High School DxD:Volume 24 New Life
A few days had passed since the battle between Rias’ team and Vali’s team, as well as the battle against Thanatos’ group—. All members of our [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team gathered in the VIP room of the Hyoudou residence prior to our game against the [Leisure of the Kings] team. It was because we were receiving an important guest. —It was the current governor of the Grigori, Shemhazai-san. Azazel-sensei had handed over certain items to Shemhazai-san before he went into the Isolation Barrier Field, and Shemhazai-san had brought those items over to us this today! Shemhazai-san created a Fallen Angels’ transportation magic circle on the table, and then took out several briefcases from it.
“It took a lot of time to collect these things, and these are the results of Sirzechs Lucifer-sama, Michael-sama and Azazel’s back and forth travels between the various factions.”
Shemhazai-san opened the first briefcase. —A single longsword was kept inside it. It was a holy sword that quietly released a holy aura. However, it didn’t have the chill of a normal holy sword that only Devils would usually feel. Rather, that aura…it felt very familiar to me! When I moved my eyes to my left arm, Shemhazai-san smiled.
“Yes, this sword is the newest holy sword that has been crafted through various techniques by the Three Factions after peace was achieved — Ascalon II.”
—Ascalon II!? The second generation of Ascalon! To think that something like this had been prepared…. The holy sword that His Eminence Strada wielded was Durandal II, and I couldn’t help but feel that the alchemists of the Church had somehow greatly improved their skills after learning various techniques from the other factions! It must have set off quite a technological revolution…. Shemhazai-san gave an explanation to me as he took Ascalon II out
“It’s not so much a holy sword, rather, it’s more like a sword that is perfectly matched to the aura of a dragon…it could be described as a sword designed just for you, Hyoudou Issei-kun. This sword is even more suited to your aura than the original Ascalon.”
I received Ascalon II…. Hmm, it somehow does feel really familiar in my hand! It feels even more natural than the first-generation Ascalon that’s been assimilated into my left hand. It had almost instantly synchronised with my aura. Ddraig said
[Partner, let’s keep it in your empty right arm.]
After all, my left arm already had one. But even so, to give me a sword even when I’ve got absolutely no talent for swords…. I guess it’s best if I keep it in my gauntlet like the first-generation one, and use it in a close-quarters melee battle when the time is right. The armoured gauntlet of the Boosted Gear Scale Mail appeared on my right hand, and I held Ascalon II with it. With Ddraig’s assistance, I focused — and a red flash was emitted. After the light faded, Ascalon II disappeared from my hand. I clenched my fist — and just like the first-generation Ascalon, the holy blade extended out from my gauntlet. Whilst practicing the action a few times, I said to Shemhazai-san
“I don’t feel like I can become proficient in dual-wielding swords like Kiba, Xenovia and the others.”
Even though I now had a holy sword in both my left and right gauntlets, and I could use both of them at the same time, I didn’t feel that I would be able to wield two holy swords dexterously. Shemhazai-san replied
“But, if you have a holy sword stored in each arm, you may be able to respond well to an unexpected situation. For example, if your left hand is somehow constricted.”
That made sense. As the saying goes, you can never be too prepared. Shemhazai-san then opened up the next briefcase. There was an old-looking wand inside it. Going only by the appearance, it looked rather powerful…. Upon seeing the wand, Rossweisse-san let out a breath of disbelief. She ran up the briefcase and stared at the wand. Shemhazai-san took the wand out and handed it over to Rossweisse-san.
“This is a Mistilteinn wand.”
“I-It really is that one! I’ve seen it back in my hometown!”
Seeing my apparent puzzlement, Ravel explained
“The Mistilteinn wand is a magical weapon which possesses powerful magic in Asgard.”
A magic weapon of Asgard! It also possesses immense magic, so it could be described as a weapon that has been tailor-made for Rossweisse-san. Shemhazai-san said
“During the Evil Dragon War, it was said that a new Mistilteinn wand would be created for [DxD], and it was finally completed after the war. Although it couldn’t be made in time for that battle…it will be able to assist with Rossweisse-san’s magic output now.”
As for the person in question, Rossweisse-san was holding the Mistilteinn wand rather timidly.
“…If it’s just a matter of assistance, isn’t this more than enough? …Isn’t this a weapon that only god-class beings possess…?”
