High School DxD:Volume 23 Upsetting sorcerer 1
—Dulio Gesualdo is the best Angel.
In the human realm — a certain European country. Upon a small hill in the corner of a small city, there was a small tombstone. The person standing in front of that tombstone was — the man ranked seventh in the Rating Games, the supervisor of the [Trump Card of Heaven] team, Rudiger Rosenkreutz. A bunch of flowers were laid upon the grave — as well as a toy robot. …Resting beneath the grave was his beloved son. After Rudiger reincarnated as a Devil, he became active in the Rating Games, and after a long time, he finally had his first child. Although there were rumours that it was much easier for reincarnated Devils to have children than pure-blooded Devils, it had still taken many long years for his first child to be born. The child that he had been looking forward to…arrived into this world with a disease. …If it was a disease that had a name, even that would have been better. But regardless of whether it was human medical technology, or Devils’ technology, or magical techniques, none of them could find a treatment. Though, what his own child carried was — a Sacred Gear.
While enduring the erosion of the Sacred Gear, he lived but gradually weakened; because of the mysterious power of the Sacred Gear, his body was gradually eroded. As long as someone carried a trace of human blood, then it was possible to have children who were born with a Sacred Gear.
But I never could have imagined that my own child would be born with a Sacred Gear, and on top of that, to have no immunity to it…. Regardless of whether the Sacred Gear was forcefully removed or sealed, the risk of death still lingered, and both the researchers and doctors of the Underworld had said that my child would not live for long. Since birth, my child’s time was limited—. But even so, it was still my hard-won and adorable child.
Rudiger and his wife did their best to meet the requests of their child. They bought him whichever toy he wanted, and when the condition of his body was better, they took him wherever he wanted to go. And when his child’s body suddenly failed, he even withdrew from important matches. That was the extent of Rudiger’s love for his child—. …However, the time limit for his life was in danger, and the final verdict had also been handed down by the doctor. …Even if he left behind a legacy in the Rating Games, became feared by even more high-class Devils, and inspired even more human reincarnated Devils, he was still unable to save his own child. Rudiger watched on as his child’s body grew increasingly frail, he felt pain at his own powerlessness, and cursed himself. However, it was on a certain day. When Rudiger asked his own child what he wanted.
My child lay on the hospital bed and looked up into the sky outside the window and spoke with a little consideration
—I want to see an Angel. I heard that there is an amazing Angel in Heaven called Joker.
Rudiger’s child had a rather unique interest. Instead of focusing on the popular ‘Oppai Dragon’ or Diehauser Belial, he wanted to see a white-winged Angel. If this was the past, then it would have been a distant dream, but it was possible in the present. But the person that he wanted to see was one of the strongest in Heaven, the Joker Dulio Gesualdo. He had constantly been involved in the fight against terrorism, so his schedule was very tight. And upon hearing about some Church institutions, he learned that there were also other children who suffered because of their Sacred Gears, and he was fighting for them. …But on this side, he was a Devil. He was a far lower priority. To him, the children in the Church institutions would always be his number one consideration. …However, he knew that the end of his child’s life was approaching. As if seizing a final lifeline, Rudiger wrote a letter, and sent it to Heaven through the Underworld’s government. …Even if he was a famous person in the Rating Games, he still had no relation to Heaven. The possibility of his letter arriving there, and the possibility of it being read, was probably zero. Rudiger didn’t have high hopes, but believed that it was the least he could do. —However, a few days after the letter was sent out.
“Oh, it’s our first meeting. I heard that there was a child who wanted to see me, so I immediately flew over.”
He came. He actually came to the Underworld…! —He stood in front of my child. My son looked at the Joker with an expression of longing. My child’s originally spiritless face was overflowing with light because of his appearance. After that, Dulio used his free time to visit my child. Even though he clearly had to take care of other children, and he obviously had a lot of work to take care of. He dealt with all of it so that he could make spare time to smile in front of my child. Time and time again—.
