High School DxD:Volume 19 Life 3
Life.3 Fist and Sword (Carnival)
The day of the battle against the Church’s rebellion group finally arrived. The members of the Occult Research Club, the Sitri group, Sister Griselda, and Dulio gathered at an underground level of the Hyoudou residence, in the room where a magic circle was prepared for transportation. Azazel-sensei, the personnel from Heaven and Ikuse Tobio who were acting as support members also arrived. Azazel-sensei emerged from the crowd of people and briefed us on the battle.
“Listen up, this time we’re going up against the Church’s rebellion group. The location was hurriedly built for this battle in the style of a rating game and we’ll be going there via magic circle. The other side has accepted this, as this battle will certainly be more intense than the previous one.”
The location that will be used for the match. If that’s the case, compared to fighting in the small town, it’ll be much more dangerous. Sona-zenkaichou said
“It’s scheduled to start at midnight. Our opponents will be using the magic circle that we prepared to be transported to the location of the battle.”
After hearing this, Saji added
“Whether it was the location of the battle, or us preparing the magic circle for transportation to the location, we really weren’t sure if they would accept it. Being transported into a prison or barrier, or the location of the battle being a trap to begin with, they never considered that.”
Indeed, that was a valid point. This was a condition which was clearly favourable to us, so we really had to thank them for being able to accept such conditions. Azazel-sensei smiled wryly and replied
“Then let me ask you, even if you thought that, what would you have done? I’ve considered the other possibilities, but I never planned to use them. That’s all there is to it. The other side guessed that we wouldn’t use such methods, after all, when we begin fighting, the impact of it won’t be small. If it’s a fight, then we should just accept the reality of it. Both sides already understand that the Church’s rebellion has reached a point of no return.”
This meant that we believed in accepting it. The belief that we wanted to fight against our disgruntled opponents, the belief that we were the reason for their dissatisfaction…but we had to keep in mind that as warriors, we were going to be their opponents in this battle. Perhaps it was also because of Strada and Cristaldi, two people that they trusted, hence the warriors following them also had trust in us. Sensei then continued
“…I’m really sorry, to make you guys draw the short straw. However, Strada and Cristaldi certainly brought with them more than just discontent warriors. Although the fact that the warriors are hoping to vent their anger at us isn’t a lie, the three Cardinals must have another motive. …I’ve received some information from the Vatican’s headquarters. It let me understand…that they are the real idiots.”
Sensei smiled wryly again. It was slightly unexpected, but the look in his eyes was a little sad…. I think sensei discovered the true motive behind that old man and ossan’s challenge to us. Hearing what sensei said, everyone displayed a docile expression as they nodded. It looked like everyone was determined and had already made up their minds. Sona-zenkaichou darted her eyes over to Shinra-san, encouraging her swiftly to explain the situation behind the scenes. Shinra-san used her own magic to summon a large mirror in mid-air, and then began explaining. The mirror displayed a map of the entire area that would be the stage for this battle.
“The stage for this battle uses the area within a ten kilometre radius of Kuoh Academy as a template. The creation of this stage is all thanks to the assistance of Rossweisse-sensei.”
Rossweisse-san also helped out in creating the stage? I felt rather surprised, and then Rossweisse-san said to everyone
“This battle’s stage uses an application of the sealing technique for Trihexa that I’m still researching. …But I hope that the results are good…”
I see, using the sealing method that she was researching. Rosseweisse-san used her self-developed theory, and she hasn’t stopped researching the specialised seal for Trihexa for years. It seems like Azazel-sensei and the other researchers also assisted…and the results of her research have been used in this battle’s stage. …The unknown opponents, and the beast that no one has ever encountered…. With these things as her goal, I really admired Rossweisse-san who dedicated time every day to think about this sealing technique. This was all because she was a rare, talented woman in magic, thus she was able to do it. Shinra-san then stated
“The opponent will be splitting up their forces into two squadrons. Ewald Cristaldi and Vasco Strada will be acting as the leaders of each squadron.”
That was easy to understand. The stage for the battle was Kuoh town! The opponents were the former wielder of Excalibur and the former wielder of Durandal who would be leading the two squadrons. Following what Shinra-san said, Sona-zenkaichou said
“We will also be divided into two groups. As for the assignment, [Joker] Dulio Gesualdo will be the leader, Sister Griselda, Irina-san, those of the [Brave Saints], as well as the Sitri group except Saji who are acting as support will be responsible for taking on Ewald Cristaldi’s side.”
So that means it would be the Angels and the Sitri group against the holy sword wielder Cristaldi-san.
“So that means, it’ll be the Gremory household, Saji-kun and the other members who will be responsible for going up against Vasco Strada.”
“Our opponent is…the former wielder of Durandal, Strada-ossan.”
The raging flames of battle had already ignited in Xenovia’s eyes.
“Kuroka, Le Fay and Slash Dog will be responsible for that side’s support.”
—Sensei added. I see, the support members were still quite competent. …Even so, Qlippoth only needed a slight opening, at which they would certainly jump in. This was quite worrisome. Then someone stepped out from the crowd — it was Kiba.
“Sona-zenkaichou, can I go over to [Joker]’s side?”
—! …Hearing this, everyone was quite surprised. But everyone quickly understood the reason behind it. …Kiba’s fighting spirit had been ignited again by Excalibur. Sona-zenkaichou closed her eyes and asked
“It’s because of Excalibur right?”
Kiba silently nodded.
“I heard that Cristaldi is the former wielder of Excalibur.”
Sona-zenkaichou asked Sister Griselda about this.
“Yes, although he’s now retired, he is indeed a rare person, naturally able to wield Excalibur. It’s said that in his youth, he was able to use three of Excalibur simultaneously.”
…Three of Excalibur at the same time. Although that bastard Freed was able to do similar things, he was probably only using them indiscriminately. After all, after the incident with Kokabiel’s attack, Kiba raised his power tremendously and showed no mercy to that ossan. Sister Griselda then said
“He is also the only person that the Pope gave a replica of Excalibur during the production of Ex-Durandal.”
“A replica of Excalibur?”
I asked, at which time Rias placed her hand over her forehead.
“I heard that after gathering the seven Excalibur swords, they wanted to create a replica which contained the same power. From what I remember, the replica’s actual power was less than a fifth of the original….”
So that ossan’s sword was actually a replica of Excalibur! So the feeling that I had back then was actually this.
“His Eminence Strada should also have received a replica of Durandal similarly.”
—Sister Griselda said. That old man has a replica! …It looks like this was going to be a fierce battle…. After hearing this, Kiba strongly pleaded.
“…Please let me fight against him. I want to surpass Excalibur again, surpass the wielder of Excalibur. This is not revenge, but a challenge!”
Among the great individuals within the Church, the former wielder of Excalibur had ignited his passion. The expression that exuded from Kiba’s eyes was not out of hatred, but a mixed feeling. …I didn’t know if it was anger towards himself, or anger towards his opponent, or even—. Rias struggled to find an answer, and thus another person’s voice interjected
“—How about simply letting him do so?”
The person who was in agreement with this was Arthur Pendragon. An unexpected person showed up here. …No, the opponent was directly related to holy swords. Vali had hoped that this guy would be able to fight. So in consideration of that, it wasn’t surprising for this guy to show up. All eyes were directed towards the handsome youth who said to Kiba with a faint smile
“A swordsman’s dedication can only be matched by another swordsman. Isn’t that right, Kiba Yuuto-kun?”
Kiba was silent. Then the eyes of those two met, and I felt as though there was something that only swordsmen could understand. Arthur placed his hand on his chest and said
“I don’t really want to replace you, but allow me participate in the fight against Vasco Strada. Being the old man who is known as the strongest wielder of Durandal, I’ve always been interested in him, in particular, his own strength is regarded as the strongest among the wielders of Durandal.”
So Arthur wanted to join the Gremory household’s side. With what he said, it was even more unexpected. After listening to what he said — she sighed and then turned to her friend.
“…Sona, let Kiba join your side then.”
“Is that alright, Rias?”
After confirmation of that, Rias turned to Kiba and said
“Yuuto, only this time, please settle things with your feelings.”
Kiba immediately knelt down, and expressed his gratitude to his master.
“Yes, thank you.”
His expression was not only that of gratefulness — it also made me feel the determination of a warrior. …Anyone would think that his current expression looked rather gallant. However, my friend. I’ve already noticed. After this concluded, everyone discussed the battle with each other, and the remaining time was the last chance to rest before the battle began. Everyone went about with their own ways to relax, while I went over to Kiba who was leaning against a wall.
“Kiba, can I talk to you for a bit?”
“What is it”
“You’re not reverting right?”
I bluntly asked him. He hesitated for a moment, then made a false smile.
“…No, I know that I’m the Knight of Rias Gremory, and the sword of the Occult Research Club.”
What he said came from the heart, but it still annoyed me.
“Hmm, that’s right. You’re the sword. —But do you have a scabbard for that sword?”
Kiba didn’t reply to my question. I…said everything that was on my mind.
“…That is something you definitely need to remember. To take your place in anything, I have to politely decline. Rias Gremory’s [Knight] are you and Xenovia. I’m not going to take your place. So…you definitely can’t die, idiot.”
After hearing what I said, Kiba was surprised, but quickly smiled again. After it felt like he was thinking about what I said again, he revealed a modest smile.
“Really, a replacement…is not possible. You told me so seriously, it feels as though I’ve been given a shot from a needle.”
I think that was able to help reduce his tension a bit. Since it worked, it seems like what I said to him was correct. …Alright, Kiba had no problems now, what remained was…. I looked over at Asia. She was sitting on a chair which was prepared there, facing Heaven as she prayed. I went over to her side and asked
“Asia, mind if I interrupt you for a while?”
Asia opened her eyes, and replied calmly
“…We have to fight against those people from the Church right?”
Yes, Asia needed to confront the people from the Church next. Her feelings were definitely very complex right now.
“Hmm, if it’s too hard for you, you don’t have to go. …Although you’ll come along anyway even if I say that.”
That’s right, I already understood Asia’s response. Hmm, if it’s her, then she would definitely—. [Yes, Ise-san, Rias-oneesama, Xenovia and Irina. If everyone is going to fight, I will also go with them.] She would definitely reply with a smile. Asia’s absolute defender was not here right now.
“Fafnir hasn’t woken up yet so you’ll have to rely on the four evil dragons to protect you. Naturally, we will also protect you! But when the situation gets bad, we’ll have to let them protect you.”
Since Fafnir wasn’t here, Asia really needed to rely on the power of those four evil dragons.
“Yes! The evil dragons are also very gentle, so that means I can focus on healing!”
Asia nodded firmly. But, would they intentionally attempt to attack the healer? The previous incidents with the rebellion have not had any casualties. …Since they know that Asia is a healer, we could expect that they won’t specifically try to attack her…. However, it was quite likely that they would try to seal her ability. Such a Sacred Gear has never actually been seen, although it wouldn’t be surprising if someone in the Church possessed this kind of ability. Ah, in that case we’ll have to be careful about such an ability. After all, the Gremory household was one which focused purely on power. Kuroka and Le Fay came up to me as I was thinking.
“Well, if you encounter any strange techniques that you can’t understand, we’ll sneakily help you cancel it from behind nya.”
Saying something like that! Neko-sama was the same as well, she was really good at reading my mind, that nekomata ane!
“Please look after my brother.”
Le Fay made this request. And that brother was quietly standing there, reading a library book…. Completely indifferent towards his sister’s concerns.
“I don’t think that there will be any need, but you can leave it to me.”
Whilst replying to Le Fay’s request — Xenovia and Irina entered my view. Both of them had unsheathed their holy swords, and their swords were interlocked.
“…Although I don’t really want to fight against comrades, I’m going to say that this is to surpass the former wielder of the holy swords, Xenovia.” “Ah, we need to become worthy wielders to live up to people like Durandal’s Roland, or Hauteclere’s Oliver.”
Both of them appeared to be rather cheerful. After all, they had the honour of being chosen to be the wielders of holy swords. Then Sister Griselda moved towards Xenovia, and suddenly grabbed her cheeks with both hands! Xenovia and I both thought that she had come to say a few words before the battle. However—.
“Xenovia, your opponent is His Eminence Strada. You understand this 120% right?”
“Uh huh. Of course. I-I will fight with respect. A-Absolutely won’t be disrespectful.”
Born in the same facility, Sister Griselda was like a sister to Xenovia and someone she had to obey. The sudden question seemed to have puzzled her. As the opponents were related to the Church, she felt some disrespect, and Xenovia could only apologise. —Then Griselda-san hugged Xenovia in her arms.
“…I had to say that first. Do you understand, Xenovia. —A woman’s power is not her physical strength as a girl. But it is in her abilities and skills in the household.”
Hearing this, Xenovia was slightly embarrassed.
“—! T-That is something I already know! There is no misunderstanding that allowing boys see my trained biceps will fascinate myself! After I find the true meaning at the end of this, I’m going to improve my real womanly power!”
…Umm, what are you talking about just before the battle! Uh, although it really suits your style!
“This is something I already knew last year! You’re rather slow to realise this, Xenovia!”
Irina proudly said! Weren’t you also slow to find about this!? Hearing the exchange between them, Griselda-san smiled as she said
“…But, Xenovia. You’ve become much like a girl, which makes me very pleased. It used to be for God, for your faith that you constantly wielded Durandal and your eyes never saw anything outside of battle. …Although you could say that you didn’t have a choice since your birth…. But the current Xenovia is far more amazing to me.”
