High School DxD:Volume 22 New Life
A few days after defeating Barakiel-san’s team—.
A slight change had occurred at the dining table of the Hyoudou household.
“Here, ah— ♪”
Sitting beside me (on my right), Akeno-san used chopsticks to feed me tamagoyaki in the “Ah—” manner. After the match against Barakiel-san concluded, Akeno-san has constantly been sticking to my side. I ate the tamagoyaki that was fed to me. Mmm~ it was juicy, sweet, and truly delicious!
“Is it delicious? A-na-ta ♪”
Akeno-san asked. When she said it like that, it almost sounded as if she was my wife! No, but I did say that I would make Akeno-san happy, regardless of whether it was the present or the future. And sitting on my other side (on my left), Rias finally exploded the very instant that she saw this.
“You actually said a-na-ta, Akeno! I-It’s too early for that!”
Akeno-san smiled softly.
“Ara? I have a promise with Ise for our future. So isn’t it only natural for me to address him like this? Rias, Ise made the same promise to you on the day of the graduation ceremony. Can’t you also call him that?”
Rias puffed out her cheeks and immediately retorted
“E-Even so, it’s too soon! F-First, we have to hold a proper engagement ceremony—”
“A deep relationship is already enough ♪ Ufufu, I already feel so happy that I don’t even know what to do.”
At this point, Akeno-san almost seemed to dance on the spot, and became rather cheerful. And then, Akeno-san issued a very erotic challenge to Rias.
“Rias, allow me to declare this. In the future, I might have Ise’s child before you. No, I definitely will. This I can say with confidence. Ufufu.”
M-My child! What are you saying, Akeno-san! I don’t even know how to react to this! Tears began to well up in Rias’ eyes as she said
“That’s something I can also vow for the future!”
She was pouting angrily, but she was also very cute at the same time. After watching this from the side, Xenovia, Asia and Irina also said
“Listen up, Asia, Irina! We must also get closer to Ise to make him take responsibility for us too!”
“I don’t quite understand, but I won’t lose to my onee-samas!”
“In other words, we can no longer simply watch from the side!”
Kunou looked at this situation with a serious expression and said
“Mmm! So this is how fierce the competition is in this household!”
Koneko-chan, Rossweisse-san and Ravel all sighed, and they earnestly said to Kunou
“…Welcome to the girls’ club of hell that is competing for Ise-senpai.”
“Hell is a strange interpretation. But when things get intense, the relationships of each member can change greatly even in half a day.”
“Kunou-san, it’s going to be difficult here, ok? First of all, let me tell you about the ranking and rules—”
…Early in the morning, I was already surrounded by the enthusiasm of the girls in my house. I guess, in order to become a harem king, I’ll need to get accustomed to these kinds of things. The Kiba group (Kiba, Gasper, Tosca, Valerie) who had been invited over for breakfast also remained on the sidelines as bystanders and they simply said
[It looks like it’s quite difficult.]
Kiba made a wry smile while he said to me
“It must be tough, Ise-kun.”
“…I suppose. I don’t even know what to do now.”
Then, Kiba changed the topic and asked me
“That reminds me, after the game concluded, it seems you were summoned by the Maou-sama, what happened?”
“Ah, just a small matter.”
Just as Kiba said, after the game with Barakiel-san, I alone was summoned by Beelzebub-sama. I went to Beelzebub-sams’s personal research facility in the Maou’s territory, and then Beelzebub-sama said to me
[Hyoudou Issei-kun, just one moment will be fine. I summoned you because there is something that I need to speak to you about.]
Saying that, Beelzebub-sama used a large screen to display an image. I couldn’t have imagined that it was actually—.
<<Yo, Ise. Is it spring on your side now? The battle over here is in full swing.>>
W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-WHAT IS THIS! The person shown there was Azazel-sensei! Moreover, it wasn’t a recording, it was a true, live broadcast!
[Azazel-sensei!? What is going on here!?]
I was so excited that I grabbed the screen as I shouted! I was so shocked that I pinched my own cheeks to verify that it wasn’t a dream. Sensei threw a spear of light out towards somewhere while he continued
<<It’s nothing surprising, this is simply a form of communication from inside the isolation barrier.>>
[S-Something like this is actually possible!?]
