High School DxD:Volume 4 Life 4
Life.4 The VIP Conference Begins!
Early morning. Me and Gasper were doing time stopping training in the forest surrounding the old school building.
“Guuuuu... Ise-senpai... I-I am tireeeeed.”
Gasper was rubbing his eyes.
“Don’t let out a weak voice! We have to fulfil our dreams!”
Without minding, I kept on throwing the balls.
“Ise-san, here are the balls.”
Asia, who was accompanying us early in the morning, was passing on the balls to me. As usual, it was a training where I threw the ball to Gasper, and he stopped it mid-air. He was now able to succeed once every twenty times. Persistence paid off. Compared to the first time, it was quite a huge progress. I had to somehow make him be able to use his Sacred Gear. If I didn’t, then my objective wouldn't be fulfilled! I wanted to make him be able to use time stoppage at will as soon as possible, and touch the stopped girls’ bodies! The school’s girls’ good value had been determined. I had already made the schedule for the place to stop time, and the time period was made to be a minute! I also knew the time when they were alone! All that’s left was to stop! Only stopping, you knoooooooow! By the way, the target girls were all school beauties with big racks. After all, since I was stopping them, then it would be girls with big boobs. After practicing with him, I couldn’t sleep at night. Not being able to stop my delusions of time stopping, I was worrying endlessly through the day. Even if Asia and Buchou were sleeping besides me, that was that, and this was this.
In reality, I wanted to hug Buchou from behind and rub her boobs, but...it seemed Asia would get mad at me... More like, the following day after that incident, Buchou wasn’t listening to me till after school, looking as if she was pondering over something. Thinking that I was truly hated by her, I was sad from the bottom of my heart. After that, without incident, she returned to the usual Buchou, but I only made Buchou sad. Huh? I felt some discomfort in my arm. Only my arm was unable to move. Somehow, it seemed Gasper accidentally stopped my arm.
He leaned on the ground and curled up. I said it while smiling bitterly.
“That’s why, didn’t I say not to mind it even if you stop me? We’re in the middle of training, and you’re a novice, so it’s fine. Well, if my whole body gets stopped, then I’ll be in trouble. The number of times that occurred has also gone down, right? Let’s continue this pace.”
Without challenging Gasper, I followed up. However, Gasper said with a complicated expression.
“...S-Since I am incomplete both as a human who has a Sacred Gear and as a Vampire as well, I only cause trouble to everyone... I-I have to control my power more... W-What a half-way incomplete existence I am... Sob...”
Aah, he cried again. ...Thinking about it, both he and Akeno-san were halves born from different species. Feeling doubt in their own existence, they probably hated their existence... It was something deep that was difficult to understand, but I knew at least that these two were burdened with something all the time. And because of that, they were probably suffering. However, I...
“Gasper! I like you! Don’t mind it! Before you start brooding, come strike me! If you think, you’ll lose! I also don’t know much about that, so it’s fine!”
I could only say that. My true thoughts. No matter what Akeno-san’s true identity was, no matter who Gasper was, I didn’t have any reason to hate them. W-Well, Gasper was a bit hesitant and was irritating at times, but I didn’t hate him.
“We’re both members of the same club, and also Rias-Buchou’s servants and comrades! Come at me with a bang!”
I said it like usual while puffing out my chest. I couldn’t say anything that worked on the heart, but no matter what, I think it was best to say it. If I became uneasy, then this guy would become no good. I was that guy’s senior. I had to guide him! Well, as a Devil, he was the senior though. Seeing that, Gasper wiped his tears and stood up.
“Ise-senpai, I-I’ll do my best...!”
“Yeah! Till school starts, I’ll be throwing one hundred balls!”
“Understood! Th-Then, I’ll wear this paper bag and do a power up—”
“Stop it! If Asia sees that, she’ll cry!”
Asia and Gasper both let out questioning looks. I won’t ever show the paper bag-wearing Gasper to Asia! I am alright with being overprotective!
“Do your best! Ise-san, Gasper-kun!”
“Gasper! Since the bishoujo Asia-senpai is cheering you on as well, cheer up!”
“Y-Yesssss! Thank you very much, Asia-senpaiiiiii!”
Like this, we resumed practice. Gasper! Let’s do it together! And then, we’ll stop girls! However, I thought something. A master...I wanted a person who would be our teacher. Being an expert in Sacred Gears, and furthermore, knowledgeable about Dragons, wasn’t there a person like that? Unexpectedly, the black-winged man came into my mind, but...I immediately shook my head sideways and renewed my thoughts. No way! That person was our bitter enemy. ...However, I think his knowledge was the real deal. If there was a ‘teacher’, then we’d definitely become stronger as well.
“Now then, we’re leaving.”
Everyone from the Occult Research Club had gathered in the club room. We nodded to Buchou’s words. That’s right, today was the day of the conference of the Three Great Powers. The day had finally arrived. The location will be the staff meeting room of Kuoh Academy’s new school building’s. Today’s a holiday. The time was late at night. It seemed each faction’s top were on standby in the new building’s lounge already. Also, above all, this school was enveloped completely by a strong barrier, so no-one was able to enter. Of course, till the meeting was over, no-one could exit as well. Outside the barrier, Angels, Fallen Angels, and Devil troops were surrounding the whole school. Looking at the atmosphere, which seemed like a critical situation, Kiba said.
“If by any chance something happens in today’s conference and it breaks down, this place might become a battlefield...”
S-Scary! It’s become something amazing. The sense of reality wasn’t quite strong, but it’s an important day. I have to be proper as well! We followed Buchou out of the club room.