Sister Griselda tightly hugged Xenovia and said
“You’re the source of my troubles, the person that makes me worry…and also my cute sister. If it’s you, you should be able to become the Student Council President, and also surpass His Eminence Strada.”
Xenovia who looked embarrassed as she was being hugged replied
“…I’ll work hard to become the sister that you’ll be proud of.”
This scene was touchingly warm. Although their positions had changed, their feelings never changed.
Ravel said to me. This time she was staying back to do the housekeeping. The day of Riser’s rating game was approaching, so I shouldn’t force her. I smiled softly.
“Hmm, I understand. I’ll come back as soon as the winner is decided.”
“Of course. Ise-sama is a very busy person.”
Really, my manager is very strict! —Sona-zenkaichou stood up from the chair that she was sitting on.
“The time has arrived. —Let’s go to the battlefield.”
Everyone gathered in the centre of the magic circle for transportation. From there, our battle against the Church’s rebellion group began!
A few minutes had passed since we arrived at the battlefield via transportation from the magic circle — I — Kiba Yuuto, in order to participate in the battle against Ewald Cristaldi, joined the side of the [Brave Saints] and Sitri household. This side’s battlefield — was the area around the ruins of a church. That’s right, this was the place that the Fallen Angels like Raynare had used as their base. This was a place that Irina’s father once belonged to, and also a place which held a lot of fate for us. On the [Brave Saints] side there was Dulio Gesualdo-san, Sister Griselda-san, and Irina who acted as the leaders, with a total of around ten people on that side. Of the [Brave Saints] which were under the Four Great Seraphs, three groups of them had gathered here. The remaining [Brave Saints] were responsible for guarding Heaven. It hasn’t been a long time since the attack last year. It was understandable for Heaven’s side to keep some of the reincarnated angels there. With the battle looming ahead, and about to start at any time, Joker Dulio spoke to me while I was waiting on standby. He sat down beside me and said
“Ah, I didn’t expect that I’d be able to be together with Kiba-kun on the frontlines.”
“In that case, I feel honoured to be able to be here.”
I’ve already fought this guy several times in mock training battles. …He was the type of person who simply exemplified the concept of the ultimate [Trump Card]. Dulio scratched the back of his head and said
“I’ve already heard about the complicated situation surrounding Kiba-kun’s origin, I thought that Kiba-kun wouldn’t want to cooperate with me.”
“My hatred towards things is clearly distinguished, and I currently have nothing against you who is my captain.”
…After speaking with this man several times, I knew that the man named Dulio Gesualdo was actually more [soft] than expected, he was a youth consistent with his age. To be honest, he was a nice person, a man who was very suited to be smiling.
“Yeah, because I heard about Kiba-kun’s past. I’m a little concerned about whether Kiba-kun will be bloodthirsty today. Even if you hold a grudge, this is an internal conflict between your own comrades. Only the kids who can endure right now are the best.”
At the same time that he said this, Dulio took out an unknown object from his chest. —It was an origami paper crane.
“In the underground of the Church’s facilities around Kuoh town, a ceremony regarding the dispelling of a Sacred Gear will soon be held.”
Since the alliance, several places around town were opened up to Heaven’s side — those were the facilities for the Church’s people who were dispatched to stay at, and it was said that one of them in particular was a facility related to Sacred Gears. Dulio played with the paper crane then continued
“There is a child whose legs are disabled. Most of the time, that child is on a wheelchair. In fact, that child actually has a Sacred Gear related to the legs, but because his resistance is too weak, it’s causing his power to develop in a bad way. That is to say, the Sacred Gear which could allow his legs to run faster is actually binding its user’s legs. Sacred Gears, although highly convenient, they’re also very frightening.”
He smiled wryly, and his eyes were filled with sadness.
“Thanks to the success of the Grigori’s analysis and technical work, for the children with Sacred Gears, the dispelling procedure has already been able to enter the phase of a trial run. Although in theory, they’ve already reached perfection, still, that child chose to undergo the dispelling procedure.”
“What will happen after the dispelling?”
“The hindrance from the Sacred Gear may weaken, and he may be able to live a normal life. Well, it relies on the technology of the former Governor, so it’ll definitely be successful. That’s what I believe.”
Dulio smiled happily, this was proof that he truly trusted Azazel-sensei’s technology. …Although he was originally more hostile, Azazel-sensei requested the alliance in good faith, so while some people were sceptical, there was a little bit of trust. Dulio stood up, held the paper crane as if would hold a paper plane, and then said
“Amusement park—. That child said that if he could walk, he would go to an amusement park. Using his own two feet, he would play at every amusement park over and over. Everything that I want is probably impossible. But…that’s very normal. Even with the Sacred Gear, he is still an ordinary child. So, he wants to go to an amusement park just like most others.”
He let go of the paper crane. Then, the paper crane flew into the sky as it rode on a passing gust of wind. After the paper crane looped around in the air, the wind died down and it returned to Dulio’s hand.
“I think that simply being able to protect the dreams of those children is already enough.”
He turned around, and left me with these words
“Well, what comes next is the time for battle. It’s time for a reunion with that scary teacher. But first, we should greet him.”
As if in response to what he just said, the figures of a group of warriors appeared before us—.
In the midst of the warriors who were lined up in front of us, there were more warriors wearing a priest’s outfit, but it was also possible to see the figures of female warriors who were dressed like Xenovia and Irina. Occasionally, I could see the figure of young, white-haired priests like Freed. Although they didn’t seem to have the same bloodthirsty atmosphere as Freed, I could still feel that they were full of hostility. …Based on a visual assessment of the opponent, the number of warriors which had come for the battle was near one hundred. I’m afraid that the number of people who came to battle against the Gremory household’s side would also be the same. In the middle of the warriors was — the man who had the replica of Excalibur and wore modern vestments from a few days ago, Ewald Cristaldi. …Not only was he the teacher of the warriors, he once also taught Xenovia and Irina swordsmanship who are his disciples. He held the replica of Excalibur in his hand as it released a holy aura. The one who went forward first was — Dulio. He raised his hand as a greeting towards Ewald Cristaldi who didn’t care.
“Sensei. Long time no see.”
Without changing the serious expression on his face, Ewald Cristaldi said in a low voice
“…This reunion, should it be happy, or should it be sad. Dulio, and also the reincarnated angels, if you still recognise me as a mentor, then can you accept the punishment of my sword without any further ado?”
Irina and the other [Brave Saints] who were here were people who had all revered Ewald Cristaldi as their teacher. She had a complicated expression on her face as she faced her teacher.
“There are a lot of things that this side wants to ask. After all, it would be even better if we could discuss things.”
Dulio replied calmly. He was constantly complaining of the internal strife, and first began a conversation with his former teacher. If it was possible to drop the weapons which were already held just by a conversation, that would be even better…. However, Ewald Cristaldi saw through his disciple, then said
“…This place that you often visited will soon hold a ceremony to dispel a Sacred Gear, right?”
“Yes, it’s as you say.”
This is something that I heard he found out about today. It looks like the rebellion group received this information in advance. Ewald Cristaldi sighed as he said
“However, that facility has become occupied by [Devils’ rituals]. This is already sinful. I need to carry out the judgement on those people whose minds and bodies have already been dyed black…. There are people within my subordinates who also hold such views, and I am a true believer. In this position, I cannot help but deny those words.”
Hearing what Cristaldi said, Dulio narrowed his eyes.
“You mean to say that you want to destroy that facility? Well, what do you plan to do about the children who are living there?”
“In purgatory, they will be purified of their sins. —If I say that, what will you do?”
Hearing a single sentence from such an aggressive person, the expression on Joker’s face which was always a smile — suddenly changed.
“…Even if it’s a joke, don’t say such things in front of me, sensei.”
Dulio’s voice was filled with anger. That’s right, the man who was formerly known as his teacher clearly knew the words which would aggravate the youth who was normally so laid back. Dulio also knew that the opponent was trying to provoke him, but he still couldn’t ignore the frivolous statement. Ewald Cristaldi shook his head, and said as if he was lamenting
“Dulio, why? A good warrior like you, someone who even reached the position of Joker, yet why haven’t you realised? Even if there is an alliance, there is still a need for the eradication of evil! Or has even your heart been replaced after Michael-sama reincarnated you as an Angel? Your power — is the power of Zenith Tempest, and you can even destroy the balance of the world, right?”
Known as one of the unparalleled powers which could even destroy God, Dulio Gesualdo possessed the second most powerful ability among them. Just as Ewald Cristaldi just said, as long as Dulio-san had such intentions, it would be possible for him to be like Cao Cao and have the entire world as his enemy. —However, Dulio-san shook his head in disagreement.
“…Sensei, I never once thought about the world like that. No matter what happens, I only go about doing one thing.”
He—opened his arms as if he was embracing someone.
“—Doing what is within my power to protect the smiles on the faces of those children. I became strong for this, became Joker for this. This belief has never changed.”
These words made the man who was formerly his mentor and the warriors on standby around him to hold complicated expressions on their faces. It seems that from the things that Joker just mentioned, they felt a part of themselves which resonated with the same feelings deep down. Sister Griselda-san then said
“…Your Eminence Cristaldi, continuing this conversation is meaningless. …Even if this continued, there are no words to be said which can shake the heart of this child.”
Hearing the Sister’s opinion, Ewald Cristaldi looked up at the sky as he said
“Truly a stupid man. …Haven’t changed a bit.”
“Yes, I think that if it was only me, a stupid Angel, there probably wouldn’t be any punishment.”
“Well then, I will follow my beliefs too. Even though the God we respect is the same, if the [Justice] we believe in is different, then it will have to be corrected.”
Ewald Cristaldi pointed the blade of the Excalibur replica at us, and then loudly shouted!
“Continuing to talk is pointless, it…really is like that. If you’re also warriors, then use your weapons to make me yield! Warriors, this is a battle that Heaven will allow. Today, we will let all of our beliefs out here!” “Ou——————————————————-!”
The warriors let out a loud roar which was enough to make the air tremble.
“Have no regrets in death! For the wages of sin — is death!”
Ewald Cristaldi raised his sword up high — then swung it down with force. “Ou———————————————————————————————————————-!”
That was the signal for the start of the battle, the warriors roared loudly as they charged towards us! The interior of the church instantly became a battlefield. At the same time, equipment using communication magic automatically broadcasted Sona-zenkaichou’s voice in our ears. The former President and her [Bishop] Kusaka-san were located together in the rear guard.
“Well, everyone. It’s begun. First, Tsubaki and Tsubasa, advance to form a shield!”
Bearing the brunt of the attack was Shinra-senpai and the Rook Yura-san. Shinra-senpai called forth her counter-style Sacred Gear [Mirror Alice]. Yura-san who was beside her initiated her artificial Sacred Gear [Twinkle Aegis]. The former was able to return double the power of an opponent’s attack which destroyed the mirror. The latter had a pact with a fairy which allowed it to use various offensive and defensive abilities in accordance to the attribute of the fairy. The warriors lined up at the rear unleashed projectile attacks. Using guns of light or long-ranged Sacred Gears, they fired off their attacks together. Shinra-senpai had manifested a countless number of mirrors in the air, and supporting her, Yura-san’s shield used the power of the fairy to create a large barrier of light. Shinra-senpai’s mirrors doubled the strength of the attacks and reflected them back to the opponent’s side, whilst Yura-san’s shield enveloped the long-ranged attacks from the warriors in flames and destroyed them. The first wave of attacks from the warriors was completely blocked by the defence of the Sitri’s [Queen] and [Rook]. In order to prevent the opponent from aiming directly at them, the [Bishop] Hanakai-san used her artificial Sacred Gear to produce a protective barrier which enclosed Shinra-senpai and Yura-san. The next to arrive were the close-ranged combat warriors. They wielded swords, guns, axes and other weapons as they charged towards us in a group formation. Sona-zenkaichou issued the following instructions
“Well, our side will use close-ranged members to engage them.”
The four people to advance were the Sitri’s [Pawn] Nimura-san, [Knight] Meguri-san, [Knight] Bennia-san, as well as the [Rook] Rugal-san. In addition, I and several reincarnated Angels of the [Brave Saints] joined them. Everyone was holding a weapon (Nimura-san wore greaves, and Rugal-san was barehanded), as a vanguard type of warrior. Standing in front of Shinra-senpai and Yura-san, we of the vanguard clashed with each other! From their body movements and their use of weapons, it could be understood that these warriors had definitely experienced numerous battles. That is to say that not a single person was a new recruit. They had also fought against devils and vampires. Their experience was being displayed without reservation. Anyway, they all used swords of light, the tips of their guns had been prepared with vials of holy water and they even had crosses to greet us with! If hit, a serious injury would be inevitable. Even if it wasn’t a fatal injury, the physical and psychological damage would be immense. However, we have also survived several near-death situations. Any half-baked attacks won’t strike us. I used the characteristic of the [Knight], speed, to evade all of the attacks from the warriors. I then used a holy demonic sword that I crafted to shatter the opponent’s swords, and knocked them out in a single breath. …But it was not possible to kill them. Although it was the other side which started this battle, their rebellion did not result in any deaths. Of course, the other side also knew that they were in a position where they could be cut down without any complaints, the guns and swords which they held in their hands were real. …Even so, simply killing them recklessly could provoke the resentment of revenge. …But when the necessary time comes, I have the courage and awareness to kill them, even if hated, there would be no other way. However, there is no need to kill the opponents if their problems can be resolved without death. Because the only opponent which needs to be defeated — there is only one person here. It was Ewald Cristaldi who had remained motionless so far. With the Excalibur replica stabbed into the ground, he was observing the battlefield.
