High School DxD:Volume 14 Life 2
Life.2 The Rulers of the Late Night
Using your head was fine, but having to train your body was also the harsh reality of being a part of the Gremory group. Besides the selection of the resume of the Magicians and the job of a Devil, we, the Gremory group plus Irina, changed into our jerseys, and were continuing to train in the battlefield located underground the Gremory’s territory. We were training in two groups within this spacious battlefield. In this location, there were the warrior-types that consisted of me, Kiba, Xenovia and Irina. My mock battle for today, which was my match against Kiba, ended just now. Kiba, who has attained different types of Demonic Swords, including Gram, and who is also using Dragon Slayer Holy Demonic Swords, was starting to become an opponent who was hard to take on with my normal Balance Breaker. It would have been easier if I could wear my crimson armour. ...Ddraig had increased the time he needed to sleep since the battle with Cao Cao. There were times when he didn’t respond for a whole day. And currently, I was in a state where I couldn’t promote to use Triaina and True Queen. According to Azazel-sensei–
“He must have used too much of his power to revive you. It’s a body created from Great Red’s flesh with Ophis’s power added to it, so you can’t calculate how hard he worked for it. His soul didn’t wear down and he didn’t lose his power, but his exhaustion must be really bad. He will probably sleep longer for a while, so let him sleep without stimulating him.”
That’s what he said. ...My partner, the Heavenly Dragon who used a lot of his power to resurrect me. Ddraig didn’t have a body, and he was in a state where only his soul remained. Even so, he did all that for me... I just couldn’t thank him enough. If having a sleep will bring Ddraig back to his old self, then I want him to take a rest. However, do come back before strong foes appear. An opponent whom I might need to use my Triaina and True Queen against might appear. I was just worried that I wouldn’t be able to give my all in terms of battle since those who appeared in front of me were getting stronger and stronger... While I was drinking a sports drink after finishing the battle, Kiba appeared within my sight. He was staring at Gram. He said this after taking a breath.
“...Like I thought, finding the right time to use Gram is hard.”
“Is it at a level where even you find it hard?”
When I asked, Kiba narrowed his eyes.
“It also has to do with the technical part. Either way, the consumption is really bad. Just swinging this drains a lot from my stamina, demonic power and other departments. If I use it continuously for a single battle, it will probably also trim down my life. It certainly is a masterpiece fit to be called the Demonic Emperor Sword.”
That bad, huh? Certainly, Kiba, who was using Gram, looked like he was searching for a way to use it. Though the pressure I was getting from Gram, which was a Dragon Slayer, was insane! Just standing in front of it when he wasn’t wielding it gave me the chills. Even now, just looking at it from here when he wasn’t making a stance with it made me sweat a lot. That’s how much the Dragon Slayer trait of that Demonic Sword was a deadly poison for me. I just couldn’t help but feel the killing intent that sword had towards me. It wasn’t Kiba’s will. I could feel the will of that sword with my own skin. Just having it near me would have an effect, so Sensei gave an order to Kiba to place it in a different space during usual times. Kiba made the space at the tip of his right hand distort, and he put Gram inside it. It was the same logic behind how Xenovia kept Durandal in another space. I heard that Kiba also put each of the Demonic Swords he took from Siegfried inside it.
“I wonder how that bastard Siegfried was able to use it.”
When I asked, Kiba answered.
“No, I think that was also the reason why he couldn’t use Gram to the fullest that easily. I think the only reason he couldn’t use it to the fullest was because of the Dragon trait of his Sacred Gear. You need determination to use this. I’m not Xenovia, but if I have to use it, then it will be when I have to finish someone off with a single strike.”
“How about the other Demonic Swords?”
“They all are good Demonic Swords. Except, since they are all demonic items, there are risks in using them. Each of them either makes the wielder get cursed, or it trims a certain thing down every time you use it. Siegfried...I don’t think he was planning to live long. Or it could mean that his life was played around with when he was at the warrior raising institute.”
A Demonic Sword wielder who went as far as trimming his own life, huh. That bastard Freed might have also received excessive training from the institute. Did his personality turn out like that because of it? No, it was pointless to think about it now. Kiba said while gulping down his sports drink.
“Either way, rather than wielding it myself, there will be less demerits by having my Dragon Knights carrying and wielding it.”
Now that you mention it, he did have a mock battle against Xenovia using that fighting style.
“...I couldn’t even touch Kiba since the Dragon Knights that were wielding the Demonic Swords stopped me. Fufufu, it proves how a power idiot like myself is weak against attacks from out of my range.”
The one who was acting weak was Xenovia, and she was sitting down while grasping her knees. Xenovia, who was receiving technique training from Kiba, received harsh comments from him. Not using Durandal Cannon and relying on destroying as much as possible, she had a mock battle against Kiba while using the traits of the other Excaliburs... The more she tried to take in techniques, the more she came to realise the huge difference between her and Kiba. Kiba then said.
“If it’s you who doesn’t have a power restraint, then you will be able to destroy the Dragon Knights who are wielding the Demonic Swords with ease. Also, it will be the end for me if I were to receive your attack. However, not learning how to use the seven traits of the Excalibur will be a waste. If you come to use them to their fullest, you will be able to become a swordswoman that will surpass me.”
The seven abilities of the Excalibur were a threat. Xenovia could only use Destruction’s destructive force as her main, but there was no loss for her to at least learn how to use Mimic, which has the ability to transform, and Transparency, which gives the ability to go invisible. Actually, even Freed was able to use it. So I think it will be natural for Xenovia to master using it too. In fact, she was learning how to use it...but it was also true that there was a gap between her and Kiba. Increasing your strong points to cover your weakness like Ravel said might also be good. But if we were talking about Xenovia, then I think she would definitely become stronger if she learned several abilities of the Excalibur. She was aware of that herself, which was why she asked Kiba to become her opponent for her training. Kiba was happy when he was asked to become her opponent.
“...Xenovia is finally starting to do training as a technique-type...!”
He was shivering with happiness back then. He must have had many concerns regarding Xenovia. Irina, who was tagging along with the training, took the Ex-Durandal from Xenovia and swung it. The blade started to change by twitching, and then it turned into a large Japanese sword.
“Look, this is how you use Mimic. What you need is imagination. If you come to master it, you can make it change into many things.”
To be expected from the former wielder of Mimic. In terms of using Mimic, she was more skillful than Xenovia, who was the current wielder. Even if it was just for a temporary amount of time in the match against Bael, Rossweisse-san also showed an impressive technique with it. Excalibur was separated into seven different swords. Each of them had a unique ability of their own. Those abilities still remained even after fusing with Durandal.
Excalibur Destruction. Just like its name implied, its ability specialised in attacking. It had overwhelming destructive force, and Xenovia was originally the wielder of that Holy Sword. For that reason, she specialised in wielding it the most. It had the best compatibility with Xenovia who was seeking more power. Next was Excalibur Mimic. This was a Holy Sword that Irina originally had. It had the ability to change its shape into anything. Irina originally had it take the form of a rope, but changed its shape to a Japanese sword when she was battling. It seemed like this one also showed many traits depending on its wielder. The third one was Excalibur Rapidly. It was the Holy Sword that bastard Freed was using first. It enhanced the speed of the wielder and the velocity of the sword also increased when you swing it. Excalibur Transparency. Not just its blade, but it could also make the wielder become invisible. Excalibur Nightmare’s ability seemed to be mainly controlling illusions and dreams. This seemed to have good compatibility with those who specialise in using magic. Xenovia, who wasn’t good in that department, was having a hard time mastering it. If you got used to it, you could use illusions to deceive your enemies. Or you could take control of the dream that the enemy was seeing when they were sleeping, and it seemed like you could do many things with it... Excalibur Blessing was related to your belief in the teachings of religion, and it was said that it mainly showed its effect when you used it during holy rituals. For example, it could do things like weakening Devils and Vampires during exorcism, strengthening an Exorcist’s power, and giving blessings to those who were participating in the mass. Its ability would belong in the special category class. Mastering this also involved the talent of a certain kind of wielder, and Xenovia wasn’t that good with it. Lastly, Excalibur Ruler. It was the one that Arthur from the Vali Team had. It was said that it had the ability to control all things as you wished...
“I probably won’t be able to control legendary creatures like Arthur did. ...I can’t even make it activate properly.”
Just like Xenovia said, she was having difficulty mastering Excalibur Ruler. Not just Xenovia, but also Rias was predicting that mastering the ability of Ruler would come last. Since Irina, who was a former wielder of one of the Excaliburs, was supporting her, she would most likely master using Mimic first. By the way, Irina was tagging along with our training, and was also starting her own training. She was starting to create her own battle style while asking Kiba for the way to use the Holy Demonic Sword that was mass-produced for Angels. Irina was an Angel, but if I had to classify her as a Devil, I think she would be a technique-type who was closer to a wizard-type. I heard that she was asking about magic from Rossweisse-san and was learning how to use it.
“At this rate, you will become a self-proclaimed swordswoman, Xenovia.”
Having Irina say that to her, Xenovia seemed to be in shock. It seemed like she was opening her mouth wide and was saying ‘Gaan!’. Xenovia talked back with teary eyes.
“...Damn self-proclaimed Angel.”
That was basically a taboo to Irina, and she suddenly got mad while putting on a weird face.
“I am an Angel! Right, Ise-kun? If it’s Ise-kun who is my childhood friend, you will understand that I’m a real Angel, right?”
She dragged me into their quarrel! ...Oh, man. When these two started an argument, they started with a horrible insult to each other and even I found them childish. However, she was right. So Irina and I were childhood friends, huh.
“Oh, if I think back, it certainly makes me and Irina childhood friends. I start to forget at times.”
As soon as I said that, Xenovia started to chuckle.
“I see, so Irina is a self-proclaimed childhood friend. I see, I see.”
Ah, Xenovia attained a new word which she could use to tease Irina! Looks like I made a mistake! Irina made a weirder face while having teary eyes.
“I am an Angel! I am his childhood friend! You are horrible!”
“Yay, a self-proclaimed childhood friend~.”
“Look who’s talking, self-proclaimed swordswoman! Even your brain is made up of muscles!”
...Ah, it made me think that they are stupid and cute. Everyone, can you believe it? Did you know that these two were swordswomen sent from the Church, and they had a dangerous vibe to them? Particularly Xenovia, who was a calm and collected Holy Sword wielder, and she gave an impression that she would cut you down just by touching her. Irina was bright, but she was a messenger from Heaven who didn’t give in towards her teachings and job. And now, they were simply a power idiot and a self-proclaimed Angel. Seriously, you can’t tell how your impression of a person changes. Actually, this was the attitude of those who were the same age as them. Showing this side of them proved that they had opened their hearts to us. Anyway, the warrior-types, which consisted of me, Kiba, Xenovia and Irina, often gathered at one point of this field and practiced together. A bit away from us, the wizard-types, which consisted of Rias, Akeno-san and Asia, were doing their own kind of training.
