High School DxD:Volume 22 Life 1

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Life.1 Those of us that were left behind![edit]

Part 1[edit]

What awaits high school students from the end of February to early March is———the end of semester test period.


I am lying dead on my table after completing all of my tests.


“Ah, the end of semester test period is finally over…..”


I don’t have the energy to think after using my brain beyond its limits…… Since the beginning of this year, no, ever since last year we had been fighting against Qlippoth, which was led by Rizevim the whole time. So doing these tests, a thing which you have to do at certain times actually drains out my energy more than necessary.


……Those monsters didn’t give us the leisure to let us study under peaceful times at all.


Then the Church-trio approach my desk. Asia then says.


“We sure did fall behind in our studies due to the many things that happened to us.”


“We had to continue with our school life even while fulfilling our duties. You sure did overwork yourself.”


Irina says that to me while massaging my shoulders.


“I’m having fun though. Both of them are worth doing.”


The one who answers her in such an energetic manner is Xenovia.


Irina sighs after taking a look at Xenovia who is in high spirits.


“I am also having fun but you have too much energy in you.”


“Fufufu, I am the student council president after all. I won’t be able to do anything if there was no energy in me.”


Xenovia answers in such a manner. She sure did become more energetic ever since she became the student council president.


———Then the usual two dudes appear within my line of sight.


“Oh, Ise! How was the test?”


“Don’t tell me you wrote perverted answers down when answering the questions?”


It was the perverted duo, the glasses and the baldy.


“Oh, Matsuda and Motohama. How did you guys do?”


When I asked, they put on a meaningful smirk.


“Fufufu, did you know we may actually do well this time?”


“Well, we did as much as we could after all.”


They usually cry in agony after the tests. Though this time they have quite the confidence.


However, the smile they had just a moment ago changes into a flow of tears! Then Motohama and Matsuda speak!


“I ended up studying alone with Matsuda of all people because you ignored us every time we called you to study with us! ……Thanks to that we ended up actually learning damn it!”


“I so wanted to study at your place Ise so we could study together with Asia-chan and other girls aaagh!”


T-That’s what happened huh. So they studied together.


I do remember seeing their names appear on the missed calls list on my mobile phone. Though I also had intense battles and so many shocking things happened so I didn’t have the time to be concerned about these two.


They start to make complaints while shedding tears of blood.


“There is Rias-senpai and Himejima-senpai who are the Two Great Onee-samas of our academy as well as the Three Beauties of our class consisting of Asia-chan, Xenovia-chan, and Irina-chan that are all living in your house! On top of that, Toujou Koneko-chan and Ravel Phoenix-chan who are the most popular girls among the first years are also living in your house!”


“Even the beautiful teacher from Northern Europe, Rossweisse-chan, is also home staying at your place! Your place is obviously the best as well as the greatest location to open up a study session, god dammit!”


These guys only have dirty thoughts! Damn you guys! There’s no way I’ll let you study together with Rias and Asia! The only one who can look at the girls staying at my place with a dirty gaze is me! This is a privilege only given to me!


Though it seems like their learning went smoothly thanks to their wish not being fulfilled……!


I inhaled some air and then say this to them.


“……Well, a lot happened to me as well. Y-You know a lot happened because there are many girls from overseas who are staying at my place. I apologise for not answering your calls.”


It is true that the girls at my place were having rough times and it is also true that I was so busy I couldn’t answer their calls. I am not lying!


Then the girl with glasses appeared as the sunlight shined onto her glasses.


“Ah, the unpopular guy and the even more unpopular guy of the Three Idiots are causing a ruckus. Don’t spread your unpopular bacteria to us.”


Motohama and Matsuda who hear her say that bite into her words.


“Curse you, Kiryuu! You called us the unpopular guy and the even more unpopular guy!?”


“Who is who!? You need to make that part very cleaaaaaar!”


The desperate cries of these two lads. Though Kiryuu ignored their words easily like usual……


Then Motohama changes the topic and says this.


“But you know, it sure was a shock. ———About Azazel-sensei, that is.”


…………


……The ORC girls and I became silent.


Matsuda continues.


“Ah, that’s true! I never imagined that he would go back to his country without saying anything.”


Motohama continues after him.


“Those students who adored him seemed like they couldn’t hide their shock. Azazel-sensei’s lessons were really popular after all.”


……Azazel-sensei was the teacher at this academy who quit due to certain circumstances. That’s what was told to the students.


Matsuda asks.


“Ise, you guys know something about this right? He was the supervisor of ORC.”


“Ah, yeah…… Something happened to his family back in his country. We are……also shocked.”


That’s the only answer I have for his question.


……Yeah, Azazel-sensei……is no longer here. ……He isn’t dead but he's gone to a place where he can't be reached.


It appears like the Church-trio are also in deep thought. That's why they also had gloomy expressions.


“…………”


“…………”


“…………”


Kiryuu, who is aware of our identities, obviously knows the real circumstances behind this issue so she works hard to change the mood.


“Now, now, all of you. Don’t make such sad faces. It’s not like we aren’t going to see him ever again, is it?I am sure we will be seeing him in the future. You know the way Azazel sensei is. Maybe he will just settle the issue he has and we might see him when we are walking down the street.”


“Y-Yeah, you are right.”


I also try my best to put on a smile.


……Everyone has been acting like this ever since Sensei left. Rias, Akeno-san, the first year members, and Rossweisse-san have been putting on a sad expression at times.


To tell you the truth I still can’t believe this happened. I can’t help but think he left for his usual long visit and I still think he will pop up from nowhere by saying “Yo! I’m back!” to us.


But this is something which might happen in the future and after an eternity-like wait.


……I obviously do understand the reasons and the circumstances for his disappearance.


———But Sensei. We can’t help but feel lonely……


On top of that, there's the Rating Game World Tournament. I heard there is also my promotion to a High-class Devil……and combining it with Sensei’s disappearance……


If I have to describe my true feelings then I must confess that I am feeling pretty unsettled———




Thus the tests week ended and the new Occult Research Club resumed its usual club activity.


We are currently preparing for the new semester at the clubroom. We, the new ORC members, are checking the schedule as we surround the table.


Kiba then hands the documents to Asia.


“Asia-buchou, these are the programs for the new semester.”


Asia is looking through the documents as she sits on the club president’s seat.


