High School DxD:Volume 2 Life 3
Life.3 I Started My Training
Lesson 1: Sword training with Kiba.
I was sword training with Kiba and I swung down the bokuto at him.
Kiba evades my attack smoothly. No matter how much force I apply to my swings, it doesn't seem like it will hit Kiba.
Kiba hit away my bokuto again.
“That’s not it. Don’t just look at the opponent’s sword movements but also widen your line of vision so you can pay see both the opponent and the surroundings.”
It’s not that simple as he says, so the more I practiced with Kiba, the more I realise the difference in strength between us.
Like I thought, since he's a [Knight], Kiba’s techniques are overwhelming. He beat me with minimal movements. He has practiced for a longer time, has more battle experience, and more than that, his talent at using a sword is much better than me.
“We are not done yet. Here I come!”
I realised once again on this day about how Kiba’s sword technique is amazing.
Lesson 2: Demonic-power training with Akeno-san.
“That’s not it. You gather the demonic-power by drifting the aura that covers your whole body. You have to concentrate and feel the wave of demonic-power.”
I can’t even gather demonic-power into my hand at all, even if Akeno-san who is wearing a black jersey is the one teaching thoroughly.
Gunnnn...... Concentrate! I need to concentrate hard! I have to gather the demonic-power in my hand while imagining of creating something!
“I did it!”
Asia who is wearing a white jersey has gathered a mass of demonic-power in her hands. A light green coloured demonic-power. So Asia’s demonic-power is green. It’s beautiful.
“Ara ara. So Asia-chan has talent in using demonic-powers after all.”
Asia’s cheeks got red after Akeno-san give her complimented to her.
Ngh...... I on other hand is the complete opposite. Even the letter "D" for demonic-power hasn't appeared. I somehow made a really small sphere of demonic-power, but it's not big like Asia’s one that has the size of a softball, instead it has a size of a rice.
............Well, if Asia can get stronger then that’s fine.
I-I have the ultimate Sacred Gear anyway! Hahaha!
“Now lets change those demonic-power into fire, water and lightning. You can make this by imagining it, however, it will be easier for beginners to actually move fire and water using their demonic-power.”
Akeno-san sends her demonic-power into the water inside the water bottle.
The water that received the demonic-power formed into the shape of a spike and ripped the water bottle from the inside.
Wow, that’s amazing.
“Asia-chan, I want you to copy what I just did next. Ise-kun, I want you to continue on to concentrating your demonic-powers. The source of demonic-power is imagination. Anyway it’s important to materialize what your imagined.”
Hmm. Imagining huh. To materialize what you imagine in your head......
“It may be easier to materialize what you are good at and what you always imagine more quickly.”
That’s what you say, Akeno-san. It's not like I--
Hmm? I see, something I’m good at and something I always think about huh. Ah, then does that mean that wild idea of mine is also possible?
“Akeno-san, do you have a minute?”
If I can make something I always think about into reality......
Then I may become invincible! Wow, that’s awesome! Even I think this idea of mine is great!
After Akeno-san goes blank, she smiles at me while saying, "Ufufu, that sure is something you would come up with, Ise-kun”.
Oh! So this may be possible then?
Akeno-san went back to the mansion. She brings something and puts it in front of me.
--She brought loads of onions, carrots, and potatoes.
They are the ingredients for curry.
“Now then, Ise-kun. During our stay here, I want you to strip all of these off with your demonic-power.”
Ah, I get it. I understand what Akeno-san is trying to say and what she wants me to do.
Looks like it will be a bumpy road ahead.
Lesson 3: Sparring with Koneko-chan.
Gufu! Today I succeeded in getting pushed into a big tree for the tenth time. No, that’s not it.
I got blown away by Koneko-chan’s punch once again! Ku! I'm frustrated!
A loli girl who is wearing a yellow jersey gives her harsh words to me.
Shit, I’m so shocked! I felt it with the incident with Raiser, but getting beaten by a small girl is quite a shocking experience for me.
Koneko-chan is a Devil girl who is good at doing throwing moves, pinning moves, and other kind of martial arts. She’s insanely strong with the mix of a [Rook]'s traits of super strength and super high defense. She’s also keen because she has a small body, so if I look away she will immediately be right in front of me and give a blow to my body.
She's holding back quite a lot, but it still hurts if I'm hit by her.
“......You have to aim at the centre of the body when you give a blow where you hit with accuracy and also by thrusting your blow deep into the opponent’s body.”
Even if she says that, it will be hard for a newbie like me to even land my hit on the opponent.
Koneko-chan starts to whirl her arm around and pointed her fist at me.
“......Now then, we'll have another round.”
Looks like I’ll be killed.
Lesson 4: With Buchou!