The cardboard box was left in the room. Of course, the hikikomori Vampire was inside it.
“Gasper, today’s conference is important, so since you cannot control your time-stopping Sacred Gear, you can’t participate, you know?”
That was what Buchou informed gently. Indeed, if Gasper, who couldn’t control his Sacred Gear even now, hindered everyone present in the meeting due to some shock, it would become terrible. Due to this, this guy will be watching over the club room.
“Gasper, be a good boy, okay?”
“I have left my portable game in the club room, so you can play with that. There are sweets as well, so you can have them too. I have left the paper bag as well, so if you become lonely, wear it to your heart’s content.”
Good. I nodded and followed Buchou, who had left the room. Kiba murmured to me while smiling.
“Ise-kun, you’re caring after all.”
“Leave it to me. I will do something about this single male Kouhai of mine.”
I said that while brimming with confidence, but that was a bluff. I was uneasy about how long I could do even this. Even then, I wanted to do something for Gasper.
Buchou knocked on the meeting room’s door.
Buchou opened the door, and there was...a gorgeous and pompous-looking table. And as if surrounding it, people who I recognised were sitting. The air was enveloped by quietness, and everyone had a serious face. Gulp. I also swallowed my spit due to the feeling of nervousness. Asia also grabbed the end of my clothes as if feeling uneasy. I lightly clasped her hand to ease her.
From the Devil side, there were Sirzechs-sama and Leviathan-sama. Ah, the waitress was Grayfia-san. She was on standby beside the tea preparing cart. From the Angels’ side, there were the golden-feathered Michael-san and a unknown girl Angel-san. Normal Angels have white wings after all. More like, she was an amazing beauty. The beauty surely was Angel-class! Ah, she’s an Angel, huh. From the Fallen Angels’ side, there were Azazel with his twelve wings unfurled and the Vanishing Dragon, Vali. Glancing at me, the ends of Azazel’s lips rose as if happily. Ooh, today, he wasn’t wearing a yukata, but a black robe elaborated with ornaments. As expected, he wouldn’t be wearing a yukata in this place. Sirzechs-sama and Leviathan-sama were wearing clothes with ornaments decorating them as well.
“My younger sister and her family.”
Sirzechs-sama introduced Buchou to the VIP of the other factions. Buchou also bowed.
“They were active during Kokabiel’s attack a few days ago.”
“I have heard the report. I give you my thanks once more.”
Michael-san gave his thanks to Buchou. Buchou conducted herself coolly and bowed once more.
“Sorry that Kokabiel of my side caused you trouble.”
Azazel said it with a brazen expression. What an attitude. Buchou’s mouth also twitched.
“Sit on the seats over there.”
Following Sirzechs-sama’s direction, Grayfia-san urged us to the chairs near the wall. Sona-Kaichou was already sitting on one of those seats. Buchou sat besides Kaichou. She made me sit beside her, and after that, Akeno-san, Kiba, Asia, Xenovia and Koneko-chan sat in turn. After confirming that, Sirzechs-sama said.
“Now that everyone has arrived, I’ll say the preconditions for the meeting. The people present here acknowledge the most important event and forbidden subject—i.e, the non-existence of God.”
Huh? Kaichou knew about it as well? I glanced towards Kaichou, but she didn’t have a particularly surprised expression. Was she informed about it beforehand by Buchou or her onee-san, Leviathan-sama? As if it were ordinary, Grayfia-san looked like she knew about it as well.
“Then, acknowledging that, let’s continue the conversation.”
Like this, with Sirzechs-sama’s sentence, the conference between the Three Great Powers began... The conference was progressing smoothly.
“Like that, we Angels—”
Michael-san said that.
“That’s true. That way would be better. If it’s like now, certainly the Three Great Powers will go down the road of destruction—”
Sirzechs-sama also said that.
“Well, we don’t have any particular thing to fuss over.”
There were instances when this place would freeze when Azazel said a sentence occasionally as well, but I thought that the Governor of the Fallen Angels was purposely making that atmosphere and enjoying it. Ooh, the VIPs were doing a fastidious conversation, but honestly, the subject was jargon to me. Since my Devil history was too shallow. I didn’t know what’s happening. Devils, Angels, Fallen Angels, it might be a valuable conversation for them, but I didn’t understand it at all. No, no matter what’s occurring, it would be better to keep my mind here, but my brain couldn’t process these things... Yeah...since I couldn’t help it, I looked at Buchou’s boobs who was beside me. Aah, Buchou’s boobs... They sure were big. My body knew their feeling, so I should soon know their taste as well, but...stepping up was considerably difficult. Buchou realised my gaze on her breasts and let out a bitter smile. She took my hand, and clasped it. Buchou’s hands were shaking a little. ...Was she nervous? Having to participate in this important meeting, and having to give a report as well, it might be natural. Even Buchou would be nervous, since it seems it’s being said that this conference might be written down in history. I also clasped Buchou’s hands without saying anything. Buchou, if this was alright with you, then I’ll lend you my strength any time.
(Ara, ara, Buchou and Ise-kun are acting lovey-dovey in the middle of the conference.)
Akeno-san said it with a small voice while smiling.
(I am drawing courage from Ise’s hands. This is the most effective after all.)
Buchou! It’s an honour! If my courage is all right with you, then take it as much as you want! More like, before I knew it, Buchou and Akeno-san had made up, so that’s good. Woah, I was going to stroke her breasts. The conference continued, and it was finally Buchou’s turn.
