High School DxD:Volume 16 Life 2
Life.2 The Kins of the Dark Night
It’s silent inside the castle and the only ones we come across are the maids who walked pass us and the soldiers that are on patrol.
We, the Occult Research Club members, are being guided by a maid to the underground room where Gasper’s father is enclosed.
Rias and Gasper are taken to the throne room because Valerie wants to see them while Sensei followed a Vampire with a high social status who seems to be someone under Marcus.
The former is probably a normal talk with Valerie. The latter however is probably because they want to ask Sensei about the knowledge he has with Sacred Gears.
……And we are told to be on standby here, but since the meeting with “Gasper papa” was approved, we decided to see him instead.
It’s inside the castle made from stones. We go down the stairs while the maid who is holding the light leads us.
We exit out to a spacious floor after we went down stairs quite a bit. There are many doors and the maid approaches one of them.
“This is the guest room where the Head of the House of Vladi is staying.”
A guest room, huh…… It’s quite a plain place for welcoming a noble…… I guess it’s better than a place which looks like a prison though.
The maid knocks on the door and informs the person inside by saying, “There are guests here to see you”. She opens the locked door and urges us to go inside.
We nod our heads to each other and enter the room.
The interior……of the room is much more gorgeous than I imagined. There is an expensive looking chandelier hanging from the ceiling. All of the furniture looks expensive.
I see, it certainly is a room that isn’t lacking for a noble to be locked in.
The person sitting on the sofa inside the room stands up after seeing us.
A young man with blond hair. He seems to be in his 30’s. He seems to be Gasper’s father, therefore he resembles him.
Akeno-san takes a step forward and greets him.
“How do you do, we are the servant Devils of Rias Gremory-sama. I am Rias Gremory-sama’s [Queen] and my name is Himejima Akeno. I thought I should give our greetings to you today, so we came here to see you.”
While Rias is absent, Akeno-san becomes the leader of our group. She’s acting in an elegant way where she isn’t rude to him.
The man nods his head once and urges her to sit on the sofa.
“Please sit down. –That, no, you came to discuss about Gasper, correct?”
Seems like he understands our business here immediately.
Akeno-san sits on the sofa, so we stood in a line behind her.
……He resembles Gasper, but he has a paler skin than Gasper so his beauty makes me feel as if he’s artificially made. He also doesn’t have a shadow. It means that he’s a pure-blood Vampire daddy.
Gasper’s dad speaks.
“I have spoken to Rias-sama already. We exchanged information regarding that. I was summoned to this castle while we were discussing how the Gremory and the Vladi should handle that thing……and it’s quite a pathetic thing to say, but I ended up getting locked into this room. I never imagined a coup d’état to happen this quietly and for King Tepes to retreat. It seems like his highness Marius’s group gave an order to bring Rias-sama here by using my son.”
His voice is quite calm despite explaining what had happened here. He doesn’t seem like he’s that agitated by it. I can even accept the impression that he has come to accept this situation he is in.
……But there’s something which has been bothering me since before.
About the word “that” he has been using from before.
I don’t want to imagine what he’s referring to, but is that……
“That, as in?”
“That……it seems like Gasper is functioning as a Devil. I was shocked when I heard that from Rias-sama to be honest.”
For a father to call his son “that” huh.
……That’s horrible. Even if there is discrimination between a pure-blood Vampires and half-blood Vampires, for him to call his son in such a way is……
“……As we thought, Gasper-kun’s mother is……”
When Akeno-san asks him in such a way, Gasper’s dad shakes his head.
“Yes, she has already passed away. Right after giving birth to that.”
“You are saying that it was a difficult childbirth?”
The Head of the House of Vladi changes his expression for the first time at Akeno-san’s question. He narrows his eyes and brings his eyebrows closer.
“……No, she died due to the shock.”
What does he mean by that? While everyone here is finding this suspicious, Gasper’s dad puts his hands together and speaks in fear.
“What was given birth from inside her was—something enveloped in a frightening aura.”
It seems like Akeno-san also can’t grasp hold of what the Head is trying to say. Same goes for us as well.
We can’t come to understand what his dad is trying to say at all.
I can’t help but think that there is a critical difference between the Gasper we know of and the Gasper he knows of.
The Head then says as if he’s barely able to let words come out of his mouth.
“……When that was born……it didn’t have the shape of a person. Something black and creepy that was squirming came out from his mother’s womb. Something that you can’t describe with words came out from the womb. Something that wasn’t a human or a Vampire or even a monster. His mother saw that with her own eyes and went insane, leading to her death.”
……H-Hold on a sec. What was that? Was that……really about Gasper……? And a black squirming thing…… It feels like he’s sharing a story about how he witnessed the birth of a monster.
Well, certainly the power that has been awakening in him lately……is an ability of black darkness.
The Head continues.
“The nurses and several servants who were present in that scene started to die one by one in a strange way.”
……A strange death. The ones who were present during the birth?
The Head then says one thing.
“They must have been cursed to death.”
……So he’s saying that they have been killed due to a curse.
“Gasper did? A curse?”
I couldn’t resist asking him, despite my action being beyond my standing. The Head answers me without being concerned about it that much.
“Yes, it must be a curse he used unconsciously. He turned into a form of a normal baby several hours after his birth, but by then, his mother had already died due to the shock.”
……Oi, are you serious?
That’s something beyond our imagination!
“Does Gasper-kun know about this?”
The Head shakes his head to the side at Akeno-san’s question.
“No, he wasn’t told about this. We don’t know what will trigger him into returning into his true form after all. I don’t want to carelessly stimulate him. ……Close relatives of mine who didn’t know about that incident found his time stopping Sacred Gear something uncomfortable to be near with. But for us who know about his true form, it is more terrifying than his ability to stop time.”