It was a miracle that Rudiger’s child was able to live a little longer than the doctors had anticipated. …However, he still could not escape from the fate of death. Even so, his child had departed from the world with a satisfied expression. At the very end, he was truly happy to be able to converse with Dulio. When he thought of going to thank the Joker, Rudiger saw it. —It was a pained and regretful look that Dulio Gesualdo showed when he shed tears for his child.
“…Did you want to live for a bit longer? There should have been many more places that you wanted to visit. There should have been many more delicious things that you wanted to eat…. But because of the suffering from the Sacred Gear bestowed unto you by God-sama, you departed without growing up…it is simply too unreasonable…”
When he saw the expression that Dulio made for the death of his child — Rudiger was moved to tears.
—Dulio Gesualdo is the best Angel.
The Angel that my child adored is the best Joker.
Afterwards, Dulio expressed his intent to participate in the Rating Game World Tournament. His wish after attaining victory was to modify the Sacred Gear system. By using all of the mystical power of the gathered factions, he wanted to re-adjust the Sacred Gear system so that no one would ever suffer because of their Sacred Gear again. Interfering with the Sacred Gear system was a taboo idea that even Archangel Michael hesitated on. Even so, if he could attain the winning prize of the tournament, and achieve this wish, then it should be possible; the thoughts of Dulio and the reincarnated Angels were the same. —They hoped that there would be no further children who would have to suffer because of their Sacred Gears. After hearing of the aspirations of the reincarnated Angels, Rudiger Rosenkreutz made a decision. He was determined! He volunteered to become the supervisor of the Joker team. …Rudiger made a vow for victory as he stood in front of his child’s grave. The small hill that this tombstone was erected on faced the Vatican. Even if he was the child of a Devil, it was the wish of his parents to allow him to rest somewhere a bit closer to Dulio.
“Ah, you’re already here, supervisor.”
He heard a familiar voice. He turned around to see Dulio. He…had arrived here punctually. When asked, he revealed that there were actually other children buried here, which was why he occasionally came to visit. Dulio placed flowers and a small toy onto Rudiger’s child’s grave and then said
“I think Ise-kun will definitely use an ero technique.”
“In the meantime, we have a countermeasure. I think it’s almost certain. Isn’t that the kind of man he is?”
“Of course, that’s precisely the kind of person he is.”
Dulio laughed. He seemed to be looking forward to the battle. Rudiger said
“Oppai Dragon-kun is strong. In the span of a year, there have been many so many historical events that it’s almost unreal. And he has often appeared at the centre of these events. His incredible strength and merits have certainly made him no less than a hero. Moreover, supporting him from behind is Ravel Phoenix, who is also very talented. In thirty years…no, in just twenty years, he’ll become a master of tactics and strategy in the Rating Games of the Underworld.”
The next opponent was a powerful one. There was no doubt that he would be the strongest that they had faced so far.
“However, the most terrifying thing is the Sekiryuutei’s black armour. That cannon blast is very similar to the miracles that god-class beings can trigger. No matter which team it is, anyone would be defeated if they took a direct hit from that. It is a simple and blunt trump card. Its mere existence incites dread in the opposing team. It’s a major factor that any opposing team has to take into account when considering their performance in the match.”
Regardless of whether it was the offensive power of that armour, or the abilities of the opposing team members, those were still unknown factors. Although an extensive investigation had been performed, and they had also rushed over to his house to get a grasp on his living habits, he was still a formidable enemy. —Someone capable of performing a miracle could always break through expectations and calculations easily. Rudiger wasn’t an existence as loved by fate as the Joker or the Sekiryuutei. All he could do was continually prepare, and aim for gaps to strike and defeat the opponent.
…But, in order to fulfil my wish, I have to surpass them, no matter who the opponent is.
Rudiger asked Dulio
“But even so, the ones to win — will be us. Am I right, Trump Card of Heaven — Dulio Gesualdo?”
Dulio smiled with a carefree look, the same as when he had smiled towards my child at that time.
Rudiger solemnly made an oath to the photo of his beloved child that he kept in his pocket.
…Ah, I understand. You also want to see this Angel’s in action, right?
—Dulio Gesualdo is the best Angel.
I will definitely allow this man to win.
That was the present goal of Rudiger Rosenkreutz—.
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