“Now then, Rias. Could you speak about the incident a few days before?”
After being urged by Sirzechs-sama, Buchou, Kaichou and Akeno-san stood up. They talked about a part continuously, about the recent attack from Kokabiel. And everyone belonging to the Three Great Powers continued to hear about it. Buchou talked about the summary of the incident she experienced herself plainly in a calm manner. Maybe due to maximum level nervousness, those hands were shaking after all. Due to her speech, something with the Three Great Powers might change. No matter how courageous Buchou was, this place’s atmosphere would be very painful. Besides, Buchou was around the same age as me...and a girl. Each of the factions’ VIPs who heard the report were either letting out a sigh, scowling, or smiling. Each person had a different reaction.
“...That is all regarding the report of the events which I, Rias Gremory, and the household Devils over there experienced.”
Buchou, who had said everything, had finally resumed seating upon hearing Sirzechs-sama’s ‘Good work, sit down’. Good work, Buchou!
Leviathan-sama also sent a wink towards Buchou.
“Now then, Azazel. After hearing this report, I want to hear the opinion of the Governor of the Fallen Angels.”
Upon Sirzechs-sama’s questioning, everyone’s gaze concentrated on the black-haired Governor. Azazel started talking after letting out an intrepid smile.
“Regarding the incident a few days back, Kokabiel, a leader of our central organisation, Grigori, kept quiet to the other leaders, as well as to me, the Governor, and acted independently. He was disposed of by Vali. After that, his punishment was enforced by the organisation’s court martial. His punishment is eternal freezing in Cocytus. He can’t come out anymore. The explanation for that, everything was written in the material that was forwarded to you, right? That is all.”
Michael-san said while sighing.
“As for the explanation, it is the worst category, but...I know about the story of you personally not wanting to make anything big occur against us. Is that true?”
“Aah, I don’t have any interest in wars. When Kokabiel also disparaged me, don’t you have the report for that as well?”
Yes, as Azazel said, Kokabiel said quite a lot of bad stuff about his bosses. He was a person who was passive about wars, and only had an interest in Sacred Gears... This time, Sirzechs-sama asked Azazel.
“Azazel, I want to ask one thing. Why have you been gathering owners of Sacred Gears for the past decades? At first, I thought you were gathering humans and attempting to augment your battle potential. I even anticipated you waging war against Heaven or us, but...”
“Yes, no matter how much time passed, you didn’t wage a war against us. When I heard you got hold of the Vanishing Dragon, I was enveloped by a strong wariness.”
Michael-san’s opinion was the same as Sirzechs-sama’s. Upon hearing the two’s opinion, Azazel smiled bitterly.
“It’s for the sake of Sacred Gear research. If that’s the case, should I send a part of the research materials to you as well? Even if I did research, I wouldn’t wage a war against you or anything. I don’t have any interest in war at this late of an hour. I am perfectly satisfied with the world right now. I have strongly ordered my subordinates, ‘Don’t interfere with the human world’s politics’, you know? I have no intention of intervening in religion either, or influencing the business of the Devils. Damn, is my trust in the Three Factions the least?”
“That’s exactly it☆.”
Sirzechs-sama’s, Michael-san’s and Leviathan-sama’s opinion coincided. How far is he not trusted, the Governor of the Fallen Angels...? Upon hearing that, Azazel disinterestedly pecked at his ears.
“Che. I thought you were better than God or the last generation’s Lucifer, but you guys are troublesome guys yourselves. Sneakily researching doesn’t get along well with you, huh? Ah, I got it. —Then, let’s make peace. Originally, wasn’t that the intention of you Angels and Devils as well?”
...Peace. Wait, doesn’t that mean they desire peace together? On Azazel’s sentence, each faction was surprised for a small interval. Buchou beside me, and even Kaichou besides her, were considerably surprised. It seems like Azazel’s peace speech was quite a thing to be surprised at. It seemed it was considered unlikely to be presented by him. Well, even to me, who was not informed about the situation, I think if the boss of one of the powers proposed that, then it’s an amazing thing. Maybe, I was witnessing a historical moment? Michael-san, who was surprised by Azazel’s proposal, smiled.
“Yes, I also planned to propose peace to the Devil side and Grigori. Even if we continue the relationship of the Three Factions like before, then it will become damaging to the world right now. I, the leader of the Angels, say it since...the original cause of the war, God and Maou-sama, have been annihilated.”
Michael-san said that he wanted peace in this interval. Azazel burst out laughing on Michael-san’s words.
“Ha! That stubborn Michael has finally started to speak. Even though he was all about ‘God, God, God’ before.”
“...I have lost a lot of things. However, there’s no point seeking for things that aren’t present. It is our duty to guide humans. We members of the Seraph have the same opinion that the most important thing is to watch over the children of God from now on as well, and to guide them.”
“Hey, hey, with your speech just now, you’ll ‘fall’, you know? —I thought that, but you took over the System right. It’s become a good world. It’s completely different from the time when we ‘fell’.”
Somehow, due to all those special terms, I didn’t get it, but it seemed like an advanced dimension’s joke. Sirzechs-sama also shared the same opinion.
“We are the same. Even if the Maou isn’t here, in order to continue the species, Devils too have moved forward as well. Even we wouldn’t want war. If we start another war, the Devils will be destroyed.”
On Sirzechs-sama’s words, Azazel nodded as well.
“Yes. If we start another war, the Three Factions will definitely be mutually destroyed. And then, it will affect the human world as well, and the world will end. We can’t do wars now.”
Some time ago, Azazel had a joking mood, but it’s done a complete change and he has a serious expression now.
