High School DxD:Volume 22 Life 2
Life.2 And thus, to a High-class Devil
The day after the fishing trip——— it’s the day before my High-class Devil promotion ceremony.
I’m currently with a certain person and I am visiting the Kuou academy, which is right now empty.
“Oh, so this is the Kuou academy!”
The one acting really excited while looking at the school building and walking next to me is a girl with a fox’s ears——— it’s Kunou.
Kunou will be joining Kuoh academy’s elementary campus next year. She came from Kyoto because she wanted to see the academy.
———Though the building I’m showing her right now is the high school building, the one all of us attend classes and spend time in. I brought her here because she said she wanted to see the high school building right after the elementary school building was showed to her.
The elementary and the junior school are located on the same campus. A bit further away from them there is the high school campus and the college campus. We are planning to go to the college campus once we take a look around here. The college campus is the place Rias and Akeno-san will be attending very soon. So I may as well check it out too. Though I went there several times already since I had business there.
Kunou is already wearing Kuoh Academy's elementary school uniform. Since it’s a different uniform than the high school uniform we wear it definitely has a refreshing taste to it. Well, I entered Kuou academy since the start of high school life so it’s natural that I’m not familiar with the uniforms they wear from the kindergarten up to junior high.
From what I heard, Kunou will be moving into the Hyoudou residence from summer. She will be going to the junior school soon as she lives here and gets accustomed in living here.
———Then, when Kunou and I were looking around the school building from the outside we encountered someone familiar.
“Ah, former student council president Sona.”
It’s the former student president Sona. She’s looking up at the school building from the entrance.
She hears our voices and as soon as she sees us she smiles.
“Oh, Ise-kun. How do you do. Oh my, you must be the princess from Kyoto I presume? Now that I remember, I did hear that you will be enrolling into the elementary division from spring.”
Kunou bows her head.
“I presume you are Sitri-dono. I am the daughter of Yasaka, who is the leader of the youkais in Kyoto, and Kunou is my name. I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance.”
The former student council president responds to her formal introduction by giving her gratitude.
The former student president then says it as she looks up to the building again.
“I used my days off to take a look around Kuou academy.”
She narrows her eyes as if she was feeling nostalgic.
“……I remember very well when I first came here. It was Rias who brought me to this place.”
I think I heard Rias telling me that before briefly. Apparently she forcefully brought the former student council president to this place when there wasn’t much people around and showed her around.
The former student council president Sona then says.
“I’m sure Rias wanted to show the place she would be attending to me as I am her childhood friend. I can still remember the happy face she had when she was showing me around.”
“Did you enroll here due to Rias’s suggestion?”
This is what the former student president replies to my question.
“Rias didn’t suggest it to me but I surely was enchanted by this place when she was showing me around. It was already decided that I would have been going to high school in the Underworld but after being showed around here I had a change of heart and decided to come to this academy instead. The shocked face my sister showed when I said I wanted to attend high school in the human world was priceless. Definitely something worth remembering even now, ufufu."
After she had a small laugh she looks down and continues with a fragile but yearnly face.
“…………Many things happened here in the past three years. Especially when I became a third year student, many events and countless surprises happened.”
……The former student council president had her own kind of three years here. The experiences she had definitely differ from the ones Rias had.
And Leviathan-sama who had been watching her from behind with warm eyes for the past three-years is——— no longer here. She is currently battling Trihexa while inside the Isolation Barrier Field.
From what I heard from Rias the sorrow the former student council president is facing is something that cannot be expressed by mere words.
Sona, the former student council president, usually had been putting up with her sister who wasn’t serious most of the time……but she is definitely worried about Leviathan-sama more than anyone. That's a given, considering that she loves and respects her more than anyone.
I heard that the fact she cannot show her sister her graduation is the thing that's making her sad the most.
……I am sure Leviathan-sama wanted to see her sister’s graduation,her sister’s shining moment……
———Then a new person appears to the scene.
“Ah, Kaichou. You are here.”
It’s Saji. Looks like he came here to find her.
“Saji, did something happen?”
Saji says it when the former student council president asks him.
“Looks like the matter from before can be dealt with. Tsubaki-san asked me to find you.”
Then the former student council president lifts her glasses from the side and puts on her usual cool demeanor.
“Is that so. Since I had a look around here we should return then. Now then, Ise-kun, congratulation for your promotion. I will be present at the ceremonial hall.”
The former student president then leaves after saying that.
It seems like Saji also has something to tell me, and he speaks only after his master leaves.
“Oh yeah. Hyoudou, I heard about your promotion to High-class Devil. Congrats! I will definitely become one in the future as well!”
Saji congratulates me with a smile. He starts patting my back.
“Well, I still can’t believe this is happening……but thanks.”
“……By the way, Hyoudou.”
Saji suddenly puts on a serious look and then he asks me.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
“What are you going to do about the tournament? We’ll definitely be participating. I will be fighting under Sona-kaichou as her [Pawn]. Are you going to participate under Rias-senpai? Or are you———”
———He must want to ask me if I’m going to be participating as a [King] with my own team.
“……You are asking me the same question like Vali. Well, who knows.”
I give him a vague answer……
Saji then says it as he looks up to the sky.
“———I received an offer to be promoted to a Mid-class Devil.”
“———! Seriously? Congrats!”
I congratulate him from the bottom of my heart.
Wow, that’s good to hear! Well, he did make it this far after getting involved in so many battles! Furthermore, I heard that the biggest achievement the Sitri group made was during the attack of the Great King Bael’s castle orchestrated by the third ranked King of the Rating Game.
I heard that their achievement in that occasion was applauded not only by the Great-King faction but also by the Maou-faction. It’s rare to find an instance in where both factions rate someone positively at the same time.
There are talks about promotions to middle class devil for those in our peerage so it’s not weird Saji will get one too.
Saji then says it shyly.
“……Tsubaki-san also got a talk about the promotion but I’m guessing the battles we fought as part of D×D played the biggest role in this.”
Saji takes a big breath. He then asks me by looking directly at my eyes.
“You……became my aim, an aim which has gone too far ahead of me……but that’s why. I’m not sure whether I can fight you but show me your “game”. Wasn’t going wild in the Rating Game part of our aim too? Then as the peer [Pawn] of yours’, I want to stand on the same stage as you……I really do!”
……I got words of manly passion from Saji as a peer, while being face to face!
Dammit! Vali. And you. I really do wonder why you guys always get to the point without saying it in a vague way!
Then Saji cools himself and apologises.
“……Sorry, I suddenly said something weird. Don’t take it seriously.”
However, he starts banging my chest with his fist.
“……Either way, come join the Tournament no matter what. ———I don’t even think a bit that the match we had in the Underworld was my win at all. That’s why when we clash head on in the tournament I want to continue that fight. Both you and I are a lot stronger than back then.”
Continuing that fight———
During Summer last year I had a bitter experience. A battle I can hardly say I won.
I always thought about settling that score.