The Head says in a heavy tone while hiding his mouth with his hands.
“……Devils of Gremory, we can’t consider that as a Vampire nor a human…... We can only group him as a different being. We did treat him like a half-blood……but we don’t know whether that was the right decision. And we made him go to the outside world while we didn’t know about his true identity……”
I then say it to the Head who is putting on a very confused look.
“I don’t know how he was in the past. But Gasper is a Devil right now. He is our junior. Even if he were to have his body tainted in darkness—he is still our comrade.”
Koneko-chan also takes a step forward.
“……Gya-kun is my precious friend. He is the first friend I ever made who happens to be the same age as me.”
Koneko-chan…… This was something only she could say immediately since its Koneko-chan who gets along with Gasper more than anyone else.
The Head asks us.
“Didn’t all of you witness that true form?”
He must be referring to the Gasper who can control shadows and is tainted with darkness. All of us nod.
The Head smiles seeing that.
“……Like I thought, you people are the Gremory group. Rias-sama also said the same thing when I asked the same question.”
[If he isn’t a human or a Vampire, then Gasper is a Devil. After all, I reincarnated him as a Devil with my own hands. No matter what his true form is, he is no doubt a Devil of the Gremory group.]
He tells us how Rias answered him in such a way.
I......no, we all became emotional at Rias’s words.
The woman I love……our master……is the best after all!
The Head then says this while putting on a bit of a smile.
“…………That’s an emotion which is difficult for me to understand, but I see. If all of you are able to say that after witnessing that power, it means that I can come to the conclusion that he was saved by all of you if even just a bit.”
Our conversation continues a bit after that, but we can’t find out anything about Gasper’s true form.
The only thing which is clear is that they, the House of Vladi, aren’t pleased about Gasper’s existence. ……I think he talked to Rias in a way where the Gremory side will officially take full responsibility of him.
In other words, it means that there is no longer a place in this territory in which he can call his home.
The discussion ends, and the maid bows and reports it to us as we exit the underground.
“Hyoudou Issei-sama and Toujou Koneko-sama, her highness Valerie has requested for you.”
Koneko-chan and I look at each other.
……So this time it’s an invitation from Gasper’s saviour.
Before our departure, Ravel did say that a Sekiryuutei has hard schedules, so I can’t help but to agree that it’s true.
But there have been many things that have been bothering me since we came here—.
The place Koneko-chan and I get taken to is an indoor garden located on the higher floor of the castle.
It’s an enclosed place where there isn’t a single window and the only thing we can see and hear is the artificial light, the variety of flowers, and the peaceful water flowing by.
There is a table located in the centre of the garden in which Rias, Gasper, and Valerie are already sitting.
Koneko-chan and I sit on the unused chairs after the maid allows us to come in.
……I also sense the creepy pressure coming from beside me. When I look toward there I can see the man clad in black who was present at the throne room, Crom Cruach, who is leaning his back on the wall.
After he takes a single glance at us silently, he closes his eyes right away.
Valerie chuckles quietly.
“That person over there is my bodyguard. —His name is Crom Cruach-san.”
……You sure do have the strongest bodyguard you can ask for. Valerie has the Evil Dragon while the old man called Rizevim has the other Ophis next to them.
Even the bodyguard of a boss-class figure is something to be reckoned with. So it means we can’t make any wrong moves here huh. I had a simple plan where I would take Valerie by force if I had the chance as our worst scenario, but I can’t take that action if that thing is next to her……
A cup is placed in front of me and Valerie pours the tea for me.
Valerie says to me while smiling.
“I had Rias-sama tell me about the lifestyle Gasper had in Japan. I hear that Japan is a very peaceful country, Hyoudou Issei-san.”
I would need to reply to her politely, right……? Even if she is Gasper’s saviour, she is currently the leader of this country.
“Y-Yes. Japan has many delicious foods and entertainment, Valerie……I mean your highness.”
Valerie chuckles as if she’s finding it funny when I said that.
“You don’t have to speak to me so politely, Hyoudou Issei-san. I’m also asking Rias-sama to talk to me casually as well. Please call me Valerie.”
“Yes, you should do as she asked, Ise.”
Rias also says that.
If the person herself and Rias are allowing it, then I will.
“Yes, I understand, Valerie.”
“Ufufu, thank you.”
Except, her expression……her smile had shadows in them where she looks empty and it is painful to look at. So much that I can guess what kind of environment she has been living in—.
Valerie asks Koneko-chan.
“Toujou Koneko-san, you know many delicious sweets, correct? What kind of sweets are there in Japan?”
“Well, the ones I like are—”
Then our discussion which isn’t that important begins.
The daily lifestyle where nothing happens to us is something new and interesting for Valerie, so she asks us many questions due to the interest she has at places we never expected.
“I see. The reason why Gasper dresses like a girl is because I played with him by making him wear it when we were little. He was against it in the beginning, but he suddenly started wearing them on his own……ufufu♪”
“G-Geez! Valerie, you can’t tell them that!”
“Oh yes, did you fix your habit where you can’t go to sleep without holding a doll?”
“Ufufu, I guess not. That's just like Gasper.”
Both of their behaviours are something which puts us at peace. Gasper is also talking without holding back and they seem natural.
“How lucky. I also want to eat cakes in Japan. I’m sure they have a sacred taste in them. I prefer sweets over blood. Human blood must taste thicker, ufufu.”
Even though she has an atmosphere like she’s distant from the outside world, she is showing a similar response to a normal girl.
However—at times she talks to places where there is no one present.
“———Yes. ……———I know. ———However, that is……”
……She must be talking to the dead who aren’t visible to our eyes through the power of her Holy Grail.
