more things to attend to, it made me unable to adjust the distribution and flow of power properly. Sairaorg-san also seemed to understand the situation after a brief exchange.
It was true. Though the Queen will amplify power greatly, increase speed and power up Dragon Shoot, but this does not automatically mean they can be controlled easily.
Let alone the Rook, I haven't even mastered the Knight or the Bishop's powers. Even when my speed and demonic power increased, I often depended on charging straight ahead in the fury of the moment, and this sometimes led to tragic results.
Speaking of the Pawn, its greatest characteristic was promotion, so levelling up was the natural thing to do.
"--He said to me: master the Rook and the Knight first to best bring out the Sekiryuutei's power. The best way to master the flow of power would be to focus on applying the Sekiryuutei's power into the areas of strength and speed."
"Is that so, which is why you used the Rook against Sairaorg-san?"
"Ah yes, compared to the Queen, it was much easier to control. I could clearly feel the transmission of power into offence and defence. --I think I will first focus on each of the traits of the pieces, and apply the Sekiryuutei's power flexibly."
Hearing that, Kiba laughed.
"To suddenly test ideas out when sparring with Sairaorg-san is really like your style. Ise-kun will become stronger again. You really work hard towards exploring your own power."
"Even if I possess great power, if I can't control it freely, I won't be able to defeat Sairaorg-san or Vali. So, after watching the spar between Sairaorg-san and me, what do you think?"
"To be honest, for a devil from Buchou's generation to fight evenly with you on a pure contest of power, and to dominate so overwhelmingly, he is truly a great threat. And with bare hands too. Amongst the young devils, no, all upper class devils, Sairaorg-san must be the only one who can destroy Ise-kun's armour unarmed. In fact, my own defence would be like paper to him. Furthermore, his speed was amazing and he clearly wasn't going all out. Not only me, but all the other servants will be critically injured if they receive a direct hit from him."
That fellow gave his frank opinion as usual. That is why I trust him so much.
"After we get back from the trip, let's start our training to fight against Sairaorg once again."
"Yes. By the way, could you let me know when you go buy souvenirs?"
"Because I think there is no meaning in trying to hide what you are buying."
"Ah I see. Got it, then keep in touch on the last day."
Having made these arrangements, Kiba got up from his seat and returned to the train car where his class was.
The conversations with Xenovia and Kiba had ended. Asia and her group were happily chatting away.
The two idiots Matsuda and Motohama were going "...zzzz..." and fast asleep.
I stretched my back and closed my eyes.
...There was still some time till we arrived in Kyoto. I decided to delve into the depths of the Sacred Gear. I've done this numerous times already. After the devil's work, when taking a bath, also before sleeping every night. Plus on the weekends.
Each time, there was only one goal -- to talk to the past Sekiryuutei seniors!
Closing my eyes, entrusting my consciousness to Ddraig, I dived into the depths of my Boosted Gear.
...Leaving the darkness, I arrived in a white space. A vast, pure, white space.
On the various round tables and chairs, the past Sekiryuutei were sitting with their heads high with blank expressions on their faces.
"Greetings all, it's me again."
Even if I tried to make conversation using this kind of cheerful manner, they likely wouldn't respond.
Though there was a youthful senior with a similar age and body build as me... but no response either.
From above I heard the voice of Ddraig.
[ Amongst the past Sekiryuutei, he is closest to your age. A real genius who awakened Juggernaut very early. --However, he was drunk on power and was carelessly killed by another Longinus wielder. ]
"Not the Hakuryuukou?"
[ When drunk on power, they will rampage even if the opponent is not the Hakuryuukou. There are also others like that amongst the Hakuryuukou. Juggernaut can allow a person to become a tyrant for a period of time... But no matter what era, tyrants will not prosper for long, it is something that cannot last. This is the truth. ]
Ddraig's tone of voice sounded like he was talking about himself. After all, he used to be drunk on power too.
"Still, they must have things they treasured."
Though his Sekiryuutei seniors haven't spoken a word, but it must be true, they were only swayed by power. Same for me... if I were to feel like I was losing something precious, I will seek power. And this will activate Juggernaut.
"I who am about to awaken, The Two Heavenly Dragons that were taken the reason of ambition by God...?"
[ Partner. ]
"I'm not going to chant it all. Too horrifying. It's just something I don't understand. What is the Infinite? And Dream whatever I don't know. And what sneer and despise."
It was just as I raised questions about some key words in the Juggernaut chant.
[ Infinite refers to Ophis, while Dream means Great Red. Sneering at Ophis and despising Great Red who is also a red dragon. It's a mystery who came up with this chant. I wonder if it was God himself? ]
--! A third voice!? I turned my face to find a young woman standing with long wavy blonde hair and a slim and trim body. A beautiful lady wearing a full body dress with a high slit!
...Facial expressions! She is different from all these past Sekiryuutei! Full of smiles, she looked at me.
[ Elsha? ]
[ Yes~, Ddraig. It's been a while. ]
The lady casually greeted.
[ Partner, this is Elsha, foremost amongst the past Sekiryuutei. Of all the female wielders, she is definitely the strongest. ]
The strongest female Sekiryuutei! Come to think of it, I have never seen her before! Where did she come from?
[ Your face is incredulous, towards me? Amongst all the lingering memories there are only two exceptions. I am one of them. Well, even within the Sacred Gear I am hidden very deep, so usually I don't come out here much. ]
[ ...I thought you and Belzard were never coming out again. ]
[Don't say something like that, Ddraig. Since Belzard and I are always silently supporting you from the depths. We used to be partners after all. Anyway, he is going to lose his consciousness soon...]
The lady showed a slightly lonely expression.
[ Belzard seems to have taken an interest in the current Sekiryuutei, so I came. ]
"By the way, who is Belzard?"
Ddraig answered my question.
[ He ranks up there with Elsha. Belzard is the strongest male Sekiryuutei. Truly a strong one, he even defeated the Hakuryuukou twice. ]
"Twice! That's super amazing!"
Something like that can happen. To occur twice in one life.
Elsha-san spoke again.
[ Anyway, I would like you to have this. ]
What she took out was -- a box with a keyhole.
[ You already received a 'key' from the current Beelzebub, right? ]
Smack... Suddenly with a flash of light, a small key appeared in my hand. Without involving my conscious will, the key popped out by itself.
Was this the 'key' received from Beelzebub-sama?
Elsha-san smiled and said.
[ The so-called 'key' isn't literal. The box and keys are just metaphors to make things easier to understand. What is contained in this box are the delicate possibilities of the Sekiryuutei. Originally, it is something that cannot be opened nor recklessly faced. However, Belzard says 'Perhaps you can do it.' Of course, because it is you who has received the Evil Pieces, that is why we feel you will be able to do it. ]
Suddenly, Elsha-san began to laugh "fufufufu!"
[ Oppai Dragon! Chichiryutei! I watched it with Belzard together. After coming to this place, it was the first time he and I were able to laugh to our hearts' content. ]
Elsha-san was laughing uncontrollably. ...How embarrassing! My seniors saw everything!
[ Don't be shy. And Ddraig please don't get depressed. Lighten up a bit. There has never been a Sekiryuutei this fun -- to blow apart that ominous Juggernaut chant, the Oppai Dragon song really made Belzard and me happy. Since whether it was Belzard or I, neither of us came to a proper end... ]
Elsha-san handed the box over to me.
[ So he and I, we decided to believe in you. ]
I took the box and inserted the 'key' into the keyhole... A perfect fit. It must have been made as a set.
[ You and the current Hakuryuukou are unique existences. Not only competing between the two of you, but each having your own set of targets. How should I put it, it makes the rest of us look like fools. -- Please open it. But remember to take responsibility and not give up halfway. No matter what happens, you must accept joyfully. ]
Hearing Elsha-san's words, I turned the key -- with a click the box unlocked.
--In that instant, I was enveloped by a blinding light--
...Opening my eyes, I was on the bullet train once more.
...Was that a dream? Ddraig?
[ No, you did receive the box from Elsha, and opened it. ]
...Is that so? Then what was in the box?
[ No idea. ]
Hey hey hey! Hmm! I don't feel anything different about my body.
How's the Sacred Gear?
[ No change either... However, I noticed something flying out from the box... ]
I frantically searched around -- but found nothing!
What the heck! Did my possibilities just fly away! If it disappeared like this that is no joking matter! Not only have I failed Elsha-san, but I would be too ashamed to face Azazel-sensei and Beelzebub-sama again! This was such a rare opportunity to receive aid!
[ Don't worry. It is something that belongs to you, it will surely come back to you. Your fate is in your hands. ]
Even if you say that...
"Mmm, oh oh oh! Oppai!"
"Oooaah! Matsuda! What are you doing! This is mine! What is so fun about a male chest!"
...Sitting in front of me, Matsuda and Motohama were wrestling with each other. Really! Who wants to get touchy-feely with idiots! What the heck is going on!
"Ha! What on earth am I doing... This sudden urge for breasts... and then..."
"Matsuda, has your breast deficiency reached such a level... Ok, tonight we will be holding an ecchi DVD festival in the hotel room! All the equipment is packed in the luggage!"
I heard it and couldn't help leaning over with interest! What a great thing! We can enjoy super ecchi DVDs at the hotel!
"Oh oh, Ise! That's right! OK! Let us watch the titles I bought specifically for this trip: 'Peachy Bursting Breast Scenery: Kinkaku-ji' and 'Fleshy Gigantic Busty Flavours: Ginkaku-ji'!"
Matsuda and I cheer loudly in response to Motohama's announcement! Oh well, if the contents of the box will return sooner or later, then let's enjoy breasts first!
"Go die ecchi trio!" "So disgusting on the train!" These voices of the girls in my class? I'll just ignore them for now.
On the bullet train, it was just as I finished enjoying the seaweed rice balls specially prepared by Asia.
"We are arriving at Kyoto presently."
The announcement sounded. Oh oh! We're there! As the bullet train stopped at the platform, we took our luggage and got off.
My first step in this much anticipated ancient capital! As our eyes were drawn to the sights in the railway station that we had never seen before, Kiryuu directed us to the ticket checkpoint.
The roof of the Kyoto station was covered by a huge atrium! Inside the station were many automatic escalators! It was truly a massive railway station! It doesn't lose to Tokyo at all! As a major sightseeing destination, it was natural that the ancient capital would have built a station on such a massive scale. It was crowded, totally packed!
"Look, Asia! It's I__tan!"
"Yes, yes! Xenovia! It's I__tan!"
Xenovia and Asia's faces were full of excitement. Pointing their fingers everywhere, commenting on every sight. They were really happy.
"I really want to build a spectacular railway station like this in Heaven too."
Irina, on the other hand, was amusing herself in another direction.
"The meeting point is the ground floor lobby of the hotel. Hey boys, as well as Asia and Xenovia you two, and Irina who is daydreaming about the station. If we don't get there as quickly as possible, we won't have any time for free activities in the afternoon."
Taking on the role of coordinator, Kiryuu yelled at us the boys trio as well as Asia's group.
Assembling together, Kiryuu took out the travel guide, and confirmed the locations.
"Hmm, the hotel is quite near the station... Just now we exited from the west checkpoint... Walking in the direction of the bus station, and then taking a right..."
"Come on, let's just go outside first. Hanging around in a railway station won't get us anywhere."
As Matsuda finished his words, Kiryuu's glasses flashed with a chilling light.
"Matsuda, getting lost in a strange environment is not fun. One person's poor judgment can lead to many casualties."
"Is this a battlefield?"
"No, Matsuda. Kiryuu's opinion is correct. Team work is important. We'll let Kiryuu lead from here. Who knows if Kyoto has begun to bare its fangs at us?"
Matsuda could only timidly nod and say 'I understand...' in response to Xenovia's persuasive warnings.
A woman's screams were heard in the station!
A man was making fondling motions furiously, but has been restrained by other male passersby's.
"Kyoto isn't that peaceful after all."
Motohama exclaimed. That was the truth. Perverts are present no matter where you go.
"OK, got it! Let's go!"
Under Kiryuu's leadership, we left the station and set off into the ancient capital.
"Ah, it's Kyoto Tower!"
Hearing Matsuda's exclamation, everyone looked in that direction. Oh oh! Directly in front of the station was the tower! So that's Kyoto Tower! We were all planning to go up the tower on the last day. Matsuda that fellow, immediately began taking out his camera to take photos.
...It turned out the hotel was just a few minutes walk away. It was also easy to find by following all the other students who wore the same winter uniform as us.
A few minutes distance from the station was a massive high class hotel. Its name was the 'Kyoto Sirzechs Hotel!'
...Looks like our Maou-sama's name was very influential even in the ancient capital.
As a side note, also nearby was the 'Kyoto Serafall Hotel' under construction. Are you few trying to claim all the prime real estate around the Kyoto railway station, Maou-sama!
The hotel turned out to be run behind the scenes by the Gremory family. Hence, we were able to book rooms at very cheap rates.
After showing our student identification to the attendants at the entrance, we were given detailed instructions to the lobby. Matsuda, Motohama and Kiryuu were shocked by the luxurious decor of the hotel.
"Amazing... Is it really fine for the entirety of the second year students to live in such a hotel...?"
Matsuda expressed a very sensible opinion, but this was no ordinary place. The power and influence of the Gremory family cannot be underestimated.
On the other hand, Xenovia was much more calm.
"Yes it's amazing, but compared to Buchou's house, it's still a bit lacking."
It was true. That one was a real authentic castle. The reason why I wasn't shocked by the splendor of the hotel was because I had experienced Buchou's home already. Upper class devils, they really were quite something.
Going inwards a bit from the waiting area, we saw the entrance to the lobby. In that vast and spacious lobby, many of the Kuou Academy students had already gathered.
After the meeting time arrived, each class began to take roll call and confirm their numbers.
Everyone sat on the floor of the lobby while listening to the teacher's announcements.
However, Azazel and Rossweisse-san seemed to be discussing something amongst themselves...
Ah, it was Rossweisse-san's turn, and she stood up in front of the students, what will she be telling us to take note of?
"There is a 100 yen shop in the underground shopping centre of Kyoto. If you need anything, please go there. You can never be too careful with your pocket money. If you start being a big spender in your student years, you will grow up into an unreliable adult. Money is what makes the world flow. If you buy everything you want, you will run out of money soon. So please, settle for the 100 yen shop -- the 100 yen shop is Japan's treasure."
The 100 yen shop!? What an enthusiastic speech! And she already investigated the locations of all the 100 yen shops!?
Rossweisse-san, even though you have fulfilled your basic needs through Japan's 100 yen shops, you don't need to be that obsessed! It looks like 100 yen shops have many qualities which the former valkyrie has fallen for. Admittedly, they are quite cheap.
Ah, Azazel-sensei is face-palming. The conversation with Rossweisse-san must have been terrible...
As Rossweisse-san hastily ended her speech, another teacher came up and made final clarifications.
Starting from day one, Rossweisse-san was very popular with the students. Not only was she a beauty with a serious attitude but she also had an endearing cluelessness. Both male and female students loved her and called her "Rossweisse-chan."
"--Please take note of the above points. After putting away your luggage in your rooms, it is free activities until 5pm, but please don't wander too far away. Best to stick to the area around the Kyoto railway station. Please be back to your rooms by 5:30."
Having heard all the final announcements.
The entire second year student body replied. And thus we finished with the roll call in the lobby, as well as various reminders about the hotel and the afternoon activities.
Everyone took their luggage and received their keys from the attendants at the lobby entrance.
The rooms were western style double bedrooms. Since I was the odd man out, I get a room all to myself! It will be great. Y-you see, even on an outing, teenage is a delicate time for boys and every day, a certain something gets accumulated... As I was thinking about that, it was my turn to receive the key.
"Ise, this is for you."
Matsuda and the rest had already got their keys... but I was the only one to receive it from Azazel-sensei.
Azazel-sensei was quietly laughing to himself. I knew something was wrong but very soon I found out the answer.
The rooms the Kuou students were staying in were spacious western style bedrooms for two, with two massive beds and a full view of the scenery around Kyoto station from the window.
"I once again feel thankful for getting into Kuou Academy!"
Matsuda cheered loudly, while Motohama was quietly touched.
This room was Matsuda and Motohama's. Then, what was the remaining room for me like... Only my room was on a different floor... I started to have a bad feeling...
Two floors above the boys' floor, in the corner was a room that was clearly different from the rest, with a Japanese style sliding door.
"...This is my room..."
I was taken to a single room roughly the size of eight tatami mats. I blinked. An ancient television as well as a round table. Wasn't this minimum standard! And why was everything so old and worn!
"Ah hahahahaha! Is this for real! Only this room is Japanese style! And looks like it's only the size of eight tatami mats? Ah, how fitting for Ise!"
"No bed, only sheets. And only a single set. Are these... the signs of resource allocation in the trip budget?"
Matsuda was bursting in laughter, while Motohama tried not to laugh as he calmly analyzed!
Damn it! Why does it have to be me!
Was that why? Because I felt it wasn't as luxurious as Buchou's home, I am being punished!?
Toilet and bath... At least they still had them. But still, it's nowhere near as nice as those luxurious western style bedrooms!
Tears gathered in my eyes. At this time, someone knocked.
"Ise-kun, are you inside?"
It was Rossweisse-san, dressed in a tracksuit. She got changed, huh?
I approached Rossweisse-san and whispered.
(Rossweisse-san! Why on earth was I the only one assigned to this room...)
(Please endure it, this room was prepared by Rias-san to make it easier for us to hold discussions.)
(Discussions? Ah, about devil related matters?)
(Yes, pretty much. If anything happens in Kyoto, we must first secure a place to carry out discussions. This is why the room was assigned to Ise-kun who was the odd one out.)
A room for us devils to hold meetings in Kyoto.
So this room was the isolated Japanese room which carried such purpose. But still, it doesn't have to be my room specifically... After all, I want to enjoy a luxurious western style hotel room on this school trip, just like everyone else!
However, since I don't want anything to happen while in Kyoto, it would be best if this room doesn't have to be used for those purposes.
(Please endure, Ise-kun.)
As if lecturing, Rossweisse-san placed her hand on my shoulder and said:
"Anyway, I have to go meet with the other teachers, so your free time starts now. I feel like there will be lots of trouble during the afternoon free activities period... It's not good for everyone to be mesmerised by Kyoto."
The three of us answered with great spirit.
"Now, the first task is to locate Azazel. That man... slipped away once the announcements in the lobby were finished. ...Because of this, the Governor of the Grigori..."
Rossweisse-san murmured to herself as she left the room. Azazel-sensei, started hiding away so early eh. Before the trip, he had been going "Maiko! First are the maiko! Next I must have my fill of Kyoto cuisine!" and planning such adult entertainment. As expected of Sensei, he has already begun to move!
Damn it! I want to have happy times with the maiko too!
Motohama took out a Kyoto map, and said to the dissatisfied me:
"Hey, Ise. In the afternoon free period, though it wasn't planned, but let's go to Fushimi Inari?"
"Fushimi Inari? Ah, true, that's the place with lots of torii, right?"
I recalled the scenery I saw on television before, the numerous red torii.
"Exactly. It's one stop away from the Kyoto station. Just now, I asked another teacher and he gave the OK."
"Eh, if we already got teacher's permission, it would be nice to make a visit."
Hearing my opinion, Matsuda rubbed his eyes.
"If we miss any opportunity to tour the famous sights of Kyoto, then that's not really touring Kyoto!"
"Right, then let's invite Asia and the rest!"
The two of them quickly agreed to my suggestion.
" "Yes!" "
If that's the case, then let us visit Inari-sama for the afternoon! This was the true beginning of our Kyoto trip!
Inari station was one stop away from Kyoto station, and after getting off we were able to see the visiting road leading to Fushimi Inari.
"Hey, look, Asia, Irina. These shops have many interesting things to sell."
"Wa-- all these cute foxes."
"Do I have enough spare cash to buy souvenirs here?"
Having just arrived, the church trio was already enjoying the Kyoto atmosphere. As Asia and the rest chattered away, they appeared to be no different from ordinary school girls.
"The beautiful trio against a backdrop of Kyoto scenery. Let's snap a photo!"
From the side, Matsuda takes the opportunity to photograph them.
"Hey hey, what about me?"
Kiryuu narrowed her eyes in protest.
Passing through the last torii, there was a huge door. On each side was a fox sculpture resembling a stone lion.
"...Exorcism statues. Normally they would have a presence that repelled existences like devils, but thanks to the passes, there's no trouble."
Xenovia looked at the stone lion-like fox as she spoke.
"Are we really under surveillance?"
I spoke out about the sense of dissonance I felt ever since leaving the station just now. That's right, it felt like we were being watched.
"Yes of course. We devils and angels are foreign existences to the authorities here. Though we notified them beforehand, surveillance is still necessary."
Well, that makes sense. I've heard about Kyoto being the centre of Japanese supernatural oddities. From their point of view, we are the outsiders.
With slight wariness, we passed through the main entrance without issue. Walking further along, we reached the main hall. Continuing, we found the steps leading up the Inari mountain. We took photos as we advanced, and began our next challenge of climbing the mountain path through a thousand torii.
We had been walking for tens of minutes.
"...Hooo -- ha... W-wait, wait for me... W-why are you all so energetic...?"
Motohama was out of breath. Matsuda sighed as he spoke on the steps above.
"Hey hey, Motohama. This is shameful. Even Asia-chan and the rest are fine."
Since Matsuda was actually quite athletic, this level of exertion was nothing.
Well, we are devils after all, so our base abilities are definitely higher than normal humans. Not to mention we have been training, so this sort of thing is a piece of cake. As for me, due to the summer training deep in the mountainous wilderness, this level of exertion isn't even going to disrupt my breathing.
...Tannin-ossan, I can climb this kind of mountain without any sense of fatigue. I thanked the former Dragon King who is now in the Underworld.
We were checking out some little stores at the rest stop half way, while continuing up the challenge that was Inari mountain. Motohama was completely breathless at this point.
"Oh oh, what a great view."
"Yes, too wonderful."
"Then take a photo. By the way, do the local schools in this area use this mountain path for running? But looks like there are no runners today."
Xenovia and Asia were touched by the scenery of the Fushimi Inari mountainside, while Kiryuu showed her knowledge as she snapped photos of the view.
However, there really were tons of red torii no matter how far we advanced. Written on them were the names of companies or shops. They must have made offerings to the divinities at Fushimi Inari to make wishes.
I've always felt that if you visit a mountain, you have to reach the top. That was what I learned from training in the mountains.
If you climb a mountain, climb all the way to the peak! Something like that.
"Sorry, I'm going to head to the top first."
I informed the others, and then ran up the steps at full speed.
Ah, if I was still a human, ascending this mountain would have killed me. After becoming a devil and undergoing non-stop training, this was so easy.
I tried as much as possible not to disturb the other tourists, and continued up the steps. And then, I reached the peak.
...At the top of the mountain was an old shrine.
Yes, this was the peak? To be honest, the path did branch off to other directions along the way. There must be other places to visit.
Due to the dense foliage, there was barely any sunlight, and I was surrounded by a slight shade.
The sound of rustling...
Winds blowing through the trees. It really felt deserted. Other than me there was not a single soul. What should I do next?
Let me pay respects to this shrine then head back down, everyone else is probably up here by now.
I faced the shrine and clapped my hands together.
"Let me see and touch breasts all the time! Help me find a girlfriend! Help me do erotic things with Buchou and Akeno-san!"
As I finished this shameless but honest prayer, and prepared to leave--
"...Not from Kyoto?"
A voice was suddenly heard. Noticing the presences around me...
Ah, it seems like, I was surrounded? There were clearly many inhuman presences.
...Not very strong individually, but they are numerous. Heh, I didn't know I had already honed my senses to such a degree! Anyway, too bad I didn't sense anything until I was surrounded...
As I prepared a stance, what appeared before me -- was a very cute, short girl in a priestess outfit.
Her blonde hair shining, both her irises were also golden coloured. She looks to be the age of a young primary school student.
But clearly not human from the things on her head.
-- Animal ears.
Similar to Koneko's, but did not feel like a cat. That furry mass behind her must be the tail! A dog youkai? No, since it's Fushimi Inari, it must be a fox?
By the way, why did fox-sama come to me? Because I'm a devil? But on the bus...
Could the feeling of being watched be from these guys?
Ha! Was my breast-related wish forbidden!? Just as I occupied myself with random thoughts, the animal-eared girl glared at me, gnashing her teeth in rage and yelled:
"Outsider! How dare you...! Attack!"
At the girl's command, out of the trees stepped many fellows with black wings and crow heads, dressed like mountain hermits. There are also some others with fox masks who dressed like priests.
"Oh oh oh! What is this! These are karasu-tengu...? Foxes?"
These first time opponents gave me quite a surprise. Without giving me a break, the young girl pointed at me and yelled:
"Give my mother back!"
The tengu and the fox priests began to attack!
I instantly materialized my gauntlet, and dodged their attacks! This level is not too hard to handle!
"M-mother? What are you talking about? I don't know who your mother is!"
I roared at the girl. I really don't know! About her mother, how could I know if I just arrived in Kyoto!
However the girl does not seem to be listening!
"Don't lie! My eyes cannot be deceived!"
I didn't lie! What the heck, I just arrived in Kyoto and this happens!
Although I wanted to escape, a tengu's staff came smashing down upon me. Am I going to be hit!?
Just as I prepared myself--
The one who blocked the opponent's staff was --
"What's the matter, Ise?"
"What are these? Youkai?"
Xenovia and Irina have arrived!
The two of them were carrying wooden swords they must have bought from the local specialty stores. Asia also hurried over a little later.
Seeing the four of us gathered, the young girl and her group showed surprise but instantly became even more angry.
"...Is that so, you all are the ones who ... my mother! Unforgivable! Unclean devils! You have tainted this sacred place! I will not forgive you!"
...No chance to talk at all! Her unilateral decisions were so vexing!
If that's the case, leave it to me to endure such a situation!
"Asia! Do you have the thing you received from Buchou?"
Hearing my question, Asia took out from her jacket a card etched with the Gremory crest.
If anything happened in Kyoto, this identification card could substitute for the absent Buchou and authorise me to promote. Asia had specifically obtained the card from Buchou before the trip.
The reason why Asia was holding on to it was because it was best carried by someone who will stick with me throughout the trip. It's true, Asia and I will be together all the time during this school trip!
Queen! Though I wanted to, but I had to familiarize myself to the other pieces through combat experience! Also Fushimi Inari was a famous sight, it would be best not to use a piece that was too destructive.
Buchou also reminded me "Listen well, Ise. Do not destroy Kyoto. Even disregarding the other factions getting angry, the devil world will also seek responsibility. You have to treasure my beloved Kyoto!"
How can I damage Buchou's favorite place!
"OK, Knight promotion!"
As power flowed into my body, it felt lighter! If I just play hide and seek, it won't damage Fushimi Inari-taisha, right?
For now, let's use thirty seconds worth of Boost!
[ Explosion!! ]
The Sacred Gear's power activated! Then it's OK!
Xenovia and Irina were wielding wooden swords. But those two can still cause destruction with just wooden weapons, I'd better remind them.
"Xenovia, Irina, though I haven't figured out the situation, remember this is Kyoto. Though they attacked unreasonably, it would be bad if we hurt them or damaged the surroundings. As much as possible, just driving them away is fine."
" "Understood" "
The two of them immediately agreed.
The young girl's companions attacked all at once!
Xenovia and Irina used their wooden swords to knock them down, breaking their enemies' weapons as they defeated them. I also stood guard over Asia as I rapidly dodged their attacks and kicked them away.
Yes! I, Xenovia and Irina will defeat them! Hehehe! I can feel the results of my training! My movements, are much faster than them by far!
To experience the Knight through combat! I must improve every day!
Feeling they have lost the upper hand, the attackers begin to retreat.
The girl glared hatefully at us and raised her hand.
"...Retreat. We don't have enough numbers to beat them. Damn, evil existences. I will make you give mother back!"
Leaving behind those words, the girl and her followers disappeared like a gust of wind.
...Really, what on earth just happened!
Released from the state of battle, we puzzled over why we would suddenly get attacked for some unknown reason.
I felt a premonition that something unpleasant would happen.
--The first night.
"Thanks for the meal!"
We had dinner at the hotel. It was a luxurious feast of Kyoto cuisine. Boiled tofu, it was really delicious! The tofu skin felt so tender and soft... Kyoto vegetables were also uncommonly tasty.
--Finally we could take a breather.
After the attack, we quickly met up with Matsuda and others as we finished touring Fushimi Inari while staying alert. To our solemn attitude, Matsuda and the rest showed a puzzled expression.
After returning, we reported to Azazel-sensei and Rossweisse-san. The two of them were puzzled greatly.
"Why would we get attacked in Kyoto?" -- This was the hardest point to understand.
The fact that we devils were visiting Kyoto for a tour, should have been informed to the rulers of this place beforehand.
Sensei said he will confirm once again. Though I hesitated if I should report back to Buchou, I was deterred from doing so by Sensei saying "since we have not cleared up what happened exactly, do not cause unnecessary worries for her."
True, we had too little information to report to Buchou.
...By the way, where did my possibilities go after flying away from me...
I'd better report to Sensei as well.
"If they will return to you one day, then waiting is a solution. Just be patient for the duration of the trip. However, I will ask some of my subordinates here to look out and report back for anything matching your description."
Yes yes, to think so much has happened in Kyoto after we just arrived... Then, about these matters, let's leave them to the superiors to handle.
Finishing dinner, I gathered with the pervert duo and the girls to talk about tomorrow's schedule, and then I went to hang out for a while in Matsuda and Motohama's room.
Afterwards, returning to my room, I rested under the covers for a little more than ten minutes or so.
--It was time.
I stood up and gently opened the door. Surveying the surroundings, no one was around.
Yes! I swiftly left the room cautiously and opened the door to the emergency escape.
...Now was the time the public baths are in use! Peeking time! Those girls who always looked down on me! Kukukukuku! Let me savour your naked bodies as if licking them with my tongue!
I couldn't help smiling. My bursting desire drove me down the stairs.
At this time, a figure stood guard on the platform linking the female bathroom to the emergency escape --
Taking a good look, it was Rossweisse-san. She had been waiting for me in her tracksuit.
Hoo... I smiled with self-mockery.
They saw through my intentions after all -- my great peeking master plan.
"From the very beginning, we already knew you would come to the bathroom to peek."
Rossweisse-san prepared her stance.
"As the teacher, I will guard the girls' naked bodies with my life!"
I slowly descended the steps and spoke calmly.
"Rossweisse-san... Even though we are teammates, this is the only thing I cannot compromise. -- I must peek at the girls' bathroom."
As we entered into each other's range of attack, we stopped, stared at each other and--
Rossweisse-san and I began to battle on the fire escape!
Since this was the hotel, we cannot use powerful attacks. This was a battle of small scale magic and strikes.
Without Balance Breaker, I really have no confidence in beating Rossweisse-san in a serious battle. However, this was different since Rossweisse-san cannot go all out with her powerful magic within the hotel.
I materialized Boosted Gear and released several mini Dragon Shots to deflect Rossweisse-san's ice magic.
Huhuhu, you cannot use fire and explosive magic here!
Even when Dragon Shot was broken through, I could breathe fire from my mouth to melt these ice arrows instantly! I am a dragon after all, this kind of heat attack is within my ability!
"Hmph! Your attacks are strong as ever! As long as it's related to sex, you can raise your power to this level...! How ridiculous!"
"If it allows me to witness the naked bodies of the girls in my grade, I will gladly battle to the death with you today!"
"What level of pervertness is this! You! Shouldn't you be satisfied with seeing and feeling Rias-san and Akeno-san's naked bodies virtually every day?"
"That is that! This is this!"
"What! This perverted playboy dragon is hopeless!"
Really? Me, a playboy? From the very beginning, I always felt like it's the girls who played me around at home...
"By the way, even if you get past me, there are the second year Sitri girls guarding against you. As a final resort, we will even let Saji awaken the Dragon King to obstruct you. -- No matter what, you will not peek into the girls' bathroom."
How can this be! Such a defensive formation has been prepared! Looks like my plans to peek at the girls' bathroom were seen through from the very beginning! How reliable of Rossweisse-san and the Sitri servants!
By the way, letting Saji transform into the Dragon King to stop me from peeking, how dangerous do they think I am!? To bring Vritra to stop the Sekiryuutei from peeking, is that it!
"Come on, cut me some slack! If you don't loosen up, you will never get a boyfriend!"
Hearing my words, Rossweisse-san suddenly got very upset.
"Boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boyfriend is irrelevant! After, after, after all I am still the virgin former valkyrie! I also want to do erotic things with a handsome boyfriend with a promising future!!!!"
As Rossweisse screamed, her whole body started to give off magical power!
The emergency staircase was shaking violently!
Oh no! Due to those stinging words, the pressure from Rossweisse-san was expanding at an alarming rate. Her eyes full of tears, I must have touched a forbidden switch! At this rate the staircase will be destroyed! I'm going to die too!
If that's the case, so be it! I will use "that" to stop her!
"I won't forgive you!"
Rossweisse-san released lightning which zigzagged all across the emergency staircase!
Barely dodging Rossweisse's magical attack, I closed the distance. I still got shocked a bit but I must endure!
During this time, I raised my imagination to the max, concentrating demonic power in my mind.
...Yes! Let imagination become delusion! And let stored power be released from the Sacred Gear!
[ Explosion!! ]
Preparations complete! I took off the top of my sports uniform and threw it forward! Obscuring her sight for an instant! She won't know what's coming!
"Just this level?"
Rossweisse-san used wind magic to blow away the clothing -- but an opening was created for an instant! Do not underestimate my lustful actions! Rossweisse-san reacted to my fake out, and as I brushed past her, finally -- I touched her clothes!
"Fall apart! Dress Break!"
As I delivered magic into Rossweisse-san's clothes, they were blown apart instantly!
Dress Break success! Finally, even Rossweisse-san has succumbed to this move!
Oh oh! What a great figure! Actually this is the first time I get to see Rossweisse-san's naked body! Those beautiful breasts make me so touched! Too amazing! Buchou's breasts are quite beautiful too, but whether it is the overall shape or the nipples, Rossweisse-san's breasts are excellent in every way! Beautiful legs combined with a narrow waist, slim figure, it's like a work of art!
Rossweisse-san began to cry. Did... I go too far...?
"Sorry. It was an accident."
Against my apology, Rossweisse-san cried with rage.
"You think sorry solves anything!? T-that tracksuit was bought for 980 yen at a sale! I-it would take at least triple the price to replace it now! The bra and pants were also bought at discount!"
She's angry at that!? Compared to being seen naked, ruining clothes is more infuriating!? Truly this was the cheap and nagging former valkyrie!
"Ah! iyaaah! I-I can't get m-married any more!"
Finally noticing, Rossweisse-san covered her privates with her hands! I don't know how to react to this total reversal of concerns!
"You only noticed now!?"
"What do you mean, only noticed now! Ruining clothes is such a waste! Your Dress Break is totally environmentally unfriendly! On top of that, your sex drive is too strong! Tissues, also, you must use tons of tissues right!? As a teacher, I cannot forgive you for this! Please respect natural resources!"
Being lectured about respecting the items damaged by Dress Break! This is totally the first time!
And about sex drives and warning me about using tissues! Well it is true, for a high school boy at the peak of puberty, tissues do get...
Rossweisse-san truly is a stingy -- no no, a very environmentally friendly person!
A virgin valkyrie who loves to shop at 100 yen shops, like a big sister one can't help but feel unfortunate for.
"This is the first time I've been lectured about this! I'm really sorry! I apologize!"