“Thank you. The preparation for the beginning of our new school year and the experience session for the new students joining this school,huh. We really do have a lot of events happening at the start of the new school year as I imagined.”


She’s right. In approximately one month's time the new semester will start and we will all be entering our third year. On top of that, the new first year students will be enrolling in this academy so we need to start to organise the school events once again.


Asia says it emotionally as if she was looking back at her experiences.


“We are finally going to be third-year students. Many things happened this past year but it feels as though the time went through so quickly……”


Yeah, time sure flies.


It’s almost been a year since I became a Devil. I reincarnated into a Devil in April last year……


I can then hear the conversation of the first year trios.


“……We are almost going to become second year students. We are going to have juniors from next month, Gya-kun.”


“I-It will be fine Koneko-chan! Even I should be able to act like their senior!”


Gasper, who is now able to appear in front of people, showed some improvements in his growth but I still don’t know whether he is able to act like a senior to those younger than him. I sure do hope you can show them that you are their senior, Gya-suke.


“We do have to advertise in order to gather members next month.”


Ravel says that as she stores away the documents.


That’s right. That’s also an important duty we need to do so that the club keeps running. However, gathering new members that are ordinary folks for the ORC, which has special circumstances behind it, it is……quite hard. Except, it seems like we still need to recruit people just in case since that’s also part of the school curriculum for clubs.


……I really need to ask Kiba afterwards in details about how they were recruiting new members last year.


Then Kiba says.


“The people that are affiliated with us and are joining this academy are Le Fay-san, Kunou-san, and Tosuka. The former student president Sona……no, it’s probably better for me to start calling her Sona-sama. Anyway, from the Sitri-side there will be Bennia-san who will be enrolling here.”


We actually have quite a number of people affiliated with us that are enrolling here. Furthermore, Le Fay and Bennia want to join this club. Kunou also seems like she will be coming here after school when her grade school classes finish for the day.


Though the one who I’m most surprised with among those transferring here is———


“I see, so Tosuka-san decided to enroll here.”


Kiba acts kind of shy when I ask him.


“Though she will be enrolling in middle school. I am sure she will be coming here after school so I hope everyone can get along with her.”


Even she decided to transfer! Not many days passed since she started living in Japan. But apparently she stated that she wishes to attend a normal school just like Kiba. There was no way Rias wouldn’t allow this so Tosuka-san’s transfer to this school was approved right away.


I am sure she may find a bit difficult going to her first school ever, plus in a country she isn't used to yet———


“Then we will all support her.”


Everyone nods hearing my opinion. No, even if I didn’t say that everyone here will help Tosuka-san anyway. After all, this is the place where those from all sorts of forces gather and live friendly together.


Then Xenovia speaks as if something came to her mind after listening to Kiba.


“……I guess we should also be concerned about how we address our seniors. Rias……-sama? I’m sure Asia will call her “Onee-sama” but I’m quite concerned in how to address her in front of everyone in our group now. Or should I also call her “Onee-sama”……?”


Rias, Akeno-san, and the former student president Sona will be graduating soon. I guess it would be weird calling them “former club president” or “former student president”…… What Xenovia is saying is very true. Right now Asia is the club president and Xenovia is the student council president.


I then ask Kiba, Koneko-chan, and Gasper.


“I’m sure Kiba, Koneko-chan, and Gasper will experience the most difficulties in figuring out on how to call her from now on, right?”


The three of them are currently calling her “former club president” or sometimes “buchou” due to their past experience. But they may need to rethink on how to call her after she graduates. If those who join here hear them calling her buchou then they would might be confused in understanding who's the club president or the student council president.


———Then Kiba, Koneko-chan, and Gasper all turn red and then say this.


“……To tell you the truth, we already decided on how to call her. Well, we will start using it once she graduates.”


“……Yes, we will change how we address her once she graduates. W-We will also need to discuss it with Ise-senpai afterwards.”


“T-This is a momentous decision for me~!”


Hmm, the three of them are acting so embarrassed but it seems like they know how they will address Rias after her graduation. Now then, looks like I will need to ask them later on what they are planning to do.


……Oh well, it’s not just about the transfer students and Rias’s graduation;the spring season is also approaching so there will be many changes.


Those changes will bring a turnaround in our life———. Obviously there's the issue about myself becoming a High-class Devil and beyond that, but it is also the time where we need to continue with our life while having a view of what we will be doing in the future.


I say it while looking outside through the window.


“Well, I guess we are at that time of the year…… We need to think a lot about the future. It will be college for me after graduating. Well, I guess it’s no different for all the second years here. But did all of you decide on what you will do after that? I guess I didn’t ask you guys about it much.”


Basically what they will do after graduating from college. All the members here will most likely go on to study at college but I guess I didn’t ask them much about what they will do after that.


Kiba then says.


“I am planning to save up money while helping former club-president Rias with her work.”


“Saving? Are you planning to start something?”


Kiba then makes a gesture using both his hands. A gesture like he is mixing something inside a bowl.


“Yup, I started to think it might be a good idea to open a cake shop in Kuoh town. Well, since we have a long Devil life we can do anything, though you would need funds to do so.”


So he has the ambition of starting a cake shop! Yeah, Kiba being the owner of a cake shop actually might suit him. Furthermore, the cakes he makes are———


“Since the cheesecake I make is Ise-kun’s favourite, it might be a good idea to make sure you can eat it anytime you want to.”


That’s what Kiba says. Yeah, the cheesecakes he makes are absolutely delicious.


Kiba is quite skilled with his hands and he’s good at any kind of cooking. So he might be able to do various things aside from baking.


Xenovia then says.


“I……want to focus on a teaching career.”


So that’s your goal huh. Well, that sure is unexpected……no,actually it isn’t. She did study a whole lot ever since she aimed to become the student council president so the image of her being a muscle-brain actually got weaker.


“I started to think it might be a good idea to make a cram school in the human world and in the Underworld for students aiming to progress into the upper education level. Well, I don’t have a clear vision about it yet, so the idea it’s still vague.”


Xenovia starting a cram school! That’s a shocking ambition coming from her……but like Kiba said we have a long Devil life so there’s no loss in coming with many plans. Even I can’t imagine what new ambition I will have in hundred years’ time.


Irina puts on a complicated expression and tilts her head after hearing Kiba and Xenovia share their future plans.


“Hmm, the peers around me unexpectedly have been thinking about their career paths after graduating and also thought about their future.”


