High School DxD:Volume 21 Eternal Life
Eternal Life. Amidst the White Snow
The ones fighting against the Trihexa in Europe consisted of the Vali Team, Slash Dog Team, and a legion of Fallen Angels from the Grigori. Following the sudden appearance of the humanoid Trihexa — and after a fierce battle with the [core], it suddenly ceased its movements. Not long before that, “Now is a suitable time” — Azazel had said that. The [core] of Trihexa which was then caught inside a magic circle which had been deployed, and it was stopped. While Vali was puzzled by the scene before his eyes, Azazel quietly activated the magic circle that he had created with his hand. Then, the Trihexa that stood in front of him was surrounded by ten magic circles which glowed with a holy radiance. The light radiated from each of the magic circles connected with each other, forming a shape just like the Tree of Sephiroth. Vali then realised that this was the plan that Azazel had mentioned earlier. An eleventh magic circle then appeared over Trihexa’s head, and the formation became complete. Looking towards that place, god-class beings had imperceptibly appeared all around Trihexa at some point unbeknownst to him, and were now controlling the Tree of Sephiroth. And thanks to them, both Trihexa and the [core] completely stopped moving. Among them were Archangel Michael, along with the Seraphim Raphael and Uriel who were serving as the core members. Their [Brave Saints] also accompanied them by their sides. Michael opened up his twelve wings as he said to Azazel
“Azazel, the preparations here are already complete.”
“Ah, I understand. Are you sure that your side is okay?”
“Yes. The members who will be going have all been unanimously agreed upon. Me, Raphael, Uriel, and our respective [Brave Saints]. Gabriel and the other members of the Seraphim will stay here. In addition, Joker Dulio and the Aces of the Four Great Seraphs will also stay behind.”
“Well, leaving behind those members is also a good decision. On my side…it’s only just me. I’m sorry. There’s a complete lack of human resources on my side.”
“The War and the subsequent disputes afterwards must have made the Grigori considerably exhausted.”
“Well, only because they fought in battle with their lives at stake, does the present exist. Since that is the case, it’s my turn to head out now.”
Azazel directed his eyes towards Trihexa. His eyes were filled with the shine of determination, but a glint of hesitation was also mixed into it.
In response to Vali’s question, Azazel replied
“Hey, Vali. I…after all, I was unable to have a bratty child of my own. But you know, if I had to say that I had a child — presumably, it would be you. And precisely because of this, I was given quite a shock when you joined [Khaos Brigade].”
Azazel’s rather abrupt and forthright words caused Vali to feel a sense of anxiety. Moreover, the sudden unease that he felt from Azazel just then had the possibility of coming to fruition.
“…What are you saying? It’s too strange for you to be saying something like that at a time like this. You’re not the type of man who would say things of that kind at a time like this.”
“No, I’m saying this precisely because it is that kind of time. Heh, well never mind.”
Azazel spread his wings, and then slowly ascended into the sky. A huge crack in space occurred above its head. The crack gradually expanded, and then became like a hole. Its size was sufficient to absorb Trihexa’s entire body. On the other side of the hole was an endless darkness. It seemed quite similar to the Dimensional Gap. Azazel said
“The other side is a specialised sealing field. It’s called the [Isolation Barrier Field]. It incorporates the technology of the Rating Games, the secret techniques of the [Game] that Ajuka Beelzebub designed, Heaven’s Sacred Gear system, the System of God which is responsible for miracles, Rossweisse’s research on barrier techniques, the principles of the Nordic Yggdrasil, as well as the research results that the Grigori has accumulated over the years; all of it has been integrated together to produce a single world. Put in simple terms, it is the product of all of our research to design a cage exclusively for Trihexa. However, Rossweisse has no idea about what we’re going to do with it. If she found out about it, she would definitely be in opposition.”
A dedicated cage. It was also something that even Rossweisse, who assisted with research on Trihexa did not know about. Since they were actually able to produce an object like that, Vali was speechless in response to Azazel, because he always seemed to be adequately prepared. However, Azazel’s conversation with Michael just then was still inciting restlessness within Vali’s heart. Azazel continued
“But there is still one problem. The [Isolation Barrier Field] can certainly be said to be very strong against Trihexa, but it is not absolute. If it is simply sent in there, it will be able to break free from it one day. That’s just the exceptional monster that it is. Therefore, there must be people inside to contain Trihexa.”
Azazel suddenly expanded a magic circle, and halted the movements of Vali and the others. During the battle against Trihexa, its [core], the mass-produced Evil Dragons and the fake Sekiryuutei, all of the members on the ground had consumed too much of their strength, so they were unable to resist Azazel’s restraining technique. With a subtle expression on his face, Azazel continued
“This is a restraining technique that is particularly effective against Sacred Gear possessors. I’m sorry to all of you.”
