High School DxD:Volume 5 Life 2
Life.2 The gathering of the Young Devils!
“In other words, for high-class devils, high society is—”
It's the day after I arrived at Buchou’s home in the Underworld.
Since morning, I had been forced to listen to things about high-class devils, the upper echelons of society and nobility from a tutor devil. Yes, it was the aforementioned studying.
This was my exclusive tutor appointed for me by Buchou’s parents. They said he was “one of them”. Did that mean that there were others? I give up. This was just too strange, to think that I of all people would be studying about the aristocratic world.
Well, since I didn’t know a lot about the Underworld in the first place, it worked out well. He also gladly answered my questions.
Since, this seemed to be something important. I wrote furiously with my pen in my notebook, so as to not fall behind. Hmm, was it possible that I also had homework over the summer holidays now?
Millicas-sama was also here in the seat next to me and was studying along with me. Despite being small, he was diligent. He seemed quite intelligent.
The other club members were sightseeing around the Gremory’s land along with Buchou. How nice! How nice!
They seemed to be touring around Buchou’s exclusive castle and the castle that Sirzechs-sama used when he returned to his birthplace! They were sightseeing around the Gremory castles! I wanted to go too!
“Young master, do you know the devil alphabet?”
“N-No, I really don’t know it.”
“Very well. Then, remember them one by one from now on.”
In this way, the tutor devil carefully and patiently taught me, who didn’t even know the basics.
However, what was with the “young master”? Since last night, I had been addressed that way by the Gremory’s maids, butlers and even this tutor.
“It’s because I have to teach you everything about the Gremory family, young master. Please prepare yourself.”
“U-Umm, what’s with the “young master” thing?”
“……Now then, let’s speak about the history of the Gremory family next.”
Ah, he dodged the question again. Why do I even have to know the history of Buchou’s family as well as the structure of the nobility? Is it because I’m her servant? Did Kiba and the others have to do this kind of studying too? Ah, but then why aren’t Asia and Xenovia, who are also new devils, getting this education too? Geez, I don’t understand it at all!
The door opened, and Buchou’s mother came in. As I thought, she really is beautiful.
I see, for Millicas-sama, she’s the equivalent of his grandmother. Though no matter how I look at her, she looks like Buchou’s older sister.
“Issei-san, Millicas. How is your studying progressing?”
She came between me and the tutor while giving a gentle smile. I tried not to show her my clumsy devil writing, but she smiled as she saw the notes I had written down.
“It’s just as Sirzechs and Grayfia reported. You work hard at everything, no matter what it is. I can’t say that your writing is very good, but I can grasp your attitude of trying hard to memorise it.”
Buchou’s mother admitted a maid into the room and served tea.
“Rias will be returning soon. Since, there is a customary function for the gathering of young devils in the Maou’s territory today.”
Now that she mentioned it, that had been included in the to-do schedule while in the Underworld.
The young devils of about Buchou’s age seemed to be assembling in one place. They were all devils who had yet to debut in official Rating Games. I’d heard that the high-class devil heirs from old and noble families were gathered by the leaders to come to know one another as they greet each other.
Buchou and student council president, Sona Sitri also had to go. We servants would be accompanying her as well.
I’ve been busy ever since coming to the Underworld. Now then, what will happen next?
Immediately after Buchou and the others returned from their sightseeing tour of the Gremory castles, we went by train to the territory where Maou-sama was. After passing through several magic circles that appeared in mid-air for long-distance jumps, the train continued onward.
Three hours of being jolted around in the train later. We arrived at the urban area!
Both the station and the homes were modern! There were even vending machines here! The design was a little different from the world I lived in, but the houses I’d seen so far looked very cutting-edge!
“This is the city of Luciferd within the Maou’s territory. It’s the old capital of the Underworld where the previous Lucifer-sama lived.”
So Kiba explained. So this was the town where the old Lucifer-sama lived. Incidentally, we were dressed in our summer uniforms. It seemed to already be our family’s uniform.
“We’re going to change over to the subway from here. Since there’ll be an uproar if we go from the surface.”
Kiba said this. So there’s also a subway here! This place really isn’t that different from the human world!
Thinking about it, humans and devils are closely related. It could be said that, starting from the contract and the reincarnation of humans into [Evil Pieces] as servants, there was a relationship of coexistence between them. I wonder if this is the way their race lives, by taking in other cultures and sublimating it into their own.
“Kyaaah! Princess Rias-samaaaaaaa!”
Suddenly, I heard a high-pitched cheer. When I looked, a group of devils on the station platform were looking at Buchou and giving her longing gazes. Ooh, was Buchou a popular person here?
“Buchou is the Maou’s younger sister. What’s more, she’s also beautiful, so she’s a yearned-after target among low- and middle-class devils, you know?”
Akeno-san explained this. Seriously!? So Buchou is a super-celebrity in the Underworld?
Ah, she is the Maou’s younger sister. What’s more, she’s the next head of the noble upper class Gremory family. Moreover, she was, in a word, an extremely beautiful young woman! You could say that it’s inevitable that she became popular!
“Hiiiiiiiiii…So many devils…”
From behind my back, Gasper reacted to the voices of the many devils and panicked. The tough day continued for the hikikomori.
“How troublesome. Let’s switch over to the underground train quickly, before it becomes an uproar. Has the private train been prepared?”
Buchou questioned one guy from the pairs of black-suited men. They seemed to be our bodyguards, and many of them had followed us from the Gremory castle. These people were said to be quite strong. Naturally, a certain amount of strength was necessary for protecting the Princess and us servants.
“Yes. Please follow me.”
Thus, we followed behind the bodyguard and moved to the underground subway train.
She was very popular among men too. Buchou waved her hand at a group of men while giving a strained smile.
As I thought, my master is amazing!
After transferring from the subway, we were jolted around for another five minutes.
When we arrived—it was at a platform in the basement of the biggest building within the city.
The meeting place for the gathering of young devils, old families, and high-class big-shots was in this building. The bodyguards accompanied us until we reached the elevator, and then stood waiting on standby.
We boarded the elevator from the basement with Buchou in the lead. It was a spacious elevator.
“Everyone, I’ll say it one more time. No matter what happens, stay in a calm state of mind. No matter what is said, don’t start a fight. —The people above are our future rivals. We mustn’t show an unsightly form.”
Buchou’s words had more fighting spirit than usual, and were very intense. That was the tone of voice of someone who is prepared for battle and doesn't intend to lose to anyone!
Me and Asia swallowed and calmed down our feelings. Alright! Even though I’m tense and nervous, there are other [Pawns] here besides me, so I can’t show an unsightly form!
After traveling up to the top floor pretty quickly, the elevator then stopped at last and the door opened.
When we took a step outside, we found ourselves in a wide hall. When we got out from the elevator, a person who seemed to be an employee was there and bowed slightly to Buchou and us.
“Welcome, Gremory-sama. Please come this way.”
We followed after the employee. After we went down a certain passage, the figures of several people were in a corner—
Buchou seemed to know one of those figures.
That person also noticed Buchou and approached us. It was a boy. Based on his appearance, he seemed to be about the same age as us.
He was a rough yet good-looking guy with short black hair. He had an energetic appearance, and had a very good physique with plenty of muscles. He looked like a pro-wrestler. Rather, was he a devil from a martial artist family? His eyes were strangely purple.
Somehow, I felt like his face was similar to Buchou’s—no, to Sirzechs-sama.
“It’s been a while, Rias.”
He shook hands with Buchou while smiling. Ooh, was he one of the young devils? As I thought, was he a high-class devil? In any case, even a low-class devil like me could sense the intense surge of magic power coming from him.
The devils that seemed to be part of this person’s group turned their gazes towards us…They were all strong-looking devils…
“Yeah, I missed you. It’s good to see that you’re doing well. There are also people here who haven’t met you yet. This person is Sairaorg. He’s my cousin on my mother’s side.”
Buchou introduced this devil to us—Wait, cousin!? Ah, that’s why he somehow seems similar to Sirzechs-sama.
“I’m Sairaorg Bael, the next head of the Bael family.”
Bael! Bael, as in the famous “Great King” just after the Maou!? Even the ignorant me knew that! Wait, doesn’t that mean that Buchou’s mother was originally from the Bael family?
The family of the “Great King”! The clan of the “Great King”! That’s incredible, oi! The Gremory family has both the Maou and the Great King!
Ignoring the shocked me, Buchou resumed the conversation with the next head of the Bael family.
“So, what are you doing in a passage like this?”
“Ah, we came out here because it’s so idiotic in there.”
“…Idiotic? Have the other members also arrived then?”
“Agares and Astaroth have already arrived. Zephyrdol came last. Immediately after he arrived, Zephyrdol and Agares started arguing.”
This good-looking guy Sairaorg-san had an expression of complete dislike?
Rather, what did they start arguing about?
I felt like asking, but—.
The building shook greatly and I heard a huge smashing sound! Eeh!? What!? I heard it from somewhere nearby!?
Worried by it, Buchou without hesitation went to the big door from which the noise had come from.
“Geez, this is why I advised not meeting before the meeting.”
Sighing, Sairaorg-san followed after Buchou along with the people who seemed to be his servants.
What!? What was it? We had no choice but to follow behind our master Buchou, though we were plagued by questions and anxiousness.
Beyond the opened big door—was a banquet hall that was all smashed up! The tables, chairs and decorations were all destroyed!
All the devils were split into two camps who glared at each other at the centre of the room! Weapons had been taken out, and there was an explosive air to the whole situation!
One side was made of evil-looking goblin-like devils. The other side seemed to be made of relatively ordinary devils. However, both groups gave off an aura that was full of cold killing intent, to the point of being frightening.
Scary! Very scary! What a great quantity and quality of aura they have! It felt far greater than ours!
Within my field of vision, a table still safely remained in a corner of the hall and elegant-looking servant devils could be seen. In the centre of these gentle-looking male devils…was a person drinking tea.
“Zephyrdol, can you not help starting a fight at a place like this? Do you want to die? Do you really want to die? Even if I kill you, I won’t be blamed by the people on top.”
The two groups glared at each other. A female devil had said it coolly. Saying something fearful like “I’ll kill you”…
Ooh, but what an incredibly beautiful woman she is! Was she about the same age as me? She wore glasses—and her cold and sharp gaze was scary. As I thought, she really is scary. The wave of magic power being emitted from her aura was incredibly chilling…
She wore a blue robe and exposed very little skin. That was slightly regrettable.
“Hah! I’ll say it again, bitch! I said that I’d teach you in one shot in a private room with great trouble! The Agares’ onee-san really doesn’t like being without her guards, now does she? Heh, is that why you’re still a virgin who hasn’t let a man come near her till now!? Geez, all the women of families of the Maous stink of virgins and are unbearable! That’s why I said that I’d do a formal opening ceremony for you!”