I thought that as soon as they went in there that I would never be able to see nor speak to them again, so this information really shocked me! Sensei said
<<Of course. We can contact each other regularly; if we couldn’t communicate about the situation of the battle over here, I wouldn’t be able to speak to you either, right? Also, if supplies aren’t sent over to us, we won’t be able to fight a protracted battle.>>
Thinking carefully about it, it made sense…. Sensei went into the barrier because he had made these kinds of preparations. I just didn’t expect that the isolation barrier was so well prepared for. Beelzebub-sama continued to explain to me
[The only things that cannot exit from the inside are Sirzechs and the others, as well as Trihexa. The exchange of information and transfer of goods are all possible. This matter is currently confidential, and only a few people are aware of it.]
I-I see! So it was actually possible for them to receive information. Speaking of which, was it really alright to tell me such a secret…. Azazel-sensei dodged a certain object and continued
<<Using the information on Trihexa that we have obtained, it’s possible that you guys might be able to develop relevant countermeasures, or approaches, right? If that’s possible, perhaps this can be over in less than ten thousand years.>>
Information was constantly being updated from the inside and outside, and that could be used to shorten the battle against Trihexa. In that way, it might truly take less than ten thousand years.
<<Ah! What! Who are you talking with? Could it possibly be Sona-tan!?>>
I heard a very familiar, cheery voice! Serafall Leviathan-sama appeared on the display! This person doesn’t appear to have changed very much either…. Sensei said
<<No, it’s Ise. It looks like things over there have settled down a bit, so that’s why we can get in touch with you.>>
Serafall-sama seemed to cry after she heard that.
<<Uuh, I really want to talk to Sona-tan soon! I! I’m going to collapse because of my Sona-tan deficiency!>>
…I’m sorry, Sona-senpai isn’t here…. Indeed, because the former kaichou graduated, I’ve decided to change the way I address her to ‘senpai’.
<<Fufufu, Serafall. Sona can’t find out about the way we communicate. Didn’t we all decide that only Ise-kun alone would know about this right now?>>
And then came a nostalgic voice that I had missed — it was Sirzechs-sama! Though, he was currently in his destruction form, rather than his usual red-haired appearance.
<<Hey, Ise-kun. Have you been well? You collapsed when we parted, so I was worried about you.>>
[I-I’m doing well! Perfectly healthy!]
Ah, being able to see Sirzechs-sama caused me to burst into tears! Being able to see Sensei, Leviathan-sama, and Sirzechs-sama as well right now, I’m already…!
[I-I…. I thought that I would never see you all again in my lifetime and that I wouldn’t be able to speak to you again…!]
Seeing my manly tears, Sensei seemed uneasy.
<<Ah — don’t cry now, don’t cry. Although we may not be able to see each other face to face, we can at least talk to each other occasionally like this.>>
Really!? That was truly good to hear. …Yes, but it seems like I’m the only one to know about this secret, which makes it somewhat difficult knowing that I have to keep this from everyone else while I’m the only one who can see them…. Just as I began to enter into such thoughts, Beelzebub-sama changed the topic.
[Former Governor Azazel, Sirzechs, let us speak about the earlier topic.]
<<Hmm, having to fight while talking is just a bit difficult, so I’ll make it brief.>>
Sirzechs-sama nodded, and Azazel-sensei began to explain
<<Ise, before we headed in here, there was a discussion between the VIPs of the Three Factions. Accurately speaking, it was before you rushed off to Agreas to save your parents that this matter was already decided on.>>
Beelzebub-sama said to me
[I will be establishing a secret intelligence bureau. Using an example from the human world, it would be similar to the American CIA, or the English MI6.]
—A secret intelligence bureau! It sounds like the establishment of an incredible organisation! I thought it had nothing to do with me until Sirzechs-sama said
<<—I hope that you can join it as an intelligence officer. From here on, there will be more and more people who act in order to take control of the world. It is necessary to protect the future, so it is necessary to remove evil while it is still being immature, which is why I hope that you’ll be able to join.>>
—What! Is this for real!? I’m going to become an intelligence officer of this secret intelligence bureau!?
[…I-I’m going to be an intelligence officer!? I may have defeated villains several times, but…]
Azazel-sensei said to me with a serious tone
<<This is a request not only from Sirzechs, but also from me.>>
Beelzebub-sama also nodded.
[In the future, there will be more and more cases that will need to be dealt with secretly. That’s why an organisation like this is necessary.]