I-It’s actually such an awesome weapon!? A god-class being’s weapon…. It is certainly true that a lot of incredible things occurred in succession during the Evil Dragon War, so the Norse mythology couldn’t help but produce such a weapon in order to deal with the situation at hand. Shemhazai-san then opened the third briefcase…a scabbard lay inside it. …I could feel a holy aura emanating from it. Could this be the scabbard of a holy sword? Although it was my first time seeing it, it somehow felt familiar, and the way that it was decorated…. Wait, this aura, I’ve felt this before! Everyone looked carefully at the scabbard, and aside from me—
“…No way, it shouldn’t be possible…”
“…But, judging by the aura, it can only be…”
Irina, Xenovia and Rossweisse-san all showed expressions of surprise, and they seemed to be doubting their own eyes. Shemhazai-san quietly laughed after watching everyone’s reactions.
“Fufufu, we’ve constantly had our eyes on it. Correct, this is an item for Xenovia Quarta-san. —Excalibur’s scabbard.”
[It really is! Amazing!]
Everyone aside from me exclaimed in surprise after hearing what Shemhazai-san said.
“…Is Excalibur’s scabbard supposed to be amazing?”
Upon hearing my innocuous question, Ravel brought her face closer as she answered me with a tone of excitement
“I-Ise-sama! When people talk about Excalibur’s scabbard, this is the scabbard of Excalibur that they refer to!”
Even Irina’s voice and entire body trembled as she said
“Ise-kun! This scabbard is an unbelievable item! It’s amazing! I never imagined that it would be found at a time like this…!”
“It’d be no exaggeration to say that this is the main component of Excalibur.”
“The legendary scabbard has been lost for a long time…but it’s actually been found now…!”
Shemhazai-san answered to Ravel’s words
“In order to recover the scabbard, we searched in many places, and we finally found out that the scabbard had been sealed away in an underground ruin where different religions once fought against each other. If we weren’t in our present era where the gods of each mythology have made peace with each other, then it wouldn’t have been possible for us to send investigation teams to that place.”
…It seemed like the process to retrieve the scabbard was rather complicated. If the various factions hadn’t achieved peace, this might never have seen the light of day again…. Through the culmination of many factors, it was a treasure that had finally been brought to us. Xenovia took a deep breath as she picked up the scabbard.
“…With this scabbard, I’ll even be able to go up against god-class beings.”
Upon hearing Xenovia say this, Irina giggled.
“This isn’t the kind of thing that a devout believer should be saying.”
“The gods that we’ll be fighting against and the god that we believe in are not the same.”
Her explanation was akin to saying that there existed another stomach just for desserts! W-Well, it’s fine I guess. Xenovia and Irina have always been like that. They’re strange in that way. It’s true that the gods participating in the Tournament are different from the god that they believe in, so I’ll let that slide. Because so many pieces of equipment had been prepared for us, I couldn’t help but ask
“Is it really okay for you to prepare all of these items for us? There are obviously still a lot of other teams participating in the Tournament.”
It was a bit late for us to say this after having come so far with a Longinus and legendary holy swords, but it felt a bit unfair to have all of these legendary items given to us. Shemhazai-san answered with a smile
“They all have their own organisations and mythologies to support them, and we’ve already achieved peace anyway. However, our side also has the [DxD] team for anti-terrorism measures, and we’ve already been focusing on strengthening our combat force since before the Tournament. These tools are for you to use, but they’re also part of the fighting force of the anti-terrorist team. As a result, it also has serves the purpose of preventing terrorism from occurring when the outside world sees it. Although some factions may have criticisms about this…there are gods everywhere who don’t wish for a large-scale war like the Evil Dragon War again.”
So it also has significance in that way huh…. Well, Cao Cao also receives protection from Śakra, while Dulio and the others have the backing of Heaven. If everyone thought too much about these things, then it would be difficult to actually participate. Ravel expressed her thanks to Shemhazai-san
“Governor Shemhazai, thank you very much for bringing us all of these items. We’ll make good use of them, regardless if it’s as [DxD], or for our team in the Tournament.”
All of us expressed our gratitude to Shemhazai-san once again. Shemhazai-san answered us with
At that moment, someone knocked on the door.