I also bang on Saji’s chest with my fist.
“Yeah, when that happens then let’s continue that fight. ———I always thought about beating you on the Rating Game’s battlefield.”
Those words naturally came out of my mouth.
As if I’m participating in the tournament———
Saji confirms that and leaves.
The two of us, Kunou and myself, are then alone. Kunou then starts nodding.
“So many passionate boys sure do come around Ise~!”
Yeah, you are exactly right.
It feels like an important button inside me is about to turn on due to their heat.
And the day of my destiny finally came———the day of my High-class promotion ceremony.
I’m visiting the Underworld together with the ORC members, Rias’s parents, and my parents. That’s right, my parents are finally visiting the Underworld as well. Well, during the War of Evil Dragons they came to the hospital of the Underworld, but that only happened due to an emergency.
This time they are officially here as my relatives, since they will be watching the ceremony that's soon going to take place.
Ignoring my parents, who are speechless at how huge the Gremory castle is, I proceed to do the final confirmation for the ceremony by doing another check with Rias in another room.
……I’ve been getting lectures and outlines of the ceremony at my house together with Rias and the others since the very day we heard the news about my promotion……but since today is going to be the actual day it’s possible that what I have learnt might have disappeared from my head. In order to not embarrass myself, I’m practicing in the ceremonial hall of the Gremory castle and I am reconfirming the whole procedures of the ceremony with Rias.
Rias stands in front of the altar of the ceremonial hall and teaches me.
“———Maou-sama will read the certificate he will give to you. You will need to reply to him the way I taught you. Next I will put on the crown on your head. This is the ritual where someone in a peerage is acknowledged as a [King]. And finally you will be moved to the stone where you will register yourself as a [King]. It’s okay to touch the stone after Maou-sama’s words. The ritual is pretty much over once you get to this point. Right? Simple, isn’t it?”
That’s what Rias says! I heard that so many people including the media will be coming to the ceremonial hall…… So I can't be allowed to show a pathetic side of me!
“Ugh, I’m so nervous.”
I’m already dressed up in my formal wear. Likewise, Rias who will be appearing in the ritual is wearing her crimson dress. People will pay attention to us even on our way there so wearing formal clothing is essential. Even those in our peerage, my comrades, are wearing formal clothing as well. It’s something proper which won’t look strange from anyone’s perspective.
Well, Rias and I need to wear another formal dress for the ritual once we get there. So this isn’t our main dress.
Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen Grayfia-san since we got here.
Grayfia-san is the only one who remained in this world from her peerage. Each of the Maou-sama left their [Queen] behind after thinking about the future of the Underworld and hence Grayfia-san remained here.
……I heard that she’s been doing her duty as a maid as usual but I haven’t seen her today. Except, Rias is really worried about her.
[……I’m worried about Onee-sama.]
———As such, Rias has been speaking out her thoughts every day since that to me.
I haven’t seen Grayfia-san since then. But Rias, who has seen her, said that Grayfia-san hasn’t changed and is acting as usual even though Sirzechs-sama went to that side……
I witnessed how Grayfia-san was holding onto Sirzechs-sama in tears just before he left. It’s natural that she was in that much shock. That is why I’m more worried after I heard she is acting in a calm behaviour like usual……
She may be hiding her emotions……but Rias who has been cared by her since she was a child is really worried about her.
……I hope she doesn’t faint afterwards due to anxiety……
“Rias-sama, Waka-sama, it is time.”
———The attendant informs us. It’s finally time!
We will be getting on the train from the castle town’s station of the Gremory castle and head to the capital city, Lilith. We are under a strict guard while we are on the train. Obviously. The place we are heading to is packed with people. There are many Devils consisting of civillians and those working in news broadcast team.
“Hyoudou Issei-san, please tell us how you are feeling right now!”
“Will you be participating in the World Rating Game Tournament!? Sir Sairaorg Bael and Lady Sona Sitri that are the same youth as you have declared their intent on———”
There are countless flashes from the cameras. A countless number of questions is being asked at me from the media, but I ignored them. I was ordered to not say anything beforehand so what I have in my mind now is getting inside the train.
And I finally sit on the seat inside the train. The train starts moving before long. I’m finally able to take a break. ……Aaaaaah, this is so tiring. The fatigue already struck me when I haven’t even gone through the ritual yet…… I-I never would have imagined that everyone is putting so much attention on me…… Well, I was told about this beforehand but it is more than I imagined…… I’m told that there is a party right after the ritual and then I will finally be able to take my formal clothes off. So it means that I won’t be able to escape for the whole day.
Just after a while since the train moved. Ravel suddenly points to the scenery outside.
There is a huge dome-type stadium.
“That stadium is going to be used as one of the arenas for the upcoming World Tournament from what I heard.”
I also look at the stadium. It’s huge. It’s way bigger than the Tokyo Dome. Well, the Rating Game is played in a large battlefield after all. It’s obviously better for it to be huge.
“Aren’t the venues for the World Tournament going to be provided mostly from the Devil's and the Fallen Angel’s territories?”
That’s what I said.
From what I heard the Underworld, more specifically the Devil’s side, will be providing the most venues for the World Tournament since the Rating Game originated from here. And the Fallen Angels will be aiding the Devil’s side. I did hear from Azazel-sensei before that there are territories still available within the Fallen Angel’s side and that they are promoting a holiday house to the VIPs of each forces.
I’m guessing that they have used their available territories to prepare the stadium.
Rias then says.
“All of the other mythologies in the world are still worn from the attack by the Trihexa which happened recently. That is why the Underworld which received the least damage offered the most stadiums.”
Ravel continues after her.
“Rating Games originated from the Underworld hence the reason why it was decided the majority of the matches for the first World Tournament would be held here.”
The ones continuing this discussion are Rias’s parents who are on the train with us.
This is what Rias’s father says.
“Even so, most of the organizing committee of the game in our world isn’t taking part in this upcoming world tournament. I heard they will be organising the tournament with excellent staff led by Ajuka-dono.”
“Am I right to presume this has to do with how the cheating scandal was revealed?”
Rias’s dad nods to my question and raises his finger.
“That is obviously part of that but there’s also one more reason. It appears that each force has shown interest in taking in the Rating Game as an entertainment so there’s also the fact that those staff members from each factions would be taught the procedure of Rating Game.”
Now I get it. I heard about the topics relating to the Rating Games turning into worldwide entertainment but it seems like they are going to teach those helping the staff the content of the Rating Games through this tournament at once. Well, if the popularity of the game increases in each forces then the Rating Game played between different forces will definitely get heated up.
Rias’s dad explains further.
“Once the Rating Game attains worldwide relevance, so that it becomes possible to transfer and exchange pieces between the team of all forces then the game will get heated up even more.”
“So it means the Rating Game won’t be just for the Devils in the future.”
Words slips from my mouth.
……The Angels will be playing the Rating Game in the future. It will also become popular in the Norse mythology world and even the Japanese youkais may do it in our homeland. The Rating Game won’t just be for the Devils but for everyone. Yeah, I definitely want to see that happen.
