High School DxD:Volume 18 Life 3
Life.3 D×D Also Launches To Heaven
We, the D×D, gather in the strategy control room located in First Heaven. Rias, Akeno-san, Irina, Sister Griselda, and the Brave Saints that were present in First Heaven surround the table.
What is on the centre of the table is a holographic vision which shows the situation of each level.
……The Evil Dragons really are rampaging in Heaven! Second Heaven, Third Heaven, and Fourth Heaven have been attacked by the enemies who are engaged in a furious battle with the soldiers of the Angels.
“It appears the enemies have made their way in from Third Heaven which is the resting place of the souls!”
One of the Brave Saints gives such a report. On the vision——an enormous sky city appears! I know that Third Heaven is the most spacious location of Heaven, but the enemies intruded while bringing the floating island from the Underworld! Herds of Evil Dragons appears from Agreas! It really has turned into their nest!
What also appears in the vision are strong foes we have faced before!
“……Ladon, Walburga, and even Crom Cruach!”
The ones that are in the vision are Ladon and Walburga, the witch who uses the Holy Cross, who are taking down the Angels! They are causing destruction in Heaven as they like!
Crom Cruach is the only one who simply dodges the Angels attacks and isn’t that assertive in attacking them. ……He’s simply battling as if he’s just doing his share of work while being uninterested in all of this.
I then give my opinion at the vision I am currently seeing.
“Just how on earth did Qlippoth intruded into Heaven……? They can’t just force their way in here like they did in the Underworld, right?”
Aren’t there limited ways through which you can enter Heaven? I did hear that there aren’t as many ways as for the Underworld.
I spoke my doubts and a familiar face appears in one of the visions positioned at the corner of the table.
[——Most likely from the realm of the dead.]
It’s Azazel-sensei who is currently on earth! Rias asks him.
“Azazel, how is the situation over there?”
[Not good. The entrance to Heaven has been shut down from this side as well. So we can’t send reinforcements.]
Yeah, just as Sensei said, the gate which connects the human world and Heaven has been shut! We can’t open it from this side and now from their side.
[So you haven’t found out the reason behind this?]
Sister Griselda shakes her head at Sensei’s question.
“No. Right now the Seraphs are trying to figure out the cause of this but for the most they are concentrating on keeping down the influence this will cause on Seventh Heaven…… Likewise the whole elevator in Heaven has stopped functioning.”
The higher-ups of Heaven are strengthening the protecting barrier on Seventh Heaven, the highest floor with the “system”, due to this unexpected situation. After all, it will be our defeat if they intrude that floor. Obviously the Sacred Gears but also the sources of the teachings as well as Heaven may collapse. If that happens……! I don’t even want to imagine it!
“Sensei! By realm of the dead, you mean……”
I ask Sensei.
[If you were to enter Heaven then there will be very few ways. You would either go through the main gate like how you guys did, or you get accepted there as a follower of the Church after your death. And the other option is to go up there in another way.]
Sister Griselda realises something after hearing that.
“——Limbo and Purgatory!"
[Yeah, they are different from Heaven and Hell. It’s the place where followers go after their death. Limbo and Purgatory were prepared for the deceased with special circumstances. ……This is just my hypothesis but there is a chance that bastard Hades who is the God of the realm of the dead either knew or made an entrance to Limbo and Purgatory.]
One Angel then appears with a report!
“Reporting! The door of Purgatory which leads to Third Heaven had been destroyed!”
——! So Sensei’s hypothesis turned out to be true!
……Damn. So that skeleton God gets involved here……! So that God is cooperating with Qlippoth? It’s possible! That God hates the Devils and the Fallen Angels! So he would also hate Heaven which belongs to the different force! Even if the core leader of Qlippoth is the son of the former Lucifer, it seems like he would help the terrorists just in order to get us!
Sister Griselda then says.
“……We received a report that Apophis, one of the legendary Evil Dragons that was most likely revived by the Holy Grail, had descended to the realm of the dead.”
Rias puts her hand under her chin.
“According to the legends Apophis is one of the Dragons who had strong relations with the realm of the dead—and Hell. It wouldn’t be surprising for it to descend to the realm of the dead……but I do wonder if Hades will cooperate without any reward. He did an evil deed and had Onii-sama and Azazel warn him that “there won’t be next time” just recently……”
Hades enraged Sirzechs-sama and Azazel-sensei by helping the Hero-faction. I heard Michael-san was quite angry as well. I think it’s thoughtless of him to do an evil deed so easily like this for the second time.