The person who came in was — Kiba. He had a serious expression. When Kiba asked us
“Are you finished?”
I responded with
Kiba then bluntly said
“Things aren’t going well. —One of the top candidates, the god-class Mahabali team is at a disadvantage.”
After listening to this news, we all looked at each other.
The place that we arrived at via a transportation magic circle was [Azazel Stadium] in the Fallen Angels’ territory — the prince of the Asura gods, Mahabali-san’s team was currently competing. I had previously fought here against Barakiel-san. Everyone who lived at the Hyoudou residence had come here, and we walked towards the spectator area. We spotted Vali in the corridor of the entrance. Vali stood by the entrance, and he watched the aerial projection of the live broadcast that was in the centre of the stadium. We also looked over at it. The situation on the field was currently being displayed. The field appeared to be the site of a ruin…and in the centre of the destroyed remnants, the Prince of the Asuras, Mahabali-san was kneeling on the ground. His body was covered in wounds, and he was gasping for his breath.
<<This is difficult to believe! As one of the candidates tipped to win, Mahabali-senshu is actually kneeling on the ground right now! The ones who have forced him into such a state — are the mysterious players who have suddenly joined an ordinary team!>>
The announcer also seemed to have become excited by the scene before his eyes as he said that. Mahabali-san was looking at — two people. One of them was a woman. To be more precise, she seemed to be a girl who was of similar age to us judging by her appearance. She had long jade-coloured hair, and she seemed to have a cheerful air about her. The other one was a man. He had copper-red hair that was swept all the way back. Not only did he have a tall stature, he also had a very strong physical build. There was no trace of emotion on his face, and he appeared rather cold. Based on his appearance, perhaps he was the same age as us, or maybe a bit older. Unlike the injured Mahabali-san, they were completely unharmed! Mahabali-san’s team had many Asura gods. Even among the god-class beings who were participating, they were considered to be a top-class line-up. As I looked at the venue’s scoreboard, I could see that all of the members of Mahabali-san’s team had retired! The copper-haired youth picked up the flag that was beside Mahabali-san.
It was a capture-the-flag style of game. Before we came here, I had confirmed that the game type this time was called Scramble Flag. The instant that the copper-haired youth picked up the flag, an announcement of victory was broadcast.
<<The winner — is the [Black Satan of Darkness Dragon King] team.>>
The victory of the mysterious girl and youth had been declared—. This was the first defeat that Mahabali-san had suffered in the Tournament to date.
After seeing this unexpected result, and after the match concluded, we didn’t leave the venue. In order to understand the details of the situation, we walked towards the match official’s area. Rias said to me
“I didn’t plan on watching this game to begin with. I thought that it was certain to be Mahabali’s victory. After all, his opponent was a team that had been on a losing streak up until now. But ten minutes into the game, Yuuto told me to watch the game.”
Rias had immediately understood that an anomaly had occurred in the game, and she called us over as well. It was possible that there would be people acquainted with Rias in the VIP spectator room, and so began to make our way over there. It was just when we found a staff member and were about to ask about which VIPs had come to this stadium. —Hmm! A sudden wave of inexplicable pressure hit us! I felt a heavy pressure within my chest for a moment! There was an eerie aura that I had never sensed before. All of us turned around to look across. —Appearing there was the young lady with jade-coloured hair and the young man with copper hair who had appeared just then in the game. From those two people…I could feel an aura that seemed abnormal and bottomless. Cold beads of sweat began to form on my experienced comrades’ skin as they gulped in the face of this immediate pressure alongside me. They approached us. The girl with jade-coloured hair stepped lightly as she moved towards us, and she revealed an innocent smile.
“It’s nice to meet you, [Welsh Dragon]-san, [Vanishing Dragon]-san, and all of you other strong people. —My name is Verrine.”
The girl who identified herself as Verrine pointed to the young man behind her.
“The one over there — he’s called Balberith.”
…The youth directed his gaze towards us, and a fear that invaded both our minds and our bodies crept along…! What’s going on with that guy’s aura…! H-How is it possible to have such an endlessly deep, strong, and inexplicable aura…!? I thought that I was the only one who felt like this, so I glanced at Vali who stood beside me — beads of sweat could be seen on his forehead as well! That Vali is actually feeling pressure from this man named Balberith! The battle maniac who would normally show a fearless smile and fight with joy no matter how strong his opponent was, was actually…! Upon seeing us like this, Verrine seemed to find it amusing, and she couldn’t help but let out a laugh as she said rather naturally
“Ufufu ♪ Balberith and I—. We seem to be what you’d call [Super Devils].”