“Hey, Ise! Keep on going!”
I'm currently climbing up a very steep mountain with a big rock tied to my back. On top of that, Buchou is sitting on top off the rock.
I'm repeating a procedure where I climb down the mountain path, and then up the mountain path. The mountain path with no walking path is really exhausting.
By the time my legs got numb after I did dozens of laps, Buchou finally forgives me by saying, "Okay, we are done with this".
“Next is muscle training. We will go with push ups.”
She’s an Oni. An Oni-Buchou!
I lack the basic ability most, so I have way more training than the other club members. Also for a [Pawn] who has to run around the battlefield the most, increasing your strength and stamina is an absolute requirement.
Buchou mercilessly puts a rock on my backwhen I'm in the posture for doing a push up. Demonic-power truly is useful because you can lift a rock up in the air with ease. If only she used that to carry the luggage......
Then Buchou sits on top of the rock. A slight force impacts my body......
“Now then, the three-hundred reps of push ups. Let’s start.”
I would have already died a hundred times if I wasn't a Devil.
“Uoooo! It's delicioooous! It’s really delicious!”
We are having our dinner after finishing a day of training.
We have an extravagance of food on the table. The herbs that Kiba collected earlier was used for spices.
The meat dish. Apparently it's the boar Buchou hunted. It's my first time eating boar meat, however it tastes good because it doesn't have any strange tastes to it!
The fish dish. It seems like Buchou was also the one that caught these fish. The simply cooked fish with salts sprinkled on them taste good as well!
There are also different types of food on the table.
“Ara ara. We still have more food left so eat as much as you want.”
The one who refills my rice is Akeno-san. Rather, these foods are handmade by Akeno-san!
Kaaaa! It’s good! It’s really good!
Everyone's digging into the food. We are all seriously tired from the training after all and that’s why I can fill my stomach with lots of food.
Most of the things inside the luggage were equipment used for cooking. It was worth carrying all that luggage desperately from that hard mountain path if I got to eat delicious food like this!
I probably shouldn’t say it out loud about how Koneko-chan is eating a lot of food quickly.
“Akeno-san, you are the best! I'd even want you as my wife!”
“Ufufu, you are embarrassing me.”
Akeno-san smiles while she puts her hand on her cheek. You look so good in that Japanese apron.
“......I also made this soup.”
Huh! The one who is looking sad beside me is Asia. She looks like she's sulking.
The onion soup that is on the table. Apparently Asia was the one who made it.
She probably feels down because I only praised Akeno-san’s food.
I get the bowl and drink the soup with one sip. Yup, it’s good!
“It’s good Asia! It’s the best! Give me another one!”
“It is!? I’m so glad...... Then now I can become Ise-san's......”
“Hmmm? I couldn’t hear the last part. What was that?”
“N-No, it’s nothing!”
Asia waves her hand while her face becomes red. Huh? What was she trying to say?
“Now, Ise. From today’s training what have you found out?”
Buchou asks me after drinking green tea.
I put my chopsticks down and give her my honest answer.
“......I am the weakest among us.”
“Yes. That’s for sure.”
I feel like crying after she answers plainly.
“Akeno, Yuuto, and Koneko have lots of battle experience even though they have not participated in the game, so they can fight if they get used to it. But you and Asia basically don't have any experience yet. Even so, Asia’s healing ability and your Boosted Gear is something that can’t be ignored. Even the enemy knows that. I want you to have at least the power to run away from the enemy.”
“Run......? Is it that hard?”
Buchou nods at my question.
“Running away is also a part of the strategy. Retreating to form a new formation is also a professional way of battling. There are ways to win a match like that. However, running away with your back facing an enemy is something quite hard. If it’s an enemy with roughly the same strength as you, it is easy, but showing your back to an enemy who is far superior to you is basically asking them to kill you. So being able to run away from such enemy will also be a part of your strength. So I have to teach you and Asia the time you have to run away. Of course, I will also teach you how to fight the enemy head on.”
Asia and I reply to Buchou at the same time.
It's unavoidable that Asia got involved in this fight since she became a member of the Gremory group.
......I also need to have the power to protect Asia as well. In the worst case I will have to become Asia’s shield. That is the resolution I need to have.
“Let’s take a bath after the meal. It’s an outdoor bath, so it’s wonderful.”
--! With Buchou’s words I started to think about naughty stuff!
Bath!? Outdoor bath!? The open air bath!?
If it’s an outdoor bath, then it’s a place to peek! Peeking is the right way for an outdoor bath! Yeah, it’s a sin not to peek if you are born as a man!
“I’m not going to peek, Ise-kun.”
Kiba says that beforehand with a smile.
“Idiot! D-Don't blurt it out!”
