High School DxD:Volume 20 Parents

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That night— After hearing Azazel-sensei’s report, the members of [DxD] dispersed first. The day after tomorrow, in order to bring back the siblings Raiser and Ravel Phoenix, they would meet the previously mentioned Maou Ajuka Beelzebub first. After bathing in the large underground bath with Asia, Rias began talking as they walked back up the stairs.

“It really is great that Ravel-san and Raiser-san are safe.”

Asia felt at ease as she placed her hand over her chest. Asia, who was worried not just about Ravel, but Raiser as well, said that for Rias, she was a cute imouto. Rias smiled as she replied

“Eh, it truly is good. Although I really trust onii-sama and Azazel, I still felt that something may have happened to them, but my fears actually turned out to be false.”

Yes, if by chance that it was true…. There was no such thing as certainty in this world. Rias also understood this principle. In the fight against the Hero faction, Rias’s most beloved person — Hyoudou Issei had lost his body. If she recalled the events at the time, it could be considered a miracle that he survived. Originally, even if he died, that would have been understandable. However, something like that happened again. It could have been possible for Raiser and Ravel to have ended up in the worst possible outcome. So when they found out that they were safe, they truly felt happy from the bottom of their hearts. After all, in regards to Raiser, she wanted to defeat him in a professional Rating Game. As for Ravel, as Ise’s excellent manager, she had complete faith in her. If he didn’t have Ravel, Ise also wouldn’t be able to forge ahead smoothly to realise his dreams and ambitions.

Just how did those two people end up with Maou Ajuka Beelzebub? This news was currently confidential, and only a small number of people knew about it, not even all of the high-class Devils knew about it. And there was one thing that prompted further attention. —The whereabouts of Champion Diehauser Belial. Emperor Belial had obviously disappeared along with the Phoenix siblings. Why was there only news about the Phoenix siblings? Exactly where did Emperor Belial go? …The mystery still had not been solved. There still remained a shadow of unrest in Rias’s heart. She understood that this unrest probably pointed in a bad direction. When Cao Cao of the Hero Faction summoned Samael, when they went over to the Tepes Faction, there was always a feeling which couldn’t be expressed with words; in the end, the outcome was tragic every time. Precisely because of this, she had an ominous premonition.

After walking up the stairs, in order to get some drinks from the refrigerator, Rias and Asia walked towards the living room.

“Ara, if it isn’t Asia-chan and Rias-san.”

Ise’s mother was fiddling with something on the table of the living room.

“We just came out of the bath. If I may ask, what are you doing, mother?”

Rias and Asia moved closer to take a look out of curiosity —

“Well, the albums.”

Ise’s mother then picked up and opened a book for Rias and Asia to see.

“Wow, it’s a photo album.”

Ise’s mother had actually laid the living room’s table full of photo albums, and displayed within them were Ise’s childhood photos.

“Ah, that was Ise. I’ve also shown these to you before.”

They had seen them before in Ise’s room, before the incident where they were attacked by Kokabiel. At that time, they accidentally got too excited looking at them. Rias and Asia were both sitting down on the sofa, having each picked up an album to appreciate Ise’s childhood photos. Previously, they were too excited about it, and they didn’t even notice that each of the photo albums had different titles. They said things like [Issei, First OO][1].

“You’ve really recorded every little step of Ise growing up into these.”

Rias quietly said as she smiled softly.

“…This is our only son. No matter what, for us, Ise is our cute child. Which is why I occasionally look at these childhood photos, at that time, he really was cute.”

The words of Ise’s mother made both Rias and Asia feel it. —Ise is deeply loved by his parents. It could be felt not only from how his mother was smiling right now and not only from the many photo albums she had; they could truly feel how deeply she loved and cared for Ise. Suddenly, Ise’s mother’s hand stopped when she saw a certain photo.

“Ah — this one.”

Both Rias and Asia’s gaze focused onto the photo that Ise’s mother was pointing at. It was Ise in primary school. He was holding a fishing rod that was much bigger than himself as he stood there proudly.

“This one…what about it?”

Rias asked Ise’s mother.