Everyone was shocked! This was a natural response! They suddenly called themselves Super Devils! However, combining the outcome of the game just then and the pressure that we could feel in front of ourselves, all of that emphasised the authenticity of her words! I had seen Rizevim and Sirzechs-sama when he got serious in the past. My comrades beside me had also witnessed Rizevim, and during the Demonic Beast Riot, they had also seen Ajuka Beelzebub-sama in battle. No one had any doubts about her declaration. Verrine said
“Do you find the name of our team strange? It’s a name that came about after we gathered together, though the name is nothing but a decoration anyway.”
She laughed innocently. The aura exuded by this relaxed and cheerful young girl also felt as though it was bottomless. The youth called Balberith emotionlessly said
“I fought against a god…it wasn’t very much.”
After getting halfway through his sentence, his piercing glare shifted to me and Vali!
“—Will the Two Heavenly Dragons considered to be the strongest in history be worthy of battle?”
It felt as though I was beginning to freeze from deep within. Even though I felt such fear, on the other hand, a strong person was seeking me out, and as a man, I couldn’t help but feel both happy and honoured…! In response, Vali finally revealed that fearless smile of his. Balberith walked past between the two of us.
“I look forward to meeting you in a match.”
Verrine quickly chased after the youth, and she waved goodbye to us as she left.
“See ya ♪”
After waiting until the two of them left, we finally exhaled and took a deep breath! Rias took a deep breath, and then she said
“…They’re truly monsters. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as though I couldn’t breathe…!”
I asked Vali
“Vali, what do you think?”
Even though the two of them had already left, Vali still kept staring in the direction from which they had both left.
“…There is no doubt that they are Devils. But…it’s scary just how strong they are…!”
Albion and Ddraig also expressed their own thoughts.
[Those two…. What exactly is going on…?]
[So, such things have remained hidden up until now huh…]
This was the debut of the formidable people who had caused even the fearless Two Heavenly Dragons to say such things. Seriously, it doesn’t look like it’ll be that easy to advance in the Tournament. In the near future, we’ll also have to compete against Vidar-san and the others! Faced with the extraordinary existences which were different to god-class beings, I was once again able to profoundly feel the true difficulty of this Tournament—.
After encountering new enemies during our visit to Azazel Stadium, we began to collect information on the team of Balberith and Verrine. Rias and Ravel received some information from Tournament officials and other contestants. All of a sudden, Rossweisse-san received a message via a communications magic circle. After reading the contents, Rossweisse-san immediately shrieked, and she instantly sat down on the floor as the strength in her legs disappeared.
Her voice was filled with confusion.
“W-What’s wrong, Rossweisse-san?”
I approached her, and after she jolted in surprise, she averted her eyes from me.
“……U-Umm…i-it’s a bit difficult to say…”
After taking a deep breath, Rossweisse-san spoke with a determined expression.
“…My hometown sent a request to me, saying that a marriage interview has been arranged. My grandmother is strongly persuading…or more likely, forcing me to go to a marriage interview…”
A marriage interview!? Rossweisse-san is!? At the request of the Norse mythology!? I couldn’t help but feel taken aback. Irina continued to ask in my stead
“T-This marriage interview that you’re talking about, who is the other party…?”
It was at this time that Akeno-san spoke
“Ah, Rias. We’ve also been contacted by the Norse mythology. You can take a look.”
Akeno-san showed the communications magic circle to Rias, and she also understood after seeing it.
“…I-It looks like the situation has become troublesome!”
Rias’ expression seemed to show that she was uncertain of what to do as well. At last, Rossweisse-san said to me
“…T-The other party is Vidar-sama…!”
After a slow pause, all of us cried out loud!
[With the chief god!? A m-marriage interview!?]
From the looks of things, it seems like the final episode of the first trimester of our third year is yet another outrageous event!
Translator's Notes and References
- Known as the demon of impatience in Christian demonology.
- The demon who tempts men to blasphemy and murder. Both he and Verrine are associated with the Aix-En-Provence Possessions.
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