“Oh, Ise. Do you want to peek at us while we are taking a bath?”
Everyone looks at me after Buchou’s question.
Uwa. I feel awkward. ......I feel like apologising for being a perv.
But Buchou chuckles.
“Then how about you bathe with us? I don’t mind.”
I can feel electricity running through my body! Ku! Buchou Japanese is stunning like always! I feel like crying all the time because of it!
“How about you, Akeno?”
“I don’t mind if it’s Ise-kun. Ufufu. I might want to wash a gentleman’s back.”
Akeno-san gives her approval with a smile! I totally want her to wash my baaaaaack!
Absurd! It’s okay then!? It’s really okay!?
How unguarded can the girls from this club get!?
“How about you, Asia? You should be all right if it's your beloved Ise, right?”
Asia got red and became quiet after Buchou’s question, but she eventually makes a small nod with her head.
Uwah! I never thought a situation like this would happen to me!? W-WWWWWWW-What should I do!? I! I! I’m confident that I will have to bend my body forward the whole time!
“Lastly Koneko? How about it?”
She rejects me!? N-No, my sensation's paralysed for a moment, but this is a natural response from an ordinary girl!
“Then it’s a no. Too bad, Ise.”
Buchou chuckles with a naughty expression.
What...... I feel as though they raised my hopes up, then dropped me to the depths of the abyss.
Because of the shocking conclusion, my sight turns black.
Sob, I was so close...... So having a situation which is like a dream is hard to make into a reality after all. Then it looks like I have to peek--.
“......If you peek, then I will hold a grudge against you forever.”
Guha! Koneko-chan says that to me first! Shit! It’s a no after all! I had my hopes up!
“Ise-kun, let’s have a naked bath together. I will wash your back.”
“Shuuuuuut up! I'll seriously kill you, Kibaaaa!”
My shout of anger echoes throughout the mansion.
Training Day 2.
When I woke up in the morning, what awaited me was the intense pain of muscle aches. That’s because I also trained at night.
“There's a training planned for tonight as well. We are the residents of night after all.”
The training was much harder than the training I do every morning. It has a few times more training than the one I did in the morning. Even if a Devil is much stronger at night, I would still die if I train both during the day and the night.
I was already in a bad mood because I had to share the room with Kiba. When I heard the girls' voices having fun from upstairs, I regretted being born as a guy.
Then in the morning for day 2, it was study time.
We gathered at the living room, and they apparently decided to teach me and Asia about Devils' knowledge.
Therefore they were teaching me some weird names that were hard to remember. Because I was taught things that I don’t even understand, my brain was about to get fried.
When they pumped quite a decent amount of information, Kiba asks me a question.
“Our greatest enemy. The Angels led by God. What is the name given to the highest rank Angels? Also the ones among them?”
“Ummm, it’s "Seraphim", right? The members are......Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and......hmm, Uriel?”
Phew...... So it’s correct. I remembered that they all have an “-el” at the end of their name, so somehow I remembered them all.
“Next is our “Maou"-sama. What are the names of the “Yondai Maou-sama”?”
“Sure! Piece of Cake! I’m planning to meet them when I get a peerage! So I remembered all their names perfectly! Lucifer-sama, Beelzebub-sama, and Asmodeus-sama! And lastly the female Maou-sama that I look up to, Leviathan-sama!”
“I’m definitely going to meet Leviathan-sama!”
I heard from Buchou. That the person standing at the top of the female Devils is the Maou Leviathan-sama.
I also heard that she is a very beautiful Maou-sama! I was also told that I could meet her if I'm lucky! Ku! I can’t wait!
How beautiful will she be? Since she is a Maou-sama, she must be very beautiful......
Haa...... I really want to meet her.
“Then next, I will ask you to say the names of the leaders of the Fallen Angels that you hate the most, Ise-kun.”
Here it comes. The names of those Fallen Angels I totally hate......
The Fallen Angels have more leaders than the other factions. And their names are complicated......
But I remember the names of the top two.
“The main group of the Fallen Angel is called “Grigori”. The name of the Governor is “Azazel” and the name of the Vice-governor is “Shemhaza”. I know completely up to here. And the name of the leaders are...... Armaros......Barakiel......Tamiel...... Ah, and, hmmm, huh? Bene-something and C-C-Cociane......?”
“Benemue, Kokabiel and Shariel. You have to remember them properly. This is also the basics. It’s the same as remembering the names of the prime minister and the vice-prime minister of Japan as well as the leaders of the surrounding countries.”
How can I!? They have too many leaders! Two is enough! What are the jobs of the other leaders, then!?
Man, that’s why Fallen Angels are such a pain. I can't come to like them. They are probably scum anyway.