Uwah…What a vulgar-mouthed onii-chan. He had a black magic-like tattoo on his face, and his green hair was standing on its end. As expected, there were also black magic-like tattoos on his upper body which was bare and uncovered. The ornaments on his pants jingled and clanked.
A delinquent, no matter how you look at him, he’s a delinquent! Heh, so there are delinquents in the other world as well. His face…seemed good-looking, but his features were just too dangerous-looking…
…So, what happened between these two? Was the glasses onee-chan sexually harassed by the delinquent onii-chan?
Sairaorg-san came up to me who didn’t understand from behind and explained.
“This place is a waiting hall where we remain on standby until the time comes. To explain it better, the young people gather here and give each other small greetings. However, this is what happens when the young people greet each other. By gathering many hot-blooded people together, problems like this also come out. The old devils of the old families and high-class devils can’t help assuming that this is a good thing. I don’t want to have anything to do with such a useless thing, but it can’t be helped.”
After adjusting his neck with a snap, Sairaorg-san stepped forward to the two teams who were glaring at each other.
Wait, wait! It’s dangerous over there! You shouldn’t approach either camp when they’re in such a dangerous mood!
I tried to restrain him, but Buchou stopped me.
“Ise, watch him—watch Sairaorg carefully.”
“Eh? Y-Yes, but why? Because he’s your cousin?”
“—He is the number 1 among the young devils.”
—! Seriously!? Number 1!? As in the strongest!?
Sairaorg-san came between the two sides who looked like they were about to start brawling. The eyes of the glasses onee-chan and the delinquent turned to him.
“Seegvaira, princess of the Agares family, and Zephyrdol, rebel child of the Glaysa-Labolas family. If you go any further than this, I will be your opponent. Listen, I know this is sudden, but this is your last warning. Depending on your next words and actions, I will use my fists without mercy.”
Sairaorg-san’s words had such intensity in them! What an incredible threat! I also felt the tingling pressure of it on my body!
A vein started throbbing on the forehead of the delinquent devil at those words, and turned red with anger.
“For the incompetent Bael family to—”
An intense blow resounded! Before the delinquent could finish speaking, he was slammed into the wall of the hall by a blow from Sairaorg-san!
The delinquent fell off from the wall. —He seemed to have already lost consciousness and fell face-down on the floor!
—In one hit!
He took out the delinquent who had been releasing so much strong magic power in just one punch!?
“I told you. That was your last warning.”
In reaction to the actions of the strong Sairaorg-san,
“Damn the Bael family!”
The delinquent’s servants nearly rush forward from the momentum of losing their master, but—.
“Look after your master. That’s the first thing you should do. Even if you turn your swords towards me, you will gain nothing. —The important function will be starting soon, so make sure your master recovers first.”
The delinquent’s family stopped moving at those words and then ran over to where their master had fallen down.
Next, Sairaorg-san turned to look at the glasses onee-chan. I could understand why her expression stiffened then.
“There’s still time. Put your make-up on again. It wouldn’t do to attend the function while wearing something so bad.”
“—. I-I understand.”
The glasses onee-chan turned back and then left the hall along with her family.
After confirming that, Sairaorg spoke to his own family.
“Call the staff. The hall is too messed up, and I won’t be able to have tea with Rias like this.”
I had been charmed by Sairaorg’s behaviour and conduct.
This person is strong! And also cooooooool! This is the man who is number 1 among the young devils!
This may have been the first time in my life that I had such a cool guy so close to the same age as me.
Then, I heard a familiar voice from nearby. When I turned around, people who wore the familiar Kuou Academy uniform were there.
“So it’s Saji. Ah, Kaichou too.”
“Hello, Rias, Hyoudou-kun.”
It seemed that Saji and Sona Kaichou had also arrived in the hall.
“I am Seegvaira Agares. The next head of the Agares family, rank Archduke.”
We of the Gremory group were given a greeting by the glasses onee-chan from before—the ojou-sama of the Agares family.
After that incident, the reception hall had been restored by the magic of the staff members who ran over and had mostly been returned to normal.
The young people had gathered amongst themselves again and were exchanging greetings. We were all sitting around a table, with the delinquent from before and his servants left out.
Buchou, of the Gremory family; Kaichou, of the Sitri family; Sairaorg-san, of the Bael family; and that delinquent from before seemed to be of the Glaysa-Labolas family.
However, this onee-chan was the next head of an Archduke family! The Archduke is Maou-sama’s agent who passes judgment onto the lives of us devils!
According to what I've heard from Buchou, if the Maou-sama was the president of a company, the Great King would be the vice-president and the Archduke would be an executive director. It seems strange for there to be four presidents, but that’s how devil society is.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Rias Gremory, the next head of the Gremory family.”
“I’m Sona Sitri, the next head of the Sitri family.”
Buchou and Kaichou continued the greetings.
The masters had sat down, and their servants were on standby behind their masters. It was the same everywhere.
“I’m Sairaorg Bael, I’m the next head of the Bael family, rank Great King.”
Sairaorg-san introduced himself majestically. As I thought, he really has a majestic air. The number 1 among young people really is on a different level.
A boy with a gentle atmosphere who had gracefully been drinking tea all through the uproar earlier also spoke.
“I’m Diodora Astaroth, the next head of the Astaroth family. Please take care of me, everyone.”
His voice was quite gentle. He seemed innocent enough, but he was a devil. This person may also be amazing underneath.
Astaroth…Umm, if I recall correctly, that’s the family that the current Beelzebub comes from.
Since the delinquent from before was a Glaysa-Labolas, he should be from the same family as the current Asmodeus-sama.
Is it okay for the next head of the family to be someone like that? I heard from others that, with the influence of the overly free-spirited Maou-samas, their siblings were all serious and diligent.
“The Glaysa-Labolas family seemed to have had some family trouble the other day. The person who was supposed to be the next head of the family just had an unforeseen accidental death. Zephyrdol from just before is said to have become the new candidate for the next head.”
So explained Sairaorg-san.
Seriously? The Glaysa-Labolas family is going through something terrible. But then, I think such a person being the next candidate is also terrible…Well, it may be better not to poke my nose into the affairs of other families.
And so, six young devils were present here in total. The servants of these devils also seemed to be strong…I seem to look the weakest here…I feel awkward.
There were the Gremory that has Lucifer, the Sitri that has Leviathan, the Astaroth that has Beelzebub, the Glaysa-Labolas that has Asmodeus, and also the Great King and Archduke as well. These were the six families.
What incredible faces! What dream members! I see, this is the reason why these young devils are so promising. Certainly, these members who will apparently take responsibility for the future could be called promising.
Perhaps because they were in the world of the high-class, they all had a different kind of behaviour and aura. So what did the old families and the high-class devil leaders want to see by gathering these members here?
“Hey, Issei. Don’t show a stupid face.”
Saji said this to me while sighing.
“But, isn’t this a meeting of high-class devils? I can’t help being tense. They all seem strong.”
“What are you saying? You’re the Sekiryuutei, right? Shouldn’t you be a bit more dignified?”
“Even if you say that…Wait, why are you getting angry about it, Saji?”
“The servant devils have to behave with dignity in this place. Since the opponents are watching not only the masters, but their subordinates as well. So if you act like that, you’re being rude to senpai as well. Be a bit more aware, you’re the Sekiryuutei of the Gremory group, after all.”
I was a bit astonished at getting such fierce comments from Saji.
“It’s because you’re senpai’s prided servant. Even I would like to be the pride of Kaichou.”
Saji gave a bitter smile, but…What is it? What had happened to him?
As I felt like asking, a door opened over there and an employee came in.
“Sorry for making you all wait for so long. —Everyone is waiting.”
At last, the function was starting!
The room that we young devils were all led to had a strange atmosphere about it.
There were seats placed in very high places here, and there were distinguished-looking people sitting there. What’s more, there were distinguished-looking devils on the level above that as well.
There was a face I recognised on the next level above that—Maou Sirzechs-sama. Beside him was Serafall-sama. She wasn’t dressed as a Maou shoujo today.
Beside those two were…faces I didn’t know, but could they be Beelzebub-sama and Asmodeus-sama? Since even I could feel their powerful magic power from here, my idea didn’t seem to be incorrect. However, both of their appearances were very young.
We were in a situation where we were being looked down upon by the higher-ups from a position high above us. Honestly, it wasn’t a very pleasant feeling. Because it was like the higher-ups were looking at us with condescending eyes. I hated this feeling.
We were standing by in line behind Buchou. Though, we’re not really doing anything in particular. Even so, we were tense. Because it was so extremely silent…Since I couldn’t stand it, I looked at girls from other families.
There seemed to be beast girls and former human girls as well. It’d be best if I could improve my relationship with them later.
As I was secretly going full throttle like that, the six young people, including Buchou, moved forward by one step. The delinquent had also recovered and stepped forward as well. The swelling of his cheek didn’t seem to have gone away yet and a vivid mark still remained. Well, it was that strong of a punch. Unless Asia’s healing Sacred Gear was used on it, it wouldn’t disappear for a while.
Rather, I would never let Asia near that guy. Who knows what he might do.
“Good, you have gathered. In order to check the faces of you all, who will carry the burden of the next generation, you have been gathered here. This is also a meeting that is performed over a regular cycle, so that we can ascertain the young devils.”
An elderly male devil spoke with a solemn voice while clasping his hands together.
“They seem to have fought right away, though…”
This time a full-moustached male devil spoke out sarcastically. He was referring to the matter from before. They really had fought right away. I was also surprised. Was this youthful indiscretion?
“You six are all devils of the next generation that have pedigree and true ability that no objection can be raised against. That’s why, I want you to compete together before your debuts and increase your power in this way.”
Sirzechs-sama said this from his seat on the topmost level.
So in other words, they’ll be doing Rating Games with their servant devils here? Now that you mention it, Azazel-sensei talked about it, about them setting Rating Games during our training camp in the underworld. Could this be what he meant?
“Will we also eventually be sent out in the battle against the [Khaos Brigade]?”
Sairaorg-san suddenly asked that straight out. What an amazing thing to ask.
“I don’t know. However, I don’t want to send out young devils if possible.”
Sirzechs-sama answered as such. Sairaorg-san raised his eyebrows in seeming incomprehension at that answer.
“Why? Even if we’re young, we carry part of the responsibility of devils. If we just receive kindness from our predecessors even at this age and nothing further is done—”
“Sairaorg, I acknowledge your bravery. However, you’re reckless. Above all, I’d like to avoid sending you all, who are still in the midst of growing, to the battlefield. Besides, it would be too great a loss if we lost the devils of the next generation. I want you to understand. You are all more of a treasure to us than you think. That’s why I want you to experience important things step by step and grow.”
Sairaorg-san said “I understand” to Sirzechs-sama’s words, and seemed to consent to his words. But, his expression seemed dissatisfied.
After that, the difficult talk continued about difficult words from the higher-ups and about the upcoming games from the Maou-sama. It was all incomprehensible to me and my head felt like it would burst.