Koneko-chan whispers to me.
“……There is a negative spiral of ki in the direction Valerie-san is talking towards. You won’t be able to see them with your eyes but even I can sense it due to its presence.”
So Koneko-chan became capable of sensing the presence of the unknown through the use of senjutsu. It’s amazing for her to grasp hold of the dead that were drawn by the power of the Holy Grail.
While I become amazed at Koneko-chan’s growth, Valerie suddenly looks up the ceiling.
She mutters with a sad face.
“……So Gasper has seen the sun before.”
“Yup. Since I have the power of a day-walker……but the same applies to you as well, Valerie.”
She makes a faint smile at Gasper’s words.
“You’re right. But I…..won’t be allowed to go out of here…… Even once will be fine, I want to drink tea with Gasper under the sun. Picnic is a very fun leisure, correct?”
……She has never gone out before huh. If I remember correctly, she has been imprisoned here since her birth. I’m sure she has been confined even more after her Holy Grail’s power awakened.
Even if living under the sun is nothing impressive to us, it must be something unusual for her.
Rias makes a smile after hearing that and makes a suggestion.
“If that’s the case, let’s have one together. Let’s go to the Japanese resorts with the members of the Occult Research Club and you, Valerie.”
To Rias’s suggestion, light returns to Valerie's eyes.
“Oh my, that will be wonderful. Having a picnic under the sun with everyone seems really fun.”
So this person can also make a wonderful smile like this as well huh.
……Yeah, she’s right. Rias is right! I got up from my chair energetically!
“Yeah, let’s go around the good places of Japan with everyone else! Gya-suke, you also know many good locations in Japan as well, right? You just have to show them to Valerie!”
Gasper makes a bright expression and nods his head many times to my words.
“Y-Yes! He’s right, Valerie! Let’s go to Japan together with me! It might be difficult since you just became a Queen……but once this entire ruckus settles down, you might get some free time! No, I’ll come to get you! Japan is filled with many kind people, there are lots of delicious foods, and the four seasons of Japan are always fascinating!”
I say it to Gasper with a teasing expression since Gasper is being more spirited than usual.
“Hahaha, that’s quite the enthusiasm coming from the shut-in Gasper.”
“G-Geez! Ise-senpai! P-Please don’t tease me~! I-I am suggesting this to Valerie really seriously here~!”
“That’s right, Senpai. Gya-kun is asking for a date for the first time in his life. So teasing him is not allowed.”
Oh my, even Koneko-chan says that!
Rias also laughs as if she’s finding it amusing.
That’s right, we just have to take her out of here somehow. She must be imprisoned by the Holy Grail. Even so—she still has the personality of a normal girl just like this!
So we simply need to have fun together and she will eventually have her mental state back to normal—.
While we are having our discussion with so much joy, a different voice comes and interrupts all of that.
“I wonder what all of you are so excited about.”
The one who enters the garden is—Marius Tepes. He walks towards us while putting on a fake smile. It amazes me because he seems like he’s built from a mass of evil intention that is wearing some clothing.
That instant, lights disappear from Valerie’s eyes. Valerie then answers him with an unnatural smile.
“Marius-oniisama. I was just talking to Gasper and Rias-sama.”
Marius greets us once again.
“Hello there. Sorry for my intrusion. Since I heard Valerie is meeting the guests, I thought I should show myself as well. Am I a bother?”
……He asks that to us on purpose.
I’m sure he is thinking that we are planning on doing something, so he came to check upon us.
Even Rias who had her usual smile until now responds with a sour look.
“No, you are not. I also caused a lot of trouble to you before due to my servant [Knight].”
Rias apologises for Xenovia’s actions once again.
Marius makes a bitter smile.
“No no, there are things those from the lower class can’t come to understand when they come into this world.”
He just shrugs his shoulder and didn’t make that much of a deal out of it.
“What is it, Gasper Vladi?”
Gasper doesn’t even back down and ask him very forwardly.
“……Can you please release Valerie? I will do anything if it is something I can do. So please! Please don’t make Valerie suffer any more than this……”
……Well said. Lately, Gasper’s growth towards becoming a man is remarkable. He may become a nice guy with the most manliness among the Gremory boys in the future.
……Well, I can’t really imagine that happening.
Marius who was asked that starts to think while putting his hand under his chin.
He then answers like this as he smiles.
“Very well. I will release her.”
……That’s an unexpected answer! No, but……is this a……
“Except, please give me some time. The political power just changed so having Valerie who just reigned as a Queen stepping down right away won’t look well. If you give us a bit of time, then I’ll hand Valerie to all of you.”
Marius says it to Valerie.
“Valerie, you may go to Japan. You may live over there peacefully with Gasper Vladi.”
“But the Holy Grail is……”
Marius smiles as he puts his hand on Valerie’s shoulder who is putting on a confused look.
“You don’t need to worry about it. You don’t have to use it any longer. You did fulfil a lot of your duty. So you may be “released” from the Holy Grail.”
“I-Is that true? Oh my, Gasper. It seems like I can go to Japan.”
“Yup! I’m so glad! T-This really is good news!”
The two childhood friends take each other’s hand in joy.
Gasper bows his head to Marius.
“Thank you very much! Thank you very much!”
“No, it’s okay. Fufufu.”
Towards Marius who is putting on a meaningful smile—me, Rias, and Koneko-chan keeps our mouth closed.
……You can’t just call this suspicious.
This is impossible. For him to let go of Valerie and the Holy Grail.
Just like me, Rias and Koneko-chan also realise that so they look at him with doubtful eyes.
Gasper and Valerie are simply in joy without even doubting Marius’s words.
—“Releasing” her, huh.