“I think the actual battles are the best after all. I’m hoping there is another mission to capture a Stray Devil.”
Xenovia complained. Yes, ever since the matter with the Hero Faction ended, there were many incidents where Sacred Gear possessors who were made into a servant of a High-class Devil with unfair trades awakened their powers and strayed. It was because Cao Cao and his group leaked out the information of using Balance Breaker. Thanks to that, we were given hunt orders from the House of Archduke Agares quite often. Those who ran away after going through painful experiences got arrested by us after we talked to them, but those who went berserk after being too proud of their own power...even though it might be harsh, there were times we take them down. But there were cases where they were using Balance Breaker, and our missions could become quite severe at times. If it was a special type of ability within a technique-type, we might fall for their trap and receive a fatal blow if we weren’t careful. It was made so that we, the Gremory, had to handle those who escape into Japan. I heard that Sairaorg-san was also dispatched for a hunt in the Underworld. ...Attaining true peace was harder than I expected. They said that the reconstruction of towns and villages destroyed by the gigantic monsters had begun, but I didn’t think their hearts would come to peace that easily... ...We could only train ourselves to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“Now then, how about we stop here and go over there?”
When I asked everyone, they nodded. Anyway, that’s how it was. We headed towards the area Rias and others were training. While heading there, I was thinking about a certain thing. I had studied many things ever since I became a Middle-class Devil. For example, regarding the High-class Devils from the 72 Pillars, I’d been studying about the situation of their household, the trait of each household, and their speciality. I had started studying about them in more detail than before. The reason for doing this was because my dream to become a High-class Devil wasn’t something far out of my reach. No, obviously, the road for becoming a High-class Devil was long and hard. But it became a goal which wasn’t reckless or impossible. The Rating Game was among one of the things I was studying. There were many things I was unaware of despite participating many times. For example, the information about things regarding the match.
“I thought that we would be told the rules of the game on the day we have the match.”
I said that while walking. Kiba answered.
“Actually, that is quite rare. Usually, they tell the rules of the game beforehand to both teams. Without it, you can’t build tactics for it at all. Well, maybe they were seeing what kind of tactics the young Devils can come up with by having them clash against each other without knowing it. As a result, I think the young Devils that were able to show sufficient potential were the Sitri group.”
“We are the ‘Muscle-brained Team’ after all. Rather than thinking, acting on the spot and finishing the battle suits us better.”
Xenovia said this while eating onigiri and walking... You know the one who was setting that example was none other than you? Though I wasn’t in a situation where I could tell people off...
“But I was wondering, Kiba. How come we weren’t told anything beforehand and had to wait until the actual match?”
“It seems like the higher-ups were the ones who decided that, Ise-kun. The youth Rating Games, especially the matches we participated in, somehow had rules told to us at the actual match. In the matches like Bael vs Glasya-Labolas and Sitri vs Agares, their groups had the rules told to them a few days before the match.”
I didn’t know that! So Sairaorg-san and Saji had matches where they knew the details beforehand!
“Why were we the only ones given those kinds of situations which made us become nervous!? This is unreasonable, and it isn’t fair!”
“For our first match against Sitri, we were told about the rules beforehand, but for the matches after that, there are rumours that the higher-ups decided to purposely tell us when the match took place.”
“What the hell, are we being played with?”
“I hear that the higher-ups put us in an irregular situation on purpose. I hear that they were trying to have both sides, which included us and the group of the player we were put against, go through a different type of growth. –And that actually did happen.”
–! ...It’s just like Kiba said. We did attain a certain something through the game. It happened either during the game or after the game. Those things could be like when I awakened my new power, and it could also connect to the growth of those in our group. I even thought it could also have Saji and Sairaorg-san go through a change or evolution. No, maybe each member of the Gremory, Sitri and Bael group had attained some kind of special growth?
“...So you are saying that the sudden situation of having a game where we don’t know the rules was for the purpose of having us go through growth...?”
Kiba put on a frowned expression to my question.
“You can say ‘Yes’, and you can also say that it was a coincidence. This will be a hindsight opinion, but we learned many things through the youth battles.”
...You might be right... But I feel like we were controlled by someone to their liking and I didn’t feel good about it. Well, we were still young and didn’t have the right to say that. ...But I certainly didn’t feel good about it. It’s true that we fought while having our dream on the line. But who among the higher-ups did that...? It certainly couldn’t be Sirzechs-sama. I didn’t think that person would do such a thing.
Then, a single person came to my mind. Ajuka Beelzebub-sama. ...I heard that he created the basic theory behind the Rating Game, and that many technical researchers were among his faction. ...If it was that person...then wasn’t it possible? While I was thinking about that, we reached the area where our wizard-type comrades were training. Really, this place was seriously spacious, since there were spaces without anything no matter how much we walked forward. The only thing inside here was the light above our head which was located high up. Just how many times was this underground space bigger than the Tokyo Dome? Rossweisse-san and Le Fay were standing on top of the glowing magic circle and were speaking. The ones who were sitting down crossing their legs while concentrating were Koneko-chan and Gasper. Koneko-chan was silently enveloping herself with Touki. Kuroka was watching over her. Le Fay and Kuroka were also helping out with our training. From afar, crimson demonic power and lightning were swirling violently. Rias and Akeno-san must be training their demonic power and magic over there. It seemed like Asia was talking with Ophis and Rassei. The reason why Ravel wasn’t here was because she remained in the Hyoudou residence by herself and was continuing the selection of the documents of those who will be my partner as a Magician.
“Ise-sama, please go for training. I will continue researching like I always do.”
–So, I was always being sent off to train like this. Seriously, while I was feeling thankful for her, I also felt bad. I’m sorry for being useless. However, I will have myself depend on you. Asia realised that the warrior-group, which consisted of me, Kiba, Xenovia and Irina, had arrived and rushed towards us.
“Ise-san, everyone! So, have you finished your training?”
“Yeah, we are done for today. So, what were you doing Asia?”
When I asked, Ophis approached me while carrying Rassei on her head.
“I, have been teaching Asia, the way to socialise with Dragons.”
Socialising with Dragons? I became a little confused, so Asia explained it to me in detail.
“Before, I was told by Azazel-sensei that making a pact with monsters and using summoning magic might suit me, so I had Ophis-san teach me how to socialise with Dragons.”
Irina spoke while stroking Rassei’s back who was on top of Ophis’s head.
“Even if you say you want to make a monster obey you, there are many ways, like a pact as a ‘familiar’, which makes them your servant, and a ‘give and take’ pact which requires giving them a price.”
Ah, I was also told that after making a pact with a familiar. I heard the level of complexity of making a pact differed depending on the practitioner’s skills to make a monster obey them, and also whether they were a person who got a liking from monsters. Those who had high skills and were people who were liked by monsters could make pacts with different monsters easily. The more powerful the monster was, the more they sought for a ‘give and take’ pact rather than becoming their servant. It also had to do with their compatibility. I made a master and servant relationship with the familiar, Skithblathnir, that I got a few days ago without any problem. It didn’t ask me for a particular price. Putting their usefulness during the actual battle and their abilities aside, these familiars could be quite troublesome in the game. Asia then said.
“Oh yes, I got shocked when I was studying together with Ise-san about the game. –It’s regarding the familiars.”
I nodded my head and continued after her.
“Won’t it be easier to make a pact with a strong familiar and keep on using them during the game? That’s what I thought first, but it looks like that isn’t possible. It says that there is a certain degree of restriction. Especially the very powerful monsters, they come with a restriction during the game.”
Kiba nodded to my question.
“If they don’t put a restriction on using the familiars, both sides will just have a battle of familiars during the game. A game where they don’t stand in the frontline and instead have their familiars battling for them...which will turn into a simple battle between familiars rather than a battle between servants.”
He was exactly right. If the usage of familiars was unrestricted, then they could just summon them from the safety zone and attack the opponent by giving orders. Kiba continued on.
“That’s why, for most times, familiars that are only handy can be used during the game. Of course, that isn’t everything there is to it. Depending on the rules, it’s not like you can’t use powerful familiars. Except there will be a restriction on using it, and you can say that it might be easier to use them to their fullest by making them your servant. You can also use the power of the piece to enhance their ability. It’s also true that the importance of the monsters has risen instantly ever since the Rating Game and the Evil Pieces were created. Because of that, occupations as instructor called familiar trainers were created.”
Devils that have monsters as their servant instead of their familiar must have thought that it would be more beneficial that way. Instead of just using a powerful monster as a familiar, they made them into their servant to enhance their ability and to command them. Though there were those who thought using them as their familiars would be easier and more of a bargain. Maybe making a rare and powerful monster into your servant would be better instead. The ‘give and take’ relationship meant that it could be revoked if there wasn’t any benefit for the monsters in the pact. Though each person would have a different opinion and there would be differences in how people thought. It seemed like there were times when the monsters approached them personally to become their servant to have their ability enhanced. I, myself, would be troubled to choose between making a monster into my familiar or my servant if I was to encounter that situation.
Just like that, Asia wanted to make pacts with many monsters and to strengthen her power to summon, and so she was finding her own direction of getting stronger. Xenovia then said.
“Summoning demonic power, or summoning magic. The moment you choose to aim higher with it, and even comparing it with other magic and battle styles, it is a world where your talent is everything, and there are only a few experienced users in this department. –But.”
“You are right. Azazel-sensei is saying that Asia may have some talent in it.”
While saying that, I looked towards Rassei and Ophis. Asia made a master and servant relationship with a Sprite Dragon (even if it’s a small Dragon), which is said to be hard to make a pact with. No, for Asia, it might have been more of a pact as friends, but at least they aren’t in a ‘give and take’ relationship. It’s a pact formed by their bond. This was something where the familiar master Satooji-san was shocked about.
“...I have asked Rossweisse-san about the summoning magic just in case...but I still haven’t shown any remarkable results yet...”
Asia looked as if she felt bad about it.
“No, no, you will start from here. Wait, Rossweisse-san can use summoning magic?”
When I asked, Rossweisse-san approached us as she finished talking with Le Fay above the magic circle.
“I’m not that good at it, but I’m teaching her at least the basic theory behind it.”
Ah, is that right? To be expected from the genius girl from the Norse! I think there won’t be any problems if Rossweisse-san and Ophis stay with Asia... And when I looked around the area, I witnessed Kuroka, who was making Koneko-chan and Gasper sit down while having their legs crossed a bit further away from us, wave her hand at me. ...Me? When I pointed at myself, Kuroka nodded her head. I went towards Kuroka after telling everyone ‘I will be gone for a bit’ and left the discussion.
“What is it?”
I asked Kuroka while stepping into the location where everyone was concentrating their mind. Kuroka had a big smile on her face.
“Nyahaha, right now, I’m having Shirone and Gya-kun make their minds go blank.”