“Ah, so troublesome.”
Bennia-san complained. As a Grim Reaper, she felt unsatisfied by the fact that she could use her scythe to hit her opponents without much effort. Her scythe was capable of harvesting souls. Just by cutting them, their souls could be harvested, and it would most likely result in death. If such a situation occurred once or twice, it couldn’t be helped, but she specifically chose not to use her scythe. Currently, she was using the part without a blade to attack. Although her personality was usually unpredictable, she listened to our intentions of not having any fatalities.
“…But, this would be a test of that.”
The [Rook] Rugal-san was boldly brandishing his arms which were covered in fire magic to knock down numerous warriors. He was a Werewolf, but at the same time, he also possessed offensive magic that he used against the warriors. As long as he wanted to, he could tear apart most of the warriors here as if they were paper. But he was controlling his strength here.
“Although it’s difficult, we have to go along with this.”
“…It’ll be good to do a bit of practice adjusting the destructive power of my sword.”
The [Pawn] Nimura-san and [Knight] Meguri-san were repelling the warriors as they were adjusting the power of their artificial Sacred Gears. That’s right, in here — it could be said that we were putting limits on ourselves when fighting. To our opponents, this was known as [Going easy]. Cristaldi seemed to be aware of this, so he simply observed the battlefield. …Although this is only my personal conjecture, perhaps…they, no, since the beginning, Cristaldi…. Just as I was contemplating the ideas of the warriors’ mentor, Shinra-senpai cried out loudly
“Kaichou! The conditions have all been satisfied!”
In response to Shinra-senpai’s cry, Kaichou replied
“Good, Tsubaki. —Accomplished. Everyone, fall back!”
Accomplished? Could it be that — we complied with Kaichou’s order, and Shinra-senpai maintained her distance!
Shinra-senpai yelled out sonorously, and at the same time numerous mirrors of all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours appeared. “Come out, [Mad Hatter], [Dormouse], [March Hare]!”
Out from a mirror came a demon wearing a hat, an enormous mouse, as well as a hare which wore a tailored coat and walked on two legs! The creatures emerged from a strange mirror! Through the communications device, we heard Kaichou say
“That is Tsubaki’s Balance Breaker, [Nostalgia Mad Tea Party]. There is a condition for the activation of her Balance Breaker. The condition is to use [Mirror Alice] to perform a certain number of counterattacks.”
That is to say, including the massive attack just then, it has also reflected the opponent’s attacks several times in this battle.
“The three creatures which were generated by the mirror are each able to use specific abilities.”
The large mouse ran towards the warriors, and expelled a gaseous substance from its mouth. Then the warriors’ legs became weak, and they fell to the ground one after the other.
“[Dormouse] will forcibly put to sleep all of the opponents in a fixed area.”
A compulsory slumber! That’s incredible! The warriors had all fallen asleep on the spot!
At that time, some of the warriors burst out in mad laughter and savage growls, they suddenly began to riot! The rabbit in a tailored coat jumped horizontally and vertically all over the battlefield, and it created ripples on the surface of the ground every time it jumped. It could be deduced that the warriors became abnormal after being influenced by these ripples. It looks like that was the reason. Sona-zenkaichou explained
“[March Hare] causes the people within a fixed area to become violent.”
Next was the slender demon which wore a hat on its head. In the instant that demon caught the attention of the warriors, its eyes emitted a dazzling light. The warriors which were seen by the hat-wearing demon instantly appeared to have entered a trance.
All of a sudden, the warriors became frightened of something unknown. They wielded their weapons towards something invisible which was in front of them. The weapons in their hands were only slicing the air.
“The last is [Mad Hatter]—. It is capable of causing the people in an area to hallucinate.”
The former President said. A forced slumber and a stimulant, followed by hallucinations—.
“After being affected by these three abilities, anyone would be unable to continue fighting. This isn’t a direct attack. However, it is possible to weaken the enemies’ forces without using physical force.”
Listening to what zenkaichou said, it felt as though she was talking directly to me. It wasn’t satirical, but rather, it was showing us a different kind of fighting style to ours.
“But, to actually be able to summon three demons which can use three different abilities, it’s basically the same as having a Sacred Gear with more than two abilities…”
Zenkaichou disagreed with my opinion.
“That is not the case, I think that it’s fair. Tsubaki’s subspecies has only one ability: [Summoning demons with abilities from mirrors]. It’s the same as how Kiba-kun’s demonic swords can have various types of attributes; Tsubaki has the ability to summon demons from her mirror.”
…So it’s a similar type of Balance Breaker to my Sword Birth…. Demons possessing different abilities can emerge from the mirror. Besides those three, there would definitely be others. After all, the names of the demons were references to Lewis Caroll’s [Alice in Wonderland]. That was the ability of the Balance Breaker that Shinra-senpai chose—. To be called a subspecies Balance Breaker of the Sacred Gear [Mirror Alice], it had an ability that truly lived up to its name! Shinra-senpai’s family — [Shinra] was originally a family associated with magic. It was similar to Akeno-san’s [Himejima] family, in Japan it could be said that it was ranked as the fifth most powerful family. However, Shinra-senpai has been troubled since her birth by a strange curse which caused her to summon things out of mirrors which did not exist in this world. They finally turned to the Devils — I heard that if they didn’t get the help of the Sitri family, it would even affect their lives. Probably because of their relationship with Devils, senpai’s parents were exiled from the main Shinra clan…. …To be honest, it’s quite horrifying. This power, it belongs to the [Trap] category. In other words, it was especially bad against us of the Gremory household. Calling it the worst wouldn’t be an overstatement. Not only Shinra-senpai, Saji-kun and the other members of the Sitri household were mostly technique types, or wizard types. Besides that, Saji-kun and Rugal-san could be considered power type members. Azazel-sensei also commented that in terms of the balance of the household, the Sitri’s were clearly a grade above us. That’s the truth. We had reflected on this point, and learned techniques, but if we had to go against the purely technique type Sitri household as opponents, it would really be…thinking about future rating games evoked a sense of dread. …Well, when this battle is over, I need to have a good training session with Ise-kun and Xenovia for technique types. At the least, we should remember how to deal with a technique type opponent, otherwise the future would be worrying. As we continued to knock the warriors down, it came to the point where Shinra-senpai’s Balance Breaker was the decisive factor of this battle. The man who was watching from the sidelines finally grabbed the sword which was stabbed into the ground.
His deep voice instantly brought silence back to the battlefield. The warriors noticed their sensei’s actions, and neatly opened up a path. It could be seen from their actions that they didn’t want to give their mentor any unnecessary or troublesome thoughts in his advance, and that they had absolute trust in his strength…. He held the Excalibur replica, and advanced to take us on alone. There was clearly only one person…but it made us feel an immense pressure as though there was an entire group of warriors advancing towards us. We couldn’t stop cold sweat from dripping down our faces. Dulio-san put on a false smile as he said
“…Kiba-kun, I think you already know, Cristaldi-sensei used to be the wielder of Excalibur. Now, that is a replica of Excalibur. It currently has the seven abilities of the original. …It would be best to think that its true power is greater than four of the strongest holy swords combined.”
In other words, we should think of the opponent as a monster which far exceeds any expectations — as such is the case. Sona-zenkaichou said via the communications device
“The members of the [Brave Saints] and my household will remain as the opponents of the warriors. Cristaldi’s opponents — will be led by Dulio Gesualdo-san who has been on standby until now, as well as Irina-san and Griselda-san. Kiba-kun will also be going.”
The four people who would be the opponents of Cristaldi, Dulio-san, Griselda-san, Irina-san, and I answered at the same time. The reincarnated Angels opened their symbolic pure white wings while I created several holy demonic swords all around me, of which I then took one of them and got into position facing the target in front of us. As Cristaldi was slowly walking towards us — he suddenly split into numerous avatars. …Were these the avatars created by using Rapidly’s high speed movement? Or were they conjured by using Nightmare’s ability? Although I hesitated on my judgement because he had produced several avatars without the slightest preparatory movements, there was someone who moved ahead first — it was Griselda-san. She gathered particles of light together at her palm to produce many balls of light.
“Cristaldi-sensei! I’m firing!”
After saying that, Griselda-san fired an innumerable number of balls of light forwards! Each ball contained a dense amount of light that could even be felt, and even if someone wasn’t a Devil, being hit would result in immense damage. The spheres of light pierced through the avatars! The pierced avatars were destroyed, returning to nothingness. They weren’t avatars created by using high speed? In that case, that means they were illusions created by Nightmare! Just when I was thinking of this, one of the avatars used its sword to deflect the balls of light, and came rushing towards this side! That is the real thing! Irina-san and I raised our swords, and prepared to engage him — Dulio shouted!
—! I reacted as soon as I heard the warning, and jumped to the side. This was because I realised that if we continued to stay there, it would be dangerous! Irina-san faced his charge, and slashed through what was thought to be an avatar of Mimic in one blow. The avatar’s shape collapsed, turning into a string. I followed it with my eyes. In the middle of the illusion that was shattered by Hauteclere just then — Cristaldi’s figure could clearly be seen. The string in Cristaldi’s hand completely rebuilt itself, returning to the shape of a sword, and then he darted towards Irina-san! Something like this actually existed, within all the countless avatars, there were illusions created by Nightmare, and at the same time it was combined with Mimic. On top of that, the real person used Transparency and Nightmare to conceal himself within the avatars. In only a brief exchange, the three abilities of Excalibur Mimic, Nightmare, and Transparency had all been demonstrated. This all happened in the course of a natural battle. Irina-san probably realised that it was Mimic, so she foresaw the next move and used her sword to block Cristaldi’s attack which appeared out of the illusion! A beautiful defence — the moment I thought that, I saw Irina-san receive a fierce blow from Destruction! The opponent also added on the ability of Destruction in that strike just then! Irina-san endured the blow completely, and half-knelt down on the spot! A vast crater formed on the surface of the ground! The power of Destruction was clearly demonstrated! Even so, Irina-san had used Hauteclere to block a hit from the Excalibur replica, and she made a fearless smile towards her mentor. But the side of her mouth — had blood trickling down it.
“…Sensei, in terms of destructive power, I think Xenovia’s a notch better.”
In response to his disciple’s defiant statement, the man who was her mentor simply revealed an eloquent smile.
“Well, I know that. —But, don’t just measure Excalibur by its destructive power.”
Cristaldi took out several crosses from the clothing around his chest, and threw them up into the air. The moment after Cristaldi recited a chant, the crosses in the air dispersed, and planted themselves into the ground to surround us! Then a barrier was formed by the crosses which surrounded Cristaldi and us (Me, Irina-san, Griselda-san, Dulio-san)! Noticing this, the Sitri household attempted to move closer — but a huge wave of holy energy was generated from the crosses, and they were unable to contact us or move closer. Cristaldi said
“It uses Blessing’s power to enhance the barrier of the crosses. The Sitri household’s Devils over there will be unable to get closer for around ten minutes.”
…He’s also able to use Blessing. And this barrier’s strength is quite substantial…. Even for me here, it would be impossible to escape unless I used Gram. Cristaldi smiled eloquently.
“Even for Angels, it isn’t easy to break through this barrier which has been strengthened by Excalibur. Use fast movements to evade. Flying into the air to increase your distance will not be possible.”
…Although I have speed, the flying capabilities of the reincarnated Angels have been restricted. Moreover, the barrier prevents the Sitri group from providing assistance…. Irina-san recovered from the damage, and powerfully pushed her mentor’s sword back. As Cristaldi jumped backwards, he released several waves of holy energy towards us at the same time![***] I could use this type of attack, and so could Xenovia and Irina-san! Irina-san and I each swung our swords to release waves! We intended to cancel out our opponent’s waves, but—the attack which was coming towards us evaporated like fog! Even the waves were an illusion! No, the waves also cancelled each other out. The real waves were mixed in with the illusory waves! The illusory waves of holy energy even had the same feeling as the real thing thus it was really difficult to make a quick judgement. An assault from Rapidly which is a direct attack would be better. Coming to this conclusion, we evaded and allowed several waves to go past—! But the waves of holy energy behind us changed direction, and came towards us again! Cristaldi said
“—Although I didn’t have this back in my day, I occasionally do use the abilities of Ruler.”
—Ruler’s ability! He’s able to freely control the waves of holy energy he released in mid-air! There was nothing more troublesome than having to deal with homing-type waves of holy energy!
“—So be it!”
Dulio-san generated light from his palm. In the next instant, the waves which were closely following us were dissipated by the lightning strike which was released from his palm. …It was an elemental attack from his Sacred Gear. We supported Dulio-san, temporarily increasing our distance to regroup. But because we were inside the barrier, there wasn’t much space to move around freely. …He’s actually able to use Excalibur’s replica to such an extent. Within a single attack directed towards us, it combined at least two abilities. Xenovia was also learning this style of combat though… But because the opponent utilised these sorts of attacks in a completely natural way, it always caught us by surprise. When Xenovia uses the abilities, because her mentality of [Only use the ability next!] is reflected in her actions, defending against it in a mock battle is really easy for me. But this man is different. It’s as if he’s accustomed to using abilities, so he naturally implements them in his attacks. This was the power of Excalibur, and he reached this level after becoming so familiar with it. Honestly speaking, I’ve been starting to suspect that the man in front of us isn’t real, and that he was actually created by using Nightmare or Mimic. …No, perhaps letting us have these thoughts was actually this man’s tactic. Cristaldi took out a small vial of holy water, and poured it over the blade of the replica.