Rias says it while looking out the window.
“…… Diehauser Belial-sama would have been thrilled if he were to know this.”
Everyone becomes speechless at her words.
……Emperor Belial committed a crime while carrying complicated thoughts. People say that he loved the Rating Game more than anyone. He craved for someone who would defeat him. We may have found someone who could defeat him as the internationalisation of the Rating Game turns into reality. However, he’s currently inside a cell. For the Champion to be absent when the revolutionary Rating Game is about to start…… It’s a shame.
……I also wanted to defeat him head on. I was no match for him at all in Agreas. But the next time it will be different……!
———I also want to challenge and defeat the Champion!
……But in Rias’s team? Or———
I shake my head after thinking too much about it and try my best to clear my mind. The only thing I need to think about now is to complete the ritual safely.
I can think about the Champion another time.
———Then dad and mom, who are acting really stiff and sitting on their seats, appear within my sights.
“……By the way, dad, mom. Both of you are acting really nervous……so are you two okay?”
Dad answers with a trembling voice.
“Y-Yeah, o-of course I’m okay! Right, honey?”
“Y-Yes, of course we are! It’s not like we are nervous for coming to a place we never have been before or because we are feeling excited about attending the event which will be our son’s shining moment!”
……These two really are acting like people from the countryside who had just come to the city! Man, this is embarrassing since they are acting this way in front of Rias’s parents! I can’t stand to watch them!
Seeing my parents, Rias’s dad speaks to them gently to make them feel relaxed.
“Please don’t be nervous. The only thing we ask you to do is sit on the seats as his relatives in the ceremonial hall.”
Rias’s mother continues after him with a cheerful expression.
“That’s right. You simply need to watch over your son with warm eyes. The only ones that will be called out to the stage are Ise-san who is the star of tonight’s ritual and Rias who is his [King].”
“……N-Now you are making me feel nervous.”
I mutter as such. I’m the star of today’s event! And the ritual is about to begin in few hours! Aaaaaaaaaaaaah, I’m going to have a ritual while in front of so many media! This is going to be broadcasted not just in the Underworld but also by the other force’s television right? I’m beyond nervous and it feels like my heart is about to explode and kill me!
Rias smiles at me who am putting on a stiff look.
“You already experienced many events far exceeding this one so you need to get used to things like this, okay? You have done something more remarkable such as beating Loki and Rizevim.”
T-That’s because that was a battle! It’s something totally different to formal rituals like this!
Even my comrades are chuckling at seeing how stiff I am.
Geez! You guys sure have it easy since all of you simply need to sit on the seats as my relatives!
And my parents and Rias’s parents are having fun talking between them.
Rias’s father takes out a milk container and starts to talk passionately.
“By the way. We made something like this. It’s called the “Oppai Dragon’s milk” and we made it by using a special manufacturing method to the milk we gathered from the cows in the Gremory territory and———”
My parents are also drawn into his explanation and are listening while nodding.
“Oh my, so this is one of the products based on our son———”
“Woah, it goes down my throat so smoothly and there’s such a sweet taste in it! This will be popular among both children and elderly———”
“We are planning to make it as a merchandise by summer. And there will definitely be an author’s copyright paid to your son———”
My parents are no longer feeling nervous and instead have their attention on Rias’s father who is talking.
……Well, it will be fine with me being the only one feeling nervous.
Like this, the train arrives at the Maou’s territory———
We arrive to the station at the Maou’s territory. We then get on to several limousines to head to the ceremonial hall under strict surveillance. There are several security cars surrounding the limousines…… Just how much money and people are they employing for my promotion…… This is such an honour.
We arrive to the ceremonial hall in no time. We go inside the building and prepared for the ceremony. The person in charge of taking care of me leads me to a room in where I change into my formal wear which has been custom-made for ritual purposes.
I fix my hair back and they put on make-up on my face. Since I’ve come this far I’ll just let the person taking care of me do his job. I don’t grumble nor complain and just go with the flow.
After I’m done getting ready I am told to wait in the waiting room. Rias who is in ritual dress appears immediately.
Rias becomes super beautiful with makeup on! She has her hair tied up and her dress is shiny too! The lipstick they applied on her lips makes her look more mature.
“Do I look weird?”
Maybe she doubted the way I looked at her. So she starts looking at how she’s dressed.
“Nope. You look gorgeous!”
I answer her by giving her a thumbs-up.
It’s time. Rias and I head to the entrance of the ceremonial hall. I stand behind Rias and I have to follow behind her once the entrance opens.
There are guards standing on the sides of the double door. Around us there are soldiers working as security and other staff people.
……Ugh, I’m getting even more nervous! I wonder if I can do this. I’m getting worried but Rias turns around and smiles at me.
“It will be fine. This is the ceremony to congratulate you. So show it to everyone. ———The result of what you achieved with all the experience you gained by going forward in the past one year.”
……The result of the one year I had experienced……
In such situation my High-class promotion ceremony finally begins. Then the drum rolls. The double door opens quietly while the music chosen for my entrance is played.
What appears in the spacious view in front of me are———the higher-ups in formal dresses lined up in the splendid and gorgeous ceremonial hall. They are looking at me as they give me a round of applause.
Rias walks forward. I follow behind her in a way so I make sure I am not left behind while keeping a speed which won’t make me look weird.
I take a quick glimpse around and I see the ORC members.It appears the Sitri group and Sairaorg-san are also here. Ah, I can see Vali and his comrades in the corner of the hall near a pillar.
As we head to the altar, I start to get all the flashbacks of the last year as Rias mentioned.
———I am Rias Gremory. I am a Devil. And I am your Master. Nice to meet you, Hyoudou Issei-kun. Can I call you Ise?
All my meetings started from my death.
———Ahahahaha! It’s impossible! Because she died! That girl is dead, you know? It’s not the matter of whether you protect her or not. You couldn’t protect her! You couldn’t protect her back at evening and even now! You really are a weird boy! It’s so amusing!
Raynare…… Can you see how I have become a High-class Devil? I won’t let anyone die again.
———Fire bird and Fenghuang! The hell fire of our clan that was praised as being that of a Phoenix! Taste it with your own body and turn into ashes!
It was hot. Raiser, your fire was hot back then and also during our rematch.
———No. I’m living so I can seek my revenge. Holy-sword Excalibur. Destroying that is the reason why I am living.
Heh, Kiba. There was a time when you said that. Take care of Tosuka-san.
———Do you think a world without God is wrong? Do you think a world without God would decay? I am sorry to say so, but that isn’t the case. Both you and I are healthily living like this. ———The world moves on even without a God.
You were right, Azazel-sensei. We were able to manage it somehow even without God’s presence.
———Ise-san, I love you. I will always stay beside you.
I love you too, Asia. Let’s stay together forever.
———It means that there are those who will find pain in what you call peace.