The reason why not only Koneko-chan but Gasper was doing this as well was so he could find the power hidden inside him. It was similar to the time I sent my thoughts deep within my Sacred Gear. Though it seemed like there hadn’t been any progress... By having her mind go blank, Koneko-chan was trying to become one with nature, which was the basics of Senjutsu. Rather than that, this bad cat was also calling Gasper, ‘Gya-kun’. Well, I also called him ‘Gya-suke’ after all.
“Help me out, Sekiryuutei-chin.”
Even if she said that, what wa I supposed to do? When I twitched my neck at Kuroka’s words, she took my hand and—
My hand was sinking down into her oppai which had been visible through the gap of her kimono since beeeefore~! My hand was in joy with this extreme softness, this feeling and the volume of the flesh in my haaand~! This breast was like a collection of the good parts of Rias and Akeno-san’s ones, and it bounced, it was tender, and it had a smooth sensation to it...and I was so delighted! I have experienced the wonderfulness of an older girl! Maybe she sensed this scenery, so Koneko-chan opened her eyes and was putting on a face.
“N-Nee-sama! Please get away from Ise-senpai! If Ise-senpai were to feel Nee-sama’s skin before my body gets bigger...!”
The big sister cat smacked Koneko-chan’s head, who was arguing against her.
“Yup, you fail, nya. You can say that you’re still an amateur since you stopped your training and disrupted your Ki with something like this, aren’t I right, Shirone?”
Having Kuroka warn her, it seemed like Koneko-chan couldn’t say anything back to her. She seemed to be regretting it, but she shook her head to get her head straight, and she crossed her legs once again. Gasper, on the other hand, didn’t break his posture even with the thing now. Oh, this guy sure was showing a splendid side of him in weird situations. It seemed like Gasper got the upper hand against Koneko-chan for the mind concentration of this day. But Kuroka’s oppai...sure was good! Thirty minutes passed, and everyone had finished their training for today and was gathering here. The only ones who weren’t here yet were Rias and Akeno-san. It seemed like they were having training using demonic power and magic away from here...
“I’m sorry, I got more into it with Akeno than I expected today.”
“Ufufu, Buchou, you were rougher than usual.”
A bit later, both of them finally showed up. It seemed like they did quite a lot of training, so both of them had their jerseys worn out and their skin was visible. Yup! Rias and Akeno-san’s lower part of their breasts was superb! —Then, I gulped down my spit when I witnessed the object which came along with them. ...The gigantic sphere floating above Rias. A crimson and black aura was going wild inside the sphere. ...Even I could tell. It was something which was a compression of unimaginable amount of demonic power. I asked both of them while pointing at the sphere.
“...What is that thing which has been giving abnormal pressure since before...?”
“It’s Buchou’s new special move. ...Like I thought, you can tell?”
Xenovia nodded at Akeno-san’s words while having sweat fall down from her cheek.
“Yeah. It’s quite a dangerous thing, isn’t it? It’s one of those demonic power attacks which you don’t want to be hit with.”
Yeah. I could tell that it was something which was concentrated on destruction only. It was something which she used by strengthening her Power of Destruction, right? No, since it was Rias that we were talking about, that wasn’t the only thing. Except, if it was only used for shooting it, a demonic power attack which was that big could be dodged easily. It seemed like it wasn’t just mainly power. Rias then said.
“...This crimson sphere will definitely become a forbidden move for the game. I was too naïve until now. After all, I was thinking of an attack which can be used for the game... But after receiving an assault from the terrorists and losing Ise once, I changed my view. What I need in actual battle is a power which will completely annihilate the enemy.”
“Then, that means...”
Kiba continued after me.
“It must mean that it has a power which even the retiring system of the Rating Game can’t avoid.”
Everyone put on a frightened expression with Rias’s new special move which was filled with mysteries. Rias was a wizard-type, but she was closer to a power-type. Her brother Sirzechs-sama was also a wizard-type, but since he was closer to a technique-type, there were differences between their Power of Destruction despite being siblings. Unfortunately, it seemed like Rias didn’t have a high level of talent like Sirzechs-sama in the technique department. But they said it’s different if she was seeking for more power for the Power of Destruction. ...I see, so it meant that she was increasing the destructive power for it. The powerful energy I could feel from that sphere explained it. Rias and Akeno-san fixed their worn-out jerseys back to their normal state using their demonic power, and they put on a smile.
“Now, let’s go home everyone.”
Like this, the training for everyone ended for today. ...We have to get even stronger together. In order for all of us to live on, no matter what happens...
“Ah~, I’m at peace.”
I took a bath after finishing my training, and now I was eating the ice block ‘garigari-kun’ while relaxing on the sofa at the living room. This was good. Doing this healed me...
“...Senpai, do you want some chocolate mint?”
Koneko-chan, who was sitting on my lap, gave me her ice cream.
“Okay, I will have a bite then.”
I ate some while opening my mouth and saying ‘Aaan’! Man, this was the best! Getting ‘Aaan’ from my junior. It was like we were having an indirect kiss since I was eating from her spoon. Koneko-chan wouldn’t have done this if it was back when she hadn't opened her heart to me, but now she was okay to have an indirect kiss with me as if it was a natural thing! When I was feeling at peace, Ravel stood in front of me.
“...K-Koneko-san, I have been thinking this for the whole time, but it’s bad manners to sit on Ise-sama’s lap in front of everyone.”
Oh, she has been scolded. However, Koneko-chan continued to sit normally.
“...This is a special seat which belongs only to me.”
“S-Special seat!? Ise-sama, please tell her off as well!”
“W-Well, Ravel. It’s not like I’m troubled by it. Koneko-chan is light.”
Actually, she was really light. It was also because she had a small body. And I have got used to this posture. It became part of my living style. Koneko-chan then sat in a posture of hugging me.
“...I’m going to become Senpai’s bride in the future, so I’m going to keep this place.”
Upon hearing that, Ravel put on a very envious expression. Even though Ravel said that, there were times when she said she wanted to sit on my lap when we were alone, so I let her. Koneko-chan, who saw that, put on an unpleasant face. Lately, Koneko-chan had been taking this spot immediately. It was as if she was trying to say that ‘This will always be my seat’. ...I was told by someone that she had attachment to her territory since she was a cat. In other words, my lap was like territory for Koneko-chan. Ravel gradually started to have teary eyes, and then started to protest.
“N-Not fair! Not fair, not fair, not fair, not fair, not fair!”
—! The capable girl Ravel was...stamping her foot on the ground like a child!
“It’s not fair for Koneko-san to be sitting there all the time! Ei!”
Ravel pushed Koneko-chan off!
“I will also sit here! No, I will be taking possession of it!”
On top of my lap which was now free...Ravel sat there like a rock!
Koneko-chan, who was pushed off, was twitching her eyebrows and her mouth looked unpleasant.
She then pushed Ravel. This time, Koneko-chan sat on my lap!
“...This is my seat! I won’t give it to you...!”
Koneko-chan, who was clinging onto me, seemed like she wouldn’t hand this place over to her at all costs.
“I won’t allow you to take it all for yourself! I also want to sit~!”
Ravel who pushed Koneko-chan was also in a rage! It felt as if I could see a cat and a fire bird, which were glaring against each other, behind them! O-Oh yeah, there was a time when I talked to Riser on a private line, and he did say this.
[That Ravel. She is well-mannered and humble in front of those she is close with... She is basically on the same level of being a selfish princess like Rias. She has a habit of wanting other people’s things especially. ...You might be able to see that side of her since you are living with her, you know?]
It’s just like Riser said. But having a fight between friends wasn’t good! I was somehow able to calm both of them. And as a result—
Koneko-chan was sitting on my left thigh, and Ravel was sitting on my right thigh. Since they were fighting just now, they weren’t looking at each other’s eyes. W-Well, there was a wonderful thing going on with the soft flesh of their buttocks that I could feel from both my thighs! My lap wasn’t a battle ground, so I wish they would settle down on the fighting. However, mysteriously, Koneko-chan and Ravel were confronting each other normally the next morning. Like I thought, although both of them like to argue with each other, I do think they are friends after all.
There was a day when I had a night like that, but during lunch time the next day, I went to the Student Council’s room to play. Only me and Saji were inside the room. It was a rare thing since we were playing a board game.
“You are still naïve~, Hyoudou♪”
...Saji checkmated me! On top of that, this was my fifth defeat in a row!
“Shit! You wait a bit! I will find a way to defeat you and increase my win rate!”
The thing we were playing now was a board game based on one of the types of Rating Game, Scramble Flag. If I had to explain the rule of the board game type Scramble Flag in few words, it was a game where several flags were put down within the game field, and each player had to move their pieces to take each other’s flags. You won if you took all their flags within the time limit, or by having more flags than the opponent. You could also take back flags that were taken, though you would have to use dice for that. Depending on the number you roll, it would determine whether you defended your flag or had it taken. In the actual game, it seemed like you might or might not use the dice depending on the rule... It was alright as long as you didn’t have more than half of your flags taken. So in the actual game, you could use any method to protect your flags by hiding them in the field, luring your enemies by using them as bait, and by discarding one of your flags to fix the formation of your team. So there were many ways you could battle in it. Certainly, this was a rule which was favourable for the Sitri and Agares groups, who were tactics type. If we did this, then we might lose by a margin. No, maybe using force to take it was... Ah, they would just use traps and reduce the number of people in our group! ...This certainly was a complex game. When I was staring at the game board while thinking hard, Saji spoke to me quietly.
“...By the way, you...”
“Why did you suddenly put on a gloomy face?”
Yeah, his face looked gloomy. The lights in his irises were gone! Saji then said it to me.
“I hear that you are dating Rias-senpai huh!”
—! S-So it’s thaaaaat! C-Certainly, I haven’t told him about that! Saji continued to speak while making a big sigh.
“...You know there was a monster crisis we had a while ago? You know how you showed up then? You kissed Rias-senpai as if you two were lovers just before fighting the leader of the Hero Faction, Cao Cao, remember? Upon seeing that, I was really shocked. So when I asked Kaichou—”
[Yes, both of them have been lovers since the school festival. ...Saji, you didn’t know about this?]
That’s how Kaichou answered him. Then, Saji suddenly approached me and shook my shoulder!
“I didn’t know about it! Hyoudou, yoooooou~! You and I are friends, right!? Why didn’t you tell me!? Kiba knew about this, right!?”
“...W-Well, you know, there wasn’t a chance to tell you...”
“No, there was! You had a chance, right!? Like the time you consulted me about Ddraig!”
Oh, certainly, there was a time like that just before the Middle-class promotion test.
I looked away from him and scratched my cheek. Of course, I couldn’t tell him! Saji and I were buddies who had fallen in love with our masters. I couldn’t tell him that ‘I made my master fall for me first’! Saji was saying that he didn’t even have a close relationship with her... He asked me with an envious look.
“...So, how does it feel to make your master fall for you?”
I said it to him cheerfully, while making my face bright and putting my thumb up.
“I’m so happy being alive~. Something like that.”