“Do you think a world without God is wrong? Do you think a world without God would decay? I am sorry to say, but that isn’t the case. Me and you as well are both healthily living like this.”
Azazel said that while opening his arms.
“—The world moves even without God.”
...I felt that I somehow understood only those words. Even without God, I lived in this world. I feel that other people’s lives don’t have a particular change either. In between all the difficult talk, I sensed that Azazel’s words ‘The world moves even without God’ were engraved strongly in my brain. After that, the conversation moved to hereafter’s war potential etc. For some reason, the current military forces and each faction’s interaction, they are talking about the power picture from now on. Compared to some time ago, the feeling of nervousness had been reduced. Maybe they understood that no power wants war?
“...And, is this it?”
On Sirzechs-sama’s sentence, the VIPs let out a huge sigh. Somehow or other, it seems the usual important conversation was finished. Had it been around maybe one hour since the conference began? It sure feels long. I am bad at such long things. It’s more fun to move around. While Grayfia-san was serving tea as the waitress, Michael-san turned his gaze towards me.
“Now then, since the discussion has considerably been moving in a good direction, is it all right if we hear about the matter of Sekiryuutei-dono?”
Everyone’s gaze concentrated towards me. Owah! W-Won’t I be nervous? More like, he properly remembered about the recent thing at the shrine. As expected of the leader of the Angels! The thing that I wanted to ask Michael-san... I turned my head towards Asia, and prepared myself. Before coming here, I had received Asia’s prior confirmation.
“Asia, is it all right if I ask Michael-san about you?”
Asia was surprised, but she consented.
“If Ise-san wants to ask about it, then I don’t mind. I trust Ise-san.”
While smiling, Asia gave permission. That’s why, I have to ask him.
“Why did you exile Asia?”
On my question to Michael-san, everyone had the astonished expression, probably thinking ‘Why is he talking about it now?’. Sorry. However, no matter what, I wanted to ask the Angel side about it once. Asia, who trusted God that much, why was she exiled from the church? Other than the Fallen Angels who killed Asia, I felt there were unforgivable parts to the Angel side as well. Michael-san replied in an earnest manner.
“I can only apologise for that. ...After God was annihilated, only the System to govern divine protection, mercy and miracles remained. This System is, if I explain it simply, the System to perform the miracles etc. God did. God made the System and used it to bring about miracles above ground. To bring about the effect of holy things like exorcism, crosses etc., these too are the System’s powers.”
I see. The damage we Devils take when we touch a cross is the effect of the System, huh. Let’s try to hit the boss of the Angels with more questions.
“After God died...some system trouble occurred...is what you’re saying?”
On my question, Michael-san nodded.
“To be honest, it takes a big toll on anyone who uses it with the exception of God. With me as the centre, everyone of the Seraph was able to somehow start up the System but...compared to the time God existed, the divine protection and mercy to those who believe in God is not complete. It’s an unfortunate thing, but those who can be granted salvation are limited.”
Now that you mention it, Kokabiel might have said it as well. Something about since God isn’t here, there’s a limit to how many people can be saved.
“For that, there was a need to keep away those people related to the Church who could possibly cause an influence on the System. As an example of those who can influence the system, a part of the Sacred Gears, like Asia Argento’s Twilight Healing, is included as well. Your Boosted Gear, and also Divine Dividing as well.”
“Asia is included because she can heal Devils and Fallen Angels as well?”
On my question, Michael-san once again nodded.
“Yes. If there is a person who can heal Devils and Fallen Angels present within the followers, it will influence the faith of the ones around her. The source of us living in Heaven is the faith of believers. Because of that, Twilight Healing is a forbidden Sacred Gear which can cause an influence on the system. And also, as an example of influence on the system—”
Xenovia interrupted Michael-san and continued.
“The people who know about the non-existence of God, right?”
“Yes, that’s right, Xenovia. To lose you is a serious wound even for us, but if, apart from us Seraph and a part of the higher rank Angels, a fair amount of people who know about the non-existence of God approach a place with a direct connection, then there’s a huge effect on the System. I apologise. There was no other way but to make you and Asia Argento heretics.”
Michael-san bowed his head to Asia and Xenovia. Ooh, the top of the Angels was apologizing to Asia and Xenovia! The two in question also stared in wonder. Indeed, they’d be troubled on how to respond. However, Xenovia immediately shook her neck sideways and smiled.
“No, Michael-sama, please don’t apologise. Even like this, till I reached this age, I was brought up by the Church. I somehow felt it was a bit irrational, but if you know the reason, then there’s nothing such as asking why.”
“The fact that you reincarnated as a Devil, that is our crime.”
“It’s all right. ...I regretted it a bit, but the things that I couldn’t do when I was serving the Church, the things that were sealed from me are now brilliantly colouring my everyday life. If I say these words, I may anger the other believers, but...even then I am satisfied by my current life.”
Xenovia thought that way of her life with us... There’s also the part of her being a bit too otherworldly, but she isn’t a bad girl. Asia also said it with her hands together.
“Michael-sama, I also feel I am happy. Since I now have a lot of important people. And also, I have met and talked with the Michael-sama who I admired, so it’s an honour!”
On Asia’s and Xenovia’s words, Michael-san showed an expression of relief.
“Sorry. I am grateful for your forgiving hearts. I leave Durandal to you, Xenovia. Since it’s the family of Sirzechs’ sister, then I am at ease that it won’t be used by those who do as they please.”
Azazel was looking at Asia. Asia also noticed it, and her body trembled.