So it wouldn’t be ending soon. Wait, I’ll have no time to rest even when it ends, as the training will start for the training camp. But I’d like to face the training after I’ve had a short sleep in bed.
“Now then, I apologise for keeping you with this long talk. Well, we all see our dreams and hopes in you young ones. I want you to understand at least that. You are the treasures of the underworld.”
Everyone hung on Sirzechs-sama’s words. I understood that there were no lies in the Maou-sama’s words as I listened. As expected of Buchou’s onii-san. He was a fundamentally kind person.
He was a candid and interesting person by nature.
“To finish things, will you now let us hear your respective future goals?”
The first to respond to Sirzechs-sama’s request was Sairaorg-san.
“My dream is to become Maou.”
—! He declared that kind of thing suddenly! Amazing!
The higher-ups also let out breaths of wonder at Sairaorg’s goal, which he had declared upfront without hesitation.
“It’s unprecedented for a devil from the Great King family to leave it.”
A male devil higher-up said this.
“When the people of the underworld feel that there’s no choice but for me to become Maou, I will become one.”
He declared even further! He really is amazing, this person!
With no time for me to be surprised, Buchou spoke next.
“My goal for the near future is to live as the next Gremory head, and to win in each Rating Game battle.”
I see. So that’s Buchou’s dream and goal. I felt like I was hearing it for the first time. How reliable. So like Buchou. Alright! We servants will do our best for the sake of Buchou’s dream!
After that the other young people also stated their dreams, their goals, until the last one remaining at the end was Sona-kaichou.
Then, Sona spoke.
“I wish to build a school for the Rating Games in the Underworld.”
A school! Heh, so Kaichou wants to build a school.
But, while I felt admiration for her, the higher-ups scrunched up their eyebrows.
“If it’s learning about Rating Games, isn’t there already one for that?”
As if checking, a higher-up asked this to Kaichou.
Kaichou answered blandly.
“That is just a school where only high-class devils and devils of privileged rank are accepted. The school that I want to build is one where low-class devils and reincarnated devils can also attend without any distinction.”
Ooh, so a school without discrimination. That’s good. It would be a good place for the future Underworld. Saji was also proudly listening to Kaichou’s dream.
The laughter of the higher-ups ruled over the assembly hall.
I didn’t understand the meaning of it. The meaning of why the higher-ups were laughing. When I turned to look at Buchou, her eyes had narrowed and her face had become serious. Eh? Eh? What was going?
“This is just brilliant!”
“I see! So you’re a little girl who dreams!”
“It’s good to be young! However, for the next head of the Sitri family to state such a dream, I have to say thank goodness that it was here at this place of introduction before your debut.”
I don’t get it. Why was Kaichou—being looked down on?
“…Even if the current Underworld has changed much from the past, discrimination between the high-class devils, low-class devils, and reincarnated devils still exists. There are also still a lot of people who believe that to be natural as well.”
Kiba spoke blandly from beside me.
“What’s with that? But weren’t we welcomed normally by Buchou’s family?”
“Ise-kun. The Gremorys are a family that has profound affection. They don’t really discriminate against humans or low-class devils…But, please remember the House of Phoenix.”
At Kiba’s words, I remembered Raiser Phoenix in my mind. Certainly, that guy had looked down on me, both because I was low-class and a servant. He may have showed a discriminatory attitude towards me.
In the midst of all this, Kaichou spoke frankly.
Serafall also nodded strongly in agreement. She almost seemed to be saying “Well said!” With her position as Maou, she couldn’t support her younger sister, but even so she seemed worried about her.
A higher-up spoke with cool-headed words.
“Sona Sitri-dono. Low-class devils and reincarnated devils merely work for their high-class devil masters and are only selected for their talent. Wouldn’t building such a training institution make the old families, who value tradition and pride, lose face? No matter how much people say that the world of devils has entered a period of change, change can be both good and bad. Something like teaching mere low-class devils really is nothing of your concern…”
The one who couldn’t remain silent anymore to these words was Saji.
“Why have you been looking down on Kaichou’s—on Sona-sama’s dream like that while I’ve been listening silently!? It’s strange! Why should you decide that it won’t come true!? We’re serious here!”
“Be careful how you talk, young reincarnated devil. Sona-dono, your servant hasn’t been properly trained.”
One of the higher-up devils said this. What are you saying!? You’re much stranger! Why do you say such a thing, even though you told them to say their dreams!?
If Buchou was treated in the same way, I would also be shouting complaints like Saji!
“…I apologise. I’ll speak to him later.”
Kaichou said this while not changing her expression at all. Saji didn’t seem to be able to understand her reaction.
“Kaichou! Why!? These people, they mocked your, our dream! Why, do you remain silent!?”
“Saji, be silent. This isn’t a place where you can display such an attitude. I simply told them my future goal. That’s all.”
Kaichou narrowed her eyes and scolded Saji. Saji also seemed to want to say something, but he held his tongue.
“In that case! If my Sona-chan wins magnificently in the games, you won’t have any complaints, right? Since many things are granted by saving up good results in the games!”
Everyone was surprised by Leviathan-sama’s sudden suggestion. The Leviathan-sama in question was in a surprisingly pissed off mood.
“Geez! You oji-samas are all joining forces to torment my Sona-chan! Even I have my limit of endurance! If you bully her that much, I’ll torment you as well!”
Serafall-sama spoke to the devil higher-ups with watery eyes. The higher-ups in question blinked their eyes at the livid Maou Leviathan-sama, and had trouble reacting.
Kaichou—covered her face in seeming embarrassment. Ooh, this really is a situation in which nothing can be said.
However, I also felt a refreshing feeling from Serafall-sama’s words. I think that no one has the right to look down on one’s dream. In addition to that, the Underworld has to change, right?
In that case, Kaichou’s dream is a good ambition. Shouldn’t the higher-ups acknowledge that kind of dream? When you live too long, you really do become inflexible.
There are a lot of parts of the old customs of the old families and noble families that I’m not familiar with. Well, I do have to remember the customs of the Gremory family.
“Very well. Then, let’s play the games, between these young people.”
Everyone paid attention to Sirzechs-sama’s words. Seriously!? We’re going to play in the games?
“Rias, Sona, would you not like to fight each other?”
—! So it’s come to that! Maou-sama! Me and the rest of the servants were also shocked by this unexpected thing!
Buchou and Kaichou also stared at each other, and blinked in surprise.
Without minding them, Sirzechs-sama continued.
“Originally, it was planned for Rias’ game to take place in a few days. Azazel has gathered Rating Game fans from each of the powers, also under the pretext of watching the games of the young people before their debuts. That’s why it’s fine like this. Let’s hold the game with Rias and Sona.”
Based on Sirzechs-sama words, the completed training camp prepared for us by Azazel-sensei was meant to prepare us for the widely anticipated match among spectators!
—Our opponent is Kaichou! The student council president!
Seriously!? A sudden showdown between the two devil groups that attend Kuou Academy!?
Buchou let out a breath, and then showed a defiant smile to Kaichou. Ooh! She intends to do it!
Kaichou also started to show a scornful smile. She also intends to do it full-throttle!
“It may not be an official one, but it feels like fate to me that you would be my first Rating Game opponent, Rias.”
“Now that we’re competing with each other, I won’t lose, Sona.”
Sparks were flying right away! Hey, hey, hey, hey! It was Buchou vs. Kaichou, the Occult Research Club vs. the Student Council!
“A match between Rias-chan and Sona-chan! Yes☆ It may fire things up!”
Serafall-sama also looked happy!
“The date of the competition is August 20th in human world time. You may each divide up your time as you like until then. The details will be sent again later.”
By Sirzechs-sama’s decision, the Rating Game between Buchou and Kaichou was going to start in this way!
“I see, so it’ll be a showdown with the Sitri group.”
We had returned to the Gremory family’s main residence. The one who had welcomed us there was Azazel-sensei. We had gathered in the wide living room and given sensei an account of the meeting from a short while ago.
“Today is July 28th, in human world time. So we have about 20 days until the showdown day.”
For some reason, sensei began to calculate.
“I-Is it for the training?”
When I asked, sensei nodded.
“Naturally. I plan for you to start from tomorrow onwards. I’ve already considered each of your training menus.”
“But, is it okay for only us to receive advice from the Fallen Angel Governor? Isn’t that foul play?”
I felt that it wouldn’t have been strange if there were complaints from the other young people as well.
However, sensei just sighed.
“Not really. I intend to give data to the various members of the devil side, you know? Also, the angel side is said to also be doing a backing-up system. The rest depends on the pride of the young devils themselves. If they think from the bottom of their hearts that they want to get stronger and raise their original duration, they’ll take the help wholeheartedly.”
Ah, if you say it like that, I see.
“It’s to the extent that even my Vice-Governor is also giving advice to each of the families. Hahaha! Shemhaza’s advice may even be more helpful than mine!”
…No way, please don’t say something that makes me uneasy like that. Geez, this Fallen Angel Governor is too cheerful. Though, it’s thanks to that that it’s easy to be around him.
“Well, it’s fine. Gather in the garden tomorrow morning. I’ll give each of you your training methods then. Be ready.”
All the club members responded to sensei’s words once more. Alright! In any case, the game has been decided! We have to prepare for it and train! And above all else, I have to get closer to Vali even if only a little!
—As I thought that, Grayfia-san appeared there.
“Everyone, the hot spring bath is ready.”
—! That was the best report!
The Japanese-style hot spring existed in an isolated corner of the Gremory’s garden.
I immediately immersed myself in it completely along with Kiba and Azazel-sensei. Ah, I’m healing. This is a good hot spring.
“When going on a trip~♪”
While submerging himself into the hot spring, Azazel-sensei hummed a tune. Ooh, he’d also let out his twelve black wings.
“Hahahaha, as expected, when speaking of the Underworld—of hell, it’s the hot springs. Moreover, when it comes to the distinguished Gremory family’s private hot spring, one of the best in the Underworld, a great spring is also a great spring.”
Surprisingly, the Governor-sama seemed accustomed to hot springs. That’s right, he was wearing a yukata when I met him for the first time. Could it be that he really likes Japanese culture?
Kiba and me had matching towels on our heads and had submerged ourselves in the hot water.
Since earlier, Kiba was being incredibly disgusting. Because he suddenly—.
“Ise-kun, shall I wash your back?”
What kind of thing are you saying while blushing? It’s like my chastity is being stolen by you!
…Well, I suppose it’s a precious thing, having some nude socialisation with a male—with a friend like him. Since we didn’t get to open up to each other at the previous training camp, there was a restrained part between us.
…Now that I think about it, where is Gya-suke? Even if he’s a cross-dressing boy, is he really unable to do some nude socialisation?
Ah. As expected, he’s loitering at the entrance. Rather, it was inevitable!
I rose out of the hot water and headed over to Gasper.
“Hey, hey, come on, you have to enter since it’s a hot spring.”
I caught Gasper at the entrance.