Sensei then says.
[……From the new info we had Euclid spit out, there are legendary Evil Dragons which had been resurrected while Rizevim’s manipulation isn’t working. Those three Evil Dragons would be Crom Cruach, Aži Dahāka, and Apophis. All of them are monsters. He said that……they made deals with Rizevim.]
[Yes, Rias. ——He told them “I will release you if you take my conditions”. I couldn’t find out about the deals in detail but those deals are most likely to be “make a pact with any God-class beings regardless of the forces they are from”. I don’t know about the other two but Apophis has made a pact with Hades at least. I’m judging that——Rizevim gained a way into Heaven from Hades through Apophis.]
I shout at Sensei.
“S-So what!? So Qlippoth would make an excuse by saying “Apophis and others were released” or even say that “they escaped on their own” so making a pact with others was done on their own as well!? And Hades would also make an excuse that he made a pact with a runaway Evil Dragon and he hasn’t cooperated with the Qlippoth!? There’s no way such an excuse would be allowed! This is totally insane!”
Sensei narrows his eyes at me who is in a rage.
[……I know. ——It’s frustrating but this isn’t the time to be questioning them. We are thinking of trying to open Heaven’s gate from this side somehow. So I want your side to try and open it as well.]
The Brave Saints nod at Sensei’s words and move out.
“What are their motives……?”
Xenovia says while narrowing her eyes.
“Are they after the “system” which is on the uppermost floor?”
Asia says that but Sensei shakes his head.
[They won’t be able to get there so easily. Normally no one besides the Seraphs can step a foot in there. If an irregular one enters then he gets teleported to a different location. You can even go so far as to call that a work of God due to receiving a really powerful teleportation. Even still, we don’t know what they will do. It’s natural for Michael and others to strengthen the guard on the uppermost floor.]
“Sounds like you have experienced it.”
When I say that Sensei shrugs his shoulder.
[Well, when I stepped foot in there before without the God’s permission I was sent away to some remote place on the human’s world. I just wanted to take a tiny bit of a look at the Sacred Gear system but that God was so stingy……]
“Then Qlippoth’s aim would be Sixth Heaven where Heaven’s main base is located?”
I say the next possible target but Sensei also rejected that.
[……Go there for what? To exterminate the Seraphs? Well, it would be a great achievement for them if they can pull that off, but Rizevim and the Evil Dragons will also receive casualties if they face off against them.]
“So there is a floor they are after?”
[Yeah, even if it’s them, there is a limit to the floor they can advance to with their current manpower. ……It could be Third Heaven, Fourth Heaven, or it’s even possible that it’s Second Heaven where it’s the place those related to the Babel’s tower are imprisoned in…..]
“What about Fifth Heaven where you were located in the past? Isn’t that a research institute right now?”
[So you think they will go and take the Brave Saints’ cards? Well, it’s not like they aren’t interested in it. There should be research being done currently in that place though.]
Sensei asks Sister Griselda.
[……Griselda, what’s the current situation with the tree of life located on Third Heaven and the tree of wisdom located on Fourth Heaven?]
“……Both of the trees are present but they haven’t borne fruit for a while. The fruits stopped nurturing ever since the lord passed away.”
Sensei starts to think after hearing that.
I ask with suspicion but Sensei starts mumbling to himself.
[Qlippoth, the one which is located on the opposite side of the tree of life. That’s what they call themselves. It won’t be weird for them go after it. Unsealing the 666 would go much smoother and quicker with that fruit…… It’s possible that they would use that as a tool to negotiate with the Gods from other forces that have evil intents……]
A certain vision appears on the table while we still don’t know the motives of the enemies.
——That man with the Amano-murakumo-no-tsurugi stepped foot inside Fifth Heaven of the area where the laboratory is located at!
Sister Griselda put on a serious look when she sees that.
“…………This is bad. Currently Chief-officer Shidou went up to Fifth Heaven in order to get his treatment for the final-phase of removing the poison!”
Everyone becomes shocked at hearing that!
Irina screams after seeing the vision.
Yeah, this is bad! The enemy is after Irina’s dad! At this rate that man called Yaegaki will certainly——
Rias tells everyone!
“——Let’s move out! Either way we can’t just stay here doing nothing! We are the anti-terrorist team, the D×D! We will cooperate with the Angels and defeat the Evil Dragons as we climb up!”