Now that things have come to this, it was no longer time to peek at the girls' bathroom. At this time, a figure approached me. It was--
"Ah, sorry to disturb your fun at the climax, my apologies."
Azazel-sensei. His eyes half open, shaking his head at the incredible scene before his eyes.
"Azazel-sensei! W-Why are you here?"
"Oh, we've been summoned. To the nearby Japanese restaurant."
Summoned? What is it? They're already at a nearby restaurant?
"Who is it?"
Sensei smiled at the corner of his lip at my question.
"The very cute Maou shoujo sama."
We the Gremory group plus Irina quietly slipped out of the hotel and followed Azazel-sensei to a restaurant on the street corner.
"...The 'Dairaku' restaurant, so Leviathan-sama is in this kind of place."
Yes, it looked like Serafall Leviathan-sama had entered Kyoto.
We as well as Sensei received Leviathan-sama's invitation.
At this point, passing through the path filled with traditional Japanese atmosphere, a single room appeared.
Opening the door -- Serafall-sama was quietly waiting for us, sitting in the seiza posture, and wearing a glamorous kimono.
"Hello! Sekiryuutei-chan, and servants of Rias-chan, it's been a while!"
Leviathan-sama always greeted us with such joy and enthusiasm.
The kimono suited her very well. Her very long hair was tied up today to match the kimono.
"Oh, it's Hyoudou and you guys."
Saji and the other second year Sitri girls. They had come over first eh.
"Yeah Saji. How's Kyoto? Where did you go in the afternoon?"
"We're the Student Council. We spent the whole afternoon helping the teachers."
Saji sighed as he spoke. That really was tough for them. But as members of the Student Council, it couldn't be helped.
Still, with the Knight Meguri-san, the Rook Yura-san, and the Bishops Hanakai-san and Kusaka-san, there sure were a lot of pretty girl devils amongst the second years over there. ...This makes Saji's position as the only guy in the Student Council quite enviable.
"The food here is really good. Especially the chicken dishes are exquisite. Sekiryuutei-chan, you and Saji-kun must really eat up."
We had hardly taken our seats when Leviathan-sama immediately ordered more dishes like mad. But we just ate dinner...
Ah, but then, trying a piece in my mouth, that delicious taste made me feel like I could eat as much as possible. Looks like everyone felt the same.
"So, why has Leviathan-sama come to this kind of place?"
To my question, Leviathan-sama made a kiraboshi pose and replied.
"I came here to secure the cooperation of the Kyoto youkai forces."
As expected of the one in charge of foreign affairs, she was doing her job dutifully. So, negotiating with the youkai forces.
But then Leviathan-sama put down her chopsticks, her cute face in a frown.
"But... It looks like there is an unusual situation."
"An unusual situation?"
To my question, Leviathan-sama replied.
"According to reports from the Kyoto youkai, their leader, the kyuubi, went missing a few days ago."
Once I heard her words, the day's events flashed through my mind.
-- Give mother back to me!
The young girl's words clearly replayed in my mind. Wasn't the kyuubi the very famous nine-tailed fox? It appeared very often in manga.
"-- And so that means..."
Presumably because she understood what I was about to say, Leviathan-sama nodded.
"Yes. I heard your report from Azazel-chan. I fear... that is the situation."
Azazel drank heavily and downed his alcohol, then said:
"So the leader of the youkai has been kidnapped. The ones responsible --"
"Most likely, it's Khaos Brigade."
Leviathan concluded most solemnly.
Has the terrorist organisation come here?
That animal-eared girl -- the kyuubi girl's mother has been kidnapped by them. Which is why we were mistaken for being part of the kidnappers and attacked.
"You, you guys, what kind of trouble have you got mixed up in again?"
Saji's eyes began to twitch slightly. Sorry Saji, we are always getting into all sorts of trouble!
"Really, taking care of these kids for the trip is already tiring enough. How vexing, these terrorists."
Sensei spat these words with contempt. Hey, weren't you going to have fun with the maiko anyway...?
Leviathan-sama poured another cup for Sensei and continued.
"No matter what, this situation cannot be disclosed. We must solve it ourselves. I will continue to attempt to get the youkai to cooperate."
"Understood. I will act alone. Really, these terrorists bringing their trouble all the way to Kyoto."
Azazel downed another cup and cursed. Without a doubt, it was due to these terrorists making him lose the opportunity to go play with the maiko.
It was just the first day of the trip, and things have become so serious... What were we supposed to do? To be honest, it could no longer be called a trip... No, no, precisely because this is the precious school trip of high school students, we must try as much as possible to enjoy the tour.
However, since we were the Gremory servants, and devils, we are compelled by the impulse to avoid inaction.
"Ummm, so what we have to do is...?"
As I asked with apprehension, Sensei breathed out and forced a smile.
"Anyway, you all should enjoy your trip."
Sensei began to rub my head with his hand.
"If anything happens, I will call you guys. However, this is your precious school trip right? We adults will try to handle the situation as much as possible. So you all go enjoy Kyoto for now."
...Sensei. Sensei's words made me feel deeply touched.
What a sly fellow. The Governor who always acted so slovenly, was saying such cool words in this sort of situation.
"Yes. Sekiryuutei-chan, as well as Sona-chan's servants. Please enjoy your time in Kyoto. I will also enjoy myself!"
Nothing more to say since Leviathan-sama said so. Unexpectedly, it looks like Leviathan-sama is the one who wanted to enjoy Kyoto the most.
Since we didn't want to increase their burden, we decided to continue our sightseeing tour.
And we can't even report to Buchou... But if anything happens, I will take action.
I will protect the Kyoto that Buchou loves.
Life 3: The group of Heroes has arrived
It was early morning on the second day of the trip. The sky was just getting light. Asia and I were using the hotel roof for training.
To sum up, we were training basic movements from start to finish. Asia would practice developing reflexes for releasing magical power at close range. On the other hand, I repeatedly practised my reactions and avoiding attacks fired at extremely close range.
Plus basic training, these practice sessions will continue until the day of the match. They must be carried out day and night! Training no matter what. I believed it was necessary to catch up to Sairaorg and Vali.
--I will become strong!
Even if it happened gradually step by step, it was fine. For this constant progression, I had to train!
"I'm sorry Asia. Taking up your time to help me train even on the school trip."
I spoke as I breathed heavily. Asia shook her head.
"No problem. It makes me happy to be together with Ise-san in Kyoto from early morning."
Asia gave a radiant smile. Ah ah, she was such a great girl! Asia-chan is my most most most important Asia-chan, I am so proud of her!
"It's more efficient to have a training partner, right?"
It was Kiba's voice. Taking a look, not only Kiba, but Xenovia was here as well.
"Since I already bought a wooden sword, shouldn't we train ourselves to the degree of just barely not destroying this place? The upcoming match with the heir of the Great King's family will be here soon."
Xenovia... I know you are having fun, but are you planning on taking that wooden sword everywhere you go sightseeing? But then again, there seems to be no other way to defend against enemy attacks without destroying the tourist destinations.
As I was thinking that, Kiba created a short sword in his hand.
"Xenovia, if anything happens, just use this to fight."
"Ah, a holy short sword? With this it will be easy to conceal in a school bag. Thanks."
Receiving the short sword from Kiba, Xenovia twirled it around in her hands skillfully. When Kiba entered Balance Breaker, he could not only create demonic swords but could also produce holy swords of a certain calibre. However, compared to legendary holy swords, Kiba's were still quite lacking...
As my thoughts reached that point, it made me feel demotivated.
Even here, a battle was likely to break out. Was it the power of the dragon that was attracting all this trouble? ...I hated that possibility.
Slapping my face, I renewed my spirits. I have to pull myself together.
"Yes! Let us have a good spar before the morning roll call!"
And like that, our morning training began once again.
"--So kids!! Let's go!"
" " "Yes!" " "
Kiryuu flashed her eyes as she pointed at the bus station, and we boys shouted in response.
Though the first day's incident was unfortunate, but since Sensei and the adults had already said so, we must try to enjoy the sightseeing as much as possible. I heard that Saji and his group were also visiting various places today as well.
The second day's activities started with taking a bus from near the Kyoto railway station to the stop at Kiyomizu-dera. We bought a one day bus pass at the Kyoto station, and then lined up for the bus with the other students.
We got on the bus and took it all the way to Kiyomizu-dera. As we looked out to appreciate the new scenery, the bus reached its destination.
After some searching around, we found the sloped path up to Kiyomizu-dera. Oh, those Japanese houses built on both sides looked very interesting.
"I heard this was called the Three Year Slope. If you fall over here, it means you will die in three years, eh?"
"Oooh waaaaaa! So scary!"
Asia was really terrified, and hugged my arm. Eh, eh eh, this was just a legend. Asia was a clumsy child and often fell over, so it was natural for her to be afraid. Grabbing my arm should be a little safer.
--But then, Xenovia too, grabbed my other arm.
"W-what is it? Xenovia?"
I asked in surprise, but expressionless, Xenovia muttered to herself.
"...The Japanese sure put some scary spells in their sloped paths."
She really believed it! Xenovia-san, falling into such a misunderstanding! However, I think this is one of her cute points.
And so it came to be a situation where I was climbing up a slope with two beauties, one on each arm. During this time, I could feel those two bastards glaring at me with pure hatred... fufufu, the appropriate amount of jealousy sure felt good!
At the end of the sloped path, the massive gates appeared! This was Kiyomizu-dera!
Passing through the entrance -- Niou gates, let's go to Kiyomizu-dera!
"Look, Asia! This temple gathers the essence of pagan culture!"
"Yes, yes! You can feel its history from its appearance!"
"Cheers to pagans!"
In their excitement, the church trio were making some very inappropriate comments! You, you guys, kami-sama and buddha-sama are here! I can feel them watching, so don't act too rudely, ok?
This was the stage of Kiyomizu I've seen on television! Looking down from there... Yes, though it was very high, but for the current me, falling down shouldn't really be a problem? Why does my mind keep thinking of stuff like that? Not good. Battle related things seemed to have been carved into my bones!
"There seems to be many who fell down and were saved."
Kiryuu gave that explanation. Eh, so even humans will be fine. By the way, people have fallen down from there?
Within the temple, there was a small shrine used for praying for passing grades and love wishes.
Might as well put some loose change into the offering box and make a wish. I am a student after all. But since I'm a devil, I have no idea to what extent Buddha-sama will be granting my wishes. But still, I do want to go to university.
"Hyoudou, why don't you try the love compatibility prediction with Asia?"
At Kiryuu's urging, Asia and I drew a love prediction... How was the compatibility?
"It says highly favourable and auspicious. Looks like we are very compatible, Asia."
I summed up the main content of the prediction and explained to Asia -- her face turned red, and she looked very happy.
"Yes! I am so happy... so happy, really..."
Holding the fortune telling stick with great affection, tears were flowing out of her eyes! Oh oh, for her to be this happy, it kind of makes me feel embarrassed! But anyway, let me thank Buddha-sama here for guaranteeing the relationship between Asia and me. I am so grateful! I once again worshipped in prostration and paid respects to the Buddha statue.
"This is great."
"Eh eh, wonderful."
"I feel a bit relieved."
Xenovia, Irina and Kiryuu were nodding their heads approvingly. Can you guys stop that, it's very embarrassing.
"...Are we being left out?"
"Don't cry, Matsuda. Let us simply beat up Ise when we get back to the hotel."
Ah, the two boys were sulking gloomily in a dark corner.
We made a quick round of the temple, bought some souvenirs, and then walked to the bus station.
"The next stop is Ginkaku-ji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion. If we don't hurry, time is going to fly away in the blink of an eye."
Kiryuu led the way as she glanced at her watch. It was true, without noticing it was already ten in the morning. If we were to visit another two destinations, it won't work unless we hurry as Kiryuu said.
Next is the Ginkaku-ji! Boarding the bus towards there, we left Kiyomizu-dera.
"It's not actually silver!?"
Reaching Ginkaku-ji and seeing the temple, those were Xenovia's first words.
No, well it's true that Ginkaku-ji wasn't silver. Xenovia was unusually disappointed, her mouth gaping wide open.
"...Xenovia-san's eyes were shining back when she kept saying to herself 'Ginkaku-ji is made of silver, and Kinkaku-ji is made of gold. They must be very dazzling.'"
Asia hugged Xenovia's trembling shoulders and explained.
I see. She had a great fantasy.
"Rumours abound, such as the death of the monk Ashikaga who was involved in building the temple, or because the Bakufu government ran out of money at the time. Anyway, it's not silver."
Kiryuu explained. Man, did this glasses-wearing girl research everything beforehand, to know so much about all the famous sights?
However, the thought had already entered my mind at Fushimi Inari, Kyoto's autumn scenery with all the mountains and trees was truly a beautiful sight. It's really great to have the school trip during the autumn. On the other hand, will the winter scenery offer a totally different experience?
After making the rounds at Ginkaku-ji, we stopped for lunch nearby and continued to the next destination, Kinkaku-ji. Of course, we also bought related souvenirs at Ginkaku-ji.
"Gold! This time it really is gold!"
Reaching Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, those were Xenovia's first words that she screamed.
Completely different from just now, she seemed very excited. No, it was extreme happiness.
"It's really gooooold!"
Xenovia raised both her arms, her face full of radiance. Kinkaku-ji really is shining and golden, so bright! Though I've seen it on television before, but the real thing's glamour was overwhelming.
Other students were also here and everyone was busy taking photos. Matsuda snapped photo after photo as if in a trance. I also took some photos to commemorate. Then I texted it to the other members of the Occult Research Club back at Kuou Academy.
We toured the place, bought souvenirs and then stopped at a teahouse for a break.
The kimono-wearing lady prepared the powdered green tea and served it to us. There were also some Japanese snacks.
Tasting the tea -- it wasn't as bitter as I imagined. Rather, I should say, savouring the tea along with the Japanese snacks made the taste just right.
"Yes, very good."
Irina seemed to be enjoying it too.
"It's a little bitter."
Asia was a little unaccustomed. However, she still drank it little by little, so it shouldn't have been too bad for her.
"...It really is gold and shiny."
Xenovia seemed to be in a dream-like state and was still enamoured by the golden glamour of Kinkaku-ji. Her eyes were shining with splendorous light and she did not even touch her tea.
Today's Xenovia really showed some rare sides I've never seen before. It's so interesting. The one enjoying student life the most could very well be Xenovia.
"Xenovia, let's have a prayer to commemorate."
Xenovia nodded at Irina's suggestion.
Asia joined in, and the three of them went "Oh Lord!" As the trio prayed towards the heavens, what the heck kind of commemoration is this...
Ah, it was already after two in the afternoon. Though we've already toured the sightseeing spots at a rapid pace, once things caught our eyes, time seemed to pass so quickly.
Come to think of it, we already went to sound the bell immediately after entering Kinkaku-ji, but I guess the long lines took longer than expected.
"Ah, pervert! Hentai!"
A female voice. With great surprise, I looked around to find a man being stopped by some staff.
"Op-oppai! Give me oppai!"
Even Kinkaku-ji had molesters. Man, it sure ruins the sightseeing mood.
"Another molester. Now that it's mentioned, the television news this morning also reported about them. There was one at the Sensoji Shrine too. And at the railway station yesterday. There seems to be rather too many molesters."
To Matsuda's words, Motohama pushed his glasses and protested.
"What are you talking about? You're the one who attacked me on the bullet train yesterday."
So that's what happened yesterday.
"No, how should I explain it? At that time I must have been groggy in my sleep, but I suddenly felt an urge to touch nipples. What was going on, that feeling?"
Matsuda tilted his head, puzzled. Well, I believe as a man, wanting to touch breasts is a normal thing.
"This is youth."
Motohama declared, and Matsuda goes "The mistakes of youth!" and nods. But then again, please give up on the male nipples.
As I was about to nod along with them -- my mobile phone rang.
Ah, it was Akeno-san calling. What was the matter?
"Yes, hello, is there anything wrong, Akeno-san?"
[ Hello, Ise-kun. No, nothing serious... Just now Koneko-chan just brought up some concerns. ]
[ Yes, you just sent those photos, right? ]
"Yes, the ones at Kinkaku-ji. Is there a problem?"
Akeno-san replied to my surprise.
[ On that photo, it looks like you caught something. ]
[ Yes, in the background scenery there seems to be a few fox youkai. What is going on? Although fox youkai are not that rare in Kyoto... ]
Akeno-san's voice was somewhat worried.
Having received her call, I felt a chill.
"No, we are fine. Ah, Asia seems to be calling me, let's talk later."
[...If anything happens, contact me? ]
I hung up after that. ...Being called by Asia was a lie.
Checking those photos from just now, they looked just like normal scenery from Kinkaku-ji... I couldn't see anything. Was it something like those paranormal photos only special people can see? After all, only a nekomata -- Koneko-chan could see them.
Anyway, let me alert Asia and the rest about Akeno-san's information.
Looking back at the teahouse -- Matsuda, Motohama and Kiryuu were fast asleep! It can't be because they were too tired... It's impossible that they fell asleep within the time I took the call.
Asia and the rest were awake, but Xenovia was glaring at the waitress with a scary expression.
She has revealed her animal ears and tail... Not human. Taking a look, more of those animal eared guys have appeared and all the normal tourists are asleep.
...Hahaha, it was too naive of us to think that they would not attack at a famous sightseeing tourist destination. Was Kinkaku-ji part of youkai territory?
Xenovia quickly extracted the short holy blade from her bag and hid Asia behind her.
I readied my left hand, and was about to summon the gauntlet --
Hearing a familiar voice, I glanced over. Appearing was -- Rossweisse-san!
"Rossweisse-san! Why are you here?"
Panting, Rossweisse-san answered.
"Yes, I was called by Azazel-sensei to welcome you guys."
"Called by Sensei? What happened?"
I asked as I surveyed the surroundings... Thinking about it, there was a lack of enmity, different from the youkai who attacked us yesterday.
"A ceasefire. Or in other words, the misunderstanding has been cleared. --The kyuubi's daughter wants to apologise to you all."
Thus answered Rossweisse-san.
Ah, a ceasefire? Misunderstanding cleared? Then in other words, no more foxes will be attacking?
To my lingering doubts, an animal-eared lady approached and bowed her head deeply.
"I am the fox youkai who serves the monarch of the kyuubi. We are most sorry for last time. Please come with us, as our princess would like to apologise to you all."
Come with them? To where? -- Just as I thought that, the fox youkai onee-sama continued to speak.
"To the Inner Capital where we Kyoto youkai live. Maou-sama and the Fallen Angel Governor are already there."
What we stepped into -- was a place that can only be described as another world.
Like the streets of the Edo period, ancient houses were lined up, and strange creatures revealed their faces from the doors, windows and passageways.
Through a secluded torii at Kinkaku-ji, we passed through there and entered a different world.
A dark space with a unique atmosphere. Those creatures I just mentioned. The many residents welcomed us. ...A single-eyed youkai with a large face, kappa-like youkai with dishes on their head, tanuki walking upright and other creatures from legend.
Everyone was watching us with curiosity.
We followed the fox lady towards the princess' residence. It was rather dark, and the only light source was a lamp moving along the road in front of us.
Wa! Scared me! The lantern suddenly showed eyes and a mouth and began laughing! Was it the legendary lantern beast?
"My apologies. The youkai here love to play pranks... Though I suppose none of them are able to pose a threat to you all..."
The fox lady guiding us apologised as we walked.
"This is the world of the youkai?"
This was my question. Though I realised that this space was connected to Kyoto.
Fox onee-sama gave the following answer.
"Yes, This is the place where most Kyoto youkai live. I remember you devils have used bounded fields in the Rating Game. So why don't you think of this space as something created in a similar way. We call this place the 'backstreets' or the 'Inner Capital' and other names. Of course, just like devils, there are those who live out there on the surface of Kyoto."
The Inner Capital? I see. Something similar to the game fields of the devils.
"...Are they human?"
"No, I've heard that they're devils."
"Devils eh? How rare to see them here."
"Is that pretty foreign girl a devil too?"
"A dragon, that must be a dragon's presence. Devils and dragons..."
From the gossiping of the youkai could be heard, devils must be rare here. True, this was youkai territory after all, it was natural.
Passing through rows of residences, we entered a forest with a river flowing through it. Venturing deeper, a massive red torii appeared.
Before us was a huge mansion, giving off a feeling of ancient majesty.
Ah, in front of the torii, Azazel-sensei and Leviathan-sama in a kimono were already there!
"Oh, you have arrived."
"Ah, hello everyone!"
Even though they have come to the youkai world, both of them acted the same.
Between them was a blonde girl. The one who led the earlier attack. Should I just call her kyuubi-san?
Instead of a priestess outfit this time, she was wearing a fancy feathery kimono like a princess from the warring states era.
Ah, she really looked like a little princess.
"Kunou-sama, I have brought everyone here."
The fox lady reported -- then disappeared in a burst of fire. ..Was that it? The so-called fox fire?
The princess stepped forward and began to speak.
"I am Kunou, the daughter of Yasaka, the administrator of the youkai living in inner and outer Kyoto."
After her self introduction, she bowed her head deeply.
"I am really sorry for last time. Attacking you without investigating deeply, please forgive me."
So, she is apologising to us... I showed a troubled expression and scratched my face.
"It's fine. Isn't it great that the misunderstanding is cleared? I don't mind as long as we get to enjoy our trip in Kyoto without further incident."
Xenovia said so, she probably had no wish to fight in Kyoto.
"Yes. A heart of forgiveness is very important for angels. I have no grudge against princess-sama."
Irina followed up. Asia also spoke, full of smiles.
"Yes, peace is very important."
Since the three of them already spoke, I had no reason to disagree. By the way, to let everyone else say everything there was to say, that was really shameful for me as a man.
"So that's how we feel, I'm fine too. Please lift your head."
Hmm, that incident actually troubled her more than us. I knelt down and made level eye contact with the young girl -- Kunou.
"So, you're called Kunou, right? I say, Kunou, you're really worried about your mother, right?"
"Yes, of course."
"If that's the case, then making a mistake is understandable. Of course, this could cause problems and make it unpleasant for others. But Kunou, you have already apologised. You apologised because you understand you were mistaken, is that right?"
I placed my hand on her shoulder and smiled, continuing.
"If that's the case, we won't blame Kunou."
Hearing my words, Kunou's face went red and spoke in a timid voice.
OK. Misunderstanding cleared.
I stood up but Azazel-sensei gave me a poke.
"As befitting the Oppai Dragon. You sure have a way with kids."
"Please, please don't joke around. I put a lot of thought into it!"
"Don't be shy, you're living up to the name of the Oppai Dragon."
"Yes, truly the Oppai Dragon! I am so touched!"
"Really, this guy is so great with kids."
Towards me who was feeling embarrassed, Xenovia, Asia and Irina were nodding their heads and giving praise.
"You really surprised me there. As a teacher, I am proud of you."
Even Rossweisse-san's impression has improved a bit... How bad was her initial impression? If I could strike a conversation about 100 yen shops, perhaps her opinion of me will go up...?
"I-I won't lose! The Oppai Dragon is promoting itself even in such a place! My television show 'Miracle Levi-tan' won't lose!"
Leviathan-sama seemed to be all fired up with some kind of strange oppositional impulse!? Really, these devils are too peaceful!
Very embarrassed, Kunou spoke.
"...Though I am very sorry for my mistake... but please, I beg you all! Please lend your strength to save my mother!"
The painful cry for help from a young girl.
The leader of the youkai in Kyoto was the kyuubi Yasaka. She left her house a few days ago to meet with Sakra's messengers from Mount Meru.
However, Yasaka-san failed to show up at the meeting place. The youkai began to investigate and discovered one of her dying guards, the karasu-tengu.
On his last breath, the karasu-tengu told the other youkai that Yasaka-san had been attacked and kidnapped.
It was at that time they started investigating suspicious newcomers and attacked our group.
Afterwards, Azazel and Leviathan negotiated with Kunou, denying Underworld involvement, as well as providing clues that it was likely the work of the Khaos Brigade.
"...Seems like, things have become serious."
After hearing everything about this incident, that was my opinion.
We had been taken into the mansion. In the great hall, Kunou had taken her seat.
"Sigh, once the various factions decided to ally, this kind of thing has been happening. Last time with Odin, Loki came, right? This time, the enemies are the terrorists."
Sensei complained unhappily. Sensei who hoped for peace, will definitely not forgive these terrorists. I think he must be full of righteous fury.
On Kunou's side were the fox lady from before and a long nosed old man. The old man was the leader of the tengu, and had a deep relationship with the kyuubi since ancient times. He looked sincerely worried about the kidnapped Yasaka-san as well as her daughter Kunou.
"Governor-dono, Maou-dono, could you help find a way to save Yasaka-hime? No matter what, we pledge our full cooperation."
The old tengu made such a request.
He handed over a portrait for us to look at. A beautiful blonde onee-sama in a priestess outfit! Animal ears upright on her head! C-could it be...
"This is the portrait of Yasaka-hime."
Really! Aren't these breasts massive! It is something clearly visible despite the miko outfit! What do these terrorists want to do with such a busty fox princess? I-if you do anything shameless, I will not forgive you all!
"What we can be certain of is that the kidnappers are still in Kyoto"
"Why do you think so?"
That was my question. Sensei nodded and explained.
"The flow of ki in all the regions of Kyoto is still stable. The nine-tailed fox is an existence responsible for maintaining the balance of ki flowing from the different areas of this land. Kyoto itself can be considered a large scale force field. If the kyuubi left this land or was killed, then Kyoto will undergo dramatic changes. Since there are no signs of that, it means Yasaka-hime is still fine, and the kidnappers are likely still around."
K-Kyoto was a city like that! These were all surprising revelations.
However, if Yasaka-san was fine, then the chances of saving her were quite good.
"Serafall, what level of investigations have the devils over there been undertaking?"
"I've ordered them to investigate in detail. Devils familiar with Kyoto have also been mobilised."
Sensei shifted his gaze and looked at each of us.
"Looks like this time you guys will likely be involved, due to the lack of manpower. Especially since you are experienced in fighting strong beings, and we will be needing your power against the Hero Faction. It's a shame, but please be prepared for the worst. I will be responsible for contacting Kiba and the Sitri servants who are not here. Before that, please continue to enjoy your trip, but we will be counting on you in an emergency!"
We agreed to Sensei's words.
In the end, it was no longer a simple trip. Well, covering all those wonderful destinations was a smart decision.
Kunou placed her palms together and bowed her head deeply. The fox lady and the old tengu also bowed with her.
"...I beg you all. Please... please lend your power to save my mother... No, please lend your power to me. I beg you."
Such a young child bowing her head and begging in tears with a trembling voice.
Though she spoke like an upper class princess, she must still be at an age where she still relied on her mother's affections.
...The fury in my heart overflowed.
These Khaos Brigade bastards, though I don't know what you are planning, I will get you! To kidnap such a busty onee-sama, unforgivable!
And then I thought! When we save Yasaka-san, she must surely give me some kind of reward!
'Ufufu, you are the Sekiryuutei? You saved me? Wonderful, let's see, how should I reward you... Hmm, you're staring at my body... Is that so, you want my body? Ufufufu, no problem, let me bring you to the utmost ecstasy.'
Drip drip. As erotic delusions filled my mind, blood flowed from my nose. Seductively opening her kimono, the image of the kyubi onee-sama became incredible! Breasts! Breasts!
"...Ise-san, could you be thinking erotic things right now?"
Asia was looking at me very much displeased. Asia-chan, in these areas, your instincts are sometimes very sharp!
I shook my head. No way no way, this is the little princess' request!
With that frame of mind I renewed my determination, and prepared myself for battle during this trip.
But then, where have my possibilities escaped to... There have been no signs of them returning so far. Were they still in Kyoto...?
But somehow, they felt like they were not far away...
"Wow--, it was such a sumptuous feast."
That night, I was lying on the sheets in my room. Having finished dinner and taken a bath. Buffets were truly the best. And everything looked so high class.
...Having experienced the youkai world, we returned to Kinkaku-ji once again. Waking Matsuda and the rest who were sleeping, we continued our tour, buying souvenirs. We spent our time in that area until it was time to get back.
Returning to the hotel, we met up with Kiba and the Sitri servants to plan the next step.
We will continue touring as planned for tomorrow, but will bring along portable versions of transfer magic circles so that we could return to the hotel immediately. Once we received news from our leader Azazel-sensei, we must return to the hotel immediately.
Honestly, this really kills the sightseeing mood... Tomorrow we were planning on visiting the Storm Mountain, Arashiyama, and it looks like Kunou will meet us there as our guide.
It seems like Kunou wanted to apologise by being our tour guide. Originally we were about to decline but she insisted it was fine. Since she wanted to do it no matter what, we could only accept her offer. However, it was actually Sensei who told us to accept first.
Something about this being the first step in the cooperation of the Underworld with the youkai. The daughter of the youkai leader was a super VIP. And so the mission was handed over to us... Tomorrow, we must make sure nothing embarrassing is done.
...I wonder what Buchou is doing right now? Akeno-san... As well as Koneko-chan... Ah, and Gasper too. I missed the members of the club who stayed behind at Kuou Academy.
They likely never imagined we would get involved with Khaos Brigade. But too bad this incident is still under wraps.
...Mmm, how I miss Buchou's breasts. When I get back I must bury myself in her bosom!
How should I pass this time before I go to sleep? Matsuda and Motohama seemed to have gone, something about peeking at the girls' bathroom... I'm not going this time. But then again, it might be fun to challenge Rossweisse-san and the entire Sitri defence team... Hmm -- what should I do?
As I pondered whether or not to peek at the girls' bathroom.
Someone was knocking at the door.
Answering the door--
"Ise, it's me."
It was Asia's voice. What's up?
Asia entered, she was wearing just a nightgown.
"So what's up, Asia?"
"I came to play. Xenovia and Irina are coming shortly as well. Kiryuu said she was busy gossiping with the girls from other classes, so she's not coming."
Really! Three beautiful girls coming to my room to play! This is wonderful! What should we do? Yes, yes! Strip rock-paper-scissors... hehehe! Those kinds of activities are perfect for these situations!
As I made perverted plans --
"We're going to be discovered!"
--! It was Matsuda and Motohama's voices from the corridor! Are they going to enter my room!
"A-Asia! This way!"
--For some reason, I suddenly didn't want to be seen by those two bastards, and pulled the puzzled Asia into the closet.
Closing the sliding door from within, I raised my finger and went "shhhh--" in the dim light to tell Asia to be quiet.
After a while, Matsuda and Motohama opened the door and their footsteps entering the room could be heard.
"Ah, Ise's not here."
"Could it be, that guy knows the same old place we are going to peek at the girls' bathroom?"
"What?! That's bad! Is he going to savour the female body before us!"
"Ah, it must be! Let's go, Matsuda!"
Thud thud. Those were the sounds of rapid and imposing footsteps as they raced out of the room. The two of them seemed to have left.
I say! Same old place to peek at the girls' bathroom?! What was that supposed to be! That kind of place actually existed... Damn it! I mind very much! What was that about...!
As I wracked my brain over their words just now, Asia suddenly grabbed my arm tightly.
I turned back to look at Asia -- she looked like she had something to say. And then she seemed to make a decision, and spoke.
"...Ise, when you were with Rias onee-sama at the Tokyo railway station platform... you kissed, right?"
--D-did she see it? Did she realise something, returned to the platform and witnessed it by accident? No matter what, it seemed like Asia saw that scene.
"Ah, it was a goodbye kiss..."
"...I-I see. To kiss so intimately... True, Ise and Rias onee-sama are... But I am also--"
Asia looked straight at me, her expression had a certain seductiveness.
"Can you... give me a kiss too?"
As she finished her words, Asia's face drew near.
Naturally -- our lips came together most naturally. With neither lust nor pretense, this kiss only communicated our care for each other--
In the instant the lips pressed together, full of tender loving care, a frightening sense of reality surrounded me. That feeling truly impressed upon me how important Asia was to me, how so very precious.
My Asia. We must be together forever. Be it hundreds, thousands, ten thousand years later--
We must be together.
As I immersed myself in the romantic atmosphere --
The door opened!
"Ah yaya! Umm, Xen-Xenovia, come look quickly!"
Her hair let down and wearing her nightgown, Irina had pulled open the door and we started staring at each other.
"What is it, Irina? Ooooh, this is Asia's precious kissing moment. Asia, so this is what you meant by coming to play in Ise's room. I am impressed."
The one speaking was Xenovia, also in her sleepwear!
Asia and I -- were kissing right in front of them!
What is this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How did they enter without making a sound?! That's right, Asia said they were coming shortly!
Too careless! Too many openings in a moment of impulse!
They saw! They saw everything clearly! When Asia and I were kissing.
I frantically separated my lips with Asia. Damn! Saliva is dripping out! What timing, tongues, tongues were about to entangle when the closet door opened!
"Looks like it's not the first time? Hmm... Asia is always ahead of me..."
"Yes yes! Asia is sometimes very daring, and advancing rapidly in this area!"
Xenovia and Irina seemed to be discussing the matter with great interest, so excited that their faces are red!
Something seems to have exploded! Asia's face was red to the limit!
"Ah, ah wa ahahahahahahahah, fuwuwuwuwuwuwuwu..."
Ah--! Asia's eyes were spinning around out of sheer embarrassment, and then she fell down unconscious!
"Asia! Hey Asia, pull yourself together! You have me to share your embarrassment! However, this is the kind of situation Asia couldn't possibly withstand!"
"Sorry to disturb."
As I attended to Asia -- Xenovia and Irina entered the closet as well?!!!!!
And then carefully slid closed the door from inside!
"Sorry, we came to your room to play, but you seemed to be absent, so we opened the closet."
Xenovia calmly explained as if it was perfectly reasonable.
My room was supposed to be used for emergencies, but who knew this kind of emergency situation would arise! --! Xenovia slowly approached!
"W-what are you doing, Xenovia?"
Xenovia showed nonchalance at my surprise and replied:
"I am after Asia. Is it going to be a kiss or something sexier? Next is Irina."
What, what are you saying?!!!!!!!!!!!! How did it come to this!
"Eh?! Me too?! You must be joking!"
Irina's eyes were popping out in surprise at Xenovia's words. She also seemed to have been caught up in something beyond her comprehension.
"This is a great opportunity, Irina, you should use it to understand men."
"Understand, won't that make me a fallen angel?!"
"Well, you must overcome this with spirit. Perhaps you won't change into one after all."
"Use spirit?! Yes, yes it must be like that... But but, if, if I do something vulgar, how can I, as Michael-sama's Ace...!"
Softly murmuring to herself, Irina seemed to be struggling with herself.
"Ise is a great choice. A good man, and also the Sekiryuutei. If you bear the child of the legendary dragon, perhaps it may contribute to heaven's battle potential in the future?"
"...Ise's...Sekiryuutei's child... Heaven's battle potential..."
Aaaaaaaah, Irina began to agonise after all! Was that it! Did the meaning of my existence lie there!
"Ok, how should we do this. In this narrow space we have one man and three women."
"Hey, hey! Xenovia, what about the teachers outside?"
Yes, they forbid male to female contact. Who knows what they might do if they discover young men and women alone in one room.
The boys and girls' rooms were separated by floors and the teachers have been keeping watch strictly. Even during the free activities period before bed time they made rounds checking the rooms. It would be bad for them to find a situation like this!
"Ah, you mean the male teachers. We already used our angel and devil powers to seal this room in a barrier. Nothing will happen no matter who approaches. No problem. Even if moans come from this room, no one will enter."
"I didn't quite understand, but this space is currently filled with sacred and demonic magic!"
Xenovia and Irina were making a thumbs-up sign! Are you idiots! These children are truly idiots! The church duo who misplaced their initiative in such matters!
As I harshly criticised these two's crazy antics, Xenovia closed the distance between her and I!