Gasper screamed out in a cute manner.
“Kyah”…You really…Wait, don’t roll up your towel all the way up to your chest…You aren’t a girl……Damn it! He looked like a girl! He had a thin body and a girlish face! Why are you a man when you’re like this!?
Because I was staring and scrutinising Gasper, he blushed and spoke.
“…U-Umm, please don’t look at me like that…”
“…Y-You! Don’t put up your towel all the way to your chest if you’re a guy! Because you always dress like a girl, it’s confusing for me as well!”
“…N-No way, you were looking at me like that, Ise-senpai…? I feel like my body is in dangeeeeeeeer!”
I had felt that I could go to the Underworld if things were just as is! Yet, I snatched this guy in a princess carry, and immediately brought him over to the hot springs—.
I threw him in.
“Nooooooooo! It’s hoooooot! I’m meltiiiiiiing! Ise-senpai is perverteeeeeeed!”
His screaming echoed throughout the male baths! Idiot! Buchou and the others have already entered the female baths next to us!
[Ise, you can’t sexually harass Gasper, you know?]
Buchou’s teasing voice! After that, I heard the girls’ small giggling! Waaaaaaaaah! So embarrassing!
I couldn’t take it and plunged into the hot spring! Even after my head sunk down, I rose up immediately!
Uu, even though I just put the hikikomori into the hot spring…
“By the way, Ise.”
Coming next to the watery-eyed me, sensei had a lewd face.
“Have you rubbed Rias’ breasts?”
Sensei asked that while squeezing the fingers of both of his hands in the air.
“Y-Yes! With my right hand!”
I also gestured with my right hand in the air! Buchou’s breasts had the best sensation! I think it’s something I won’t ever forget in my life! I feel like I could live with just that!
“I see. Then, how about—”
Nodding, sensei thrust his index finger forward horizontally and spoke.
“Have you poked a woman’s nipple with your finger?”
Sensei made sure to press the air with his finger.
“—! …N-No, not yet.”
Seeing my reaction, sensei sighed.
“What’s with you? You haven’t poked nipples with your finger? You poke a nipple not with a “press”, but with a “squish”. Burying the finger into the breast is the best part, you know?”
Wh……at……? B-B-B-Burying the finger in the breast…? P-Pressing the nipple like a button…Not with a “press”, but with a “squish”!?
In the case of huge breasts, I’m certainly interested in burying my finger deep within them! But!
“N-Nipples aren’t front door buzzers!!”
That’s right! Buchou’s breasts aren’t buzzers! Rather, the instant when Buchou’s breasts emerge, my love towards Buchou is wholehearted!
However, sensei shook his head at my words and grinned.
“No, it is close to a buzzer. When you push it, it rings [Hyaaan].”
I imagined a Buchou buzzer letting out an [Hyaaan] inside my mind.
…What is this…T-There was such a world out there?
“Breasts and nipples have such a function…I thought breasts were only for rubbing, sucking, and holding between them. I see, so it can be poked and made to make noise…”
When I thought about it, I had never thought of poking nipples like that. Why didn’t I ever realise this wisdom?
While I was absorbed in my rubbing and my sucking-impulse, I definitely forgot about poking!
—I’m so foolish!
Sensei patted my head.
“That’s why you still have some way to go. A woman’s breasts are infinite. Handled correctly, they are packed full of infinite possibilities more than the Uroboros Ophis, you know? Because I was fascinated with them, I plunged into the breasts of women and fell. I don’t regret it.”
—As I thought, this person is amazing. You understand too, Governor!
While tears flowed down my cheeks, I spoke to sensei with a trembling voice.
“Sensei— I want to poke breasts…”
Sensei gave me words of encouragement while gently patting my head.
“Yeah, don’t give up, Ise. If it’s you, you can do it. If you give up, that will be the end of breasts, right?”
That’s right. By not giving up, everything can also advance forward! By not giving up, Buchou’s breasts can also be poked! And I’ll make Buchou cry out! Buchou will cry out to my poke!
While I was like this, the voices of the girls reached my ears.
[Ara, Rias. Did your bust get bigger again? Can I touch it a little?]
[R-Really? Umm…Your way of touching is a little indecent. Rather, didn’t your bra cup change more than mine, Akeno?]
[My old one was still fine even though it was a bit tight…However, recently, I’ve been thinking that it wouldn’t be bad to show it off in a bigger way. A woman becomes bolder when she has a partner she’d like to show it to, Rias.]
[…T-That’s true. However, please don’t stimulate that child so much.]
[I’m envious of how big you two are…]
[Ara-ara, Asia-chan. Haven’t yours also gotten bigger than before?]
[I-Is that so…? B-But, if they’re only this big…I can’t seem to be able to come to like it.]
[Asia, did you hear the talk of how they become bigger if you rub them? Like this—]
[Haan! D-Don’t! Xenovia-san! Ah…Uuun…Ise-san still hasn’t done this kind of thing to me…]
[Hmm, Asia is different from me and has a good touching sensation. I see. This maybe what delights men as well.]
[Ara-ara, it’s good to be young, isn’t it, Rias? By the way, based on this feeling, you really have been getting bigger every day, haven’t you?]
[Aan…A-Akeno, cut it out, release your hands from my breasts. The movements of your hands are—Aaaun! Where did you learn such a thing…?]
[Rias’ breasts…What a nice sensation…Ufufu. I’ll do this here and…]
[No…Aaaun, even though I haven’t made that child do this kind of thing yet…S-Stop it…I decided that that child would be my first…Aaann…]
Listening to the conversation of the girls in the women’s bath next door, I—was becoming aroused. My nosebleed wouldn’t stop! Ah, this is bad, this is bad. I hit the back of my head with a smack and somehow held down my nosebleed.
Rather, what a conversation for them all to be having…I was reacting in various places…
But, I want to peek! I want to peek! Over the wall that separates the men’s and women’s baths! I’d like to go over it and fly down to that world there! Damn it! Isn’t there a peeking hole? I couldn’t see it anywhere no matter where I looked since before…
Rather, should I try using my Sacred Gear to strengthen my finger and make a hole…?
“What’s with you? You want to peek?”
Azazel-sensei asked me that with a dirty smile.
“That’s not so bad. It’s a thing between men. It’s a rule to peek at the women’s bath while in the hot spring. —However, that just makes you a second-rate pervert.”
“Second-rate!? T-Then, what do you do if you’re first-rate!?”
Sensei looked like he was considering for a moment.
“…That’s right. Like this!”
Yank! Sensei grabbed my arm. And then—.
“It’s feeling! If you’re man, it has to be mixed bathing, Ise!”
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh! I was seized by a floating sensation and my field of vision moved dizzinglyyyyyyyyyy!
Owaaaaaaaaaah! I was blown off into the aaaaaaaaaaaair!
My field of vision moved from the men’s bath to the bath next door and—. My eyes met Buchou’s while in the air! And so then—.
……Oww. I hit the surface of the hot spring water hard, and floundered in the water!
Splash! When I jumped out from the hot water—paradise on Earth was there before me!
Buchou! Akeno-san! Asia! Xenovia! Koneko-chan! Everyone was naked!
A nosebleed gushed out! Naturally! When suddenly being transported from a place of just stupid men to a world of only women, it’s only natural for the world to change!
The mixed bathing that I had always dreamed about! My tears wouldn’t stoooooop!
Normally, in this kind of situation, things like buckets would be flying with screams of “Kyaah! Pervert!”, and I would be torn apart, but—.
Buchou, Akeno, Asia, and Xenovia didn’t even try to hide their naked bodies! C-Cover yourselves, everyone! You’re girls, after all!
“Ara, Ise. Were you thrown over by Azazel? Was your body properly washed?”
“Ufufu, oh Ise-kun. You’re so daring.”
Rather, Buchou and Akeno-san were coming closer while smiling wryly! Their big white breasts were swaying up and down right in front of me! Hurray for breasts!
I was at my wit’s end and transfixed by the breasts that were approaching me. Akeno-san caught me an instant before Buchou did!
“Ise-kun♪ I caught you.”
She embraced me from the front, and Akeno-san’s body became glued to my body! Let alone her breasts! Everything! All of Akeno’s soft body was on meeeeeeeeee!
“A-Akeno-san! I-I-I-I-If you cling to me like that!”
My brain was affected by both the heat of the hot springs and the erotic heat, and my head was on the verge of boiling! Aaah, damn it! Akeno’s body really is incredible! Why does her body feel so good!? Both its springiness and elasticity are amazing! Was this increased smooth feeling the effect of the hot spring!?
Although I had been satisfied with Akeno-san’s whole body, I was once again hit by some first-rate softness!
Buchou’s face popped out over my shoulder! B-Buchou! This time it was Buchou clinging to me from behiiiiiiiiiiind!?
The sensation of Buchou’s breasts hit me from behind! Aah, the tips of those things were stimulating my back! I think Buchou’s nipples were more effective at soothing than a poor massage machine!
“Akeno! Get away from my Ise!”
Buchou wrapped her arms around my neck and tried to snatch me away from Akeno-san! However, Akeno-san was firmly clinging to me from my front!
“No way. I’ve decided to enjoy the hot springs with Ise-kun. I’m already heating up our bodies by clinging like this…Ise-kun’s body feels good just by touching it like this…”
Akeno-san clung to me even more firmly! Uwaaaaaah, Akeno-san’s breasts are being pressed so much that it’s like they’ll fuse with my body! Amaziiiiiiiing! This deadly softness! I also wanted to embrace Akeno-san’s body against my better judgment! But, if I did that, Buchou will get angry at her servant’s betrayal and kill me!
“Stop it! Ise’s body is mine! Who do you think trained and raised this child!? It’s the fruits of my labor that made the sensation of embracing him like this the best! From this child’s hair to his entire body, everything is mine! —Aah. Somehow, I’m feeling sensitive. Is this because of what Akeno-san did just before…or is it because I’m touching Ise…?”
Buchou’s embrace also became stronger! Uwaaaaah! Onee-sama’s breasts were being perfectly transmitted even from my back! The volume was like an extra-large all-you-can-eat buffet! Moreover, I could even hear her rough breathing! Buchou’s sexy voice was destroying my brain!
I mean, I was raised by Buchou!? So the finishing condition on this body of mine was also for the sake of being used as Buchou’s hugging pillow!? I’m happy! Please give me more sexual training and nurturing!
A-Akeno-san’s breasts were touching my chest, and B-Buchou’s breasts were touching my back!
I was caught between Buchou’s breasts and Akeno-san’s breasts from the front and baaaaaaaack!
Amaziiiiiiiiiiing! I was caught between breeeeeeeeeeeeasts!
[This is the legendary breast sandwich! A paradise exists in the unexplored regions of the Underworld!]
A voice like that from a survival program rushed through my mind!