<<—We plan to name the organisation [EXE].>>
…From [DxD] to [EXE]—. Beelzebub-sama said
[You originally belonged to the anti-terrorist team [DxD], and you also possess the flesh of [D×D] Great Red, and at the same time you are also called [DxD] . The next one after ‘D’ — is ‘E’, which is in the title of the organisation [EXE] that you will belong to. Don’t you think that this is a fateful choice?]
…The next initial after the ‘D’ in my name of [DxD] is ‘E’ — and I will join [EXE]. Beelzebub-sama said
[…The organisation’s establishment is planned for two to three years in the future. For now, we need to focus on post-war rehabilitation and the management of the international tournament.]
Sirzechs-sama said something that was even more shocking.
<<I hope that you will be able to stand at the centre of the organisation in the future.>>
You want me to be the leader!? No no, it’s hard enough as it is just being a [King], no matter how you look at it, I’m not fit to act as the leader of a new organisation! I don’t have the capacity or the ability for that!
[It’s impossible! Someone like me…]
Just as I was thinking about refusing outright, Beelzebub-sama began to evaluate me.
[Sirzechs possesses transcendent power, and Former Governor Azazel possesses a vast network of relations; if someone could be the combination of both of them, it would be you.]
Sensei then said
<<To put it even simpler, in order to face the crises that will arise in the future, I hope that you can make preparations for them in my stead.>>
Sensei then said
<<—I hope that you can support the world from the shadows like Vali, and seek out the existences with transcendent power. At the very least, you must bring all of the Longinus users to our side.>>
[H-How could I possibly take charge of such an important role! I ignore politics, and I don’t even understand my own judgement of good and evil either!]
I simply can’t become a politician like Sirzechs-sama or Azazel-sensei. If it involves politics, and if I had to consider aspects such as whether my actions on the world were good or evil, I think my head would crack! Azazel-sensei continued
<<I’m not telling you to do it now. You won’t do it on your own either. —From now on, you will learn together with your team, and you will have their support in the future. As a result, you will be the driving force behind [EXE].>>
Sirzechs-sama then continued
<<You are young. There are plenty of things that you want to do. There are also many ambitions that you wish to achieve. However, the approaching threats are also a fact of reality. …Ise-kun, among the many dreams that you hold, could you also add the protection of the world in with those as well?>>
At that time, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. The best that I could do was to say
[I will think about it.]
After all, this wasn’t the kind of question that I could easily reply to. Sensei and the others said that they would give me time to consider before the establishment of the organisation…. I…need to become a transcending being like Sirzechs-sama, and someone like Azazel-sensei who has a vast and resourceful network…?
I can’t do it right now. My strength and ability are both lacking. But—. I still have around ten thousand years of my life to go. Since that’s the case, if I work on those things bit by bit starting from now…in the future, I’ll be able to…. While those thoughts clouded my mind, the contest of the girls beside me intensified even further.
“Geez! Akeno, I will not forgive you if you take my boyfriend’s ‘first’!”
“Well, then I’ll dedicate all sorts of ‘firsts’ to my lover Ise.”
“If that’s the case, then I’ll make sure that I enjoy my ‘firsts’ much more!”
Rias and Akeno-san turned around and asked me at the same time.
““Ise, which do you think is better!?””
…Even if it’s my turn to answer, I’m troubled on what to say….
—Even though I courageously answered like that
““Who starts first!?””
—Being asked that, I was immediately dumbfounded! Standing on the side, dad and mum smiled as they watch us—.
“Dear, this is youth isn’t it?”
“It is youth indeed, isn’t it?”
They seemed to be enjoying it. And then, at the end of our conversation, Azazel-sensei said
<<Ise, have you become a high-class Devil?>>
[Yes, all thanks to your care. …But, there are still some times when I feel inexperienced…]
Despite my restless mood, Sensei gave me a thumbs up and smiled as he said
<<—If breasts appear before your eyes, don’t think about anything else. You have embarked on the journey to becoming a harem king. Difficult matters are difficult matters, and breasts are breasts. Don’t mix them together, think about them separately. That’s what I think is an ‘Oppai Dragon’.>>
Difficult matters are difficult matters, and breasts are breasts. Don’t mix them together, think about them separately. …Perhaps in my subconscious, I never separated the difficult issues from breasts! Beside Sensei, after hearing what he had to say, Sirzechs-sama also said with a bold tone
<<That’s right. That may well be the case. —Ise-kun, I’m not distracted either when I grope Grayfia’s breasts. That’s how simple the situation is.>>
Even Sirzechs-sama (destruction form) said such a thing! …Even the great Maou-sama also considers politics to be separate from breasts! There is no doubt about it now! At the very end of the conversation, Azazel-sensei shouted
<<Ise! Dreams, love, fights, oppai, all of this is a part of youth! Grope breasts when you’re feeling troubled! At the end of that, you will have become a harem king! I believe in you! Do your best!>>
Alright! Sensei! I will carry my dreams and ambitions, and as I struggle through them, I will grope breasts! I will aim to become a harem king! That’s right, my youth is just getting started right now—.