Yup, I was serious. I was happy being alive. Try to sleep together and eat your lunch together with the woman you loved while knowing that she understood your feelings. You would be so happy that you would cry! It’s a super-super happiness which went beyond normal happiness, which also went beyond super happiness! Saji cried while holding his head down!
“Damn it! I will curse yoooou~! I will curse you with Vritra’s cuuuurse~! The only progress I made was going to the cinema with Kaichou! On top of that, we watched it together with other group members! When on earth did this gap between us happen!? Like I thought, is it the gap between a Dragon King and a Heavenly Dragon!?”
No, even I didn’t know that... Sorry, Saji. I will have myself go a few million light years ahead of you.
“Saji, what are you shouting? I heard you from all the way outside. Quiet down.”
—Then, Kaichou and the other members who belonged to the Student Council appeared.
Saji wiped his tears and stood straight. Sona-kaichou’s eyes grasped hold of me, and then she smiled at me.
“Ara, Ise-kun. How do you do? So you came to play in the Student Council’s room.”
“Yes. I thought I would just allow myself in here for a bit.”
“I see. There’s nothing much here, so I don’t mind you staying until the Student Council meeting begins.”
“Thank you very much.”
Lately, Sona-kaichou had been showing her smile to me. Did she start to feel comfortable with me due to my relationship with Rias? Though I still felt timid on calling her ‘Sona’... When I was feeling a little bit embarrassed about it, Saji started to shiver his whole body while putting on an even more serious face than before. He put his arm around my neck, and then whispered into my ear.
(...Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Yoooooou. What’s with this ‘Ise-kun’ from Kaichou!? What is the meaning of this!?)
Oh, that. Ah, yeah. Certainly, this would be a problem for him.
(W-Well, the thing is, it turned out like this...)
Saji then strangles my neck! I give up! He’s strangling me for real!
(I’m asking you why! I-I-I haven’t been called by my name yet...!)
Next to Saji, who was shedding tears, the Bishop Hankai-san gave me a thumbs-up, and then said it.
(Good job, Hyoudou-kun. Gen-chan, giving up might be good.)
Did you hear our chat just now!? The first year student, the Pawn Nimura-san, also nodded her head and continued after her.
(Hyoudou-senpai, please continue to make Kaichou fall for you as well. Genshirou-senpai, you aren’t suited for older women, you know? If you want to make a princess who is older than you fall in love with you, you have to become more aggressive like Hyoudou-senpai.)
...It seemed like this was good information for these two who were after Saji.
(Heeey! Hankai! Nimuraaaa~!)
I talked back at them...but Hanakai-san and Nimura-san were also beauties. He should at least go on a date with them! Well, I wasn’t in a position where I could say that! Then, the vice-president—Shinra-senpai approached me and spoke in a low voice.
(...There is no way Kaichou will fall easily like that. Hyoudou-kun, don’t pay attention to these girls.)
(Ah, yes, Shinra-senpai.)
Putting that aside, Shinra-senpai, can you please make Kiba fall for you quickly? I can’t endure it since he has been looking at me with even more passionate eyes lately! You know that he even makes a lunch box for me!? It’s so serious that I’m starting to feel that I need to protect my chastity at all costs! Gya-suke is also sitting on my lap when Koneko-chan and Ravel aren’t there! I’m also receiving calls from Riser every now and then through the magic circle! I’m also receiving gifts from Sairaorg-san! Even with Le Fay and Kuroka, I’m feeling scared that Vali might be up to something in the shadows! I’m scared about the increase in the number of guys around me! I admire this kind of naughty and erotic lifestyle with girls! But why am I receiving a macho-kind relation from guuuuuys!?
While I was screaming inside myself, Sona-kaichou called me.
A small communication-type magic circle was floating above Kaichou’s hand. Did something happen? Kaichou then said it.
“I received a call just now. I think you will be receiving a call soon as well, but...it seems like the date for the meeting with the Vampires will be tomorrow night.”
Oh yeah, I forgot about it due to the things with Magicians and my training, but Rias also told me about that. That we would be receiving contact from the Vampires’ side. Vampire. It was a being which was the closest to us, yet it was also a being the furthest away from us. I, who only knew Gasper, would be having a real meeting with a Vampire from here.
Late at night, the day after.
In other words, today was the day of the meeting with the Vampires. I was currently at the Occult Research Club’s clubroom. The ones who have gathered here from the Gremory side were all of the Occult Research Club’s members, Sona-kaichou and Shinra-senpai from the Sitri side, Azazel-sensei as the representative of the Fallen Angels, and one Sister from the Heaven side. She was a Sister who was wearing her veil down. She was a beauty who looked like she was from Northern Europe and had features that were standing out like an actress. She looked to be in her late twenties, and she had a soft smile with a gentle atmosphere. The truth is, I had met this Sister before. The Sister looked around and greeted everyone here.
“I still haven’t introduced myself. My name is Griselda Quarta, and I am supervising the staff members from Heaven in this region. I have introduced myself to Sekiryuutei-san and Sister Asia before, and I’m hoping I can get along with the rest of you whom I haven’t met.”
“She is my Boss-sama!”
Irina said that. Sensei exchanged a handshake with Sister Griselda.
“Oh, I have heard about you. Gabriel’s Queen! Sister Griselda, the Exorcist who is among the top five women Exorcists.”
“Thank you for your words. Having my name known to the former Governor of the Fallen Angels...I’m honoured.”
This Sister was Griselda Quarta, a Reincarnated Angel that supervised the staff from Heaven in this region. She was the Queen of Gabriel-san who was one of the Four Great Seraphs, the boss of Irina, and also someone that knew Xenovia from her country. I had met her before and she had already introduced herself to me. Gabriel-san governed the card suit of Hearts. This Sister was Hearts’ Queen! It seemed like she was called [Queen of Hearts]. She couldn’t easily show up in the headquarters of this region because she was going between Heaven and the Vatican, so we were only able to meet her recently. The way that Xenovia was panicking back then was abnormal. Since they were from the same institute and since she had been under her care since she was little, she had told me this Sister was one of the people she couldn’t act mighty against. It seemed like it was quite a shock for this Sister when she found out that Xenovia, who was a devout believer of their religion, became a Devil, but she did say she was more sad about Xenovia not contacting her. This was the first time the members here besides me, Asia, Xenovia and Irina, wiould be meeting this person. Sister Griselda apologised.
“I apologise. I should have come and greeted you all much earlier...but it didn’t fit my schedule, and I am regretting how incapable I am.”
She really was polite. But, in terms of how she acted towards one person—
“Oh my? Xenovia, you don’t look well?”
Irina asked a question to Xenovia which had a hidden meaning behind it.
“...Don’t tease me, Irina.”
Xenovia put on a stiff face and tried not to be within the Sister’s sight, but...the Sister grabbed hold of Xenovia’s face with both her hands!
“Xenovia? Do you hate seeing me that much?”
“...N-No. It’s just...”
“...S-Sorry I couldn’t answer your calls.”
So the phone calls that Xenovia was ignoring were calls from this Sister, huh. Receiving the apology from Xenovia, Sister Griselda let go off her face.
“Yes. Very well done. Since I gave you my number, you should at least give me a call. Understood? You can at least have dinner with me, right?”
“Of course. I would be concerned about you since we are in the same region once again.”
It seemed like they were a troubled little sister and a capable older sister. Rather, this was a new view, since Xenovia, who was always acting so mighty, was showing a cute reaction like this. I have witnessed an unexpected thing once again. We finished our introductions like this, and now we only had to wait for the Vampire guests to arrive. The night got even darker... It became completely silent outside, and we felt something abnormally cold from outside by the time everyone exchanged a few words. Every one of us sensed it, and we looked out the window towards the direction where the entrance of the old school building was. Rias stood.
“Looks like they are here. ...The presences of Vampires are cold like always.”
Rias looked at Kiba. Kiba stood, and then left the room after bowing to us. ...He must have gone to welcome the Vampires. I then remembered about the information that everyone told me about Vampires earlier. Vampires were beings that couldn’t enter a building which they hadn’t been invited to come into. They didn’t appear in mirrors, and they didn’t have shadows. They couldn’t cross running water, they hated garlic, and they were weak against the symbols of the Church, the cross and holy water. And they couldn’t heal themselves unless they slept in their coffin. Gasper, who was a half Vampire, was a bit different from that description. He had a shadow, and he appeared in the mirror. He could walk across rivers, he was overcoming garlic, and it wasn’t like he had to sleep in his coffin. Apparently, it was because the human blood inside Gasper was stronger. ...That’s why he could sleep inside the box.
The reason why Kiba went downstairs was because the guest Vampires were Pure-Bloods, so they wouldn’t be able to come in without being invited. We, the servants of our King Rias, stood up from our seats and lined up next to her to welcome the guests. Shinra-senpai also stood behind Sona-kaichou. Irina was also standing behind Sister Griselda who was sitting on the chair. Akeno-san was on standby in front of her personal push cart so she could serve them anytime. Azazel-sensei was basically the only one who was sitting down casually. We waited for the guests in a posture where the Kings and Boss-class people were sitting down, while their subordinates were standing upright. And our Vampire-kun, Gya-suke was...
He was putting on a very complicated expression. Of course. Since the real Vampires that chased him out were coming here. It seemed like the Vampires coming here weren’t from Gasper’s family, but he still couldn’t hide the fact of being nervous. After a while, there was a knock on the door.
“I have brought the guests.”
Kiba opened the door and brought in the guests in a gentleman’s manner. The one who came in was a doll-like little girl who was wearing a dress worn by those princesses back in the Middle Ages. The reason why I thought she was like a doll was because she had a very beautiful face. Her eyes, nose, and even her mouth looked like those western dolls so she didn’t seem like a human, and her beauty seemed like it was made by someone. You could say that she was overflowing with a very mysterious atmosphere. She had long wavy blonde hair, and it made her look like a doll even more. And the colour of her face was really bad, so she looked like a corpse. Unlike Gasper, who was pale because he had been staying inside hiding, she had a skin colour which didn’t seem alive. Her very red eyes were darker than those of Gasper. Could I presume she was the same age as us from her appearance? Like Devils, Vampires also had a long lifespan, and I heard that they could change their appearance to their liking...
I opened my eyes wide after looking at her feet. —There were no shadows. ...So she was a real Vampire then. No, that was obvious. I was just reminded of that once again. There was a man and woman wearing a suit behind the girl. Her escorts. Were they her bodyguards? Both of them had a bad skin colour, so they also had to be Vampires. I could sense a cold and sharp presence from them. Ah, I also realised one more thing. I couldn’t feel even a glimpse of their aura. They didn’t have any kind of lifeforce-like thing around them. The girl—the guest Vampire greeted Rias and us politely.
“How do you do, people of the Three Great Powers. I’m especially honoured to meet two of the little sisters of the Maous and the former Governor of the Fallen Angels.”
Being urged by Rias, the girl sat right across from Rias. She introduced herself before sitting.