With such stimulus from the breasts sandwich, I, in a pleasant dream space, couldn’t help but discharge a stream of nosebleed…
…Sensei had talked about it. If it’s now, when I’m caught between them, I can poke! If I poke like with a front-door buzzer, Buchou may let out an [Hyaaan]. Amazing! The female body is amazing!
My finger was being buried in the nipple! What on earth was happening!? Was my finger being eaten up by Buchou’s breasts!?
“Auu, even though I want to enjoy the hot springs with Ise-san too…”
“As I thought, it’ll be an almost impossible task to snatch Ise away from those two. I have no choice but to watch from afar for today.”
Asia and Xenovia were talking about something from a little further away, but…the impact of the breast sandwich was too strong…
Hah! Suddenly, I came to my senses! Based on this situation, Koneko-chan would be muttering “…Disgusting. Pervert-senpai.”, and would blow me away somewhere with an especially large punch!
I timidly turned my gaze to look at Koneko-chan, but—.
Koneko-chan had half-submerged her face in the hot springs while wearing a gloomy-looking expression, and was blowing bubbles in the water…Huh? Is Koneko-chan still not feeling good…?
—But, at that moment, my consciousness began to recede.
Yeah, I understand. With the blood streaming down from my nose, I was losing myself in the heat from both the hot springs and the breast sandwich…
…I got the sensation that my soul was escaping from my mouth. Even getting too happy makes my soul fall out…
Akeno-san and Buchou were making a panicked commotion. But, I was happy… just happy.
Matsuda, Motohama, there is definitely paradise in hell. Is this what it means for a Buddha to be in hell?
Next time, I’ll tell you of the wonderfulness of the breast sandwich…
And so in this way, I lost consciousness.
The next day, we all gathered in a corner of the Gremory family’s huge garden.
Everyone was dressed in jerseys! Azazel-sensei was also wearing one. After, everyone had sat down at the table and in the seats that had been placed in the garden, the meeting before the start of our training began right away.
Last night’s hot spring bath was the best! I’ll never forget it! The rush of blood to my head had been serious, but I couldn’t stop grinning since morning! Coming to the Underworld really was a good idea! I truly thought so!
—That feeling wouldn’t change or go away.
Sensei had what seemed to be documents and data.
“Let me say this first. What I’m going to tell you now is a training menu that focuses on things in the immediate future. There are people who produce good results immediately, but there are also those who have no choice but to look at things in the long run. However, you are all growing young people. Even if you mistake your direction, you will grow well. Now then, first is Rias, you.”
Buchou was the first one that Sensei called out to.
“From the beginning, you have been a high-spec devil with everything, including talent, physical ability and magic power. Even if you live normally as you currently are, those traits will rise and you’ll become a candidate for being a highest-grade devil when you become an adult. However, your wish is to become stronger than you would in that future, right?”
Buchou nodded strongly at Sensei’s question.
“Yes. I don’t want to lose ever again.”
It was just as Buchou said! We didn’t want to lose in the games again! Especially in a match that isn’t formal!
“Then, follow the training recorded on this sheet exactly, even all the way up to the battle day.”
After looking at the piece of paper that sensei handed to her, Buchou tilted her head in puzzlement.
“…But, this training doesn’t seem all that special, though?”
“That’s right. It’s a basic training method. That’s just fine for you. You’ve already collected everything. That’s why your power can only be raised by basic practice. The problem is the quality of the [King]. Over time, the [King] seeks brains more than strength. You know that even if they’re not good at magic, devils can climb to the top with a good head and cleverness, right? Learn all you can about the Rating Games until the deadline. Drive everything, from game documented images to documented data, into your head. What a [King] needs are the thought, quick-wittiness and judgment to defeat any kind of situation. It’s your job to make sure that your group’s servant devils can display their power to the fullest. However, also remember that, until the actual game, you won’t be able to know what will happen. It’s the same as a battlefield.”
…Ooh, we made fun of the basics but, Sensei actually put a lot of thought into it.
As I thought, because of his persuasiveness, I feel that Buchou and the rest of us have no choice but to practice first.
Although she was addressed by Sensei, Akeno-san was sullen. Akeno-san doesn’t seem to like Azazel-sensei at all. She had also said that she hated him a little. As I thought, was it related to her father?
As I thought that, Sensei spoke of that topic right from the front.
“You must accept the blood that flows within you.”
Perhaps because of being told that so bluntly, Akeno-san also frowned. But Sensei continued without paying it any attention.
“I’ve seen the recorded images of the battle with the Phoenix family. What was that? With your original specs, you should have been able to easily defeat the enemy [Queen]. Why didn’t you use your Fallen Angel powers? You limited yourself to only thunder. If you don’t add light onto thunder and make [lightning], you can’t display your true power.”
I see. Akeno-san has the blood of a Fallen Angel too. Therefore, she can also use the power of light. That is quite effective against devil opponents. Moreover, if she adds that onto her specialty of thunder, her power would become incomparable!
“…I can do just fine even if I don’t depend on that kind of power.”
However, Akeno-san’s situation was extremely complex.
“Don’t deny yourself. What will you do if you can’t accept yourself? In the end, the only thing you can rely on is your own body, right? Denying yourself makes you weak. Accept everything about yourself, even the tough and painful things. Your weakness is your current self. Overcome it by the day of the battle. If not, you will become a mere obstruction in future battles. The [Priestess of Thunder] must become the [Priestess of Lightning].”
Akeno-san didn’t respond to Sensei’s words. However, Akeno-san also understood that she had no choice but to do it.
I believe. I believe that Akeno-san shall break through this wall!
“Next is Kiba.”
“First, you must maintain Balance Breaker for a full day. If you get used to it, you’ll be able to maintain it for a full day in your actual battle form. Your objective is to continue that and to become able to maintain that state for the length of a day. After that, you’ll be able to become sufficiently strong by doing basic training like Rias. I’ll teach you man-to-man how to handle sword-type Sacred Gears later.”
So you ask a Sacred Gear expert about Sacred Gears. Sensei was talking about himself as an enthusiast. But what was so interesting about Sacred Gears?
“For sword training…will you train under your teacher again?”
“Yes, I plan to be taught from scratch again.”
Heh, so this guy had a sword teacher. As I thought, is he strong?
Because he’s so diligent, Kiba will really let himself be taught from scratch. So is this guy going to become stronger again?
“Next, Xenovia. To be able to use Durandal better than you do now…you need to be able to use another holy sword.”
“Another holy sword?”
Xenovia looked doubtful towards Sensei’s words.
“Yeah, a slightly special sword.”
Sensei grinned, but he soon stopped smiling and turned to look at Gasper.
“Next is Gasper.”
This hikikomori-kun was a bit nervous…He came to this place after a long time of social withdrawal, after all. There were a lot of people coming and going.
“Don’t be so frightened. Your biggest obstacle is that fear. You need to train your mind and body that fears everything from scratch. From the start, the specs with your bloodline and your Sacred Gear are substantial. Skill improvement of your bishop special characteristics and your magic will also support you greatly. Since I’ve constructed an exclusive [hikikomori escape plan] program, you must first put on a proper attitude as much as possible. Even if going out in public entirely is impossible for you, make sure that your movements aren’t dull.”
So said Sensei. Exactly, this guy can’t do anything if he doesn’t become strong in mind and body first. The ring that stabilises Sacred Gears doesn’t seem to be good for the body if used too often, so it’s been removed except for special times. For the time being, he also didn’t seem to be running out of control. I was still worried, though.
“Yeeeeeeeeeeeees! I’ll try to obtain a spirit that goes for broke!”
…Please don’t say something that makes me feel uneasy like that, Gasper. When you say that, it seems like you’ll really go for broke. Ah, look, you’re immediately trying to go back into your cardboard box…
“The same [Bishop]-class, Asia.”
Asia was also showing fighting spirit as well. She had confessed before that she felt that she was usually not very useful to everyone.
That wasn’t true. Asia’s recovery ability was outstanding. If Asia wasn’t here, there would have been a lot of dangerous situations. I think that she should have confidence in herself.
“You will also improve your body and magic with basic training. Also, your main task will be to strengthen your Sacred Gear.”
“Isn’t Asia’s recovery Sacred Gear already the best? She can heal everything besides sickness and stamina just by touching.”
That was my opinion. Could her recovery ability be improved any further? Her recovery speed was already considerable. She could heal even a fatal injury.
“I understand that. The speed of her recovery ability is great. However, the problem is the “touching” part. She can’t heal if she doesn’t expressly go into close range if an ally is injured.”
Ah, somehow, I might have understood what Azazel-sensei said.
“Could Asia’s Sacred Gear expand its range?”
Buchou’s words were exactly what I wanted to ask. Sensei affirmed it.
“That’s correct, Rias. This is like an underhanded trick, but to show the true worth of [Twilight Healing], its effective range must be expanded.”
“So it’s also possible for Asia’s Sacred Gear to be used in long-range as well!?”
Sensei nodded at my question. Isn’t that an incredible thing?
“According to the theory based on the data gathered by our organisation. It should also be possible for the Sacred Gear aura to be issued from the whole body and to use the recovery on all allies within one’s surroundings.”
Seriously!? If that’s really true, Asia’s role on the battlefield will become something unthinkable! The labor of healing people one by one can be eliminated and the time reduced as well! Many chances for a counterattack would be born!
However, just how big is the database of the Fallen Angels? Does it really have data on all powers concerning Sacred Gears?
“But, the problem is that it would seem to heal both enemies and allies without discernment. It would be fine if it could distinguish between enemies and allies and heal only allies, but…I’m worried about Asia’s own nature.”
“Asia’s…what are you worried about?”
Sensei answered my question with a serious look.
“She’s a [kind] person. When seeing an injured enemy on the battlefield, Asia would think in her heart of wanting to heal him too. That would obstruct the Sacred Gear’s ability to distinguish between enemies and allies. Most likely, Asia wouldn’t be able to obtain this distinguishing power. This enlarged healing range that I spoke of just now can be a double-edged sword for this team. Even so, you should keep the range expansion in mind.”
So if used poorly, Asia’s range expansion will also heal the damage of the enemy. To think that the cause of that would be Asia’s kindness…The Sacred Gear system is too ironic…
“That’s why I’ve found another possibility. —The power to fire the healing aura.”
“S-So you mean I would send my healing power to someone that is some distance away from me?”
Asia made the gesture of throwing something. I was healed just by that cute gesture.
“Yes, it seems that you can directly throw it. When Ise is battling 10 meters away and is injured, you would fire your healing power at Ise. If what you have used until now is a standard limited field, the one I’m explaining now is a projectile version. You could heal even if you aren’t directly touching.”
The healing power as a projectile! Hey, hey, hey, that’s unthinkable!
“T-That’s amazing! Asia can play a great active role like that!”
I took Asia’s hands and held them up spiritedly. Though Asia was surprised at this unexpected information, she was also in a happy state.
“Its power would be a little less than with direct touch, but being able to heal allies from far away is still a strategic characteristic with many uses. With one or two people jumping into the front lines and arranging for the healing Asia and someone to guard her in the back, you’d be able to make the ideal formation.”