“It seems my subordinates killed her while keeping quiet about it. I received that report as well.”
I said it to Azazel clearly.
“That’s right, Asia died once. E-Even I was killed by Fallen Angels, but above that, Asia! It may be something that occurred in a place you don’t know, but the Fallen Angel girls who admired you killed Asia for your sake.”
I know that I have no right to say anything in this conference. What happened earlier was Michael-san’s measure. Right now, it’s completely from my own personal grudge. Buchou is also trying to warn me by saying ‘Calm down, Ise’. Sorry, Buchou, but no matter what, I have to...
“It’s true we Fallen Angels are eliminating those Sacred Gear users who may cause harm to us. As an organisation, it’s obvious, right? Sensing that a person may become a threat in the future, then if we know about it beforehand, you’ll want to eliminate him. And because of that, you died. The reason is that the human with no talent, you, could have run wild with the power of the Sekiryuutei without being able to control it and have a bad effect on us or the world.”
“Thanks to you, I am a Devil.”
“Do you dislike it? At the very least, those around you are happy that you became a Devil.”
It’s true that Buchou, Sirzechs-sama and my comrades too are happy that I became a Devil. As Azazel said, if Ddraig’s power would have been with a me who remained a human, then I don’t know what would’ve happened. Even after becoming a Devil, I can’t control it properly, but if it was when I was alive, then it would have been bad.
“I-I don’t dislike it! Everyone is a good person, and I know that I am receiving favourable treatment! However!”
“Even if I apologise now, it’s too late. That’s why, I am thinking of doing something that only I can do to make you stand on both your legs.”
? I don’t understand Azazel’s true intentions. What does he mean?
“Now then, it’s time we hear the opinion of people other than us, those who seem like they can influence the world, the invincible Dragon-samas. First, Vali. What do you want to do to the world?”
On Azazel’s question, the Hakuryuukou, Vali, smiled.
“If I can fight strong guys, then it’s fine.”
...Are you alright with that reply, you? You seriously only like combat? That seems like a nuisance to others though. Azazel’s gaze turned to me next.
“Then, Sekiryuutei, what about you?”
Even if you ask that... I replied while scratching my cheeks.
“To be honest, I don’t understand it well. Somehow, due to all the fastidious stuff, my head is in chaos. In addition to that, I am desperate about looking after my junior Devil, so even if I am told what I think about the world, how should I say it, I don’t have feelings gushing forth.”
It’s my honest thoughts. Even if I am asked what I think about the world, I don’t quite have any feelings about it.
“However, you are one of those who has the power to move the world. If you don’t make your choice, then it will be difficult for those standing on top of each of the powers such as me to move.”
Even if I am told that by Azazel, I am troubled.
“Hyoudou Issei, let me explain it in a very simple manner. If we fight, then there will be a need for you to also fight at the front stage. If that happens, you won’t be able to sleep with Rias Gremory.”
“If we make peace, then there won’t be a need to fight. If that happens, then what’s left that is the most important is continuation of the species and prosperity. You may be able to endeavour in making children with Rias Gremory everyday. How’s that? Is it easy to understand? If there’s a fight, then there’s no sex. If there’s peace, then you can have sex all the time. Which will you choose?”
For the first time I understood Azazel’s language from the bottom of my heart! I see! If there’s peace, then I can do ecchi things with Buchou all the time! No, can I do ecchi things with Buchou? Was I in that position? However! If peace continues, then I’ll someday be able to do ecchi things with Buchou! That wish is huge!
“I would like to have the peaceful one please! Yes! It’s peace, all right! Peace is the best! I want to do ecchi things with Buchou!”
I said my desires as they were. I didn’t mind Buchou who was beside me. Buchou, her face was completely flushed.
“Ise-kun, Sirzechs-sama is present here, you know?”
Kiba said it with an ‘Oh boy’ and a bitter smile. Ah... That’s right. Sirzechs-sama laughed in a low intensity manner. This is bad. I have to hurry up and give an excuse! I have to give a serious story!
“Um... I, since I am an idiot, the meaning of ninety percent of this conference’s contents are obscure. However, what I can say is, since the power residing in me is strong, then I’ll use it for my comrades. Buchou, Asia, Akeno-san, and also the other members as well, if they’re exposed to trouble, then I’ll protect them! ...Wait, I am still quite weak though. However what I can do is that. Even if I have to risk my life, I will live alongside my comrades...”
While I fired the words with all my might, that sensation attacked. ...My body’s functions stopped for a moment. That’s right, this was the sensation when I received Gasper’s time stopping.
When I noticed it, the interior of the staff meeting room had changed just a little. Michael-san was looking outside from a window, while Sirzechs-sama and Azazel were deep in talk, looking serious for some reason.
“Oh, the Sekiryuutei has come back.”
Azazel said this upon seeing me.
“D-Did something happen?”
Looking around, people were divided between those that could move and those that were stopped. All the big-shots were moving. Sirzechs-sama, Leviathan-sama, Grayfia-san, Michael-san and Azazel, as well as the Vanishing Dragon, seemed to be able to move. The club members were—
“It seems only me, Ise, Yuuto and Xenovia are able to move from my family.”
Wait, Buchou! I’m so glad, you can move! Conversely, Asia, Akeno-san, Koneko-chan and Kaichou were all stopped. For even Akeno-san to have been stopped...
“It would appear the reason you’re safe is because Ise is the possessor of the Sekiryuutei, and because Yuuto has an irregular Holy Demonic Sword that has attained Balance Breaker. Xenovia invoked Durandal just before it happened.”