Also they watch over the “Children of God”, in other words the “Sacred Gear” possessors twenty-four seven.
That’s also the reason why I was attacked and why Asia was killed once.
The Fallen Angels made a group to research the Sacred Gears. They invite beneficial Sacred Gear possessors to their group or take their Sacred Gears for themselves.
If they aren’t beneficial then they kill them on the spot. Seriously, they are the biggest scum ever.
They even kill those possessors that do not know about their own Sacred Gear. That’s how it was for me.
They seem to be the greatest enemy of the Devils, so I won’t hold back on them. I won’t hold back on those guys who did such a terrible thing to Asia!
Like this, I was taught about the Angels and the Fallen Angels. It’s becoming quite useful to know.
I need to remember especially about the relation between the Devils and other factions since they are important.
Then next, Asia starts her lesson.
“Cough. Then now, I, Asia Argento will explain about the basics of the exorcists.”
Oh. Clap-clap. I give a clap to Asia who is about to speak in front of everyone.
Ah, she turns red. Thank you very much for such a cute response.
“U-Umm. From the place I used to belonged to, there were two types of exorcists.”
Asia nods at my question.
“The first type are the ones that appears in films and novels. The father reads a section of the book, then he uses the holy water to get rid of the Devil from the person’s body. They are the exorcists on the "surface" . So the exorcists on the "behind" are the ones that are a threat to us.”
Buchou continues from where Asia left off.
“Ise, you have also met him before, but the greatest threat to Devils are exorcists who received the divine protection from a God or the Fallen Angels. We have been fighting against them for a very long time behind the scenes. They come to destroy us with the power of light received from the Angels, and with their physical bodies that they trained to the uttermost limits.”
Then I remembered the crazy priest boy from before.
He was a crazy exorcist with white hair. He not only kills Devils but also those who have connections to a Devil. To tell the truth, he's the type of person I don’t want to meet ever again.
While I was thinking about it, Asia takes out loads of stuff from her bag.
Buchou picks up a small bottle with water inside it with her fingers and is holding it as if she is touching something disgusting.
“Now I will talk about the traits of holy water and the Bible. First of all, the holy water. It will be very terrible if a Devil touches it.”
“That’s true, so you can’t touch it as well, Asia. Your skin will get harmed.”
“Sob, that’s right...... I can’t touch the holy water any more......”
Asia gets shocked after hearing Buchou’s comment. Well, she is a Devil after all.
“I will tell you how to make one afterwards. I don’t know if it will be useful but there are a couple of ways to make them.”
Maybe this is her strong field, so Asia continues to talk energetically.
Yo, Devil priestess! She'll probably cry if I say such a thing. I need to control myself.
“Next is the Bible. I have been reading it every day since I was a child. But I’m in trouble now because it gives me a pain in the head even if I only read a sentence of it.”
“You are a Devil.”
“You are a Devil after all.”
“Ufufu, Devils receive intense damage.”
“Sob, I can’t read the Bible any more!”
Asia starts to have teary eyes after everyone points it out to her.
I heard from Buchou before. We Devils suffer greatly if someone reads out the Bible to us.
I haven’t experienced it yet, but I may suffer because of boredom if someone read it out to me.
Wait, so that means Asia has been reading the Bible. If she continues she might die one day!
“However, this is my favourite phrase...... Oh God. Please forgive a sinful person like myself who can’t read the Bible--au!”
She received damage again by praying to God.
Please God, just ignore this child’s prayer.
Like this, after we finished our morning study session we went onto our evening training.
There were a few things I found out while training like this with everyone for several days in this mountain.
I have no talent in using swords.
I have no talent in martial arts.
I have no talent in demonic-power.
And the most crucial one is that I am insanely weak.
I realize how small I am the more I train with the others.
--I won’t be useful in the game.
Yeah, I don’t have a healing ability like Asia.
What I’m doing all right is peeling off the vegetables. Well, that is also a part of the training.
I’m......so weak and so useless.
That night at the mansion.
I’m looking at the ceiling while lying down on my bed. A week has passed since we came to the mountains.
It’s been training from morning to night. We also repeated many offense and defense formations, as well as combinations that we may use for the upcoming game.
I look towards Kiba who is sleeping on the bed besides mine. He’s sleeping peacefully.
……Kiba is amazing. I realize the difference between us the more we train together.
I’ll probably never beat Kiba in a sword fight. The skills he attained with his own talent and loads of training.
I don’t have either. If I train hard from now on, will I have swordsmanship on par with Kiba? After how many years will that be? No, after how many decades? No, maybe I won’t reach his level in eternity.
In demonic-power training. Asia keeps on improving hers besides me. She starts to master using fire, water, and lightning, despite it being small. But I on other hand can only make a mass of demonic-power that is the size of a grain of rice.