Words filled with bad premonition. While we feel dubious, the tea party with Valerie ends there.
“Oh, it’s unexpectedly normal here huh, the town of Vampires that is.”
What spreads in front of my eyes is—an unfamiliar town covered in pure white snow. There are many buildings all lined up in front of me.
The group of five people consisting of Asia, Xenovia, Irina, Rossweisse-san, and I, came down to the castle town late at night for an observation.
Saying that, two days have passed since the tea party with Valerie and nothing particular has happened since then. So Rias suggested for us to go down and observe the castle town since we have so much time to spare in the guest room.
The one who came out are the five people I just named. For the remaining members; Sensei hasn’t returned since he was taken away by the Vampire’s Sacred Gear institute. Just like that, he hasn’t returned even once during the past two days. ……I’m sure nothing bad is going on, but I do wonder what Sensei is doing……
Rias and Akeno-san have been continuing their discussion with the Head of the House of Tepes in the basement for the past two days. Kiba is with them as their guard. Apparently Rias is continuing her discussion where she can formally take Gasper from the House of Vladi. Since it’s a discussion between the nobles of the Devils and Vampires, I hear that their discussion is progressing smoothly despite having different values on things.
Gasper himself is having a tea-party with Valerie together with Koneko-chan every day. Valerie who is the temporarily Queen has quite a lot of free time, so it makes us even more dubious instead.
……A Queen usually doesn’t have that much free time. Even more so under this situation where the coup d’état just ended. Even an idiot like me thinks a Queen needs to take action even more under this situation. She may be a puppet used for politics, but even so, I think they are giving their Queen too much freedom.
……I’m also concerned about the word “release” Marius said…… It just sounds like a bad omen no matter how I think about it. I’m also concerned because there hasn’t been any eye-catching movement in the past two days…..
It may be good to somehow take Valerie with us, but the fact about the Evil Dragon being next to her is……
No, I can’t remain scared about it. If I have to, it will be wise to take Valerie by force even if that means I have to fight the Evil Dragon.
I appreciate Ddraig’s warning but doing nothing while seeing her being in danger doesn’t seem right.
Now then, what am I supposed to do? We can’t remain in this country forever……
“Ise-san, is something wrong?”
Asia looks into my face.
“A-Ah, sorry. I was thinking a bit.”
I need to get my head straight. Rias went far to allow us to go out. So let’s just look around the town with this opportunity we are given.
—While I was thinking such things, we arrive at the shopping district.
The signboards for different kinds of shops are out, and it seems like there’s everything from a clothing shop to a general store. Looks like there are also restaurants. It’s possible to eat human food besides consuming blood for those who became a Vampire from a human. Except, the closer to a pure-blood you are, the more blood you have to consume.
But our Gasper happens to take more human food if you put it in ratios. Though it seems like he also needs to drink blood.
…….I tried to look around the shops but the reaction from those around us makes it difficult.
There are many of those who are looking at us.
“Seems like they know that we are outsiders.”
Xenovia says that.
Irina shrugs her shoulder.
“Even if this is a castle town, it’s still a world shut-in from the world outside. As I thought, those who came from outside must have a different vibe. You remember how we stood out when we went to foreign countries for our missions, Xenovia?”
“You are right. The obstacle faced by those raised in the Church would be the different cultures of the countries they are sent to for their missions.”
Yeah, both of them certainly did stand out when they first came to Japan. Well, they did dress like an agent so they probably didn’t have the intention of mixing in with Japan’s atmosphere.
“I was also confused since there were many things I didn’t know about when I just arrived in Japan.”
Even Asia was shocked at many things till she became familiar with Japan. Not only about the food but also in terms of the living style. She was especially shocked at how convenient the home appliances are. Since she had a simple plain life, the culture shock she had must have been big.
Speaking of convenience, the residents here are also using transport methods such as cars and bikes. They walk outside normally once they exit the buildings. It’s a normal action since I hear that the majority of those living here turned into a Vampire from a human. They sure are convenient, the home appliances from the human world that is.
I had the impression that they were using horses for transport. I made an assumption that they hated other cultures since they took quite a distance from the other forces. The items and the appearance of the mediaeval Europe stood out inside the castle instead of the modern home appliances. Even the armour of the soldiers inside the castle had a middle-age look.
But the atmosphere of the town is different. I then come to witness modern things over here and there.
If I think about it, the Carmilla-faction also had a vehicle.
Just like the Devils of the Underworld, it seems the Vampires also have flexibility where they take in convenient things into their culture.
Well, the time when they are active is the opposite of the humans since they sleep during the day and are active at night.
Xenovia then breathes out.
“……I don’t like having myself followed by someone.”
Yeah, just like Xenovia said, there are several of those following us. They are the ones that have been dispatched from the castle to watch over us. I already know that since we were told about this from the beginning…… But like Xenovia said, having someone follow you sure does make you be bothered by it.
“It can’t be helped. Even if we were allowed to go out, we are guests that are supposed to be staying inside that castle.”
That’s what I say. Even they must be concerned as to what we will do outside. I’m sure they are watching us because we may start a stir with the residents and tell them unnecessary things.
Though I have no intention of doing such things.
My gaze then moves to Rossweisse-san. She’s looking at each of the shops all lined up with keen eyes.
“It was quite unexpected for you to come with us, Rossweisse-san.”
When I say that, Rossweisse-san answers me while putting her chest forward as if the action she took was the right decision.
“Of course. I’m a teacher from Kuou academy and all of you are my students. You can call this as my guidance. Coming into Romania is nothing more than an extracurricular lesson.”
Rossweisse-san is looking around the shops while her eyes are sparkling despite saying such bombastic things.