Just as Buchou said, Xenovia was holding the really dangerous sword that kept giving off a holy aura. She seemed to be putting it away right at that moment, and the Holy Sword was returned to the space-time warp.
“The sense of time stopping was somehow remembered by my body. When time was on the verge of stopping, I thought I could use Durandal’s power to protect myself. It seems I was correct.”
This girl remembered the instant of time being stopped with her body!? As usual, her body’s specs were frightening...
“Be that as it may, what happened, Buchou?”
“—to be a terrorist attack.”
Interrupting Buchou’s words as she started to answer my question, Azazel said this. ...Wait! Rather, a terrorist attaaaaaaaaaaack!? During this important conference that would something-something the future of the world’s state of affairs!?
“Would you like to look outside?”
Azazel gestured at the window with his chin. I approached the meeting room’s glass window and... Kah! Flashes suddenly spread out in front of my eyes! Owah! What!? This new school building seemed to be subtly shaking...
“We’re under fire. In any era where a power tried to form peace with other powers, there will also be a gathering of those who dislike it and try to disturb it.”
Azazel pointed outside. When I turned my eyes in the direction he pointed, there were human-like silhouettes that had arrived in the school yard and in the air. Looking closely, these mage-like guys dressed in black robes seemed to be firing attacks at us that were similar to magic bullets. Luckily, these attacks didn’t look to be doing any damage to the new school building. However, I also couldn’t see any sign of the attack relenting. Are those the terrorists? What was their goal...? Rather, it was obviously to interfere with this meeting, right? Azazel, who was standing next to me before I noticed, gave a fearless smile.
“Those guys are so-called Magicians. They use a kind of magic that was originally interpreted from the magic system of Devils by the legendary magician Merlin Ambrosius and reconstructed as sorcery. From the power of the magic they’re emitting, I’d guess that they each possess the magic power of a Mid-class Devil.”
So it’s a fact that those guys in the school yard are stronger than the weak me! There’s a lot!
“In short, it means that humans can use powers like those of Devils. Though, of course, it also seems to be possible that they can’t become Devils themselves. It’s especially troublesome when a Sacred Gear possessor learns magic. Well, their attacks aren’t capable of damaging this school building because the strongest protective barrier created by me, Sirzechs and Michael is enveloping this place. Though, thanks to that, we can’t leave here.”
This Governor knew a lot of things. It was natural for him to be a person at the top, but he was also able to explain things in plain words, too.
“T-Then, what about when time seemed to stop before?”
“Most likely, they used a Sacred Gear or magic that transferred power on the half-Vampire kid’s Sacred Gear and forcefully made it go into Balance Breaker state. It’s only a temporary Balance Breaker state, but even then, to think that it even affects people present in the interior of objects outside the field of vision... So that half-Vampire’s potential ability was this high. Well, it seems that he lacks the output to stop us top-position guys though.”
No way! Then, Gasper, who was in the clubroom in the old school building, has been captured and is being used!?
“But, they transferred power? There are other Sacred Gears with that kind of ability?”
“Boosted Gear combines together both the nearly endless doubling ability and the transfer ability. There exist independent Sacred Gears with either of these respective powers, the doubling Sacred Gear and the transfer Sacred Gear. All the Longinus are just a combination of one ability with another. Essentially, they combine powerful abilities that aren’t supposed to be combined. ‘Maybe the Longinus are born because of a kind of bug or errors in the Sacred Gear program constructed by God’, that’s one of the opinions of us in Grigori. If I had to say it in an easy-to-understand way to you, it’s a fact that there are other powers that can transfer.”
Thank you very much for your rather easy-to-understand explanation! Or rather, Gasper was being used like I thought!? Buchou came to my side.
“Gasper has been made into a terrorist weapon at the old school building... Just where did they get information on my servant...? Moreover, for them to use his power to go after this important meeting...! Never before have I been so insulted like this!”
Oooh! Onee-sama was making a red aura gush out from her entire body! S-Scary!
“By the way, the armies of the Fallen Angels, Angels and Devils outside of this school building all seem to be stopped as well. Geez, Rias Gremory’s family is just dreadful.”
Azazel put a hand on Buchou’s shoulder with a tap, but Buchou mercilessly brushed the hand away. His hand pushed away, Azazel turned that hand to the window with a sigh. Then, a countless number of spears of light appeared in the sky outside...
The spears of lights rained down all at once at the same time as Azazel lowered his hand, and they were showered down upon the Magicians. The terrorists also made protective barriers, but they went through without any trouble and the Magicians were eradicated! Uwah! Incredibleeeeeeeeeee! In an instant! The Magicians’ countless stiff corpses scattered about the school grounds! It suddenly turned into a gruesome scene! Or rather, he’s seriously strong, this Governor! Was he a one-hit annihilation monster!? He finished it all with a single act without seeming to make any particular preparation!?
“This school is enveloped in a barrier. But, despite this, they appeared within the barrier. There must be a transfer-use magic circle or a person connecting with a gate to the inside of the premises. Either way, if they increase the effect of Forbidden Balor View any more than this, there’s a possibility that they’ll be able to stop even people like us too. By stopping us here with their fierce attack, they intend to annihilate each school building the instant our time is stopped. They seem to be using considerable military power.”
Preceding Azazel’s gaze, magic circles appeared at various places in the school grounds and started shining ominously. From the magic circles appeared forms that were the same as the Magician group that Azazel had defeated just now. Or rather, they were Magicians just like before!? There were more appearing!? There were a lot of them still appearing!