Ah, damn it!
I can’t resist it any longer, so I got up from the bed slowly and headed towards the kitchen. When I was drinking a cup of water—.
“Ara? You're awake?”
Buchou’s voice came from the living room. When I look, there is Buchou who is sitting by the table.
“Ah, Buchou. Hello.”
“Why are you so stiff? Good timing, let’s talk for a bit.”
The tealight makes a faint glow on top of the table. Devils can see at night, even if there are no lights. Thanks to that, we were able to train even at night. Then this candle is used probably for looks then.
I then sit opposite of Buchou where we have the table between us.
Buchou is wearing a red negligee while wearing glasses and tying her crimson hair into a ponytail.
“Huh? Buchou, do you have bad eyesight?”
“Oh, this? It’s just for looks. I can think more clearly while having my glasses on. Fufufu, this is the proof that I have been in the human’s world for so long.”
Buchou chuckles. Even Buchou with glasses looked beautiful…… More like, she also looks wonderful when she wears a negligee!
On the table there are loads of papers that looks like a map and battle formation. ……Was she making a plan by herself at night?
Buchou closes the notebook with different strategies written on it.
“……To be honest, the only thing I will get by reading this is to have a peace of mind.”
Buchou says it while making a sigh.
“Why is that?”
“If the opponent is another High-class Devil, then we could fight by reading this. This book is written with lots of research. But that isn’t the problem.”
“? Then what’s wrong?”
“Raiser himself. No, the biggest problem is that our opponent is the Phoenix.”
Buchou takes out a book after answering me and puts it on the table. She then points out at the opened page. There is a picture of a fire bird with its wings spread wide open heroically.
“A long time ago the mystical beast, Phoenix, was looked upon by humans as a bird that governs life. It was so looked upon that it left its legend in many countries in the human world where it’s told that the tears of the Phoenix can heal any wounds, and the blood that flows within its body can give eternal youth to those that drink it.”
But there was also another clan that is different from the mystical beast Phoenix. They are the Devils that had the rank of Marquis, and were counted as one of the “72 pillars”. The “Phoenix” from the Devils' side.
“The humans named the Devils' Phoenix as “Phenex” to distinguish it from the mystical beast Phoenix, however the mystical beast Phoenix has the same ability as Raiser’s clan. —In other words immortality. That’s the opponent we must fight against.”
Immortal!? H-Hold on!
“That’s cheating! I mean being immortal is basically being invincible!”
“Yes. They are basically invincible. Even if you attack them, their wounds will heal right away. Their flames won’t even leave a bone left. Eight wins and two losses. This is the record that Raiser has at the official “Rating Game”. He fought ten times and won eight matches. He lost two of the matches on purpose as kindness to one of the households he is close to. In reality he won all of his matches. He already became a candidate to obtain a title in the official game.”
……What. I lost the words from my mouth.
I now understand what Buchou meant by “problem”. —It’s Raiser! She is thinking of a way to beat that bastard!
“I felt something uneasy when I heard that Raiser was chosen as my fiancé. Yes, I think Otou-sama and the others chose him in case something like this was to happen. They chose Raiser so I will have no choice but to marry him. Even if it becomes a match between households, they knew that there was no way for me to win. In chess you would say they tricked me. A swindle.”
No matter how strong Buchou is, her parents knew that there was no way that Buchou could beat someone immortal. That’s unfair! Then no matter whose daughter it is, they can’t avoid getting married.
“When the Rating Game became popular, the ones who climbed up the most is the House of the Phoenix. There weren’t that many battles among Devils until the game was introduced. In a game where the [King] also participates, the strength of Phoenix became clearer. The House of Phoenix is the leading group among the strongest class. —Immortal. Devils realized how terrifying this power was for the first time.”
If they are immortal, then they can resurrect no matter how many times they are defeated. The other Devils have limits to their powers unlike the Phoenix, so they would get defeated once they get exhausted. Uwa! They are so insanely strong that it’s unfair!
—And that is our opponent!
Even if we defeat Raiser’s servants, the beauties army, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t defeat Raiser. No, the question is, can we even defeat him? It won’t be a fight where they planned to cheat to beat us, would it?
Buchou chuckles after looking at my serious face.
“You know, it’s not like we can’t defeat Raiser?”
“Are you serious!?”
“Yes. There are two ways you can defeat him. One is to beat him down with incredible power and the other one is to keep on taking him down until his mind crushes. The first method requires the strength of a God-class. The second one is to save our stamina until Raiser gets his mind crushed. Even if his body is immortal where he can resurrect his body many times, his mind isn’t immortal. His mind will definitely tire down every time we defeat him. It’s our win if we completely crush down the Phoenix’s mind. Then he will stop resurrecting and he will fall. Well, the easiest way is to defeat him with a power that is on par with God that crushes him down with one strike which takes down both his body and mind.”