Vali. That’s what you said before. But maybe the peace you imagine is the same as mine now.
———Hyoudou Issei! I won’t lose! There is a dream I need to fulfill!
Sairaorg-san, those exchanges of fists I had with you is my pride.
———……Friend? What’s the benefit if I become that?
You benefited from it, didn’t you, Ophis?
———I want to confirm. ———Hyoudou Issei. What are you?
I am just me, Cao Cao. I will become a High-class Devil while being myself.
———I also have the ambition of wanting to stir up the heat with you as well!
Of course, Ravel. I’m a pathetic guy but I really need you so I can fulfill my ambition.
———Rias-buchou, Akeno-san, Koneko-chan, Yuuto-senpai, Asia-senpai, Xenovia-senpai, Irina-senpai, Ravel-san, Rossweisse-san, Azazel-sensei, and the Sekiryuutei—Ise-senpai. After all, all of you are my precious comrades———
Whether you are Gya-suke or Balor, you are my important junior and a strong Gremory boy.
———Hey, Ise-kun. If I ever get used by them……will you please kill me?
Rossweisse-san, I will never let you say such thing ever again.
————An angel’s kiss! It was because the scene was so beautiful. People would naturally want to kiss like this.
Seriously, thanks to you it became an awesome Christmas. It was a kiss I could never forget.
———Everyone, make this become a happy Kuoh Academy. No, I’ll do it. So, I’d like everyone to please take care of me.
I’m looking forward to it, Xenovia-kaichou! I will become your help anytime.
———Even if he was reincarnated and his appearance has changed, he’s still my child, isn’t that right?
……Of course I am. I am the son of dad and mom. That will never change even if it’s ten-thousand years later.
———……Azazel said to you that you were his last, and his best student……
……Why aren’t you here? ———Sensei, I wanted to show you this scene,my shining moment.
I remembered all these events as I walked to the altar———and there’s this feeling building inside me.
But I need to hold back my tears. I am not allowed to cry yet. The real deal will start from here.
Just one year———. But one year filled with so many events———.
A year like this. I will most likely never experience something like that ever again.
I have survived a harsh, yet fun, year. I stand in front of the altar while having pride in what I have gone through———.
That instant, I receive words of congratulation from partner.
[Congratulation, partner. Good work on coming this far. You reached Balance Breaker, you survived Juggernaut Drive, and you showed me all a new side of being the Sekiryuutei. Let’s get along from now on as well, the one who is a Devil and Dragon, the one who has a blazing truth within him. ———“Sekiryuutei of the Issei (Blazing Truth)”.]
Yeah, thanks, Ddraig. Because you were by my side I was able to fight. Take care of me from now on as well, the Emperor of the Red Dragons, Y Ddraig Goch!
And the one who awaits me at the altar is Ajuka Beelzebub-sama,who is in his awesome looking Maou outfit. ……Just how happy I would have been if Sirzechs-sama was next to him.
“I have been waiting for this. ———From here on you will become one fine High-class Devil.”
Under Maou-sama’s guidance who gave me such words the ritual finally begins.
“———And so, the next will be———”
I sit on the chair beside the altar with Rias and follow the guidance of the host of this ceremony.
One of the best opera singers offered to sing for this ceremony and is about to start her performance. She stands in front of the microphone which is set on the altar and then she starts to sing.
[Theeere is a Ooooooppai-loving Dragon living in the edge of a certain countrrrrrry~.]
———What started with her beautiful voice was the Oppai Dragon’s song!
[Draaaaaagon, Draaaaaagon, Opaiiiiii Dragon~.]
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel with that song despite her beautiful voice!
Even my comrades in the ceremonial hall don't know how to react so they are putting on a troubled expression instead!
But for some reason Rias’s dad has a deeply moved expression! He looks like he’s so moved that he’s thinking it was a terrific idea to call her!
Rias has a red face and is twitching one of her eyebrows! Ah, this pretty much guarantees Rias’s dad getting an earful of lectures from his daughter after this.
After the song, the ritual finally phases into the main part. Rias and I stand in front of the altar and the first thing that will happen is the certificate being delivered. Maou Ajuka Beelzebub-sama starts to read what’s written on the certificate.
“———For those reasons, I hereby proclaim you, the servant of Rias Gremory, Hyoudou Issei, as a High-class Devil.”
I get on my knee and receive the certificate gratefully. Now, here is my line.
“It will be my honour.”
———I reply in a complicated manner.
I heard there are those who uses exaggerated words or really long lines in this situation. But I only gave a plain answer since I was told that the simpler the reply the better. Well, exaggerated words would be impossible for an high school student like me!
I get up once to show my certificate in front of the crowd so they can have a clear look at it. Wow, there’s a sudden round of applause and many camera flashes!
———I then hand the certificate to the person helping me. Next is the ritual where Rias, who is my master, puts on a crown on my head.
Rias and I stand in front of the altar and face each other. I then get on my knee. Rias receives the crown from the person in charge. And then she———puts on the crown on my head. It appears to be a real crown so I can feel the heavy weight.
Then there is another round of applause. Alright, with this the ritual for the crowning is over.
For the last part the Maou Beelzebub-sama appears on the altar once again and raises his hand. Then a stone monument which is shining in black colour comes falling from above our heads. The stone monument floats in the air.
……So this is the monument which is essential for registering a High-class Devil that I heard about. I heard that by touching this, the requirement as a High-class Devil ——— and a [King] is completed.
“Now, the new [King], Hyoudou Issei. Stand in front of the monument———”
Maou-sama urges me.
I take a step forward while enveloping my left hand with my aura ——— and then touch the monument.
Heartbeat! That instant, my heart made a loud beat! Now I get it. This monument is made from the same material as the Evil Pieces.
The monument then shines red ———no, it shines crimson, and then shows my hand print for an instant. And then it returns to the normal monument.
……I’m guessing the……registration is done with this then?
I then receive a small box from Maou-sama. When I open it I found ——— 15 Evil Pieces inside!
……T-These are the Evil Pieces that are solely for me! What I craved for so long is finally in my hands……!
As such, the ritual is done with the most crucial part of the ceremony. What comes after this is the words of congratulation from the guest which were read by the host of the ceremony.
Since Rias and I are done with our role, we sit on the chairs reserved for us and feel a bit relieved.
After all the ceremony was over Rias and I left the stage. I was overwhelmed when everyone started clapping as we left!
I return to my changing room. I start to relax after I drank some water.
The one who spoke to me first after finishing my ritual is ——— my master, Rias.
“Thank you! Though I wonder if I did it right.”
“You sure did. You were magnificent.”
I’m happy when Rias said I was magnificent!
———And it seems like everyone is leaving the stage. So my comrades are coming to my room one after another.
My dad and mom are emotional while the others are congratulating me.
“I don’t know what was going on in there but it sure does make me emotional when I saw Ise under the spotlight! Right, honey!?”