“I am Elmenhilde Karnstein. Please call me Elmen.”
...It certainly was a name which sounded so exaggerating. It certainly had a noble ring to it. Sensei put his hand on his chin.
“...Karnstein. If I’m correct, it’s one of the two big factions of Vampires, and it’s a household which is ranked one of the highest among the Carmilla Faction. It’s been a while meeting a Pure-Blood and noble Vampire...”
Carmilla Faction... Yes, I had Rias and Sensei teach me about the world of Vampires to a certain degree beforehand. Vampires were residents of darkness that had existed since ancient times. They had similar rankings and weaknesses like High-class Devils. However, Devils were residents of the Underworld. Vampires were beings that lived in the darkness of the human world. They might seem similar, but their views and culture differed a lot. Devils and Vampires have continued living by using humans while not stimulating each other’s territory. The part where Heaven and the servants of God were our natural enemies was the same, but both sides had distanced themselves from each other while not fighting together. The Devils had settled down on the three-side battle this summer by agreeing to the alliance of the Three Great Powers, but the Vampires weren’t even trying to sit down for negotiation. Because of that, they still had quarrels with Heaven and the warriors of the Church.
—Well, I will end my basic information about Vampires here, but the problem was about the two big factions. Apparently, an incident which split the world of Vampires occurred several hundred years ago. That gave birth to the Tepes Faction and the Carmilla Faction. The Tepes Faction follows the principle of men standing above women, while the Carmilla Faction follows the principal of women standing above men. I didn’t understand it that well, but in order to produce Pure-Blood Vampires, the ones who had been arguing a very long time between choosing a female True Ancestor and a male True Ancestor had finally split into two groups several hundred years ago after their sides had been splitting away. If it was just like how Sensei explained, then that made her, Elmenhilde, a Vampire from the Carmilla Faction who followed the principle of women standing at the top. Elmenhilde was sitting on the chair. After confirming that Akeno-san had given her tea, Rias asked her a very straightforward question from the beginning.
“Elmenhilde, I feel bad asking you this from the beginning, but I will ask you. Can you tell us your reason for wanting to meet us? What is the reason for the Carmilla Faction, who has avoided contact with us, to suddenly come out in front of the Gremory, Sitri and former Governor Azazel?”
Elmenhilde closed her eyes, and then opened them slowly after nodding her head.
“—I would like to borrow Gasper Vladi.”
...We became speechless at the answer we didn’t expect, and could only be shocked about it. Everyone’s gaze gathered at Gasper. ...Gasper was trembling over his whole body. It seemed like he didn’t expect himself being appointed. No, we also didn’t expect that they were after Gasper. —Then, the thing which appeared immediately to my head was Gasper’s ability which had just awakened... No, no, even so, why were they seeking for it? I had many questions about it, but Sensei asked Elmenhilde.
“A straightforward answer to a straightforward question. Sorry, but I will have you explain things to us by steps. —What happened in the world of Vampires?”
“A certain incident happened in our world of Vampires which can cause the sense of our values to crumble. You may already know it because of the information being leaked out, but a half appeared from the Tepes’s side that possesses a Longinus.”
...Ah, that. If I remembered right, I was told that a Longinus possessor appeared in the world of Vampires and that it was causing a stir... So it had to do with that. This will be more complicated than I thought. So it didn’t appear within the Carmilla Faction that she belonged to, but in the Tepes Faction, huh. So the half-Vampire from the Tepes’s side was a Longinus possessor. But the one who came to talk to us is from Carmilla’s side. ...This was troublesome, this definitely was troublesome! Sensei asked while narrowing his eyes.
“So what is the Longinus that the Tepes’s side is in possession of?”
Longinus... After the monster crisis, I was told about Longinus from Sensei. Among the total thirteen Longinus whose locations were known were Boosted Gear and Regulus Nemea from the Devils’ side. In other words, that would be me and Sairaorg-san’s Pawn, Regulus. And in Heaven’s side, there was the Joker who was said to be in possession of the second strongest Longinus, Zenith Tempest, and from the Fallen Angels’ side, there was Canis Lycaon, also known is Slash Dog, who was under Sensei. And in the Magician association, there was Absolute Demise which was within the organisation of Mephisto Pheles, who had a good relationship with the Three Great Powers. Among the group of outlaw Stray Magicians who had distanced themselves from the Three Great Powers and who were seen as threats from many Magicians, there was Incinerate Anthem. Besides that, there was Divine Dividing that Vali possessed, and there were the trio of True Longinus, Annihilation Maker and Dimension Lost from the Hero Faction of Khaos Brigade. Except, since the Hero Faction had ceased their actions, the whereabouts of those three were unknown. ...What was creepy was that those three Longinus hadn’t reached the stage where they transfer to a new host despite leaving their bodies...
Those were the ones which were currently known. Even so, they said that they had confirmed the ones mentioned recently, so you could tell how hard it was for them to find the whereabouts of the possessors. There were three of them where the whereabouts are unknown. Even the Three Great Powers were having a hard time finding Sephiroth Graal, Innovate Clear and Telos Karma. ...From what I had heard, it seemed like Ajuka Beelzebub-sama had found the whereabouts of Innovate Clear...but, he was still investigating for more accurate information. With that, there were be two of them that the Three Great Powers didn’t know about its whereabouts, Sephiroth Graal or Telos Karma. The ones that the Vampires had in their possession should be either of them. Then, Elmenhilde answered like this.
“——It’s Sephiroth Graal.”
The moment we heard her answer, Sensei made an even more serious face.
“Out of all things, it had to be the one of the relics, the Holy Grail, huh.”
Relics... The Holy Spear that Cao Cao possessed was that. Among the Longinus, there were other relics, and I heard that Sephiroth Graal and Incinerate Anthem were ones as well. The former was the Holy Grail. The latter was the Holy Cross. Sensei continued.
“The one used in the Last Supper, the one which received the blood of Jesus. The Holy Grail has many legends. But that one which is a Sacred Gear isn’t a normal Holy Grail. It’s a Longinus, and a masterpiece which can turn around the principal of life. ...I think your name was Elmenhilde, but what are the immortal Vampire seeking for by using that?”
“A body which will absolutely not die. Even if they have their hearts nailed, even having a holy cross put in front of them, even if they don’t sleep in their coffins, even if they walk under the sun, those from the Tepes side have gained a body which can’t be destroyed. No, to say it more precisely, they have gained a body which is hard to destroy. It seems like the power of the Holy Grail is still incomplete.”
She also continued by saying this.
“They are trying to become a being with no weaknesses. They have abandoned their pride as Vampires. Not only that, they are also attacking our side. There have already been casualties. We will not forgive their actions. We are planning to execute them as fellow Vampires.”
Elmenhilde’s irises were dark and filled with hatred.
It seemed like she found the actions of the Tepes side, which rejected the way Vampires have to live, and their assaults really annoying. Well, it was an appropriate response since they were attacked.
“So the Carmilla side doesn’t like the ways of the Tepes, side which rejected the living ways of Vampires and the assault they started. Well, anyone would get pissed if they are attacked.”
Elmenhilde nodded to Sensei’s words.
“Yes, that’s exactly correct. And our aim is—”
She then moved her gaze to Gasper. The red eyes and red eyes met with each other.
“To stop the Tepes side which is causing ruckus by borrowing the power of Gasper Vladi who is standing over there.”
...Like I thought, it was getting messy. So they were planning to make our Gya-suke take part in the war between Vampires...! Rias asked calmly.
“...Does that have to do with how Gasper is a Vampire from the House of Vladi from the Tepes side?”
...She said it in her usual elegant manners, but I could tell. Rias was getting furious about this inside her, bit by bit. She was asked to have her adorable servant borrowed for the war of the Vampires who never responded to her negotiation. For Rias, who had strong affection, there was no way she would keep quiet about this. But in order to grasp their true intentions, she was acting calm on the outside to understand about Gasper and was trying to ask them about it. Having seen her up close till now, even I started to realise her changes. Elmenhilde put on a meaningful smile at Rias’s question.
“That will also be a part of it, Rias Gremory-sama. But what we are truly craving for is Gasper Vladi’s power. We have heard that the power sleeping inside him has awakened.”
From where did they hear that Gasper unleashed an insane power? No, I still hadn’t seen it myself, but it had to be amazing, right? He defeated Georg of the Hero Faction who was a possessor of a high-tier Longinus and a magic user. It was certain that his power was on a different level. They must have thought that they could make Gasper take on the enemy’s Longinus possessor. Elmenhilde continued.
“We are planning to solve the dispute between Vampires by using the strength of Vampires only. For that reason, we would like to borrow the power of Gasper Vladi.”
They wanted to stop the dispute of the Vampires using Gasper’s power? I knew that they were going through difficulties...but speaking honestly, there was no direct connection to us. Gasper was formerly from the House of Vladi, but now he was part of the Gremory after being kicked out of his home, and we didn’t want to get involved in the conflict between Vampires either. ...Peace was the best. If Gasper would be in danger, then it was a different story. No, judging from this flow, it seemed like it would also make Gasper involved... Maybe instead of the Carmilla side, the Tepes side will come and say ‘Gasper was originally from our household. Return him. We will use him in the dispute!’...? ...Since battles which gave me bad impressions had been continuing, my brain had adapted to think in a negative way. Rias asked while narrowing her eyebrows.
“...What is that power? Do you know what that is?”
She got right to the point. The truth we wanted to know. Now, how will you answer? Our gazes gathered at the Vampire girl.
“...There are very rare times when those born from our kind are born with the ability to surpass that of normal Vampires. We mostly see this from the half-Vampires in this era. Gasper Vladi is also be one of them. We, who are from the Carmilla side, don’t have enough information to investigate about it. But there may be information which may become a hint in the Tepes side.”
So even from the Vampires, Gasper’s ability was abnormal. Rather, if we wanted to know more about it, it looked like we had to visit the House of Vladi. Elmenhilde continued.
“Now, about the Holy Grail which is the problem. Of course the possessor is those we despise, a half, but her name is Valerie Tepes. She was born from the House of Tepes.”
Hearing that name, one person made a response. –It was Gasper. He had a face where he looked like he was about to cry.
“...Valerie...? L-Lies! Valerie wasn’t born with a Sacred Gear like I was!”
Gasper, who had been trembling with fear until now, argued against Elmenhilde as soon as he heard the name Valerie like a different person. ...Was it an important person for this guy? Elmenhilde answered.
“Even if it doesn’t activate when you are born, a Sacred Gear can activate with a certain trigger. You should also know that, correct? Valerie, she was no different. We can presume that she awakened her powers recently and attained the ability.”
Certainly, I also had my Sacred Gear activate this year. Sacred Gears could be things which awakened without you realising it, and I heard that the age of the time it awakened would differ by each person. Sensei narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms.