“Irina, will you be working in an industry related to the Gremory in the future……actually I guess you wouldn’t. Will it be related to Heaven?”


I ask. The Gremory will obviously welcome not only us with open arms, but also Irina, who's our comrade,will be warmly welcomed if we ask them. Though if you think logically, Irina will obviously seek for a job related to the Church.


Irina then says.


“I am planning to go to the college division of Kuoh academy. Though I still haven’t decided on whether I will be working in a place affiliated with the Church or to do something else. I am allowed to do anything I wish as long as I gather at the emergency meetings. Even so, I won’t know what will happen few years in the future…… Except———”


Irina suddenly turns silent. She then continues in a low voice while acting shy.


“……I……am thinking that it might be fun to start a bakery shop in the future.”


Wow wow! So Irina is starting a bakery shop! She did take care of that home bakery machine delicately so maybe she wanted to make a genuine bread?


Xenovia then continues.


“Yeah, I was shocked when I saw you write that on the sheet asking us about what career path we wanted to take. You want to start a proper bakery shop, right?”


Irina nods.


“Yes. To tell you the truth I have been studying about it lately. I’m learning under Rias-san and Akeno-san’s supervision. ……Please wait a bit longer and it'll appear on the dining table.”


Hmm, I’m looking forward to that.


Rias and Akeno-san can bake bread as well. The truth is we have a bakery-type oven installed at the Hyoudou residence. We also have a pizza oven on the rooftop.


Xenovia then says this while putting on a provoking smile.


“By the way, Irina’s second option was ——— becoming a bride. Though she erased it right away.”


Even Asia becomes all bright at hearing this.


“That is a wonderful dream!”


Irina grasps hold of Xenovia’s head.


“H-Hey, Xenovia! D-Don’t go around telling everyone about it!”


Everyone has smiles on their face at seeing Irina becoming all embarrassed.


Oh my. That sure is a princess-like dream she has there. Or should I say a dream any girl would have? It sure is reassuring to hear such a dream when we are talking about future. Man, it really does feel as if we are living in a peaceful world again.


However, Irina sighs deeply.


“Except, starting a bakery is a bit difficult unlike becoming a bride.”


“Why’s that?”


Irina then answers me.


“I guess it’s because the condition of the Heaven is pretty unstable right now. The higher-ups seem like they want to fill the Seraphs and higher-up’s seats in the future. So it seems like they will be asking powerful reincarnated Angels to fill in those roles too. This is what my papa told me. He said that there’s plenty of chances for them to ask me in the future, since I am fighting on this land. If that happens I won’t have the time to start a bakery. For Heaven. For the Church. And for our followers. I may have to put all my efforts in fulfilling my duty then. It really is an honorable position but it will also bring high expectations and obligations.”


[…………]


Everyone puts on a serious face at Irina’s words.


……Yeah, I did feel reassured at the peaceful talk we just had. But we haven’t fixed all of the aftermath of the battle now known as the War of Evil Dragons. The main forces of each faction headed out to fight a very long battle against Trihexa and you could pretty much say that each force lost a lot of power as well. So the matter becomes serious from here on. Even Heaven lost several Seraphs, which were their core members, and many Angels died in the various battles. So even Irina would be sought for assistance from the Heaven from now on. That battle definitely affected our future path.


Trihexa and the Evil Dragons went on a rampage in the territory of each of the forces. They also showed up in the human world where they destroyed several islands, armies, and nature. The casualties the human world received weren't as severe as the damage dealt in the territories of the mythology factions. I heard that thanks to the efforts of God-class individuals of each faction, who were giving their all in repairing and restoring their territories, the damaged territories are returning to their original state.


Though it won’t be that easy in regards to the lives lost in that battle. The God-class beings that took damage are forced to spend a long time for their return. It was already bad enough by losing the leading Gods of each force against the battle with Trihexa.


Likewise for the humans. ……I wonder just how many lives were lost because of Trihexa’s attack. No, just how many humans lost their lives since Rizevim started wreaking havoc……


Though people are saying the casualties we received were much lighter than what we expected for the worse…… I, no, we attained many things by getting involved in a large-scale war for the first time but we also lost an equal amount of things.


…..And the Rating Game World Tournament is about to happen under such circumstances.


From what Rias heard in the Underworld the joint top brass of the tournament organising committee are Ajuka Beelzebub-sama and ———Shiva the God of Destruction from the Hindu mythology. This news spread like fire among each forces.


The God of Destruction, who never took action no matter what, chose to be part of the World Rating Game tournament organising committee. That's something no one would have predicted.


The tournament committee has already started gathering registrations and participants.


There are obviously criticisms in starting a game in a situation like this. There have been voices about their intentions from many parts of the world.


However there are those that have showed interest in participating right away from various parts of the world. This is what they said in the interview that happened in the Underworld.


———This is a chance we can’t ask more for. We were given the stage where the legendary beings are allowed to clash head on officially. We do understand the criticism. But don’t you want to see it? The Angels and the Devils. Just which one is stronger? The Norse Gods and the Greek monsters. What will happen when they go head on?


This interview spread among each forces and it stimulated the curiosity and the battling spirits of many people.


The match-ups you could only imagine or dream about. It has become officially “approved” so the number of those who want to see it are increasing each and every day it passes by.


And also one more thing. The winning prize. This is something unbelievable so this also brought the curiosity of the participants greatly.


Obviously the number of participants has increased after the announcement.


Even we……are burning with desire at hearing that interview. I’m sure it’s the same for Vali and Sairaorg-san———


There’s a rumour that the tournament steering committee is planning to put some energy into the people by getting them heated up by showing them the matches of the upcoming tournament. I also heard that the money profited during the tournament, such as ticket sales, will be donated to the repair fund of all forces.


What’s shocking is that the tournament fund will be coming from the pocket money of the Maou-samas, the Grigori leaders, and Shiva. I’m sure the prize money will have crazy figures, since it'll be coming from Sirzechs-sama and Azazel-sensei’s inheritances (the pocket money and inheritance will obviously go to the restoration of each forces).


……To send the money gained from the tournament to the restoration funds huh. If the higher-ups of the Underworld that are currently being prosecuted for their crimes were involved, then it would be totally fishy. Though I guess I can trust this one since Ajuka-sama and others are working behind the scenes.


……I ended up thinking about the complicated stuff. Uggh, I sure did get a weird habit ever since I reincarnated into a Devil. I feel that I started to ponder more about thing than I used to in the past.