……Won’t both methods need a lot of effort to pull it off? Is it even possible to do something like that in our first battle? No, we have to do it.
In other words we have to fight until he says “I resurrected so much that I lost the will to fight, so please forgive me”.
Oh yeah, I will ask her the question that has been bothering me this whole time.
“What is it?”
“Why do you hate Raiser……no, more like, why are you against this marriage?”
Buchou sighs at my question.
Certainly Raiser seems like scum and is quite the womanizer, but I think she can’t reject this arrangement if you think about Buchou’s house problem.
“……I’m a “Gremory”.”
“Huh? W-Well, you certainly are……”
“No. I didn’t re-introduce myself. I’m a Devil from the House of Gremory, and that name will follow me to wherever I go.”
Oh, I think I get it.
“Do you hate it?”
“I feel proud of it. However, this is also something that is a burden to me. Everyone looks at me as Rias from the Gremory. I can’t have them look at me simply as Rias. That’s why I’m enjoying my life in the human world. They don’t know about the Gremory the Devil. Everyone looks at me as who I am. I really like that feeling. I never felt something like this in the Devils' society, and I never will now on as well. The only time I can enjoy my life as myself is when I’m in the human world.”
Buchou has a distant look. She also has very sad eyes.
She told me a story of the world that I can never imagine. I’m Hyoudou Issei, and I never felt anything to my name. I am myself; I’m just the son of my mum and my dad.
Right now, wherever I go, people looks at me as “Hyoudou Issei” as an individual. Buchou has been spending her life while carrying the name of Gremory on her back. That will be the same from now on.
“I want to be with someone who will love me as Rias without the fact that I’m a Gremory. That’s my small dream I have…… Unfortunately, Raiser only looks at me as Rias from the Gremory. And he loves me as Rias from the Gremory. That’s why I hate it. But still, the pride of being a Gremory is very important. My feelings may be complicated, but I want to cherish this small dream I have.”
So Buchou wants to be loved as “Rias” and not as “Rias Gremory” from the opposite sex…… That’s what you call a maiden's feelings huh.
But there’s no doubt that Buchou is feeling complicated because of her house's problems.
Hmm, I don’t understand both the feelings of a girl and the structure of the Devils' society, so I don’t know what to say to her……
“I like Buchou as Buchou.”
I just said what I thought. But Buchou stares at me in wonder.
“I don’t know anything about Gremory or about the Devils' world, but to me Rias-buchou is Rias-buchou…… Nggh, I don’t understand all the complicated stuff but to me the usual Buchou is the best!”
I said everything I can think of with a smile.
Hahaha, I can’t even say things that sound romantic.
……Hey, Buchou-sama? I don’t know why but Buchou has her cheeks red.
“B-Buchou? D-Did I say something weird?”
I ask her with a dubious voice, but Buchou shakes her head where she says, “I-It’s nothing!” while panicking.
What? Did something happen? Well, I’ll leave that aside.
“But having an opponent like that for the genius Buchou’s first match, it certainly will be a hard obstacle, right?”
“I don’t actually like the word “genius”?”
Buchou answers me still with a red face.
“Why is that?”
“A talent that is given by heaven……it feels like it’s a gift given by God so I don’t feel good. My talent is born from the roots of the House of Gremory that has been passed down to the generations. I inherited that trait as a Devil. I never thought that I received it as a gift from God, and that’s impossible. My power belongs to me and the House of Gremory. That’s why I won’t lose. I will win if I have to fight. I have to win.”
Buchou says it to me as if she was saying it to herself.
Amazing. Buchou is really strong. Compared to that I…… I……
“Buchou, I’m worthless. I have been useless……since I got here.”
Buchou makes a dubious expression while looking at me said that in a weak voice.
“I think I’ve gotten stronger since I came here and trained with everyone, but more than that……I felt the difference between us. If I do sword training, I realised how amazing Kiba is and realised that “I won’t be able to become a swordsman like Kiba”…… When I do the training for using demonic-power, I realise how superior Akeno-san is while Asia is improving her demonic-powers…… And I can’t do anything…… I’m fine as long as I have my Boosted Gear! I acted tough by thinking like that……”
I have so many tears flowing out from my eyes without realising it.
I’m frustrated, just frustrated. The more I train, the more I realise how weak I am.
—I have no talent for battle.
I have come to realise it.
“I found out that I was the weakest…… I also found out that……I’m the most useless…… I realised it means nothing if I’m the one with the ultimate Sacred Gear. That’s why I was laughed at by Raiser back then, right? “Pearl before swine", certainly a fitting phrase for me.”