“I can presume that they hid it before we and Heaven’s side observed and confirmed it. Geez, they are pathetic. For the Vampires who detest holy power to not abandon the relic Longinus, the Holy Grail, and not even handing it to us but hiding it.”
“I also have the same opinion.”
Elmenhilde agreed to Sensei’s words.
Elmenhilde looked at Gasper. This time, Gasper looked straight at her while feeling scared.
“Gasper Vladi, don’t you hold a grudge against the House of Vladi and the Tepes side which exiled you? With your current power, I think it will be possible.”
“...I-I’m satisfied with just being able to stay here. Just being able to stay with Buchou and everyone—”
As soon as he heard that, Gasper started to gradually put on a gloomy face. Seeing that, Elmenhilde continued.
“—Mixed breed, the hated child, a fake, what kind of names were you called when you were living in Vladi’s household, I wonder? The only one you were able to exchange your emotions with was the half from House of Tepes, Valerie, correct? Inside the castle where the House of Tepes imprisoned the half they had gathered for a temporary amount of time, I was told that you and Valerie worked together and helped each other. Don’t you want to stop Valerie?”
Sister Griselda, who was silent till now, spoke.
“Your kind detests and hates the children who are half, but wasn’t it the selfish action of Vampires that originally took humans, used them as their pleasure, and made them bear a child? The ones who had our people eaten and made countermeasures for it while having regrets were us, the people from the Church. If it’s possible, I will prefer for your kind to not get involved with humans as mere hobbies.”
Even though she was saying it in a gentle manner, her words had so much hate in them. She was saying it without breaking her smile! To be expected from Irina’s boss and Xenovia’s former guardian! Elmenhilde put her hand to her mouth and smiled.
“I’m sorry about that. But hunting humans is the true nature of our kind, Vampires. I think Devils and Angels are the same, correct? To attain a price by granting human wishes, and having the need for the beliefs of a human. Aren’t we supernatural beings the weak which can only live by using humans as our source?”
Yes, Devils weren’t justice, since there were those who were made into a servant through an unreasonable trade. But I quit being a human. I could only live as a Devil. ...But I was going back and forth between the life of a human and a Devil. This Vampire girl was completely from the supernatural beings’ side. She was very sure that humans were sources. So it was not an equal trade, but a one-sided slaughter! ...I didn’t like this girl’s eyes. The eyes she was looking other beings with besides themselves looked very discriminating. She even called Gasper, who was a half, a ‘hated child’ and ‘mixed breed’... If I remembered right, pure Vampires had stronger obsession towards bloodline and rankings than Devils. I see, I could understand that very well by looking at this Elmenhilde. —To them, the world was a place where there were only two species of ‘pure Vampires’ and ‘others’. Elmenhilde called the Vampire who was acting as her bodyguard standing behind her, and she took out something that looked like a document.
“I didn’t come here empty-handed. I have prepared a document.”
Elmenhilde handed the document to Sensei. Sensei, who received the document, sighed after looking through the document.
“...A peace conference with the Carmilla side, huh?”
Everyone who was gathered in this place became shocked with Sensei’s words! ...So they brought a trump card up their sleeve for having a diplomatic relation...! They didn’t respond until now, and they made an action like this at this timing! Sensei put the document on the table, and then asked Elmenhilde.
“So then. This meeting today is for diplomatic reasons, and you were dispatched to us as a special envoy, right?”
Elmenhilde showed her smile at Sensei’s question.
“Yes. Our Queen, Carmilla-sama, is saddened with the war we have been having with the Governor-sama of the Fallen Angels and the Church that has been going on for a long time, and she is saying that she wishes to have a truce.”
Sensei had veins appearing from his cheek because of the way Elmenhilde was handling this.
“You are getting the steps wrong, Missy. Normally, the treaty for the peace comes first, and the thing about the Longinus comes after that. This just seems like you are saying that you won’t agree to peace unless we help you out.”
Sister Griselda, who narrowed her eyes mysteriously, continued after that with a calm behaviour.
“We, the Three Great Powers that have been asking and agreeing for peace with each faction without any discrimination, will certainly have a weaker persuasive power towards other factions if we don’t agree to this term. They will think that ‘So even if they are asking for peace with each faction, they untie the tension with those they choose’. And instead of ceasing war, it’s to have a truce. It feels like they have aimed at our weakness.”
W-What a bunch of cowardly guys...! They came to ask for Gasper by using the negotiation as their shield...! If we didn’t agree, not just Rias, but her brother Sirzechs-sama would also lose trust from others! Rias had increased her meritorious deeds by being the Switch Princess and by fighting terrorists. If she was to decline this offer, wouldn’t it be weird if it affected our actions from now!? Rias’s body was shaking with rage. Sona-kaichou held Rias’s hand, and she shook her head to calm her down. Elmenhilde said it while lifting her mouth as if she was truly happy.
“Please be rest assured. The fight between Vampires will be solved only with Vampires. If you lend us Gasper Vladi, we won’t ask for more. We will also prepare a connection with you and the House of Vladi along with taking part in the truce.”
I wasn’t able to hold myself, so I asked.
“Hold on. Even if we hand Gasper over to you, are you even going to return him back to us safely? No, we still haven’t said we will hand him over to you! But still, I want to ask about that!”
Of course. If there wasn’t any insurance that they were planning to return Gasper safely after we sent him to the dispute, I won’t...there’s no way I will allow that...! He’s my precious junior, damn it...! Elmenhilde looked at me with discriminating eyes.
“You are the servant of the High-class Devil Rias Gremory-sama, the Sekiryuutei, correct? Do you have the right to speak to me, who is a special envoy? Even if you are the Sekiryuutei, a mere servant that doesn’t have any qualifications has no right to question me, correct?”
My rage exploded inside me. I wanted to shout out ‘Don’t screw around!’ right this moment! But if I did that, everything would be a waste……! S-Shit! This bitch...! Just how much...! Well, I didn’t have any qualifications! But Gasper was...! ―They were saying ‘We will agree with the truce, so hand Gasper over!’ while looking down on us, you know!?
Kiba stopped me with his hand, and looked at Rias. Rias made a deep sigh and was trying to calm herself down. Sensei said it on behalf of Rias.
“Having a truce with the Vampires by sacrificing one of the servants of the next heiress of the House of Gremory, huh. If I have to sum up what you guys from the Carmilla side are trying to say, this is what you are saying, right?”
Sensei said what Rias wanted to say by understanding how she was feeling about all of this.
“It’s not decided that he will be sacrificed. There is nothing better but to have this settled immediately.”
Elmenhilde started saying some crap.
“You don’t want us to interfere, right? How about acting as the middleman or helping one of the sides? You need Gasper because you are lacking power, right?”
Elmenhilde shook her head to Sensei’s suggestion and answered.
“No, we will settle our problem with our own hands. If you want to be an advisor, then be my guest.”
...They were doing as they pleased. They really were selfish. So this was a Pure-Blood Vampire. They didn’t care about the world besides theirs. And if it was a half, they would even use them despite being someone born from the enemy’s side. Even if they persecuted them, they would still use them if they were half-Vampires. ...They were so consistent. It was unfair...! As she looked around us, Elmenhilde stood.
“This is all I have to say. It was fortunate that I was able to meet you tonight. Above all else, I thank your great kindness of allowing a Vampire into your territory, Rias Gremory-sama.”
Rias put on a mad expression at Elmenhilde’s cold smile which looked so fake. Her eyes were filled with rage.
“...Yes, I’m glad that I was able to have this precious meeting. After all, I understood very well about your kind.”
“Then, farewell. I will leave my servant in this area. If something happens, please consult that person. ―Now then, I will be waiting for your good reply.”
She didn’t even flinch with Rias’s last sarcasm, and the resident of darkness left this old school building...
The meeting ended, and about ten minutes have passed. The one who burst out by smacking the table was Xenovia.
“...I sure can’t come to like Vampires like always...”
She endured it well, Xenovia that is. She was clearly giving out hostility towards them besides me. Sister Griselda drank from the cup, and then said it.
“If it was you in the past, you would have gone cutting at them with Durandal. You endured it well. You sure have grown.”
Having the Sister praise her, Xenovia put on a complicated expression. But what Xenovia said was appropriate. Vampires, I couldn’t come to like them! What was that!? I couldn’t think of them as the same beings as Gasper! This guy was a lively guy who spent his time with a box brightly, but they...were just an embodiment of weird pride and sarcasm! Sona-kaichou, who was the only one capable of remaining calm, asked Buchou.
“What will you do? You probably won’t be able to ignore their cooperation. If that happens, you will end up having to send Gasper-kun off. If that happens...at the worst case, you might lose him.”
Gasper put on a complicated expression towards Sona-kaichou’s clear answer. Of course. He probably didn’t think that he would be used for a diplomatic reason. But it was a situation where it was hard to decline. I didn’t want to say it, but since we were spreading word about making peace, we couldn’t possibly decline the offer of the Vampires that were willing to take part in it. Even from the world’s perspective, being able to have a truce with half of the Vampires by having Gasper alone as the requirement for it, it must be a bargain which was cheap, and yet still gave a substantial benefit... I was feeling mortified, and if possible, I wanted to decline this. But this happened to be the worst situation for the Gremory since there wasn’t a reason to decline this. Gasper took a big breath, and spat it out with a trembling voice.
For this guy to say that he was going by himself... But his eyes were filled with determination. Gasper continued.
“...I’m not planning to return to the world of Vampires once again, because to me, this is my home. B-But I want to save Valerie! She...I am indebted to her. Thanks to her, I was able to escape from the castle and was able to reach this place. ...I have died once, but even so, I have a kind master, a Senpai I can rely on, and friends who will play with me... I was able to become this happy, but thinking that she is the only one continuing to receive a painful experience is... I am sure she is receiving unreasonable treatment!”
Gasper put on a manly face, and then told Rias.
“I want to save Valerie! And I will not die! I will save Valerie, and then come back here!”
...Good reply. He had a manly look in his eyes and face, this Danball Vampire that is. He knew how to finish it in a good way now. I patted Gasper’s head without saying anything. My junior. Like I thought, you are a guy from the Gremory. After hearing Gya-suke’s determination, Rias stood up.
“—I will be going there. This time, I plan to sit down and talk with those from the House of Vladi. First, I will go personally and see the situation over there with my own eyes. I think it won’t be late if the dispatch of Gasper comes after that.”
There were flames inside Rias’s irises. So our master would be visiting them personally, huh. Gasper’s words must have lit a flame inside her. Yeah, a fire lit inside me as well! To save a girl who took care of him in the past! For a guy, there wasn’t a more serious situation than this!
“Then we will also—”
I tried to make a suggestion, but Rias shook her head.
“No, I want Ise and everyone to remain on standby. There might be a case where something happens.”
“...And what do you mean by that?”
Rias put two fingers up to my question.
“For the precondition, it’s appropriate for me, who is Gasper’s master, to visit them personally, and it won’t be rude towards the other party. And there are two main reasons as to why I’m having all of you remain on standby here. First reason is having all of you being able to take action without me if an incident were to occur. There might be those who would attack this place, so members who can handle them should stay here. For the second reason...”