“Even if this is a replica, as long as I’m wielding Excalibur, this kind of situation is a piece of cake.”
When he finished speaking, Cristaldi suddenly disappeared from our sight without the slightest hint of moving. Is it high speed movement? Or is it Transparency, or is it Nightmare? Damn it! After initially witnessing the abilities combined together, this sword Excalibur has turned into such a difficult thing! As we attempted to track his presence, we were also vigilant of our surroundings! Then, several of Cristaldi’s avatars appeared from the side! This kind of situation happened again! It’s Nightmare or Mimic! Irina-san and I both raised our swords at the same time in response! Both Irina-san’s and my defence — actually succeeded at the same time! Are both of them the real thing?! That’s impossible! Irina-san and I began clashing and exchanging blows with our opponent’s sword at high speed, and we then steadied our aim to land a blow on him. —In the end, the avatars vanished! So it actually wasn’t the real thing, and it wasn’t Mimic either?! There were already a countless number of avatars here, on top of which, they once again formed the appearance of Cristaldi.
“—Avatars which are tangible?! Were they really made using the ability of Excalibur Nightmare?!”
I yelled out in surprise. It was incredibly hard to believe! Even avatars with substance could be created?!
“—It’s a combination of Rapidly and Nightmare. High speed and illusions are used, which results in avatars that are physically tangible.”
That voice travelled here from behind! Unbeknownst to me, a third Cristaldi had moved behind me! I deactivated my holy demonic sword, and changed my Sacred Gear to Blade Blacksmith, and created an army of Dragon Knights which arose from the ground! Using the armoured knights as shields, Irina-san and I jumped backwards to retreat! Cristaldi successively cut down the Dragon Knights almost instantly, and drew closer to us.
“Metaphorically speaking, even someone known as a strong Devil like you, can’t quite defend against the effects of holy water…”
Right in front of me — he threw a vial of holy water. Cristaldi destroyed the vial with a single horizontal slash! Holy water spilled out of the shattered vial — and onto my entire body! Cristaldi chanted a prayer after confirming that it was on me. —! In the next instant, there was an indescribable pain, agony — swept across my entire body! The sanctified power of the holy water was ferociously burning parts of me as a Devil! That seemed to be the body, though even my mind was burning up and with the pain pulsing throughout my entire body, I couldn’t speak at all! Did he amplify the effects of ordinary holy water several fold?! No, you could say that it might even have been intensified by a factor of ten!
“The effects were elevated to this level using the ability of Blessing. Would you like to listen to me narrate the Bible with the power of Blessing?”
Irina-san unleashed a slash with Hauteclere to his neck in order to save me! That attack — sent her mentor’s head flying! Seeing a body without its head, Irina-san was absolutely horrified! She totally did not expect that her own attack would hit her mentor.
“—Too naïve, Shidou Irina.”
The voice came from behind Irina-san. The headless body of Irina-san’s sensei in front of her vanished. Irina-san turned around when she heard the voice — an avatar of Cristaldi was already there and he had raised his sword, preparing to swing it down! He deliberately let his own student see an illusion of his death to cause her to panic! Irina once again used Hauteclere to block Excalibur’s blade — but the power of Destruction pressed down again! The pressure of a second hit from Destruction fully knocked her down onto the ground.
“Don’t forget that I’m also here!”
At the same time, Dulio-san hurled fireballs and spears of ice. —However, just when they were about to hit Critaldi, their trajectory changed, and they twisted to the side! The fireballs and spears of ice struck an empty patch of ground to the side. Dulio-san didn’t seem to care that his attacks were evaded, and generated a vast number of sharp icicles which protruded up from the ground everywhere! I thought that it would at least hit once — but rather strangely, there were no icicles only in the area around where Cristaldi was.
“—Did he take control of Joker’s attack?!”
Sister Griselda expressed her dismay upon seeing what had happened. Cristaldi said as if it were only natural
“As long as I have the power of Ruler, even Sacred Gears—”
Before the man could finish speaking, he noticed that a part of his clothing had been frozen.
“…can be controlled. I want to say that, but I’m already exhausted after defending against that attack. Being a reincarnated Angel has saved you, Dulio.”
…Even if Dulio-san didn’t use his full power, and I didn’t use Gram, the opponent we were fighting against was just a human!
“…You’re actually this strong, natural born wielder of Excalibur…!”
Witnessing such incredible power, I was at a loss for words, and Dulio-san smiled wryly as he said from the side.
“Hahaha, so that’s why you can’t say it? The other person who is also known as one of the two monsters of the Church. Whether or not it’s a replica, as long as it’s Excalibur, sensei is able to use his limbs in the same way.”
“So he isn’t the user of a Sacred Gear right…?”
I asked to be certain. Although the warriors’ mentor was using the abilities of Excalibur, he didn’t use any special abilities of his own unlike those that Dulio-san and I possessed.
“Neither His Eminence Cristaldi or His Eminence Strada possess a Sacred Gear, people have always commented on Cristaldi’s skill, and Strada’s power.”
“…If they’re the famous warriors of the Church, as a child I heard that even the highest class of Devils could sometimes be exorcised…I truly understand how powerful they are now after seeing it with my own eyes.”
Sona-zenkaichou’s voice was heard through the communications device. I have also come to understand this. The warriors of the Church whose true power rivalled that of the highest class of Devils—. Before I was sceptical, and even thought it was superstition, but after seeing the real people with my own eyes, I understood that it was the truth. …And the sword that he had was a replica. If it was the real thing, what would’ve happened…? A human who has honed his skills to the utmost level, was actually strong to such an extent… …I don’t need such thoughts. I shakily stood up. I prepared to open the other dimension, and announced to everyone
“…I’m ready to release Gram. Even against a user of Excalibur, the time that Joker has made for an opening is hard to come by.”
I walked towards that man with the aura of Gram raised to the maximum for a single strike, and even if it didn’t hit, it would be able to create an opening. Then, if Dulio-san attacked — there would be a chance of victory! It should be said that this would create an opportunity for victory. However, after Dulio-san heard this, he shook his head.
“…That will not do.”
His expression right now — was filled with sorrow.
“You intend to use up your own lifespan right? That will not do. Listen up, Kiba-kun. This battle, is similar to a physical exchange between members of a family. You only need your fists to vent your frustration against each other. There is no need for you to cut down your own lifespan.”
……. Joker spoke nicely to me to such an extent that it caused my emotions to flare up.
“But! The opponent is serious! If this continues, won’t the injuries that we’ve accumulated have been in vain?! Do you plan to keep harbouring the discontent of your own people?!”
I burst out with dissatisfaction. This wasn’t at all like the usual me. Of course. Excalibur—. My life has been troubled by it. Not just me, many of my comrades were taken by it. …Is this all over? Since Balba Galilei’s death and the Three Faction’s peace, it could tentatively be considered the end. …As a friend, Ise-kun saw right through it and told me. But! …But, the natural born user of Excalibur was before my eyes, and although he only had a replica, it was still a real holy sword. Furthermore, he was standing before me as an enemy! Doesn’t that make people want to gain victory over him! Doesn’t it make people want to surpass him! I, and the others, everything that happened in that facility wasn’t an illusion! It wasn’t useless! Doesn’t that make people want to prove…! Dulio-san placed his hand on my shoulder, and said with a slight smile
“—You’re wrong, I will defeat sensei, [You big idiot!]. However, the opponent which is worth giving your life to use that demonic sword is Qlippoth.”
Dulio-san was hugging me tightly.
“That, Kiba-kun. —No, Yuuto. You came from one of the Church’s facilities right? Well, that’s the same as being my younger brother. As the older brother, I cannot allow my younger brother to be reckless. Leave it to this older brother. This captain ain’t for nothing.”
Dulio-san — stepped forward. He stood in front of his sensei Cristaldi. Cristaldi asked
“—Dulio, known as the strongest man in the Church, in the end, what do you fight for?”
Dulio-san revealed a surprising smile
“—In order to let everyone live a peaceful life. That’s not the only definite reason though.”
He opened his ten wings, which were as white as snow — his body was wrapped in a golden aura, and the man known as the [Trump Card] was gradually concentrating the power of light into his palms. He made a ring in both his hands, and blew through the middle. What came out of the middle were —bubbles which glowed with the colours of the rainbow. The bubbles spread limitlessly within the barrier, then finally passed beyond the barrier, and surrounded the entire area. In such a fantasy-like scene, everyone in the area stopped what they were doing, and searched for the source of the bubbles which glowed with the colours of the rainbow. Dulio-san said
“This is a technique utilising [Zenith Tempest] — [Speranza Bolla di Sapone]”
In Italian, Speranza Bolla di Sapone had the meaning of [Bubbles of Hope]. Bubbles — had inadvertently fallen onto my hand, and burst in a dreamlike manner. Then, my mind recalled — memories which made me feel nostalgic. That is — singing hymns together with my comrades in that facility.
“Say, if we leave this facility, what does everyone want to do?”
“I want to be an artist. I want to draw a picture of Jesus that people will praise.”
We discussed our dreams every day. We embraced the hopes of life outside —
“I want to become a Sister. But, opening a florist would also be nice.”
“I’m want to be a race driver. I’ll be driving the coolest F1 at top speed!”
“…I, as long as I can live happily with everyone, then…I’ll be very happy.”
Everyone smiled at the shy girl who said that. Then, I also said
“Of course, that would be the best!”
…Yes, that would be the best. …That’s right, them, as well as me…towards Excalibur…we actually had no interest in it at all. …! My cherished dream, which I had hoped for, was to live an ordinary life like any other child…! Holy swords, suitability…we should just…in order to achieve our dreams…actually important…! I…covered my mouth as I sobbed. Finally, I recalled it. Finally, I remembered it again. I…as well as them…never wished for revenge. We only wanted to live. Nothing more. Even I understood that! I was well aware of it! That person’s voice, floated into my mind.
“—Live for me, and for yourself at the same time.”
The crimson haired woman who saved me—. And the most important person who also admired ane—.
“—You definitely can’t die, idiot.”
The best friend who was supporting me—. Even so, the friends I was worrying about from the bottom of my heart—. I…am already happy enough. Why, what reason is there! I failed to notice it…. …Rias…nee-san, Ise-kun, I’m really a big idiot…. Looking ahead — everyone on the battlefield was also in tears. With their weapons dropped on the ground, they were sobbing and crying. Dulio-san said
“…These bubbles, are able to remind the people who touch them about their most precious memories, and their most important people. That’s all there is to this technique. But, this is the technique that I desired the most, so I used my Sacred Gear to create it.”
Bubbles which were able to make people remember what was most important to them—. These rainbow coloured bubbles, actually had such an ability…. —Dulio is the Church’s most gentle child. Sister Griselda’s words echoed in my mind. The technique which could make anyone gentle—. Known as the second most powerful Longinus ability, he intentionally didn’t use it for its power. Entirely using the method of another technique, he prevented harm and destruction. However, even though Cristaldi had tears streaming down his face, he lifted his sword again.
“…Nevertheless! If I don’t settle this now, our rebellion will be in vain! Dulio!”
With Dulio-san’s technique, he should also remember what’s most important to him. Even so, that man was currently relying on sheer willpower to hold on to Excalibur.
“—Well, let’s finish this.”
Griselda-san opened her six wings, and generated light at her palms to form the shape of a bow and arrow. …I heard once that the Queen of Hearts had a unique arrow of light. It wasn’t an attack—. Irina-san also followed and arose, lifting Hauteclere up.
“Hauteclere, lend me strength! I want to get even on the wielder of Excalibur for that because it hurts!”
Irina-san also spread her four Angel wings and flew off! Following that, I created a holy demonic sword. I…was surprised when I saw the blade of the holy demonic sword that I created. The edge…released an aura more pure than any previous time, and the blade itself was not dyed at all. For the first time, I felt that the holy demonic sword I created was exceptionally beautiful. It was as if the sword shone because it had discarded all the troubles of my mind. …The blade would cast light upon itself. Even the holy demonic swords that I created were for the same reason. I held up the sword which truly combined the holy and demonic, and ran forwards. Chasing after Irina-san who rushed out first, the two of us zigzagged towards our opponent! Cristaldi once again created numerous avatars, preparing to confuse Irina-san and I. As we cut them down one after the other, and continuously destroyed his tangible avatars, Irina and I felt that our blades were gradually getting closer and closer to the real body. Catching up, an avatar which I thought had already been destroyed, was actually made by using Mimic, and the real Cristaldi had jumped up above us. As the Mimic avatar was in the process of changing into a sword, my blade caught him! Two blades clashed against each other, emitting sparks! Although my frontal attack was blocked, my opponent’s holy sword began to change. Its holy aura was gradually being absorbed by my holy demonic sword, and my sword’s holy attribute was being strengthened. Cristaldi was greatly surprised by this phenomenon.
“—! Absorbing the holy aura of Excalibur using the power of the demonic attribute, in order to increase the power of its holy attribute?!”
…I was also surprised by the effect. I didn’t imagine that a holy demonic sword would exhibit this kind of ability…. Using demonic energy to absorb holy energy in order to enhance my sword’s holy attribute. On the other hand, using holy energy to absorb demonic energy, which enhances the demonic attribute could also be possible. —Studying the holy demonic sword would be good. Because the miracle that occurred is still a miracle even at this level. …Reaching this conclusion, what Cao Cao said in Heaven came to mind. Did he already foresee this result? No, as he shouldn’t know about this ability. However, he might have wanted to say that holy demonic swords contained many powers which were not yet known. If I were to completely unlock the power of holy demonic swords, being able to safely wield Gram would no longer be wishful thinking. My holy demonic sword had completely absorbed the holy aura of Cristaldi’s Excalibur now. Then, Irina immediately slashed down with Hauteclere.