Kiba then says it and changes the topic.


“Well, right now the main issue is Ise-kun’s future……or more like the promotion since it will also be a major event for us too.”


“You are right. Who would ever have thought that he would be promoted to a High-class Devil within one year. To be expected from the man I thought highly of. It sure is.”


Xenovia continues after Kiba by saying that.


That’s right. The achievement I attained during the War of Evil Dragon——— such as beating Rizevim and defeating Apophis. Because of that the number of people that want me to be promoted has increased drastically. The higher-ups of the Devils approved it and it was finally decided (the truth is there are talks about the members of our group that are Low-class Devil getting promoted to a Mid-class Devil).


There’s going to be a High-class Devil promotion ceremony for me in the Underworld and I am currently receiving words of applause and gifts which are being sent to my house from the people with high positions.


The High-class Devil which I have been yearning for so much———. I will be given the right to create my own group.


…………


……I, who was in high spirits by strongly shouting out my lecherous ambition. “I’m going to be a High-class Devil and create a group full of girls and become a Harem King!”. What came to my mind when I fulfilled that ambition of mine was…..happiness which also came with the realisation that you cannot attain everything with satisfaction.


……I attained many things by coming this far but it’s not like I didn’t lose much because of it. Perhaps attaining something means losing something as well.


……Azazel-sensei, even a bit of word would had been fine. I truly wanted to get some advice from you.


———Am I allowed to become an Harem King? Am I allowed to drown in a sea of breasts?


Maybe I need to act while keeping in mind about my surroundings even more in order to become both a professional adult and Devil?


……Hey, Sensei? What would you say if you saw me now?


Such complicated thoughts are going through my head every day lately. And it seems like everyone knows that as well.


Perhaps Irina read my mind so she asks me while looking into my face.


“It’s been on my mind for a while but it seems like you have mixed feelings about it, don’t you?”


I say it while exaggerating my joy.


“W-Well, I am happy about it. I’m super happy and I feel honoured!”


But I tell them my true thoughts. They are my comrades after all.


“But……if it looks like I’m having mixed feelings about it in your eyes then I have to say that you are right about it. ……Too many things happened and even if I do understand that with my brain, I still find a part of me not accepting the past events. I have a cloudy feeling. It doesn’t feel like it’s happening for real. It feels like I’m experiencing someone else’s life, even the part which involves myself.”


Others also put on a complicated look when they listen to my words.


Asia got off from her club president’s seat to approach me and then she held my hand. She says it with a smile.


“I wouldn’t be able to solve all of Ise-san’s concerns……but I do feel honoured that Ise-san will become a High-class Devil. Therefore, I want to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. ———Congratulation, Ise-san.”


———!


……I became so emotional at Asia’s warm and straightforward words. I hug Asia on the spot!


Ah, my Asia-chan makes me feel relieved simply by saying things like these! Yeah, a simple remark of congratulation like this unexpectedly goes straight into your heart.


While we are doing such things, Ravel acts like a good manager and says it in a calm manner.


“However, even if it doesn’t feel like reality there will be many people appearing before your eyes. You may feel the sense of being a High-class Devil from such situation. You will most likely become the most anticipated High-class Devil rookie in the whole Underworld.”


Many people will……come before me huh. ……And being anticipated huh. Though that means I have to be aware of possible enemies as well……


If there are those that finds it painful in the freedom I seek for, then it means there are those that won’t be happy at my promotion.


Yeah, it looks like I will have more troubles to face than before. It’s nostalgic when I remember about a year ago when I was aiming to become an Harem King with simply lecherous thoughts. To myself a year ago: You know that you won’t be going through only fun times to become a High-class Devil?


Damn! I simply want to think about breasts! I’m going to jump into Rias’s breast when I get back home! No, it might be a good idea to get spoiled by Akeno-san too!


———Truly, “What does it mean to become a High-class Devil?”!


I am currently going through a lot of concerns———.


It happens then. There’s a sudden knock to the door. Asia answers by saying “Come in”.


Who is it? When everyone looks in suspicions———the one who comes in by opening the door is one male student.


“Pardon me. Is Kaichou———oh, you are here after all.”


As he says that he breathes out the air from his mouth when he finds Xenovia.


He then walks towards Xenovia while letting his footsteps resonate.


“Xenovia-kaichou, you are here. I have completed the report from before so I want you to confirm it.”


The male students who hands out the document to Xenovia. I……think I’ve seen him before. More like he’s quite known among the students.


Xenovia responds to the boy in a familiar manner.


“Ouryuu. Alright, show me.”


She calls the boy with that name and looks through the documents after receiving them.


The boy looks at all of us and looks at the whole room as if it’s a rare sight.


Xenovia realises it and then asks him.


“Oh, haven’t you introduced yourself to everyone here yet?”


The boy takes a breath again as he smiles.


“Yes, and it’s almost about a month since you told me you would introduce me to everyone, Kaichou.”


Xenovia makes a bitter smile.


“Sorry, I totally forgot.”


Xenovia makes the boy stand right next to her and introduces him to us.


“He’s the secretary of our student council who is a first year and———”


“Nakiri Kouchin Ouryuu is my name. I have heard many rumours about all of you.”


———As such, the first year student called Nakiri Kouchin Ouryuu, who is the secretary of the student council, introduces himself to us.


We already knew his name when the members of the new student council were announced and I also saw this boy when Xenovia was walking through the corridor while having the new members of the student council walk behind her. The name and the face matches.


……Though there was a part of his name I didn’t know about……


“It sure is a long name.”


I couldn’t help myself but say that.


Nakiri gives me a brief explanation.


“Kouchin is my posthumous name. It’s basically like a middle name. So just Nakiri Ouryuu is fine.”


Ah, I think I heard people from old times using such names.


Ravel and Gasper who are also first year responds to Nakiri’s entrance.


“It’s rare to meet you here.”


“Hello, Nakiri-kun.”


Nakiri also responds to them by raising his hand.


“Yo, the usual trio.”


Ah, so he knows them. There’s a connection among the first years that I don’t know about.


“……Kohchin, are you working?”


Koneko-chan asks while eating a stick-like sweet.


“Yeah, I have business with President. Also, please stop calling me that name with that intonation…… I hate it because it sounds like Nagoya Kohchin.”


Nakiri says it while acting a bit depressed.