“……Hmm, looks there are some interesting shops here……”
Maybe the one who is enjoying the most coming out here is Rossweisse-san……
—Now, the situation of the town that Rias and the others told us to observe didn’t seem like there is any influence due to the coup d’état nor are the residents that are walking the streets showing any sign of confusion.
As we thought, they don’t know anything about the coup d’état. So the coup d’état actually happened silently while the King escaped without anyone knowing. But for the King to escape while leaving his people……
“Welcome, how about tea made from special herbs harvested from this area?”
Like that, there are shopkeepers who call out to us casually despite knowing that we are outsiders.
“As I thought, there are no discount shops around here…… I think it would be okay for a 100 yen shop to be popular in the world of Vampires as well……”
Rossweisse-san sighs as if she is grieving.
……S-So you were looking forward to that…… Just how much love and attachment do you have towards 100 yen shop......?
I was making such comments inside myself……but something shocking appears within my sight.
—The girl who is the other half of Ophis is sitting in front of a stand.
She’s staring at the products displayed on the stand. It looks like an accessory shop.
It seems like she’s looking at an accessory that has the shape of a red Dragon.
“……Umm, little girl, which one do you want to buy?”
It seems like the shop keeper of the stand is having a hard time with confronting the girl who is simply looking at his products silently.
The others also realise that the other half of Ophis, Lilith, is in front of them, so they are really surprised as well.
……I don’t feel any presence of suspicious people nearby. Did this girl come to buy something on her own……?
We look at each other while being confused and didn’t know what to do…… I then make my mind up after breathing out.
I went next to Lilith and pointed at a product.
“……Do you want this?”
When I ask, Lilith notices me and stares into my face.
She’s silent and she doesn’t give any response. I then tell the shopkeeper.
“I’ll buy this one.”
I buy the accessory of a red Dragon by using the money I can use in this country which was given to me by Rias.
I then hand that to Lilith.
“Here you go, see ya.”
I try to leave with everyone after saying that. Well, confronting her any longer than this seems dangerous, so I thought we should go elsewhere.
—However, someone pulls my clothes. When I look, I witness Lilith pulling on my clothes.
“……W-What is it?”
I ask, but the girl says this with no emotion on her face.
“……My stomach, empty.”
The girl who is the other half of Ophis eats the roll cabbage and the meat that have been twisted right in front of me.
We took this girl with us and couldn’t help ourselves but to enter the restaurant nearby.
There is Romanian food all lined up on the table. There is also other food from other countries which we can enjoy. Of course. Since those who became Vampires come from various parts of the world, the cooking here must also be multi-cultural.
I’m eating Japanese food that I’m really familiar with even though I’m looking forward to eating Romanian food. I never expected that I would be able to eat tofu in the country of Vampires…… I take a piece.
Ugh, it does have the shape of a tofu but the taste isn’t that good…… As I thought, it’s best to eat Japanese food in Japan.
Lilith takes the tofu into her mouth without any complaint.
“Is it good?”
The girl answers plainly. It’s messy around her mouth due to the crumbles of food and sauces.
“Oh, you have some sauce on your mouth.”
Asia wipes the sauce for her with a handkerchief.
“Okay, it’s all clean now.”
She continues to eat once her mouth has been wiped. ……And her mouth gets dirty again.
Xenovia who is watching this while resting her chin on her hand says this.
“So this is Ophis’s other half. ……What should we do? Is this a chance?”
By chance, she must mean if we can make her spill information about the new Khaos Brigade or maybe simply taking this girl somewhere.
Irina sighs while shrugging her shoulder.
“……I don’t think we should. We are being watched after all, so it seems like we’ll get ourselves into trouble if we make any weird moves on this girl. She is a member of the Khaos Brigade after all and she is considered as Ophis-san to everyone who doesn’t know the truth. Since the Ophis-san in the Hyoudou residence is treated as if she doesn’t exist, this girl here is “Ophis” from the view of every force.”
She’s right. The ones watching us also came inside the restaurant and are keeping their eyes on us while sitting far from us. So we can’t make any wrong moves. Furthermore, she seems to be insanely powerful so we won’t be able to handle her if she resists.
They are confident that this girl can’t be taken away by us, even if she is to encounter us or any other people.
“Well, simply eating with her should be fine.”
That’s the conclusion I came up with. We won’t get involved with her any more than this and simply finish this by having a meal together.
We are obviously going to allow ourselves to observe her. We also have a Dragon-God in our home and this girl happens to be the other half of Ophis.
Maybe her hunger is gone, so Lilith puts her fork down and suddenly starts to—sniff me.
She starts to sniff my body. ……Eh, am I smelly? That’s what I thought, so I start to smell myself……
Lilith then says it with few words.
“……Same smell as Lilith.”
She has no expression on her face, but she is however tilting her head. The similar way how Ophis tilts her head.
“……Ah, did Ophis’s smell get on me?”
I say that. I assumed she smelled the smell of Ophis, the real one, from my body.
“……Maybe you have her smell on right now, Ise-kun.”
That’s what Rossweisse-san says, but Lilith says this next.
“……Also the smell, of nostalgia. Red, big, a smell of Red Dragon.”
A red and big Dragon. She must mean Great Red.
My current body is made from borrowing a section of Great Red’s body. It’s not weird if she can smell Great Red from me. From the way she said that, it seems like she doesn’t know much about Great Red like the real Ophis does.
But I’m surprised. The real Ophis is very interested in Great Red, but even this girl recognises that Sekiryuushintei……
The relation between Ophis and Great Red must be more complex than I imagined.
I got my head clear and introduce ourselves to Lilith.
“I’m Hyoudou Issei. She’s Asia, the ones over there are Xenovia and Irina, and the one over there is Rossweisse-san.”
Asia and the others also greet her with a smile.