Rias looked at all of her servants.
“If something were to happen to me over there, I will need reinforcements.”
“So, Buchou, you are predicting that something might occur, or that you might get dragged into something over there, correct?”
“That’s right, Yuuto. It will be the best if nothing happens, but judging from past events, there is a chance that we will get dragged into it judging from the problems the Vampires are having. So it won’t be weird to take actions while anticipating it.”
“Then isn’t it better for all of us to go with you from the start...?”
I asked her once again, but like I thought, Rias didn’t shake her head vertically.
“They will be on alert if we were to go there with all of us. ‘Are they trying to solve it by using force?’. They will think like that and it will be harder to negotiate with them, so it will be appropriate for me to go there first. ...It was them who didn’t even try to listen to our words, so it is a must for me to go there. ...Am I being naïve?”
She tried to get confirmation from Azazel.
“No, it’s not a bad way of thinking for a King from the brute-power group. However, I feel uneasy if you are going there alone. For this incident, it seems like the secrets of both the Tepes and Carmilla side will be connected. And the discussion we had before had many unexplained parts.”
“Of course, I will keep as minimal a force for my guards as I can. I’m planning to take only my Knight. Okay, Yuuto?”
“Yes, please leave it to me.”
So Kiba would be escorting her. Yeah, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
“I can feel relieved if Kiba is going.”
That was my answer. I knew this guy’s strength more than anyone. I had exchanged fists with Kiba many times, you know? He was Rias’s genuine knight. Sensei said it while making a sound with his neck.
“—I will also go then. I will meet Carmilla first. I will at least make sure that we can dispatch several members of the Gremory group for the dispute of the Vampires. I’m planning to take several souvenirs. Instead, Rias should head to the House of Vladi directly. If Rias shows up in the Carmilla side, they will be on more alert.”
He was trying to grant their requirement by taking a souvenir with him. To be expected from Sensei. He won’t fall without doing anything! If several of us were able to take action, then this would become a different story. We could reduce the danger that would fall on Gasper, and we might be able to save that Vampire woman who has the Holy Grail.
“But won’t they become more cautious if Sensei were to meet them personally? You are an important person from the Fallen Angels’ side.”
Shouldn’t you bring someone with you? That was what I thought.
“It will be much better than to have Heaven and the Church, that is, the Angels, who are still fighting against them, go. Rather, me, who is knowledgeable about Sacred Gears, going there will be a better key for the negotiation.”
“Ah, you mean about the Holy Grail!”
“Yeah, that’s it. Even for the guys who came today, the main person they came to talk to is me.”
Sensei then told the Sister and Irina, the staff from Heaven.
“Irina, Sister Griselda, tell Michael what happened here. The Holy Grail and the Vampires, it smells too fishy.”
The Sister nodded.
“Yes, I understand. Michael-sama said we will be sending our Joker if something happens, and I hope we can avoid the worst case scenario.”
Sensei became a bit shocked at Sister Griselda’s words.
“...The Joker, can you send him off so easily like that? Rather, the way you cope with us has increased. Well, it’s normal since outrageous guys have been after us. Since the Holy Grail will be involved, we might ask help from the Joker. The Holy Grail and Vampires. Normally, it’s the holy and darkness which can’t coexist. Most likely, something not good will happen. I want to make sure the casualty rate remains as low as possible.”
“Yes, for that reason, it is the intention of the Four Great Seraphs-sama to use the man of leisure, Joker, as much as possible. Seriously, that child always wanders off somewhere when he has time to find delicious cuisines and we can’t contact him at all. He is a child who is more troublesome than Xenovia who is standing over there.”
The Joker. I hadn’t met him, but was he an acquaintance of Sister? Well, leaving that aside, I needed to put everything that happened together in my head.
It was decided that Rias, Kiba and Sensei would be going to the Vampires’ side. The other members, including Gasper, would remain on standby in this town. If something happened to Rias’s side, it was planned that we would join them.
Though I hope nothing happened... From what Sensei said, it seemed like a battle would occur. And we would be placing ourselves in there...? I was hoping there would be no casualties, but it seemed like it wouldn’t be that easy... What I could do was shake off all the danger which would fall on Rias and my comrades with all my strength. My spirit was heating up, but it was a meeting which took place late at night which I have started to feel uneasy about—
Upon finishing the meeting, I had Azazel-sensei look at my gauntlet in another room of the old school building after everything ended. After the battle against the Hero Faction in the Underworld, Ddraig had increased his time to sleep, and the true power of my Sacred Gear couldn’t be unleashed. Just like this, I was having Sensei look at the condition of my Sacred Gear regularly.
“...The glow of the gauntlet’s jewel is still lacking. It means he used that much power to recreate your body.”
“...U-Umm, Sensei. Will his condition continue to stay like this?”
“No, if he can recover the power which he used to resurrect you, he can revert back to his former self. It will be okay to think that he is just sleeping and is replenishing his stamina. More than that, I need to talk to you about your life force.”
“...You said something which isn’t comprehensible is occurring, right?”
Sensei nodded to my words. Yes, by using a part of Great Red’s body along with the power of Ophis and Ddraig, I had attained a new body. Because of that, it seemed like my life force, which had been reduced in my old body, couldn’t be analysed with the current data.
“The power of the two, Great Red and Ophis, who are the legendary Dragons among legendary Dragons has been mixed after all. The response of your life force either becomes zero or turns into infinite, which isn’t measurable, so I can’t tell what is going on at all. The zero probably represents illusion, which is Great Red. The infinite will obviously means infinite, which is Ophis.”
“Does that mean my life force is going back and forth between dying and reviving?”
“Even that isn’t known. There has never been a case like this. The current you is a Reincarnated Devil who reincarnated from a humanoid Dragon. Except, there is a way to stabilise it. Rather, there has been result. You understand that yourself, right?”
Like Sensei says, I was still having Rias and Akeno-san scatter the Dragon’s power inside me, and I was still receiving the healing treatment with Senjutsu from Koneko-chan, so for an unknown reason, the response of my life force returned to normal for a temporarily time. Sensei continued.
“Anyway, I’m not sure what will happen with the response of zero and infinite. Suddenly, your life force can become empty, and it can even overheat by increasing drastically. In other words. Having Rias and others bringing back your life force to normal is the best.”
In other words, I had to receive treatment from the girls like before. Gufufu! I was so glad! I was glad that a wonderful time like that wouldn’t have to disappear! Yeah, having Rias and Akeno-san suck it with their mouths, and hugging the small Koneko-chan. I even wanted to thank the True Dragon and Dragon God because I wouldn’t have to lose that time of happiness! No, I would put my hands together and pray in front of Ophis once I returned home! The sucking techniques of Rias and Akeno-san were improving daily...and Koneko-chan also became daring since she said ‘Not wearing clothing and having our bodies directly touching each other might improve the effect’! —! Then, that phrase came back to my mind... Great Red-sama, please give me a break! Would it make a similar cry when I saw it again!? It would be embarrassing! Sensei was making a bitter smile while he was looking at me, who was having a hard time with hallucinations.
“You have to stay even more calm and fight. You can do it if you try, you know? It’s your weak point to lose your calm and act differently. You know how you did a thing which totally wasn’t like you in the Bael match against that Queen by being pissed? If it was the usual you, wouldn’t you have used Dress Break on her and observed her naked body? You probably got heated up with having your comrades being taken down...but if you do that against someone who is stronger than you, you know that you’ll get killed?”
I received a warning from Sensei. ...Yeah, I had a habit of losing my calm and going forward sometimes. It was my bad habit. ...So I should have defeated the Bael’s Queen with Dress Break? When I thought like that, I suddenly got depressed because I couldn’t see her naked body... That was the best thing I was capable of doing at that time.
“Well, you are a kid who’s only seventeen years old. Rias, you, and everyone else in the group are still young. If you say it’s normal for you guys to still be incomplete, then it’s a normal thing.”
So would I be able to calm down if my sexual desire also became that of an adult? I couldn’t even imagine it! I also wanted to be lecherous even ten years or hundred years later! It was certain that Rias’s breasts would become beautiful after ten years! Ugggh. I should think about that later. I then asked Sensei.
“Sensei, when are you planning to leave?”
“For now, I will discuss it with Rias first. This is a good opportunity, so I will negotiate with the Vampire side, or else it will become troublesome.”
If it was possible, I wanted to pray that nothing would happen. Since Kiba and Sensei would be with her, Rias probably wouldn’t be dragged into the worst situation... Even so, I was still worried. Rather, I hoped this meeting with the Vampires would head towards the most peaceful direction there was. Actually, we still had the thing about the pact with Magicians, but it seemed like the Gremory group always encountered troubles. ...Ddraig, please return to your usual self. Like I thought, I won’t be able to give my all without you. My partner. Let’s go straight ahead together again! While I was staring at my gauntlet as if I was speaking to it, Sensei sighed.
“Take care of the legendary Dragon, okay? Even if what’s left is his soul, you do know that he is a valuable legendary Dragon-sama right? Do you know just how many Dragons there are that haven’t even been sealed into a Sacred Gear, and even the whereabouts of their soul is unknown?”
E-Even if you say that... Of course, I will take care of Ddraig! W-Well, I did trouble him quite a lot with all that Oppai Dragon stuff! Sensei pounced his fist on the palm of his other hand as if he remembered something.
“...Oh, I should tell you this as well. I received some information from Vali.”
“You do know that he is travelling around the world investigating mysterious things, right?”
Just like Azazel-sensei who raised him, I heard that the Hakuryuukou-sama, who took interest in and investigated things, was travelling around the world and looking at mysterious things.
“It seems like he encounters the members of the Khaos Brigade quite often at his destinations.”
“But that isn’t to execute the Vali Team who became ‘wanted’, right?”
Vali was in a situation where he was being chased from the Khaos Brigade for the crime of sending Ophis to us without any permission. Rather, he was originally on bad terms with the other factions of Khaos Brigade, and I heard that they didn’t like him. Sensei continued.
“What Vali was searching for was...a variety of brutal monsters that are thought to be extinct. It seems like he was searching for them with uncertain evidence of them being alive. If his journey to find strong foes reached even that level, even I start to think of them as a group who is very bored with nothing to do. And this was where it started. Among the extinct monsters, it seems like besides Vali and his group, the members of Khaos Brigade, who are the groups of Magicians, seemed to be mainly coming to the region where the extinct Dragons originally lived. ...It’s not once or twice that they encountered each other, so it isn’t a coincidence.”
“The extinct Dragons... What kind of famous Dragons are there among them?”