So, Sensei even went as far as to imagine the formation. He really does like thinking to such a large degree, huh?
Buchou agreed with Sensei’s opinion.
“It’s an easy method, but that’s why strong tactical formations are simple. Usually, the method used to heal allies is Phoenix tears or some mixed healing medicine. Asia’s Sacred Gear could easily top those with its all-purpose characteristic and reliability.”
“That’s right. The power of Asia’s Sacred Gear, which can also heal devils, could be called this team’s distinctive characteristic and weapon. After that is merely a test of Asia’s strength. Please finish the basic training properly, okay?”
“Y-Yes! I’ll do my best!’
Do your best, Asia! If it comes to it, I’ll act as Asia’s shield, after all. I’ll absolutely protect her! I can’t let Asia, who is like a cute younger-sister to me, have her beautiful-looking skin damaged!
“Next is Koneko.”
Koneko-chan was—in considerable fighting spirit. I wonder what that was about. Even though she had seemed unwell here until recently, she was strangely excited today. What was Koneko-chan thinking about?
“You have nothing to be criticised about, as you possess the elementary traits of offence and defence as a [Rook]. Your physical ability is also not a problem. However, there are those better at offence in Rias’ group than a [Rook] like you.”
“…I know that.”
Koneko-chan wore a frustrated-looking face in response to Sensei’s clearly spoken words.
…Could it be, Koneko-chan? Was that what you were worrying about? No, but, isn’t Koneko-chan already stronger than the plain me and better than Kiba or Akeno-san in terms of pure strength?
“The ones at the top of offence in Rias’ group are currently Kiba and Xenovia. It’s because they possess brutal weapons with his Balance Breaker holy demonic swords and her holy sword Durandal. And with Ise who plans to enter Balance Breaker here—”
Offence—. Certainly, Kiba and Xenovia’s power in this were excellent.
Though, I don’t know whether I’ll be able to succeed in attaining Balance Breaker.
“Koneko, you will also improve your basics like the others. In addition, release the thing that you have personally sealed. It’s the same as with Akeno. If you don’t accept yourself, big growth won’t be possible for you.”
Koneko-chan said nothing in response to Sensei’s words. Her fighting spirit from before had suddenly disappeared at the mention of “releasing”.
…What was Koneko-chan’s power? What problem did she have?
“Don’t worry, if it’s Koneko-chan, you can become strong in a flash.”
I spoke casually and tried to pat Koneko-chan’s head, but my hand was brushed away.
“…Please don’t say that so lightly…”
—A stern expression. This was my first time seeing such a stern-feeling from Koneko-chan.
Did I step on a land mine? What should I do, the encouragement I tried to give had the opposite effect…
While the atmosphere became somewhat gloomy, Sensei worriedly looked at his watch.
“Now then, the last is Ise. For you…Please wait a moment. Should be here soon…”
Sensei looked up at the sky. Huh? What was I supposed to be waiting for? Rather, what was coming?
I and the others also looked up at the sky. What was it? There was nothing there—.
As I was feeling doubtful, a huge shadow appeared in the sky within my vision! It was heading towards us at extreme speed! Uwah! Huge! A monster!? Demon!? Ghost!? It couldn’t be an enemy attack, could it!?
The earth shook as it landed right in front of us! Even sitting down in a chair the ground shook greatly, and I fell to the ground!
A cloud of dust danced in the air, and after it settled, a huge monster appeared before us!
It was fifteen meters tall! A monster! It’s a monster! A mouth that split hugely! Brutal-looking fangs that had all grown out from its mouth! Thick arms and thick legs! Two wings spread out on its sides!
…I knew what this was. I had seen it several times and there was also one lodged inside me.
“That’s right, Ise. This is a dragon.”
Sensei nodded. So it really is a dragon! It’s huuuuuuuuuge! A monster! When it blew out, it would let out fire! It’s definite that all the surrounding vicinity would be burned!
“Azazel, you have some nerve openly entering devil territory.”
The enormous dragon raised the edge of its mouth and spoke. Ooh, it talks!
“Hah, I’ve properly gotten the personal permission of the Maou-sama and have entered this territory fairly, you know? Do you have a complaint, Tannin?”
Sensei seemed to know this dragon.
“Hmph. Well, it’s fine. I specially came here because of Sirzechs’ request. Don’t forget your surroundings, Fallen Angel Governor.”
“Heheh. —Anyway, Ise. This guy is your teacher.”
……Sensei said that to me as he pointed his finger at the enormous dragon.
By no means. My teacher? ……Eh? Eeeh!?
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh! This huge dragon is!?”
I was so shocked that my eyes popped out! Naturally, they did! Seriously!? This monster is my teacher!? Shouldn’t my teacher be you, Azazel-sensei!? What do you mean!?
“It’s been a while, Ddraig. Can you hear me?”
The monster dragon spoke to me—or rather, he was addressing the one inside me.
Then, my left arm shone red on its own, and my Boosted Gear appeared.
[Ah. how nostalgic, Tannin.]
Reacting to the jewel, Ddraig spoke out so that people nearby besides me could hear him.
“Is he an acquaintance of yours?”
When I asked, I got a “Yes” in response.
[This guy is a former Dragon King. I told you about the “Five Great Dragon Kings” before, right? Tannin here was a Dragon King back when they were the “Six Great Dragon Kings”. The dragon called Tannin recorded in the Bible is him.]
Hah, a Dragon King. Certainly, there are also Dragon Kings aiming at me. Scary, scary. A huge dragon like this is aiming at me? No, no. I absolutely do not want to meet them! Just Vali is enough for me as a dragon opponent! Won’t I die before I become a harem king!?
“Tannin became a devil, so the [Six Great Dragon Kings] became the [Five Great Dragon Kings]. Even among the current reincarnated devils, he is ultimate-class. A highest grade devil.”
So, said Azazel-sensei. Then, this dragon is a devil! Reincarnated from a dragon! Heh, so a devil reincarnated from a dragon, and what’s more a Dragon King, also entered the industry. To be called a highest-grade devil, he must be even greater than Buchou.
Seeing him before me, I actually felt it. Even a reincarnated devil can aim for the top!
“[Blaze Meteor Dragon] Tannin. It’s even said that his breath of fire is equal to the impact of a meteorite. He’s one of the few legendary dragons that are still active right now. Sorry, Tannin, but please help with the training of this kid who carries the Red Dragon Emperor. I want you to teach him how to use a dragon’s power from scratch.”
Azazel earnestly asked Tannin this. Wait, so I’m going to learn how to use my power from this dragon that possesses meteor-level power!? Is that okay? Won’t I die?
“Even if I don’t do it, it should be fine if Ddraig teaches him directly, right?”
“Even so, there is a limit to it. He really needs true dragon training.”
“The original actual combat form. I see, so you’re saying that you want me to torment this boy.”
Tannin continued after Sensei’s words like that! Hey, hey! I’m going to be tormented!? If I’m tormented by such a monster, I’ll immediately die!
“This is my first time training someone who harbours Ddraig.”
The dragon said that happily while narrowing his eyes with a smile! …I-I’m going to be killed! If I’m trained by such a monster, there’s no way I’ll be able to endure it! Fundamentally, I’m a human at my base! It’s impossible, impossible!
[Please control yourself, Tannin. My host is weaker than you imagine.]
Ooh, Ddraig! As expected of my partner!
“It’s fine as long as he doesn’t die, right? Leave it to me.”
I’m going to die! I’m going to be killed! He doesn’t seem to understand, this dragon Ossan!
Beside me, Sensei was nodding in agreement for some reason! Please don’t agree! It’s impossible!
“The period is about 20 days in human world time. I’d like for him to reach Balance Breaker by then. Ise, work as hard as you can without dying.”
After leaving me those words, Sensei waved his hand and started to leave! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? You’re finished with just that!?
“Now then, each of us will now do our respective training menus. I hope you all do well.”
Buchou left me behind and continued the conversation!
Everyone also responded and started to disperse from this place! Huh!? Huh!? I’m training with this dragon just like that!? No one else thinks that there’s a problem here!? No matter how you look at it, I’m going to be attacked by this dragon, you know!? I'll die, you know!?
“Ise, do your best!”
Buchou gave me a thumbs-up and sent me a cheer! That’s right. Buchou is the kind of person who doesn’t allow compromise when it comes to training. Usually, she’s lenient and kind to me, but whenever this sort of training starts, she gives me demonic and gruelling training!
“Miss Rias. Can you lend me the mountain there? I’ll be bringing him over there.”
The dragon Ossan pointed to the far-off mountain from before.
“Sure. Please teach him well.”
“Leave it to me. I’ll train him right to the edge of death.”
Huh!? This was the conclusion of negotiations!? Seriously!? So that far-off mountain will be my grave!?
The dragon grabbed me with his hand and started to fly! Uwaaaaah! He’s flying! I’ve been captured by a dragon! I’ll be eaten!
Even as I cried and begged for help, Buchou just waved her hand with a smiling face from below me!
Dear grandfather in heaven.
For some reason, I have been captured by a dragon and am flying in the sky.
The summer of my second-year—.
The page of my important springtime of youth—.
I was enjoying it on a mountain with a dragon.
This place really is hell. The heaven where my grandfather is feels quite far away.
The summer vacation that I longed for.
Me, Matsuda and Motohama had promised at the beginning of the year that we would find girls and have an ero-ero summer vacation this year, but…For some reason, I was instead being shot at by a monster on a mountain in hell.
Nearby, trees went flying, rocks crumbled and a crater was created in the ground!
I desperately avoided the breath of fire from the monster—the dragon Ossan!
Tears still came out of my eyes even though I thought that they had dried out, you know? Because I was facing such a scary feeling every single day, my tears couldn’t dry out! No, enough already! This kind of life! Where is there a high school student that gets shot at by a dragon every day!?
“Come on, Sekiryuutei kid. If you don’t dodge quicker, you’ll become charcoal.”
No! I don’t want to become charcoal before I have sex with Buchou! I have to do it with the virgin Buchou! My plan was to throw away my virginity by having sex with Buchou!
I also wanted to have sex with Akeno-san! I wanted the virgin Akeno-san too! I also wanted to make children with Xenovia! And I also wanted to get along with Asia more!
—Why am I on this mountain while on the verge of death!?
Several days had passed since I came to this mountain and I was completely worn out.
My fatigue was at its peak in both mind and body. Because I was being chased around every day and night by a monster, you know? Even every once in a while, when I launched a counterattack, I could never turn the tables. Even if I punched the scales of such a tough dragon, not only did it do no damage, it conversely hurt my fist instead.
Even using my transfer power was insignificant, so I could only spent my time running away and hiding every single day. That guy was mercilessly trying to kill me!
Moreover, that fire breath attack…It had blown off a section of the mountain with a single breath. If I get hit directly by that kind of attack, I’ll die from a single hit!