“Hauteclere! Use the power of purification!”
Hauteclere responded to its owners thoughts, and released its ability! Hauteclere had the power of purification. Once released, if received directly, even the great mentor of the warriors would be eliminated from this battle—.
—However, whilst Cristaldi was in the process of receiving the force of purification, he exhaled with strength! Exhaling, he gripped the holy sword even tighter! The holy aura of Excalibur’s replica was slowly returning. Once again, I used my holy demonic sword to absorb the holy energy, and Irina poured her strength into the final blow again—. Just when I was thinking about this, a large beam of light was fired from behind me.
“—My arrow is able to increase the power of an Angel!”
Griselda-san’s arrow of light struck Irina-san’s body. In an instant, an immense amount of light burst out of Irina-san, and further enhanced Hauteclere’s power and ability! Cristaldi’s holy sword — its holy aura was slowly and gradually fading away.
“—Sensei, here we go.”
Dulio-san announced. Everyone raised their heads to look at the sky. —-A large thundercloud had formed in the sky, and a piercing cold air was beginning to blow everywhere. The blade of Cristaldi’s holy sword was beginning to freeze. When even his feet were frozen with ice, an immensely large bolt of lightning descended from the sky, even the barrier generated by the crosses surrounding us was easily destroyed, and the strike of lightning from the Sacred Gear then poured onto the body of the warriors’ sensei—.
Cristaldi was lying on the ground. Holy demonic sword, Hauteclere, Griselda-san’s arrow of support, and Dulio-san’s Longinus which delivered the final blow—. Receiving these attacks, the warriors’ sensei had finally fallen. Receiving treatment from the female warriors, fatal injuries were avoided. The warriors had already lost all their will to fight, most people were sitting on the floor in a depressed state. Those who suffered severe injuries in fighting against us, which was followed by their master Cristaldi being defeated, had now lost the battle. While lying on the ground, Cristaldi asked his student Dulio-san
“…If, you used those bubbles at the beginning, you would’ve won already. No, as long as you used your Balance Breaker, you should’ve been able to easily defeat us all at once.”
…There was indeed that. As he said, if Dulio-san used those bubbles right at the beginning, or if he used his Balance Breaker, then the battle would’ve been one-sided. But, would that be good? As if answering the questions on my mind, Dulio-san said
“…I didn’t want to use my power to do that as the warriors wouldn’t have been satisfied, I simply decided to use that after a certain of period of time passed; rather than cutting the battle short, exhausting all your efforts would be better. Moreover, if I really had to release my Balance Breaker, the opponent must really be beyond redemption, wicked people with no remorse.”
It looks like he was considering the warriors’ feelings. Indeed, instead of crushing their fighting spirit from the start, allowing them to vent their thoughts would prevent any future troubles. Precisely because he was a warrior, it allowed him to take into account the feelings of similar people. The sensei of the warriors smiled when he heard the reply of his own student.
“…Truly, you’re too gentle…. …Known as warriors, ultimately we can only use our swords to communicate. It’s your victory, Dulio. Well, do as you wish. But, let the others go. After all, I’m the one that brought them here. Only I am guilty.”
The defenceless Cristaldi spoke words which expressed that he would take responsibility for everything. The warriors raised objections against what their sensei said.
“Please wait a moment, Dulio!”
“Kill us if you must!”
“Sensei was only responding to our feelings!”
“We’re the ones who are truly guilty!”
The warriors desperately stood up in an attempt to protect their sensei. Looking at this scene alone, it was obvious that this man was greatly respected by the warriors. However, their mentor shook his head.
“…Everyone here, has had their lives derailed by Devils or Vampires. I am also one of them. We simply couldn’t find another way of life other than continuing to fight against those guys…. Well, give me a punishment. Those children, they will then be able to change their way of life.”
Dulio-san — simply sighed, and shook his hand.
“…I won’t do anything at all.”
That’s right, Dulio-san sat down on the ground, and didn’t do anything.
Being surprised at the same time, the teacher asked his student. The student only laughed.
“…If I defeated sensei, what good would it have done? And — as long as I live, I can freely eat good food. …In this world, there are far too many people who do not know what is valuable.”
“…Too gentle, you really are, your heart is too kind.”
Cristaldi muttered this as a thin stream of tears trickled out of his eyes. For the warriors, this was undoubtedly the declaration of defeat. There were warriors who were kneeling down as they cried, and there were also warriors who smiled wryly, having discarded their weapons. Dulio-san said to Irina-san and I
“Yuuto, Irina-chan, go now. There are no problems here now. Go to Ise-kun’s side. I…will talk for a while longer with Cristaldi-sensei here.”
As Dulio-san said, we were quite concerned about the other side which was fighting a battle at the same time as us. I thought, if this side was able to finish their battle earlier, then I would rush over to that side. That was because I selfishly chose to take part in this side’s battle. Dulio-san knew this, so he made such a suggestion.
Irina-san and I nodded our heads, and prepared to leave. At this time, Dulio-san said
“By the way, next time, will you take a look at the facility here that the children live in? There are children who have also had the same experiences as you living there. They are also my little brothers and sisters like you. Why don’t we share a cake together?”
—. Dulio-san’s expression…was very gentle from beginning to end. A gentler captain than anyone else. This was Dulio Gesualdo who was known as the [Trump Card].
I smiled, and Irina also nodded.
“Knight of the holy demonic sword.”
Cristaldi called out to me, and only said one thing
“—His Eminence Strada, is the true monster.”
…Since he was called as such by the man who was also known as a monster, he must really be an exceedingly powerful monster—. Irina-san and I kept this warning in mind as we quickly rushed towards the direction of the other side.
The jisan who wielded Durandal — Vasco Strada led a group of warriors and had begun fighting in the schoolyard of Kuoh Academy (replica). A few minutes after the battle had started, I — Hyoudou Issei became surrounded by rainbow coloured bubbles everywhere. As soon as they appeared, a change occurred in the crowd of warriors — they began crying together. Some of our allies also began to cry. Huh? What’s going on? Ddraig said inside of me
“…It looks like the ability of these bubbles is to stimulate intense memories of their targets, causing them to remember the things that they cherish.”
Oh. But, why does nothing happen when I touch these bubbles?
“Hmm, this is just my thought: It may be because you, partner, are always thinking about the things that you cherish the most, hence there is no effect. Don’t you always have a lot of unnecessary worry on your mind?”
Indeed, whether it’s something concerning the future, anything concerning my nakama, anything concerning oppai, as well as other things, I’m the type of person who always worries unnecessarily about them. Well, precisely because of this, nothing unusual happens to me when I touch these bubbles?
“Basically, that’s what seems to have happened.”
…Amidst all this fighting, my eyes were attracted to the oppai of the female swordsmen among the warriors more frequently than usual, which is…
“Ah, this could also be the effect of these bubbles, or perhaps not.”
…Yes, whenever their oppai bounced, my gaze would be directed there more often than usual, is this the reason?
“These bubbles…came from their side?”
Rias looked up in surprise.
“Yes, that’s right.”
The person who replied to her — was Kiba! Irina was also beside him! What, the battle on the other side has already ended!
“These bubbles were made by Joker, and it’s said that it makes the opponent remember things precious to them, thus dissolving their will to fight.”
Irina’s report agreed with Ddraig’s thoughts. But, these were made by Dulio…Hehe, he’s still only thinking about getting things done gently. However, there are still people whose will to fight wouldn’t be weakened in such situations.
“Well these…these bubbles are really quite beautiful.”
A smile appeared on Vasco Strada’s wrinkled face. He was holding the replica of Durandal in his hand. We had been fighting against the warriors up until now, yet this jisan had not directly been participating in the battle…in any case, it appeared as though this jisan had given up before, but he was finally coming now. He definitely wanted the warriors to rampage for a while, allowing them to vent their anger. After that, he would join in — aside from him, the warriors at the frontline had already collapsed after being attacked by us as well as from the effects of those bubbles. Of the warriors who remained, it could be said that only that jisan was left unharmed. He began taking his vestments off. Underneath his clothing was — a body of thick, shiny, armour-like muscles, completely unlike an old man over eighty years old…a truly amazing body. Trained to this extent, it was completely disproportionate with his face which was covered by wrinkles! Coupled with a tall figure, he was reminiscent of a giant. Even Durandal’s replica felt small in comparison. Strada took a step forwards. A piercing cold air enveloped my body for a while…and cold sweat streamed down my back. This pressure…I’ve only felt something like this from the evil dragon Cruach. And this jisan who is a human, gave me the same kind of feeling. His body, was a bottomless pit of horror. He spread his hands out, and with a smile on his wrinkled face he said
“—Well, it’s time for some lecturing. Little Devil children, learn well.”
A dense pressure was released — and everyone gasped. Even Saji and I, who were clad in a full suit of armour, couldn’t help but feel a strong fighting spirit which permeated through our armour. Xenovia swallowed, and said
“…Durandal’s replica. I’ve heard that its power is equivalent to one fifth of the original…but seeing that His Eminence is wielding it, there won’t be such limitations.”
This would become a showdown between Ex-Durandal and the Durandal replica…based on the power of the swords, Xenovia’s genuine one should be far superior to the replica. However—. The first to charge ahead were Kiba and Irina who had just joined up with us. Moving with the momentum of victory from the previous battle, their strides were brimming with confidence. Strada-jisan didn’t move, and he didn’t even lift his sword up. He didn’t seem to be careless, and neither did he seem at ease. Then, Kiba’s holy demonic sword approached him at high speed. —However, using only one hand, he caught the holy demonic sword! Seeing his own weapon being blocked by someone’s hand, Kiba had a surprised expression as he looked back and forth between his sword and Strada’s face. He wanted to pull his sword away, but the sword remained motionless. The holy demonic sword was being held with immense power. That jisan was nodding his head [MmHmm].
“Your swordsmanship isn’t bad. It’s very accurate, and you don’t hesitate against humans. But”
A sharp metallic sound reverberated in all directions — Kiba’s holy demonic sword had been shattered by his bare hand.
“It’s too blunt. You haven’t trained enough.”
After Strada said that, he swung his fist at Kiba! In the blink of an eye, Kiba raised the broken holy demonic sword to defend — however, the blow was too heavy, and he was sent flying through the air quite far!
“Your Eminence, how rude!”
Following that, Irina slashed at him using Hauteclere — even so, the sword was stopped between two of his fingers, and he then threw her and the sword away using his strength!
“We’ll use magic then!”
Rossweisse-san who was in the rear guard created numerous magic circles, which fired out projectile attacks of various attributes! That jisan didn’t dodge it, and just when he was about to be hit by the magic attacks, he simply extended his finger, and rapidly touched them all. The magic attacks which he touched lost their power and dissipated into the air. Seeing the result, Rossweisse-san was extremely surprised!
“—Hm!? With that magic — you disassembled it!?”
“This so-called magic, is a calculation — so, using the theory behind its formula to oppose it, it’s possible to cancel them out or destroy them. Especially the techniques of young magicians, they’re unrefined and not concise. As long as a slight flaw is found, it’ll be completely useless — as long as its structure is known, it can be disintegrated with power.”
Noooooo! I was shaking my head in utter disbelief at this phenomenon! My nakama seemed to be thinking the same thing, and were just as astonished! After all, he only moved his finger around, yet he was able to decompose Rossweisse-san’s magic spells! This jiji is way too surprising! Even if he understood the structure of the spell, who could possibly decompose spells with a single finger!? From the perspective of other magicians, Rossweisse-san’s spells have been praised and admired! Yet, he glosses over it just by calling her young!?
“In that case, I’m going!”
Gasper turned himself into a dark beast, and dashed forth! Perhaps because he was influenced by me, Gasper in this state was particularly militant, and always had the style of charging forward! And because he’s always with me in hand to hand combat, he’s now able to confront people directly! The current Gasper is quite strong! Strada-jisan finally got into a fighting stance, and pulled his right fist back. The muscles on his right arm swelled up to a ridiculous size.
Exhaling with a breath full of vigour, his right fist moved straight forward! Gasper who was charging straight towards him from the front dodged just in the nick of time — the buildings behind him all collapsed from the impact of his punch against the air!
“—This can’t be real, right!? That’s the aftermath of his punch alone!? That’s on par with Sairaorg isn’t it!?”
Rias expressed her amazement! It’s just as she said! Aside from Sairaorg-san, there’s actually another person who can destroy objects with only the shockwaves from their fist! On top of that, this was a human, and also a jiji! Xenovia said to us
“His Eminence’s punch is known as the [Holy Punch]. Even his punch contains holy energy! Be careful everyone, Devils will suffer immense damage from that if they’re hit!”
In such situations, one could only make a wry smile! Gasper evaded the punch, and charged towards his body! Seeing this happen, Strada raised Durandal for the first time. A dense holy aura radiated out, and enveloped the entire sword! Gasper began punching at his large body! Each of these attacks carried enough power to send an ordinary Devil flying! However, that old man Strada used the body of Durandal’s replica or shifted his own body to easily parry each of these attacks! He was using power to counter power…! Gasper wanted to supress Durandal — but instead he was overpowered and pushed back by its immense holy aura! A portion of the darkness covering him peeled off, and a small part of Gasper’s flesh could be seen.
“—What’s going on, that holy sword actually has this much power…!?”