Rias tells Irina.
“Irina, you go ahead to Fifth Heaven! We will open the path for you!”
Irina covers her mouth with her hands to those strong supporting words from Rias and then nods.
“Yes! I am the Ace of Michael-sama! I will defeat the Evil Dragons and rescue Papa!”
Alright! I don’t know what the enemies are after but our aim is clear! We will rescue Irina’s dad while taking down the enemies that come at us!
[I will also send reinforcements once Heaven’s gate opens! You guys stay tough!]
Everyone answers back at Sensei’s words and says “roger!”!
The battle to guard Heaven now begins!
To reach Fifth Heaven we need to go through the gate of each floor. But the enemies that intruded from Third Heaven have seized the gate connecting to Second Heaven and Fourth Heaven from there. And they even seized the rear gate of Fourth Heaven! That means we have them intruded from Second Heaven to Fifth Heaven! Since Second Heaven is close to First Heaven, which is the front line base where the army of Angels are ,located, they're somehow enduring it. But the Sisters and others are seeing that Qlippoth is having a big advantage from Third Heaven to Fifth Heaven. Sixth Heaven which is the main base of the Angels hasn’t allowed any intruders in thanks to notable Angels such as Michael-san and several Seraphs that are on standby there. I also heard a report that one of the Seraphs went down to Fifth Heaven with several of his subordinates.
But there are clearly more enemies than during the battle in Auros. We can’t also get any reinforcements since the gate which connects to the human world has been shut down. So we have to fight the Evil Dragons with the forces we currently have in Heaven.
We charge from the front gate of Second Heaven and run through the battlefield since we aim to head to Third Heaven. The elevator which connects each floor has been closed. So in order to go to the higher floors we need to go through those floors directly.
Second Heaven is the world conquered by darkness. This place is mainly made to observe the stars and I have also heard it’s a place where Angels that have committed sins are imprisoned in.
This endless darkness world almost make you think this isn’t Heaven. Except, it’s not as dark as a planetarium where the shimmering of the stars will reach you. Well, since we are Devils our eyes will still work fine even inside darkness!
We proceed while taking down the Evil Dragons! On our way we witness the Brave Saints making a formation to counter the herds of Evil Dragons!
“Let’s do it! Brave Saints, formation! Formation! Full House!”
“ “ “ “ “ “Sir!” ” ” ” ”
The card numbers that answered the order appear in the sky and glow! That instant, enormous amounts of power of light envelop the Brave Saints whose strong aura even reaches us!
The Brave Saints that became the played cards jump into the herds of Evil Dragons and wipe them out instantly! Their power is not an ordinary one a single attack of theirs can take down a dozen of Evil Dragons! Even mass-produced Evil Dragons will have quite the power. An attack which can take down a significant number of them is something to be reckoned with! That’s the trait of Brave Saints! Their ability increases drastically if they are given a role based on the playing cards of pokers and trump cards.
One of the Brave Saints in the air shouts at his comrades.
“Move with the same suit! We will strengthen the playing cards to wipe them out at once!”
“ “ “ “ “Straight flush!” ” ” ” “
Another strong playing hand pierces the herds of Evil Dragons and takes them down!
Sister Griselda stops and tells us.
“I will stay here and give orders!”
Sister cheers the Brave Saints as she says that.
“Be careful at using consecutive use of strong hands! Your stamina and power of light will drain fast!”
We answered Sister’s wish and continue to go ahead!
It happens when we get really close to the gate that leads to Third Heaven. A shadow giving out an evil presence appears within this darkness and stands in our way.
[Oh my, it’s been awhile.]
A creepy creature which has a shape of many branches of trees overlapped. A tree that has a shape of a Dragon——no, it’s the Evil Dragon Ladon!
Around him is an army of Evil Dragons. The Evil Dragons have completely blocked our path to the gate!
[I would like you to play with me for a while.]
Ladon says it in such a foolish manner of speech……but it seems like he’s serious. The thick and dark aura around his body increases. His red eyes glow within the dark! That instant, something that appears to be a soap bubble envelops us!
——It’s his barrier!
It’s an annoying substance since it keeps on coming back no matter how many times you destroy it! I had an hard time in the last battle due to this! This time it isn’t just me but also my comrades get enveloped!