“You are right, darling. It sure did make me emotional since it seemed like our son has gained a higher social status than his father! By the way, what kind of privilege does High-class Devil have? I wonder if you get a pay rise?”
Dad grabs me by my shoulder and says this.
“Ise! If you become a person who is above me than why don’t you buy us a ticket for a holiday with your bonus!? One of my dreams was to be given a present from our son so that me and your mother can go on a tour!”
“The hot natural bath at Kusatsu sure would be nice.”
O-Onsen tour huh. I-If it’s just that then I’m sure I can fulfill their wish right away, I think.
More importantly, am I above my dad now? We live in a completely different working field so I can’t make any judgment.
Rias then tells my parents.
“It’s far from it. With Ise’s current status then getting a world tour isn’t even a dream.”
“ “A W-W-W-World touuuuuur~!!?” ”
Both of them are shocked at Rias’s words and their bodies are shaking.
……The grade of the tour raised tenfolds! From Kumatsu to a world tour……! I guess I have to work hard to work on my parent-and-son relationship!
———Then this time two unexpected people appears in my room.
“Hyoudou Issei! So you are here.”
It’s Raiser! So he was at the hall!
“Raiser-san! You came!”
When I said that, Raiser replies as he blushes.
“Hmph, appearing to the place where I am invited to is the way I live. Besides, I’m here as an escort today.”
“As an escort?”
I become curious but the person who is entering the changing room ——— a familiar lady.
“Hyoudou Issei-san, how do you do? You have become a High-class Devil so I wanted to formally give you my words of congratulation.”
Ravel’s mom! The wife of the current Head of the House of Phoenix!
“O-Oh my, if this isn’t Ravel’s mother! It really has been awhile! And thank you!”
I respond by bowing my head! I never expected Ravel’s mom would come! I can’t feel grateful enough!
Even Ravel is shocked at this.
“O-Okaa-sama! You came!?”
“Yes, I came here while bringing Raiser with me. We were standing on the side of the hall.”
Ah, that’s why I couldn’t see them.
Ravel’s mom then moves into another topic to get to the main point.
“Now then, Hyoudou Issei-san. Do you remember the promise we made earlier?”
Ravel’s mom chuckles when she sees me who's totally clueless at what’s she’s talking about.
“The trade. Regarding Ravel who is both my daughter and servant. I definitely am sure I asked you for a trade once you would become a High-class Devil.”
“Ah! Yes we certainly did. I am positive we made such promise……I think.”
We had such a discussion over the telecommunication magic-circle when it was decided that Ravel would be staying at the Hyoudou residence……I think! My memory is vague since many things happened.
Ravel’s mom makes a proposal as if she finds it's the right time to say it.
“Then let us begin our trade right away. Did you know that it’s better to do these things soon as possible? It’s also hard for me to make time so I don’t know when is the next time I can meet you.”
I can only be shocked at the suggestion of doing the trade. But here is even more surprise! Rias also gets involved!
“Yes, this certainly is the right time. ———Then I shall do a trade as well. Asia and Xenovia that is.”
All of us are shocked at this! Of course! A sudden trade for Ravel was shocking enough! But now it’s also for Asia and Xenovia!
Rias then says it to the two of them.
“Asia, Xenovia. I had been saying it since last year but you do remember about our discussion regarding the trade once Ise would become a High-class Devil right?”
Asia and Xenovia respond. Yeah, rather than about the trade the two of them certainly did declare that they will follow me once I become a High-class Devil.
Though that means that the trade with Rias is the requirement…… This topic is something which had been discussed between us since last year.
However. When it’s about to turn into reality, Asia and I can only be confused. Then Rias starts to draw what looks like to be a trading-purpose magic-circle with Ravel’s mom on the floor.
“Then let’s get started.”
Asia then speaks in a perplexed manner as the preparation of the trade is on progress.
Rias stops her procedure for once. She then hugs Asia.
She speaks to Asia kindly as if she’s trying to calm her.
“You don’t need to worry about it. It’s not like we will be living apart from each other. And the feelings between us aren’t something which will change just with a trade, is it?”
“Y-Yes! Of course! The gratitude and respect I have for Rias-oneesama will never change!”
Rias says it fondly as she pats Asia’s head.
“Likewise for me, Asia. Then nothing will change even after you have become Ise’s servant. Except, please support Ise while being under him. There are things which can only be done by you. And that is something which is impossible for me. It’s a wonderful task which is only capable by you, okay?”
Rias brings Xenovia towards her and hugs her along with Asia.
“I ask the same for you too, Xenovia. Please become Ise’s sword.”
Xenovia responds to her hug with a peaceful expression.
“Yeah, roger that. Former Buchou, Rias. Thank you……thank you very much for looking after me! Uuugh~!”
Xenovia suddenly cries. She starts to shed many tears.
Rias makes a bitter smile seeing that.
“Hey, don’t start crying. It’s not like our lifestyle is going to change…… Only your [King] will change so nothing else will change you know……?”
That’s right. I’ve become a [King] but it’s not like I will be living separately from Rias right now. I will be living by myself once I become a High-class Devil! That will not happen.
It was a sudden promotion to a High-class Devil so I couldn’t even prepare time to become independent. Well, from here I can gradually prepare to become independent as I look at my career path. It’s just that the order of things changed a bit.
So it’s not like everyone's lifestyle will change suddenly.
Kiba then says.
“Well, in a big way we can still call all of us the “Rias Gremory’s peerage”. As long as Ise-kun doesn’t move out right now then nothing will change visibly.”
Koneko-chan continues after him.
“……Ise-senpai will be summoned as Rias former-buchou’s [Pawn] once she participates in the Underworld’s Rating Game after all.”
Yeah, that’s what it must mean. When Rias participates in the professional Rating Game I simply have to join as her [Pawn].
And so, the ritual for the trade goes on. The magic-circle appears again on the floor of the changing room. Rias, Ravel’s mom, and I stand at the side of the magic-circle. Asia, Xenovia, and Ravel stand at the centre of the magic-circle. Among the Evil-Pieces which I had just received earlier, I am holding onto the unused pieces consisted of two [Bishops] and one [Knight].
Rias and Ravel’s mom close their eyes and increase their aura while putting their hand forward. Then the Devil symbols written on the magic-circle start to circulate.
Then there are changes happening to the girls. What happens first is Asia and Xenovia’s body shining as if they're responding to the shine from Rias’s aura. Then next, my body starts to shine and each of my [Bishop] and [Knight] that I am holding onto shine one after another.
The flow of the aura changes gradually as it bypasses the magic-circle where the Evil Pieces I’m holding onto start to synchro with Rias’s glow. Then this time Asia and Xenovia synchronise with my aura. And at the end Ravel’s mom and Ravel start to glow while my last [Bishop] piece also glows.
Ravel and I synchro through the magic-circle while my [Bishop] piece synchros with Ravel’s mom.
Once this whole ritual ended——— Rias and Ravel’s mom stopped releasing their aura and the magic-circle on the floor disappears.