While all of the members had become paralysed, Azazel continued his job of transporting Trihexa. Trihexa’s enormous body was slowly, yet gradually shifted into the hole that had appeared in the sky above them. At the same time, Azazel and all of the other god-class people in the surrounding area flew towards the centre of the hole. While looking down at Vali below him, Azazel said
“—The leaders of each faction will go there to contain Trihexa. In there, we will continue to fight until it is defeated. Of course, I, Michael and those from his side, as well as Sirzechs’ side all intend to bear this responsibility. The same thing is also happening in the other places which have been attacked.”
Despite Vali’s desperate cries, Azazel still continued
“In fact, we leaders had already made such a decision between ourselves a long time ago. The good news is that, no matter what happened, they all readily accepted my proposal. Odin and Zeus as well, they also agreed. After all, for the guys who are worshipped by humans, they also deeply love humanity. …No, it would be better to say that they understood that without humanity, their own mythologies cannot survive.”
“Well, we’ve always allowed our own believers and the young Devils to do all kinds of hard work. A monster like this which can be described as a legend among legends ought to be up to us to deal with. Naturally, we can also reduce the potential damage this way.”
No. That’s not what I want to hear. In the end, why, why is it you—.
Azazel looked at Vali, who had a bewildered expression across his face, and said while smiling
“That’s why I’m saying, Vali. This is just a temporary farewell. Here, I may be a Fallen Angel, but you are the successor of the Maou. We are all people with long lives, so there will come a day when we meet again. I’m quite sorry about not being able to let you and your stepfather Odin say farewell…but if it was that old man, he’d definitely leave behind a lot of words.”
Not this. Not only this! What I want to be told, and want to hear, is certainly none of this!
Not only was he unable to move, but he was also unable to undo the restraining technique that was cast on him earlier. He clearly understood that right now, while his stamina and demonic energy were depleted, it was impossible to undo the technique. Azazel must have expected that this would happen long in advance, which is why he prepared for it. Azazel ignored Vali’s struggles and continued
“Give my regards to Ise and the others for me as well. I’m also leaving them a message. Under these circumstances, I’m unable to say goodbye directly—”
“It’s obviously possible that you don’t need to go!”
Vali interrupted Azazel’s speech, and shouted out loudly. …Why was it, if it was in the past, he definitely wouldn’t have been able to say something like that…meeting Hyoudou Issei and the others, and after seeing his own mother, Vali felt that a strange emotion was generated within himself. Azazel was currently with Michael and the others as they disappeared into the hole in the sky above along with Trihexa.
It was also like this at that time—.
Snow wafted downwards. Pure white snowflakes quietly floated down from the sky. Vali recalled the scene of that time within his mind. The memory of his first encounter with Azazel. Snowflakes were also falling at that time. Azazel gently said to Vali
“I, we, must do this. Various conflicts have been triggered over the past year, and it was us in the top brass who coerced you, the younger generation to resolve those issues. So at the very end, why not let us do something so that we can uphold our honour.”
In that moment, what he recalled were the memories of the times that he had spent together with Azazel.
For the first time, he taught me how to read and write accurately.
For the first time, he taught me how to use my power as a Devil.
For the first time, I was able to have a conversation with Albion.
For the first time, we went fishing together.
For the first time, he took me for a drive.
For the first time—.
He taught me so many things, and did so many things for me, but in the end, I went off on my own.
Vali could no longer supress the complex emotions within his heart. As Azazel gradually began to disappear into the barrier field that he would seal himself in, he said
“You’ll definitely be alright, Vali. You and your comrades. Even if I’m not around, there are still a lot of other things, right? Although you’re a battle maniac, haven’t you turned into a brat befitting your own age over the past year? Bikou, Kuroka, Arthur, and Le Fay, I’ll leave that guy in your care. Don’t judge him by his appearances, he’s actually quite lonely.”
“…Ah, I already knew stuff like that.”
“…Governor…this way of parting is too mean nya…”
“Leave the concerns of Vali to me.”
He then faced Ikuse Tobio and the others as he said
“Tobio, Lavinia. Thank you also for your team’s work. Lavinia, please convey that to Mephisto for me.”
“…I don’t like such things.”
Ikuse Tobio bowed his head in silence. He…had always been in the care of Azazel. He probably had a thousand things that he wanted to say. Finally, Azazel faced Vali as he spoke his last words
“Vali! In your duel against Ise, in the showdown between the Two Heavenly Dragons, a clear victor must be decided between the rivals, okay? You and Ise are my last and also my best students!”
“See you later.”
The holy radiance before their eyes instantly flashed brighter. Trihexa’s enormous body then disappeared into the hole entirely. At the same time, the god-class people, Azazel, Michael, and the others who were controlling the technique also disappeared—. Left behind were Vali and the others, as well as the white snow that quietly drifted downwards—.
Translator's Notes and References
- Kanji was Tree of Life. This is a symbolic representation of a tree with ten or eleven parts, which each represent a different spiritual concept.
- Kanji was World Tree.
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