Since my power has risen, my left arm has essentially become a dragon arm, since I gave it as payment to the Sacred Gear in the battle with Raiser, but thanks to putting a ring I got from Sensei on my wrist, my arm wouldn’t transform. Sensei really makes lots of things.
But the time we are in hell is limited. When we return to the human world, my finger will be sucked by Buchou and Akeno-san again!
However, even just running has given me considerable training. At present, I hadn’t even received a single hit from that breath…but my jersey was in tatters. It was full of holes.
Once the gruelling training during the first part of everyday ended, basic training began. It was mainly muscle training. When that was done, I was always in immense pain as my entire body screamed, but it felt better than being chased around by the dragon Ossan, and I could surprisingly perform it normally.
I had no choice but to secure my own meals. Rather, as I was ignorant of the animals and plants of the Underworld, I caught fish in the river only after confirming whether it was edible or not from the dragon Ossan, and I gathered nuts from trees that grew on the mountain.
I got fire by creating it somehow with my unskillful magic. Fufufu, I’ve only improved my fire-making magic, you know?
…Huh? Why was I a living such a life? When I caught a fish, I unconsciously said “Tottado!”. This is bad. Aren’t I steadily becoming a wild child?
I’ve been spending everyday here doing this and that. I wanted to meet with Buchou! I wanted to talk to Asia! I wanted to have tea from Akeno-san!
Uu, there weren’t any girls here! It’s a true hell for me! I longed for Buchou’s lap pillow! I wanted to savour the feeling of Buchou’s thighs again!
Delusions were the only pleasures that came to me here.
When Ossan’s harsh training ended, I went to the world of delusions. Buchou and Asia were there, and they welcomed me warmly…
Recently, I even became able to enter delusions while being chased around by the dragon Ossan. Even I thought that I was ill.
Another fire ball was shot! Uwaaaaaaaah! The rock I was hiding behind was destroyed, and I was found by Ossan.
“Here you are, here you are. It’s no use even if you become good at just running away. Come on, fight back.”
“It’s impossible! You’re too strong! Could you, be even stronger than Vali!?”
“Well, I have often been said to be Maou-class in terms of pure power.”
See! You’re a monster! What’s with the Maou-class talk!? Why am I trying to survive on a mountain with a Maou-class dragon!?
Damn it! If it’s like this, I should have gone to the sea with Matsuda and Motohama!
I want women! Even though I had only beautiful girls and beautiful women around me, there wasn’t a single flag being raised!
Aah, it was the best when Buchou and Akeno-san became those girls. I had confessed once with the resolution of a dying man. But they seemed to say “sorry” at that instant…
Even I was surprised at myself that my horny nature wouldn’t stop having delusions while I was being chased by Ossan. But I wouldn’t be able to survive in these conditions if I didn’t have delusions!
“Oh, you’re doing it. How is it going?”
I heard a voice that was familiar. Looking behind me, the Fallen Angel Governor was there.
“So good! So goooooooooood!”
While crying, I was eating rice balls made by Buchou that Azazel-sensei had brought.
So good! It was Buchou’s flavour! It had Buchou’s love in it! Since I also had a boxed lunch made by Asia, it was the best!
“There’s also a boxed lunch made by Akeno. Eat that too. Since she made it while causing a show of sparks with Rias. But, hahahaha, you’ve gotten a bit of a good face in the several days that I haven’t seen you.”
Sensei said that while patting my shoulder.
“Don’t joke around! I almost died! I really almost died! This dragon Ossan is insanely strong! Even if you told him to teach me the battle of a dragon, when he uses too much of his real power, it’s just absuuuuuuuuuurd!”
I cried out while rice flew from my mouth! Because it’s harsh! A modern-day kid like me can’t endure it, coming to an empty mountain for several days with a Maou-class dragon! Worst of all, Buchou’s breasts weren’t here!
“Tannin-ossan doesn’t know how to hold back! I’m going to be killed! I don’t want to die while still a virgin!”
“You idiot. You’ve decided not to die, right? If I was so inclined, you would become charcoal by my breath of fire. If you don’t want to have these painful feelings, then reach Balance Breaker quickly.”
Ossan said that to me with half-opened eyes while resting on a rock face.
“Even if you say that! If someone with a human base like me takes a punch from someone monster-sized like you, I’ll be turned into itty-bitty pieces with one blow!”
“Hmph. How foolish, when you call yourself Miss Rias’ strongest [Pawn] in that kind of condition. Do you know how many devils would want to be Miss Rias’ servant?”
…Now that you mention it, Buchou is a celebrity in the underworld. Even when she just briefly appeared in that city station before, high-pitched cheers had risen out for her.
Now that I thought about it, there were many devils who wished to become Buchou’s servants. Does that make me lucky?
Yeah, I really am the luckiest, because I can live with such a beautiful and kind Onee-sama with big breasts.
Ah, Buchou. The person I yearned for. I’d like to marry her one day…Well, it’s a distant and empty dream.
I sighed. Azazel-sensei spoke while looking at the training diary that I kept.
“Even so, you’ve also been including basic training, right? Then, it’s fine. If you don’t do this much, your body won’t be able to keep up when you attain Balance Breaker. There is too much that you are lacking in. You wouldn’t be able to win against Vali with magic even if he was doing a headstand. Therefore, you have no choice but to raise yourself up through physical strength.”
I understood that, it was exactly as Sensei said. Vali is a descendant of the Old Maou. In terms of magic, I absolutely cannot win. But even so, how could I win with physical strength…? There was a big of gap between me and Vali in terms of basic specs.
“Umm, back then, Vali was trying to do something, but what was it?”
I asked Azazel-sensei this. Before Vali left, he tried to do something. Though Albion also tried to restrain him from doing it…
“Ah, that was the [Juggernaut Drive].”
“Is it something above even the Balance Breaker?”
“No, there exists nothing above Balance Breaker. The ultimate and final form of Sacred Gears is the Balance Breaker. However, there are several things inside Sacred Gear that have a magical being sealed in them. A peculiar restraint is applied on those ones. Your Boosted Gear and Vali’s Divine Dividing are examples of that.”
I see. Mine and his Sacred Gear are the type whose power comes from having a magical being—in other words, a dragon sealed inside it.
“Those ones are strongly restrained, taking out power while in that state and making sure that the host can use it. In the case of the Sacred Gears of the Sekiryuutei and the Hakuryuukou, forcing that restraint to temporarily release and unleashing the sealed power is the [Juggernaut Drive]. It temporarily gives one power rivalling that of God, but the risk is also huge. It greatly shaves off one’s lifespan. And it also makes one lose their sense of reason.”
“You mean you run out of control?”
“Yeah, to a violent degree. One would destroy all of their surroundings, and even start to destroy oneself before finally stopping. It’s impossible to master that power in actual combat, but…Vali can handle it for several minutes by consuming an enormous amount of magic power—he should be able to do so, anyway. Since Albion was impatient back then, I guess that it still has its dangers. Naturally, it’s not my place to say this as one who uses an artificial Sacred Gear in a Burst state, but the way to use a power that throws away one’s future like that is essentially different from the way to use the Sacred Gear’s power. —It’s an accursed method of fighting that just uses the power of people that are transformed into the dead. You should absolutely never copy it.”
There was sorrow in sensei’s eyes. Was he worried about Vali? He had talked about teaching him how to use his power when he was still his subordinate.
“So the current Hakuryuukou can handle the [Juggernaut Drive]? That’s a problem. The Sekiryuutei kid would be killed if he didn’t become desperate. The way either the white or red awakened that power before certainly let them surpass the other. In some sense, it’s first come, first served.”
Tannin-ossan said such a shocking thing! Seriously!?
Then, it’s my turn to die!? …No, I can’t die yet. I still have a dream to fulfil! My harem! My high-class devil promotion! If it’s like this, I’ll even aim at being an ultimate-class devil like Ossan! It’s huge that I’ve found out that it’s possible even for a reincarnated devil!
…But, can I endure Ossan’s harsh training?
Ossan is too strong. I can’t win. He’s a monster. That breath of fire is foul play. Since I’m not some huge and special hero who can shoot beams from my hands, such an opponent is impossible for me.
“Ise, let’s change the topic.”
Sensei called out to me, who hadn’t looked at him since before, with a suddenly formal tone.
“How do you think of Akeno?”
That’s sudden. What was this about?
“I think that she’s a good Senpai.”
I immediately spoke my honest feelings. Her S-mode is a bit scary, but she's usually very gentle and the girlish part of her that she sometimes shows is really cute.
“That’s not what I meant. I mean as a woman.”
“She’s attractive! She’s one of the people that I want to be with!”
Sensei nodded at my question with a “Uh-huh” while seeming somehow relieved.
“I see. You see, I also have to watch over her in the place of a friend of mine.”
“You mean Akeno-san’s father, who's one of your subordinates, right?”
“Rather than a subordinate, Barakiel is a comrade from ancient times like Shemhaza. A friend, a friend. We did a lot of stupid things together. So, before I realised it, everyone around me besides myself had gotten wives and kids.”
Sensei sighed deeply. Ah, this person, is he the type to worry about being single?
“You were beaten to the punch, huh?”
“…It’s fine, since I have so many women for me.”
Ah, he got a faraway look in his eyes for an instant there. Is the subject of marriage taboo for him as I thought?
“Well, leaving that aside, I’m very concerned about Akeno. Though, to Barakiel and Akeno, it may be none of my business.”
“Sensei, you’re unexpectedly a heated, or perhaps I should say meddlesome person. You also involved yourself in our training.”
“I’m just an ordinary Fallen Angel with free time. —Though, it was because of that that I also raised the Hakuryuukou.”
That’s not true. I think that he’s just a nosy person. With me, with Akeno, and with Vali. He has poked his nose into each of our business. What a strange Fallen Angel. With him as the Governor, I can’t understand the whole aspects of his organisation.
“In any case, I’m thinking of perhaps entrusting Akeno to you.”
“Entrusting her…to me?”
What do you mean, entrusting? Do you mean protecting her with my body during games and battles? In that case, protecting her is no problem for me. I think it’s also the role of the [Pawn] to protect the [Queen] Akeno-san with one’s body.
“You’re an idiot, but you’re not a bad guy. Rather, it would be better to call you a loveable idiot. Above all, you don’t seem to have discrimination towards her.”
“? I don’t seem to get what you’re talking about…”
“Hahahaha, that’s why I’m relieved. If you were really deceiving her, things would have already descended into carnage. If you do it poorly, it will have an effect on things from now on and you’ll also see blood. The type like you that takes form from winning the trust of those around you can feel at ease without resenting anyone. In some sense that’s a privilege, or rather a talent.” (!)
My brain was full of question marks. I didn’t understand it very well, but—.
“I understand. I’ll protect Akeno-san! Of course, I’ll also help my master, Buchou, and protect Asia too!”