And then Rias picks up each of the [Bishop] and the [Knight] piece which originally belonged to me. Ravel’s mom picks up the remaining [Bishop] piece.
Rias then says it with a smile on her face.
“Alright, it’s all done now. Asia, Xenovia. From now on you are “Hyoudou Issei’s Peerage”.”
Oh really!? So this is trading! It was quite simple.
———Then Asia jumps into my arms.
“Ise-san! Ise-san, Ise-san, Ise-san!”
The way how Asia is overjoyed was shocking.
She did keep on saying how she wanted to become a part of my peerage this whole time after all.
I also hug Asia.
“Yeah, Asia! With this one of my promises is fulfilled!”
“I love you! I won’t leave you anymore!”
“Hahaha, there wasn’t a single time you ever left me.”
This time Xenovia puts her arm around my neck.
“I’m also with you! Let’s go on a rampage!”
“Just don’t overdo it, Xenovia!”
It’s terrifying when you go all out! Well, I can also say that’s what makes her so reliable!
“Ravel, take care of me from now on too!”
I say that to Ravel who also became my servant.
Ravel acts strong while having tears in her eyes.
“Of course. I will give my all for my [King], Ise-sama, as your manager and as your servant.”
Yeah, I will also improve myself to live up to the standard of my manager, Ravel!
Ravel’s mom gives a single nod after witnessing this and then says this.
“Then I will entrust my daughter to you for eternity. I will also need to prepare for the ceremonies coming ahead———”
“O-Okaasama! You are rushing it! Please wait till I graduate from College!”
Ravel who covers her mom’s mouth in a rush.
But once Ravel’s mom makes a single cough she whispers into my ears with a serious expression.
(……I will tell you one thing about my daughter.)
And this is what she whispers to me.
(———Ravel’s true nature is the path of supremacy. That path is bound to create grudges in others by governing the world through military force and wisdom. It’s like oil and water when compared to you whose true nature is the path of righteousness if you were to govern the world.)
……Ravel’s true nature is the path of supremacy? In other words she will create the supreme ruler?
Ravel’s mom pokes my chest using her finger and then says this with a meaningful smile.
(If you rely on Ravel then you will certainly fall into the path of supremacy. So I ask you to not make a mistake in how to use her. The reason why I took Ravel from Raiser is because I thought he would mistakenly use her even if he knows about her talent.)
……What is she saying?
Ravel and the path of supremacy…… At this time I can only tilt my head in wonder.
Irina who was watching this whole procedure is putting on a expression as if she made a certain decision.
“……So both Xenovia and Asia went to Ise-kun’s side…… Yeah, it’s about time I make a decision.”
……Irina, wonder if the trade earlier made her think of something.
———Myself who has just attained three servants. Then Raiser asks me.
“So then, Hyoudou Issei. You have become a High-class Devil, something you were craving for. So I presume your aim hasn’t changed yet, right?”
Oh, so you are asking me that question! I say it happily with a lecherous face.
“Of course I’m looking forward to the sumptuous feast! Beautiful women and girls! Oppai, oppai, a Harem-King with so many dreams!”
Obviously my main aim hasn’t changed. I’ve been training so hard in order to achieve that and continued to fight strong foes despite almost losing my life.
———But I have gained ambitions other than that within this past one year.
So I reveal them.
“……Well, that’s how I started. But now on top of that aim I am thinking how wonderful it would be to live peacefully with my comrades and family. I want to make that it that way and I hope it becomes that way.”
What I realised while fighting bad guys is how important your daily life is. And furthermore how important peace is.Rather, if you can’t live your days peacefully then you can’t do lecherous things!
“———Ah, except there is one more thing I need to add.”
I put my finger up and make an oath.
“If there are those that will hurt my important people then I will definitely defeat them even if they may be a God.”
I declared that to everyone here with determination.
Yeah. I definitely won’t forgive those who will hurt my important people or disturb our important peaceful world even if that person might be a God.
———The War of Evil Dragons was an incident which was enough to change my values.
Raiser makes a big smile hearing that.
“You sure have become good at talking. Looks like I can entrust Ravel to you. ———Then you will be coming right?”
He says this as he puts his arm around my neck.
“The World Tournament. From the House of Phoenix my eldest brother’s and my team will be participating. I have determined that there is meaning for me to participate no matter how hard it is for me to win it. Being able to fight God-classes officially is an unthinkable situation which you could never experience.”
……Oh man. Even this person has brought up this topic. And this person is also participating. Even if the chances of winning the tournament are slim he believes participating in it has a meaning———
Raiser Phoenix, both your body and soul really has become burning hot…… Just like an immortal bird. I really start to think how fighting you in the past was a great experience.
Raiser says it while messing my hair.
“I believe you will participate as a [King]. No, I am hoping for it. And if I’m able to fight you there…… Burn me up, Sekiryuutei. I will be waiting!”
Even this person is asking me. I guess it’s unavoidable for those people I will be meeting from now on to ask me the same question.
Raiser and his mom left the changing room after they gave us a farewell after the trade———
It happens when we left the changing once our business there ended and we are on way to the hall where the party will be held.
We are welcoming a guest once again.
It’s a boy who looks like a middle-school student with black hair which looks bluish. He has a well structured face.
I thought he was the son of a rich family who had become lost. But the moment our eyes met———
I understand by instinct that the alert level inside me went up to the max right away.
His eyes give me the feeling he is seeing right through me. Fear, menace, and shivers are what I get from him which feels as if he will gain control of both my body and mind…… It wasn’t just me. Others (minus my parents) sensed the divinity and the limitless power coming from the boy and instead of being alert all of us can simply shiver.
The boy says this as he makes a small chuckle.
“Hmm……I’m meeting them for the first time but I can see the faces of those I heard from rumours and those I haven’t. Still, I need to give my words of congratulation. Congrats on becoming a High-class Devil, Sekiryuutei.”
The boy gives me a clap.
The one who appears from behind him are———the Maou Ajuka Beelzebub-sama and another unknown man. He’s wearing a native dress, a sari.
It isn’t a bottomless divinity as the boy, but the unknown man also has an unbelievable aura of divinity coming from his whole body and is continuing to release a supreme aura. He’s a good looking man with long black hair and pale white skin despite having a good build. He also has sharp eyes and after he takes a look at all of us he brings his gaze back to me.
“…………Hmm, so this is the “Sekiryuutei of the Issei (Blazing Truth)” that had defeated Loki and Apophis.”
Looks like he was observing my spec and it sounds like I have satisfied him.
Rias calls out Beelzebub-sama’s name.
Beelzebub-sama raises his hand to urge us to “not put our alert on”.
“Rias, this person here wanted to meet all of you so even if it was sudden I have brought him here.”
Saying that, Beelzebub-sama introduces the boy to us.
“———This person is Shiva-sama.”
……Oh my god……!
……The God of Destruction who is in a different league among all the Gods.If you don’t include Great Red and Ophis he is said to be the strongest among the whole forces……!