"Ok... First... let's start with kissing?"
...Hmmm, I don't know why, but Xenovia's lips are especially sexy today. Perhaps it's because of the kiss just now with Asia, and my heart hasn't calmed down?
"Eh?! Xenovia, you're already going to kiss?!"
Irina seemed unprepared.
"Yes. I have to practice making babies with Ise. Didn't Kiryuu say that doing this on a trip feels extra special?"
Kiryuu!!!!!!! That damn pervert! Didn't I tell you not to fill these guys' brains with such useless information!!!!!! But then again, thank you! What would happen with Xenovia if this continues?! Will I finally have sex?!
"That, that's right! This is important! But, I am an angel, as well as Michael-sama's subordinate... A Christian! This, this kind of thing..."
"Then you can just watch from the side. I will be making babies under the gaze of an angel. Hohoho, doesn't this feel like making a child chosen by heaven? Irina, you can watch the precious scene of devils making babies. Please grant this scene your holy blessing if you can."
Xenovia began to strip! Her skin was slowly being revealed... Those perfect curves always steal my heart whenever they appear! We are devils so we can see clearly in the dark. It must be like that, everything is so clear!
Hearing Xenovia's words, Irina revealed her angelic wings and halo. The brightness further intensified the atmosphere! How convenient, the power of angels!
"-- Please leave this to me! I have always wanted to witness, like Gabriel-sama, the mysterious moment when life comes into being! Ah ah, this also pertains to the three factions, to heaven, and to faith in the Lord!"
Xenovia had removed her bra!
Uuwaaa! Nosebleed! This damn fellow has breasts, bastard!
Xenovia made no notice of the unconscious Asia and embraced me! Ah ah ah ah ah, the feeling of breasts is transmitted to my body! The softness is making my brain go numb!
"This is a rare opportunity. You must also hug her like this when Asia wakes up. Since it's the first time for you and Asia, it might be tragic if you are unskilled. Learn about women through me and then embrace Asia with that knowledge. This is for Asia's safety."
"Ah ah, Xenovia! You are so self-sacrificing!"
What the heck are these two saying! Xenovia removed my clothing while she caressed my body. So stimulating! And, and pressing my hand in between her thighs! That smooth, soft feeling is making my mind blank.
"...Ahh... Truly, a man's skin -- your skin makes me feel so good. Touching you really makes me feel like a woman."
My nosebleed cannot be stopped. This, this girl can naturally kill men with only words!
At, at this rate, what can I do but accept this?! Something huge is going to happen with Xenovia and Asia in this very closet!
I swallowed hard, adjusted my breathing, and reached out to embrace Xenovia--
"Oooo, mmmm... Eh, I..."
Asia woke up! Sitting up slowly. Just as I was about to lie down with Xenovia our eyes met!
Watching us, Asia's eyes stared wide open!
"Oh -- Asia, you're awake. I was just about to extract some genetic material from Ise here."
Xenovia was completely nonchalant! G-genetic material, y-you, what are you saying!
"Gene, gene, gene, genetic material...!"
Asia's voice was shrill.
"Just a little bit. Relax, I won't take it all. Perhaps I might get pregnant after a few rounds of extraction?"
Xenovia!!!!!!!!!!!!! Speak a little more like a lady, please! Those are some unusual words, you!
"No, no way!!! Ise's ... not allowed!"
Asia pouted tearfully.
"Come on, what's the matter with sharing a bit with me?"
Xenovia raised an eyebrow, a little angry.
The two began to fight!
"No, no that's not the issue! But to extract it... then, then you need to do 'that' with Ise... Not allowed!"
"Asia you're surprisingly knowledgeable. You've graduated from believing storks deliver babies."
"You, you don't go looking down on me. I understand everything! If you want it that much I will announce it right now!"
Hugging me, Asia loudly shouted:
"I want to bear Ise's child!"
...In an instant, Xenovia, Irina and I were all shocked by Asia's daring declaration. And not to mention she was taking off her nightgown! Skin as white as snow was being revealed!
In a second, my nosebleed began flowing audibly.
O-of course! Because Asia actually said she wants, wants, wants to have my child...! I know my own face must be red to the extreme!
"Amazing... this is the battle between women for genetic material. How amazing...!"
Irina watched us nervously. Shut up! Aren't you an angel!
"Ise. Since we are to be together forever. Isn't it natural to have children?"
Asia asked me. I have lost all judgement, and answered weakly:
"Is, is that so...? Is that so...?"
"Ok, Xenovia, I will have Ise's babies! I will have many many babies!"
Xenovia grabbed my arm. Her br-breasts are resting on my arm!!!!!!!
"No, if it's like that then you must give me a round of genetic material. I want children too. I am a woman as well, and want the experience of having a child. I also want to experience raising a child."
What, what kind of development is this...? I am very happy, but what is this suffocating feeling? This closet is not only narrow, but the air is getting thin! The current situation is so similar to Buchou, Asia, Akeno-san and Koneko-chan in my room fighting that night before the trip...! Girls are too incomprehensible!
Xenovia and Asia were glaring at each other. I extracted myself away from them, hoping to distance myself, but hit my head on a wooden panel with a loud sound.
Ouch... this is too cramped, what have I bumped into... As I fell forwards --
My hand landed on a supremely soft feeling...
"...Wa, I, Ise-kun..."
-- In front of my eyes was Irina with her face all red! As I fell upon Irina -- my posture is now on top of Irina! I glanced down -- her night gown is open, her pure white breasts clearly open to view! Wow, so big, Irina's are quite big! Too amazing! These are an angel's nipples! Soft tender tips expanding! By the way, my hand is currently busy fondling one of her breasts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This happened by accident because the closet space is so small!
Irina's breast was so soft yet elastic! That feeling of my entire hand sinking into the breast! That soft, quivering but elastic feeling like a newly set pudding!
Softness and tenderness completely rivalled Akeno-san and Irina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah, the angel's wings were flickering again! Was she close to the dangerous edge of falling again?
"...I, this is the first time... So I don't know what to do, Ise-kun... You, do you want me to become fallen...?"
Irina's face was full of uncharacteristic feminine charm! This won't do! The normally cute and naive Irina showing such an expression is too powerful, it is making massive power fluctuate within my whole body! Plus her hair was let down, multiplying her seductiveness many times!
I tried to apologise and remove my hand -- ouch... I hit my head on the wooden panel again...
My face fell down from the impact. Of course, that was where---
Irina's breasts. The sensation of supreme elasticity was passed along to my face... Ah ah, Irina's breasts are so large and soft and smooth... Is this how it feels to embrace an angel?
My vision was getting fuzzy, and so was my consciousness...
I must have hit my head too hard, plus this unending nosebleed the entire time was...
"Ise! Are you OK?! Ise?!"
"Hey, getting knocked out by embracing Irina for the first time, I cannot personally accept that--"
"I am going to be fallen... ah ah, Lord, please forgive me --"
The three voices begin to trail off --
The Church Trio's cooperative battle power was truly a scary sight!
The next day, we set off from the hotel to Kyoto station.
(Ah--, last night was just so...)
I felt like I was still in a dreamy state and still haven't woken up. Last night, I experienced all sorts of erotic things with the church trio in the closet. It was an ecstatic situation, but at the same time quite suffocating...
After passing out from a massive loss of blood and hitting my head multiple times, I woke to find myself under the blankets in the morning. Apparently Rossweisse-san had come along and sent the church trio back to their rooms and had taken care of me. Rossweisse-san sure is great at taking care of people...
However, hearing Asia declaring 'I want babies' really gave me quite a fright last night. But it really makes me happy... from the very depths of my heart. Though it was a complicated feeling, I am truly touched!
Every time something like this happened to me, I would think. How should I put it, I am always faltering at critical moments. I am well aware of it. But I just can't take the next step forward. ...That traumatic experience in the depths of my heart must be binding me. Every time, I think if taking the next step might make the girls dislike me, and I am deathly afraid.
--Current life is the best.
Which is why I don't want to destroy the current situation.
Being a Harem king is impossible if this continues! I also know that!
...But if that's the case, the relationship with Buchou will never... Impossible to reach. Oh well, that is fine.
For Buchou I will always --
...Perhaps if there is a chance, I might take the courage to make that step forward?
If we win against Sairaorg-san, then with Buchou I can --
"Hey, Ise, why do you look like you're crying?"
Matsuda poked his face in front of me and questioned.
"Ah, it's it's nothing... But you and Motohama's faces are truly terrifying..."
"These are wounds of honour."
Matsuda and Motohama's faces were swollen and covered with lots of plasters.
The two of them went to some so-called same old place to peek at the female bathroom, but the Student Council -- the Sitri servants had already staked out the area, yet the two of them still tried to force their way in. Hence their bruised and battered faces.
...They had no chance against the Sitri girls. Afterwards, even I became a suspect, but thanks to Rossweisse-san coming to my room, I had proof of absence.
But then again, this morning the church trio and I were summoned by Rossweisse-san for a lecture.
Rossweisse-san truly was like a great older sister to us. Sorry for bringing you trouble.
By the way, how did I get lumped into the activities of those two idiots! I can't help it when we are known as the perverted trio!
Do I have no credibility because I always look so perverted?
Anyway, let's stop these thoughts.
So, I need to pull myself together and continue sightseeing. Today we are taking on Arashiyama, and the first place is the Heavenly Dragon Temple, Tenryuu-ji.
"How do we get to Tenryuu-ji?"
I asked Kiryuu. She looked at the schedule and replied.
"Yes -- take the one from the Kyoto station towards Arashiyama, then get off at the closest stop to Arashiyama. Then walk in that direction."
"Got it. Then we're going to the station now. Buchou mentioned it before, but there really are buses and trams everywhere."
"So, all the sightseeing spots are these kinds of places?"
Matsuda heard my comment and spoke. It was true. It was all like this.
At Kyoto station, we got on the tram towards Arashiyama and headed to the destination.
"This is it."
After getting off, we had to walk to Tenryuu-ji. There were signs so it was impossible to get lost.
And so, we finally arrived at Tenryuu-ji. The elegant gates greeted us.
"This is Tenryuu-ji. So does the name have any special significance?"
[ Who knows. Perhaps we once fought a battle here, perhaps not. ]
Ddraig, perhaps his memories were fuzzy. Even if they had fought here it must have been eons ago, and the scenery would be completely different from now. It was probably natural to forget.
We had entered the massive gates and were paying the entrance fee.
"Hello, you bunch came along."
It was the young voice I've heard before. Turning my head, I saw behind us the blonde girl in a priestess outfit -- Kunou.
"Yes, as agreed, I will be your tour guide for the surroundings of Arashiyama."
Today she had her ears and tail hidden. Of course, because there were normal humans all around us.
Matsuda and Motohama were surprised to see the cute little blonde loli.
"Wow -- what a cute girl! Hey Ise, you went and hit on a little kid just like that?"
How rude of this baldy. We went through a lot you know. On the other hand, Motohama --
"...So loli, really adorable... haha..."
His breathing was becoming a little irregular?! I forgot! This guy is an incurable lolicon!
Kunou's type was right up his alley! Motohama's glasses were giving off a dangerous light. However, someone pushed Motohama aside and hugged Kunou. It's Kiryuu.
"Ah--! So cute! Hyoudou, how did you meet?"
Hugging and rubbing their faces together! Kiryuu, you like loli's too?
"Let, let go of me! Don't act so familiar, you lowly girl!"
Kunou was very reluctant, but Kiryuu got even more excited.
"Protesting using a princess' manner of speech is the best! What a perfect image!"
...Hopeless, this glasses girl.
Sighing, I pulled Kiryuu away from Kunou's body, and continued the conversation.
"This is Kunou, she already knows me and Asia and the others."
"I am Kunou. Pleased to meet you."
Kunou was surprisingly serious. What a princess. Her attitude carried a certain air of nonchalance.
"Ah, you know Gremory-senpai? I've heard that the hotel is related to the company that senpai's parents manage."
"Something like that."
Kiryuu's quick conclusions were useful for once. This way I don't have to explain too much.
"So Kunou, you said you will be our tour guide, what are we going to be doing?"
Kunou proudly puffed out her chest and spoke with confidence.
"I will accompany you all and tour these famous sights!"
...So I see. Then I should be honoured...
Whatever, this counted as a kind of cultural interaction after all.
"Then first show us around this Tenryuu-ji."
With that said, Kunou showed a bright and happy smile.
And so, under Kunou's lead we toured Tenryuu-ji. Kunou confidently related stories she heard from others and tried very hard to present them to us. It made her extremely adorable.
At the same time, it was comforting to see her trying her best to describe the various places in Kyoto.
The garden inside the large abbey was very beautiful. Decorated by the red leaves of autumn, the Japanese style garden's shades of the autumn season was quite intoxicating. The carp swimming in the pool was an excellent touch that completed this scene.
"This view is extremely good. After all, it's a World Heritage Site."
Kunou explained. World Heritage! Amazing, so that's why it's so pretty. Let me snap a picture with my phone!
After touring the garden, we were taken to the teaching hall. Entering, I lifted my head to look at the ceiling -- instantly, a most spectacular dragon design came into view. An eastern dragon with a long slender body!
The dragon felt like it was glaring at me with a frightening gaze.
"This is the famous Unryuu-zu, or 'Image of the Cloud Dragon', no matter which direction, you will feel like the dragon is staring straight at you. It's the so-called 'Watching the Six Directions.'"
It was exactly as Kunou described, no matter which way you look at it, the dragon was staring straight at us!
Cough-- Amazing. Say, Ddraig, do all eastern dragons give off such a feeling?
[ Yes, they are mostly like that. This reminds me of the Dragon King Yu-Long the Jade Dragon. ]
So the Jade Dragon is like that. Eastern dragons are different from the western ones. Rather than being scary, they have a more mysterious aura to them.
Unfortunately, photos were forbidden at the Unryuu-zu and I couldn't snap a shot.
After touring Tenryuu-ji, we went outside.
"Kunou, where are we going next?"
I asked. Kunou pointed to a good many directions, and happily said:
Oh--, how full of spirit. Now you're really acting your age.
And so, under Kunou's lead we continued to tour around Arashiyama.
"Wow, we really visited a lot of places."
Matsuda let loose a sigh of relief. We were having lunch at a tofu hotpot place recommended by Kunou.
After leaving Tenryuu-ji, Kunou took us on a tour around Arashiyama. Seeing Siddhartha Gautama and Amitābha's Buddha statues worshiped at Nison-in, riding the rickshaws through the Bamboo Path. Hearing the sound of wind rushing through the bamboo leaves was very elegant.
It was the first time for me to ride a rickshaw, it was very fun. The person who pulled the rickshaw was very talkative, and described the scenery as we went along. Watching Arashiyama's scenery from a rickshaw was one of the best experiences. Ah -- it is really great that autumn came.
"I say, the tofu hotpot here is quite a delicacy."
Kunou fished tofu out of the pot with her chopsticks and distributed them on to our plates. Haha, even during meals you like to act like a host. Kunou seemed very happy. This must be her usual smile. Precisely because of this, it was heartbreaking to see her begging us to save her mother.
...If only we could bring your mother back sooner...
The tofu Kunou gave to me had to be eaten straight away. Hmm, Kyoto tofu was very fragrant. And this was even better than the hotel! I've heard that tofu is best eaten freshly made, looks like this was made just now.
"This has a very Japanese flavour. Nice."
"Yes, it's different from the usual tofu, its taste is very fresh and delicious."
"This tofu is good..."
Xenovia, Asia and Irina's faces were full of joy. Carelessly, my gaze met with Irina--
Irina's face went red! This had been happening all day, it was definitely because of last night. It was only natural, something like that must be a major incident for the Church-affiliated angel Irina. Since she has always lived in purity, letting her breasts get touched by me must be very serious...
...But the feeling of Irina's breasts still lingered in my hand. So soft. Soft with elasticity. Feeling like my fingers were being sucked onto the breast...
The only way to sum it up was -- "the breasts of an angel." Sounds like some kind of product, but that's the only way to express it.
Irina, thank you very much. Just as I was thanking Irina in my heart.
Suddenly someone called me. This voice was--
"Ohoh, it's Kiba. Right, you guys were going to Arashiyama today as well."
Kiba's group happened to be having lunch on the neighbouring table.
"Yes. You guys went to Tenryuu-ji already?"
"Yeah, there was a spectacular dragon on the ceiling."
"We were planning on going to visiting Tenryuu-ji after seeing the Togetsukyou. I'm looking forward to it."
"Ah Togetsukyou, we're going there after we finish eating."
As we spoke, another familiar voice was saying "autumn at Arashiyama is really quite elegant."
"Oh, so you all are enjoying Arashiyama?"
Azazel-sensei! Drinking sake in the middle of the day!
"Sensei! Sensei, you came too? But isn't it bad for teachers to drink during the day?"
Just as I pointed it out, the woman opposite Sensei agreed.
-- It's Rossweisse-san!
"This person, I don't know how many times I've told him but he just won't listen. I keep telling him not to act so irresponsibly in front of the students..."
Rossweisse-san's veins on her forehead were bulging in anger!
"Come on, this is just a short break after investigating Arashiyama."
Is Sensei really investigating the Khaos Brigade?
"But then again, Rossweisse, you really must learn to act cuter. Isn't this why you haven't been able to find a man so far?"
Crash! Hearing Sensei's comment, Rossweisse-san's face went red and her fist hits the table!
"This, this, this has nothing to do with boyfriends! Don't mess with me! If you're going to drink, so will I!"
Ah! She grabbed Sensei's cup and began to drink!
Downing it gradually, her drinking posture was very elegant...
"Puwaaa --... Shay, your ushual attitude ish no good..."
She, she's drunk?! Too fast! She can't even speak properly!
"You, you're drunk from one cup?"
Sensei was shocked but Rossweisse-san poured another and downed it instantly! Her eyes staring straight, Rossweisse-san began to harass Sensei.
"Am not drunk! I've been drinking with him ever shinsh I became Odin that old man's bodyguard. ...Thissss remindsh me, that old man. I ssssspent so much effort taking care of him during hish tripssss, but like an idiot all he shays is rubbishhhhh like 'ah, ladiesss! ah, booooooze! ah, breastssssss!' Completely shhhhhamelessss! All the other valkyriessssss at Valhalla called me the old man's ssssservant girl. With my pitiful ssssalary, I even had to shupport his daily life? It's all hish fault! Thatsssss why I have no boyfriend, no boyfriend, no boyfriend!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ooooooooooh!"
...She was crying a storm... Making us and Azazel-sensei unsure of how to handle things...
Sensei scratched his head and said:
"I understand I understand. I will listen to your complaints, just let it all out."
Hearing Sensei's words, Rossweisse-san suddenly became happy.
"Really? Azazel-ssssensei, I didn't know you had shum good pointssssh in you. Waiter, ten more bottlesh pleasssssse--"
More?! T-his was getting out of hand... Who knew Rossweisse-san was such a poor drinker.
"You guys, leave as soon as you finish eating. I'll handle this."
Sensei sighed as he spoke.
Everyone looked at each other and did as they were told. Rapidly finishing our meals, we left the shop.
"100 yen ssshopsssss are the best! ah hahaha!"
Just as we were stepping out the door, Rossweisse-san's drunken laughter could be heard.
Leaving the shop, we reached Togetsukyou.
"Rossweisse-chan sure made quite a scene."
"Yeah, who knew she was such a poor drinker."
Matsuda and Motohama were most disappointed. Since Rossweisse-san was very popular amongst both the boys and the girls, it must be very hard for the boys to accept the image they just saw. Even I took quite a shock.
"Don't be swayed by how young she looks, but Rossweisse-chan definitely had a tough life. Following that Azazel-sensei around, anyone would want to spill out their discontent."
Kiryuu nodded, very sympathetic with Rossweisse-san. However, it definitely wasn't just because of Azazel-sensei. More likely it was because her original employer was a lecherous old man. Plus the fact that she had been mistreated in Valhalla ever since she became old man Odin's follower... Unexpectedly, it looked like she has been through much hardship.
"You servants seem to have it tough?"
I could only answer that way. There were a lot of good people amongst the Gremory servants, but it was true that some of them had their peculiarities.
Anyway, let's not talk about Rossweisse-san for now. The next stop was Togetsukyou! Leaving the restaurant and walking along the sightseeing streets for a few minutes, the Katsura River appeared in front of us.
That traditional style wooden bridge, full of historical feeling, must be Togetsukyou. By the way, the view of the mountain from here was really great! The red all across the mountain gave a heavy sense of autumn!
"Did you know? It's said that you shouldn't turn back in the middle of crossing Togetsukyou."
Kiryuu said. Asia asked.
"Why is that?"
"Asia, it's like this. If you look back while crossing the bridge, intelligence granted by the heavens will be taken back. If the pervert trio looks back,it will really be over for them. They will become utter fools."
Matsuda, Motohama and I retorted simultaneously.
Kiryuu was unfazed, and even continued:
"Another legend says that if you look back, lovers will be separated. Hmm, but this one's a bit inauspicious--"
"I will never look back!"
Asia interrupted Kiryuu's explanation, and tearfully grabbed my arm.
"It, it's okay, Asia, it's just a legend."
Though I comforted her, but Asia shook her head and went "unacceptable", grabbing my arm tighter. So cute! That's my little Asia! Ah -- I am so happy.
As we started crossing Togetsukyou, Kiba's group could be seen not far ahead.
While crossing the bridge, Asia was determined not to look back.
"Damn, Ise and little Asia, they totally look like a pair of lovers...!"
"It makes me furious, but it seems like they will soon enter the stage of passionate fools in love."
Matsuda and Motohama were commenting behind my back. What! Saying passionate fools in love! I really felt like turning around to give him a punch, but I endured it. Turning back now will make Asia cry!
"I don't think you have to mind it. The legend about lovers is just superstition."
Though Kunou said that, but Asia is very innocent in these things.
We finally finished, and peacefully crossed to the opposite shore. Asia exhaled deeply, as if very much relieved, but we have to cross again when we go back? Asia's great adventure had not ended yet!
Suddenly, a warm slippery feeling enveloped my entire body.
...What was that, just now...? I thought surprised, and looked around -- other than me, Asia, Xenovia, Irina, Kunou and Kiba over there, everyone else had disappeared.
Matsuda, Motohama, Kiryuu and all the other normal tourists were gone!
What? This is!? What's happened?
All the other servants were shocked like me, and we prepared ourselves. ...Though we surveyed the surroundings, but there were no suspicious characters nearby.
After a while, a strange mist seemed to be floating up from under our feet.
"This mist is..."
Seeing the mist, Asia was very surprised.
"This feeling, no doubt about it. When I was taken by Diodora, the device deep in the temple that imprisoned me had this kind of mist."
Said Kiba as he walked over.
"One of the Longinus, didn't Sensei and Diodora Astaroth mention it? I fear this is..."
Kiba knelt down and tried to touch the mist with his hand. Longinus... That's something just as amazing as Vali and my Sacred Gears.
Something like that was activated here?
"Hey, are you all okay?"
A voice from the sky. Looking up, Azazel-sensei was flying in the sky, flapping his black feathered wings.
He landed where we were, and put away his wings as he spoke.
"Everything except us has disappeared completely. Most likely we were forcefully transferred to an alternate dimension and sealed within it... From the way things look, this is an alternate dimension that is an exact replica of Togetsukyou and its surroundings?"
Really? There were no signs of transfer beforehand. Once I felt that warm feeling it had already turned into this -- transferred here.
"So this is made of something like the devils' game field?"
I asked Sensei. I couldn't feel there was anything similar between them.
"Ah yes. The techniques of our three factions were most likely leaked. This place likely applies game field methods. --So, the power of the mist should also be transferred to this replicated territory. Can Dimension Lost's mist transfer anything that it wraps itself around? ...To be able to transfer me and Rias' servants all together at once to this place without any warning signs... A Longinus truly is terrifying."
Sensei explained. I see, so this kind of dimension really was an application of the game field technique. Their reproduction of it seemed to be just as good as the devils.
Beside me, Kunou spoke in a trembling voice.
"...On the verge of death, mother's dying guard reported that they were also trapped by mist without warning."
So, this phenomenon was... Besides, the person using this should be --
My ominous premonition seemed to have come true.
Over at Togetsukyou, the appearance of several new presences could be felt. From the light mist, figures approached and revealed themselves to us.
"Pleased to meet you for the first time, Governor Azazel and the Sekiryuutei."
The one who greeted us was a black-haired youth wearing a school uniform.
Wrapped around the uniform was something resembling Han Chinese clothing. That, should be called Han Chinese clothing, right? In middle school, the history teacher was very knowledgeable about Chinese history and explained to us in detail about their clothing. It seemed to be a type of traditional ethnic attire.
Carrying a spear in his hands... The spear gave off a most unpleasant feeling. It was definitely no ordinary spear.
The black-haired man was very young. Looks like he was about a year or two older than me? No, it was impossible to tell from appearances alone.
His companions were also wearing clothes similar to school uniforms. Male and female, also around high school age.
...They gave off a strange kind of presence, different from devils or dragons.
Sensei stepped forward.
"Are you the rumoured Hero faction?"
The youth in the middle patted the spear on his shoulder as he answered Sensei's question.
"I am Cao Cao, the descendant of the famous Cao Cao, Cao Mengde, recorded in the Records of the Three Kingdoms. Something like that."
Cao Cao-- Cao Cao...? Eh, Records of the Three Kingdoms!? With a big shock, I hurriedly asked Sensei.
"Sensei, that guy is...?"
Sensei did not take his eyes off his opponent, and said to us.
"Listen well, everyone, be careful of that man's spear, True Longinus. The most powerful Longinus said to be able to pierce through God. I have not seen it for a long time... But to think it has now fallen into the hands of the terrorists."
Sensei's words made everyone terrified. The man himself was intriguing enough, but we all stared with shock at the spear.
"That is the holy spear that the Seraphim of Heaven fear...?"
Irina spoke, unable to contain her trembling. Xenovia continued, whispering.
"I also heard about it ever since I was a child. The spear that pierced Jesus. The spear carrying Jesus' blood -- The absolute spear which pierced the body of God!"
W-was it something so powerful! I think Buchou seemed to have mentioned about that spear before. Something about the legendary spear that pierced Christ. C-come to think of it, this is intimately related to the roots of the religion that Irina and Xenovia belong to. To those involved with the church, perhaps it wouldn't be wrong to call it the ultimate existence.
"That is the holy spear..."
Beside me, Asia's gaze seemed to be drawn to the spear as if her consciousness was being sucked out, mesmerised --
Sensei quickly covered her eyes with his hands.
"Asia, people of faith should not stare at that spear. They will lose their sanity. After all, it is one of the holy relics amongst the True Cross, the Holy Chalice, the Holy Nails and the Shroud of Turin."
Kunou angrily yelled at the spear-wielding youth -- Cao Cao.
"You boy! I have questions for you!"
"Arara, this little princess, what's the problem? If I can, I will try to answer all your questions."
Though Cao Cao sounded calm, he clearly knew something.
"Are you the ones who took mother away?"
"That is correct."
He admitted so openly. It turned out to be these people after all!
"What are you planning on doing to mother?"
"We wish to have your mother cooperate in our experiment."
"Experiment? What are you planning to do?"
"To grant the wish of our benefactor, that is the main idea."
Hearing that, Kunou bared her fangs, extremely angry. Her eyes glimmered with traces of tears. It looked like she was furious. Not only was her mother taken away, but she will be used for some kind of nefarious experiment.
"Benefactor... Is that Ophis? And why have you appeared before us?"
Sensei interrogated sternly.
"No, there is no need to hide anymore. We just decided to say hi before the experiment. Let us cooperate for a bit. I also wish to meet Governor Azazel and the legendary Sekiryuutei."
...This bastard sure has a way with words.
By the way, am I really that famous? Ah, though I did beat that Old Maou leader during the effects of Juggernaut. Only I don't really remember much about that scene.
Sensei formed a spear of light in his hand.
"Let's keep this simple. Please return the leader of the kyuubi. We are trying hard to join forces with the youkai."
Seeing Sensei prepared for battle, everyone gathered into formation and prepared themselves. I also called out Boosted Gear and started the Balance Breaker countdown. And then, summoned Ascalon --
Xenovia caught Ascalon, and readied her stance.
...By the way, Rossweisse-san wasn't here.
"Sensei, where is Rossweisse-san?"
Sensei made a long sigh at my question.
"That fellow was also transferred here, but she is still sleeping at the restaurant. I placed a strong barrier over her, so it should be fine for now."
S-so that's what happened... T-true, it would be unthinkable for her to battle in her drunken state. However Sensei, I will be responsible for support.
In contrast to our state of alert, the other side made no signs to prepare.
...Are they that confident? Or they have some sort of secret weapon? After all, the Hero faction has gathered many Sacred Gear users. It was such a pain to battle against Sacred Gears. There were all sorts of weird powers which made things very unpredictable. That was the scariest thing.
Anyway, we can't show any signs of weakness!
--A short boy stood next to Cao Cao. Cao Cao said to him.
"Leonardo, I'll let you handle the devils with your monsters."
Only one request, but the boy remained expressionless, and lightly nodded. --Instantly, shadows appeared from under his feet and rapidly expanded.
...I felt a sensation as if something cold was crawling on my back. How should I put it, a certain fearfulness could be felt from the shadows.
As the shadows grew, it reached the level of covering the entire Togetsukyou. And then they expanded and gradually took form!
Arms, legs, heads, eyeballs, wide gaping jaws, separating -- not only one! But ten, no, hundreds!
With a deafening roar, these monsters appeared out of the shadows! ...Shadows with monsters appearing out of them oh! Rather than appear, perhaps created or "made" was a better description! Monsters with black skin and standing upright on two legs. Their bodies were solidly built with rough and thick hides. They also had very sharp claws and bared their teeth. These monsters formed a line and stood in the forefront.
...What was this, the boy's power was...?
I couldn't help making swallowing sounds in my throat as I was shocked by the boy's power. Sensei spoke softly at this time.
Annihilation...? Maker? Maker meant creation... right?
Cao Cao laughed in response.
"Correct, this child carries one of the Longinus. A different threat compared to my True Longinus, but a most deadly Sacred Gear nonetheless."
Longinus-- This kid also owned a Longinus, a Longinus user...eh?
What the heck! Is this a Longinus free market now!? I basically knew nothing about them other than Vali's and my own, so all these new developments are just a real pain...
And then, the countdown finished and I entered Balance Breaker! The red aura enveloped me and formed into armour.
Now I can have a good fight, but...
"S-sensei, I have something I don't understand..."
Completely confused, I asked Sensei. Sensei began to explain.
"Like you, that boy possesses one of the Longinus. Currently, there are thirteen confirmed Longinus -- Amongst the Grigori, there are also Longinus possessors. And amongst all these Longinus, the properties of that one over there -- in other words, its abilities, are deadlier than Boosted Gear or Divine Dividing."
"S-stronger than me?"
"In terms of pure power, of course your Boosted Gear and Vali's are far ahead. However in terms of abilities... Kiba's Sword Birth can create countless demonic swords, this you can understand, right?"
"Annihilation Maker is the same. It can create countless demonic beasts. For example, those massive fire breathing monsters over 100m tall you see in movies can be recreated by sheer will. The ability to create monsters from imagination. Isn't that a disaster? This ability, depending on the user's capability, can create on the scale of hundreds or even thousands. Like Dimension Lost, this is one of the worst bugs in the Sacred Gear system. Dimension Lost is also extremely dangerous depending on the user. Once the mist reaches the scale of countries, it can transfer an entire country and its people into the dimensional gap to be destroyed."
"No matter which one, aren't they the worst Sacred Gears!"
Sensei could only force a laugh.
"Well, up to now, none of them have reached such levels, there were a few close calls in the past. However, it is unprecedented to have gathered three of the four top tier Longinus -- True Longinus, Dimension Lost and Annihilation maker. From birth, these possessors should have been under surveillance by the fallen angels, angels and devils... But twenty years have passed, were we too careless... Or someone deliberately hid them... Compared to the past, almost all current Longinus possessors have been very difficult to find."
Sensei looked towards me.
...So basically, I was also one of those who were successively classified as "dangerous Sacred Gear, kill him" and then "actually it's not" and finally "no, it really is a Longinus!"
Was it related to this? Sensei continued.
"...There must be some kind of cause and effect relationship going on in the current age? It could be said that the first Longinus Sacred Gears were bugs or errors of the system. In turn, these Longinus have their own tumultuous developments beyond our expectations? Though this is just a hopeful but not far-fetched hypothesis... Watching Ise's development, makes one feel like all the current Longinus as a group are undergoing incredible changes... Bugs, errors, no, evolution? No matter what, though it includes me, perhaps those in charge of researching and maintaining the system have been too naive? Michael, Sirzechs."
Sensei seemed to have started an endless dialogue with himself...
But no matter how you look at it, wasn't a Sacred Gear to create monsters truly strange and dangerous? And it was described as more dangerous than my Sacred Gear! That is to say, depending on the user, it can create monsters like dragon kings -- Tannin-ossan and Fenrir that monstrous wolf on a mass produced scale! Annihilation! The world will be annihilated!
"Sensei, what weaknesses do these deadly Sacred Gears have?"
If Boosted Gear and Divine Dividing have weaknesses, then surely...?
"Target the user's body -- Of course, there are also cases where the body is extremely strong, but it still doesn't compare to the threat of the Sacred Gear. The current Annihilation Maker user is still under a developing phase. If he already mastered it, then they would have been sending demonic beast armies to every faction by now. -- The only way to defeat him is to take him out now before he matures."
Cao Cao laughed wryly as he heard Sensei's words.
"Arara, it feels like Annihilation Maker has been figured out. It is as you say, Governor of the Fallen Angels. This child still has not matured his imagination or productivity -- except he has focused on one specialty. Monsters that target the opponents' weaknesses -- the antimonsters. The current demonic beasts are ones which counter devils."
Cao Cao pointed his finger at a shop in the area.
A monster opened its mouth--
A beam of light appeared. And in that instant--
The shop was blown away by an intense explosion!
"An attack of light -- this fellow is!"
Amidst the strong wind of the explosion, Sensei snarled angrily.
"Cao Cao you bastard! You sent assassins to all the major factions to collect data for the antimonsters!"
"You are half correct. Weren't there black clad members amongst the Sacred Gear we sent out?"
Yes! Those black combatants! Those hated things which dispersed into mist when hit!
"Those are also monsters created by this child. These things deliberately took on the attacks from the various factions -- angels, fallen angels, devils, dragons, and gods from all mythologies. Though they were wiped out, they have gathered plenty of good data for this child's Sacred Gear."
"--Those strange black men were for collecting data!"
"Not only were the number of Balance Breaker users increased, but the development of the antimonsters also advanced. Thanks to that, antimonsters targeting devils, angels and dragons have been created. --At maximum output, the current anti-devil antimonsters can produce light equivalent to a mid class angel."
Collecting data to make antimonsters at the same time as increasing the number of Balance Breakers amongst Sacred Gear users.
...Is he trying to show how well prepared or smart they were? These guys, they are dangerous without bound!
Sensei glared with contempt but immediately began to laugh.
"But Cao Cao, that means you have yet to create god-killing beasts."
Cao Cao did not deny Sensei's words.
"How did you figure it out?"
Sensei replied to me in a tired voice.
"If they could, they would have already done so. And then they would have used them on us as well. There is no reason they wouldn't attempt it if they have the resources to launch simultaneous attacks at the different factions. And who knows how the world would change if gods from various mythologies were killed. --To this point in time, they still cannot create god-killing demonic beasts. Though this is all we know, it is still important news."
I see! They don't have god-killing demonic beasts! Ah, but such a thing does exist. The image of that gigantic wolf flashed in my mind.