……So he has the nickname called Kohchin huh. Well, it’s a bombastic name but his middle name really has a bell to it which is easy to make a nickname for him.


Asia and Irina also responds to Nakiri.


“Nakiri……wasn’t it one of the five clans?”


“It’s the leading clan, wasn’t it? On top of that his name is “Ouryuu” which is the same name of the Spiritual Beast which represents the Nakiri clan……”


Nakiri nods.


“Yes, I’m the heir of the Nakiri clan. Currently, that is. ……Well, four years ago the previous “Ouryuu” caused trouble with the Hakuryuukou and Ikuse Tobio-san……”


The heir!? T-This guy!? The heir of Nakiri clan which is the leading clan of the five clans…… Man, I did think that he has a special position within the Nakiri clan but who would have ever thought he would be the heir…… I sure do encounter many heirs of noted families……


And did something happen to the previous “Ouryuu” four years ago? Hmm, I’m really intrigued by it. I might ask Vali next time.


Four years ago is when Vali met Tobio-san and back then I heard the Grigori as well as the groups full of special power users were in quite a mess.


Xenovia crosses her arms and nods.


“Ouryuu is quite amazing. After all, he is given a special position under the Maou Ajuka Beelzebub. Wasn’t it the search for the remaining Longinuses?”


———!


……This is a shocking revelation. Seriously? Searching for the remaining Longinuses under Ajuka Beelzebub-sama. Is it perhaps the rumoured two types———the “Innovate Clear” and “Telos Karma”? It caught my interest.


Then is he perhaps involved in the mobile phone “game” that’s created by Maou-sama?


Nakiri says it with a mixed look.


“……How should I put it. That person put me in charge of the complicated stuff so he assigns me with such reckless tasks……”


……Looks like he went through experiences which can’t be explained in one sentence.


“Oh well, ask me anything when you want to. My comrades and I will help.”


I simply told him that. I won’t feel good if someone I met gets dragged into trouble and gets hurt.


Nakiri replies honestly by saying, “Yes, when something happens in the “game”, then I will definitely contact you.”


———Then Nakiri comes and stands in front of me and then says it after fixing his posture.


“Hyoudou Issei-senpai of the Sekiryuutei.”


“Y-Yeah, what’s up?”


Nakiri suddenly bows his head to me.


“The truth is I see you as my role model. You possess the Longinus of Welsh Dragon in you while you are just a normal high school student. But even though you were put into so many dangerous situations you overcame all of them. ———I wish to live like you by attaining a power that I can use to fight against my own destiny.”


Nakiri who stands straight again has this expression. ——— A serious expression with clear and straight eyes.


…………O-Oh man, it’s embarrassing! To have him say that straight to my face! I-It sure does feel itchy to be said that from a boy younger than me!


I then say this while waving my hands.


“You are flattering me too much. I simply tried to cope with the unreasonable kind of situations which fell on me.”


“That’s the thing I am impressed about. Hyoudou-senpai, there’s many things I wish to learn from you. Please tell me if something happens. I shall become the support of all of you. I’m sure Ajuka-san will allow it too.”


D-Does he have some kind of weird feeling towards me? When I look at Xenovia,


“Ouryuu wanted to meet you for a long time, Ise. I always forgot of it when I kept on making promises to him. So he was able to finally meet you today.”


……So he basically made an excuse of finding Xenovia to hand her the documents in order to come here?


I-I’m really embarrassed. This is more nerve-wracking than to have a girl say something which makes you skip a beat! It’s a different kind of feeling I get from Gasper who is also a male and is my junior!


“Thanks. I will definitely remember that.”


———That’s the best I could say.


Then Xenovia whispers into my ear.


(If something really happens then we should call him. Ise, Ouryuu is truly strong. He’s in a different league among those with special powers.)


(Seriously?)


He is the heir of Nakiri that is the leading clan of the Japanese special power users. It’s natural that he is strong despite his young age.


I’m also curious about Ajuka Beelzebub-sama’s “game” so maybe I should try it through Nakiri’s connection?


When I was thinking about how I should get along with my junior———we hear a knock on the door again.


The one who comes in this time is a crimson-haired beauty. ———It’s Rias!


This is what Rias says soon as she comes in.


“Is Ise here———? Oh, there you are.”


Rias confirms my presence.


“Hmm? You need me?”


I point at myself where Rias nods her head and then says this.


“Yes, there is a guest waiting for you. ———Come to the Kuoh town’s underground with me.”


It seems I will come to experience straight away what Ravel said before about many kinds of people appearing in front of me if I am to become a High-class Devil.




I, who left the club work to Asia and Kiba, visited one of the spaces which exists in Kuoh town’s underground together with Rias and Ravel.


What I saw is———a Dragon which measured ten metres high. That Dragon has an appearance which looks familiar and the aura I feel around him is also familiar.


The Dragon bows his head and is pretty much lying flat on the ground when he sees me.


“This is my first time coming before your eyes. I am the third son of the Blazing Meteor Dragon Tannin and Bova is my name.”


———!


……I am shocked at the Dragon’s words. He’s old man Tannin’s kid!? No wonder his appearance and aura felt similar to his! His appearance surely reminds me of old man Tannin and his aura is identical to him!


Bova, who is the third son of Tannin, speaks once again.


“I came here to ask you for a request, Sekiryuutei of the Blazing Truth———Hyoudou Issei-sama. ———I have come as I eagerly want you to accept me as your retainer!”


M-My retaineeeeeeeeeeeer!?


……T-This is unexpected and I also am quite unsure about this, to the point that I don’t know how to react to this……


Ravel, who is standing next to me, whispers into my ear.


(He’s a famous ruffian in the Underworld where he received a disparaging name called “Bova the Destroyer”. He’s well known for his bad attitude which makes you think he possibly couldn’t be the son of Tannin-sama when his father is respected by the Dragons.)


This time Rias whispers into my other ear.


(Except, it’s true that he’s called the strongest among Tannin-sama’s children.)


……”Bova the Destroyer”! The Underworld’s ruffian! But he’s also the strongest among old man Tannin’s kids!


……More like this is my first time finding out that old man Tannin had kids. No, it wouldn’t be strange if he had kids but……the old man also had a wife huh. And it seems like he has many kids.


And old man Tannin’s third son came all the way here to Kuoh town and said he wants to become my retainer.