Everyone here is in total shock (Though my parents are dumbfounded since they don’t know what’s going on here!)!
……More importantly, he came to my ceremony today!? Just how much attention am I getting today!?
The boy———Shiva, says this as he smiles at us.
“How are all of you doing, D×D……of the Kuou academy side should I say. My name is Shiva, one of the three pillar Gods. I feel that we will be meeting more frequently from now on so I wanted to give you my greetings.”
He puts his hand forward……so I shake his hand while feeling frightened.
“T-Thank you for that……”
……I’m shaking hands with the God of Destruction……
———And this time the tall man who looked like his escort speaks to me.
“The promotion to a High-class Devil, allow me to congratulate you as well.”
“……Y-You are, umm.”
Shiva introduces the man to me.
“He is the young Prince of Asura.”
…………Hahaha, I’m totally speechless now. This time it’s the Prince of Asura!
The Prince of Asura puts his hand forward and introduces himself.
“The name is Mahabali. Nice to meet you.”
The Prince of Asura, Mahabali, says it as he shakes my hand.
“Especially you, Hyoudou Issei, I was eager to meet you. Your achievements during the War of Evil Dragons also reached my ears. I also wanted to fight against Trihexa alongside you.”
“Y-You are flattering me……”
I can only answer him by forcing a smile on my face! That’s because two Gods……more like two pillars of Gods, but still two pillars of Gods came all the way here just to greet me! I can only get confused at this situation which has far exceeded my expectations!
Shiva seems to be having fun since he is putting his hand under his chin.
“I have heard you were honest about your sexual desire but you don’t seem like that at all. A Harem-King is your dream, is it?”
“W-Well, I’m famous for being a lewd! I have already attained moves such as Dress Break which blows off women’s clothing and Bilingual which allows me to speak to their breasts! And now I’m hoping if I can create a new move which allows me to see through women’s clothing!”
Why the heck am I explaining such things to the God of Destruction and the Prince of Asura!
And Mahabali is taking my words seriously so he’s nodding with a serious face!
Shiva seems to be just having fun.
“Hmm, is that so. Certainly the sexual desires have been the direct source of coming up with those moves. But from looking at you right now it’s hard to think you made such moves since I don’t sense that much sexual desires coming from you.”
Shiva points at my nose and then asks this.
“What are you seeking for right now? Is it women after all? Or is it fame?”
“I, I want both! ……Isn’t that it?”
Shiva shakes his head at my words and then says this.
“It’s what you are seeking for from the deep of your heart. What is the most thing you desire? Not as a singular but as a whole.”
What I desire for which is not singular but as a whole……
I answer him right away.
“……I guess it's peace. I want to live peacefully in a war-free world. I am fighting with all my strength just for that.”
Shiva makes a single nod after hearing that. He then looks from the top of my head to the tip of my feet.
“……I see, so that’s how it is.”
It seems like there is something which convinced him.
“W-What do you mean?”
When I ask——— Shiva puts his palm on my chest.
“Yes, he simply swimmed in that boundary peacefully as he liked without being restrained by anything. Ophis despite what happened in the past is enjoying peace right now, right? If the two beings which could be said as your second parents are seeking for peace then it won’t be weird if your true nature changed since you were made by their powers. It seems like you have greatly influenced both Great Red and Ophis but the opposite would also apply. The current you is seeking to live more than anything. ———It means you are putting your all in protecting your peaceful life. If you really want to become an Harem King then you might not be able to advance further if you don’t settle your thoughts.”
So he’s saying that I’m craving for peace more than anyone due to Great Red and Ophis’s influence.
……More importantly, this God of Destruction knows where Ophis lives huh. Was it Beelzebub-sama or Azazel-sensei that told him……
“It’s also influenced by the Infinity and the Dream but you are also seeking for peace, right? The infinity-like synergy might be strengthening that greed even further. You could say that this is the price of getting a powerful power and possibility. I’m guessing that deep inside you it’s stopping you from making babies until you achieve the peace you wish for with your own hands. You could say that it’s handcuff made from karma. There is no way a former human can unequip the powers of two God-class Dragons.”
……This feeling is swirling inside me. The mixed feeling I have is actually coming from…… So are you telling me that I can aim to become a Harem King only after achieving peace with my own hands……?
……Is that it, Great Red? Ophis? The Heavenly Dragon that is seeking for peace…… ……I see. That might be it. Both Great Red and Ophis are living so carefreely. They are trying to live in such a way. The two Dragons that are called the strongest wants to enjoy peace. No, they are enjoying peace.
The two Gods of Dragons are like my dad and mom. If they are seeking for peace then it can’t be helped that me,who is their child,is being influenced by them……
Shiva laughs in amusement when he sees me thinking all of this.
“The existence which sounds like a joke since he has the power of two Dragons that surpasses my strength is seeking for peace more than anything else and is aiming to become a Harem King, huh. …….Fufufu, you’ve taken my interest.”
Shiva who talks to Beelzebub-sama.
“Ajuka, you do remember the condition Azazel gave me, right?”
“……The case where we would prepare anything you ask for, I presume?”
Beelzebub-sama asks him.
“Yes, that’s it. ———Sekiryuutei.”
“Eh? Ah, yes?”
Shiva then says it directly to my face.
“———How about you come under me?”
Me and my comrades can only be shocked at this!
Shiva then tells Rias.
“Ah, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not telling him to leave your side, Rias Gremory. If a war breaks out from our mythology as the centre of it then how about he comes to my force? ———That’s what I was getting at. Even having his comrades included in it is fine. If it’s your comrades then they are a promising bunch, right?”
“Shiva-sama! But that is!”
Shiva speaks as he stops Beelzebub-sama’s words with his hand.
“The action of Śakra———Indra, who is increasing his forces in order to defeat me, is something you are aware of, right? He is gathering notable fighters under him in order to challenge me. I’m presuming that day will be unexpectedly soon. There is a high chance he will take action in the upcoming tournament. You do know there is Cao Cao and the first Sun Wukong under him, right? Then it’s natural for me to want some useful and strong pawns under me as well.”
Shiva shrugs his shoulders to Beelzebub-sama.
“”I won’t tell you to leave Rias Gremory’s side. But Indra has already started taking actions as he is already looking at the “next” phase, you know? Then the earlier I give you my offer the better it is.”
This time the man who is escorting him———the Prince of Asura Mahabali, says it to me. I mean why are these guys keep on talking to just me for!?
“Sekiryuutei, we the Asuras have already decided to walk along beside Shiva-sama. If you join our forces then we can’t feel anymore assured. How about it? How about you come under Shiva-sama so you can fight alongside me on the battlefield? Defeating that Indra together with us certainly will be an amusement.”
Suddenly Mahabali is releasing a furious aura from his whole body. At the same time the small objects in this room such as cups and tables start shaking and showing cracks on them.
“I won’t forgive Indra. My father, Vairochana, was killed none other than by Śakra, that Indra, after all……! Varuna-sama who is the current King of Asura is telling me to calm down but this anger of mine is one thing I cannot calm down!”