“It’s a repeat from just now. They’ll keep appearing even as we knock and knock them down. However, even if the timing and terrorist technique is good, it may be that they have a knowledgeable person who has inside information. Is there unexpectedly a traitor here?”
Azazel said something shocking. A traitor? Please don’t say such a scary thing.
“Can’t we escape from here?”
Azazel shook his head at my question.
“We can’t escape. As long as the barrier enclosing the entire school isn’t dissolved, we can’t go outside. But, if the barrier is dissolved, damage may be inflicted in the human world. We have to wait for the enemy boss to appear. If we shut ourselves in here for a while, they’ll get tired of waiting and eventually show their face. I’d like to know who the mastermind is quickly. Besides, if we go out and rampage imprudently, we may just do exactly as the enemy wishes.”
H-How composed. So we just need to wait until the enemy shows their true form!
“That said, we leaders can’t move while making preparations. However, our first goal is to take back Gasper from the old school building, which has become the terrorists’ base.”
So said Sirzechs-sama. I see, so the present situation has made Gasper return to being the number one dangerous person? If we fell under fire while the top Maou-samas were time-stopped, it’d be serious!
“Onii-sama, I’ll go. Gasper is my servant. It’s my responsibility to take him back.”
Buchou sent out a strong will in her eyes as she proposed this. Sirzechs-sama suddenly laughed.
“I thought I said it before. I understand my younger sister’s personality. However, how will you go to the old school building? It’s filled with Magicians outside this new school building. The usual transfer is also blocked by magic.”
“The old school building, my base’s clubroom has a remaining unused Rook piece being safe kept within it.”
“I see, [Castling], huh. Since they would usually expect us to go take him back, this could catch the opponent off-guard. They’ll anticipate some kind of trick.”
I’ve heard of this. Castling, a technique to instantly switch the locations of the King and Rook. It was said to be one of the special techniques of the Rating Games. In other words, Buchou could transfer over to the old school building in an instant! Amazing! As expected of Buchou! If it’s teleportation, we didn’t need to go outside! An instant charge at the enemy’s centre! The enemy would also be surprised by this! Maybe the mastermind that Azazel mentioned would also be surprised and come out!
“Alright. However, it’s reckless to go alone. Grayfia, is it possible to transfer more than one person through Castling with my magic system?”
“Yes, it seems we can only deploy a simple technique ceremony here, but it’s possible to transfer ojou-sama and one other.”
“So, Rias and someone else...”
“Sirzechs-sama, I’ll also go!”
I raised my hand and volunteered. It was my important Kouhai. I’ll save him together with Buchou! Sirzechs-sama’s eyes turned towards me for a moment, but then quickly moved in Azazel’s direction.
“Azazel, according to a rumour, you’ve been researching how to freely handle Sacred Gears for a fixed time, right?”
“Yeah, that’s true, but what about it?”
“Is it possible to control the Sekiryuutei?”
Azazel fell silent in response to Sirzechs-sama’s question. However, the Governor of the Fallen Angels groped in his breast pocket and...
Azazel called out to me.
“I-I’m Hyoudou Issei!”
“Then, Hyoudou Issei. Take this.”
Azazel threw something at me. I caught it and looked at it. They seemed to be wide rings to put around the hand. Multiple layers of strange characters were carved into them. Accessories? As I thought doubtfully, Azazel spoke to me.
“Those are bracelets with the power to control a Sacred Gear to some degree. If you find the aforementioned half-Vampire, put one on him. It’ll help him control his power somewhat.”
“But, there are two of them...?”
Yes, there were two bracelets. One for Gasper. And the other...
“The other one is for you. You haven’t mastered the power of the Welsh Dragon, right? If so, put it on. If it’s for a short time, it’ll be possible to go into the Balance Breaker state without paying any price. This will be used in place of the price.”
—Hey! S-Seriously!? If I put this bracelet on my arm, I’ll be able to go into Balance Breaker?
“As a side effect, you’ll also temporarily undo the seal that’s been applied on you. Your Pawn power has been blocked, right?”
Where did you get that information? I was a Pawn that had consumed eight pieces, but since I didn’t yet possess the strength to cope with that power, my power was being suppressed by Buchou.
“This is only my personal opinion, but in terms of piece distribution, Ddraig is seven and you’re one, right? No, it may be 7.9 and 0.1. Promotion also builds the necessary foundation for the sake of manifesting Ddraig’s true power. Either way, it’s a fact that releasing Ddraig’s power will release the seal as well, right, Rias Gremory?”
Buchou just narrowed her eyes in response to Azazel’s question and gave no particular answer.
“Use that ring as a last resort. Since it can’t regulate its consumption of stamina, you’ll just exhaust yourself wastefully if you activate it suddenly. It will consume an intense amount of stamina and magical power while in armour mode.”
And that was Azazel’s supplementary explanation. I see. Since I don’t know what will happen, it’s better to transform myself when it’s a serious pinch. Azazel spoke again to reinforce his point.
“Remember this well. The current you is a Devil that was originally born as a human. Even if one possesses a powerful Sacred Gear, there’s no meaning if the host is useless. If the opponent against the current you is inexperienced, you can just sprinkle Ddraig’s power to win, but it’s a tractable thing regarding those with greater power and those who understand your ability. At any rate, you yourself are your Sacred Gear’s weak point. The cluster of your weakness is assuredly your inability to master it. You’ll eventually die if you can’t tame your power.”