Cao Cao pointed his spear at us.
"If it's a god, then I will kill it with this spear. Come, the battle begins -- now."
This was the declaration of war--!
Making terrifying roars, the antimonsters charged at us! Kiba and Xenovia went and stood in the front-lines.
"Kiba, please make me a holy sword."
"Understood. After all, you're more suited to a two sword style."
Kiba quickly created a sword in his hand and aimed it at Xenovia who had already begun to advance.
Catching the holy sword in mid air, Xenovia wielded it along with Ascalon and dived straight into the ranks of the enemies!
Slashed by Xenovia's sweeping attacks, huge numbers of antimonsters were easily vanquished! True to a power type Knight! This penetrative power was unbelievable!
Ah, a monster opened its mouth to release a beam of light--
The beam travelled to just before Xenovia, but Kiba deflected it with his holy demonic sword, sending it into a building in the distance, causing it to collapse.
"If it's this level of light, it's fine as long as we don't get hit."
What a cool and handsome Knight! That's right! Possessing god-like speed, there is no problem as long as Kiba doesn't get hit!
"No, let's just kill them all before they hit us."
Slicing and pulverising the monsters with Ascalon and the holy sword, Xenovia answered like that.
Though both were Knights, their battle styles were entirely different! And both their philosophies sounded so right!
"Cao Cao, would you like to be defeated by me?"
Sensei took out the dragon gem -- Fafnir's jewel, and then his entire body was wrapped in the golden armour of the artificial Sacred Gear. At the same time, he extended his twelve black wings and rushed at Cao Cao with high speed.
"That would be a great honour! To be able to fight the Fallen Angel Governor recorded in the Bible!"
Cao Cao landed on the shore of the Katsura River, his face smiling fearlessly as he raised the holy spear -- The front portion of True Longinus opened to release a golden aura which shaped itself into the blade of a spear!
The instant it opened, it was as if the entire air shook.
...It could only be described as holy and solemn! Just gazing at it made my body feel tense and suffocated! Even for a nonbeliever, the influence of that spear was that strong?
As Sensei's spear of light clashed against Cao Cao's holy spear, violent shockwaves were created! This impact created waves and disturbances in the Katsura River, splashing water everywhere! Water droplets fell upon Togetsukyou like a violent rainstorm.
As Sensei and Cao Cao attacked each other and carried out their battle, they gradually moved downstream along the shore of the river.
I will leave Cao Cao to Sensei, let us take care of the rest!
The first priority was the key to our group battles -- setting up the defensive wall for Asia who was responsible for healing. Normally our team had Buchou commanding with Akeno-san supporting her and providing suppressive fire, Koneko-chan providing offense and support, and Gasper in the role of scouting and support. Even long range bombardment from Rossweisse-san was not here.
Though we had Sensei and the angel Irina providing super powerful offence, the balance of the team has been broken by the absence of those five. We needed a new formation.
Kunou also needed to be protected at all costs. In this place, she was more important than us. She should be placed behind Asia.
Should Xenovia be the vanguard --
...Think carefully, think carefully, think carefully! Words like "I don't get it" or "I can't do it" are unfitting for a future King! If it was Buchou, how will she act? What would she do in a time like this? I'd better think carefully!
Oooooh...! At the end of my wits I finally came up with my strategy!
"Xenovia! You will guard Asia and Kunou! Also, use the holy aura to blow away any enemies who get near!"
I gave orders to Xenovia! Even though I wasn't Buchou, but please, Xenovia, listen to me!
Oh oh! Xenovia answered me, and quickly retreated to protect Asia!
Think again! What would Buchou do if she were here? Though it was a sudden encounter, this is a real battle! I have to make full use of the second years here!
My pitifully few brain cells began to work rapidly again!
Spurt! My nose is bleeding from thinking too hard! ...Eh? Nosebleeding, it was possible to have those in situations unrelated to erotic things!
Our opponents have arranged anti-devil antimonsters. No matter how we deflect their attacks, damage would be huge if a hit connects.
Suddenly, Kiba's ability flashed in my mind.
"Kiba! You can make those light-devouring demonic swords, right?"
"Eh? Yes. --I see!"
Kiba quickly understood my question. How impressive, Kiba!
Under Kiba's feet appeared several of those swords of darkness he used against Freed in the battle against Raynare, and he tossed them at his devil teammates!
"These swords have only a hilt in their normal state! You have to channel demonic power into them to form the blade of darkness!"
Kiba supplemented. At the same time, I continued giving orders.
"Xenovia, in times of danger use this as a shield to absorb light. Asia, even though you're not used to swords, hold on to it! It's better than nothing!"
"Got it, Ise!"
Xenovia and Asia both answered me! Xenovia put the sword hilt into her skirt pocket. She will use it in emergencies!
I held Kiba's sword.
"Hey Ddraig. Let's apply this sword's power to the gauntlet."
[ Reckless actions like that could endanger your life... But in this case, it should be fine for a short while. Don't overdo it. ]
"That's good enough. I'll plug it into the gauntlet where Ascalon was extracted from!"
I placed the light-devouring sword of darkness into Ascalon's socket! Immediately -- something like a dark shadowy shield appeared over the left gauntlet. --It worked!
This should provide a fair degree of defence. Next--!
--The angel Irina!
I turned to Irina.
"Irina! Sorry, but could you take Xenovia's place in the frontlines with Kiba? As an angel, light isn't a weakness for you, right?"
"Though angels can still be hurt by light, but it is not a critical weakness like for devils. --Got it! I-I will go! I am Michael-sama's Ace!"
Irina flapped her pure white wings and flew to Xenovia's former vanguard position.
Summoning swords of light, Irina charged left and right from the air, breaking apart the formation of the antimonsters, and then looked for opportunities to slaughter them in one fell swoop.
...Great! Though the tactics were a little complicated, I have given everyone orders! I haven't wasted my time by Buchou's side watching her command! Next was me! The position between Kiba's group of forwards and Asia's group of defenders -- the midfielder position!
"Asia, promote me to Bishop!"
As I spoke and Asia consented, I became the Bishop! My dismal demonic power limit was raised. The reason I chose the Bishop was to focus on Dragon Shot!
Come taste it! I knew what was well within the abilities of my demonic power, clumsy attacks of pure concentrated magic -- in terms of pure power they were not bad at all!
"Let's go! Dragon Shot unleashed!"
Doooo! Doooooonn! Doooo!
As I used the shield of darkness, I bombarded the antimonsters and the Hero faction with a barrage of medium scale masses of demonic power!
Though the members of the Hero faction all dodged, many of the antimonsters were hit by my attacks and destroyed! At the same time, the shield of darkness absorbed the light firing from the enemies! Excellent!
A beam of light aimed at Kunou was also deflected by a dragon missile.
"Kunou! Please step a bit further back!"
If the Kyoto princess got hurt, things would be serious. After all, she was just a young girl, it wouldn't do for her to enter the battle.
Xenovia also attacked from the back, using holy sword pulses to snipe at the antimonsters in front.
Suffering Xenovia's and my attacks, the antimonster squad rapidly disappeared.
However, the shadows stirred beneath that kid and created new monsters again and again. Damn it! Was there no end to this? But we cannot give up!
To mass produce these things, there must be a limit to stamina and concentration! But the rate this kid is going is way too fast!
The occasional attack from the antimonsters hit our group but Asia can heal them instantly, so it wasn't a problem.
Yes, Asia was our life line! Really, Asia-chan is too wonderful!
...Only sending antimonsters against us. Up to now, those Hero faction bastards have done nothing other than dodging our attacks. It makes me mad! Are they just going to let the monsters fight and just watch?
--Just as I was thinking that while firing Dragon Shot, a few shadowy figures suddenly advanced towards me! Uniform wearing girls. Were those clothes the uniform of the Hero faction?
"Let us handle the Sekiryuutei!"
Spears -- as well as swords flashed with chilling light as they attacked me.
"--Stop. Women cannot win against the Sekiryuutei."
Warned a gentle looking man with white hair and several swords hanging at his waist.
Hmph, that was right. Girls cannot defeat me! I quickly concentrated magic in my brain, this was one of the few types of magic I can manage --
"Breasts, liberate your words! Bilingual!"
I released magic in the direction of the girls, and instantly a mysterious space deployed with me as the centre! This technique was too perfect!
"Come, breasts of the ladies! Let me hear your thoughts!"
The breasts began to speak in a voice that could only be heard by me and Ddraig!
"Use a feint to make a mockery of him and then attack all at once."
Ah, so they are planning on a joint attack.
"I will attack from the right."
This one is from the right!
"I will attack straight."
This one will come at me straight!
Muahaha! Hearing the voices of breasts, I had a feeling of omniscience! Hmph, let me read your breasts well!
All their attacks were evaded!
"Impossible! How could he know all our movements!?"
One of the girls was very surprised.
"Impossible, how can we be read! Our joint attacks should have no openings!"
I showed an extremely bored smile towards these surprised girls.
"Of course it's possible! Let me reveal it! Your breasts! Go! Dress Break!"
I yelled out the name of the move! Yes, while I dodged their attacks I had already made contact, with your clothes!
With the sounds of "papaba", their clothes were blown apart most spectacularly!
"He cast a spell on our clothes... They're all gone!"
The girls screamed as they attempted to hide their naked bodies! Woohoo! Everybody trained well, what golden proportions! Oh, nosebleed... a nosebleed came again...!
Overcome with shame, the girls escaped into a nearby house.
Hmph, as long as the opponent is a girl, neither my hand nor my delusions will rest! Where else could you find such an exhilarating time defeating enemies with these spectacular godly skills! Bilingual and Dress Break are invincible!
"W-what a vulgar technique! I've never seen anything so despicable..."
Kunou was completely shocked by my moves. Described by a little girl that way, I felt a great hit to my self esteem.
"Truly, it is impossible for females to win against the Sekiryuutei. Unless they have an iron will and the ability to ignore shame... It's truly difficult for young women. True to the name of the Chichiryutei, I now witness the legendary breast skills. But these are useless against males."
The elegant gentleman spoke. Even though... it was a calm analysis, it still made me feel embarrassed.
"Who would want to use them on men!?"
I retorted forcefully! The man smiled as if very much amused!
The man smiled and turned to the rest of the Hero faction to speak.
"Everyone be careful. He is the Sekiryuutei. The least talented in all history and lacking in strength -- however, he doesn't indulge in power and is a dangerous Sekiryuutei who doesn't lose control. A person who holds great power but does not fall to arrogance is one who has nothing to fear. Do not be careless."
Really, this is embarrassing, so much praise.
"...to be described that way by enemies."
Yes, it was the first time to be praised this way by enemies. No, it wasn't really praise, but more like a reminder... Still, it was the first time.
The man tilted his head slightly, hearing my words.
"Is that so? Current Sekiryuutei, in our view, you are far more dangerous than you realise. Similarly, your companion -- Vali is the same."
I-it felt like sitting on a pincushion! What is going on, this was the first time! Though Sairaorg-san also praised me, but even for the terrorists to say so...
These fellows who don't look down on me, are especially tricky!
"Next, I guess it's time for me to act."
The man made a step forward, and released his swords from his belt.
"A pleasure to meet you for the first time. Gremory servants. I am Sig, the descendant of the Hero Siegfried. My companions call me Siegfried. What you choose to call me is up to you."
The frail looking gentleman -- Siegfried's face, made Xenovia realise something as she showed shock and surprise.
"...I've felt I've seen you before somewhere. It was true after all?"
To Xenovia's question, Irina nodded.
"Yes, it must be. From the multiple demonic swords at his waist, there is no doubt."
...? What was going on? Since he had white hair, I could only be reminded of that person -- Freed.
"What's going on, you two? You know something about that handsome guy who's like a White Kiba?"
"White Kiba... That's going a bit far, Ise-san."
Don't say it like that, Kiba. It's just an example.
Xenovia responded to my query.
"That man is an exorcist -- a former colleague of Irina's and mine. A top warrior in the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches. 'Demonic Emperor Sig.' He has the same white hair as Freed because they were trained by the same organization. It seems to be the side effect of some kind of experiment..."
--! Exorcist! Someone related to the Church! By the way, then he's similar to Freed? Thinking of that guy makes me sick.
"Sig-san! You betrayed the Church -- betrayed Heaven!?"
Irina screamed. Siegfried's lips curled happily.
"I guess you can call it betrayal. I now belong to the Khaos Brigade, that's why."
Hearing those words, Irina became angry.
"...Why! Betraying the Church and joining an evil organization leads to eternal damnation!"
"...This is making my ears hurt."
"What's wrong with that? Even in my absense, the Church still has the strongest warrior. As long as that someone stays, the loss of me and the Durandal user Xenovia can be covered. However, who could have expected that person to become the Joker candidate for the Brave Saints? --Anyway, enough of the chitchat, aren't you sword wielders very capable? Xenovia the Durandal user, Shidou Irina the Ace of Michael the leader of the angels, and Kiba Yuuto of the holy demonic sword."
Challenging the swordsmen -- no, the three who were related to the Church, Siegfried's sword in his hand began to gather demonic power.
...This sword gave off a very unpleasant pulse. Demonic sword? It felt quite similar to Kiba's created swords.
--! Suddenly, Kiba's holy demonic sword slashed with god-like speed.
Blocking the holy demonic sword directly, there was no damage at all to the unpleasant demonic power gathered upon Siegfried's sword.
"Demonic Emperor Sword Gram. For the strongest demonic sword, a strike from the holy demonic sword was nothing."
The two entered close-quartered combat... It has been quite a while since the last time I witnessed Kiba fighting so intensely with someone!
The two swiftly retreated and readied their stance. Immediately they began clashing violently, creating sparks everywhere.
"...A match for Kiba... No!"
Gradually, Kiba was being suppressed, and a rare serious expression could be seen on Kiba's face! God speed Kiba's movements were -- being captured! With movements and slashing attacks faster than the eye could follow, the opponent was still keeping up in a composed and matter-of-fact manner. Can he clearly see through that kind of speed...!
Even when he pretended to attack, none of Kiba's feints were successful in baiting Siegfried!
On the other hand, he used the minimum necessary movement to evade Kiba's attacks. When he thrust the demonic sword in his hand, Kiba had to dodge with his full attention, there was no room for counter-attacking!
...Even Kiba in Balance Breaker was being dominated...!
One of the Hero faction explained to the stupefied me.
"In our organisation, though they reside in separate factions, 'Holy Royal Sword' Arthur and 'Demonic Emperor Sword' Siegfried are equally renowned. Holy demonic sword Kiba is not their match."
Equal to that Arthur? That guy, who easily toyed with Fenrir's child! T-then Kiba now--
Though I worried, someone appeared to join in their duel -- Xenovia.
Slashing without hesitation from the side, she began to assist Kiba.
"Kiba! You cannot win alone! Even against your wishes, I have to participate!"
At this moment, Kiba set aside his pride as a swordsman, and attacked simultaneously with Xenovia.
"I will join in too!"
From the outskirts, Irina also entered the battle, forming a three on one situation.
Xenovia's dual wielding, Kiba's holy demonic sword, Irina's sword of light, the three of them attacked at once!
It was no longer possible to capture the speeding blade tips with my eyes as the four of them battled with intensity... But even against three opponents, Siegfried only used a single sword!
Kiba's god speed created afterimages as he repeatedly tried to disrupt Siegfried's attacks from blind angles. From above, Xenovia was slashing down with a massive holy sword aura! Furthermore, Irina was gliding through the air rapidly as she thrust her sword of light towards the back of Siegfried's hand!
This simultaneous attack--!
I was certain of victory. However, Siegfried flipped his hand and casually blocked Irina's attack without even turning his head back!
At the same time, he drew another sword from his waist using his free hand.
With a flash of silver -- one of Xenovia's downward slashing swords was broken!
That was the holy sword Kiba created! With a fantastic sound like that of glass shattering, it was destroyed!
Siegfried calmly spoke.
"--Balmung. This is the power of one strike from the demonic sword of Norse legends."
--! Another demonic sword! However, Kiba's dead angle attack still hasn't ended! There was an opening and it shouldn't be possible to evade, for both of Siegfried's arms were already wielding demonic swords! With a horizontal flash, Kiba sliced towards his abdomen. In that instant--
The sound of metal.
Kiba's holy demonic sword was just stopped by the demonic sword Siegfried drew out from its sheath!
"Nothung. This is also a legendary demonic sword."
The third demonic sword! No, what was even more surprising was that Siegfried's two arms were already wielding swords, and couldn't possibly hold a third sword. His two arms were occupied.
However, a third arm has grown from his back to draw that sword, blocking Kiba's attack!
...W-what was that arm!? An arm covered by things resembling silver scales. It was almost like my left arm when it became the arm of a dragon's!
This arm grew out from Siegfried's back!
Siegfried laughed at our immense surprise.
"This dragon arm? It's Twice Critical, a very common Sacred Gear but mine is a little different, a subspecies. It grows something like a dragon's arm from my back."
--Twice Critical! I've heard of it! An inferior Sacred Gear ranking below my Boosted Gear? A Sacred Gear that should be in the shape of a gauntlet... A subspecies! Growing an arm out of one's back!
Siegfried held two demonic swords in each hand, with the arm on his back holding a third. ...A three sword stance!
Witnessing this scene, Kiba's expression became even more serious.
"...We are both Sacred Gear users. However, even ignoring the attributes of his swords, am I unable to surpass him even in the use of the Sacred Gear...?"
"By the way, I haven't entered Balance Breaker yet."
-- A harsh reminder! Constantly repeating their experiments, members of the Hero faction could not possibly be unable to use their Balance Breakers.
Dominating Kiba, Xenovia and Irina all at once in just his normal state! This guy is too strong!
With a rustling thud.
Sensei landed in front of us who were caught in a crisis. At the same time, Cao Cao returned to the centre of the Hero faction. As their attacks repeated, they circled back to their starting point? I took a glance downstream at where they had come from -- the ground has turned into a smoking wasteland!
Waaaaaaaah! From a while back there had been loud crashing noises which made me suspect dramatic occurrences. Arashiyama's scenery has been entirely destroyed!
Sensei knew this was an artificial space, so he mercilessly used his biggest spears of light...
A few spots on Sensei's armour had shattered... The black wings were also in a messy state.
Cao Cao's uniform and Han Chinese attire was also torn in many places... However I find it more amazing that a human did so well against the legendary Fallen Angel Governor! ...Was this the Hero faction... heroes. ...True Longinus...
"Don't worry, Ise. Neither of us went all out. We were just testing each other out a bit."
Sensei's so-called little testing, resulted in the complete destruction of the area downstream!
Cao Cao cracked his neck audibly, and said:
"What a great devil servant team. I guess these are the servants of Rias Gremory, well known amongst the new generation of devils. We were intending to have a fight without exerting ourselves, but you guys turned out with a great performance. If my theories are correct, the one who gathered this unnaturally strong group is Hyoudou Issei -- your power. Despite your lack of natural talent or demonic powers, I believe your ability to attract others by holding dragon powers is topnotch amongst all the past Sekiryuutei. Look, isn't the dragon gathering power right now? It is truly conspicuous in both good and bad situations. As all kinds of legendary existences attack, and you encounter each of the dragon kings, and gather all these Chichiryuutei supporters. These are all evidence of that. Even in the absence of their King, you handled the situation and organised the servants with outstanding calmness. Naive and flawed arrangements... but nonetheless you may turn out to be a terrifying opponent if you train well in the future."
I have never considered such things. Everything that has happened so far... was because of me?
Cao Cao's spear pointed at me.
"That's why, we don't intend to make the same mistakes as the Old Maou faction. We truly believe, in the future, you will become the most dangerous Sekiryuutei. This applies to the other servants as well. If we eliminate you all now, perhaps we may even gather some useful data for analysis."
Is that how they saw my, no, our developments? It was true that there was a fundamental difference in the way they treated us, unlike the Old Maou faction who saw us as a bunch of stupid kids.
...Frustrating! How do I handle opponents like these! Up until now, I've only faced opponents who treated me as a fool, thus providing openings...
Sensei questioned Cao Cao.
"One more question. What are the motives of your Hero faction?"
Cao Cao narrowed his eyes and said:
"Governor of the Fallen Angels. You may find it surprising, but it is incredibly simple, we just want to know the limits of what it means to be 'human' and challenge it. Furthermore, humans will be the ones to defeat devils, dragons, fallen angels and other supernatural races. --No, definitely, it is humans who will win."
"You want to be heroes? After all, you are the descendants of, cough, heroes."
Cao Cao raised an index finger and pointed to the sky above his head.
"--This is just a little challenge presented by frail humans. Under the heavens, how far can humans go, that is what we wish to try."
...As humans, how far can they go... Was this their objective?
No, there must be some other motives.
Sensei sighed and said to me.
"...Ise, do not be too careless. This guy is an enemy worse than the Old Maou faction -- Shalba Beelzebub. All your opponents here are very strong, especially this guy who is just as dangerous as Vali."
The same as Vali... Vali also gave off this feeling of having no bottom line.
Possessing the ultimate holy spear was also quite a threat...
As Sensei gathered our group, the Hero faction has also shifted their formation. All this time, they have endlessly created more antimonsters. It really seemed limitless. Also, the Hero faction held back without attacking.
However, our opponents seemed to be ready. --It looks like the second wave will be the real battle. They have more Sacred Gear users, right? And there were also many who could enter Balance Breaker.
I keep getting swept into these crises. Will that goddess show up to save me again? No, it's not right, I sure don't want to receive direct protection from the great God of Breasts...
Just as I was thinking--
Right in between us and the Hero faction, a shining magic circle appeared... A crest never seen before.
Sensei seemed to know. Who? A fallen angel? As we watched with surprise at the light before us -- an extremely cute foreign girl appeared, dressed like a mage.
...A-a girl? I was shocked.
The girl wore a huge hat and a cape. It really was the attire of a mage... Her age looked like a middle schooler's? Her body was quite slim.
The girl turned towards us who had gathered around in a circle, and deeply bowed her head.
Smiling radiantly towards us.
"Nice to meet you all for the first time. I am Le Fay. Le Fay Pendragon. The mage belonging to Vali's team. Please take good care of me."
--! Va-Va-Vali's team! Why, why would Vali's teammate come to this place!?
Sensei asked the girl -- Le Fay.
"...Pendragon? Who are you to Arthur?"
"Yes, Arthur is my elder brother, he always takes care of me."
That cool gentleman's younger sister! To think he had such a cute little sister!
Sensei scratched his chin and said:
"So Le Fay. Like that legendary witch, Morgana Le Fay? It has been said that Morgana and the hero king, Arthur Pendragon were blood related..."
There were twinkling stars in Le Fay's eyes as she looked towards me.
She walked to me and held out her hand.
"I-I-I am a fan of the Chichiryuutei, the Oppai Dragon! I-if you're not too busy, can you shake hands with me!"
I was completely taken by surprise and didn't know how to react. For something like that to be said in the middle of this tense battle...
Still, I went "thanks..." and shook her hand.
Extremely happy... Hmm... What did this child want?
Cao Cao's side was also shocked and puzzling over the matter, very much troubled... Finally, it was Cao Cao who scratched his head and asked.
"So it's Vali's side, what's the matter?"
Without any hesistation, Le Fay responded to Cao Cao in all smiles.
"Yes! I came to bring a message from Vali-sama! 'I thought I told you not to disturb me!' -- that's the message oh♪ --You need to be punished for trying to put us under surveillance oh~~"
Immediately following Le Fay's adorable announcement, the ground began to shake violently!
What was this shaking! An earthquake? It was already hard to keep standing! Asia and Kunou were unable to maintain their balance and fell onto their bottoms.
It was the sound of something sliced open! Looking towards there, the ground had swollen up, as if something huge was about to burst through! Tearing the ground apart and creating clouds of dust, what appeared was--!
A massive giant-like thing was roaring!
What what what what what what what what what was that thing! That huge... enormous thing like a giant!?? Stone? Rock? It wasn't clear what kind of material but it was definitely constructed out of inorganic material. Its arms and legs were also huge!
At least ten metres! Sensei looked up to the giant and yelled!
Le Fay answered Sensei lightly.
"Yes. This is one of the strong characters in our team, Gogmagog or Gogz-kun♪"
Gogz-kun♪, there's such a cute nickname!?
"Sensei, that moving rock giant is..."
Sensei explained to me. Sorry Sensei, I keep needing clarifications from you today!
"Gogmagog. Something like a gargoyle that was placed in the dimensional gap. Floating in a state of suspension in the dimensional gap. It seems to be a mass produced weapon of destruction created by ancient gods... They should all have been deactivated by now."
A golem! I see! So that's why it felt so inorganic!
"That kind of thing exists in the dimensional gap!? What deactivated, that guy is moving!"
"Ah, this is the first moving one I have encountered, I have too many questions. Though it was said that they were deactivated and placed in the dimensional gap... But to be moving! This makes me so interested...!"
Oh no, it's here again, Sensei's eyes were shining like a child's... Sensei keeps getting delighted by things like divine creations, ancient weapons and such stuff.
However, he immediatly recovered and started muttering to himself.
"I see. Last time what Vali was checking out when hanging around the dimensional gap was not just Great Red..."
Le Fay answered Sensei's concerns.
"Yes, it was Vali-sama who detected Gogz-kun's existence. Ophis-sama once mentioned discovering this giant that could move in the dimensional gap, so we went there again to search for it."
"Hey. So what other fellows are in the team...?"
I asked Le Fay. Other than Bikou, Fenrir, and this golem now. Knowing I will be fighting Vali one day... It really made me uneasy.
"Yes... Currently, there's Vali-sama, Bikou-sama, brother Arthur, Kuroka-san, Fenrir-chan, Gogz-kun as well as me, seven in total."
So I see. Only seven of them. That was all? But still, it's too much! That Vali, he keeps gathering all these criminals!
"But Sensei. If Great Red is there, why would the dimensional gap have that kind of giant..."
"The dimensional gap is quite troublesome to handle, but there is actually quite a bit of leeway. All Great Red wants to do is swim around freely in the dimensional gap, and does not pose any real threat. He is a special existence so none of the factions place Great Red in their rankings and categories. All he cares is to swim freely unhindered in the dimensional gap..."
Just as Sensei spoke to this point, the golem raised its giant fists at the Hero faction.
Accompanied by an incomparably loud sound of smashing, the golem smashed Togetsukyou in one hit!
Oh nooooooooooo! That is the famous sight at Arashiyama! Thankfully, this is just a dimension that replicates Arashiyama!
The gargoyle's attack slaughtered massive numbers of antimonsters while the members of the Hero faction retreated, hiding on the other side of the river.
"Hahahaha! Vali's angry! Looks like our surveillance was discovered!"
Cao Cao laughed in a loud voice, and pointed his spear at the golem.
The tip of the spear suddenly extended, piercing the shoulder of the golem!
The giant golem lost balance and fell onto the ground! Wow, what an impact! That golem must have been heavy! Just by falling over, it created such a huge shockwave, and everything nearby was shaking!
That spear, knocked over the giant golem with just one hit! It can extend, and can also produce an energy blade, so many functions!
However, the bridge was wrecked. We can only fly across, right?
As I considered the next step, a figure entered my view on the shore. In front of the Hero faction, there was someone shaking and staggering, unable to walk properly.
A silver-haired woman -- Rossweisse-san!
"...Hey. Itsh sssooo noisshy people can't ssssleep (hic!) properly here!"
--Still drunk!? And angry!
The arrival of the drunk made the members of the Hero faction look at one another in puzzlement. However, they intended to attack, whether or not she was affiliated with the Gremory servants or not!
T-this is bad! In that drunken state, Rossweisse-san was in danger!
I must go over to help! --As I thought that, we all rushed forward. However...
"Whatssh the matter? You want a fight? Sho! I'll ssshhhow y'all the power of old man Odin's former bodyguard valkyrie!"
As Rossweisse-san yelled, an unbelievable number of magic circles appeared all around her. It wasn't just ten or twenty!
"Tassste my Norssssh magic which countersssss all attributessss, all fairiessss, and all divine exisssstencessss!"
From the terrifying number of magic circles, out spewed a frightening number of magical attacks which filled the sky, changed their trajectories, and finally fell upon the Hero faction like a heavy rainstorm!
W-woah! This was unbelievable! Fire, light, water, thunder and magical attacks with all sorts of attributes swept everything aside, and approached the Hero faction!
Whether houses, shops, roads or electrical poles, everything turned into dust and disappeared without a trace!
...Though I already knew she was a master in magic, ah, I never thought the great valkyrie-san could blow away an entire town!
Thinking about it, it should have been obvious from the way she took part in the battle against Loki.
B-Buchou, has really gathered someone powerful... If that's the case, she will really shine in the Rating Game.
Mist appeared into view. Though it felt like the magical attacks were about to hit the Hero faction, but a youth wearing a uniform with a feathered cape produced mist from his hand and deflected all the magic!
--! That was the mist user! He can defend against that kind of magical attack!
Mist slowly spread from the mist user's hand, eventually covering the entire Hero faction.
Cao Cao spoke from within the mist.
"There are a few too many interferences -- however, it was a fun opening ceremony. Governor Azazel!"
As if enjoying things, that guy announced to us.
"Tonight we will be using Kyoto's special leylines and the kyuubi leader, and turn Nijou Castle into a great massive experiment! In order to stop us, please come and participate!"
The mist thickened. The mist that started out beneath our feet spread to the chests and approached our faces.
And then slowly, our entire view was blocked by the mist and everything disappeared.
"Hey, everyone has returned to the original reality! Put away your weapons!"
Sensei reminded us. We were finally back at the real Arashiyama! T-this was bad. I immediately released my armour--
In the blink of an eye, the mist disappeared -- and we were back at the crowded streets next to Togetsukyou. Other than us, the tourists crossed the bridge as if nothing had happened.
...The bridge was intact. Things were back to the original world.
"Hey, Ise, what's going on? You're making a super-scary face?"
Matsuda stared at my face. I-I see. We had just crossed Togetsukyou.
"...Nothing, nothing at all."
Having answered, I exhaled deeply. All the other servants had serious expressions as well. The battle just now had been far too dangerous. It was impossible to revert our moods so easily.
...Le Fay was gone. Same with that giant thing. Did they disappear at the same time as the mist?
Sensei angrily struck an electrical pole.
"...Speaking rubbish...! Experimenting on Kyoto...? Don't underestimate us, kids!"
Wow... Sensei was really mad! I haven't seen Sensei this angry for a long time.
"...Mother. Mother didn't do anything... but why..."
Kunou's body trembled. I could only stroke her head, unable to do anything else.
Cao Cao's sudden attack, and his announcement of the experiment at Nijou castle.
Buchou, looks like our school trip has come to a totally unexpected climax.
Life 4: Showdown, Gremory Group VS Heroes Faction! In Kyoto
"Ah, I really stuffed myself! They even had a buffet combining Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine. We are so lucky to be students of Kuou Academy!"
"That is so true."
After dinner and soaking in the bath, Matsuda and Motohama lazed about in their room, their faces filled with happy satisfaction.
After the battle at Togetsukyou, we visited Nijou Castle and then returned to the hotel.
I was now in their room. Tomorrow will be the last day of the trip which will mostly be buying souvenirs to bring back. Thus, we decided to use this room to prepare the flat-screen TV for reviewing the photos we have taken so far.
"Pardon our intrusion -- the beautiful quartet has arrived after a bath, perverts."
Kiryuu announced as she led Asia and the rest into the room, all in their sleepwear.
"Oh oh oh! Asia-chan in pajamas after a bath is the best! Let's begin!"
Matsuda enthusiastically pressed "play" and the slideshow began on the TV.
The first photos were taken on the bullet train, then Kyoto station, and the hotel. Other than that there was Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera and everywhere else. All the scenery we photographed over the past three days in Kyoto was displayed one by one on the TV.
"That was the time when Motohama almost fell down from the stairs."
"Matsuda, isn't that the time you tried to swallow the snacks at the booth all at once and they got stuck in your throat?"
"I say, you two, stop staring at girls from other schools with lewd gazes every time. For you guys to bring those perverted expressions all the way to Kyoto... It really looks bad on our school."
Everyone burst out laughing whenever Matsuda, Motohama and Kiryuu shared their memories.
-- This was the precious school trip experience.
As I immersed myself in the joy of the review party, I quietly clenched my fist.
No matter what happens, I will face the next day with everyone.
And everyone will go back together, back to Kuou Academy --
After enjoying the photos, it was bedtime. The Gremory group plus Irina, the Sitri servants, Azazel-sensei and Leviathan-sama all gathered in my room.
We were now using my room to discuss tonight's upcoming events. Tonight the Heroes Faction's experiment was going to be undertaken at Nijou Castle.
...By the way, the room was too small, so everyone had to stand. That was to be expected. After all, we were fitting more than ten people in a room the size of eight tatami mats.
Xenovia and Irina were participating in the discussion while sitting in the closet... You two like that narrow space so much?
After being so drunk during the day, Rossweisse-san's face was quite pale but she still insisted on joining. ...Though I heard that she drank her own sobering medicine and recovered. However, she still doesn't look too well.
Sensei glanced at everyone and then began. A map of the entire Kyoto area was spread out over the centre of the room.
"So, let's start explaining our battle plan. The area centred around Nijou Castle and Kyoto station is now in a state of high alert. All devils and fallen angels stationed in Kyoto have been mobilized to search for suspicious characters. The Kyoto youkai are also providing us with assistance. Though we still haven't confirmed the movements of the Heroes Faction, we have successfully detected an ominous presence concentrating at Nijou Castle as the centre."
"An ominous presence?"
Kiba asked Sensei.
"Yes, from ancient times, Kyoto was a city constructed using the principles of Yin Yang and Feng Shui like a large scale magic circle. As a result, there are many special power spots, like Seimei Shrine's Seimei Well, Suzumushi Temple's Kofuku-Jizo, Fushimi Inari's pine tree Hizamatsu-san and others. Locations with incredible auras are too many to count. However, the flow has currently gone turbulent and is gathering at Nijou Castle."
Saji swallowed a mouthful of spit and asked.
"What, what will happen?"
"No idea, but definitely not something good. Since they plan on using the kyuubi leader who controls the ley-lines of this city to carry out some kind of experiment. We will use this key point as the basis of the entire plan."
Hearing Sensei's words, everyone nodded. And then Sensei officially began explaining the plan to us.
"First are the Sitri servants. You will be on guard in the area around Kyoto station. Guarding this hotel is also your job. The hotel itself already has a strengthened barrier, so if anything happens there will be a safeguard. Still if anyone suspicious approaches, you Sitri servants will be responsible for handling them."
The entire Sitri group replied.
"Next is the Gremory group plus Irina. I'm really sorry for putting you all on the spot every time, but you guys will be the main offence. In a short while, you will advance towards Nijou Castle. To be honest, the number of opponents and their powers are still unclear at this point. It could very well turn out to be a dangerous gamble. Your first priority is to rescue Yasaka-hime. Once you succeed, pull out immediately. After all, they have already announced they are using Yasaka-hime for an experiment. ...Still, there is a high chance that it was just a bluff, though with Cao Cao's attitude it could very well be true. --Perhaps this was the reason why he was so eager to have us involved."
"T-then do we have enough battle power?"
I asked. Though we are the main offence, even with Irina we only had five people. Recalling the battle power of the Heroes Faction, it was clearly not enough!
"Don't worry, I already enlisted some anti-terrorist experts beforehand. They have been the strongest reinforcements in many bloody battles against the Khaos Brigade. With them the chances of success will be raised substantially."
"Just think of them as exceptional beings for now. This is good news."
Sensei smiled happily, the corner of his lips rising. Since Sensei said so, they must be really powerful, right?