Gasper’s darkness was extremely tough, and couldn’t be stripped off by any ordinary holy aura. After all, he was known as the incarnation of the Demon God Balor. Even in a short period of time, to be able to peel off Gasper’s darkness was evidence of this old man being beyond common sense.
“Well, I’m coming next!”
Saji was wearing jet-black armour, and ignited black flames, then extended out numerous lines! Strada, who was hit by these lines simply swung Durandal with a light horizontal motion — everyone present felt a momentary chill, and then ducked down! Something flew over our heads at high speed! I turned my head to look behind at the replica buildings in this artificial space. Perhaps the waves which he released were too sharp, thus the buildings didn’t collapse at all, and there was only a horizontal line across the buildings. Even the glass windows had not been shattered from it…how sharp was the wave that he released to leave behind just a horizontal line…! Saji’s lines had also been cut cleanly in two, and even the black flames had vanished for now after the release of that holy wave!
Saji fearlessly continued to release vast black flames! So long as it hit, the curse would take effect, and the flames which never died out would burn the opponent! Alternatively, it could also drain the strength of the opponent! However, all of Saji’s black flames were erased by a light swing of Durandal’s replica! Even with the shockwaves of his punch, Saji’s black flames could be blown away! Saji determined that direct attacks would be useless, so he created a black wall of flames surrounding Strada on all sides! This was Saji’s best barrier! But, that jisan turned around, and using the momentum of his rotation to swing Durandal, he effortlessly split the wall of flames in two! Seeing all of his black flames being extinguished, Saji cried
“What is with that jiji!?”
Exactly! What exactly is that jiji! This could be called unreasonable, or that it exceeded common sense, and against all the reason, he suppressed them with just brute force! Strada shook his head as he said
“It’s because you rely too much on these powers given by God — Sacred Gears.”
He raised his fist, and declared
“There is no particular reason for my strength. But my own flesh and blood is the result of constant training, and the experience of countless battles. As long as you always maintain your faith in God, and do not forget to care about your body, power will be built in your soul. Children — is there any power within your soul?”
……Even if you say that, we also have things that we cannot back down on. We’re also known as attackers of the power type. Moreover, his words emphasised power, known as [Power Idiots?? lit. (muscles even in the brain)], this was an obvious challenge to us of the Gremory household! Everyone seemed to have the same thoughts as me, and the rising energy inside them could be seen from the expression of their faces. We’ve fought until now, even if we stayed silent, we were also able to tacitly match this guy’s fighting style!
“Jisan, I also need to get serious.”
After I announced this, I began the crimson chant!
“—I, who is about to awaken, am the Sekiryuutei who holds the truth of the king up high! Holding the infinite hopes and unbreakable dreams and walking the path of righteousness! I will become an Emperor of Crimson Dragon—”
“And I will lead you to the Path of Heaven, glowing in deep crimson light—!”
[Cardinal Crimson Full Drive!!!!]
Wearing crimson armour, I opened my dragon wings, and flew to the front! I already knew very well that even if I moved around in mid-air as I tried to get closer that it would be meaningless! In that case, I might as well just use high-speed to close the distance in an instant, and then simply go for a direct attack! I changed my right arm into the Welsh Dragonic Rook’s, and then attacked!
[Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost Boost!!]
I increased my power and concentrated it into my right fist! A huge amount of dragonic power was gathered!
[Solid Impact Booster!!!!]
Close combat — this single strike was of the highest level! With my right fist raised high for this heavy blow, attempting to block it from the front was not a good idea! He didn’t intend to evade, and instead opened his stance! However, if my deduction was correct, this old man would — that’s right, this old man with such power was called Vasco Strada, he would actually…would actually! Defend against my punch head on! He held the Durandal replica in front of his chest, blocking my fist! My Solid Impact fiercely collided with the Durandal replica, and the aftershock of our collision blew away everything in the surrounding area! …The force of my punch…had been completely nullified by him! What kind of joke is this! I just unleashed a full-powered attack! That jisan was actually able to withstand that blow using the replica of Durandal!? The two people who just clashed and blocked each other naturally jumped backwards to increase their distance. At the same time that I finished my attack, Kiba and Irina charged forth again! Then Koneko-chan and Akeno-san also came to assist! Kiba and Irina repeatedly slashed at him, but Strada-jisan did the same as he did before, using minimal movements of Durandal or his body to dodge or deflect the assault! At this time, Koneko-chan momentarily grew and sent a punch with the power of purification towards him, but the old warrior used the hilt of Durandal to block this attack, and then actually pushed it back!
Akeno-san summoned lightning, and shaped it into the form of a large dragon! They were Holy Lightning Dragons! And there were five of them! The number has increased compared to before, and the density of the holy lighting had also increased! The large dragons of holy lightning eagerly moved towards Strada!
“—Descended from the angel known as the Lightning of God! It truly is beautiful!”
While Strada was praising Akeno-san’s attack, Durandal’s blade was still wrapped in a holy aura, and then it was swung down in an instant! The wave which was released was clearly more potent than that which was released by Xenovia. The enormous surging wave completely blew the Holy Lightning Dragons away! In addition, this wave showed no signs of weakening, and continued to fly towards us!
Rossweisse-san took a step forward, and conjured several layers of magic circles of strong defensive magic! Each layer of the strong magical barriers was progressively destroyed by the Durandal’s replica, and the approaching wave loomed ahead of us! —However, Rossweisse-san created many layers of barriers once more, and then finally negated Strada’s attack! …However, in order to nullify this wave, a significant number of defensive magic circles had been deployed…at the least, Rossweisse-san used twenty layers. Even though she had the trait of the [Rook] to boost defensive power, she still needed so many…! Once again, I was in awe at this old warrior’s skill in using Durandal!
“It’s not over yet!”
The last person to rush out was the current wielder of Durandal, Xenovia! She wielded Ex-Durandal, using it in a combined mode to slam it down at high speed and with the power of Destruction! The old warrior used his replica to block Xenovia’s attack, and it felt as though he was smiling in enjoyment.
“Very good! That’s it! That’s just right! There’s no need for deliberation! Listen up, warrior Xenovia! Even if you assimilate Durandal and Excalibur, the essence of Durandal is — pure power! Which is why you were chosen by it! You should not deny it! Power should not be denied!”
While he was resisting Xenovia’s attack, Strada still repeatedly slashed his sword, as if illustrating how a sword should be used, conveying the core essence of a sword. In the midst of the clash between the genuine holy sword with the added power of Destruction and the replica, Strada looked straight at Xenovia and said to her
“—However, there’s more than one way to represent power. That sword’s form, is that really what you want it to appear as?”
Hearing that jisan’s question, Xenovia made an expression as if she had noticed something. Xenovia jumped back for the time being, and then — she meaningfully stared at Ex-Durandal. Strada began to smile as he saw this…was this something that only a wielder of Durandal would know about…? Then Rias straightened her body! Her entire body was enveloped in a destructive aura, and a huge sphere of magic had formed above her head!
“—Well, how about this?”
—Extinguish Star! Rias’s ultimate attack! She concentrated her magic to produce it while I went ahead to fight!
“This will result in death if you don’t avoid it!”
After Rias declared that, she released that massive attack! Although the sphere of destruction moved forward slowly, no one could possibly remain unharmed if they came into contact with it. This unparalleled attack was merciless, and even the body of an evil dragon could be destroyed. But Rias deliberately made such a declaration before releasing it. Which also meant — she was letting him escape. Being hit by that would result in inevitable annihilation. But even so, Rias decided to use this move precisely because she was in awe at the opponent. However, the old warrior seemed to have no intention of evading! He simply smiled, and faced Rias’s sphere of destruction directly!
“Well well…this thing might be a bit difficult for my old bones — but.”
He raised Durandal’s replica and pointed it towards the sky — a vast amount of holy aura began to cover the blade. Facing one side as it slowly absorbed the objects around it, the sphere of destruction was approaching — then the replica of Durandal was swung down! The light released was blindingly bright, and we could only close our eyes in the face of such intense light…! When we opened our eyes, the first thing which we saw was — the scene of Rias’s Extinguish Star sliced apart!
Rias was speechless at the sight of this. This was only to be expected. Even against an evil dragon, it was completely defenceless against this technique. Yet an old man, a human, was able to destroy it using the replica of a holy sword. We were also quite shocked by this. Strada’s shoulders were heaving as he breathed…after all, it was true that he cut the Extinguish Star. Rias could only smile mirthlessly.
“…After this, I have no choice but to smile bitterly.”
As Strada adjusted his breathing, he said
“—Listen well. Durandal is able to cut [Everything]. Even if it’s the Bael’s power of Destruction, that is no exception.”
He said to us, as if giving Durandal an introduction. …So if Durandal is used properly, even that can be cut…! Well, when Xenovia is really able to master Durandal, there won’t be anything in this world that she won’t be able to cut…! Koneko-chan made a stiff smile.
“…Really, is the Church able to rely solely on this ojisan? I think that…”
…Yes. Relying on this jisan alone, is the Church able to survive? After all, even the highest class of Devils have been defeated at the hands of Church warriors…if such a rare old man was born in this world, indeed even the highest class of Devils could be destroyed.
“—Well, it should be my turn next right?”
After saying this, the person who took a step forward was — Arthur Pendragon who had been quietly watching from the side! He was wearing glasses, a suit, and smiling as usual. However, held in his hand was the legend of legends which was wrapped in a dense and thick aura — The Holy King Sword Collbrande.
“Hoh…I wouldn’t have imagined that I’d be able to see that at my age…”
Strada looked at the holy sword in Arthur’s hand, and sighed in admiration. Arthur fearlessly replied in response with
“It is quite regrettable that the sword you hold is not genuine — I really wanted to use my body to withstand its power.”
Arthur quietly approached Strada, and in response, Strada also began to move forward. They did so until they were within reach of each other’s swords, and there was also no need to prepare a stance. Eventually, they reached the point where they were directly in front of each other, and they then stopped. They looked as though they were a jovial young gentleman and old warrior, but the intense pressure which they released from their bodies was unreal. It caused the space between those two to become distorted. Then, both of them finally disappeared from that spot! Clang clang clang, the shrill metallic noise of two clashing swords reverberated in all directions, and we looked up towards the sky! That was because we felt a presence above us! And sure enough, two people had flown up in the air, and their swords fiercely collided as they descended! From when they had jumped all the way until they began to fall, it was only a very short period of time. However, in the time that the two people exchanged blows, it felt as though it was an extremely intense battle. Several techniques flew across from each side, and the two people were vehemently opposing each other. Slashing down from above, slicing from below to above, an occasional thrust, or deflecting attacks aside, both were swinging and slashing ferociously, yet there were also small slashes — the two people were engaging in a high-speed slashing showdown in mid-air — aura was overflowing from both of their swords, and as a result of that aura, all the replica buildings in the surrounding area crumbled and collapsed.
The swordsmen Irina, Xenovia and Kiba were speechless. They intently watched the intense swordplay battle occurring in the air. No one batted an eyelid as they focused their attention on the battle between the legendary Holy King Sword and the legendary old warrior. For the three people who were watching Arthur and Strada’s battle, closing their eyes would be shameful as a swordsman. Arthur and Strada continued to go at each other as they descended, and when they finally landed on the ground, without any time to catch their breath, they ran towards each other with their holy swords clashing again! They ran sideways as they were attacking each other! Between the attacks of these two people, large cracks appeared on the floor, and the ground had also been easily destroyed. Both of their bodies had also changed. Although neither of them had been hit cleanly, Strada’s thoroughly trained body had suffered several cuts, and the parts of Arthur’s suit which had been shredded were quite conspicuous. Both of them had ecstatic expressions, and it appeared that both of them were happy from the bottom of their hearts about this slashing confrontation— The Holy King Sword gathered a calm aura, and Arthur suddenly thrust it in a strange direction. Then, a hole was pierced in that space, and the blade disappeared into it! Strada seemed to have noticed something, thus he bent his upper body backwards greatly and then horizontally from a spot near where he was, a sword flew out! So that was what it was, Arthur was able to use the Holy King Sword to pierce a hole in space, and then send it towards a position close to his opponent? Speaking of which, Arthur had once used a holy sword to create a tear in space, which he escaped into afterwards. Was this an ability of the Holy King Sword, or one of Arthur’s techniques? Although that was unknown, it was certain that Arthur could move between space, and that he could also send his sword directly next to Strada. Next, the irregular old warrior Strada had moved his body, and dodged the attack from an almost certain striking position! Was this real!? He was even able to evade such an unexpected move!? While being attacked normally, Strada still easily dodged even Arthur’s space transportation technique which couldn’t be detected. …If it was me, I definitely wouldn’t be able to detect even a feint, and would certainly receive their attack every time. But that old warrior only changed his stance and sword position! In addition, this was performed while in the midst of an intense sword fight, thus it was easy to understand that there was an attack which I could not recognise with the naked eye. If it was me — there would be no way to evade the Holy King Sword; my body would be continually consumed by that holy aura, and I would eventually fall to the ground. There were many techniques, surprise attacks, and on top of that, the power of holy swords couldn’t be underestimated…for me, Arthur was the type that I’d have horrible compatibility against.