……H-Hmm, I don’t know how to answer since this is so abrupt! Maybe I should consult with old man Tannin? No, it feels like his third son came here in secret and it seems like this talk will go somewhere else if I talk to his parent.


……I already have my hands full due to many things happening to me including the new semester, the new grade level, and the promotion to a High-class Devil. I guess there will be more issues coming at me from now on which will make me have more concerns……


“Hmm, so by that you mean……you want to become my servant?”


When I ask, the old man’s third son becomes really surprised and waves his hand to reject my assumption.


“Oh no! I’m not here to ask you for such a big role! I have heard you will become a High-class Devil! And I also heard that you have the ambition to form your group with only female servants once you get promoted! That rumour has already reached my ear so there’s no way I can allow myself to ask you for that! Except, it would be my greatest joy if you would allow me to stand beside you as your mere subordinate and as your soldier!”


He bows his head even further and he’s flat on the ground again.


……He seems like a strong Dragon and he already has an amazing status of being old man Tannin’s son. So it’s hard for me to react since he’s acting so stiff towards me~


The Dragon———, Bova, says further to push his request.


“Can you please allow me to stand beside you?”


This guy is also looking straight into my eyes just like Nakiri did before.


…………Oh man, just look at the situation I am in. What am I supposed to do? That’s the only words coming into my head. ……I really have been saying I’m “troubled” or “oh man” since before.


“How about it, Ise?”


Rias tries to confirm with me. If he was simply my guest, then Rias, who is my master, would have sent him off and would have told him to come another day…… Bova came to rely on me who will become a High-class Devil. Rias asked me by understanding that.


……Not becoming my servant but my subordinate huh. Well, once you become a High-class Devil you will also have a retainer and henchmen besides your servants. Even if they aren’t a direct servant, there are many workers and soldiers at the Gremory castle. And he’s saying he’s okay with being one of my soldiers.


———Not becoming my “Pawn” but simply my soldier.


“……Is it okay for me to give you my answer once I become a High-class Devil?”


That’s the best answer I can give him right now.


In the end, Bova became convinced with my words and returned home……


……From now on I will be getting more juniors at my school and once I become a High-class Devil I need to think about my other subordinates and not just my servants.


I have so much troubles going through my head and Rias says it as she smiles to me.


“Being a High-class Devil is something full of concerns you know?”


She then holds me gently.


“But your senior and your manager are always beside you so you can consult us anytime, okay?”


……Yeah, she’s right. That’s absolutely right. Fortunately, I have Rias and Ravel behind me. So I don’t have to be concerned just by myself, right……?


Ravel takes my hand and smiles.


“She’s right. Ise-sama, you have been putting on a difficult expression all the time lately. Please consult with us when you are concerned. I also come from a High-class Devil household you know?


Yeah, I have many comrades and High-class Devils around me.


Too many things happened which made it hard for my brain to keep up with. But I can simply ask my “seniors” when I’m in doubt.


Just a bit is fine———. I can simply take it step by step and come to understand it bit by bit.


———Azazel-sensei.


I will do my best!

Part 2[edit]

It happens the next weekend.


All of us living in the Hyoudou residence came to the ocean, an inhabited island. In order to have a fishing run, that is.


“Alright! I sure am going to fish them out! Ask me anything when you need a word of advice!”


[Yeah~!]


My comrades (mainly ORC members) respond to my dad’s words.


That’s what my dad, who's the one in charge, said in high spirits as he is the one who came up with the idea to go fishing.


Yes, yesterday during dinner the fishing topic my dad started became an hot topic so we decided to go fishing immediately after listening to his passionate talk.


Everyone was eager to do so therefore everything happened smoothly after many preparations.


So that’s how I ended up coming here to the beach together with everyone. By the way this inhabited island belongs to someone related to us and they say that you can catch many good fishes around here.


“……Geez, he’s in high spirits like a child.”


I’m feeling a bit embarrassed at how my dad is behaving. Well, its normal to feel embarrassed if your own dad acts like a child in front of your comrades!


“Tell me when you get hungry. I’ve prepared rice balls and snacks.”


———Mum says that as she points at the large basket. Mum sets up the parasol on the beach of the inhabited island to make a base. Rias and Akeno-san are also helping her.


Yup, I can just go where mum is waiting when I want to take a small break.


Dad isn’t the only one in high spirits. There are many girls that are keen in fishing ever since we planned to do this today.


Xenovia and Irina are in high spirits and are carrying their fishing rod from their shoulders.

“Xenovia! Let’s have a challenge to see who of us can catch the most fish!”


“Bring it on, Irina!”


Xenovia and Irina went sprinting through the beach to find a fishing spot while dragging Asia with them.


“I will catch them while diving into the beach.”


Rossweisse-san headed towards the sea in her wetsuit while carrying a harpoon with her. Rossweisse-san sure do acts in amusing ways sometimes. Ah, but catching them while diving into the sea doesn’t seem a bad idea either.


Besides, there's an interesting bunch of lads with us today.


“Well, I never imagined that you will be joining us today.”


The one standing in my sights is———the Vali team!


“Fu, doing things like this at times might not be a bad idea.”


Vali smirks as he prepares his fishing rod.


Dad explained about his fishing plan and invited Vali who happened to visit the Hyoudou residence in coincidence. Then what happened was a surprise! Vali brought Bikou and Arthur with him when they all appeared in the Hyoudou residence this morning!


……I am confused by the Vali team’s action at times. They want to go to many places. I even come to think that they are normal adventurers at times.


Right beside us are Kuroka, Koneko-chan, Ravel, Gasper, and Valerie who have formed a group and are currently finding their own fishing spots.


“Shirone! Birdie-chan! Gya-kun and Valerie! Do your best! I will eat the delicious fish once you catch them –nyaan~”


Koneko-chan responds to Kuroka with a dumbfounded look to Kuroka who has no intention of fishing.


“……We definitely won’t give any fishes to Onee-sama.”


Ravel is spinning around the reel in excitement.


“I have never been fishing before.”


“It’s my first time too~”


“Ufufu, I will just be cheering Gasper on then.”


Gasper seems to be enjoying himself and Valerie is also smiling happily while wearing a straw hat.


Valerie succeeded in retrieving all of the Holy Grails into her body. The Grigori did a checkup for her and now she’s able to walk outside normally like this.


It seems like the pendant which was made from a fragment of the actual Holy Grail is continuing to give effect to the “Sephiroth Grail” which returned to its original state. The Grigori made the report that as long as she doesn’t extensively overuse her ability then it won’t affect her mentality.