……His voice and actions are packed with so much intensity and rage. His face is covered in anger.
Shiva reaches his hand out to me.
“———The “Sekiryuutei of the Issei (Blazing Truth), come under my forces. If you are the servant of the Ruin Princess……no, actually you are the Dragon that had far surpassed a Devil. Wouldn’t receiving a protection from the God of Destruction be interesting?”
……This is such a crazy offer. To tell you the truth, it's so out of this world that I can’t keep up with the topic. I know that I can’t recklessly accept his offer. If Azazel-sensei was here he would have interfered into this discussion but he’s no longer here.
———From now on I have to think and answer on my own.
I then ask Shiva.
“……Do you want to have war against Śakra?”
“That won’t be a bad idea. ———Though I have become too bored with a mere war. I would prefer to prepare something more interesting. Well, I have no intention of starting a mudding war after so long.”
He’s saying it in a way as if he is evading to answer seriously.
Shiva also says this.
“Sekiryuutei of the Issei (Blazing Truth). Just remember this. From now on, whether they are friend or foe, those who would appear in front of both you and the Hakuryuukou of the Morning Star will be God-class beings. Both your connections and battles would involve many God-class beings. ———That’s how much feat you two demonstrated. You might be a Dragon that loves women and peace more than anything else. No, you probably are. You have made so much miracles because of that. But you know, I think there is another real reason behind it.”
Shiva narrows his eyes and seems like he’s finding it interesting.
“———You like strong individuals, right? Obviously that would include your comrades but even if they were your enemy, you love to battle the warriors with strong beliefs more than anything. You like to both watch and battle them. The new interest you gained besides women within this last year filled with intense battles is to fight strong men, isn’t it?”
……I wonder why. Myself who was seeking for a harem roughly a year ago. About a year has passed since then———
Even though I want to reject Shiva’s words I can’t bring myself to. No, there is a side of me deep inside me which is approving them.
Yeah, along with lecherous thoughts I ——— was enchanted by “strength” and became crazy about it through that battle with Raiser, the Sitri, Sairaorg-san, and many other strong opponents.
I have come to like defeating strong opponents after intense battles just as liking to grope girls’ breasts———.
It appears Shiva took my silence as an approval and is smiling happily.
Shiva starts patting my back.
“It’s regarding the World Rating Game Tournament which I will be sponsoring. I’m planning to name it after one of the heroes of the War of Evil Dragon and call it “Azazel Cup”. He did do all the work behind the scene right before it started. Don’t you think it’s a fitting name?”
———Azazel Cup. That’s the name of the World Rating Game Tournament.
Shiva continues further.
“———The strong men you like so much will also be appearing. Many of those warriors that like you so much. All of those who exchanged fists with you would be participating. Seeing that, are you going to stand on the side line while biting your nails?”
Mahabali also says it straight to me.
“I am also participating. And if you are as well then let’s definitely duel. I understood it today after meeting you. ———With you I can have a fight after which I cannot ask for more.”
Never thought even a God would ask me. Just how many people are seeking for me?
———Then Shiva moves his gaze to the door.
“Don’t you have anything to say? The Assasin-san sent from Śakra.”
Everyone becomes alert at Shiva’s words. There is an assassin sent by Śakra standing behind the door!? I didn’t notice that at all! So you are telling me that the assassin has been eavesdropping on us!?
The one who appears by opening the door is——— Cao Cao! C-Certainly this guy may be an assassin sent from Śakra but I never expected him to show up!
Cao Cao says it as he shrugs his shoulders.
“My apologies, Shiva-sama. I had no intention of hiding but I didn’t want to interrupt your discussion.”
“Fufufu, you’ve come to see the Sekiryuutei, right?”
Cao Cao answers “Yes” to Shiva’s question.
Cao Cao says it after moving his eyes to me.
“Who would ever thought even Shiva-sama would become fond of you. Seriously, you are continuing to grow every time I meet you.”
“Never thought you would come too. Did you come to see my promotion ceremony? Though you are not the type of person to say congratulations.”
“You are right. I came to observe your promotion ritual on behalf of Śakra. Though I thought it was a good opportunity. There is something I need to tell you.”
Cao Cao says it with a heroic face.
“I will obviously participate in the tournament as well. I got a permission from Śakra as well. I’m going to challenge myself to see how far my power will go together with my team I prepared. And if my wish which is to have a rematch with all of you gets fulfilled then I can’t ask for more.”
Cao Cao turns around and says it as he turns his back on me.
“———The High-class Devil, Hyoudou Issei. I really do want to crush your team down head on. I am always yearning for you and Vali.”
Saying just that, Cao Cao leaves.
……Damn, I mean seriously. All of these guys are……!
Those who speak to me ——— are high in battle spirits and are observing me. Furthermore, this God called Shiva, the Prince of Asura, Cao Cao, and Raiser aren’t looking at me as Rias’s servant but are looking at me directly———.
……There is this emotion building inside me.
———The World Tournament where the strong will gather. And my own team, huh.
Then the thing Shiva said to me swirls inside me.
———You like strong individuals, right?
……Yeah, I sure do! There are just too many awesome guys around me who are taking my attention, that makes me want to aim for them, and that makes me want to surpass them!
I clench my fist really hard. The fire which has lit the fuse of my heart is getting even stronger.
After Cao Cao left it seems like Shiva and Mahabali finished their business so they left the scene together with Beelzebub-sama———.
There were continuous appearances of unexpected guests. All of us have calmed down and headed home after the party.
I look out the window while on our way home by train.
……I then see the sight of the stadium we passed by when we came here.
……That place will also become the stadium of the game.
All these frustrations are building inside me———
My own team———
The warriors that appeared in front of me are all seeking for me———.
I have become a High-class Devil———.
I am Rias’s [Pawn] but ——— I am a [King] as well.
……It’s not just your regular Rating Game. It’s a World Tournament type……
……To not participate while all of those guys I know are participating……
———There’s no way I’ll let that happen!
The fight against him. And the fight against him as well. Having that taken away from me by someone else is frustrating me even more.
Can I allow myself to simply stand and watch the guys I’ve fought lose against someone else besides me!?
———I then realised that I am standing on a new start line once again.
Myself who feels as though my burning soul is about to burn my body. But then there are those who approached me.
———It’s Asia, Xenovia, and Ravel.
All three of them have a determined look.
Xenovia then says it heroically.
“……Ise, I have made up my mind.”
Asia also nods to her words strongly.
“Yes, I am the same as Xenovia-san. I will follow the path Ise-san chose. ———I am your [Bishop].”
Ravel then asks me fearlessly.
“Now then, Ise-sama. Isn’t there something in your mind which had been stimulated?”
……Geez, all of you know me very well……
“……Asia, Xenovia, and Ravel. Can you listen to what I have to say for a bit?”
I———then shared my thoughts to my first peerage members ever———
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