“…Arthur hasn’t yet used his full power. Of course, Strada also…”
Even Kiba couldn’t estimate the true strength of these two swordsmen, and bit his lip with a reluctant look. I’m afraid that he saw that his own strength was incomparable to those two, and at the same time because he understood the strength of those two, he could only grit his teeth. …Me too, my friend. …In this world, why are there such strong guys…. Moreover, he has the body of a human. The Vali team’s swordsman Arthur Pendragon, the wielder of the Holy King Sword. He is strong indeed…! The two swordsmen continued their breath-taking battle for a few minutes — but it suddenly came to an end. Both people exchanged a heavy blow with each other, and they jumped backwards before the sparks had disappeared. Both of them readjusted their sword stance…however, Arthur suddenly put his sword down. He adjusted his glasses, and smiled as he said
“…Wonderful — but, let’s stop. If this continues, I won’t be able to get over the shock.”
Arthur said a string of strange words, but Strada seemed to understand, and he also put down his sword for now.
“…Sorry, young swordsman.”
The old warrior began to smile wryly, indicating that he understood Arthur’s behaviour. Arthur smiled, then turned around to leave. When he came past our side, he only said one thing
“…If we met thirty years earlier, no, twenty years, it would certainly be the best battle. If it continued…it would only invite sadness.”
Arthur spoke in a lonesome manner, and then he left. … Was this known as the pride that only a swordsman could understand? Next, we were the ones who were left…but, what could we do? In order to stop this jisan — should we really be serious about it? …I made up my mind, and made wyverns appear from the gems of my armour. As the old warrior saw this, he smiled joyously.
“I have heard of it. The Sekiryuutei even has the ability to modify entire environments — indeed after receiving that attack, even I won’t be able to avoid death.”
…My Longinus Smasher, does he already know about it? Since I last used it, it’s already been more than a month. The charge has already been completed. Kokabiel’s words resurfaced in my mind. It was about the previous wielder of Durandal — that is, it was related to this jisan Strada. —The previous wielder’s strength was far beyond the scope of common sense! …Strength beyond comprehension, it was so convincing that I was speechless…! For this reason, if I don’t use my unique abilities then this old man won’t back down! However, the person who inserted herself in front of me was Xenovia. Xenovia took a step forward, and confronted Strada-jisan. She held Ex-Durandal out in front of her body — and then separated it into two swords. From Ex-Durandal, the handle of Excalibur could be separated from Durandal…and what Xenovia just did, was separate another legendary holy sword from Durandal. In other words, she was holding Durandal with her right hand, and Excalibur itself with her left hand. This wasn’t just any Excalibur, it wasn’t Rapidly, neither was it Destruction, nor was it Mimic, but it was the true Excalibur itself. She made a dual wielding stance using both Durandal and Excalibur. This also meant that she had released Durandal from the suppression of Excalibur. Seeing this, Strada’s entire body quivered, as if he was excited about this fight for the first time!
“That’s right. That’s how it should be! From my perspective as the previous wielder of Durandal, Ex-Durandal is a questionable combination. Durandal itself is a finished product, Excalibur is also a finished product…why is such a combination necessary? The reason is because you’re unable to control Durandal, and thus you foolishly used Excalibur as an [auxillary]. You…are a prodigy when it comes to single or dual wielding — don’t deny it. As long as you believe in power, power will materialise itself!”
…That’s right. Xenovia was unable to control Durandal’s aggressive aura, so she supressed it by using Excalibur as a sheath to enclose it. And just as that jisan said, Xenovia preferred a dual wielding fighting style. Excalibur Destruction + Durandal, or Durandal + Ascalon — she had currently returned to her previous style. In one hand was Durandal and in the other was Excalibur. That’s right, this was the fighting style that she had when we met her. In an instant — the two separated holy swords each began to radiate a dense holy aura. Their aura continued to increase, without any signs of stopping. The holy aura released was immensely pure and strong, causing the people nearby to tremble; this was something that could not be felt from Xenovia’s sword in the past. Strada’s eyes became moist.
“…I was finally able to meet you again, Durandal. That’s right, this is Durandal’s true form. Come, warrior Xenovia. There’s no need to consider anything, that’s all. Durandal’s true essence is only in destruction.”
Holding their holy swords, the two swordsmen who exemplified power gradually reduced their distance. Their pace was leisurely, but there was a certain strength behind it. Both of them moved until they were within reach of each other’s sword, and then they began a battle of swords! Xenovia’s two swords and Strada’s sword exuded a silver radiance while sparks flew off them as they fiercely and brilliantly collided with each other!
The shockwaves from the power of destruction alone caused the entire battlefield space to tremor, everything around those two began to collapse! The replicated buildings began to collapse one after the other, and deep fissures also appeared on the surface of the ground! Even the top section of this space began to crack, and a kaleidoscopic pattern could be seen through the dimensional crack! The scene in front of my eyes was the same as when I fought against Sairaorg-san, and even more destructive than that time. Like that time, it was a product of pure destruction and damage. The destructive output which was generated from both Durandal and the replica knocked us to the ground, and sometimes we even felt pain in our bodies…cracks even appeared in Saji’s and my armour. Just how much power had to be colliding to produce shockwaves with such an effect! I was afraid that in the world that those two people resided in, only they could understand — that power and strength. This battle couldn’t be replicated by people who didn’t think in terms of power. It was only possible to communicate through the use of body language here! Xenovia formed a cross with Durandal and Excalibur, and then swung them down simultaneously! Strada used the replica to parry this blow head on! This attack of destruction x destruction truly embodied destruction, but the opponent was also a power monster!
The two legendary holy swords were deflected by the replica! —However, the price for that was high. Cracks appeared on the replica’s blade, and the old warrior’s breathing became heavy. It was clear to see that he was becoming exhausted. Strada kneeled down with one knee on the ground. If this continued, Xenovia would become dominant because of the gap in their physical ability. The previous wielder of Durandal who possessed incredible strength — was an eighty year old man after all, his physical condition couldn’t be helped. Xenovia approached Strada who was kneeling on the ground. Just when it was time for the winner to be decided, someone injected themselves into the space between those two — it was the young Cardinal called Teodoro. The youth’s face was filled with tears as he stood in front of Xenovia, covering Strada who was behind him. Seeing his behaviour, Xenovia appeared confused. The boy had tears streaming down his face as he said
“…Please forgive His Eminence Strada. The fault is mine.”
“Your Eminence Teodoro…please stand down. The decisions were made by this old man.”
The boy stopped Strada who wanted to get up.
“Enough already! It’s already enough! Already, enough has been done! If even you cease to exist, I…how can I do anything!”
The boy turned around, and showed the pure white wings which were evidence of his existence as a [Miracle Child]. He distraughtly said
“…My…father and mother…were both killed by Devils.”
His eyes looked into ours — they were filled with sorrow.
“…I will never forgive Devils! I will never let Devils get away!”
The boy screamed. …In the face of his words, we were speechless. …Both his parents were killed by Devils? He was a [Miracle Child] — the half-breed of a human and an Angel, while his father and mother…were killed by Devils? Strada hugged the boy with a sorrowful expression, and he quietly said
“…An alliance is also nice, as it is a form of peace. But — in that case, some people will not be saved, and some people will be angered. Whether it’s His Eminence Teodoro, or the warriors you faced today, they took up their swords after their lives were derailed by Devils.”
…That’s right, this so-called peace won’t occur for absolutely everybody. Since we’ve experienced peace, then there will also be people who have experienced suffering…but, even if that’s the case, we also…!
Just when I was about to speak, someone spoke over me.
—It was Kiba. Kiba said
“…We only want to live peacefully. You have your own sense of justice, and you have your own values. However, my master Rias Gremory, as well as Ise-kun, Akeno-san, Koneko-chan, Asia-san, Xenovia, Gasper-kun, Irina-san, Rossweisse-san, Ravel-san, and the Sitri household, are all my many nakama who live in this town; we’ve survived life and death situations together and have been through good and bad times.”
Kiba seemed as if he had removed a mask, and his expression was more candid than ever before. Xenovia also agreed with Kiba
“It’s true. We all support each other, we’re nakama who have risked our lives fought together through everything. Even if His Eminence Strada and His Eminence Teodoro don’t recognise it, we fight with pride! Even if someone is unsatisfied, we will continue to fight for the people who believe in us!”
Hearing the two swordsmen — what the Gremory [Knights] said, a satisfied smile appeared on Vasco Strada’s wrinkled face.
“…I see, their eyes have a powerful expression, and their will was strong. Princess Rias Gremory, you have a pair of good [Knights].”
“Yes, they are also the [Knights] that I am proud of.”
Rias was also proud of the two [Knights]. Although Kiba and Xenovia were similar in that they were both from Church facilities, the path that they followed in life was completely different. And now, while serving under the same master, through their mutual experiences, they began to have similar ideas again—. Irina also approached the two brave [Knights], and stood beside them.
“Your Eminence Strada, Your Eminence Teodoro, I also — believe that evil Devils exist. But—”
Irina turned her gaze towards me.
“There are also good Devils. It’s the same as humans…even in other mythologies, there are also good and evil Gods.”
After listening to this, Strada laughed loudly and satisfyingly.
“Hahahaha! Ah…I see, I see. However, as an Angel, you talked about Pagan Gods… yes, this is the result of an alliance, but this also means the beginning of a new era…”
The old warrior had his hand on his chin as he thought. But, it looked like he was somewhat happy — however, Strada picked his sword up again.
“—However, the things you have discarded have brought you to a very different place. Your Eminence Teodoro, please stand aside. Let me show you this old man Durandal’s final moment.”
…His willpower still hadn’t decreased! His eyes were still burning with a passionate flame! Even if he would die with us, he still insisted on going on until the end! However, his strength did not return. If he continued to fight, with or without any sacrifices, we would still win in the near future…but, was that alright? Was it really alright for this to continue? As I was contemplating this, the young Cardinal cried and tried to stop Strada.
“It’s already enough! It’s already enough! Your Eminence Strada! I…that’s enough! You and His Eminence Cristaldi, and the warriors who fought for me…that’s already enough! …When my feelings and frustration were directly communicated to these people, we could have retreated. …So, I should receive the punishment! I will use my life as payment!”
From his expression, I could feel his strong determination. The boy understood his actions and his words, and he was also prepared for his punishment. Strada revealed a kind smile, and he gently stroked the boy’s head.
“…A child complaining about injustice is something that happens in any era. Your complaint was very noble, and very pure. Because of this, I would take up my sword again, and the warriors will follow you. And what I wanted to see the most was — them completely accepting yours and the warriors’ beliefs; they didn’t exclude us, they actually accepted us, and listened to our beliefs. They…should have already thought deeply about how to stop us. How to accept our beliefs without crushing them — at that time, we had already lost.”
Hearing what the old warrior said, the young Cardinal was speechless, and lowered his head. …From the very beginning, this jisan already had an understanding of our side’s situation…even so; he still carried the dissatisfaction of the boy and the warriors, and took up his sword…. Strada said
“In my mind and Cristaldi’s mind, we asked for God’s forgiveness. His Eminence Teodoro and the warriors are still young. This incident was caused because I fanned the flames — after hearing what was said in this battle, and with my death, they will be able to find a new way of life.”
—Ah! This jisan! He intends to shoulder everything!? From the beginning, for the purpose of understanding the dissatisfaction of the warriors, he assumed full responsibility for it— Hearing Strada’s confession, the warriors all wailed.
“Please don’t say such things!”
“Your Eminence, if it’s my life, I would offer it gladly!”
“We were already prepared to go to Purgatory!”
Everyone shed tears. All of the hardened warriors were trying to stop the old warrior’s atonement. Looking at this scene alone, it was evident that the warriors truly admired Strada. In the face of that jisan’s beliefs, we — also had troubled expressions, and were unable to decide whether or not to fight. When both sides had become weary of battle —
“How about you allow me to get rid of you all ♪”
Suddenly, a different voice echoed around everywhere! Everyone looked around in every direction, and eventually fixed onto a single point. Standing there was someone dressed in gothic style clothing; a woman holding a parasol — no, a witch, Walburga! This person! Intruding again! Everyone pointed their weapons towards her! The witch made a delightful smile.
“At the final sweet happy ending, I step in ♪ — don’t you think that this just adds fuel to the fire?”
As she finished speaking, Walburga tapped her foot on the ground. From that, a countless number of magic circles appeared and began to spread and expand! The light emitted from them at the same time shone brightly, and illuminated us! Emerging from the countless transportation type magic circles was — a huge swarm of mass-produced evil dragons! Ten, twenty, thirty…the number of evil dragons which gradually emerged from the transportation magic circles was almost in the triple digit range! Really, in this situation, this person had to summon these mass-produced evil dragons! Covering a nearby area completely like black paint — all of them were evil dragons! The witch stood before the swarm of evil dragons, and began to laugh.
“Well, let’s have all you evil dragons show them your skills ♪ ”
Walburga extended her hand out with an extremely innocent, yet extremely evil smile, but just when she was about to issue orders to the evil dragons, Rossweisse-san smiled eloquently.
“—I knew that this would happen.”
Rossweisse-san snapped her fingers. After that, the entire space began to emit a silvery light! The sky, replicated buildings, the ground, everything was shining with a brilliant silver light! Suddenly, the evil dragons seemed to lose their strength, and slumped onto the ground! Even their eyes had lost their resolve, and they became motionless!
“—Uh! This is…! What’s happening!?”
As a result of the unexpected events, Walburga was surprised. We were also quite surprised! How, what was happening!? Rossweisse-san smiled confidently as she said
“For Qlippoth to infiltrate here, as well as summoning evil dragons, I anticipated this a while ago. This space was designed and constructed with my own barrier technique. If evil dragons are summoned here, their functioning abilities will be sealed.”