In other words Valerie can finally walk outside without any concern.


……Yeah, there were many difficulties but we were able to overcome them like this. We are now able to go fishing with everyone like this because I was able to take back my dad and mom back from Rizevim’s grasp.


———Then another heartwarming scenery appears within my vision,


Le Fay is acting shocked at the fishing rod.


“Onii-sama, I-I don’t think I can attach the bait onto the hook.”


“It can’t be helped then. I will do it for you. But remember that a witch shouldn’t be afraid of an insect, okay?”


Arthur responds to Le Fay as he made a brotherly smile to her, who is afraid of the insect which will act as bait.


Being able to see such a thing is possible only thanks to this trip. I really need to thank my dad.


While such heartwarming thing was happening, Bikou is———


“Hehehe, well, going fishing in such a big group isn’t that bad. Oi, why don’t you dive into the sea and catch us some fish as well?”


“…………”


He taunts Fenrir and then———


“Ouuuuuuuuuuuuch! You bit me you damn wolffffff! Your fangs aren’t a simple joke dammit!”


He got himself bitten remarkably.


Perhaps slapping Fenrir on his head brought this result.


“Tosuka, that’s the sea.”


“Woah, it’s all water!”


I watch over Kiba and Tosuka-san that are enjoying the sea peacefully and then proceed to go around the island to find my fishing spot. I haven’t done fishing since my survival training so it’s been a long time.


……I’ll have myself enjoy fishing which I have forgotten for a long time.


———And the surprising person who walks besides me is,


“I’ll tag along with you for today.”


Vali is coming with me! I really am surprised!


And like this a strange fishing competition between Vali and I began.




Vali and I started to fish at the seashore located in the opposite direction from the base site mom made.


“Oh, looks like you caught your first one.”


Vali who is fishing just a bit away from me got his first hit.


Vali then says.


“Azazel took me fishing quite often. Well, it sure did become handy during camp.”


“I see. Azazel-sensei did mention about his fishing experience.”


“…………”


“…………”


A silent time follows right after our discussion. We try to find the right time to communicate while fishing.


Few minutes later the one who speaks first is Vali.


“It’s almost time for your High-class Devil promotion ceremony huh.”


“Yeah, it’s the day after tomorrow.”


Yeah,my High-class promotion day is coming up soon. I would never have imagined it would happen this soon when they told me about this news…… I can’t help but think the higher-ups wanted to get this over and done with right away.


They may want to use me soon as they promote me or they may want to send me to do another task. Or maybe both. There’s no way to find out their intentions.


Well, I heard that the higher-ups lost their place soon as the cheating scandal in the Rating Game was revealed. Ajuka Beelzebub-sama also prosecuted their mistakes strongly and has been capturing them and revealing the crimes they committed. There are many people with authority that lost their place and were forced to resign their post than we all imagined due to this incident. So there’s no doubt this will greatly affect the political world, the business community, the human world, and many other departments.


Though there have been certain solutions prepared already to minimise the impact it will cause. So they have assigned even Reincarnated Devils that has potential and are trustworthy from each specialist to each department and left them in charge, giving them free rein in how they will operate and work.


Those who had the ability in specific department but couldn’t join there due to the geezers from the old Devil’s era can finally release their true potential……huh.


The Reincarnated Devils that were gifted with ability but couldn’t work in the department they excel in due to the politics. The ones who listed their names up and recorded them on the lists were the Four Great Satans.


They had been checking for dozens to hundreds of years in order to have them work when a big opportunity were to arise and now those Reincarnated Devils were left in charge at specific departments.


……The Underworld is going to change. No, it needs to change.


———If we are the ones that are able to change it then I can’t ask for an honorary task more than this.


……And my promotion to a High-class Devil is going to be the first step to reach that goal.


I then say it to Vali.


“I’m going to take a day off from school for the promotion ceremony. It can’t be helped since that’s the only day which suits everyone. ……Well, I’m actually really nervous. They are saying that many people will come and there will also be television cameras. I still can’t believe this is happening.”


My promotion to a High-class Devil is being announced even outside of the Underworld so even the other forces knows about it. I hear that many requests for news coverage are being sent to the Gremory castle every day from all the television studios of the Underworld.


They said that a High-class Devil promotion has never been so anticipated as this so it feels it’s not happening in this world where I can’t seem to sense the feel of reality at this.


But Vali says it to me with a serious face.


“This is only natural to happen. You are the hero who saved the Underworld several times already. It isn’t strange for not just the Underworld but also for the other forces to pay attention to you. There’s nothing to be nervous about since the ceremony will end in the blink of an eye. And then they will hand you something which will look like this.”


Saying that, Vali puts his rod down and approaches me. He takes out a document which has been rolled like a scroll from his pocket and passes it to me.


When I spread open the highly decorated parchment in suspicion———I find hard looking Devil’s symbols written on it and my eyes get wide open at this single phrase. This is what it says.


———We shall appoint you, Vali Lucifer, as an Ultimate-class Devil.


———!?


I’m so surprised that a sound didn’t come out from my throat and then I look at Vali. He has his usual cool atmosphere, but……


Seriously!? W-When on earth did this guy become an Ultimate-class!?


“O-Oi, for real!?”


I can’t help but say simply that in shock!


Vali then explains with a bitter smile.


“I did decline it once but they told me that this was Azazel’s wish. They also said it will come with many kinds of authorities with it if I am to be active in the Underworld. Well, I simply received this in secret though. ……Fu, even I can’t grasp Ajuka Beelzebub’s intentions.”


W-Well, if this guy is going to become active as a Devil then getting the position of a Ultimate-class Devil won’t be strange at all……


“Hah.”


I find it so amusing that I blurted in laughter like that.


……Ah, man. How should I put it? There was a guy right beside me who had just become a Ultimate-class Devil immediately while I was thinking so hard about becoming a High-class Devil and he even said that the “the ceremony will end in the blink of an eye”…… That’s why I found it funny and started laughing.


Vali then says.


“You can’t believe it right? Neither can I. That’s how it is. And in your case it’s a special circumstance. It’s a promotion happening when it hasn’t even been a year since you became a Devil. Though it’s also true that so many abnormal situations fell on you consecutively. Let’s go through a brief explanation.”


———Then Vali starts to point out all of the incidents that happened around me in the last year.