Kiba and Xenovia destroy the barrier with their swords——but it repairs immediately so we can’t escape! Looks like it will become a nuisance like before! This time we have a technique-type Kiba and a one-hit kill Rias! I doubt we can’t break past this but it’s a fight against time right now! If we spend too much time on this guy, then Irina’s dad will——
Just like what was going through my mind, Irina who is acting hasty wields the sword she received from her dad.
“You! You are in the way! If I don’t be quick! Papa will—!”
But Ladon’s barrier revives no matter how many times it is destroyed so there’s no end to this!
“Then we need to destroy it along with him.”
Rias makes her hand glow mysteriously! She’s planning to create her Extinguish Star! That will certainly be able to blow away Ladon along with his barriers. But there’s no way he will let her do that!
[No you won’t.]
Ladon’s eyes glow mysteriously and he envelops Rias’s hand within his barrier! The power of destruction disappears right away! This guy really is the natural enemy of power-types! He seals you immediately!
Then there’s no holding back!
It happens when I was about to chant to wear my crimson armour—
A single light falls between us and Ladon!
That moment, the barrier covering us disappears and it doesn’t come back!
Our eyes gather to the front. A spear which is giving out an holy wave appears in my sight.
“——Concentrating heavily on powers like usual? Right, Sekiryuutei, and the Gremory group.”
We become shocked at the appearance of that man. A single young man wearing Chinese clothing takes out the spear which is giving out a holy wave. He stands in front of Ladon while tapping his shoulder with his spear.
Ladon narrows his red eyes.
[——So it will turn out like this here. A Holy Spear……]
Yeah, what appeared in front of us is the Holy Spear! One of the Longinus, the True Longinus! In the previous battle defending Auros Academy that spear also appeared from nowhere!
And this time the man who is the wielder of the spear has showed up!
I shout out the man’s name!
The one who appears in front of is the former leader of the Hero-faction——Cao Cao! After he lost against us he was taken down to the realm of the dead. I did hear he climbed up from the realm of the dead on his own and became Śakra’s vanguard.
I shout at him.
“……Why are you here!?”
Cao Cao has an eye-patch on the eye I crushed. He shows his irritating smile at me.
“——I thought I would join the Evil Dragon hunt. I came here from the gate of Purgatory just like they did.”
……You are telling me he found a path connected to Purgatory when he was at Hades’s place?
Cao Cao spins his spear around and directs the tip of it towards Ladon.
Ladon gives a creepy laugh.
[……So the man who is famous for being the candidate of the strongest Longinus possessor has appeared.]
Cao Cao then says.
“I shall take care of this Evil Dragon. But Sekiryuutei. You are a——hero, right? Then you should defeat the leader of the villains. Just like how you defeated me.”
Cao Cao then moves the tip of his spear towards the gate.
Seeing that, Ladon laughs.
[Oh my oh my……for the Holy Spear-user to take their place.]
……I agree with that. I’m not Ladon but I never thought this man would say that!
Rias then gives me an order.
“Ise! Asia and Xenovia, take Irina ahead! We will take care of things here!”
Cao Cao says it after her.
“Exactly. Someone who disappeared once came back and took the fight from nowhere. This sure is a treat for me.”
……Damn. I guess this is what you call a passing buck! Certainly if this guy, Rias, and others join forces then they will be able to take care of Ladon and the Evil Dragons!
I look at Asia, Xenovia, and Irina. The three of them are convinced and nod……but I then tell Cao Cao.
“……I won’t let you off the hook if you are beaten after making such an entrance.”
He releases a torrent of light towards the herd of Evil Dragons while smirking. Right after that the herds of Evil Dragons are blown away at once along with a massive explosion! ……The spear has unimaginable potential like usual!
Cao Cao says it fearlessly while spinning his spear.
“The reason I lost was due to my own weakness since I didn’t walk my path as a human. I don’t need Medusa’s eye or the Chaos Break. ——I just need my spear and my pride as a hero and a human. I promised myself I won’t let my guard down against Dragons any more.”
……That sure is scary. The reason I won against him is because of he himself, who created his own weakness by relying on a power that wasn't his own. The creepiness I can sense from him now is stronger than before.
“Rias! Everyone! I’ll leave the rest to you!”
I say that to everyone and run ahead together with Asia, Xenovia, and Irina!
When I went past Cao Cao, he says to me so only I can hear.
“——Yeah, it has always the “humans”'s task to defeat the irregular beings.”
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