—Ah! Really! After predicting that these guys would invade, the seal to restrict the movements of these summoned evil dragons was embedded into the space!? But, for them to come here, that was also something predictable. They intended to rely on numbers to overwhelm us. However, during the research into the sealing for Trihexa, Rossweisse-san thought of this barrier technique! Rossweisse-san looked towards Asia.
“Asia previously won over mass-produced evil dragons, and this technique used that as a foundation. With her permission, I investigated her mass-produced evil dragons. When I was creating this barrier, I embedded the technique to stop their movements inside.”
How amazing! Using the clues that she gained from the evil dragons that Asia and Fafnir brought over, she was able to produce such a beautiful success! In that case, completing the seal for Trihexa was within reach! She was indeed a talented Nordic woman! Hearing this, Walburga frowned — but, she suddenly began to laugh.
“Waha, that’s rather scary. Well, I think I’ll retreat now ♪”
She had just arrived, yet as soon as she found it disadvantageous, she wanted to escape! She was truly quite determined to escape! Walburga created a magic circle for transportation below her feet, and intended to retreat — but, the light from the magic circle faded, and it gradually disappeared.
“…It didn’t activate? Transportation was sealed?”
Walburga spoke involuntarily with a surprised tone.
“—No, just that all paths have been cut off.”
There was another voice! Turning around to look, standing there was [Slash Dog] Ikuse Tobio followed by a black dog! Walburga was shocked to see Ikuse-san there.
Ikuse-san spoke to her as if she was an old acquaintance
“Yo, long time no see, witch of the purple flames. How is the Holy Cross you inherited? Sorry, I’ve cut off all the magic transportation escape routes you prepared outside this space.”
Hearing what he said, I looked up at the sky — I could only see the tips of countless swords pointing downwards, much like icicles…at the top of this vast space, swords were growing out everywhere…? The twisted blades emitted an ominous glow, and the blades also had spell like patterns engraved on them. Walburga was dismayed when she saw this!
“Y-You’ve got to be kidding! I used a combination of tens of thousands of random spells for that technique!? In the short period of time after I infiltrated, all of them—”
“That is correct, all of them were severed. After all, I work behind the scenes, so it’s my job to do.”
“……Uh! Are you really a human..!?”
Walburga was at a loss for words. I didn’t know if it was entirely because her technique was destroyed in an instant, but she seemed to be looking at Ikuse-san as is she was looking at a monster. Ikuse-san said to me
“Quickly decide on the final attack, Hyoudou Issei-kun. The dragon of legend should shine on the centre of the stage.”
All right! Thanks to Rossweisse-san and Ikuse-san, the function of all the evil dragons had been stopped, and Walburga had successfully been trapped in here! Although this was somewhat rude to that jisan Strada, but let me get rid of this witch first! All the members of [DxD] had focused their attention onto Walburga. It was because everyone knew that the most dangerous person here was this witch. Walburga could feel the hostility arising from everyone, and laughed quietly, before laughing out loudly.
Walburga spread her arms out! A roar came from behind her and then purple flames ignited behind her, forming the shape of a cross!
“Well then, I’ll let you experience it! My Balance Breaker!”
Walburga lifted her spirits in one breath, and the purple flames responded by expanding greatly! They gradually changed shape, continued to grow, and eventually formed a certain shape! That was an extremely large cross! And tied onto it was — a large eight-headed dragon! It was massive! Its enormous body was around two hundred metres in length! However, I was familiar with that thing! — It was Yamata no Orochi! No wonder it seemed familiar. Just the other day, I fought against the swordsman who was manipulated by it! Walburga stood in front of Yamata no Orochi which was made of purple flames as she said
“—This is my subspecies Balance Breaker: [Incinerate Antiphon Calvario] ♪”
Strada looked at the evil dragon bound to the cross and then said
“I’ve heard about the ability of the current user of the Holy Cross; it changes its shape and features depending on the object which is bound to the cross. Yamata no Orochi has been bound currently, isn’t that right?”
So her subspecies Balance Breaker actually had this kind of ability! After hearing this, the witch said
“Yaegaki-kun’s sword only had half the soul of [Yamata no Orochi] in it, while the remaining half was absorbed by my purple flames. That’s because this Longinus’s true form is an independent type ♪”
…Of all the things to absorb, it was an evil dragon! Using a holy relic to bind an evil dragon’s soul, and then reproducing its power was really quite chaotic! But, although it was an evil dragon, its body was made of the holy relic’s flames. Devils would inevitably be annihilated if they touched those flames. However, there was someone who bravely took a step forward — it was Xenovia. She held Excalibur and Durandal in each hand as she moved forward.
“Allow me. Currently, it should be possible.”
Her expression was full of confidence, as if it was assurance of her bold actions. In the previous fight against Strada, perhaps Xenovia already mastered the true essence of Durandal’s power. But, I’m also going to accompany you! I stood beside Xenovia, and pointed at Walburga as I said
“Now, you’re going to be defeated by us!”
After I said that, I ordered my wyverns to fly ahead! Xenovia stood there quietly, and began raising the power of the two holy swords. I was clearly able to see the extremely dense and concentrated holy aura which enveloped the swords!
“You think that two people alone can do something to me!?”
I dodged the storm of spells that Walburga released as well as Yamata no Orochi’s breath, and then began to increase that power! The opponent was female. Both dress break and pailingual could be used! But, Azazel-sensei had said that Walburga might use magic to defend against those techniques! Well, all I need to do — is break through her magical defences! I ordered the wyverns to surround Walburga! I allowed them to freely soar through the air! Walburga felt annoyed, and wanted to shoot them down with magic. But simply shooting down one or two of them was insignificant! As long as one of them hit her, then it would satisfy the conditions to activate my technique!
The wyverns freely flew around in the air reflecting the witch’s spells as they entangled her, searching for an opening. Finally, one of them lightly touched her shoulder! In an instant, the pattern for my technique appeared on Walburga’s shoulder! —The time was ripe! I injected energy into my right hand, and then cried out!
The voice from my Sacred Gear was emitted loudly! Then, I increased my demonic energy to expand the mysterious space around me!
The technique — surrounded Walburga! Pailingual successfully worked on the witch! After that, Walburga’s oppai began speaking to me about what the witch was thinking.
“After this, I’ll use magic to perform elemental attacks, along with [Yamata no Orochi] to pin down the Sekiryuutei. I’ll look for opportunities at the same time, where I plan to release purple flames onto the [DxD] members who are waiting at the rear.”
—Ah! Although I could understand the plan that Walburga had in mind, the voice of her oppai sounded like a rough, battle-hardened Sengoku warlord!? There were such oppai!? I was dealt a heavy blow! Ah, oh well, it still allowed me to understand what the witch was planning to do! I flew forwards anticipating the witch’s actions, as I shot down all of her elemental magic attacks, thus stopping her attack! Walburga was highly surprised when she realised that pailingual had been used on her!
“This can’t be real!? I’ve been hit by that weird technique!? H-How can that be, this is me!”
Also because the situation was unfavourable for her, she was dealt an even greater shock from my pailingual! That ability was quite strange, I’m really sorry! However, as long as I used it together with Penetrate, it has been invincible against all the female opponents so far! I can anticipate all of your actions! Well, that settles this! I evaded the witch’s spells of various attributes which were even more potent than Rossweisse-san’s, or shot them down with dragon flames, and closed the distance between us in an instant! I hesitantly placed my hand on Walburga; it was a habit!
I coolly shredded Walburga’s clothing apart! Mmm! The shape of her oppai was not very good! A small waist as well as a small butt! I finally did it to this witch! My perseverance and dedication for perversion finally bore fruit!
“Mou, you hentai dragon!”
Despite making such a complaint, even in such a situation, Walburga didn’t attempt to cover up her naked body, and continued to attack me; admire, admire! —Then, Xenovia made an announcement!
“—I’m coming, Ise. This is it!”
Xenovia said so, and then lifted up the two holy swords — although they were releasing a highly concentrated, and dense aura than they ever did before, they were still very stable! Xenovia said
“Because I was unable to control Durandal’s agressive power, I temporarily used Excalibur to control it before. Furthermore, it was also to utilise the various abilities of Excalibur and practice using techniques. However, Durandal’s and my nature — was still beating within me. My original fighting style was true — but, in my blind pursuit of power, I deviated from that nature. After a detour, I re-examined myself again, and have again decided to return to my original style.”
With the sheer power of Durandal + Excalibur Destruction or Ascalon, she previously used a dual wielding style, but after encountering an enemy who she couldn’t defeat with power alone, she also began to use the various techniques and abilities of Excalibur. Although the fighting style she used before me was the same as before; increased power with dual wielding — despite this, the atmosphere surrounding her, and her manner was vastly different to before. Despite having an agressive side, the holy aura was very stable, and didn’t feel dangerous at all. Xenovia overlapped the two swords to form a cross, and then shouted!
“Because of the experiences that I’ve had so far, I’ve been able to return to my origin! They have become a part of my flesh and blood so that I can successfully control Durandal! Come on Durandal, sharpen! Excalibur as well! Together with Durandal, support me by my side, and guide me so that I can advance further!”
The holy aura of Durandal and Excalibur was released! The radiant light which was released from both blades illuminated the entire space, reaching all the way up to the sky! Xenovia lifted the two holy swords which were both encased in an immense holy aura! However, a tremendous burst of fire erupted from the eight-headed evil dragon made of purple flames, attempting to obstruct Xenovia! A fireball of purple flames! Because it was supplemented by the holy aura of the holy relic, its power against a devil would cause a one-hit kill if a direct hit was taken! However, there were reassuring nakama who dealt with it!
“I won’t let you do it!”
Irina and Koneko-chan respectively used Hauteclere and the power of purification to offset the fireball!
<<How could I let you get away with this!>>
Darkness Gasper and Kiba using a dark holy-demonic sword confidently got rid of the rest of the fireballs from the front! That guy Gasper was becoming more and more like a monster!
“We’re also coming!”
“Destruction is the Gremory’s area of expertise.”
The group of three onee-sans Akeno-san, Rias, Rossweisse-san each released Holy Lightning Dragons, bullets with the power of destruction, and magic projectiles, which destroyed the heads of the evil dragon one by one! When it came to destruction, we were experts! At the necks where Yamata no Orochi’s heads were destroyed, purple flames gathered, and it was about to regenerate the heads which it lost. At that time, several lines which were covered in black flames extended towards it!
Saji! The lines which came out from the armour on his hand extended, and tied up the entire body of the evil dragon! The giant body of purple flames was gradually being eroded by the jet-black flames! The curse which could be seen with the naked eye surfaced, and had wrapped around the evil dragon’s purple flame body! Vritra’s curse was very powerful, as soon as it touched a body, it would not be easy to dispel. As the flames inflicted pain, the opponent’s strength and soul would slowly be drained, eventually reducing them to ashes. These lines could strongly attach themselves to the opponent’s body, and absorb their strength, thus people would feel awed by such an ability.
“—Xenovia-san, this is my duty as a vice-president candidate to greet and show my support for you as a candidate for the president. After this, it’s up to you.”
Saji said that to Xenovia as he made a thumbs up pose! Hearing Saji’s joke, she courageously smiled and then replied
“Ah, well, I won’t hold back then! The three of us are a sharp sword! Good, we’ll go together!”
Xenovia formed a cross with the two holy swords which had their holy aura increased, and then released her slicing attack! The torrent of aura could be described as the shape of a large cross, and it boomed forwards! In an instant, everything that lay in its path was divided into two. Finally, the cross sliced apart the gigantic purple flamed [Yamata no Orochi]! It was quite ironic that the Holy Cross, which was a holy relic, was sliced apart by the cross generated from the wave of two holy swords — the wave which cut through the gigantic purple flamed dragon even sliced the artificial space in two, creating a large rift there. Looking into the rift, even the dimensional gap could be seen.
“—Cross Crisis, that will be its name.”
Xenovia made her decision as she said that! Although it was only half a soul, to be able to take down the Holy Cross with an evil dragon, that power was quite extraordinary! However, I couldn’t let Xenovia take the entire spotlight! Well, I also need to land a winning strike!
“…This can’t be real, why have my purple flames been…!”
Walburga was frozen on the spot because of the impact of having her Balance Breaker cut in half by an attack! I relentlessly used the wyverns to increase my power, preparing to fire Crimson Blaster!
“…The evil dragon couldn’t entirely be tied to the Holy Cross…? But, the [Chief mourner] in my body clearly said before that it was possible…!”
Facing the speechless witch, I finished charging up energy, and launched the attack!
[Fang Blast Booster!!!!]
The massive red aura which was fired out from my cannon enveloped the witch—.
Translator's Notes and References
- “neko” means cat, and “ane” means older sister.
- Roland and Oliver are both the original wielders of Durandal and Hauteclere respectively, from the epic poem “The Song of Roland”. Oliver was Roland’s closest friend, advisor and confidant.
- A long and extended battle cry. Probably something like “Yeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh”.
- A reference to characters from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and the mad tea party that is attended by Alice, The Hatter, Dormouse and March Hare.
- “Speranza Bolla di Sapone” is the furigana provided for “Rainbow-coloured Hope”.
- Ane: A term to call one’s own older sister.
- Nakama: Comrade or companion. You’ll probably have heard this in anime a lot.
- Jisan: Means old man.
- Jiji: Also means old man but is a more disrespectful term.
- Pagan Gods: Gods of another religion. In this case, those outside of Christianity.
- Meaning to exacerbate or make things worse.
- The Sengoku period was during the 15th to 17th century in which Japan experienced near-constant military conflict.
- The Chief mourner here refers to the consciousness of Incinerate Anthem, as noted by its other name.
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