I start to shed lots of tears in front of Buchou. I’m having so much tears from my eyes due to this frustration that it makes me look pathetic. Even my nose is dripping.
Buchou stands up and sits next to me.
Buchou hugs me gently. She starts to pat my head many times.
“You want confidence, right? Okay, I will give you confidence. But now, you have to rest your body and mind. I will be with you until you feel like sleeping.”
That time I didn’t know what she meant. Except, Buchou’s warmth is healing my soul.
That is enough for now.
“Use your Boosted Gear, Ise.”
Next day. Buchou says that to me before the start of the training.
She is allowing me to use my Sacred Gear that I was forbidden to use since I got into the mountains. She is allowing me to use it now……but what does she want me to do with my Sacred Gear?
“It should be okay to have Yuuto as the opponent.”
Kiba comes forward after Buchou urges him. He stands in front of me. Hey, is she telling me to fight Kiba!?
“Ise, activate your Sacred Gear before the mock battle. Let’s see……we will start the battle two minutes after you activate your Sacred Gear.”
I make my Boosted Gear appear on my left arm just like Buchou orders me to.
The Sacred Gear makes a sound at my words, and I can feel the power coming into my body. With this my power has doubled.
Ten seconds later.
My power doubles again. The power I can feel from my Sacred Gear runs through my body.
It’s all right that my power is getting doubled, but there are things that I need to keep in mind when I use my Boosted Gear.
You may think there are no limits to my powers increasing, but the truth is that isn’t the case. Once I activated my Boosted Gear to see how far I can increase my power but after a few minutes I fainted. The reason is simple. My body can’t handle the power as it increases more. When I asked Buchou afterwards,
“For example think that you are a truck. What will happen if you carry more package than the truck can carry? It won’t move right? That’s how it is.”
That’s how she explained to me.
The package equals my powers that are doubling. If the quantity of package keeps on doubling, then the truck will decrease in speed and by the end it won’t move.
So in other words if the power gets too big, then it puts stress on my body. That’s why I fainted. My body which is a vessel won’t be able to withstand the increased power.
That’s what happened when I activated it for a few minutes. The jewel in the gauntlet made a sound which said [Burst], then my body got heavier and it felt like all my senses froze.
Even if there are no limits to the Sacred Gear, the user which is me in this case does have limits. That’s my Sacred Gear’s weakness.
Well, it’s more like my weakness. It’s not the Sacred Gear’s fault.
I got my twelfth power up after Buchou ordered me to power up. Then Buchou orders me to “Stop” my Sacred Gear’s power up.
“Let’s do this, Boosted Gear!”
This sound also represents the stop of the power up and acts as a stopper.
Once the power up stops, I can fight with that increased power for a certain time. The length of time I can use it depends on my action during the power up. The more I move, and the more I attack, it minimises the time. This also affects my stamina, and if I’m in a tired state, then the time will also be shorter. One of the ways to use this Sacred Gear is that I don’t receive any damage.
Yeah, that’s why my current state where I have no damage and have full stamina is the best time to use the ability of my Boosted Gear.
My power is increasing while during the boost, but it is unstable compared to the time when I stop the boost to use the power up for a limited time. If I move around too much, there are risks that it may change me back to my normal self. For that reason, it’s better to stop the boost then use the power up.
It will be wise to run around and hide while getting a boost.
Now, my power is in an unthinkable state because of the two minutes boost. The power I feel within my body isn’t normal.
“Ise, I want you to fight Yuuto in that state. Yuuto, I will ask you to be his opponent.”
Kiba makes his stance by pointing his bokuto toward me after Buchou ordered him.
“Ise, do you want to use a sword? Or do you want to fight with bare hands?”
Buchou asks me how I will be fighting.
Hmm, even if I have a bokuto, I won’t be able to use it……
“I will fight bare handed!”
“Very well. Now then, I’ll ask the both of you to start.”
I also make a stance against Kiba. Well, it’s a newbie’s stance.
Kiba suddenly disappears from my sight! Oh crap! The trait of [Knight] is speed! Kiba has god-speed! Once I lose sight of him, I will receive the attack—.
Kiba’s swing came down at me, but I guard it by using my arm. Yes! I can withstand this!
Kiba makes a shocked expression. He let his guard down! I punch towards Kiba who stopped moving.
Kiba’s body disappears just before I hit him, and my punches cut through the air. Crap! He dodged it!
Where’s Kiba? I try to chase him by looking around. ……He’s gone! If he isn’t in front of me or to my left or right, then he’s behind me!
However, I don’t see Kiba when I turned around.