She says my name to remember it. Huh? Is my name a bit too hard to remember?
“You can just call me Ise.”
I say it in a friendly manner, but—
She becomes silent, and I witness the difference between her and Ophis. She has less expressions than Ophis. What did they do with the stolen power of Ophis and how did they use it? Those are the things I’m concerned about now.
Maybe she is satisfied, so the girl doesn’t say anything and stands up from her seat.
“What, are you going home?”
When I ask, Lilith doesn’t turn around but says,
“…………Rizevim, protect, Lilith’s duty.”
That’s what she simply says.
After we look at each other, we head back towards the castle after finishing our meal quickly.
We, the group that went outside, return and talk with the other members since Azazel-sensei finally came back.
Sensei then talks to us.
“Oh, it’s you guys. I’ve just come back. ……So how was it outside?”
“It was normal. Like you said, they don’t seem to know anything about the coup d’état.”
—When I tell him my impression, Sensei mutters out saying, “Thought so”.
Gasper makes a rare action by talking to Sensei. He puts on a smile with a high tension—.
“Azazel-sensei, please listen to me! Marius-san promised me that he will release Valerie! I’m so glad~. With this, I can take Valerie to Japan!”
He reacts to Gasper’s reaction and words, so he looks at us right away.
“……Tell me, what happened?”
We tell Sensei about Valerie. We already heard about the discussion with the Head of the House of Vladi from Rias (we avoided telling Gasper about the information regarding his birth), but he seems like he has a good grasp of it already.
Sensei waves his hand to call me, Rias, and Akeno-san to the corner of the room.
Sensei says it in a small voice to make sure Gasper and Asia can’t hear us.
(I’m sure you guys know this already, but what he means by releasing her is……)
(Yes, as I thought, it’s something that isn’t good……)
Sensei nods to my words.
(He must be planning to take that, the Holy Grail, from her. From Valerie’s body that is. The Fallen Angel’s technology has been leaked outside. So it won’t be weird if they have the techniques to do that over here. After all, the ones behind them are the Khaos Brigade.)
……Pulling it out.
Asia who got her Twilight Healing pulled out flashes back in my head.
……That bastard Marius is planning to do the same thing. So he’s planning to make Gasper watch that happen……!
Rias burns in rage.
(……Since Marius used the word “releasing” her, I’m sure he’s planning to make his move very soon. We need to tell this to Gasper soon. ……That man, Marius Tepes, sure is a despicable Vampire……!)
Maybe she can’t forgive Marius who fooled her servant, so she must be feeling mad because she can’t let herself tell the truth to Gasper who is in so much joy. This is a problem she is facing since it’s Rias who is so kind.
I also have anger piling up inside me, but it’s not like we can do anything about it right now.
(But if the time comes, I want to take her with us by force. At this rate, it’s certain that something dangerous will happen for real.)
I say that with heat in my words.
Rias feels the same, so she shakes her head.
(I want to find a chance and leave this country together with her. I am having Bennia prepare an escape route just in case…… We need to rethink about this case.)
Yeah, we can’t just ignore this. What’s left is the timing……
We return to where everyone else is from the corner of the room. I shake my head and change the subject.
“By the way Sensei, what were you doing for the past two days?”
“……I was researching the Sacred Gears possessed by the half-blood Vampires. It seems like there are many half-bloods that are born with Sacred Gears lately. Though I don’t know the reason behind it.”
Half-blood Vampires who are Sacred Gear possessors huh. Gasper and Valerie are part of them as well.
……So the number of them are increasing. The half-blood Vampires that are Sacred Gear possessors……
“The problem lies in the fact that the knowledge regarding the Sacred Gears has increased among the researchers of the Vampire’s side. It seems like there are those that are trying to find out more about them on their own like Marius, but you can clearly see the areas they haven’t advanced to if you were to compare them to the research level of the Grigori. So I taught them things they should know.”
“……Is it okay? To do that at this time in the country where their government still isn’t stable due to the recent coup d’état…… And don’t Vampires hate that kind of treatment……?”
If things go wrong, I’m worried that the coup d’état faction that is currently controlling this country will use that information for their benefit. I also assume that Sensei’s advice will be something which isn’t necessary for them since they hate other forces coming into their problems.
Then Sensei says.
“The researchers that I spoke with are the ones that had been researching about the Sacred Gears even before the coup d’état. They were more willing to listen to what I had to say rather than taking their so called pride of Vampires as their priority. It also seemed like Marius was the one who mainly researched about the Holy Grail, so they didn’t have any intention of taking such direct rebellion. Well, that’s why I gave them the minimum information they should know. After all, this country is also showing signs of being in danger in terms of the Sacred Gears.”
“How is that so?”
Sensei answers with a complicated expression when I asked.
“—The Balance Breakers. You do know that Cao Cao leaked the information of how to reach Balance Breaker to every force, right?”
Irina says it as if she realised something.
“Oh, if the half-blood Vampires that are dissatisfied with the current situation were to go wild using their Sacred Gears……”
“That’s how it is. Escaping from the ones that bullied you using your Balance Breaker will be fine. It’s quite common for it to be used for revenge. The problem is for them to go wild without any care of their surroundings by being bewitched by the Balance Breakers. They did observe such signs of that happening after all. So they must have wanted to prepare a counter measure against Balance Breakers immediately. That’s why I taught them things related to such situations and also promised them about deployments from the Grigori’s side. Looks like this place also has the same troubles as the Devil’s side.”
So he promised his help to them huh. Seriously, Sensei sure is quick at moving when things get involved with Sacred Gears.
Xenovia makes a bitter smile.
“I knew that Azazel-sensei has a soft spot.”
Sensei scratches his head.