“I’m not sure if you know them, but I guess it would be the [Crescent Circle Dragon] Crom Cruach, [Diabolism Thousand Dragon] Aži Dahāka, and the [Eclipse Dragon] Apophis. It sure brings back memories. They were quite dangerous. They were either sealed or killed for being too brutal. Other than them, there were Níðhǫggr from the Norse, and the ferocious Grendel that is said to have been slain by the original Beowulf. There was Ladon, who was protecting the legendary fruit and was also a Dragon, but was defeated by the original Heracles. And in Japan, there was Yamata-no-Orochi.”
They were mostly names which I hadn’t heard before. The ones I had heard of were Yamata-no-Orochi and Crom Cruach, though I’d only heard the names. So there are that many extinct strong Dragons, huh.
“...Especially Crom Cruach, Aži Dahāka and Apophis, who are Evil Dragons that are now extinct. Vritra is also an Evil Dragon, but he’s cute if you compare him to the three I just named.”
Evil Dragons... Just hearing it scared me. But they were extinct, huh.
“Those three, were they that dangerous?”
“Even Vritra had his soul cut into many pieces and was sealed into Sacred Gears, right? Evil Dragons were so powerful that you would have to do at least that much in order to completely annihilate their existence. Vritra regained consciousness by having the Sacred Gears merge. It makes me wonder just how tough those Evil Dragons are. And among them, the ones who were the most brutal and were standing at the top were Crom Cruach, Aži Dahāka and Apophis.”
Wow, even Vritra-san gave me the creeps, but they were above him huh. ...They seemed scary.
“...Are they stronger than the Two Heavenly Dragons?”
“The Red and the White one in their primes will definitely be stronger. But all the Dragons did try to avoid fighting the Evil Dragons as much as possible. I heard that they found it really troublesome to fight the Evil Dragons and those affiliated with them. So that means they are bad news if you confront them.”
...Touching an Evil Dragon would bring misfortune, huh. Sensei continued while putting his hand on his chin.
“But it’s been a while talking about the extinct Dragons, especially the Evil Dragons. But you understand it, right? Dragons that had strength and liked to go wild were eliminated without exception. Tiamat, who is said to be the strongest among the Five Great Dragon Kings, must have a good point then. It seems like she has blended in well with the current world and is living as she likes.”
Dragons which go wild, huh. Ddraig and Albion were also one of them. And they went too wild, so they were taken down by the Three Great Powers.
“I prefer a Dragon to stand tall and with dignity like old man Tannin. He seems like a Dragon King, and I think he looks cool.”
Yeah, old man Tannin seemed like the king of Dragons the most out of all the Dragons I have met. I gained respect towards him when I saw his posture of using his body to protect those Dragons! Sensei also agreed to my opinion.
“Yeah, you are right. It won’t be a waste to hang around with that guy among the currently active Dragons. That’s what a king of Dragons is supposed to be. A Dragon like that doesn’t exist anywhere else, so observe him very well.”
Yes, sir! In the future, I will become a splendid Dragon like old man...no, no, I will become a Harem King Dragon!
“Either way, it seems like the terrorist group is plotting something behind the scenes. ...Something bad might happen again, so just be prepared.”
Sensei then rested his hand on my head.
“Sorry. I might end up having you guys get the bad end of the bargain again.”
“Seriously, it sure does tire me out. But if they are to come at us, we will have to overcome them. We have always been going straight ahead like that.”
I wasn’t Koneko-chan, but we would just have to defeat them if they were to come at us. In order to survive, we would get even stronger, and I felt that we had to continue breaking all obstacles. That was the Gremory group! No, that was the Occult Research Club of Kuoh Academy!
“Well, I’m also busy with my own business in the Underworld as well.”
“Did you start something?”
When I asked, Sensei suddenly put on a lecherous smile. Ah, that was the expression he had when he was plotting something.
“Yeah, I’m selling some territories.”
“Even you know that the Underworld is split into two sides, those of the Devils and the Fallen Angels, right?”
“The truth is, comparing the Fallen Angel side to the Devil side, there are many free areas if you were to compare it with the number of residents. The ones living in the Fallen Angel sides are the pure Fallen Angels, the races which have a relation to the Fallen Angels, and the halves born between Fallen Angels and other races.”
That’s right. Sensei and the others who were part of the Grigori decided not to make the reincarnation system intentionally. They could make one if they tried, but they chose not to. According to Sensei, ‘The evil Angels can just end with us’.
“—And so, by using the free lands, I’m making a resort area for the factions who made an alliance with us. We have a major plan for building businesses and casinos as well. We have already received an order from celebrities of different factions that want to have a mansion. I’m sure this will turn into quite a big industry. Well, the Fallen Angels also need a budget, the money, for many things, so we have to make business.”
I-I see... The Fallen Angels, the Grigori, had started to do business, huh. I also heard that the majority of the source of income for the current Grigori came from their research. Sensei seemed like he would be suited to becoming a sales person. Then, there was a knock on the door. The one who entered was Rias.
“Azazel? Did you finish examining Ise? Let’s make a schedule for leaving Japan.”
“Oh, that’s right. Rather, if we are going afar, there’s something I have to tell Asia personally... Can Asia join?”
“Yes, I don’t mind. It’s about that, right? I’m glad it’s going smoothly. Looks like having Ophis acting in the middle of it made it succeed.”
Asia’s case...? It really made me wonder. Was Ophis related to it? Like this, the discussion about the departure of Rias, Sensei and Kiba began.
“...‘Even if you are the Sekiryuutei, a mere servant that doesn’t have any qualification has no right to question me, correct?’, huh.”
On the morning when the sun still hadn’t risen. I was having a shower in the big bathroom located in the basement of the Hyoudou residence. I, who had woken up early, left my room and came here without waking up Rias and Asia. What I was recalling in my head was the thing the Vampire from the Carmilla Faction, Elmenhilde, said to me yesterday. ...A mere servant, the Sekiryuutei who didn’t have the right to speak... She was right. Despite being called Oppai Dragon in the Underworld, I was just seen as the ‘Sekiryuutei who is the servant of Rias Gremory’ from the other factions. That was the reality and I had no comment regarding it. But when a diplomatic thing like this was involved, I was useless. I made a good relationship with Odin the geezer from the Northern Europe and the Youkai in Kyoto, but they were special. Normally, from the perspective of those from the other factions, I was just a mere Middle-class Devil that didn’t have any right to speak. ...It wasn’t like I was getting elated. But I was really frustrated that I couldn’t be of any use to Rias and Sensei in situations like these. ...Damn it. My precious junior... Even if I wanted to protect my precious Gasper from the front, I needed something besides strength. ...No, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. I...should just protect my comrades when I have to. The diplomatic affairs were Sirzechs-sama and Sensei’s job. I should just do what I could do. I bit my teeth due to frustration. The warm shower made me comfortable.
“I’m such a small guy. ...Shit, I will definitely become a High-class Devil... No, I made a promise with Kiba.”
That’s right. He and I made that promise before the Middle-class Devil test. —That we would become Ultimate-class Devils.
“He will become the strongest Knight, and I will become the strongest Pawn—”
While I was voicing my determination, the door to the bathtub opened. When I turned around—Ravel, who had just entered and was naked, was standing theeeeeeeeeere!
“Ah, sorry! Since it’s early in the morning, I didn’t think anyone was going to use it!”
I couldn’t do anything to help myself but apologise! That’s because the girls were basically using this bathtub! I used it as well, but I had the girls use it first! Of course, I did encounter them at times and bathed together! This would be rude to Ravel, who was a guest and who was also my junior! I should get out now! B-But the naked Ravel! Even though she had a small body, I could only say that she had a proper body of a woman...! Her oppai were quite big! Since she had her usual drill-like hair down, I had a different impression of her! No, this wasn’t the time for it! While I was thinking hard, Ravel said that to me.
“...I-I will wash your back!”
My mind went blank at the words I didn’t expect to hear.
“...How is it?”
“Ah, yeah. I think it’s okay...”
Like that, I was having my back washed by Ravel. I had her rub my back with a towel. ...I thought she would have burned me with her wings of fire while saying ‘Ise-sama, you ecchi!’ ...And she happened to be quite daring this morning! I was getting confused! I didn’t want it to be silent while she was washing my back, so I started a conversation about the Vampires from yesterday.
“...That was my first time meeting a Pure-Blood Vampire...but there are still things I’m not sure about... I was able to become friends with Gasper-san right away...”
Ravel must have mixed feelings as well.
“...It’s also because they appointed Gasper-san who is my friend as the requirement for the deal, but also their ways of not caring about anyone besides them... But this may also be part of their politics. ...This certainly is a hard issue. Of course, I think it’s not a good idea to hand over Gasper-san recklessly to them. ...But Devils are also logical, and we put Pure-Bloods above everything else. I’m also a Pure-Blood Devil.”
That’s right. Ravel was a princess from the House of Phoenix. She was also the only daughter. She was a pure High-class Devil who had been living in the upper echelons of society.
“Even Pure-Blood Devils are able to choose their own friends. Koneko-san, Gasper-san and my classmates are also treating me well. Though, I’m sad that I have to hide my identity from them...I think it is a wonderful thing if you can choose friends despite being from a different race.”
She usually acted sharp, but she was actually an innocent good girl. But hiding your identity, huh. I couldn’t tell Motohama and Matsuda that I became a Devil, since telling them will put them in danger. At least, I wanted a peaceful time while I was at Kuoh Academy.
“But I realised just how small a person I am. I’m frustrated that I wasn’t able to talk back. I will become a more splendid Devil and make them acknowledge me. That is what I have started to think this time.”
I thought of aiming for the top once again. I wouldn’t allow it to end with them looking at me with those scornful eyes.
After having my back washed away with hot water, Ravel asked me.
“Ise-sama...h-have you decided about your future servants?”
“Servants? Ah, you mean when I become a High-class Devil? No, I still haven’t decided yet.”
You could have fifteen servants at most with Evil Pieces, right? I might end up using several of them depending on the person.
“Asia and Xenovia are saying that they will follow me, so there is a talk about having a trade with Rias, but even doing that isn’t decided. When I become independent, taking Asia and Xenovia with me will allow me to take actions right away, and it will become easier to do our job. But that will mean that three members will leave from Rias’s group right? How to fill those missing holes, even those parts aren't clear yet.”
I then had a thought after saying that much. That having Ravel remaining as my manager even in the future would be a strong support. Ravel said it as if she responded to what I was thinking.
“...I want to continue being Ise-sama’s manager.”
“Yeah, I’m happy. That will sure be reliable.”
It happened when the atmosphere became good.
There was someone who got out from the bath!
“I, went under for thirty minutes.”
...It’s Ophis. The Dragon God-sama got out from the bath. And did you go under there for thirty minutes!? And Ophis’s clothes weren’t in the changing room, you know!? Did you perhaps come from your room fully naked!? Give me a break, Dragon God-sama! Being naked inside the house also wasn’t allowed! You are a former Uroboros Dragon after all~!
“Fufufu, I can never win against Ophis-san.”
Ravel was also laughing. You are right. We sure are no match against our Mascot-sama, also known as Ophis-chan.
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