“Hyoudou Issei became a Devil last spring. He was dragged into a battle against the Fallen Angels immediately after and experienced the Rating Game within one year. Then he faced the incident involving the possession of Excalibur without a moment to spare, an incident during which he met not only one of the leaders of the Fallen Angels but even their Governor. He witnessed the signing of the Alliance of the Three Great Powers up close and even survived the experience of Juggernaut Drive. He was attacked by the Evil God Loki and Fenrir when not even 6 months had passed since when he was reincarnated into a Devil. He fought the man who wields the strongest Longinus during his school field trip. He conquered the Rating Game of the Underworld’s Youth and then was promoted a Mid-class Devil. In the decisive battle against the Hero-faction———he went through a life and death experience during the monster crisis and was resurrected by the power of Ophis and Great Red,an unpredictable happening. He then proceeded to defeat the Jabberwocky and Cao Cao in that flow. It hasn’t even been a year since all of this accomplishment. Terrifying indeed. It has been full of events which can only make you laugh in amazement. Then it was the battle against Qlippoth. He received an assault from the Evil Dragon Grendel and witnessed the destruction of the country of Vampires up close. He was there during the hijack of Agreas and when the year was about to end he was present during Qlippoth’s assault of Heaven. He accepted the challenge from the Church’s swordsman as soon as the new year began…… And finally he was there during the final battle against Rizevim to beat him down and then defeated Apophis, and now he is still standing right here.”


By listening to Vali’s long explanation……I came to realise how the past year had been packed with action. What my comrades, Vali, and I experienced in the past one year was definitely out of the ordinary.


Vali then says.


“You probably wouldn’t find any other example in where this many history changing events occurred in just one year. Everyone including you, your comrades, and myself are living in an incredible era. For that reason, I could say that it would only be natural for our ratings to keep on going up since we survived this far. That’s why you are getting a promotion……though I wouldn’t be surprised if you are bewildered to the point where your mind can’t keep up with becoming a High-class Devil since you have barely experienced your time as a Low-class Devil and Mid-class Devil.”


……Yeah, I’m going to become a High-class Devil when it hasn’t even been a year since I was both a Low-class and Mid-class Devil combined and that’s the reason why I’m feeling perplexed.


In the end I haven’t done anything like a Mid-class Devil would usually do and I even question myself if I actually fulfilled my role as a Low-class Devil properly. ……But since I’m being promoted to a High-class Devil due to the reviews of others, then it must mean that I’m doing well from other people’s perspective. Well, that’s what I would like to believe.


But how should I put it…… I’m laughing a bit due to the way Vali is speaking.


Because the way he talks is totally like———


“……The way you said it sounded like it came from Azazel-sensei.”


When I say that Vali smiles.


“……Is that so.”


After that there’s another moment of silence.


“ “By the way.” ”


Vali and my words overlaps.


“……You go first.”


Vali asks without hesitation when I urge him.


“———You are going to participate right?”


“The Rating Game tournament? ……Hmm, who knows. You are obviously going to———”


“I’m participating. Even if you aren’t that is. This is a perfect opportunity. After all, there are several God-class participants that have already registered. Being able to challenge a God officially without causing trouble to anyone. There won’t be a chance like this again. I will be forming a team while having those guys the first Sun Wukong told me to look after.”


Yes, the participants’ standards for the World Tournament has a large range so even a God can participate. Though it seems like it has a stronger festival vibe to it, therefore the rules have changed quite a bit compared to the usual Rating Game.


First of all, the maximum number of people in a team is 16. The team would be formed with the [King], the [Queen], two of each [Rook], [Bishop], [Knight], and eight [Pawns]. This is the same as usual but from here it’s different. If you register yourself as [King] then your team members don’t need to be part of your peerage. And they don’t have to be a Devil either. To put it simple its fine as long as you don’t double register.


If a Devil registers himself as a [King] it will be fine for an Angel to be in his team and even a human is fine. You can actually form your team to your liking.


Also, even if there is someone who reincarnated into a Devil by the use of a [Bishop] piece he can still be registered under other chess pieces. This is a big change. So it means that Asia who is a [Bishop] can register as a [Knight] in the tournament for example.


Well, I won’t want to have Asia-chan stand in the frontline anyways.


Due to these changes there are many people from each forces that showed interest in participating. And there are God-class among them.


For Vali, who is seeking to fight Gods, there won’t be a tournament he will crave for more than this. And he can fight them head on without having to worry for the consequences.


Vali himself is explaining in joy.


“……I would be lying if I say that I’m not hyped, right?”


It came to my mind as I look at this guy who seems to be having fun.


The ones that made the base for the Rating Game World Tournament are Azazel-sensei, Sirzechs-sama, and such since they had been preparing for it behind the scene.


……Maybe Azazel-sensei prepared a stage for Vali to fight the Gods without having him become a criminal. I even start to think as such.


Vali then says it straight to me.


“And if I can fight your team in the tournament then there’s nothing more I can ask for. I’m guessing others such as Cao Cao, Sairaorg Bael, and Dulio Gesualdo are thinking the same. I even hear that gentle Ikuse Tobio is planning to register as a [King].”


……I will be able to fight Vali, Cao Cao, Sairaorg-san, Dulio, Ikuse in a Rating Game———


But then Vali also says this in a calm manner.


“……Even so, I’m sure you have your own circumstances. Your body doesn’t belong to only you now.”


……I start to become deeply moved at Vali who is able to think about other people’s circumstances.


“You sure did change. A bit ago you would have told me to ‘participate’, right?”


Vali……really changed. Especially lately where he has become calmer…… It feels like his ‘stay away’ aura disappeared.


Vali simply tilts his head.


“……Did I? ……I guess I did. But you yourself have changed since I first met you. The side of you where you are honest about your sexual desire hasn’t changed———but the eyes you have right now are telling me that you want something besides women.”


Vali who is smiling gets another hit with his fishing rod. Vali pulls it right away. He pulled a large fish which may be his biggest catch of the day.


“But it seems like I win for today’s fishing battle. Hyoudou Issei.”


……Looks like the God of Sea is giving his powers to Vali today.


“And also about your ceremony. I also received the invitation. I’ll come if I’m in a mood.”


“Well, thanks for that then.”


I then look up to the sky.


I couldn’t give any answers to Vali’s words then……but it’s also true that all these feelings are building inside me———


To participate in the Rating Game World Tournament with my own team———


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