“……I want to retrieve as much information related to the Sacred Gears as I can. Under this situation where all these sorts of things which are impossible to predict are happening here, the most valuable thing during such times is information. Especially all these Balance Breaker bargain sales that are happening are something you couldn’t even imagine in the past. Anything will become valuable information.”
The way to reach Balance Breaker found by Cao Cao and the Hero faction—. So it has affected even a place this far. Well, it’s natural for people that want to test it to appear in a world where there is discrimination between pure-bloods and others if such information gets passed among the lower class folks.
On top of that, this society of Vampires has never sought for cooperation from other factions till now. So they ended up facing the threats of Balance Breakers that had been occurring internally by themselves.
If a Sacred Gear possessor that is a half-blood Vampire who is capable of using Balance Breaker is to come to the human world with bad intentions…… No, such people may have already hidden themselves within the towns of the human world…… But there’s no point in thinking about such things now.
“The Holy Grail—what disappoints me the most is that I couldn’t meet Valerie. ……I could have come up with a counter measure if I was able to check her even a bit……”
Sensei looks like he’s regretting it. Seems like the meeting between Sensei and Valerie wasn’t permitted. They probably don’t want to have someone who has rich knowledge about Sacred Gears checking the Holy Grail out.
I then ask another question I have doubts about.
“The Underworld……what is Sirzechs-sama planning to do regarding this incident? Sensei, you have already reported this to him, right?”
The son of the previous Lucifer that had helped the coup d’état faction of the Vampire Tepes’s side. –Rizevim’s existence must be something the Underworld cannot ignore. Especially inside the mind of Sirzechs-sama who uses the same name as him……
Sensei speaks while closing his eyes.
“……I reported to him about Rizevim just in case, but I still haven’t received any reply from the higher-ups of the Devils. What will happen if you add Rizevim to the situation when they were already in confusion due to Euclid being alive? It’s pretty much guaranteed that the situation over there is chaotic. So Sirzechs won’t be able to move even a muscle since he needs to come up with a counter measure. That’s how special the name “Lucifer” is. Especially now……since Rizevim who is the son of the previous Lucifer made his appearance. So it won’t be weird for the previous government supporters who have been hiding at the far end of the Underworld to take action.”
……Everyone became dead quiet at Sensei’s words.
Just how special a Lucifer is—. That’s also something I know despite my short time being a Devil . ……For the supporters of the previous government to come back once that old man makes his move again. Just what would happen to the Underworld……? Just recently, the current Devils including Sairaorg-san went to the trouble of taking down the Old-Maou faction that has been going wild while the Hero faction caused chaos……
—It means that there are those that find your so-called peace as a pain.
What Vali said to me back at the time when we fought the Evil-God Loki comes back to my memory.
…...As long as I find it a peace, it means that there is someone out there who is finding it a pain……
A sudden mysterious sensation strikes us who had just been having a discussion.
A feeling where this room became enveloped by a certain barrier—. It’s not a nasty feeling. That’s because I can feel a familiar aura.
—Then a magic-circle belonging to the Sitri shows up on the ceiling and someone sticks their head out from it upside down.
—It’s the Grim Reaper girl Bennia!
《Hello. It took quite some time to connect this place with the outside, but I’m glad we were able to manage it.》
Bennia who went to the market from the Gondola station without anyone knowing. She finally shows up. I couldn’t meet her at the castle town after all. Well, that’s natural, since we had people keep their eyes on us.
So the reason why she put the barrier on this room is so she can come here directly huh. Is this the escape route Rias spoke of? ……It hasn’t been noticed by the people in this castle, right……?
While we are doing this, something falls down from the magic-circle on the ceiling.
There is a cute scream which went “Kyaa” belonging to a girl along with the sound of something crashing onto the floor.
When I look, I witness Elmenhilde who failed in landing patting her hip. The one who comes falling down next is the huge man Rugal, but in his case, he landed perfectly. Lastly, Bennia flies down from the ceiling.
Seeing our faces which look like we had just seen something weird, Elmehilde stands up right away after noticing us and changes her attitude with a cough.
“How do you do, all of you? I’m glad all of you are doing fine.”
She greets us with a high attitude……but I’m frustrated since I thought she was a bit cute for failing to jump down properly!
“Elmenhilde, so you sneaked into this country.”
Elmenhilde makes a single nod to Rias’s words.
“Of course. I met Bennia-san who is standing over there when the agents and I were deciding on which route to take to come to this castle. —There is something I need to report.”
She changes her attitude and tells this to us with a serious face.
“—We received information that Marius Tepes’s faction is going to take action by moving onto the final phase of using the Holy Grail very shortly.”
Gasper’s face changes after hearing that.
Moving to the final phase……?
“The final phase……no, it can’t be.”
Elmenhilde says this at Sensei’s words.
“They are planning to take the Holy Grail out from Valerie Tepes in order to take complete control of this country. By increasing the power of the Holy Grail, they are trying to activate their plan of reconstructing the whole civilian population living in the castle town.”
……So they made their move after all……!
To extract the Holy Grail! And they are planning to take complete control of this country on top of that? And by reconstructing all of the civilians!
Sensei narrows his eyes by putting his hand on his chin.
“I already predicted the Holy Grail……but they are planning to change the civilians into Vampires that have no weaknesses? Is that even something you can call a Vampire?”
Elmenhilde also puts on a face filled with disgust.
“It truly is disgusting. They are trying to change them into some other creature that has the trait of Vampires using the Holy Grail after all. Those from Carmilla faction that have come into this country are about to start the plan together with the Tepes faction’s government to defeat the anti-faction group.”
So they are already in a phase where they are about to suppress down the coup d’état.
Gasper who has found out the truth all of a sudden……is shivering his small body and has a gloomy face.