Yes, I understand that all too painfully well. However, saying it again gouged terribly at my heart. Yeah, I recognise it. I’m not the one who’s amazing. It’s Ddraig that’s amazing. However, this Fallen Angel Azazel spoke in an easily understandable manner and put things into a new light. Wouldn’t he be suitable as a teacher or lecturer?
“Azazel, just how far did you research Sacred Gears?”
Michael-san asked Azazel while sighing, but the Fallen Angel Governor just smiled fearlessly.
“It’s fine, isn’t it? God, the one who made the Sacred Gears, isn’t here, right? Isn’t it better if there’s someone who can explain about Sacred Gears at least a little? I heard there are all kinds of things that even you don’t know, right?”
“I think the problem is that you’re the one who’s researching it...”
And so, these big-shots kept talking together like this, but I just felt a little joy at the existence of these bracelets. ...With this, I can be useful to Buchou...! Buchou received the so-called special technique formula from her forehead by Grayfia-san.
“Ojou-sama, please wait a little while.”
“Please hurry, Grayfia.”
While we were inside getting ready, Azazel and the Hakuryuukou were deep in talk.
“What is it, Azazel?”
“You go catch the enemy’s attention outside. If the Hakuryuukou comes out at the front, it’ll disrupt their strategy a little. Also, something may move.”
“So that person will also become aware of me being here?”
“If you do that, they won’t expect the Sekiryuutei to transfer over to the centre using Castling. It’ll also have the effect of attracting their attention a little.”
“Wouldn’t it be faster to blow away all the terrorists in the old school building and the half-Vampire who has become a problem?”
Vali said all that naturally. What the hell is he saying, this bastard!?
“Quit that at a time where we’ve united in peace. In the worst case scenario, we’ll do that, but if we can save a member of the Maou’s family, saving him will be of benefit for us in the future.”
Vali agreed to Azazel’s suggestion while letting out a breath. Kah! Wings of light unfolded on Vali’s back. So that’s his Sacred Gear.
[Vanishing Dragon Balance Breaker!!!!!!!!]
After that sound, a snow-white aura covered Vali’s form! When the light stopped, his body was wrapped in a whole-body armour that emitted a white radiance. So this is his Balance Break. This guy who...seems to be my rival could enter Balance Breaker so easily. I still couldn’t do this. Even if I entered it, I still had to pay a price. After glancing at me, Vali opened the meeting room’s window and rushed out into the sky. At that instant—
A shock wave was created outside! When I looked, the group of Magicians were trampled down by the guy in white armour. He plunged into the enemy group while drawing a path of light in the night sky, and the aspect of a great warrior was seen. ...Strong. Even I could immediately understand how insanely strong he was. He danced in the air without worrying about the concentrated bullets of the Magicians at all, and a large mass of surging bullets hit the school grounds. Without accomplishing anything, the Magicians were annihilated, but magic circles appeared right afterwards, and a new group of Magicians appeared. They really are endless!
“Azazel, continuing the talk from before.”
Sirzechs-sama queried Azazel.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“What are you trying to do by collecting Sacred Gears? You’ve been collecting Longinus owners too, right? Do you intend to kill God even though God no longer exists?”
Azazel shook his head at that question.
“It’s to prepare.”
“Prepare? That’s some uneasiness-inciting talk even though you reject war.”
Michael-san said this in amazement.
“I said so, right? I won’t go to war against you people. I also won’t make war here. —However, means of self-defence are necessary. Rather, should I say we’re not just preparing for an attack from you?”
“—The [Khaos Brigade].”
It was a name I hadn’t heard before, but it seemed Sirzechs-sama didn’t know either from his furrowed eyebrows.
“I only confirmed the organisation’s name and background recently, but my Vice Governor Shemhaza has also had his eye on this suspiciously acting group from before that. It’s said that they’re gathering dangerous members from all three big powers. Some Sacred Gear-possessing humans who have attained Balance Breaker also seem to be included. I’ve also confirmed a number of Longinus possessors among them.”
“Their goal is?”
Michael-san asked that.
“Destruction and mayhem. It’s that simple, you know? They don’t like this world’s peace. They’re terrorists. Moreover they’re ill-natured to the extreme.”
Then, could it be that this terrorist attack is...?
“The organisation’s leader is the powerful fiendish Dragon besides the Welsh Dragon and Vanishing Dragon.”
Everyone besides me became speechless at Azazel’s confession. Eh? What is it?
“...I see, so that person has moved. The Uroboros Dragon Ophis... The Dragon feared by God... The one who kept reigning over with the position of the strongest since the world began.”
Sirzechs-sama also wore a grim expression. What, what? Everyone’s faces were gloomy. Or, rather, were they awed? Is this Ourobo-something Dragon really that amazing? The position of the strongest, the strongest guy that Vali mentioned before? As I was troubled by everyone’s reaction, a voice that I wasn’t used to hearing leaped into my ear.
[Yes, Ophis is the leader of the Khaos Brigade.]
Gah! A magic circle emerged on the floor of the meeting room at the same time as the voice! This is...a Devil!? This was a magic circle I had never seen before! Or rather, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about other Devils, but!
“I see. So you’ve come! The mastermind this time...”
Sirzechs-sama clicked his tongue. Eh? Why did he do that all of a sudden?
“Grayfia, transfer Rias and Ise-kun quickly!”
Grayfia-san urged me and Buchou to go to a corner of the meeting room, and a small magic circle was created on the floor. It was the exact size to fit only about two people in it.
“Ojou-sama, I wish you the fortunes of battle.”
“W-Wait, Grayfia!? Onii-sama!”
Me and Buchou were enveloped by the light of transfer...
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