The evening two days after that—.
The new and old Occult Research Club members were gathered in the living room. Everyone was watching the television intently. The television was showing a special program from the Underworld on the international tournament. The cameras of the operations committee and the various factions were all gathered at the spacious venue. Today, the next part of the tournament schedule was to be announced. My team had already registered yesterday. It seems like the schedule for all of the teams that had registered by yesterday would be announced tonight, all at once. Because we held our strategy meeting during the previous announcement, we didn’t get to see the live broadcast, but we were going to pay attention to it this time.
Various combinations appeared upon the screen. With ‘VS’ in the middle, the teams on the left and right side of it were decided by random, and the combinations would then be determined. Numerous team names were displayed quite quickly. There were more than I had expected. Each combination was announced one after the other. Because these were the combinations for the next battles, our next game and the one after that would be published…so far, there were no famous opponents. But, we couldn’t be careless! We can’t possibly predict what will unfold according to different sets of rules. There is also the issue of compatibility between teams. Every game was an experience that had something to be learned from. The game combinations continued to be displayed. All of a sudden, two combinations caught everyone’s attention. The cameras also homed in on these two. The host in the venue announced these two unexpected team combinations in a loud voice
<<How unexpected! Such a combination has actually appeared at this stage! It looks like these games will be ones that every team in the competition will be paying attention to!>>
I could not help but hold my breath as I saw the two combinations, and I could not suppress the impulse welling up inside my body either.
“—Kuh. …So it’s come…”
The television display was divided top and bottom, showing both combinations at the same time.
[Imperial Purpure] Sairaorg Bael (Underworld Devil) team VS [Spear of the Heavenly Emperor] Cao Cao (Mount Meru) team
[Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] Hyoudou Issei (Underworld Devil) team VS [Trump Card of Heaven] Dulio Gesualdo (Heaven) team
As soon as these combinations were announced, thunderous cheers erupted from the audience at the venue. Given that they had seen something like this, it was only natural!
—A battle between Sairaorg, the embodiment of power and Cao Cao, the genius of technique!
—As for myself…I would be fighting against Dulio, the trump card of Heaven!
This was the International Rating Game Tournament…! This was a festival of dreamlike battles that I was participating in…! Ravel also stood up out of surprise.
“—It actually appeared so early; the teams of the most popular young Devils are competing with the representative teams of Heaven and Mount Meru…!”
Rias couldn’t restrain her own excitement either and said whilst trembling
“…It is quite irresistible. Even though I’m not there in person, I can’t help but tremble in excitement after seeing these combinations!”
…Yeah, what Rias said is true. Such a combination has already been made in the preliminary round! I desperately held back the excitement that was rising up within me. —However, tonight’s surprises were not over yet. Mum walked over from the entrance and said
“Ise, there’s someone who wants to see you?”
The person led into the living room by mum had a slim figure and their face was obscured by a hood. The guest took off their hood and exposed their face. The person who had appeared was a vampire that I had met before—.
I exclaimed in surprise as I stood up. Elmenhilde bowed, and then greeted us.
“Good evening, everyone. I saw the game. So there is one thing that I’d like to request.”
After saying that, she approached me whilst her red pupils remained locked onto me. Elmenhilde unwaveringly asked me
“—Hyoudou Issei-sama, could you please include me in your team?”
Her words were so astounding that I momentarily forgot about the tournament matchup. —Indeed, the greatest festival of my high school life has just begun.
Translator's Notes and References
- Tamagoyaki: A Japanese omelette, made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg.
- This is commonly used by women to address their husband or lover, and would be similar to ‘dear’ or ‘darling’ in English.
- Pronounced as Eguze, like a Windows executable program. When ExE is shown (lowercase x), it is pronounced as Eee Eee.
- D×D: Dragon of Dragon.
- DxD: Diabolos Dragon.
- Kanji reads as Purple Gold Lion King.
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