High School DxD:Volume 23 Juniors preparation
After the game ended, the members of the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] all gathered in the waiting room as they reflected on the tournament and discussed issues for the future. After that, everyone went to take a break. After coming out from the waiting room and heading over to the vending machine in the corridor to buy a drink (it was in fact to be alone), Nakiri Ouryuu saw the silhouette of a certain person. On the other side of the corridor was — a girl in her teens with beautiful and sleek long silver hair. The girl’s face was like a work of art. It was neat and incredibly pretty. It was almost as if her two deep red pupils were able to illuminate an abyss as they reflected Nakiri Ouryuu within them. Her face was almost like an artwork, but it couldn’t hold her smile.
“Good work, Ouryuu.”
“Millarca, aren’t you worried about coming out during the day? —Ah right, this is the Underworld.”
The girl before his eyes was a pure-blooded Vampire — Millarca Vordenburg. She didn’t have to worry about sunlight because she was in the Underworld, and that was why she didn’t have to wear as many layers of clothing as before.
“Mmm, the Underworld sure is a nice place. I don’t have to wear a scarf or sunglasses.”
Her art-like face spoke with an unimaginably cute voice. After Nakiri Ouryuu pressed a button on the vending machine to purchase his sports drink, he walked down the corridor together with Millarca.
“—Well, is there anything you want to say?”
Millarca wanted to ask Nakiri Ouryuu about his feelings after the match.
“Yeah, to reflect a bit—”
Just as he was about to speak, somewhere in the depths of the corridor up ahead, a voice was heard. It was the voice of a crying woman. The two of them hid around the corner, with Nakiri Ouryuu on top and Millarca below as they quietly poked their heads out to take a look. In front of them were — Hyoudou Issei and Ravel Phoenix. Ravel Phoenix…tears endlessly overflowed from her eyes, and it looked like she had already been crying for a long time.
(…*sob* *hick*, Ise-sama…I…even though I was there…)
Hyoudou Issei gently embraced her, and he pat her head as he said
(If I didn’t have Ravel, the match would’ve been much worse. We still have opportunities. I, we’ll become stronger together.)
Ravel Phoenix buried her head into Hyoudou Issei’s chest.
After answering with that, she continued to whimper against Hyoudou Issei’s chest. …After losing, the princess-sama who was the same age as him had appeared rather strong-hearted whilst in the waiting room. Regardless of whether it was in her ordinary school life, or as the Sekiryuutei’s manager, she never showed any weakness. She always guided the members of the team as well as the [King] that she adored. Nakiri Ouryuu felt that it would be insensitive to continue spying on them, so he pulled on Millarca’s hand to leave.
Seeing the silent Nakiri Ouryuu, Millarca said
“…In front of her comrades, she won’t show any regret, Ravel-san that is.”
“…Hyoudou-senpai, he also treasures Phoenix very much.”
Precisely because of that, he took Ravel Phoenix to a place away from everyone else so that he could listen to her heartfelt emotions. He must have noticed that his own manager was forcing herself.
—He is a good person. He looks after his own peerage well.
Nakiri Ouryuu thought of the senior that he respected and revealed a smile.
“—He is truly worthy of respect, that senpai. He really inspires me as someone who similarly hosts a dragon.”
“Ooh — I see! By the way, did you know?”
“—Most of the men who meet the Sekiryuutei become fascinated with him.”
“That’s naturally because he’s such an amazing person.”
“Ah, I see!”
Through this game, Nakiri Ouryuu recognised his own strengths, as well as his own weaknesses and deficiencies—.
—Through this tournament, I can become stronger. I can allow the ‘dragon’ within me to become stronger! More than anything, as a warrior who is the host of a ‘dragon’, I can become a part of Hyoudou Issei’s strength. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. As a younger male, I want to catch up to him—.
Nakiri Ouryuu said to Millarca
“I have to start over again by running laps. If I don’t, then I won’t have the right to face Hyoudou-senpai, Xenovia-kaichou or Phoenix.”
“You look happy.”
Indeed, that’s because the experience of this tournament is far more precious than anything else—.
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