Who could it be? It can't be Buchou or Akeno-san, right?
Or even the Satan Rangers? ...Impossible. But then again in this kind of situation, please come, Satan Rangers!
"Finally, some bad news. This time, we only obtained three portions of Phoenix Tears."
"Only three portions!? That is totally not enough!? And our enemies are terrorists!"
Saji cried out in terror and asked Sensei.
"Yes, I understand. But due to the Khaos Brigade's terrorist activities all over the world, tears have been in great demand. All the strategic strongholds of the various factions have less than ideal supplies. From the very beginning, tears were never something that could be mass produced easily. The Phoenix family has been extremely busy. What was originally a valuable commodity has become even more precious with jacked up prices. Amongst devils, it has even been suggested that the Rating Game should amend its rules about the usage of tears. You should know this as it may affect your future Rating Games."
...Wow-- Things have really become serious. However, this was only natural. The more terrorist activity there is, the more people will end up getting hurt. Hence, as a recovery tool, it was natural for tear demand to rise. Rather, it should be said that it was inevitable.
"This is a secret, but now the various factions have banded together, and redoubled efforts to find users of Twilight Healing. Though it is a rare Sacred Gear, it is not unique and our investigations have discovered there were several others apart from Asia. Finding them will be a great advantage as well as denying the Khaos Brigade their use. Letting them gain powerful healers will be very unfavourable. However, the current Beelzebub -- Ajuka has also been carrying out personal research on new ways of recovery... That's about all I can say. There is also the Grigori's own research on recovery type artificial Sacred Gears. In fact, Asia has been secretly helping us out on our research and promising results have been obtained repeatedly."
I-I had no idea all along! Since it was a secret I guess they had to keep me in the dark... So I see, Asia has also been helping the Underworld behind the scenes. What a great girl! She is truly my honour and my pride!
Asia has insisted on training all along, so if a good opportunity arises, will she one day become a Balance Breaker user?
I really wanted to know what she could do when that happens.
"So that's the situation. These tears -- will be divided to give two portions to the main offence, the Gremory team. One for the Sitri. Please use them with care."
Everyone answered. And then Sensei turned to Saji.
"Saji, you will fight along with the Gremory servants."
Saji pointed at himself. Though it was an unexpected arrangement, he immediately understood his mission.
"Yes, that is correct. Your Vritra -- Dragon King state will be very useful. The black flames can seal the movements of enemies as well as absorb their power. Just like the fight against Loki last time, you will support the Gremory group."
"That, that's not a problem. But I will easily lose my consciousness and go out of control in that state."
"No problem. Ise will help you regain control like the last time against Loki. Ise, just think of some words to say during that time -- since you are the Heavenly Dragon, show me how to control the Dragon Kings."
After all, I've done it once already. When the time comes, I will help Saji.
Irina raised her hand.
"Have the other factions been informed?"
This was a pressing concern. What was the situation now? Earlier, I was barred from reporting to Buchou.
"Of course. Outside Kyoto, large numbers of devils, angels, fallen angels and youkai have gathered. In order to prevent the escape of the culprits, a barricade has been set. If possible, it would be best to capture them all using this opportunity."
Leviathan-sama added to Sensei's words and continued.
"I will be in charge of directing and coordinating the forces outside Kyoto☆ If any bad kid tries to run, the various factions and I will destroy them."
Though Leviathan-sama spoke in a relaxed tone, I knew that if a situation arises, she can really go all out...
"Also, I have contacted Sona at Kuou Academy. They are willing to provide whatever support they can offer."
Wow, President and Vice-President have also begun to take action on their side!
Then that leaves our side's onee-sama and dear juniors...
"Sensei, what about our Buchou and the rest?"
Sensei furrowed his brow at my question.
"Yes, I wanted to tell them... But it looks like the time is not right. They are currently back in Gremory territory."
Sensei nodded in response.
"There are reports of riots in some city located within Gremory territory. They have most likely gone to handle that."
R-riots! Could it be the Khaos Brigade! And only Buchou and the rest of the club! I was worried to the extreme, but Sensei gave me a wry smile.
"They were incited by some Old Maou supporters. It looks like there was a group which did not have direct communications with Khaos Brigade. Even so, their causing trouble is an undeniable truth, so the girls have taken action. After all, it will be their territory in the future. --Also, I have received news that Grayfia-san was participating. Yes, since Grayfia-san is taking action, those rioters can kiss their asses goodbye. I don't know if it's accurate or not, but it is rumoured that even the current family head's wife, Lady Gremory, was present at the scene. --Once infuriated, the Gremory ladies are quite a force to be reckoned with."
Sensei deliberately shivered as he spoke.
Ah, so not only Grayfia-san, but even Buchou's mother has taken action!
Buchou, Buchou's mother, Grayfia-san. Knowing it's those three is really reassuring. Perhaps because all of the Gremory ladies give off such a reliable feeling.
"Ara, 'The Flaxen-haired Madame of Extinction', the 'Crimson-haired Ruin Princess', and the 'Silver-haired Queen of Annihilation' have gathered in one spot☆ Hmph, that will teach those rioters a good lesson."
Leviathan-sama happily listed out three very ominous titles! Extinction, ruin, annihilation... What were these, they sounded like 'Untouchable Queen' or something like that.
...T-he Gremory ladies all have these fearsome nicknames... Looks like Buchou's father and Sirzechs-sama's private lives must be very subdued under their wives...
"...You too, will have a worrisome future."
Sensei placed his hand on my shoulder and repeatedly nodded.
...W-what was the meaning of that? Though I don't quite understand it, but I will never make Buchou angry? P-probably...
Sensei cleared his throat, and turned to everyone once more:
"So these are the plans I proposed. I will also search for those terrorists directly from the skies. So everyone will be taking their positions in one hour. If you find anything suspicious, report to one another immediately. --And try not to die. Until the moment you get home, a school trip is still a school trip. --We will protect Kyoto with our lives. Understood?"
The strategy meeting ended with everyone's response.
After the battle preparations, I came to the lobby. I had agreed to meet Asia and the rest here.
So no one else was here yet. --Oh, Sensei and Rossweisse-san were sitting in the seats over there.
Sensei stood up after spotting me.
"Ise, come over here."
What was it? I was feeling curious when Sensei took something out from his pocket. --It was something like a red jewel that gave off light. Sensei spoke:
"It was just now. There was another molester incident just outside the hotel. I happened to be on scene, so I beat up the guy who wanted to fondle women's breasts... And then this thing came out from his body. I was thinking if it could be..."
...A-a jewel from a molester's body...? Why are you giving it to me? By the way, ever since we arrived in Kyoto, molester incidents seemed to have become especially frequent.
[ That jewel is -- ]
Ddraig's voice sounded out for Sensei and me to hear.
"What is it, Ddraig?"
[ Oh, This came from the box and escaped from your body during the bullet train ride. ]
What, what are you saying -- ! It's this!? This jewel!?
"Just as I thought. We analysed this jewel and found within it your energy."
Sensei nodded as if his suspicions were confirmed.
I had reported to Sensei about what happened when I dived into the Sacred Gear on the first day. Though Sensei tried using his resources to help me look for it, nothing came out of it.
I received the jewel from Sensei.
...Holding it in my hand, there wasn't any obvious change...? What was going on, Ddraig?
[ Yes, no mistake about it. I can feel our pulse from it. No, wait... What is this. ]
However, Ddraig's voice suddenly became depressed.
[ ...I have investigated a bit about this jewel... The contents of the box, your potential... It has been passed around Kyoto through all sorts of different people. -- B-by touching others' breasts. ]
...! Y-you, what are you saying...?
I began to doubt my ears as I heard those incomprehensible words, but beside me, Sensei was laughing wryly as if he figured it out.
"Oh -- so that's why. The numerous molester incidents these past few days, it is your potential -- this jewel has been using people as a medium to pass around Kyoto. Whether man or woman, as long as they come into contact with this jewel, they become obsessed with touching breasts."
"R-really!? ...How can this be, so the series of molester incidents in Kyoto are all due to my potential..."
Because I am the Oppai Dragon, because I really love breasts, so the potential carried in the box became related to breasts...?
The first one was definitely Matsuda. He sat in front of me on the bullet train and wanted to grope Motohama's chest.
And then it has been passing between different people in Kyoto and finally landed here. --Something like that.
Let me first apologise to all the molesters and victims. Actually, all the molesters turn out to be victims in this case!
"So Ddraig, what's the situation with this jewel?"
After all, so much has happened before it came back to me, there should be something, right? I must have gained something, right? But--
[ ...No idea. Power is definitely stronger... But, but power gained from touching the chest of various people in this city, this... Is this really OK, your potential... ]
Don't say any more! Even I myself, have no idea! Who could have thought things would turn out like this!
"...To have made so much trouble for the people of Kyoto... Ise-kun really must find a way to compensate all these victims who became arrested as molesters."
Rossweisse-san solemnly declared. Of course, since they were innocently arrested, they must be helped or else that would be totally unfair!
"I will think of a way. But I wonder if Ise's potential is trying to gather some kind of special power? For example, Ise's body contains something other than demonic and dragon power, perhaps something like 'breast power'...? If it's Ise it could very well be possible."
Sensei spoke softly, deep in thought. 'Breast power'... does such a thing exist?
"Really, trying to save people on one hand, while creating trouble for others. You truly are impossible to comprehend, Ise-kun... Hmmmmm, I feel like vomiting..."
Despite covering her mouth with her hands trying not to puke, Rossweisse-san was relentless in criticising. Sensei sighed.
"Are you ok? But this goes for you too, getting all drunk and out of control, and vomiting non-stop back at the hotel, I feel like you're not in any position to lecture others..."
"I-I don't want to be criticised by you! It's all because you were drinking in that kind of place in the day time... Oooh, I'm puking..."
"Anyway, I apologise. So be it, are you really ok?"
"...Let me go to the washroom."
Ah, Rossweisse-san ran into the washroom after all! Is she really ok?
"...The vomiting valkyrie. Anyway, as the owner why don't you hold on to that jewel, Ise. Who knows if its power might leak for some reason or other."
Said Sensei. ...True, it's probably best for me to hold on to it. I can't make more trouble for the residents of Kyoto!
But then, what should I do to make the jewel react? And it looked like Ddraig has no idea either, so I'll just keep it for now? Welcome home, my cute potential.
Ah, that's right. I had one more thing I wanted to ask Sensei before the battle.
"What is it?"
"What kind of person is Cao Cao? I mean, the one in Records of the Three Kingdoms."
This was because I didn't know the Records of the Three Kingdoms very well. However, if the opponent was the descendant of Cao Cao, I'd better find out a bit more beforehand.
"So, how do you interpret him?"
Sensei asked me instead. I scratched my face as I explained what I knew.
"...Uh, he was Liu Bei's opponent, a villain, right?"
He was the enemy leader who stood in Liu Bei's way--
That was the image presented in the manga and puppet shows I saw on television when I was young.
Sensei smiled wryly after hearing my response.
"Your impressions are coloured by the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Though the real Cao Cao did kill many innocents, he is responsible for important political developments, and his most important feature is gathering and developing human talent."
"Yes. No matter their family background, Cao Cao would use anyone as long as they were capable. Due to this, the state of Wei became a strong meritocracy. The Heroes faction's Cao Cao has also set his eyes on gathering talent, but ironically, with strong prejudice. It is reported that he recruited all sorts of special ability users. However, the current Cao Cao differs from his ancestor in his focus on humans. With neither devils nor angels under him, he gathers all kinds of talent, but limited to humans only. This is the only principle the Heroes Faction stubbornly maintains, and is most incomprehensible. And to reach their goals, they will even use brainwashing to create members for terrorism. To increase the number of Balance Breakers and develop Annihilation Maker through terrorism is going a bit too far."
Humans. I was a devil and my opponents were now humans. In this area, I seem to have accepted things quite openly in my battles.
What was surprising was that dilemmas like 'the enemy is human, but I am a devil now, but I used to be human too' did not occupy my mind at all.
My becoming a devil was already an unchangeable reality, and since I've been attracted by the devil lifestyle I have embraced my new life wholeheartedly and charged forward at full speed.
Since my lifespan was very long, one day I will have to say goodbye to all my human friends and family. This will be a painful thing, but it doesn't mean I will hesitate when my enemies are humans.
The Heroes Faction, that bunch. Were they humans who fought because they held deep beliefs in what it meant to be righteous or evil? After all, they are crowned with the description of "heroes."
Hmm, it really was difficult to understand...
However, terrorism is no good. Forcing people to do their bidding through brainwashing is too inhumane. No matter what the reason, from my perspective, such methods were "evil."
As I puzzled over this, Sensei questioned.
"What is it?"
"Not much, I was just thinking about what it meant to be human and what it meant to be a devil, questions I usually didn't think about... And also heroes. The Heroes Faction's official members are all descendants of heroes, and rival angels and devils in their physical capabilities, right? So what does it mean to be a "hero"? Ah, I don't mean the definition, I meant in terms of their existence."
Even as stupid as I was, I knew that the word hero carried within it the meaning of being a saviour. However, so-called "heroes" -- what made them different from ordinary humans? I have always wanted to know.
"What are called heroes are those who possess special powers or abilities. Logically, they should use these powers and abilities to benefit mankind through great accomplishments, or to defeat great evil. In other words, you can say that they have to be born with the power to become heroes. However, these guys here are just people born with Sacred Gears. So-called Sacred Gears, are what God granted to certain individuals for the purpose of mankind's salvation... But this doesn't mean that all Sacred Gear possessors will become heroes, nor does it mean they will gain happiness. Since 'born with the power to become heroes' is not equivalent to 'actually becoming heroes.' Amongst Sacred Gear possessors, there are many who abuse their power and become notorious."
People born with the power to become heroes -- how amazing. From my perspective, it sounded so enviable.
"Heroes. When I was still a human, an ordinary human, they were the idols I admired and aspired to be. Fighting heroes... Uh, I'm a devil now, as well as a dragon, so from the heroes' point of view, I'm the villain now, right?"
"Have you been thinking about the question of being a devil and turning into the enemy of heroes -- mankind? ...Hey, just think about what you want to become? What do you want to accomplish?"
Sensei asked. Without hesitation, I replied.
"I want to become an upper class devil, to become the harem king! Still, I will also work hard for Buchou and the other servants!"
"Isn't that great? Just work hard towards this goal. You can do it, right?"
As Sensei laughed, things become clear in my mind.
"Ah, so that's all it takes. Anyway, one more thing -- I will help Kunou's mother!"
That's right. That little girl was now crying and suffering. I must resolve this matter!
Sensei rubbed my head gently.
"You're fine as long as you stay like this. But other than you, if it's Asia and the others who are facing humans, they might hesitate. However, as long as you go forward, they will follow behind your footsteps. Just be yourself. This also matters for the growth of the other servants."
I see. The morale of the servants depended on me.
"Understood! I, Hyoudou Issei! Will now advance towards the enemies with my fellow comrades!"
I declared to Sensei, and then went to meet with my companions who had just arrived in the lobby.
As we were preparing to leave, we found the Sitri servants gathered at the hotel's automatic doors.
"Gen-chan, don't push yourself too hard."
"That's right, Gen-chan. We already agreed to go shopping together for the President tomorrow."
"Yes, Hanakai, Kusaka."
"Genshirou, show those terrorists the will of the Sitri servants."
"Please run away if it gets dangerous."
"I have been frequently training my escape skills, Meguri."
Saji's companions were encouraging him. I've heard that his relationship with his comrades has improved over the summer.
However, the key relationship with the President hasn't advanced... Uh, well I'm in pretty much the same situation.
As I sighed, Kiba placed his hand on my shoulder.
"Now that Buchou is not here, as substitute, our 'King' is you, Ise-kun."
"--! R-really! ... Whaaat!? I am 'King'!? Is this possible!?"
"What are you talking about? You've always aimed to become independent of Buchou in the future to become 'King' yourself. Under such circumstances it is natural for the servants to take orders from you, right?"
"Umm, ummm, I guess that's right..."
For me to substitute for Buchou's position? This was the first question entering my mind.
As I pondered, Kiba said to me:
"During the day in the battle at Togetsukyou, you already gave us orders, even though it was an emergency decision. Though your strategies and decisions may or may not have been the best possible, everyone came back safe and sound. So I believe they were good orders. --Hence, I would like you to continue directing us for tonight."
...Kiba. He approved my immature directions that I wracked my brains to come up with at that moment...
Xenovia joined in.
"That's right. Irina, Asia and I can better apply ourselves when given orders. Though you suddenly took charge during the day, you were able to get Buchou's team organised."
"Yes yes, but Ise-kun you were too impulsive, that's no good, got it?"
"That's right. Don't lose control."
Irina and Asia also chimed in.
"Since I only joined recently, I will let Ise-kun who is more senior in the team be in charge."
Even Rossweisse-san was agreeing... Umm, no problem, I guess?
...Everyone was paying attention to me, giving me advice, and worrying about me... Once again, I felt how wonderful the servants -- my companions were.
Ah ah, Buchou! I wish to continue staying in this team, overcoming trials and tribulations with everyone, advancing always!
Hmm? I couldn't help noticing the object Xenovia was carrying... It seemed to be a weapon wrapped in some kind of cloth covered with magical script--Ah, I think I got it.
Xenovia saw my expression and handed the weapon over for me to have a look.
"Oh, you wanted to ask about this, right? It just arrived from the Church. --The new and improved Durandal."
It was the sword after all! That's what I suspected since she had told me on the bullet train about Durandal being upgraded by the Church.
"Though I will have to use it in a real combat situation without a test run, that totally fits Durandal and my style, it'll be great."
I was interested in how much the sword has been powered up. After all, it was already renowned for its great power. If it became easier to control, stamina consumption and precision will be vastly improved.
"Sorry, I chatted too much."
Saji made an apologising gesture with his hands as he ran over to meet up with us. The other Sitri servants gave us words of encouragement like "we will leave the offence to you guys" or "let us welcome tomorrow together" and then we swiftly ran towards Kyoto station. The Gremory group plus Irina and Saji. This was the attacking team advancing towards Nijou Castle.
"Good, let's set off for Nijou Castle."
And so, we directly advanced towards the place Cao Cao indicated, Nijou Castle--
Leaving the hotel, we hurried towards Kyoto station.
At the station, we planned to take the next bus to Nijou Castle. Everyone was wearing the winter school uniform. Xenovia and Irina seemed to be wearing their church combat outfit underneath. If a situation came up, it would be easier for them to move once they took off the school uniform.
Rossweisse-san covered her mouth with her hands, battling with the urge to vomit rising from her stomach from time to time. She really didn't look too well. How much did she drink after all...?
During this trip, Rossweisse-san had revealed many of her formerly unseen sides. After we go back, I will never let her drink alcohol again.
--At the station, while we were waiting for the bus, something suddenly collided into my back.
"Sekiryuutei! I am coming too!"
The blond girl dressed in priestess' clothes -- Kunou. W-what was going on with her? Shouldn't you be staying in the youkai-filled inner capital?
"Hey, Kunou, why are you here?"
Riding upon my neck, she slapped my forehead with a series of smacks as she spoke.
"I want to rescue my mother too."
--! Hey, hey hey!
"This will be very dangerous, I hope that you can stay back and wait. Didn't our Maou Shoujo-sama and Fallen Angel Governor tell you already?"
"Yes they did, however! I-I want to go save my mother! Please! Take me along! I beg you!"
...To beg to such a degree. If I called Sensei right now, they would definitely send someone straight away to take Kunou back to a safe place... But it's not like I don't understand the feelings of this child.
Perhaps taking this child along may prove to improve the odds of saving the kyuubi leader?
OK, I will take responsibility -- Just as I decided to respect Kunou's feelings.
-- A light mist appeared from under our feet.
At the same time, a smooth warm feeling penetrated my entire body.
...! This feeling, I've experienced it once already during the day!
Yes, this was...! --Dimension Lost!
As I came to my senses, I saw the subway station platform before my eyes.
The sign revealed the name of the station to be "Kyoto," so this must be the Kyoto subway station.
...By the way, we got transferred again! We've been transferred like crazy today!
Surveying the area, there wasn't a single soul. Other than me -- no.
"...I-isn't this the subway station platform?"
Kunou was sitting on my shoulders. Looks like she got transferred together with me.
"Ah, looks like what happened during the day has occurred again."
"T-then, this is the alternate dimension created as the replica of Kyoto? Those guys' techniques are amazing!"
It was just as Kunou said. Surrounding us with mist without warning was already very alarming, but who could have expected them to recreate the entire area around Kyoto station just like the simulated space during the daytime...
My mobile phone rang -- it was Kiba. He also came to this place? By the way, phones actually worked!
"Hey hey, Kiba? Where are you now? Have you been transferred to this weird space as well?"
"Yes, we're at the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Rossweisse-san and Saji-kun are here too. You?"
"I'm with Kunou, at the subway platform of Kyoto station. Wait a second, let me check the map."
I let Kunou down from my shoulders, and took from my pocket the map that all the servants carried, spreading it out on the floor of the station platform.
...The Kyoto Imperial Palace was... here! Northeast of Nijou Castle. ...What, wait a minute.
"This dimension, can it be that vast? It happens to be comparable to the size of this map which is centred around Nijou Castle?"
"Yes, this dimension has recreated Kyoto's vast streets with Nijou Castle at its centre. Though one wouldn't be surprised at the battlegrounds of the Rating Game which are equally vast, it looks like the spellcaster has researched in depth the game fields of the Rating Game."
Well, I guess we can treat this as a rare chance for training before our next match. After all, there were few opportunities to take action in a space as vast as this.
"Kiba, we will set the gathering point at Nijou Castle, OK?"
"Yes, understood. Have you contacted Asia and the rest? I think they have also arrived in this dimension. We all seem to have been welcomed by our esteemed heroes."
"Ah, I will try calling from here. Why don't you try calling Sensei who is outside. Really, such a sudden welcome."
The conversation with Kiba ended. After that, I was able to reach Asia and the rest. The Church Trio seemed to be together. I felt relieved that Asia had Xenovia and Irina by her side. If Asia was alone, I would be so worried.
I also told them to meet at Nijou Castle.
Then Kiba called back again. It looks like it was impossible to reach Sensei outside. I also tried on my end, but it didn't work no matter what.
...How strange. Clearly we could call one other from within, but cannot make contact with the outside. Rossweisse-san explained through Kiba to me that, this dimension probably had a special barrier or spell preventing communications with outside... Yet allowing us to communicate with each other within it. Their intentions were mind boggling.
Continuing to ponder this wasn't going to yield any clues, so let me meet up with everyone first.
Now, I must hurry to Nijou Castle. After we toured it during the day, one of the ways of returning home to the hotel from Nijou Castle was to take the subway from near Nijou Castle and then switching to the tram to get back to Kyoto station. Currently, all I need to do is continue ahead following the subway line to reach the station in front of Nijou Castle.
In order to make it easier to move, I summoned the gauntlet and started the Balance Breaker countdown. Since we were brought here by the enemy, it was only natural to expect attacks.
[ Welsh Dragon Balance Breaker!!!!!!!!!! ]
Red light wrapped around my body, and the aura took the form of armour.
Seeing this scene unfold, Kunou couldn't help but be impressed.
"Hmm though I already saw it in the daytime, but the Heavenly Dragons' armour is truly red and beautiful, so this is the legendary dragon."
She patted my armour several times, and marvelled at it greatly. This curiosity was just like my other child fans. Though she spoke like a princess, she really was a little child at heart.
To think someone would take the mother away from this child. No matter what the reason, forcefully abducting the innocent is unforgivable.
"Kunou, I will definitely come up with a way to save your mother. Don't leave my side, I will protect Kunou carefully."
Hearing these words, Kunou -- her face went red.
"Mmmhmm! That sounds about right!"
Blushing. So cute! -- But just as we bantered, I suddenly felt the presence of hostility.
Looking at the front of the station platform, I found a man wearing the Heroes Faction uniform making his way towards me.
...His hostility was aimed at me. I must be his target.
He stopped once he neared me, and smiled.
"Good evening, Sekiryuutei, remember me?"
...Nope, no memory at all.
"My memory... is a little bad."
To my answer, the man smiled wryly.
"Well that's true, how could you remember a small fry like me? --But thanks to the power I gained that time, I can now fight against you."
--The man's shadow began to move as if it had a mind of its own.
Witnessing the scene, I recalled instantly. The owner of the shadows who wore a big black coat, freely controlled shadows, and could transmit attacks through the shadows of others--
"I've got it. You're the Sacred Gear possessor who attacked me in town using shadows."
Hearing my answer, the man showed a smile.
"Very correct. At that time, I was defeated by you guys most pitifully. However, it is different now. The regret, fear, and self-loathing from my defeat have brought me to a whole new level. Let me show you, the real shadow skills..."
A rustling sound...
I felt an indescribable sense of pressure. The shadows in the area near the man, the pillars, the automatic vending machine, etc., all of them started to squirm in a way that gave me goosebumps. And then the man muttered in a low voice.
A series of rustling sounds continued...
The presence given off by the man strengthened, and all the shadows from the surroundings gathered together to his side, surrounding his body. The shadows wrapped themselves around the man's entire body... And then, gradually, those shadows took form, becoming something shaped like armour over the man's body.
...Full bodied armour made of shadows? It was almost like my own Balance Breaker.
"--Similar to your own Balance Breaker. Isn't that what you are thinking?"
As if reading my mind, the man whispered joyfully.
"Yes, when defeated by you guys, I was filled with thoughts of increasing my defence. I felt myself wanting armour like yours. The Sekiryuutei's powerful offensive capability truly impressed upon me this much. This is my Sacred Gear Night Reflection's Balance Breaker, Night Reflection Death Cross. Come, Sekiryuutei, let me avenge my defeat!"
Every part of that shadow armour began to squirm as if it was alive. The shadows covered his face, leaving a pair of eyes staring sharply at me. It looked like the eyes of a monster...
Next... Since Asia was not here, I couldn't use promotion. Really, I was already unlucky before the battle began.
Oh well, this was a good chance to train. -- Let me try fighting without promotion.
...Looks like I've become more courageous, perhaps from all my real combat experience. The feeling of extreme nervousness has disappeared. No, the feeling of tension still exists, and my body was trembling.
However, this was not trembling due to fear. Perhaps due to fighting in the various matches and against Vali, Loki and other strong opponents, I neither feared nor faltered at the sight of my opponent entering Balance Breaker.
--After all, the one I trained against every day was Kiba, the one whose Balance Breaker was the holy demonic sword.
I clenched my fists, my back boosters shooting out magical power to accelerate as I charged at the enemy!
Swinging a left, I lunged at the man, attacking with great speed--
My attack passed right through his body! The man's body scattered like smoke or mist, and at the moment of impact, there was no feeling of the punch connecting! My opponent looked completely unhurt... The feeling was like penetrating mist.
I swiftly turned around, charged at him and sent a flying kick at his back.
Again, this kind of attack simply passed right through his body! Returning to my starting position, I adjusted my stance... My opponent was still totally unharmed.
"Don't bother directly attacking this shadow armour, it's useless."
The man spoke with mocking tones.
I see. Due to the shadow armour covering his entire body, directly attacking him was ineffective.
Though I understood that fact, my only strength was direct attacks!
I sprayed the area with a series of Dragon Shot attacks!
My Dragon Shot disappeared when it touched the man's body! It did not attack him directly, but seemed to be sucked into him...
I instantly had a premonition -- that's the guy's original ability!
By the time I was aware, my own scattered Dragon Shots were being fired back at me from various dark corners of the station!
The sound of my Dragon Shots approached me!
"Bastard! So that kind of ability remains unchanged!"
During that battle, our attacks were also absorbed by the shadows, and then released from shadows elsewhere. I picked up Kunou in my arms, and either dodged or kicked away all the Dragon Shots as I parried away! If I get taken out by my own attacks that would be too shameful!
The sound of more rustling...!
--! The shadows in the station swarmed towards me as if they had minds of their own.
The shadows formed into sharp blades to attack me... But too bad for them, my armour was very sturdy. This level of attack was completely not a problem. However, Sairaorg-san could shatter this armour with his bare fists, now that kind of attack power was like a monster's!
Just as I felt confidence, a shadow entangled my left leg, and was wrapping itself around and around to tie me down. At the same time, a large number of shadows in the form of sharp spears were advancing.
I summoned Ascalon and slashed apart the shadow on my leg! Swiftly jumping back, I adjusted the stance of my body.
...How troublesome. A technique type.
To me it was the most difficult type to dealt with. I hate those unconventional attacks which defied common sense, and defences that made direct attacks ineffective. This guy had both.
"Hahahaha...! Very good. As expected of the Sekiryuutei. But your attacks are useless against me. In a battle of attrition, I have the advantage."
Oh oh, he really knows how to talk. Well, he's right. A battle of attrition will cause my armour to release when the time limit is up. What should I do, I'm being countered. The magic-wielding Rossweisse-san would be better suited to handle this guy after all.
Kunou, who I was carrying in one hand, pushed forward with both hands and attacked the man using a fire ball technique. A very tiny fire ball. The man made no effort to evade, and smothered it in his clenching fist.
"This is the little fox princess? This is fox fire? This level of heat cannot work against me, you know? Not hot enough."
"Damn, damn it."
The man laughed in mockery. Kunou's face was full of regret.
...Eh? Not hot enough? So in other words, he can feel heat despite wearing that armour?
This form of attack gave me an idea, and so I spread out my dragon wings to cover Kunou.
"Ddraig, please keep Kunou safe under your wings."
[ No problem, but partner, what are you thinking? ]
Ddraig asked. I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with air. And then I lit a tiny fire within my belly.
-- I will win, Ddraig!
Boosted Gear Gift -- Transfer to the fire in the abdomen!
[ BoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoost ]
[ Transfer!! ]
Forming massive flames in my belly, I expelled them out through my mouth!
The gigantic flames engulfed the entire station platform, and the whole underground space was filled.
The shadows could transfer fire but the entire platform was all in flames now. Though the shadow armour protected your whole body from direct harm, but you can still feel the heat from inside, right?
"This is the fire learned straight from the former dragon king. I can guarantee its heat completely. --Evaporate!"
The flames formed a vortex around the man. Defeated by the heat from the fire, the man screamed as he painfully rolled about on the ground.
Even if you can avoid direct attacks, you cannot evade heat from the massive flames filling up the subway station. I possess the Sekiryuutei's armour. Dragons are not afraid of heat. After all, dragons can withstand the fire from a phoenix.
From underneath the dragon wings, Kunou spoke softly--
Smoking intensely, the subway station was scorched all black. It looked like they didn't replicate the fire extinguishing system.
Maybe I went a little too far. Luckily, it's not the real Kyoto.
The man was lying smoking on the ground. ...The shadow armour had been released and his body was covered with severe burns.
The presence I felt up till now had disappeared. Let alone entering Balance Breaker, he likely couldn't put up a fight any more.
"...Too strong. Even though I reached Balance Breaker... I couldn't defeat the Heavenly Dragon..."
-- Shaking, the man tried to stand up.
"Still want to fight? You will die."
I tried to warn him for his own good, but the man's body shook as he repeatedly tried to get up despite falling over many times.
"...If I die, so be it. For that guy... to die for Cao Cao is my wish."
I could tell he was sincere.
"You didn't get brainwashed?"
"That's right... I followed Cao Cao with my own will. Why do you ask? Cough cough..."
The man was breathing painfully as he spoke. Clearly his throat was also scorched by the heat, but he still continued.
"...You cannot be unaware of the tragedy faced by Sacred Gear possessors."
I understood. Asia was also caught in tragedy because of that.
"...Not everyone can live a happy life relying on the power of the Sacred Gear they are born with... What do you think would happen to a kid like me who could freely manipulate shadows...?"
The man spoke in self mockery as he continued.
"Fear and oppression from others. Due to this power, I couldn't even live a normal life... But that man told me it was great to have this power."
-- Cao Cao.
"He also told me, being born with this power made me a talented and precious existence... He told me I could become a hero... If you heard these words which changed the meaning of your life, what would you think? -- Wanting to live and die for that man is only natural."
This man was pouring his heart out with his monologue. ...Was he that devoted to Cao Cao? Unfortunately, that man is a terrorist. And even now, he has kidnapped Kunou's mother and is planning some kind of conspiracy.
"Perhaps he was just using you?"
To my words, the man laughed.
"Is there anything wrong with that? He, Cao Cao! He taught me how to use my power and gave me the reason to live. That is enough! With this I can live on, my previously worthless life is finally rewarded! There is nothing wrong!!! Sekiryuutei!"
I was silent as the man tearfully spoke out his deepest thoughts.
"...To us who were treated like rubbish, he is the light...! My power is for defeating devils, angels, and the various gods...! Where else can I find something like that...!? Also... whether Devils, Fallen Angels and Dragons -- they are the enemies of mankind...! This is common sense! And you -- both a Devil and a Dragon! Humans cannot regard you as anything but a threat!"
A threat? True, seen from a human's perspective, I may be a fearsome existence.
Cao Cao -- that man is a person who has given meaning to life for those possessors who spent their lives in tragedy as a result of their Sacred Gears. To this man before me, perhaps it was a chance of a lifetime.
His legs shaking, the man stood up. He slowly stepped towards me, his hostility intact.
"Don't look down on us humans...! Devil...!"
Yelling, he slowly approached.
Yes, I am a devil, this fact will never change.
I clenched my fist, took a great step forward and sent it into the man's face...
"Yes I am, a devil!"
His face hit, the man flew away backwards, his back smashing heavily into one of the pillars in the station. Sprawling on the ground, he lost consciousness.
I spoke softly to the fallen man.
"Due to the things you do, there are those who are crying sadly. No matter what your reasons are, I must blow you away."
Throwing the man a final glance, I focused my gaze on the darkness in the tunnel ahead.
Just a little more and we will reach Nijou Castle, let's go. Everyone has probably defeated their assassins, and is advancing now.
"Kunou, let's go."
I carried Kunou on my back, spread my dragon wings and flew towards the end of the rail line.
Gliding as I flew along the subway rail line, I kicked away a bunch of attacking monster hunters and finally reached the subway station in front of Nijou Castle.
Leading Kunou up the stairs, I reached the outdoors.
As I walked towards the eastern gates -- everyone else had already gathered.
"Sorry, I'm late--"
I apologised as I approached--
"Cough..." (Vomiting sounds...)
Clad in her valkyrie armour, Rossweisse-san was leaning against an electrical pole, vomiting repeatedly.
...The 100 yen shop valkyrie, the drunken valkyrie, and now the vomiting valkyrie.
Amazing, throughout this Kyoto trip, she has been gaining so many new titles in my heart...
"Ah, it's great you guys are fine."
Kiba smiled to welcome us. I was still troubled by Rossweisse-san's unusual state, but it really was great that everyone arrived safe and sound.
Oh! There was some minor clothing damage but no obvious injuries. It looked like everyone was attacked on the way here.
For the sake of emergencies, Kiba and I each carried one portion of Phoenix Tears. Luckily for us, none were needed so far.
"Asia are you OK?"
"Yes, thanks to Xenovia and Irina protecting me, the assassins were defeated."
"Leave it to me!"
"Well it's because having a healer gave us better odds."
Already in their combat outfits, Irina and Xenovia spoke.
My only worry at the time of separation, turned out to be redundant. Well, since Xenovia and Irina were present, there was no point in worrying.
Xenovia's Durandal -- was in a carved sheath! It really gave off a different impression when kept in a sheath. The offensive aura did not spread out at all, does this mean the sword no longer needs to be kept in an alternate dimension?
"...Rossweisse-san, how is she..."
"Yes, she was fighting the assassins. Perhaps the motion was too intense, and she couldn't bear it..."