“……Umm, what will happen if Valerie has her Holy Grail extracted from her……?”
“—She will die. They were already planning to extract the Holy Grail from her once it had made some growth and when their research had advanced. If the possessor dies, the Longinus will move onto the next host. In order to stop that from happening, they can extract the Sacred Gear from her and have it with them and use it without being concerned about having it disappear.”
Gasper breaks down on the floor after having Sensei tell him the truth.
“……N-No it can’t be, because Marius-san promised me that he would release her……and that he’ll allow her to go to Japan…… Were all of those things lies……?”
Rias embraces Gasper who has so many tears falling down from his eyes gently.
“You sure don’t find a despicable person like that so often. —I can only feel disgusted by him.”
Rias’s irises are filled with so much rage that it’s dangerous.
“Yes, as I thought, we need to save Valerie before the so-called release—”
Right before I was about to spit out my determination, a bright light shines from the window which even reaches inside the room.
It’s not morning. There’s still time till the sun rises.
We look out the window to check outside immediately.
—There is a huge wall of light that is covering the castle!
Is this……the light for a magic-circle?
Sensei clicks his tongue after seeing that.
“……So they made the first move! Most likely, the Carmilla faction’s move is already caught by them. They are planning to start the ritual to extract the Holy Grail at this time! This……has quite a lot of their own marks, but there’s no doubt it’s the mark which shows up when you try to take out the Longinus from the possessor!”
Damn it! So that bastard Marius has made his move already! If we don’t hurry, we won’t make it in time to save Valerie!
Elmenhilde then stands at the centre of the magic-circle that Bennia created which is connected to outside the castle.
“I will make my move together with my comrades from the outside. So all of you need to escape here immediately.”
Sensei then makes a sigh at Elmenhilde’s words.
“Are you still trying to avoid our intrusion in this matter even under this situation? There are also terrorists among the enemies. There’s no doubt that the Evil Dragons will appear, you know?”
Even under this situation, Elmenhilde makes a strong smile.
“Yes, the Vampires will solve the problem of Vampires—”
Elmenhilde closes her eyes after saying it till there.
“……That’s what I would like to say, but our Queen Carmilla has approved your help.”
She says that in a way as if dissatisfied about it. I don’t think we are in a situation where she has the leisure to approve of us or not……but they must have their own opinions and style. Though I feel like telling them that’s nonsense.
Elmenhilde then looks at Gasper.
“Gasper Vladi, do you wish to retrieve the Holy Grail, and Valerie Tepes?”
Gasper answers like that without any pause. Elmenhilde makes a single nod upon hearing that.
“Very well. If Gasper Vladi wishes to go, then I will approve all of you to go with him. I will entrust all of you to guard him and aid him. Initially, our plan was to stop Valerie Tepes’s action by using Gasper Vladi anyway.”
That’s such an arrogant way to say it! This girl is even saying things like that under this situation……!
“Then farewell. I may be causing trouble for you, but please connect me outside.”
Elmenhilde asks Bennia to start the teleport magic-circle once again.
“That’s unexpected coming from you to leave this to us, you know?”
She said many things I want to argue back against, but she left the duty of retrieving Valerie without making much complaints. That’s why I asked since I became curious.
“I do acknowledge all of your strength.”
She makes a sarcastic smile, then from the magic-circle—she falls down.
I can hear her scream from the magic-circle…… Bennia then sticks her tongue out.
《The place I connected her to is the ceiling of some other house.》
……Oh my, so that girl is falling down again huh……
Gasper then makes a declaration with eyes filled with strong determination.
“—I’ll save her. I want to save Valerie! Everyone! Please! Please lend me all of your strength!”
……You sure have a manly face.
I then smile at my junior.
“Of course. That’s why we came here! Let’s go save Valerie!”
Xenovia also smiles fearlessly by carrying her Durandal.
“I’ll lend you my hand. You are my junior. So rely on your seniors. If it’s a power battle, then I’ll demonstrate it as much as you want, you know?”
Kiba continues after her.
“Then it seems like I need to do a technique battle. Just how much I can test my strength against the enhanced pureblood Vampires. As a Knight of Gremory, I sure would like to join this battle.”
Irina and Asia also take a step forward.
“Yeah, helping the first year makes us the second year students! I’m going to give a punishment to the bad Vampires as a representative of the Heaven!”
“Yes! I’ll do my best as well! I-If the time comes, I will call out pa, I mean Fafnir-san!”
Koneko-chan smiles while holding Gasper’s hand.
“……A friend of my friend is also my friend. Gya-kun, I will help too.”
Akeno-san then hugs Gasper gently.
“Ufufu, I will also help you.”
Then our master, Rias Gremory, declares it to Gasper very strongly!
“Let’s go, Gasper. The Gremory group, the Occult Research Club, does not neglect a club member who is in need of help!”
Gasper is about to burst into tears at how everyone is willing to fight for him but he endures it.
“Ise-senpai, Buchou, Koneko-chan, everyone…… Yes! I will do my best!”
Bennia and Rugal-san also say this.
《We’ll help as well. Right, brother Rugal?》
“……Yeah. Fulfilling Sona-dono’s order is what makes us the Sitri-group.”
While we are raising our spirits, Sensei and Rossweisse-san are talking a bit away from us.
“It sure is nice, to be a youngster that is. Right, Rossweisse-sensei?”
“But I am young as well. Well, I will be using my magic till I am satisfied.”
Since everyone has the same opinion, I lift my fist up-high.
“Alright, let’s move out together with the Occult Research Club and the two new members of the student council! Let’s show it to them, the strength of how we break through obstacles like the firepower idiots we are called!”
The Devils of the Kuou academy then head out!
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