“This fishing rod was my husband’s favourite fishing rod back then. He was really interested in fishing. He also taught Ise. Although he hasn’t gone fishing recently, he would often go fishing with Ise by the river or sea when he was younger.”

…This was the first time that they had heard of this story. Ise actually went fishing. Although they knew that he ate the fish that he caught when he was training… Ise’s mother continued

“When he was young, Ise was influenced by his father and went fishing. But one day, he suddenly stopped fishing.”

“What happened?”

Towards Asia’s question, Ise’s mother gave a wry smile.

“The fishing rod in the photo was broken by Ise.”

What Ise’s mother said was — a bad memory of Ise’s childhood.

“While they were fishing by the sea, Ise took advantage of the fact that his father was taking a break, so he took his father’s fishing rod to go fishing without permission. Ise, he really looked forward to using his father’s fishing rod, he wanted to use that fishing rod to catch a large fish so that he would be praised…but in the end, he didn’t use it the right way and broke it. His father was upset, and Ise apologised as he was crying, and at that time it was quite troublesome.”

…Every child would have had this kind of experience when they were young. Rias herself caused trouble when she was young so that she could obtain her parent’s praise, but eventually got in big trouble. Her childhood memories suddenly flashed by, and she couldn’t believe that she used to be like that. Ise’s mother had a slightly lonely expression as she said

“Dad simply told him to be careful, so that it did not happen again and forgave him. But Ise, he…never wanted to go fishing again after that time. Perhaps he never forgave himself. That’s what that child is like. If he made the other person sad, he himself would also feel sad, and he won’t let things go even after an apology.”

“…Ise-san being like that, how should I say it? I can more or less understand.”

Asia earnestly replied. …Indeed, Rias also agreed. He, Ise, was that kind of a person. Every time a tragedy occurred, even if it wasn’t his fault, he would still take responsibility for it. —At such times, if he’s able to do it himself, then he’ll do it; everyone else would feel sad to see it, but he would still insist on reflecting. Ise still hadn’t let go of what happened to Asia. If he was stronger, Asia wouldn’t have died. But because of that, he’s become as strong as he is now.

“…That child, did he do anything to make Asia-chan sad? No, that child definitely wouldn’t have done anything that would make Asia-chan cry. On the contrary, he would feel sad if he couldn’t help Asia-chan.”

—Well …Rias couldn’t say anything. Ise’s mother had always been looking at Ise, and understood Ise very well. She felt that her feelings were no match against Ise’s mother, perhaps it was more fitting to say that his mother was watching Ise far more carefully than she was.

“…You knew that?”

Hearing Asia’s question, Ise’s mother smiled.

“Of course I knew, after all, I am one of his parents. Ise, he’s very overprotective of Asia-chan. Definitely, in that child’s heart, he hasn’t forgiven himself, and still holds a grudge.”

Although Ise’s mother didn’t know their true identity, she was still able to feel the daily changes. This was probably her instinct as his mother. …When there finally came a day when it couldn’t be concealed any longer, Rias had already prepared herself for that. Ise’s mother continued

“It’s the same as Ise no longer fishing. It’s certain that at this time, Ise still hasn’t forgiven himself.”

Ise’s mother raised a finger.

“There’s only one bad habit that Ise hasn’t changed since he was young.”

“What bad habit is it?”

Hearing Rias ask that, Ise’s mother lowered her head and looked at Ise in a photo of when he was younger.

“If he does something wrong, he definitely won’t forgive himself. Simply mentioning that thing will cause him to apologise deeply. And his expression is always the same (pain and regret). You’ll know immediately if you look. Ise’s dad also knows that he has this bad habit. That child will always have that expression.”

…Indeed, he was always apologising ‘I was wrong’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘sorry’ as he was in remorse. Rias recalled that his expression was always the same each time (pain and regret).

“…Rias-san, Asia-chan. Although this isn’t the time to be saying it, let me say it. —Ise, I’m entrusting him to you. He may be perverted and stupid, but he’s an honest person.”

“Yes, ogibo-sama[2].”

“Yes, mother.”

—Ise's mother tightly held the two girl’s hands, as she deeply nodded.

Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. The OO is basically a blank to say that there were many photo albums of “First ____”.
  2. gibo (義母) is basically mother-in-law. Rias says this.
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