Kiba also didn't know how to judge the current scene.
At the same time as we gathered, the massive gates gave off a great heavy sound as it opened. Watching the opening door, Kiba laughed wryly.
"Looks like they are waiting for us, and the performance is about to start."
"It is as you say. They are looking down on us."
As Kiba spoke in self mockery, I also sighed.
Once we confirmed with one another, we set off into the confines of Nijou Castle--
"Before he fell, the assassin I defeated said that Cao Cao was waiting for us at Honmaru Palace."
Kiba spoke as we walked. Honmaru Palace eh?
Within the boundaries of Nijou castle, we walked past the gardens of Ninomaru Palace, and could already see the moat around Honmaru Palace. We passed through the yaguramon gate that connected to Honmaru Palace.
The place we reached was -- full of rows of ancient Japanese eaves. The garden was swept nice and clean. These were all illuminated by lights so even in the dark world of the night it was as bright as day.
"I see you have defeated the Balance Breaker-using assassins. Though they only count as low or mid class Sacred Gear possessors, they do have Balance Breakers after all. It is surprising that you all were able to defeat them."
I caught sight of Cao Cao's figure standing in the garden... There were also many other members all around the buildings. All of them were wearing the same old uniform as before.
Kunou cried out. Following her gaze I found -- a beautiful woman in a kimono standing there. I could see fox ears on her head, as well as several fox tails. This must be the kyuubi leader. What a true beauty!
"Mother! I am Kunou! Please wake up."
But no matter how much Kunou cried out, Yasaka-san remained unresponsive. Beneath the darkness in her eyes was a completely expressionless face.
Kunou angrily glared at Cao Cao and his group.
"Contemptible, you guys! What have you done with mother!"
"Didn't I explain already? We hope to have your mother cooperate during this time for a little experiment, little princess."
Saying that, Cao Cao tapped the ground with his spear. In that instant --
"Oooh... ooh... ah...!"
Yasaka-san began to cry painfully, and her appearance began changing dramatically! Her body began to shine and its form gradually transformed! Expanding constantly, the nine tails also began to blow up in size.
The giant golden beast's roars reverberated across the night sky. Before our eyes, a massive fox monster had appeared!
So big! At least ten metres tall, she was probably about the same height as Fenrir? Her tail was divided into nine, and overall she looked even bigger than Fenrir.
This was the legendary youkai -- the nine-tailed fox! Fenrir's figure had slim shoulders and a narrow waist, and was beautiful as a drawing, but the kyuubi leader's form was just as entrancing.
Tannin-ossan's dragon poise was also very cool. Do all legendary monsters have such charming figures?
...No matter how you look at them, those eyes had no emotion at all. She must be being controlled... Are we able to persuade her? Will we have no choice but to fight Yasaka-san in her current state?
I questioned Cao Cao sternly.
"Cao Cao! Making this replica Kyoto and controlling the kyuubi leader, what kind of conspiracy are you planning!?"
Cao Cao tapped the shaft of the spear against his shoulder audibly as he answered.
"The existence of Kyoto itself is actually a large scale magical device surrounded by powerful leylines. The various places known as famous sights are the power spots, abundant in spiritual, youkai and demonic power. The ancient yin yang masters (onmyoji) hoped to mould the city itself into a kind of massive 'power.' Well, precisely because of that, all sorts of existences have been attracted to this place... Our current pseudo space is located in the dimensional gap, both infinitesimally close to and infinitely far away from Kyoto at the same time. The power of the leylines is now flowing here. As the strongest level of existence amongst youkai, the nine-tailed fox is said to be on the level of the dragon kings in power. The relationship between Kyoto and the nine-tailed fox is also intricately linked in a variety of ways. That is why our plan must be carried out here."
Exhaling, Cao Cao continued with shocking words.
"--Using Kyoto and the power of the nine-tailed fox, the plan is to summon Great Red to this place. This would normally require a dragon gate as well as multiple dragon kings, but gathering several of them by force is virtually impossible even for god and buddha -- So Kyoto and the power of the kyuubi will have to do as substitutes."
--...W-What are you saying...?
"Great Red? Why do you want to summon that massive dragon? That fellow, all he wants to do is swim and fly around in the dimensional gap, but he is harmless to everyone, right?"
"Correct, that dragon is essentially harmless. -- But to our boss his existence is an obstruction. It makes going home very troublesome."
Ophis' appearance as a young girl floated into my mind. The boss of the terrorists. From the perspective of the three great Bible factions, an existence like a final boss.
To fulfill her wish of returning to the dimensional gap? But doing that could cause adverse effects to the entire world? It's no joking matter!
"...So you are going to summon Great Red and kill it?"
Cao Cao shook his head at my question.
"Well, maybe we won't go that far. Anyway, we will catch it first before we decide what to do. There are so many unknowns with its existence, and there is so much to be learned. For example, what effect the Dragon Eater will have on the Apocalypse Dragon. Anyway, no matter what, it's just an experiment to see if we can summon a powerful existence."
-- The dragon eater?
It was a term I heard for the first time. I was surprised, but for sure it will be an ominous character.
"...I don't understand these things, but I am sure bad things will occur after you capture that gigantic dragon. Also, the kyuubi leader must be returned."
I had hardly finished my sentence, when Xenovia had already pointed her sword at Cao Cao.
-- The sheathed Durandal, the various parts of the sheath began to move and transform.
With a violent sound, the mobile portions of the sheath began releasing a large amount of holy aura! It covered the entire length of the sword, and the massive aura shaped itself into a blade!
This is the new Durandal? The offensive aura was not affecting the surroundings but was wrapped around the sword instead.
Even standing next to it, I could feel the powerful pulse of the aura from behind my armour. I see, so the new Durandal has combined with its sheath? The sheath was keeping Durandal's power under control very well.
"Like Ise said, your conspiracies may be very deep, but no matter what, you will bring disaster to us and the people around us. --Eliminating you all, right here, is the best solution."
Kiba nodded and agreed with Xenovia's declaration of war.
"I also agree with Xenovia's opinion."
In response, Irina created a sword of light in her hand.
"It's always a battle to the death when the Gremorys are involved."
Saji sighed as he spoke. Sorry Saji, this kind of stuff is what we get into all the time...
"Fine, this is for everyone at school and my friends anyway --"
Many black snakes appeared from Saji's arms, legs and shoulders and began to entangle his body. As his body was covered entirely with black snakes, a large black serpent also appeared under Saji's feet.
The massive serpent presented itself next to Saji and formed a coil, its whole body emitting black flames. Saji's left eye turned red and resembled a snake's eye.
Saji's presence was unbelievable! Sensei, you upgraded him way too much!? This, this guy, even in normal mode, was completely different from that time during the Rating Game in the Underworld!
"...Vritra, I'm sorry but please lend me your strength. Hyoudou please support me from the side. Today we will fight to our hearts' content!"
As Saji muttered, huge black flames appeared all around.
The huge serpent began to speak in a deep voice!
"Ah my other self. Where is the prey? Is it that holy spear? Or that fox? Either is fine. It's been so long since I last appeared, I feel great right now. How about this, no matter who, let me just consume everything with my black flames?"
Wow... what a scary speech, this snake of flame. By the way, its consciousness recovered to the level of acquiring speech, eh? So this is part of the dragon king. A completely different feeling of pressure compared to Tannin-ossan. It's a bit scary and horrifying.
It was said that Vritra excelled at capturing the power of opponents. Just as I was about to order "OK, let's capture youkai-form Yasaka-san first", at that instant --
It was the sound of Xenovia raising Durandal to the heavens and a massive aura gushing forth from the blade!
Expanding to over fifteen metres tall in an instant, the blade of holy aura appeared before my eyes. It looked as if it was about to pierce the heavens.
Sooooooooo long! Sooooooooo cool! Sooooooooooo amazing!
Before, the Durandal plus Ascalon combination also produced a great aura. At the time, there was a pulse of spiritual energy like a pillar of light, but it's nothing compared to the current spectacle.
But then this time, the offensive aura was not diffused or spreading around like before. I could see that most of its power was concentrated together.
I say, Xenovia-san! The battle is just beginning, are you trying to break the rules by attacking early again!?
"--Strike first and end the battle. Taste my sword!"
As if retorting against the protests in my heart, Xenovia smashed her massive sword of holy light and aura down upon the heads of the Hero faction!
Like the felling of a heavy log, the new Durandal crashed down to crush them.
A massive aura pulse engulfed buildings, structures and the entire scenery!
The ground split into two, the resulting tremor caused everyone to fall to their knees!
After the attack, the entire area -- was a total mess. The massive aura attack had also crossed over Nijou Castle's moat and even destroyed outside buildings and roads further beyond, leaving nothing behind!
...Shocking! What devastating offensive power!
Xenovia took a deep breath and wiped the sweat off her forehead with her hand. Durandal returned to its sheathed state once again.
Was it over with just a breath! And what's with that mission accomplished face! Using a final finishing move at the very start! No no, perhaps this might be a good result!
"Hey Xenovia! Isn't that going overboard for a first attack?"
I was a bit emotional as I spoke, but Xenovia simply made a victory sign with her hand.
"The opening always requires such a strike."
"So the battle with Loki also required such a sudden strike as well!? Hey hey hey..."
Talking to her was useless!
"Relax. Despite what it looks like, I did adjust the power. If I felt like it I could have swept everything clean. My goal is actually to achieve something like your full powered Dragon Shot, but it doesn't seem to be that simple. Yes, your kind of power type is exactly the ideal battle style that I seek."
"Don't just go 'yes' and be done with it! I'm not some kind of destruction freak!"
This person was clearly a Knight, but only seeking power... Completely contrasting with Kiba. Perhaps she should have been better off as a Rook?
Xenovia tapped the new Durandal.
"This new Durandal is the result of combining with Excalibur using alchemy."
-- With Excalibur? Really!
Irina began to explain.
"Let me explain. Basically, they used all the Excalibur pieces possessed by the Church to create a sheath to cover Durandal's blade. Excalibur's power allowed Durandal's offensive aura to be contained. In addition, Excalibur's power can attack at the same time as Durandal's, allowing their powers to amplify each other... and thus producing deadly destructive power!"
Irina pointed at the destroyed wasteland.
"I see, so Excalibur not only restrains Durandal's aura, it and Durandal also amplified each other's power. So by combining the two holy swords into one was how such a strong attacking power was produced."
"Yes, Ise-kun. The fact that Durandal's aura could be applied to other holy swords, Heaven has already started related research on that."
"Ah, during the match in summer, Xenovia kept Durandal in an alternate dimension, but could still wrap its aura around Ascalon. In the battle to recover Asia, she used the mutual amplification effect with Ascalon to raise the power of both their auras."
"Yes yes. The Heaven faction came up with the idea of a new Durandal starting from that time."
Irina spoke as she nodded.
Ha... The union of Excalibur and Durandal into a single holy sword. But then, didn't the Church only possess six of the seven fragments, so they only used six to make that sheath?
Xenovia raised her sword and muttered to herself.
"--Ex Durandal. This is the new name I give this sword."
Ex Durandal. A name without objection. It was similar to the old name. Definitely, it should be a name like this.
"Well, if they could be beaten in one hit then we'd have a much easier time."
Xenovia shifted her gaze forward.
...I see. I didn't think those guys were inexperienced enough to be taken out by one attack.
From out of the rubble in the wasteland -- the surface of the ground, an arm rose up. A piece of earth was lifted, and out emerged many members of the Heroes Faction, covered by a thin mist.
All of them looked a bit dirty -- but completely unharmed. Did that mist defend against the power of the holy sword?
The huge man whose arm was the first to appear, was roughly two metres tall, and was flexing his neck loudly. Behind him, Cao Cao tapped his spear audibly on his own shoulder. They were unaffected by Xenovia's attack. Well, without that kind of power they wouldn't have been able to undertake terrorist activities against the various factions...
Cao Cao rubbed his chin and laughed.
"Ah, not bad at all."
It was a joyful tone that came from the depths of one's heart.
"You guys can already hold your own without disadvantage against the bulk of the upper class devils -- no, the top servants of the upper class devils. Sister of the Maou, you sure have gathered a group of excellent servants. Once you start participating officially in the Rating Game, you should obtain a double digit ranking in no time -- and reach the top in a few decades? What a bright and glorious future. Shalba Beelzebub really underestimated you guys. That guy was a complete fool."
Siegfried smiled wryly at Cao Cao's words.
"Being bound by anachronistic pride, they couldn't see the new generation rising up to replace the old. That's how I'd put it. This is why Vali did not lend his assistance, and let the Old Maou faction perish. --Anyway, how should we proceed? After taking that attack just now, my excitement feels a little bit funny?"
"Oh right. Then let's start the experiment."
Cao Cao tapped the ground with his spear -- the kyuubi leader began to glow! What was going on!
"Focus power into the force nodes of the nine-tailed fox and prepare to summon Great Red. Georg!"
On Cao Cao's orders, the youth wearing a mage-style robe over his uniform -- Georg reached out with his hand. What seemed to an endless number of magic circles appeared around him! Magical script and numbers began to spin rapidly within the circles!
Matching Rossweisse-san in terms of the number of magic circles summoned!
"...From a rough glance at those magic circles, I can see Norse, Demonic, Fallen Angel style, black magic, white magic, fairy magic... Quite a diverse array of spells..."
Rossweisse-san narrowed her eyes and spoke softly.
A somewhat amazing mage? But that guy was the mist user? Not only was he a Longinus possessor, he was also a powerful sorcerer!
A massive magic circle appeared underneath the kyuubi leader. That magic circle, though its appearance was different, I felt some of the crests to be familiar... Yes, last time when Sensei woke up that enormous Dragon King -- the consciousness of Midgardsormr, the magic circle then was very similar!
As she roared, Yasaka-san's pupils dilated, her eyes gave off a dangerous light and her golden fur stood on end!
It was clearly an abnormal situation! This was going to get dangerous if it continued!?
The mist user who is also a mage spoke.
"The magic circle and the sacrifice for summoning Great Red are ready. The next step is to see if Great Red gets interested in the power of the city and takes the bait. Luckily, we happen to have a Dragon King and a Heavenly Dragon present as bonus. My apologies, Cao Cao, but I will be occupied with operating the magic circle. It is a very taxing thing."
Cao Cao waved his hand at the mage's words in acknowledgement.
"Got it. What's next then? Annihilation Maker Leonardo and the rest are battling the allied forces outside. I wonder how much time they can buy? Reports say that not only the Fallen Angel Governor and Maou Leviathan, but even members of the Seraphim have arrived. -- Jeanne, Heracles."
Stepping forward in response to Cao Cao's call, was a blonde foreign lady wielding a slender sword and the giant man from just now.
"They are the ones who have inherited the will -- the spirit of the heroes Jeanne d'Arc and Heracles. Siegfried, who do you want to fight?"
At Cao Cao's question, Siegfried drew a sword and pointed with the sharp tip of the blade -- Kiba and Xenovia.
Watching this scene unfold, the lady called Jeanne and the giant named Heracles laughed.
"Then, I'll take Angel-chan. She's pretty cute."
"I will pick the silver-haired lady then. Though she doesn't look very well."
They all exchanged glances... Kiba and Xenovia vs Siegfried, Irina vs Jeanne, Rossweisse-san vs Heracles...
"That leaves me the Sekiryuutei. How about Vritra-kun over there?"
Cao Cao looked at Saji. Saji strengthened his flames, but I stopped him with my hand.
"...Saji, your opponent is the kyuubi leader. You must find a way to release her."
"So I get the monster battle... Understood. Hyoudou, don't die!"
"How can I die, you do your best too."
"No matter what, I already promoted to Queen before I came. I am full of battle spirit from the start!"
As we encouraged each other, Saji's body was surrounded by tall black flames. And then, the flames began to spread outward and grew increasingly bigger in size.
The flames reached up into the sky! The jet black flames gradually shaped into a body, forming a long serpentine oriental dragon.
The massive black dragon roared-- Facing the kyuubi leader. Saji had successfully transformed into the dragon king. The black flames arranged themselves into a magic circle and began releasing a dark cloudy aura. It is said that there are many strange components to Vritra's powers, and some of them were used to great effect during the battle against Loki. Though the species are different, let's hope it works against the kyuubi too...
"Asia, watch over Kunou."
"Kunou, can I leave Asia in your protection?"
"Leave it to me! But --"
"Ah I understand. Leave your mother to me -- we will save her!"
I made a thumbs up in response to Kunou. At the same time, I spread the dragon wings on my back. The one I faced was -- Cao Cao. The leader of the Heroes Faction. The man holding the ultimate Longinus.
Really, why does it feel like I keep having to face these boss level opponents all the time now?
"Well fine. You, are you stronger than Vali?"
I asked. Cao Cao happily smirked and shrugged.
"Who knows. But for sure, I'm not weaker than him, though I am a frail human."
"Don't joke around. Anyone who can face Sensei cannot be weak."
"Hahahaha, that's true. But isn't that Sensei super strong? I think I'm still slightly inferior, Oppai Dragon."
As we started our battle with words, there was an instant of silence. And then--
Saji and the kyuubi leader had begun the monster battle!
The black flames danced as they surrounded Yasaka-san. The flames suddenly shook violently as the kyuubi leader released an aura from all over her. This seemed to be causing her great pain.
Was this the power absorption seen from Loki's battle? If this continues, perhaps the battle can end without injuring her! Just as I thought how convenient it would be --
The kyuubi leader suddenly spat out large amounts of fire from her mouth! Though not as powerful as Tannin-ossan's flames, but its still packing quite a bit of firepower! I could feel the heat even through my armour! Unless the opponent was on a similar level, these flames will surely roast them instantly into charcoal.
Vritra-form Saji also spat out black flames and the two massive fireballs collided in mid air above Honmaru Palace, causing a huge explosion! At the same time, the black flames immobilising Yasaka also vanished. The giant monster battle, not seen since Loki, was continuing fiercely!
[ Damn it! I can't use the flame barrier as effectively as last time against Loki...! ]
[ Concentrate, my other self. To use my power, a high level of focus is required... But then, that's not all. Though powered by Kyoto, the kyuubi's massive youkai power is very strong, but that mage's magic circle is also producing some strange barrier effects. Those spells are a little complicated, very troublesome... It's like it is interfering with my power, neutralising my flames... The combination of Kyoto, the kyuubi's power, Longinus as well as magic... Even if you want to drain the kyuubi's power, her youkai powers are instantly being refilled by the flow from Kyoto. If this continues, it may very well be us to fall first. ]
Saji's conversation with Vritra could be heard through Boosted Gear.
The kyuubi leader, Kyoto's flow of power, the magic circle, all of them were huge obstacles. To handle so many opponents all at once was really troublesome.
[ Need my transfer? ]
I asked using my Sacred Gear. Perhaps using my power, Saji can use the power of the dragon king to demolish the magic circle...
[ Don't! Since he still cannot control my power fully in this state, if you add the Sekiryuutei's power he will only go berserk. He can only master the characteristics of my powers through battle experience, there is no other way. ]
Understood. Saji, do your best! If the situation gets dire, I will try my best to help you!
[ ...Understood! Then kick those guys' asses quickly too! ]
Leave it to me! As we communicated over the Sacred Gears, Vritra and the kyuubi leader continued to breathe fire at each other! Massive fireballs collided in mid-air once again, bouncing off each other!
The battle of fire created a windstorm sweeping over the entire area, but both the Gremory group and the members of the Heroes Faction stood their ground facing off against their opponents.
Now that Saji has claimed the opening battle, it was our turn to shine!
"Kiba! Xenovia! Let us fight a bit further away! I want to get the kyuubi leader as far away from these bastards as much as possible!"
The two of them answered and began to change the battlefield. Siegfried pursued after them.
With the sight of silver flashes and the scattering of flying sparks, Kiba and Xenovia started their battle against Siegfried.
Using a three sword style, Siegfried handled Kiba and Xenovia's sword strikes with the minimum of movements, counter-attacking with sharp and deadly thrusts! Xenovia's Ex Durandal looked like its sheath could be adjusted to reveal the blade for normal combat.
"--Let's use another one."
Xenovia grabbed a part of Ex Durandal's sheath -- with a mechanical sound, the sheath transformed, and revealed a hilt! Xenovia held the hilt and pulled, separating it from Ex Durandal. What was thought to be only a hilt, ended up producing a sword blade! W-What is going on!?
Did the new Durandal keep additional swords within it? Then, could it be one of the Excalibur fragments? This sword has way too many features!
Turning into two sword style, Xenovia adjusted her stance, and raised the speed of her sword strikes. Seeing this, Siegfried laughed.
"This is getting interesting. Wonderful, time for me to show off!"
Siegfried made a wide swing with his demonic sword. Kiba and Xenovia evaded and temporarily retreated for now.
Siegfried's body gave off a kind of pressure that was hard to describe...! It gave a chill to one's back, and the murderous intent was expanding!
On Siegfried's back -- out grew another three additional silver-scaled arms! Wow, it was just like Asura! The new arms drew out his three remaining swords -- a six-sword style!
"The demonic swords Tyrfing and Dainsleif. As well as a sword of light for devils. Despite how I look, I used to fight for the Church you know."
A sword wielded in each of six arms. That truly was the stance of the Asura.
"This is my Chaos Edge Asura Ravage. As the subspecies of Twice Critical, the Balance Breaker is also a subspecies. The power is simple -- multiplying arms. A useful enough ability for one like me who only uses technique and demonic swords to fight. Let's see how well you two can keep up?"
Just as I worried for the two of them, Irina had begun an intense battle with that lady called Jeanne.
"O Light! Ha!"
Irina spread her pure white wings and aimed several spears of light at Jeanne from the sky. What an acute attack. The sizes of the spears of light were also very large. If a human or an ordinary devil got hit, they would probably blow up immediately.
However, these attacks were lightly dodged by Jeanne. That lady sure was fast! Though inferior to Kiba, it was enough to be a challenge for eyes to follow!
"Not bad! Angel-chan's attacks are very direct, onee-san is very touched!"
Why is she so cheerful!
Jeanne swung her rapier and deflected Irina's attacks of light.
"Then, eat this!"
Irina flew down from the air and charged straight at Jeanne! Holding her sword of light high, she slashed down at Jeanne!
However, Jeanne stood her ground, taking on the attack directly.
The sound of metal colliding as the two were caught in a deadly battle! They were even! Jeanne smiled confidently! --She must be planning something!
As Jeanne summoned, a sword grew out from under her foot! Irina was surprised but she managed to evade to the side! As Jeanne took the opportunity to thrust forward with her sword -- Irina spread her feathered wings and retreated to the air.
"Not bad at all! Yes. Looks like I underestimated you. That's my Angel-chan."
"D-Despite appearances, I am the Ace of Michael-sama, leader of the Angels! Do not underestimate me!"
"Is that so, Michael? Got it, then just like Sig-kun, it's time for onee-san to show off."
Jeanne fluttered her eyes... Sig-kun? Was that Siegfried? Show off? Could it be, like Siegfried she is going to--
"Onee-san's ability is Blade Blacksmith, the holy sword version of that holy demonic sword wielder's Sacred Gear. Holy swords with all kinds of attributes can be created! At the current rate, it seems that my holy swords are not going to win. However, don't you believe in the existence of exceptions?"
The lady smiled elegantly. so Jeanne's Sacred Gear was the holy sword version of Kiba's. This was something I should have known, after all, Kiba could create holy swords as a result of reaching Balance Breaker.
However, exception...? An ominous premonition filled my mind-- And then, it came true.
From beneath the feet of the lady who smiled adorably, a huge number of swords -- holy swords, gathered together into a stack violently! Those holy swords seemed to be forming a giant object!
-- Appearing behind Jeanne, was a massive dragon made up of an uncountable number of holy swords!
"This child is my Balance Breaker. Stake Victim Dragon. Like Sig-kun, it's a subspecies."
Jeanne smiled, while Irina's expression was serious.
"...The holy maiden Jeanne d'Arc... This feels complicated to be fighting the one who inherited the spirit of the saint, but I will fight for Michael-sama and everyone! Peace is the most important!"
Wow, she has raised her sword of light, and renewed her determination! Irina, you have to do your best!
At the sound of numerous explosions, Rossweisse-san's battle of demolition against the giant Heracles was in full swing.
"What! No damage from being hit by magical attacks!"
Rossweisse-san released a whole stream of magical attacks, but Heracles took them straight on with his body, laughing madly!
"Hahaha! Great! This magical attack tastes just right!"
--! Laughing! Being hit by Rossweisse-san's Norse magic bombardment, he could still mock his enemy as if nothing had happened. No, he did get hurt! Though the wounds were tiny, his entire body was covered with wounds.
By the way, taking such light damage from all those magical attacks, just how sturdy is his body?!
Every time Heracles punched with his fist, an explosion was created! It's like he was holding bombs in his hands when he attacks!
Rossweisse-san nimbly dodged, causing Heracles' iron fist to miss, hitting a tree behind. Instantly -- as the explosion was heard, the tree turned into dust.
"My Sacred Gear is Variant Detonation, which makes my targets explode when I attack! I suppose I could continue like this, smashing your magic with my fists like a fireworks show. But seeing everyone else going Balance Breaker, I'll probably get nagged if I don't go with the flow! Sorry, I will enter Balance Breaker and defeat you right away! Heya~~! Balance Break!"
The giant gave off a loud roar, and that huge body began to give off light! The light gradually formed thick objects on the man's arms, legs and back!
As the light faded, the man -- Heracles' entire body was covered with numerous protrusions! These protrusions... were shaped something like missiles... No, no, can it be --
"This is my Balance Breaker! Mighty Comet Detonation!"
Heracles took aim -- Rossweisse-san! Rossweisse-san, aware of his intentions, began taking evasive manoeuvres to distance herself!
"At this rate, this place won't be safe...!"
With a bitter expression, Rossweisse-san quickened her pace in the direction away from Honmaru Palace! Rossweisse-san was trying to avoid us from getting hit by the missiles' explosion--
"Haha! What a great woman! Trying to draw my attention to avoid getting your companions caught in the explosion! Fine! I will get duped this once!"
Heracles happily laughed with excitement. Having left Honmaru Palace, Rossweisse-san turned around in mid air and conjured numerous magic circles!
Heracles' missiles were prepared to fire, and he shot them all at once--
Like I'm going to let you succeed! I aimed at Heracles' direction with my left arm, and prepared to fire Dragon Shot! In the instant that Heracles fired his missiles I will strike down as many as possible!
But just as I was about to fire Dragon Shot--
"Hey, your opponent is me."
Cao Cao swiftly appeared in front of my left arm! Fine, you can taste it yourself!
The Dragon Shot left my hand -- Crash! Cao Cao lightly lifted his spear and deflects my arm upwards. Dragon Shot fired out of my hand and disappeared into the sky!
At the same time, Heracles' numerous missiles flew towards Rossweisse-san --
As the innumerable missiles struck the magic circles conjured by Rossweisse-san, a massive explosion was created in the air! The violent wind swept across the entire area!
Appearing out of the smoke was a figure! Looking closely, Rossweisse-san was covered with wounds but she landed in a stable manner.
Despite the defence provided by the Rook and her defensive magic, she still suffered significant damage.
Worse of all, her magic which could take out a city seemed to be ineffective against this Heracles.
Did this giant surpass Rossweisse-san in both offence and defence? Or did he have some kind of advantage in attacking and defending against magical attacks?
No matter what, the first priority was to recover Rossweisse-san's injuries!
I gave the order to Asia.
The green aura was sent to Rossweisse-san's body! Asia had fired her healing aura towards Rossweisse-san. Rossweisse-san made a thumbs up as thanks. Looks like she was almost completely healed! Well done, Asia!
"Ha! Recovered! Well, that's all right with me!"
Heracles also seemed to have happily accepted Rossweisse-san's recovery. What a battle maniac. Heracles began to run, charging in Rossweisse-san's direction!
...Damn it. No matter who, all these bastards are going Balance Breaker, every one of them! As if he read my thoughts, Cao Cao laughed joyfully.
"Isn't it great? This is a Balance Breaker free for all. Without a little inflation, how can humans compete with you supernatural existences?"
As Cao Cao spun his spear in his hands, I distanced myself slowly... Though it looked like there were many openings, I knew that rash attacks will be countered.
It was only my instinct, but that guy was most likely a master of techniques.
If I attacked recklessly, then like just now, Cao Cao will use the smallest movement to parry and render the attack useless. This was very scary.
"Aren't you going to Balance Break like the others?"
I asked but Cao Cao shook his head.
"No need no need. We can win without going that far. However, today is my chance to really have a good look at the Sekiryuutei's power."
"...Looks like we are being looked down upon. However, it doesn't sound like a joke."
"Ah, I was just thinking about how to draw our power, and have a satisfying battle."
This guy is just like Vali. The relaxed version of Vali. While the other guy uses force to measure my power, this one here is watching my every move with amusement.
Cao Cao raised an index finger.
"My companions came up with a theory on how to defeat you. The proposal was to attack you with a time accelerating Sacred Gear. The Balance Breaker timer will be shorted, and the armour will release prematurely. We already have such a Sacred Gear user, and is very effective against Sacred Gears with time limits like yours. Accelerating time in an instant, to waste the time limit. However, it has no offensive or other special abilities. Just time limit control. Still, targeting the time limit will be a decisive blow against you. -- However, that is probably not enough to defeat you."
...What was he trying to say? I couldn't discern Cao Cao's intention behind telling me this.
"You have been trying to enter the depths of the Sacred Gear to understand it. For example, if you were to release Balance Breaker voluntarily and switch to using the normal ability of power doubling every ten seconds along with the accelerated time, what would happen...? You would become a horrifying existence that could multiply power in an instant. Of course, it is still unknown whether the time acceleration effect will affect the normal mode Sacred Gear if it was applied during Balance Breaker. But for someone like you who has reached the depths of the Sacred Gear, it was very possible."
"What on earth are you trying to say?"
I couldn't help asking. Cao Cao shrugged. "What I'm saying is, rather than using these indirect manners, it's probably best to defeat you with direct attacks. --You have a great wariness of technique types, so I was thinking those types might not be able to handle you."
-- Yeah right, it was me who can't handle the likes of you. We just met and yet you've already analysed me so thoroughly. This man was really scary.
"But then, Hyoudou Issei, you have two decisive weaknesses -- the dragon slayer as well as light. Dragon and devil, possessing these two attributes can make you more deadly, but naturally at the same time, it increases your number of weaknesses. These weaknesses are very conspicuous to me. It makes me feel like wanting to prove to the world that a truly invincible being does not exist. Well, that's enough talking. --Let's begin."
Cao Cao raised his spear and pointed the sharp tip at me... Then I must begin to fight.
The first was promotion... Knight? Or Bishop to power up Dragon Shot? ...No, better stop trying to train on a real battlefield. Let's go all out.
"Asia! Promotion to Queen!"
With Asia's approval, I promoted to Queen! Power flowed into my body!
Ever since last time, I have insisted on training all along! I have already reached the point where I could make use of the traits of the various pieces! Then let me show off the results of my training right here! I spread my dragon wings, ejecting magical power strongly from my back boosters!
[ Jet! ]
Extending my fist, I used my extreme speed to give Cao Cao a punch! After considering many plans, in the end, a straight punch was best!
I accelerated strongly forward! Cao Cao spun his spear dexterously, and lightly dodged to the side just before my fist struck!
--! He can handle my charging! If so--
I changed trajectories with my boosters, and charged once again, in the direction that Cao Cao evaded!
I gathered magical power in both hands! Predicting the instant Cao Cao will dodge, I was going to fire Dragon Shot at that bastard--
Cao Cao kicked my right hand as he parried the left hand with a sweep of his spear! Once again, Dragon Shot flew off to nowhere!
Bastard! Neutralising my attacks with the least possible movement!
Just as I was getting annoyed, there was something at my abdomen-- Lowering my gaze, I found Cao Cao's spear firmly embedded there--
Large amounts of fresh blood was rushing up from my abdomen and spewing out of my mouth.
...I, I lost!
"-- You're not weak, but your style of rushing in directly has too many openings."
Cao Cao slowly withdrew his spear from my abdomen.
--In that instant, my abdomen, no, my entire body, was engulfed by the intense pain. With the wound as the centre, my entire body began emitting smoke.
...I-It really hurts... W-What was this... a feeling identical to holy swords... The smoking wound was also the same...!
O-Of course, it's the holy spear... So the pain and effects are...
--Damn it, my consciousness is growing faint--
The green aura surrounded my entire body. The pain in the abdomen gradually subsided.
...It must have been Asia who sent me the recovery aura. Just at the right moment. Just now, I really was about to lose consciousness.
However, the wound was still open. And smoking a bit. No way, it looks as if it is about to expand again! Was it because the healing provided from a distance was not strong enough? Asia's distance healing was very effective but still inferior compared to her direct touch... Still, long range healing was already very powerful, but the holy spear's damage seems to have exceeded it.
I took out the Phoenix Tears from my shirt pocket, and scattered them over the wound on my abdomen... The wound finally closed. Wow, as expected of Phoenix Tears.
"Did you know you almost died just now? Pierced by the holy spear, you were almost erased. Death is surprisingly simple, no?"
Cao Cao laughed lightly.
...You said I almost died just now? Really. Yes, it was a critical wound right in the belly, but I've had had similar in the past, and I could still move. I was even thinking of sending a punch to your face as a counter.
-- Almost erased?
Was it referring to devils disappearing without trace from holy attacks? ...I was in that state just now? ...Smoking all over my body, my existence was about to disappear?
Realizing that, I had reason to shudder.
...T-That was really dangerous. If I died just like that, I couldn't face Buchou and Asia ever again!
Cao Cao tapped his shoulder with his spear. Is, is that this guy's habit? Whatever, that's not important anymore.
"Remember this well. That was the holy spear just now. No matter how powerful you become, you can never overcome this attack. -- Because you are a devil. Even if it's Vali, as long as he remains part devil, the holy spear's damage is absolute."
Lesson learned. Better stay away from that spear... Next, what should be done?
Cao Cao saw my response, and was taken aback.
"...Ah, you didn't get scared. I was thinking it would be fun to see you cowering in fear..."
"Ah? Of course I'm afraid! But I won't be scared off. I won't be able to face everyone if I don't give you a punch to the face. Being the Sekiryuutei is not easy!"
Cao Cao suddenly laughed out loud... What is this guy. His facial expressions have been changing rapidly.
"How nice, this. I can sort of understand why Vali likes you so much now. Interesting. Vali, you've finally found a good opponent."
Using his fingers to wipe away the tears from his laughter, Cao Cao opened the front of the spear, creating a blade of light!
The pressure from Cao Cao intensified. Looks like he is full of spirit? This is getting more and more scary.
I extend my right hand, preparing to fire off the strongest Dragon Shot!
[ BoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoost!! ]
I fired a massive blast at Cao Cao!
"If this hits my body, it could get dangerous."
Cao Cao prepared to parry the attack with his spear--but I already anticipated it. At the instant of firing, I activated the back boosters and jumped!
Aiming at the moment Cao Cao parried the Dragon Shot attack, I sent him a punch from the side!
Cao Cao raised his spear high, and with a giant swing, split the massive Dragon Shot in half! Like cutting a watermelon! What the hell do I care about that! Let me punch him with my right fist while he is swinging his spear down!
[ BoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoost!! ]
Punching Cao Cao with my boosted fist!
"I feel the power of your hidden potential!"
Cao Cao happily declared and swiftly turned his spear to parry my arm. -- Now! The right fist was actually a feint! The right fist stopped in front of Cao Cao! His parry missed.
I pushed forward my left fist! At the same time transferring power to Ascalon in the gauntlet!
[ BoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoostBoost!! ]
[ Transfer!! ]
I made Ascalon's blade appear from the gauntlet -- then I jumped backwards immediately! At the same time as I jumped, I emitted a pulse of aura from Ascalon!
As Ascalon's aura flew towards Cao Cao, it seemed to have exceeded his expectations, he made no effort to evade!
With a rough noise, Cao Cao's left arm was flying in the air. Ascalon's attack has severed his arm! Success! Feint after feint, and then the real attack within another feint!
The training with Kiba finally came to fruition. I declared victory in my heart. Yes, no matter how powerful the spear, nor numerous my own weaknesses, that guy also has his own weakness.
--The frail body of a human.
In terms of durability of the body, I had the clear advantage as a devil and dragon. Though Cao Cao and the Heroes Faction are much tougher than ordinary humans, they are surely more vulnerable than Vali and Loki.
As expected. --I can win, if not, then I can still put up a fight.
Cao Cao stabbed his spear into the ground and caught the falling left arm with his right. Expressionless, he held the left arm with his right armpit and took out something from his pocket. As I wondered, my gaze focused on a familiar looking bottle!
Cao Cao opened the lid to the bottle, and poured the liquid over the wound, and connected his left arm to the spot. Smoke rose from the wound on the left arm -- then everything was restored as if nothing had happened!
That bottle... No mistake about it! ...Phoenix Tears!
"W-Why do you have something like that!"
I questioned, and Cao Cao laughed.
"Black market. As long we keep certain channels open, all it takes is money. I'm sure the Phoenix family definitely does not want these to fall in our hands."
...How could this happen. As an important recovery tool for the devils, the tears were already extremely precious, but to have them fall into the hands of terrorists...!
Countless victims suffering painfully from your attacks could have been saved, if only they had the tears!
"...Due to anger, your aura has increased. Letting your aura fluctuate due to emotion, did you know that it could bring destruction in certain circumstances? That was the reason you entered the Juggernaut state once."
None of your business! Bastard! These guys, they really stick their fingers in too many pies!
At this moment, my armour crumbled! ...What, was this?
"Just as you were jumping back, I happened to make a few strikes with the spear. Though there seems to be a delay, it looks like a few simple attacks can wreck the Sekiryuutei's armour."
...Looks like I was attacked without even noticing.
Ddraig, I'm sorry, but I leave you with the repairs.
[ ...Understood. However, most likely due to the effects of the holy spear, restoring the armour will take time. ]
Really. How much does that spear counter me!
"A very good attack. Strong. Looks like I may need to raise my Sacred Gear a bit."
Cao Cao that bastard, looking so happy... If only a hit landed, I will win. Of course, if that guy gets a hit in, I could very well die too...
Just as I was agonising over how to deal with Cao Cao's holy spear.
Asia's sorrowful cries were heard!
"Ara? You guys are still going at it?"
A woman's voice -- glancing over, it was Jeanne... Carrying the bloody body of Irina in her arms.
"Well, it is the Sekiryuutei. Should put up a better fight than these guys."
Siegfried's voice... Held in his six arms were Kiba and Xenovia all covered in blood as well... Hey, hey...
"If only I got to fight the Sekiryuutei."
Huge Heracles threw down something in front of me -- Rossweisse-san, her body dyed red with fresh blood.
...E-Everyone... How can this be...? They've all met such fates...?
[ Roar! ]
I heard a roar -- Vritra was entangled by the kyuubi's nine tails, and roared out in pain! ...Even Saji...!
Cao Cao tapped his shoulder with the spear.
"Sorry Sekiryuutei. Looks like this is the end. Strong, you are all very strong. This is already exceptional amongst devils. But this level of power cannot win against us who hold the power of heroes in our hands. Also, for devils, fallen angels, dragons and youkai to be uniting as enemies of humans, isn't that too scary? Wouldn't humans feel threatened? Resisting is only natural. --It is only normal for humans to defeat Maou and dragons. This is the principle behind our actions, we of the Heroes Faction. Well, whether for me or the other members here, that is one of our goals. --Anyway, Georg, how's the magic circle?"
The mist user nodded in response to Cao Cao's question.
"Still a while, but will Great Red really come?"
"Even if it doesn't, we will get data on why it didn't come. We'll try other methods if that happens."
"Still, making this all work will mean a heavy price. Are you sure we are doing this at all costs?"
"Don't look at me, if possible, of course I want a good result."
...These guys, they've forgotten about us and were now occupied with the matters of the experiment.
Jeanne, Siegfried and Heracles left my companions here, and then started talking with Cao Cao.
Asia ran to everyone over here, and began to heal, her tears flowing incessantly.
...In my mind, were the promises we made before coming here.
--We will protect Kyoto with our lives.
Sensei... I... couldn't do anything...
I glanced at Kiba lying on the ground.
--Now that Buchou is not here, as substitute, our 'King' is you, Ise-kun.
Kiba, though you said that... But I couldn't do anything.
"Mother, please wake up! I am Kunou! Kunou is here! Mother!"
Kunou cried as she spoke to her mother -- but the kyuubi leader didn't even look at her.
--Your mother--Your mother will be saved by us!
Did we save anyone? W-We, didn't accomplish anything...!
Asia continued to heal, weeping.
...What was I doing... Why did I become such a pitiful sight... Even though i have restored Boosted Gear Scale Mail, Cao Cao and his group did not even glance at me--
Though they felt we were strong, but they didn't think we were enough of a threat to reverse the current situation. To be viewed like that, even though we tried our best, it was too--
From the very start, to them we were just on the level of entertainment, a side dish for the experiment. This truth brought me great pain...
H-How can I call myself the Sekiryuutei? What Oppai Dragon, what a joke...
My body trembled within the armour, tears of regret streamed down without end... Why was I so weak? Always so powerless at critical times like this.
Why was everything always out of reach by that little bit... No matter how hard I tried, there were still so many opponents I cannot catch up to...
Was this my limit...? Why am I...?
I knelt on the ground, knocking on the surface with hate and regret. My companions have all been downed by them, and my chances of defeating Cao Cao are... Even just saving Kunou's mother, the chances were... zero.
No, I cannot give up! I don't want things to end here! I must continue to fight!
...But, there was no way to win... I regretted it, and the pain filled my heart...
[ Crying? ]
--Someone spoke to me from within my body. This voice belonged to--
[ Yes, that's right. Why are you crying? ]
...I, feel so regretful... Why am I so weak? ... This is clearly a critical moment, but I failed again...
[ Yes, it is regrettable. But did you forget? The fallen angel governor once mentioned -- you are the embodiment of possibilities! ]
At this time, Azazel-sensei's words were awakened in my mind. Yes, it was just before the battle with Loki.
<<--I believe in your possibilities. All the past Sekiryuutei were devoured by power until they died, no exceptions. Perhaps you may be the least talented Sekiryuutei. However, you reached Balance Breaker using female breasts. You returned from a berserk state through female breasts. I feel that someone like you can be described as the embodiment of possibilities>>
...Embodiment of possibilities.
<<Oppai Dragon! Oppai Dragon! Isn't it such a cool name? Has a dragon ever received such a unique title? Though your body and demonic power compares poorly with Vali and other past possessors, but from another perspective, you have your own unique method of using the Sekiryuutei's power to become strong. From now on, it will be fine as long as you work hard and persevere, as well as put in a little thought to discover key techniques.>>
Yes, that is what Sensei told me at the time.
I can at least, use my unique way to apply the Sekiryuutei's power...
-- Because I am the Oppai Dragon!
[ Yes, now that's more like you. Current Sekiryuutei, Oppai Dragon. The possibility Belzard and I saw! Come, release it all now! Your possibility! ]
A bright light emitted from my shirt pocket. I took it out to have a look, and it was the jewel giving off red light.
[ Raise the jewel to the sky, and summon loudly! ]
S-Summon? Just as I wondered, Elsha-san announced loudly.
[ That's right, go summon the breasts that belong only to you! ]
In that instant -- shiiiiiiiine!
The jewel became even more brilliant, and gave off an intense light that illuminated the entire surroundings!
"...What is going on?"
Cao Cao noticed the light, and turned to look!
Amidst the light emitted by the jewel, something appeared. Those things gradually took on human form, one, two, they began to multiply.
W-What is this... Elsha answered my question.
[ The jewel has been transferring amongst all sorts of humans in Kyoto, and these figures are formed from their residual memories. ]
The figures of all the poor innocent men who became molesters due to me...?
The number of figures multiplied, easily exceeding a thousand. What kind of molester surge did this jewel produce in Kyoto! That's far too many people I have to apologize to!
"Lots of oppai."
"Many many oppai..."
...The lingering memories began to repeat oppai over and over again. Hey hey hey! When did this become a hentai exhibition!?
" " "Oppai! Oppai! Oppai! Oppai!" " "
As the huge number of figures all chanted "Oppai!" in a low voice, they slowly and casually shuffled their footsteps, and entered some kind of formation.
" " " "Oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai." " "
This is going too far!
I couldn't help but exclaim at this strange spectacle. The lingering memories repeated the word "oppai" as they looked like they were about to perform some kind of ceremony.
Cao Cao spoke softly. That's right! They looked just like zombies! Did people who got their chest fondled by the people, who had become molesters due to the jewel, get infected and turn into zombies?
Clones from lingering memories -- arranging themselves in a circle, the oppai zombies melted into the ground. Next, light moved about within the circle to carve out symbols in the centre, forming a massive magic circle.
--The oppai zombies turned into a magic circle!
The series of shocking events had left me completely puzzled, but Elsha-san said to me:
[ Everything is ready -- summon! ]
W-What? All these incomprehensible things have killed my ability to think!
[ -- the breasts that only belong to you! ]
Breasts belonging to me -- the first image that floated into mind was that crimson-haired onee-sama's --
[ Go, yell it out! Summon, breasts--! ]
I couldn't keep up with the rapid developments, do I really have to yell it out!
The magic circle gave off a bright light, the word "oppai" spelt out in the magical script, and within the magic circle were even the characters for breasts!
Summon? Could it really mean for me to summon that image in my mind --
Something appeared in the centre of the magic circle. With a flash of light, what appeared inside the magic circle was -- Crimson-haired Buchou!
In the middle of changing clothes? She was wearing only underwear. Noticing the change in scenery, onee-sama lifted her head to look around and got a big shock! Of course!
"W-What is going on!? Honmaru Palace...? K-Kyoto? A-Ara, isn't this Ise? Why are you here and why was I brought here? S-Summoned!? Eh? Eh?"
Buchou was in an awkward situation! I was so surprised I couldn't speak! Even the Heroes Faction were staring speechless unable to react! Sorry! For something so incomprehensible to happen, I am very confused too!
With full seriousness, Elsha-san spoke to the confused me.
[ Go ahead, poke! ]
I couldn't help but doubt my ears. Just now, I heard something that could not possibly be heard.
And then, Elsha-san spoke to me again.
[ Please poke her breast. ]
[ That's right, poke. Just as usual. Poke it with a 'pochitsu' sound. ]
"With a 'pochitsu'!? No no, what will happen if I poke!?"
What was this person suggesting! Are you really the strongest female Sekiryuutei!? This onee-sama I fear you have gone mad!
Ignoring my astonishment, Elsha-san continued.
[ This is the final switch to opening your possibilities, in other words, Rias Gremory's nipple. This is the switch -- the switch to open the doors of your potential! ]
No way. You're mad. Come on, this is beyond my imagination. Elsha-san, Buchou's nipple cannot be the switch to my awakening!?
[ --No, this is the switch to your awakening. Please understand, I truly believe this after observing you closely all this time. ]
Too far! Those words have gone way too far! But why do they sound so convincing!
As I struggled pondering, Buchou's body began to give off a golden light!
"W-What is it now!? I am surrounded by light!"
Buchou was beset with shock followed by a troubled look, but something incredible was happening before my eyes.
--Buchou's breasts were flashing with some sort of holy light--
...Elsha-san, that is...
[ Rias Gremory's breasts have come into contact with your possibilities, and entered a new phase. ]
Next, next phase...?
[ Hoho, those breasts have exceeded the limits, the frontiers of the Switch Princess -- is entering the second phase! ]
Sorry, I don't understand. What second phase! All sorts of incomprehensible things were making me cry!
[ Just touch it and you can change. You will realize a dramatic change. The power of the Evil Pieces within your body will be liberated with one touch. Press-- ]
Switch -- nipple --
Nose bleed. I finally understood. I get the situation now.
I walked over to Buchou, withdrew my mask into the helmet, and smiled.
Buchou tilted her head with an expression of surprise, while I solemnly said to her:
"Buchou, please let me poke you in the breast."
My frankness made Buchou -- speechless.
However, she only thought for a moment before she said.
"...I don't quite understand, but still... I get it!"
She understood my words! How did this situation come about! It has become incredible! Though I tried to ridicule myself with incisive derision, but there was nothing else that could be done!
Then go ahead and touch! Yes, touch it! Touch it in Kyoto! Poke Buchou's breast! Poke Buchou's nipple--!
Since letting others see her own nipples would be very embarrassing, Buchou shifted her position so others could not see, and took off her bra.
As the clasp was released, the voluptuous breasts were liberated all at once! As I noticed the change to those so very familiar nipples, I couldn't help but be surprised.
--The pink areolae and nipples were emitting a faint peachy glow.
Areolae giving off pink light! What kind of situation was this! W-Was this caused by the second phase!? Amazing! I am an idiot for trying to figure out these complicated things!
Now then, all I need to do is touch it for immense benefits!
Yes, yes, breasts can glow...
Releasing the finger portions of the gauntlets, I extended two fingers and poked forward, aiming at those shining nipples.
...Thinking back, when reaching Balance Breaker, I also poked these breasts and awakened.
It felt like I obtained something every single time I touched these breasts, it was truly thought provoking.
-- Amazing, Buchou's breasts are amazing. No matter what happens, everything can be solved using these breasts.
Switch, Switch Princess! Buchou is also evolving!
-- Perhaps she will really become the Switch Princess!
Are you ready, Ddraig?
[ Ooooooh! Oooaaaaaaah! Oooooooh! ]
Ddraig began to sob loudly. There was nothing left to do but cry. Sorry, I'm sorry, partner! But I have to poke! Not poking is impossible! I have a reason I must poke!
"Here I come!"
I declared loudly as I nosebled while touching breasts.
Feeling that incomparably soft sensation from the breasts and the nipples, watching the fingers sink into the breast. All these sensations travelled all over my body, giving my brain the highest pleasure.
Buchou's final exhalation gave me a critical hit!
Buchou's breasts suddenly gave off a bright light!
"This, this is...! Ahahahah!"
Buchou could not help screaming at this extraordinary development.
As Buchou's breasts gave off light, she rose into the heavens and the whole space is illuminated with a pink glow!
...Amazing. Buchou, Buchou she's ascending to heaven! Her breasts were still flashing with light!
I couldn't help clapping my hands together in respect, my eyes tearful.
-- Ah, breasts.
As Buchou rose into the sky and disappeared, the light and the magic circle vanished as well.
Eh eh, Elsha-san, where did Buchou go?
[ Back to where she came from. ]
Really? Buchou was summoned all the way to Kyoto just for that!? What the heck! When I get back, I will have to prostrate myself and apologise!
"...What the heck was that?"
Cao Cao and his group were stupefied. What happened had exceeded their comprehension! Of course! They wanted to summon Great Red but got Buchou instead!
I felt an intense beat from my heart.
Again in a loud voice, it was--
[ It's coming, go forth! ]
As Elsha-san raised her voice, red light overflowed from the jewels all over the armour... Warmth could be felt coming from within my body... like some kind of overflowing power... spurting out...!
Cannot be suppressed! Is this the power sleeping within the Sacred Gear? Is this Juggernaut?
No, no, there's no feeling of terror. Rather, it was some kind of energy pulse never felt before. But it has a certain feeling of nostalgia. Ddraig, this is--
[ I feel it too, partner... How nostalgic. This is -- my original aura. Unlike the power from Juggernaut, driven by extreme emotion, there is no curse or negative emotion. This feels like the time when I still had my material body, when all I cared was to simply fight the White One to determine the victor! ]
Ddraig's voice was full of happiness and joy.
Though I didn't know what had happened to Ddraig, but the red aura was now bursting forth from my entire body, covering me and the entire surroundings--
...Once I regained my senses, I found myself in the white space.
...What was this phenomenon? I should be fighting at Honmaru Palace in Nijou Castle. And then two people appeared in front of the confused me.
Elsha-san and a fashionably dressed man.
This was inside the Boosted Gear...? So only my consciousness flew here?
To this point I still couldn't understand what has happened, but Elsha-san smiled and said.
[ Your door is open now. This is the alternate path different from Juggernaut. ]
Elsha-san... I am truly grateful for just now. It felt like it was something important, so I went ahead with reckless abandon despite my surprise.
[ This is good. We also bet everything on it -- because, what you seek are breasts. ]
I-Is that so? Well, I do seek breasts very often...
[ Belzard and I can now pass on. ]
Pass on... Could it mean.
[ That's right, we exist here only as residual memories, it's about time for us to be free from this Sacred Gear. ]
...Do you mean to die?
[ We died long ago. What remains here are just some memories. Not even souls. Is this beyond common sense? And so we plan on disappearing. ]
B-But, I still have many questions for Elsha-san and need more advice!
Elsha-san shook her head at me.
[ You don't need us. Because I really have no interest in breasts. Only you, can cause all these strange phenomena by touching female breasts. ]
Yes, yes... Sorry, I am the Oppai Dragon...
[ You'll be fine as long as you have Ddraig and your companions. Go, current Sekiryuutei. Though the curse of the Sekiryuutei has not been fully lifted, it is something that will be resolved in time. If it's you, I'm sure the rest of the lingering memories will be liberated. ]
Elsha-san... I... I was touched and was overcome with mixed emotions of gratitude and appreciation, and my tears almost flowed out. Amongst the past seniors, there actually existed someone who cared so much for me...
[ We're leaving. Belzard, give him some final words. ]
The man known as the strongest Sekiryuutei ever -- Belzard-san was smiling at me. Precious advice, I beg you.
Nodding his head, Belzard-san reached out with his index finger.
[ --Click click, zoom zoom, iyaaan~ ]
...For an instant, I completely failed to understand what he was trying to express...
[ Looks like he's satisfied. Let's go, Belzard. ]
Elsha-san spoke as she smiled.
Wait, wait! What were those parting words from Belzard-san!? What is that look of satisfaction?
Click click, zoom zoom, iyaaan~! No way! Aren't those the Oppai Dragon song lyrics!
Oh no, the two of them were slowly fading away in the whiteness of the background! I can't believe it! The parting advice from the strongest senior, were words of gratitude just like that! The two of them were waving goodbye!
You must have better advice to tell your junior!
And so, Elsha-san and Belzard-san disappeared, satisfied with my breast fetish--
Is that so, I understood now.
To become the Sekiryuutei, almost all were weirdos --
"After all, I'm just a hentai!!!"
Those were the first words I yelled out as soon as my consciousness returned to the real world.
My mind was about to collapse!
"Let's go! Boosted Gear!"
In tandem with my yelling, the red flashing light surrounding my body began to give off a massive aura!
--Power gushed out without end!
From the depths of my heart, from within my body, it flowed from the Sacred Gear. So this was Ddraig's original power. Combined with the negative emotions of that berserk state known as Juggernaut, it became that dangerous power.
But now was different. Those negative emotions could not be felt right now, and my consciousness was intact!
[ Ah yes. I finally remember. Why did I forget...? Yes, it was God. The original power of Albion and mine that God sealed -- ]
Ddraig spoke, sounding like he noticed something... Anyway, let's talk later.
First, let's beat these guys right here!
[ Right, let's show them this power of mine which hasn't been used for so long! ]
[ Go! Sekiryuutei! Use our power! The possibilities of the Gremory servant, use it all! ]
[ Desire! ]
[ Diabolos! ]
[ Determination! ]
[ Dragon! ]
[ Disaster! ]
[ Desecration! ]
[ Discharge! ]
Many voices sounded out from the jewel, which began to repeat the sound of [D] as if it was broken!
[ DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!! ]
--The way to use the new power flowed into my mind.
Beelzebub-sama, the traits of your adjusted Evil Pieces have been strengthened by the Sekiryuutei's power--
Possibilities. Mine. Ddraig's. From now on, our possibilities--!
Due to the interruption just now, Queen had been released. Promotion was required again! But Asia's confirmation is not needed!
I yelled out loudly!
"Mode change! Welsh Blaster Bishop!"
Promotion to Bishop! Of course, this was no ordinary Bishop.
As I steadied my footsteps, red aura gathered on the shoulders and the back to take form.
A backpack formed on my back, whereas on my shoulders two massive caliber cannons were formed!
Starting up quietly, the Sekiryuutei's power began to concentrate in the barrels of the cannons.
...Magical power was raised due to promotion to Bishop. Plus the newly awakened power, the backpack was filled with an extremely large amount of aura. A massive high energy blast was being prepared!
"...That is very dangerous..."
Cao Cao muttered. He seemed to have noticed the concentration of power in the cannons.
That's right, a direct hit from these cannons will vaporize anything. This was my wish as I gathered power!
Kiba, Xenovia, Irina, Rossweisse-san, Saji.
My most important comrades. To hurt them like this!
And then to ignore us! That regret! That impotence I felt!
Let me fire all those emotions back at you!
Energy concentrated in the cannons--
[Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost!!!]
"Disappear! Dragon Blaster!"
The shoulder cannons fired releasing an extremely massive blast! Even as I tried my hardest to maintain my footing, I could not stop the impact from the recoil, and it sent my body backwards...! I used all my strength to stop myself from flying away!
The high output energy was fired into the midst of the Heroes Faction!
"Interesting, I will take this shot, legendary dragon!"
Heracles stepped up in front, was he trying to take my attack--
"Don't take it! Evade!"
Cao Cao yelled and used the base of his spear to hit Heracles away from the line of fire! Cao Cao and the other members then swiftly escaped my attack.
Without hitting anyone, the cannon blast continued flying onward far away behind them.
A large explosion shook the entire space while the city in the background was engulfed by the gigantic aura!
...The energy continued to spread, surrounding the entire city with intense light!
As the bright light faded, nothing was left! The cannon blast eliminated the entire scenery, and even the game field was affected and the artificial dimension began to show signs of distortion!
"...Destroyed the whole city! Hey! If he keeps firing, this dimension won't last!"
Heracles finally understood the power of my cannons, and cried out in surprise.
"Distorting the simulated dimension, yet this place was constructed to be sturdy... What kind of firepower was that?"
Siegfried stopped smiling and narrowed his eyes.
Hehe, let me take my revenge. However, this has not ended!
I yelled that guy's name, and released the cannons on my back! The released cannons dissipated into particles of light.
Coming right up! This was only the beginning!
I adjusted the Evil Piece system within my body! Yes, I need speed this time! Unsurpassed speed! Let me imagine myself as Kiba! Visualize the Knight!
"Mode Change! Welsh Sonic Boost Knight!"
I spread the dragon wings and flew towards Cao Cao! The boosters on my back were doubled, and spewed out great flames of magical power! I streaked across the sky as if causing the air to shake!
Not fast enough! I needed speed faster than he can follow! Sonic speed, high speed, god speed!
As I yelled, various parts of Boosted Gear Scale Mail were shed off! Heavy armour was cast off from the body, arms, legs, and helmet!
Abandoning all excess baggage, keeping the minimum armour to fly! Boosted Gear Scale Mail shaped itself into a set of delicate full body armour. Giving up on defence! Further shaping the armour into a slender form for high speed.
My wish is god speed! Speed no one can follow!
Enduring the vomiting feeling from the heavy G-forces, I flew through the air with god speed!
This must be the world seen by Kiba and Vali.
...Honestly, my body still hasn't adapted to such speed... --However, I can still continue!
"If all I need is to charge into you, that is absolutely not a problem!"
[Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost!!!]
I had Cao Cao caught in my sights, and was going to charge straight from the front!
Cao Cao entered a stance with his spear, and readied an attack! Good! Let's decide the victor directly!
Straight and to the point, that suited me the best!
I crashed towards Cao Cao with god speed!
Cao Cao vomited lightly.
I grabbed Cao Cao and continued flying!
"-- Finally caught you. No objections now?"
As I spoke, that guy laughed happily.
"-- Who would have thought, you really charged straight from the front! But then, can that thin armour resist my spear!? Sorry but I just raised its power, let's end this!"
That's right, if my current armour is struck by your spear, it will end instantly. Probably erased the instant contact was made.
-- But I already knew that very clearly. I understand!
I adjusted the Evil Piece system once again!
"Mode Change! Welsh Dragonic Rook!"
Now what I needed wasn't speed. It was overwhelming offensive and defensive power. Red aura gathered around me, restoring the lost armour. However, the aura didn't stop with regenerating the original form, it went beyond to create even thicker armour, a heavy shield.
Massive amounts of dragon aura concentrated on my arms, this must be double -- no, five or six times thicker than the usual gauntlet!
Losing god speed due to the mode change, Cao Cao and I continued flying through the air from the momentum. Cao Cao aimed his spear and the blade of light approached me!
...I used the thick gauntlet on my right hand as a shield, and received the spear's attack. The holy spear struck the gauntlet, but stopped halfway and did not penetrate my gauntlet completely!
"-- So I'll need to increase the output to destroy this armour? This level is already enough to vaporize an upper class devil instantly!"
Against the yelling Cao Cao, I raised my huge left fist. The fist was aimed perfectly, and definitely will not miss.
Go, Ddraig! Go, everyone!
"Don't look down on the Oppai Dragon, you bastard!"
[Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost!!!]
I smashed my massive left fist towards Cao Cao! In that instant, Cao Cao withdrew his spear from my gauntlet and used it to block as a shield.
As the fist hits the spear, percussion hammers appeared on the elbow of the armour! As massive amounts of aura were pumped out, it massively increased the impact of the punch!
From the air, I smashed Cao Cao towards the ground!
Taking my attack, Cao Cao fell towards the surface of the ground!
--In the moment before he fell, and after receiving my attack, Cao Cao was smiling.
The impact of his fall broke the ground surface, creating a massive cloud of dust and dirt.
Ending the close quarter combat in mid air, I landed in my heavy armour.
In that state, my heavy armour turned into mist, and scattered in the wind.
I began to pant, and fell to my knees... What remained was the intense feeling of fatigue.
--The stamina consumption was truly enormous.
From the current situation, it also felt like my armour was nearing its time limit.
I have received a new power. That is, the ability to promote to other Evil Pieces according to my own will without the King's consent.
And then in conjunction with the power released by the Sekiryuutei, it brought me frightening levels of magical power, speed, offensive and defensive capabilities.
Promoting to Bishop will raise magical power, and allow the firing of a super powerful form of Dragon Shot.
The Knight sheds excess weight to become a set of high speed armour. Using it together with the Sekiryuutei's new power, it gave me unbelievable speed.
Finally, the Rook was completely opposite to the Knight, equipped with heavy armour, with strengthened offence and defence. This required giving up on speed.
The Knight, the Rook, and the Bishop. The power to freely use these three, amplifying their traits to the limit. Though it does reduce other abilities as a trade off.
...At the current level of output, it was not enough for the Queen. If I forced the promotion, the power will either make me go berserk or it will disperse because I couldn't bear it.
Beelzebub-sama provided the key. With the help of the adjusted Evil Pieces, the original power of the Sekiryuutei -- Ddraig was awakened.
This was the state of my liberated possibilities... The door was wide open, all that remained was to keep charging forward.
But the stamina consumption was quite severe... If used in succession, I would be out of magical power instantly?
[ Partner, due to the liberation of power, the Balance Breaker countdown has further decreased. The total Balance Breaker time has also lengthened. However, stamina consumption has increased, in particular due to changing modes continuously. This will be lessened as you get used to it. ]
Is that so, Ddraig? So I still have plenty of room to train. Well, awakening was also something that could be achieved to this extent through hard work?
By the way, this power can't be used in the Rating Game. Ignoring the King's presence and promoting forcefully. Beelzebub-sama also mentioned it.
Well, it's ok for real battles so I will keep using it.
As I slowly got up, my sight was caught by Cao Cao who stood up as well.
...Bastard, he can still get up after taking my direct attack...? No, just before it struck, he used the spear to defend, so he can still endure...
Cao Cao stood up from the massive trench dug up by the impact of his fall.
His nose and mouth were bleeding. Cao Cao wiped the blood off and audibly flexed his neck.
"So this is the Sekiryuutei. Pardon my earlier embarrassment. It looks like you have obtained great power at a time of desperation. If I didn't defend with my spear, I would have died."
Then you'd better go die! Damn it! Truly the ultimate Longinus! That guy was fighting with a normal body, and I should be winning in a direct confrontation!
"Is this a new characteristic you obtained outside the rules of the Evil Piece system? This is almost like an Illegal Move."
...? I expressed doubt at the term I've never heard before.
Cao Cao replied to the question that leaked out of my mouth.
"This is a term in chess referring to irregular moves against the rules. That attack you did is clearly illegal in the Evil Piece system."
An illegal move? It really was like the words described. That power cannot be used in a match.
[ This power gives me the feeling of the Triaina. ]
Ddraig expressed his opinion. Triaina? What does that mean?
[ Triaina is the three-pronged spear of the ocean god Poseidon in Greek mythology. Better known as the Trident, I felt that the series of attacks from the three Evil Pieces was as intense as the Triaina itself. ]
Illegal Move ... Triaina...
Not bad, this name, I will be using it.
"Illegal Move plus Triaina. Not bad at all. Then I will call this series of attacks Illegal Move Triaina."
Let's try this name for now. Once I master the power of the Queen, let's think of a new one.
"How terrifying. In terms of direct offensive power, this rivals Vali without Juggernaut. No, Vali is improving every day, I wonder how he is now..."
Thanks for the praise. Even I myself don't think I have caught up yet. That guy is a genius.
"That attack should have consumed more stamina and aura than expected. You are also far from mastering it. No, even if you master it, its consumption will still be significant... By my estimates, ten minutes of Balance Breaker remains at most."
...Damn, that's almost the right answer. This guy analyses so completely. Of course, I'm not going to tell you how much time is left.
I will fight till the end.
I sighed and said to Cao Cao.
"You are really too tough to handle. I thought you were underestimating us, but you were still calmly analysing all this time."
"No, it was my stupidity to have underestimated you slightly. My apologies. As one who has gained knowledge of the secrets of the Sekiryuutei yet does not revel in great power, you truly are a formidable adversary. I must go back and reflect."
Cao Cao tapped the spear on his shoulder.
"--How exhilarating, I haven't felt this way ever since the last time I duelled with Vali. Truly, fighting legendary dragons is the best. This is also proof that I am the descendant of heroes."
...Exhilarating. I hate all these battle maniacs. When can I build my harem and live peacefully...
"Are you planning to have a total war with all the factions like this?"
Cao Cao shook his head at my question.
"You're mistaken. This kind of team is not suited for long term warfare. Though individually we are strong, we cannot stand against the allied forces. Yes, we will inflict heavy losses upon them, but we will be eliminated. Targeting vulnerabilities with sudden attacks is far more efficient, so I will continue to stay in this kind of organisation."
...So he had this kind of reason for staying under Ophis. How sly. There must be other reasons too.
A noise began to rock the dimension. I've heard this sound before, it's the sound of space being sliced open.
Looking up at the direction of the noise -- there was a hole being formed.
T-This is...! It appeared in my mind, the image of the giant red dragon in the dimensional gap.
"Looks like it's starting."
Cao Cao happily laughed. T-Then Great Red has been summoned using the kyuubi leader and the magic circle...!
"Perhaps that magic circle plus your massive power attracted the true dragon to here."
Cao Cao spoke in mocking tones!
...What, because I raised my power?
"Georg, prepare the Dragon Eater ritual --"
Cao Cao stopped midway in his words. He narrowed his eyes and stared at the dimensional gap with a questioning expression.
"...Wait, that's not Great Red? ...That's, plus this touki...!"
Appearing out of the dimensional gap was a massive slender oriental dragon, a few dozens of metres long.
That's not, it's not Great Red! W-What was that dragon!
Exuding a green aura as it gracefully flew in the night sky, it was quite a dream-like sight.
Cao Cao began to yell.
"-- It's the Mischievous Dragon, Yu-Long!"
Yu-Long--! I remember that was one of the Five Great Dragon Kings!
Though Cao Cao was surprised at the arrival of the oriental dragon, his gaze was not focused on Yu-Long but the figure on the dragon's back.
I also looked in that direction.
Over there was a tiny figure. Ah, that figure has fallen off the back of Yu-Long. No wait, he jumped? From that kind of height!
The tiny figure completely ignored the height, and landed on the ground.
"What a massive flow of youkai ki, as well as the flow of [Domination]. Due to these, the entire capital city is full of strange fluctuations."
The short figure had an elderly male voice, and approached us slowly step by step. So tiny. His figure was really short. A child...? He had the height of a kindergarten school child.
His fur gave off a golden brilliance! A monk's cassock gradually took form over his body... He really looked like a monkey... Face was all wrinkled. By the way, his skin was black... A youkai? A monkey youkai?
Carrying a staff-like weapon, prayer beads on his forehead, and wearing shades with a cyber design! He smiled with complete confidence while smoking a pipe.
"Hey, it's been awhile, holy spear user. That damn kid finally grew up."
The monkey old man spoke to Cao Cao. Cao Cao smiled, almost closing his eyes.
"The great Victorious Fighting Buddha, I wouldn't have expected you to come. I've heard that you have been thwarting our efforts all over the world."
"Kid, your pranks have gone too far. It wasn't easy for me to get assigned to have talks with the kyuubi leader on behalf of the Heavenly Emperor, and here you go kidnapping her. There are heroes who become gods and then there are heroes whose descendants poison the world. Tyranny and domination only lasts a single generation, isn't that saying correct? Cao Cao."
"Poison? To be called poison by you, I am honoured."
...I could see that Cao Cao treated this old man with reverence as they spoke. By the way, the entire Heroes Faction seemed to be gazing at the monkey old man with great seriousness? Or should I say tension, it seemed like they were under heavy pressure.
By the way, the Heavenly Emperor's... messenger? The Heavenly Emperor was Sakra, right? Then the one the kyuubi leader was going to negotiate with was this monkey old man? To be the messenger, this must be a very powerful monkey?
"...Who's that, that monkey-like ... old man?"
"...Probably Sun Wukong, and the first generation as well."
Kiba had finished healing and spoke as he walked over to me. I-I-I-I-I-It's really him! Kiba's words surprised me from the bottom of my heart!
"F-F-F-First Generation Sun Wukong! That monkey old man is the famous one from Journey to the West...!"
Really! Amazing! Yes, that's right, Sensei mentioned reinforcements --
He must have noticed my gaze, and the monkey old man smiled with his creased lips.
"Sekiryuutei boy, you worked hard. That's a pretty good dragon pulse. However, you don't have to push yourself any more. I am the reinforcements. Just leave everything to this old man. Yu-Long, I leave the kyuubi to you."
Monkey old man Sun Wukong gave orders to the flying Yu-Long in the air. And then the dragon king -- Yu-Long expressed dissatisfaction.
"Hey hey, giving orders to dragons just like that. Damn old man! Just getting here made me super tired! Anyway, what happened to the Hakuryuukou's witch companion! Wow, look, it's Vritra! Hey hey hey, the one fighting with the fox is Vritra! It's been how many years?"
...Very enthusiastic, that dragon!
[ Haven't changed at all. ]
I-Is that so, Ddraig...?
First Gen puffed his pipe and spoke.
"You can eat your fill of Kyoto cuisine later. How's that?"
"That's a promise, old man! You have to treat me to some delicacies later! Ah! Don't look down on the dragon king-sama! Fox lady! I am very amazing!"