! Above me!? When I look up, Kiba is coming down with his bokuto aimed downwards.
I heard a nasty sound! Guhaaa! I receive a blow on my head. It huuuuurts!
I don’t have time to touch the part I was hit and I release a kick towards Kiba who just landed on the ground.
He dodged it again! Shit! It won’t hit at all! If my opponent is a [Knight], then will I have a hard time with their speed!?
“Ise! Shoot with block of demonic-power! When you form a block of demonic-power, shoot it with a shape you imagine the most!”
Buchou gives me an order.
A block of demonic-power? I have to do it here? I don’t know if it will hit but there’s no other choice! I will obey Buchou’s order.
I gathered the demonic-power flowing within my body and concentrated it into my palm. There is a block of demonic-power that is the size of a rice ball. Small like usual!
I then shoot it towards Kiba! That instant, I wasn’t able to believe what I saw.
It’s huge! The magic ball that had the size of a rice ball got bigger when I shot it! It reached the size of a huge rock! This!? I get it! It’s the power of the Boosted Gear! The huge block of magic got closer to Kiba. The velocity was quite fast as well.
Kiba dodges it easily. Well that’s not surprising. Oh, but it won’t mean anything if it doesn’t hit. That’s what I thought, but soon I got rid of that thought.
The demonic-power ball that missed its target went towards the mountain next to the one we are on, and—.
The mountain blows up while making a huge sound and blast!!
Eh! Eh? Eeeeeeeeeeeeh!?
……A single shot of demonic-power I shot out blew away a single mountain……The mountain has a huge hole in it. It changes the view of it.
……Eh? Are you for real? It actually blew it up? It’s a mountain, you know? A mountain.
Because of the sudden turn of events, I didn’t know what to say.
The gauntlet made a sound and I can also feel the power leaving my body at the same time. Looks like the time I’m powered up for is finished.
Then I lost all of my strength at once. It feels like my insides became empty. Seems like I used up my demonic-power.
“I’ll have both of you stop it there.”
Buchou ends me and Kiba’s spar. Kiba also put his bokuto down. I also sit on the ground as if I lost my strength.
T-The mountain disappeared.
My heart is beating with that fact. D-Did I do that? I still can’t believe it. A-An attack like that actually came out from my hand……
“Good job you two. Now I will hear your impression. Yuuto, how was it?”
Kiba answers Buchou’s question.
“Yes. To tell the truth I’m astonished. I tried to finish the spar with the first strike.”
Eh? The first strike as in the one I was able to block?
“But I couldn’t break through Ise-kun’s guard. I was focused into breaking through it. I also tried to knock him down in my second strike by hitting his head from above the air, but that failed as well.”
Kiba answers it while laughing out “Hahaha” with a refreshing expression. Kiba put his bokuto to the front to show it to everyone.
……That bokuto is already broken.
“I strengthened the bokuto with demonic-power, but it couldn’t give that much damage to Ise-kun because his body was too hard. If we continued, I would only have the option to run around because I wouldn’t have my weapon.”
“Thank you, Yuuto. That’s how it is, Ise.”
That’s how it is? Is this the thing she told me yesterday when she said, “I’ll give you confidence”?
“Ise. You said to me that you were “the weakest and have no talent”, right?”
“That’s half correct. You, who hasn’t activated your Sacred Gear, is weak. However, you become a totally different person if you use the power of the Boosted Gear.”
Buchou points at the mountain that was blown away.
“That attack is one of a High-class Devil. If that hits, most people will be blown away.”
Are you serious!? Well it certainly does seem like an attack that could blow most beings.
“Your body which went through basic training became a vessel that can handle a Sacred Gear that increases the power drastically. Even now, your body is strong enough to handle the power increase. I told you before, right? You can become the strongest as long as you improve your basics. The higher your initial strength is, the more the power can increase. The basic stamina rises from “1” to “2”. Even something like that would become a big factor for you to become strong.”
My power is amazing……?
I still can’t believe in myself and Buchou says it with confidence to me.
“You are the key to the game. Ise’s attack becomes the factor that decides the outcome of the battle. If it was only you fighting, then it would be scary because you would have your guard down while powering up. However, this battle is a team battle. You will have your comrades that will support you. Trust in us. Then, you will become strong as well as us. We can win this!”
—Become stronger. Me?
“Let’s show it to those that looked down on you. It doesn’t matter if the opponent is Phoenix or not. We need to teach them very strictly in how strong Rias Gremory and her servants are!”
Everyone replies to her with a strong voice. That’s right! I have Buchou and everyone with me!
I will become strong! I will become stronger along with everyone!
I will defeat Raiser Phoenix!
After having new-found determination, the mountain training went through smoothly.
Then we reached the day for the decisive battle.
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