Complaining, Yu-Long began to take on the kyuubi leader.
"OK. Sorry to the red fellow, but I will punish Cao Cao's descendant now."
First Gen walked towards Cao Cao. Siegfried extended his arms, and launched a surprise attack at First Gen!
"Siegfried! Don't take him on! If it's you--"
Though Cao Cao tried to stop him, Siegfried happily rushed in!
"Monkey boss! If it's that Sun Wukong, then I have no objections to such an opponent -- "
As he spoke calmly, the staff in First Gen's hands rapidly extended in length, easily sending Siegfried flying!
Crash crash crash crash crash!
With one hit, Siegfried was sent flying into a pile of debris.
S-So very strong! W-What is going on, this monkey old man! Defeating Siegfried with one hit! Even Kiba and Xenovia with the new Durandal couldn't win!
"You are not ready to be my opponent, young demonic sword user. Not enough strength in that waist. You'd better train again. Start with jogging."
As First Gen eyed Siegfried, Yu-Long wailed at this time.
"Ooh wawawawa! Hey damn old man! This fox is quite strong!"
Yu-Long has been entangled by the kyuubi's tails!
I-It was a tough match! By the way, this dragon king was really enthusiastic!
"Pull yourself together. You are a dragon king, right?"
First Gen sighed as he spoke.
"Amongst the dragon kings, I am the youngest! And also the liveliest!"
"You sure know how to argue. You are that youngest dragon king who first proposed retiring the instant you ended your most illustrious battle. Use your youth to pull through."
"Understood. I will try my best!"
Ah, they reached an understanding just like that. They sure were good partners.
The Dimension Lost user released the magic circle binding the kyuubi and extended his hand towards First Gen. It looks like compared to summoning Great Red, handling this monkey old man was more important!
"--Capture and bind. Mist!"
The mist from before began to surround First Gen and gathered.
"--By the justice of heaven, thunder sealing the dragon's jaw. Prostrate upon the ground."
First Gen chanted the spell, and then tapped his staff on the ground once, and the mist dispersed! He broke through that kind of mist just like that!
"Your Sacred Gear training is very weak. You should enter in a dialogue with it like that red dragon over there, how's that?"
Ah, I am being praised. So happy!
The mist user was very surprised. Of course, he held the power of a top tier Longinus, but it was completely ineffective!
Cao Cao saw an opening and extended the blade of his spear, planning on ambushing First Gen.
With one finger, First Gen blocked the spear! Come on, can this be real! He defended against that spear just like that!
"...Not a bad attack. But only this, you're still young. At the level that can be stopped by my finger, it is impossible for you to eliminate the other gods and buddhas. Whether you or the mist user, neither gave a serious attack. Don't underestimate me."
Hearing First Gen's words, Cao Cao laughed.
"... I see. That monstrous strength still exists... We keep hearing how strong you were in your younger days. But how is it now?"
To Cao Cao's question, First Gen simply shrugged his shoulders fearlessly.
Siegfried picked himself up from the rubble and said to Cao Cao.
"Cao Cao. It's over. Sun Wukong is famous for stopping Khaos Brigade operations numerous times. If we continue to attack recklessly, valuable talent may get injured. I was too naive. He is ridiculously strong."
Hearing that, Cao Cao put away his spear.
"Time to retreat eh. Choosing the wrong moment could result in grave injuries."
The Hero Faction swiftly gathered in one spot, and the mist user started activating a giant magic circle conjured under his feet. It was a transportation magic circle! They're trying to escape! Cao Cao left behind some words. "Let's call it a day, First Gen-dono, Gremory servants, as well as the Sekiryuutei, hope to see you next time."
Wait! Don't think you can escape!
T-To do this during our school trip! As well as taking Kunou's mother--
I gathered aura, forming a cannon on my left gauntlet. Packing my remaining power into that cannon, I focused on this one attack!
With a quiet sound, energy gradually gathered in the gauntlet cannon. A massive attack is not needed, just hitting that guy is enough!
First Gen smiled at me.
"You will complete my mission? Sure, that's fine. I'll let you punish that kid. It will only be for a short while, but I will raise your power."
First Gen lightly tapped my armour with his staff.
--And then, aura flowed forth from my body! Is this the power of sennjutsu?
My body, did it ever have this much aura? No, was it sleeping?
Much thanks, monkey old man! With this I have enough to fire the cannon!
I locked the aim of the cannon's barrel onto Cao Cao.
"-- You think you can return without any punishment? This is my gift to you, your souvenir from Kyoto!"
A dense blast of magic was fired from the gauntlet's cannon!
Heracles and Jeanne stepped forward, planning to shield Cao Cao. There! I imagined Sirzechs-sama's magic in my mind.
-- That unending stream of attacks!
No, no, I don't need to reach the level of those kinds of movements! Just change the course of the projectile!
As I yelled, I liberated my imagination in my mind! In that instant, the cannon shot changed trajectory and bent around Heracles and Jeanne!
The surprise attack hit Cao Cao right in the face!
"Oooh ooh ooh..."
Red smoke was rising, as Cao Cao covered his face!
It made a bend! I made my attack swerve! There really was plenty of room for improvement, so if I wanted, I can change the direction of Dragon Shots I had already fired? The battle with Sirzechs-sama was not a waste!
Cao Cao's right eye bled, but he still stared over here!
His face was stained red.
That guy was covering his right eye, and showing an expression of mad glee.
"...My eye was... Sekiryuutei!"
Raising his spear, Cao Cao began to chant powerful words of an incantation.
"--O spear! The true holy spear that even pierces God! Absorb the tyrant's ambition sleeping within me, blessing and destruction will be--"
Siegfried covered Cao Cao's mouth and held him down!
"Cao Cao! Stop chanting! It is too early to reveal the Balance Breaker of True Longinus -- Truth Idea!"
These words made Cao Cao calm down and he took a deep breath. And then Siegfried said.
"Retreat. Annihilation Maker Leonardo is also at his limits. At this rate, the outside members cannot bide time much longer. After all, we already gained a lot of valuable data, and obtained very good experience."
Siegfried stared at First Gen. It looked like he could still make an attack like just now.
Cao Cao stared at me with his left eye. What a sharp gaze... What kind of stare was that?
"Understood. First Gen, and the Sekiryuutei -- no, Hyoudou Issei. Please allow us to take our leave. Really, I can't laugh at Vali any more. I am in the same state. You always manage to rile us up at the very end."
Was he talking about that battle at Kuou Academy with Vali?
The light from the magic circle intensified. Just as he disappeared, Cao Cao said to me.
"-- Hyoudou Issei, become even stronger. Stronger than Vali. If that happens, I can show you the true power of this spear."
Leaving behind these words, Cao Cao and the Heroes Faction disappeared from this dimension.
...In the instant they vanished, fatigue gushed forth. Even maintaining the armoured state was taking all my effort.
Heroes Faction. Cao Cao... The ultimate Longinus... All were so mysterious.
I can only say this.
The Heroes Faction, especially that man, were frighteningly strong.
After the Heroes Faction escaped, those left behind were us, and Sun Wukong and Yu-Long who came as reinforcements. As well as the kyuubi leader.
"Ah, so tired, if Vritra was not here it would have been a hassle..."
Yu-Long landed and took a deep breath.
The kyuubi leader had been stopped by Yu-Long and the recovered Saji -- Vritra. After that, Saji had returned to human form but passed out on the ground, and was now receiving Asia's healing. Thanks for your hard work, Saji.
However, the kyuubi leader did not return to human form, and currently her pupils were still grey and had not recovered consciousness.
[ ... ]
Kunou cried as she called for Yasaka-san... but there was no response.
"Now what should we do? Though I can use sennjutsu to remove the evil ki presence, it will take a long while."
Puffing his pipe, First Gen was considering other solutions. Then he thought of something, and looked in my direction.
"Red kid. You seem to have a strange power that can listen to female breasts?"
What, how did he know...? Was my power that famous? Ah, if he watched the Rating Game match video, then it's not strange for him to know?
"Eh, eheh, yes it's true."
"Good. Then I will assist. Use the technique on the little girl and the kyuubi lady over there."
Use Bilingual on those two? What could he hope to find out by asking their breasts?
Though I didn't understand, I used my remaining magical power to produce that mysterious territory of breasts.
Sending power into my mind, raising lustful thoughts to the max, and then releasing the ability!
I used the technique on Kunou and Yasaka-san! At the same time I released my armour. Just doing these tasks spent all my magical power!
Confirming the technique had activated, First Gen twirled his staff and tapped the ground. In that instant -- creating a strange space covering the breast territory we were in.
The surroundings seemed to be spinning constantly... And my sight was getting blurry?
"This is a creative use of your technique, red kid, altering it to allow heart to heart telepathy. A dialogue between the little girl and her mother."
First Gen spoke to Kunou. Kunou nodded and closed her eyes. And then I heard Kunou's voice in my heart.
"...Mother... Mother. Can you hear me, mother..."
It was Kunou's voice. My heart was filled with her voice.
"Mother... please return to normal... I beg you, please..."
However, Yasaka-san was still unresponsive.
Tears streamed down Kunou's face as she continued.
"...I won't be stubborn any more... I will eat the fish I hate. I won't fly out of Kyoto at night any more... So please, please go back to the usual mother... Please... forgive Kunou... Mother..."
...What a depressing plea. Kunou continued apologising many times to Yasaka-san.
At this time --
"... Ku... nou..."
It was very faint, but I definitely heard that voice! Kunou lifted her head, and began calling out again.
"Mother! Kunou is here! Please sing that song to me again! Please teach me to dance again! Kunou, Kunou will be a good girl from now on! I want to be with mother... in Kyoto! I want to live together in Kyoto...!"
A gentle light surrounded Kunou, and then the light began to cover Yasaka-san. The kyuubi leader's body began to glow, and slowly, shrank in size.
As the light disappeared, Yasaka-san had regained the size of a human.
Wonderful! Back to normal! I couldn't help but raise my arms and cheer!
"...This place is?"
Yasaka-san's body was shaking, which was worrying. However, even though her consciousness is still a bit fuzzy, at least she came back!
Kunou ran to Yasaka-san's side. Jumping into her mother's bosom, she cried continuously.
Yasaka-san tenderly embraced Kunou, caressing her head.
"...What is it, Kunou. You're always such a crybaby."
Damn... I am crying from this touching scene.
"Oh...Kunou-chan, this is wonderful..."
Finishing everyone's healing, Asia was also crying.
Ah ah, this was truly a touching scene. It's wonderful, Kunou!
Confirming that Yasaka-san's sanity has been restored, First Gen announced the incident as having come to an end.
"Well, no matter what, this incident has been resolved."
And so, the fighting was over as the battle to rescue the kyuubi leader ended after many twists and turns.
The intense battle had come to an end, and everyone returned to the real world, gathering on the roof of the hotel we were staying at.
Sensei placed his hand on my shoulder and said:
"You really did it, Ise. Go rest now. Medical team! Please carefully examine the Gremory servants as well as Irina and Saji! They shouldn't be injured much, but are severely depleted in magic and stamina."
Sensei gave directions to other staff.
Sensei's kind thoughts were a blessing. So... tired to the death. Definitely won't be able to enter Balance Breaker again tonight...
The battle ended with the retreat of the Heroes Faction. After their intense fight with Dimension Lost and the antimonsters, the various factions which had participated in the Kyoto barricade were now handling the aftermath. However, the Heroes Faction was able to slip past the barricade and escaped... Just from this fact it can be seen that the Heroes Faction were very troublesome opponents.
It seems like they used the Annihilation Maker kid to create a large number of monsters as a diversion, which allowed the Heroes Faction to break through and escape.
When we got back, everyone was virtually falling over. My legs shook and I could hardly stand, it was total exhaustion...
Asia was also tired out from healing her companions and the tension of the battle, falling asleep as she leaned against my body.
Everyone's healing treatment had finished, but just to be safe, we were being wheeled away.
"Sorry Ise-kun, I was too useless just now."
Kiba apologised as he said to me. I waved my hand. It's the effort that counts.
The Sitri servants accompanied Saji who was lying on a stretcher, their eyes full of tears of worry. Turning Dragon King consumed a massive amount of stamina, and Saji had lost consciousness after the battle. Since he didn't need to dialogue with me to stay in control, it seemed like he was working hard. Saji has grown. By the way, Saji, you are also one who is loved by your companions.
After that, I also received Buchou's call. I reported back briefly but will need to give a full explanation when I get back.
...Am I going to be killed?
Just as I was deep in my dark thoughts, monkey gramps -- the first generation Sun Wukong walked over.
"You seem to have obtained your own power, a great power different from the Juggernaut. What a good boy. Juggernaut is a silly trick. It's simply power out of control, pure violence. And then you die. Kid, you have a girl important to you, right? After all, you are the one called the Oppai Dragon."
I, I'm being praised! What an utmost honour to be praised by the protagonist of the Journey to the West! Anyway, about girls! First Gen pointed at Asia.
"No, hahahaha. Eh eh, I guess so."
"Then don't make her cry. You are the type who will become strong for dreams and girls. Also, the Sekiryuutei and the Hakuryuukou are already concentrations of power. Even if you don't rely on Juggernaut you can strengthen to any degree -- however, you are still in danger."
First Gen stared at my face, nodding.
I didn't understand what he meant, but First Gen simply puffed a breath of smoke and laughed.
"Also, that idiot from my family has caused you trouble. My apologies."
Ah, that's Bikou. Yeah, he sure was troublesome. Our Buchou is furious from that "Switch Princess" nickname.
First Gen rubbed my head.
"Emotions will bring forth Juggernaut, remember that. And that last hit on Cao Cao was an excellent attack. You should work hard in that direction. Never let up on dreams and hard work. -- Next, as the Sakra messenger mission finishes, I will go find that idiot. Hanging out with Vali, I will teach them both a lesson. -- Take care. Jade Dragon, let's go over to the kyuubi."
"Got it, damn old man. Bye, Ddraig!"
Before their voices subsided, First Gen and the Jade Dragon had already left far away.
...Left behind alone, I clenched my trembling hands... They were already numb. This was evidence of fatigue. --The dormant power in the Sacred Gear has combined with the Evil Pieces to become my new power.
There was still plenty of room for improvement, and training needed to begin anew.
Sairaorg-san, Vali... and Cao Cao.
I won't lose, and definitely, I will become stronger. Much stronger.
I believe, one day, my dreams will come true --
Elsha-san, Belzard-san, though we parted in a most ridiculous manner, but please continue watching over me from wherever you are.
As the Sekiryuutei, as the Oppai Dragon, I will do what I need to do.
On the last night in Kyoto, I gazed up towards the sky and renewed my determination.
On the last day of the school trip --
Perhaps due to the exhaustion of last night, we were still tired after a night's rest. We of the Gremory group had to drag our tired bodies out of bed to finish shopping for souvenirs on the final day.
...Though rushing around made us pant, we finally saw the Kyoto Tower.
Souvenir shopping done, it was time to leave Kyoto.
At the Kyoto bullet train station platform, we were being seen off by Kunou and Yasaka-san.
Kunou smiled and called my name, holding Yasaka-san's hand.
"Just calling me Ise is fine."
Hearing my words, Kunou's face went red and shyly asked:
"...Ise. Are, are you still coming back to Kyoto?"
"Ah, yes, definitely."
A series of high pitched noises.
The sound of the train about to leave echoed across the platform. Kunou shouted at me:
"You must come back! Kunou will always wait for you!"
"Ah yes, together with everyone. Next time you need to show us the hidden side of Kyoto."
Hearing our exchanges, Yasaka-san spoke.
"Azazel-sama, Sekiryuutei-sama, as well as all the devils, angels, fallen angels, my apologies. I wanted to thank you all. I am prepared to meet and have talks with Leviathan-sama and the Victorious Fighting Buddha. I have always hoped that everyone can turn the situation around and strengthen cooperation, and never let Kyoto be terrorised again."
"Ah, I leave things in your hands, leader of the youkai."
Sensei smiled, shaking hands with Yasaka-san. But suddenly Leviathan-sama placed her hand on top of theirs!
"Ufufu, everyone return for now☆ Afterwards, Yasaka-san, the monkey ojichan and I will enjoy the very interesting Kyoto together☆"
Leviathan-sama looked very happy. It seemed like she was going to stay for a while in Kyoto and have further talks with the youkai.
After a few pleasantries, everyone got on the bullet train.
On the platform, Kunou waved her hand and called to me.
"Thank you, Ise! Everyone! We will meet again!"
We also waved to Kunou.
With a rushing sound, the bullet train door shut. Though the train had started. Kunou continued waving.
-- Kyoto, the four days and three nights trip.
From setting off to now, so much had happened in such a short time. Kiyomizu-dera, Ginkaku-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Arashiyama, Nijou Castle... Other than that, there were lots of memories.
Let's come again. To reunite with Kunou and Yasaka-san -- Next time let's bring Buchou and everyone --
...Ah. I suddenly thought of something.
"I forgot to ask Yasaka-san to show me her breasts as a reward!!!!!!!!!"
Damn it! And I worked so hard! So much happened that I forgot! Damn! This must be the Kyoto air messing me up!
"Nooooo!!!!! Kyuubi breasts!!!!!!!!"
I hung around the door, crying out in regret --
Having returned from Kyoto, we were being lectured by Buchou in one of the rooms of the Hyoudou residence.
We were all kneeling. Asia, Xenovia, Kiba, and who knows why, Irina was also reflecting. Due to travel fatigue, Rossweisse-san had returned to her room to sleep. It seemed like she had consumed a lot of stamina. Being a teacher must be hard work, and combined with her drunken vomiting...
Buchou had her eyes half closed as she interrogated us.
"Why didn't you report to me? -- Is what I would like to ask, but we did have issues in the Gremory territory. Does Sona know?"
We explained everything that could be explained. Nevertheless, Akeno-san and Koneko-chan were also angry.
"When I called you, I had hoped you would discuss things with me..."
"...That's right. How could you treat us like that?"
"But, but, everyone came home safe..."
Gasper!!!!! You're helping me! What a good junior!
"Oh well, Ise was getting friendly with a new girl there."
Sitting on a chair, Sensei casually added fuel to the fire. What are you trying to do!
"And it's the kyuubi's daughter."
Are you talking about Kunou! Hey hey hey!
"No, it's not like that! Really, Sensei, you're saying it in such a bad way."
"No, just look at Yasaka and you'll know, that girl will surely grow up to be a great busty beauty, right?"
...I imagined Kunou's future appearance. Yes, the breasts would be very large.
"... M-Maybe so. But still! I already said I'm not interested in shorties!"
Smash! I was hit by Koneko-chan!
Is, is that so... Koneko-sama's heart was impossible to understand...
"Oh well, Rias, Ise's power has also made a giant leap, why don't you cut him some slack."
Sensei finally helped a bit.
Buchou also sighed and nodded.
"That, I am very happy to learn that... But being suddenly summoned to Kyoto, and br-breasts..."
Buchou stammered as her face went red.
It's that incident! It also gave me quite a fright! Everyone else who heard about it couldn't believe it, but thanks to Ddraig's tearful explanations they were finally convinced.
What an unbelievable development! Buchou's breasts returned to normal and stopped glowing. That was such a shock... I didn't know breasts could give off light...
By the way, as for all the people I caused to become molesters, I did help them so that they could return to their normal lives. Everyone, I am truly sorry!
Azazel also said to me:
"Ise, I think your choice of power is great. Your rival -- Vali is trying to take Juggernaut's power to the limits, to become a true tyrant, the Heavenly Dragon. Even if you make the same choice as him, it will only proceed like the last time when the Old Maou faction attacked, and be devoured by it. Ise, do not take the path of tyranny but choose the road to royalty. Wishing to become King is the right idea."
The road to royalty, is that so.
After all, if I try to imitate Vali, I will never catch up to him. Let's just go with the current flow for now.
Akeno-san seemed to suddenly recall something and clapped her hands.
"By the way, the youkai world has decided to start broadcasting the Oppai Dragon show. --Hey Ise-kun, looks like you are going to be even more famous."
"Really! Looks like things are getting out of control... I am having such a surreal feeling."
"Ise will become the hero of all the children in the world one day. Yes, perhaps your dream to rise above the ranks of commoners will be achieved soon."
I thought deeply about Xenovia's words.
"Is that so? But I don't feel like I am welcomed by the girls... If this continues, I will only be surrounded by kids, not by a harem."
As I thought pessimistically, Sensei went "ah" and remembered something.
"Oh by the way, the House of Phoenix's daughter is going to transfer to Kuou before the cultural festival."
--! Other than Buchou, Akeno-san and Koneko-chan, everyone was surprised!
I asked and Sensei replied.
"Ah yes, looks like she was influenced by Rias and Sona's example, and requested to study in Japan. She should be a first year. The formalities are all complete. The same year as Koneko, eh? But cats and birds don't get along too well... Watching them together will be fun."
Koneko-chan seemed displeased. Eh? Koneko-chan hates Ravel? Now that it's mentioned, I have never seen them speaking to each other. As first years, please get along.
"But then, why did she suddenly transfer?"
Sensei gave me a look of despise and stared long and hard at me.
What, what are you trying to say with that kind of expression...
"Yes, this is just my guess. Rias will be having a tougher time."
After hearing Sensei's words, not only Buchou, but all the girls' faces were showing complicated expressions.
"...Even after coming back, I can't relax."
Asia's voice was so depressed!
"Endure, Asia. Developing relations with this guy means endurance. I too have come to understand this recently."
"Yes... I have no choice but to endure now...?"
Xenovia and Irina were also softly speaking amongst themselves!
"Rather than endure, I want to attack."
Akeno-san showed a challenging smile!
I r-really don't understand, what are they talking about? Ravel's not a bad girl...
Buchou sighed and gave a wry smile.
"Ok, everyone is back safe. Let's call it a day. I will ask for the details from Onii-sama through Grayfia later."
Ah, Buchou's mood seemed to have improved finally...
"Now then, the school festival is coming up. We have to get serious with preparations. Also--"
Buchou's face was serious as she continued.
"The match against Sairaorg. This is supposed to be the last battle in the youth tournament. We cannot be careless. Let's prepare together."
" " " " " " " "Yes!" " " " " " " "
That's right, the school festival was important, but the match against Sairaorg-san was also crucial.
"Ise-kun, let's spar when we recover. I really felt my incompetence in Kyoto, and hope you will give me strength."
"Yes, Kiba. Let's have simulated battles until the match."
The training with Kiba will start once again.
I really wanted to try this power on that person and see what effect it would have. And let Queen awaken in that state. So much to do. Will the new power be allowed in the Rating Game?
"But then, Buchou and I as well as everyone else will surely win!"
I expressed my determination once again.
--We must defeat Sairaorg-san! Nothing short of victory!
Boss X Boss
"Sirzechs, we will send the data we collected from the Heroes Faction. They seem to have three high tier Longinus, as well as a gathering of Balance Breakers. Not only are they trying to summon Great Red, but it looks like they have other plans. These detestable terrorists."
"They appear to be working under the banner of 'Destroying the Devil and Youkai Alliance', Azazel. Disregarding the core members, this is what the lower subordinates believe as 'Justice.' It is due to this that the various factions in the Kyoto barricade suffered heavy losses. They not only possess Annihilation Maker, but have many Balance Breaker users, this is changing the situation much more than we imagined."
"From the human point of view, devils, angels and youkai are all enemies-- They probably just view them as monsters. The alliance of the three Bible factions seems to be the spark that lit them into action. Devils getting along with fallen angels is already shocking, but Heaven working with the Underworld is even more unbelievable. It isn't surprising that humans will feel threatened and angered at this unnatural turn of events. -- Anyway, how are the talks with the youkai?"
"Extremely well. They want to negotiate with the Fallen Angels next."
"Really, looks like the proposal Shemhaza has been pushing all along will finally get started. Also, did you know that Sakra has been sending the first generation Sun Wukong and the Jade Dragon all over the world? This time they also helped a lot."
"Since God of the Bible is dead, and now, Indra -- As top tier gods, if Sakra and Zeus happened to get assassinated by True Longinus, then the balance of power between the various factions will be broken once again. Isn't sending the First Gen Sun Wukong to deal with terrorists the best way?"
"However, if the heroes, in other words the humans, are our enemies, then aren't we the final bosses that the warrior party defeats at the end? Or the hidden bosses?"
"Humans will always be unpredictable and scary existences."
"That's right. -- By the way, Ise and the rest have accomplished new victories in Kyoto. There is no question to his promotion, right?"
"Yes, it is enough. If things go as planned, I will recommend him after the next Rating Game."
"-- You mean the match with Sairaorg. Sairaorg has also defeated many terrorists."
"The only young devils possessing this level of power are Bael, Agares, Gremory and Sitri. As to being able to contend with the upper echelons of the core leadership, I fear only Sairaorg and Rias' servants have the power to do so. Thus, much hope is being placed upon the servants of both sides."
"Already rivalling the professional upper class devils, eh?"
"Yes. Once they begin official games, both of them will definitely win titles rapidly. Also, there are many in the House of Gremory that are optimistic about Rias, and they eagerly anticipate Ise's future performance. As his future brother, I am very proud."
"Haha, getting proud of your brother-in-law so soon? Being both Maou and a brother, your identity sure is complicated."
"I am very happy. Ise-kun and Rias are my hope. I want to watch over their growth. But then..."
"What is it?"
"...Azazel, I wanted to ask. -- Rias, what is going on with Rias' breasts?"
"Rias' breasts have exceeded its frontiers in this incident. Looks like they entered 2nd phase. -- So Rias has become the Super Switch Princess."
"Ah, in that case... Shouldn't the Oppai Dragon merchandise enter a new phase too..."
"Your mind for business is getting sharper... Will Ise's new power be allowed in the match? I think it's a rather interesting ability."
"All the other higher ups are fine with it. They think it will be fun. What remains is Sairaorg... But I fear he will probably --"
"--And that's it. My report is done. Vali-sama."
"Ah thanks, Le Fay. Thank you for luring the first generation Sun Wukong and the Jade Dragon to that dimension. --How's Hyoudou Issei?"
"I am very touched to meet the greatly anticipated Chichiryutei-san!"
"...Is that so. Yes, great."
"One more thing. First Gen-sama seems to be looking for Vali-sama and Bikou."
"We may run into them soon. To completely shake the First Gen off our backs will be very hard... But hidden in the depths of the Sacred Gear, Hyoudou Issei has begun contact with the past possessors."
"Persuading others by words is not my style. --I will take the greater challenge of dominating the past possessors, it is more interesting that way. Cao Cao, if you want to defeat us you'd better do it while it's still possible. -- Before I and Ise completely surpass your powers."
"Sairaorg, are you listening?"
"What's the matter, Seekvaira Agares?"
"Rumours say the Sekiryuutei under Rias Gremory has awakened a new power."
"Isn't that great. Yes, he finally awakened. I look forward to it."
"But then, they say that this ability is powerful enough to make the Rating Game unfair."
"No problem. I will allow it."
"It is also said that Ajuka Beelzebub-sama favours him."
"Your opponent will also become the future brother-in-law of Sirzechs Lucifer?"
"He is on the same level as the Hero faction leader -- he fought the holy spear and lived."
"Of course. It wouldn't do to break the agreement we had. Wouldn't you agree, Hyoudou Issei!"
"The Kyoto project failed, but another plan is under adjustment. You will see it soon, Cao Cao."
"Is that so? Good. Siegfried."
"According to the plan, I will take one of these. -- Cao Cao are you going to use it?"
"This spear is enough for me."
"--How's the eye wounded by the Sekiryuutei?"
"...No good, it can't be used any more. Hoho, he really got me this time."
"What made you carry phoenix tears and not use them... Then let's prepare a replacement. Are you going to make him pay for the eye?"
"Of course not. I'm not some third rate villain. This is a valuable lesson. The wound on the eye is a reminder. -- To me, Hyoudou Issei and Vali are the best Heavenly Dragons. What joy."
I am Ishibumi who turned 30 this month. My appetite seems to have lessened recently, is it due to age?
After 9 months, the 9th Volume is finally released. I had very many ideas, so getting them down on paper gave a very satisfying feeling like pouring my heart out. As the pen flowed smoothly, so increased the thickness of the book. Ise's group finally battles the Hero faction! I got to write many battle scenes this time, it makes me so happy!
One year ago, I went to Kyoto to collect data for reference. Before that I had never been to Kyoto. In the 3 school trips in primary, junior high and high school, miraculously they all went to Fukushima.
This time I went to Kyoto, the food was great, the scenery was beautiful. The old capital is a great place.
As the opening of the 3rd story arc, Volume 7 was the Norse legend story. This volume is the Kyoto youkai story.
The kyuubi is introduced as the youkai leader! But she will probably only be active this once... As to the leader this was actually changed a bit. The original plan was to use the Shuten-doji as the leader, but then someone said that "Oni is not good" so it was changed. They said that writing about Oni in the book would have terrifying consequences...
In the early stages of planning DxD, one of the ideas was "the kyuubi princess marries the onmyoji protagonist." I was thinking whether I should write about that. In the end, the idea evolved into the devils of the novel, but the original idea has been partially reused in this volume!
Volume 9 can be described as the Balance Breaker party. When discussing with Miyama-Zero and the supervisor, I was wondering "is a Balance Breaker party possible?"" But the two of them immediately gave their support, saying that "DxD can overcome inflation!" Thanks to them, in this very volume, Ise's power also increased! He begins to realize his own unique power as the Sekiryuutei but different from Juggernaut. As the power source, Buchou is quite something. Fresh naked shining oppai! Entering the 2nd phase! Buchou's oppai can glow.
Bishop version of Illegal Move Triaina -- The cannons were Miyama-Zero's idea. He was puzzling over how to draw the Bishop and suddenly had a great idea, and so gave him two cannons on his shoulders. Looks a bit like the microwave cannons of Gundam DX. The Rook's punch is a bit like Sudden Impact in "Big O." Increasing power in an instant. The Knight is a reference to "Kamen Rider Kabuto" where there is a two stage transformation.
When power is fully liberated to become Queen, what will Ise be like? Though he has the approval of the two strongest Sekiryuutei, the rest of the senpai are still ignoring Ise and wallowing in their negative emotion. Will Ise be able to lift their curse? Please look forward it!
This time I tried to dig deeper into the church trio. Asia doesn't need explanation, Xenovia is cornering Ise step by step, and finally Irina is also...! Without lifting a finger, the Chichiryutei has gathered the 3 of strong faith into his clutches, how will things develop from here...
Also, Rossweisse gets to show her stuff... sort of! She is a different kind of onee-sama compared to Rias and Akeno, everyone please treat her with love! Because she has experienced a lot, she becomes like that if she lets loose a bit. Though she is very strict, her core is a very kind person.
Vali's team has the sorceress Le Fay and Gogmagog's introduction. With this the Hakuryuukou's team has all appeared. This time is just to let everyone see them. In Volume 6 when Vali was taking action in the dimensional gap was the time when Gogmagog was found.
The number of characters are increasing, but as long as you are familiar with the Gremory group, Irina, Ddraig, Azazel, Sirzechs and Vali there's no problem. Because the story basically revolves around them. Everyone else are occasional appearances and villains.
Let's talk about the Hero faction next. They are humans. When I was writing DxD I thought, if the devils, angels and fallen angels ally, who will feel threatened the most? The answer is humans. If you suddenly heard that "devils and fallen angels have allied!" Wouldn't that feel rather scary? The path they pursue is the one taken by RPG protagonists who defeat Maou and dragons. But other than that, Cao Cao and his group has other plans... Vali is also involved.
Since the Hero faction is rather merciless, Ise and his friends who got their school trip interfered are quite unfortunate. But then after all that happened, Ise got a power up, and he did enjoy Kyoto very much, so it's all good in the end?
I haven't decided if all 13 Longinus will make their appearance. The Sekiryuutei's Boosted Gear and the Hakuryuukou's Divine Dividing are excellent Sacred Gears in terms of overall offense and defense. Dimension Lost and Annihilation Maker have world class power when used by certain people, and are very dangerous; they exceed normal standards in many areas.
As for True Longinus, it is a secret. Apart from the spear, Cao Cao-kun sure was careless.
Looking back, Volume 9 is full of furigana. Designing the Sacred Gears took a lot of time in coming up with names. Since I also need to consider the names of their Balance Breakers.
As mentioned in the books, Sacred Gears have subspecies.
At this time I would like to thank Miyama-Zero san and supervisor H-san, your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Thank you to all the reader support. I think the first volume of the manga is about to be released. We hope everyone can support the manga version. Some of the oppai can only be enjoyed in the manga! Serialization has also moved from Dragon Magazine over to Dragon Age. It's monthly now!
Next story will be the match against Sairaorg. This volume was about the outskirts of devil society (devils dealing with outside factions). Next story will be about the inner workings of devil society. Please look forward to the spirited battle between Ise and Sairaorg.
Ravel is also coming to Kuou Academy! As mentioned at the end of the volume, she is a 1st year. Ise's juniors have increased.
Volume 10 is about the school festival. Please pay attention to Ise and Rias' love!
Translator's Notes and References
- I__tan: a censored reference to the Japanese department store Isetan.
- maiko: apprentice geisha whose duties include singing, dancing and playing a three-stringed instrument to entertain guests. They are found in western Japan, especially Kyoto.
- Fushimi Inari: the head shrine of the Japanese Shinto deity Inari.
- torii: traditional Japanese gate used as the entrance to Shinto shrines and also found within them. They symbolize a transition between realms.
- sandou: in Japanese architecture, the road leading to the entrance gates of a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple.
- tengu: a type of supernatural creature from Japanese legends. Though the name means "heavenly dog" literally, they are often depicted as bird-like beings. Karasu means crow.
- seiza: traditional Japanese formal sitting posture consisting of kneeling while resting the bottoms on the heels.
- Kiyomizu-dera: Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto.
- Ginkaku-ji: a Buddhist Zen temple located in Kyoto. The name means "Temple of the Silver Pavilion" literally. It was named due to initial plans to emulate the "Temple of the Gold Pavilion" and cover it with silver foil.
- Kinkaku-ji: a Buddhist Zen temple located in Kyoto. The name means "Temple of the Gold Pavilion" literally.
- Kyuubi: Nine-tailed fox
- Arashiyama: refers to a district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The mountain, which gave the district its name, acts as backdrop for the scenery in the area. The name means "Storm Mountain" literally.
- Tenryuu-ji: located in Kyoto, it is the head temple of the Tenryuu branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. The name means "Heavenly Dragon Temple" literally.
- Nison-in: a Tendai Buddhist temple in west Kyoto.
- Jojakko-ji: Buddhist temple built on the mountainside, famous for the sight of autumn leaves.
- Togetsukyou: Moon Crossing Bridge
- Nijou Castle: a flatland castle in Kyoto, it was the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
- Seimei Shrine: a Shinto shrine in Kyoto.
- Suzumushi: properly known as Myotoku-zan Kegon-ji, this Buddhist temple received its nickname ("Bell Cricket Temple") due to the sound of crickets singing throughout the year. The Kofuku-Jizo is a stone thought to make wishes come true and bring happiness.
- yaguramon: usually large and impressive, these gates were often used as important entrances and could be garrisoned. Picture of yaguramon at Honmaru Palace
- touki: literally "battle spirit", it is an external manifestation of a person's life force. Usually used by those who have mastered advanced sennjutsu, in rare occasions it can also manifest for those with extreme vitality and bodily training.
- Yu-Long: in the Chinese classic novel, Journey to the West, the third son of the Dragon King of the West Sea. He was punished to become the white horse of the monk, Tang Sanzang.
- Sun Wukong: called Son Goku in Japanese, the monkey king protagonist of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West
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