“Alright. Well, I’ll entrust the matter of Akeno to you. More importantly—the problem is Koneko.”
“? What’s wrong with Koneko-chan?”
Sensei let out a breath at my question.
“There’s nothing that can be done about it. She’s impatient—or rather, she feels doubt in her power.”
I suddenly remembered how Koneko-chan didn’t seem to be feeling well recently. Was something the matter with her?
“She overdid the training that I gave her. This morning, she collapsed.”
I was shocked at this bad news about my Kouhai. Seriously!? Was Koneko-chan all right?
“Asia can treat injuries, but she can’t do anything about physical strength. Overworking in particular certainly hurts one’s physical strength and has adverse effects. Because the time left until the game is limited, that’s dangerous.”
“U-Umm, if overworking is no good, what about me…? Aren’t I close to death by being chased around by a dragon monster every day…?”
I asked this while pointing at myself. No matter how you think about it, it’s inhumane!
“Ah, it’s fine for you. Something of this extent isn’t enough for that.”
You said so readily! Is that so!? How is it fine for me!? It was just too much to handle, and my tears wouldn’t stop!
“Now then, we should go. Ise, I was told to take you back just this once. You’ll return to the Gremory annex only once. Tannin, he’ll be going back for a little while. I’ll return him tomorrow morning.”
“Yeah, then I’ll return to my territory for now.”
So said sensei and Tannin-ossan.
Eh? I can temporarily come down from the mountain?
“Heh? Sensei, from whom did the order for me to return come from? Buchou?”
“—from her mother.”
Buchou’s mother…What business does she have with me?
“Yes, turn there. That’s no good. The sharpness isn’t good. Come on, Issei-san, do it from the beginning without acting stupefied.”
I was in the annex that was detached from the Gremory main residence. I was making an effort in dancing practice with Buchou’s mother in a room there.
…Why was I doing this kind of thing?
As soon as I returned to the annex, I was led here by Buchou’s mother. Then, we started dancing practice just like that. Because I had never done something like this before, I was completely no good at it.
Buchou’s mother was wearing a dress as usual. I was having a dance lesson while being glued to Buchou’s mother! I sometimes came into contact with her breasts. They were wonderfully soft! How to say it, it had a matured feeling in elasticity and texture! I don’t understand it that well, but that’s how it felt! And her appearance was the same as Buchou’s! Was this the charm of a married woman?
However, this mother. she’s seriously pretty. Because she looked about the same age as me, I was conscious of her! Moreover, she had the same face as Buchou who I yearned for, you know? She was a flaxen-haired version of Buchou! F-Furthermore, her style was also exceptional just like Buchou! Her breasts were big! Buchou’s breasts were hereditary. Thank you very much, mother! Your breasts' genes were safely handed down to Buchou!
“Shall we take a short break?”
And so having been given permission, I sat down right where I was with long, drawn out breaths.
Ah, I had been chased around by a dragon since this morning. My stamina was…well, this is still far better than having fire shot at me by that monster Ossan.
…But still. I asked a question to Buchou’s mother.
“What is it?”
“Why am I the only one doing this? And not Kiba or Gasper?”
Yes, why only me? Including the customary Gremory education as well, if it was to train me as a gentleman, even Kiba and Gasper should be…Though, I understood that I was the least like a gentleman.
Buchou’s mother answered me.
“Kiba Yuuto-san has already mastered these sorts of techniques. As expected of a [Knight]. Gasper-san is a member of a distinguished vampire family. He may behave unreliably, but he at least knows etiquette. The problem is Issei-san. It can’t be helped that you’re a commoner from the human world, but even so it’s troubling if you don’t acquire etiquette beyond a certain level. Because you’ll also have to make an appearance with Rias in high society eventually. You have to remember customary practices even a little during your stay in the Underworld.”
I was dumbfounded by the words of Buchou’s mother! Me in high society!? But didn’t I hear that servants couldn’t show their faces to such an extent?
“B-Buchou…Rias-sama and me will be in high society together!?”
As I was surprised, Buchou’s mother shifted her gaze to the side and covered her mouth with her hand.
“…Oops, I carelessly let something slip out. That kind of thing is still talk of what may happen. Leaving that aside, calling her [Buchou] like that will not do. This isn’t school, so you have to properly call your master by her name. Not to mention, Rias is…Oops, I nearly let something slip again.”
Eh? Calling her Buchou is no good?
“Even if you suddenly say such a thing, since I’ve always kept calling her Buchou…Hmm, how about Rias-sama then?”
“Yes, like that. Or you can call her [master]. —Though, you have to call her differently in private as well.”
“So [Buchou] is no good?”
“Think. If you had to give an answer on that within yourself, do you hate that girl?”
Buchou’s mother said that while giving a wry smile.
No, no! There’s no way I could hate Buchou!
“Well, it would be difficult for you to call her that all of a sudden, and Rias would also be bewildered if you did that suddenly. For this home visit only, you may call her [Buchou]. However, you have to be certain of what to call her eventually.”
Now that she brings it up, what was the person in question, Buchou, doing right now?
She might be in dire distress with poor physical health like Koneko-chan. Hmm, I’m also a bit worried. I’d like to go see how she is at least once as her important Kouhai, but…If I go, that may seem like an overuse of my feelings with that…
“U-Umm, can I ask you one question?”
“What is it?”
“What about Koneko-chan…? Is Koneko-chan okay?”
“Yes. It was just ordinary overworking, so she should recover slowly if she rests her body for one or two days.”
“…I’m very worried about Koneko-chan, since she’s been acting strangely since before we came here.”
“That girl is doing her best to face her own existence and power right now. It’s a difficult problem. However, she won’t be able to advance forward if she doesn’t find the answer herself.”
“…Her existence and power?”
I was full of questions. What was in Koneko-chan?
“…Now that I think of it, you haven’t been part of Rias’ group for long. Yes, it’s natural that you don’t know. I’ll tell you a little.”
Buchou’s mother sat down while facing me, and began to tell a certain story.
It was a story of two cat sisters.
The cat sisters were always together, when they played, when they ate, when they slept. With their parents dead, they had no home to return to and no one to rely on. The two cats struggled to live day to day while depending on each other.
“One day, the two of them were picked up by a certain devil. The older sister became a part of his group, and so the younger sister was also able to live with them. Having finally obtained a decent life, the two of them believed that they could pass time very happily.”
However, something unusual happened. It appeared that the elder cat sister achieved rapid growth after gaining power. Buchou’s mother said that her hidden talent suddenly began to overflow by becoming a reincarnated devil.
It seemed that the elder cat sister, having surpassed her master in a short time, was swallowed by power and was transformed into a wicked existence that only sought blood and battle.
“With her increase in power not stopping, the elder cat sister killed the devil that was her master in the end, and degenerated into an “exiled devil”. Moreover, she changed into one of the most dangerous among the “exiled devils”. One that completely annihilated all the pursuit squads…”
It was said that the devils temporarily canceled all pursuit of the elder cat sister.
“The younger cat sister remained behind. The devils questioned her as a liability there.”
[This cat may also eventually run out of control. It’s better to deal with her now.] —So they said.
“It was Sirzechs who saved that cat that was planned to be disposed of. Sirzechs persuaded the high-class devils that the younger cat sister was innocent. As a result, the situation was settled by having Sirzechs watch over her.”
However, having been betrayed by her elder sister, that she believed in and tortured by the other devils, the little cat sister’s spirit appeared to be on the brink of collapse…What a sad story…
“Sirzechs left the younger cat sister that had lost her smile and the will to live in the care of Rias. After the younger cat sister met Rias, she recovered her emotions little by little. And then, Rias gave that cat a name. —Koneko.”
I was at a loss for words after hearing this much. So, the story just now was Koneko-chan’s…?
Wait, then, Koneko-chan’s true form is—.
“She was originally a Youkai. You know of the Nekomata, right? Cat Youkai. She is a survivor of the strongest species among the cat Youkai, a Nekoshou. They are a high-level youkai species who can not only master youjutsu, but senjutsu as well.”
Having moved to the main residence after the completion of my dancing practice, I was welcomed by Buchou—Owaaah! I was hugged all of a sudden! Buchou was tightly hugging me. Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve had this feeling…Though only a few days have passed, I missed Buchou’s smell!
“Ah, umm, I’ve been sweating a lot…”
“It’s fine. Your smell is still the same. —I was lonely, you know?”
When you say that with such moist eyes, my heart can't help but skip a beat!
“I haven’t been able to sleep with you since arriving here, and I wasn’t able to feel you like this every day either…Since, I can no longer imagine a life without you…What a pitiful master I am.”
Aaaaah, Buchou! Has your level of dependence on me risen? I’m more blessed than I deserve as your servant! I also can’t imagine a life without Buchou either! That’s why the training on that mountain was so, so tough! I tried to say that, but—.
“However, a little endurance is needed. First, we have to both be strong. Ise, do your best in your mountain seclusion with Tannin! Blow away his breath of fire!”
“—! Uuu, y-yeeeeees! I’ll do my best not to become cindeeeeers!”
As I thought, Buchou doesn’t compromise when it comes to training! I replied with tears in my eyes! I understaaaaaaaaaaaaand! If Buchou says so, I’ll do my best with the resolve to diiiiiiiiiiiie!
But, leaving that aside, I shook my head again and asked Buchou a question.
“U-Umm, Buchou. How’s Koneko-chan?”
Buchou’s face became complicated at that.
The room that I entered according to Buchou was—Koneko-chan’s room.
Buchou had finished talking with her already, and Akeno-san was already inside, so only I was told to enter.
So I went to meet Koneko-chan by myself. Her room was wide. It was a wide room, when I turned my feet towards the bedroom—.
Akeno-san was standing by the bed, and Koneko-chan was lying down on that bed.
I was surprised to see what had sprung up on Koneko-chan’s head.
Cat ears! So she really was a cat Youkai known as a Nekomata. But! What to do! A Koneko-chan who has cat ears! So lovely, so incredibly adorable!
Since she usually hides them, did she also lose the strength needed to hide them when she ran out of physical strength?
No, no, it isn’t the time for that now. I’ve come to see Koneko-chan’s condition.
“Ise-kun, this is—”
Because of my reaction to Koneko-chan’s cat ears, Akeno-san tried to explain the reason.
“No, I’ve already heard the general story.”
I responded with this to Akeno-san. Just like that, I move to the side of the bed and examined Koneko-chan’s condition.
I didn’t catch sight of any especially bad injuries. Well, if it was just injuries, it would be no problem with Asia here. So she really did come here because she exhausted all her physical strength.
“Hey, is your body okay?”
I asked that with a smile. Then, Koneko-chan muttered with half-opened eyes.
“…What did you come here for?”
A sullen tone of voice, far more than the extent up until now. She was angry that I came, huh?
“…Would it be no good if I said it was because I was worried?”
Still acting sullen, Koneko-chan didn’t respond. I continued.
“Koneko-chan, I heard about it, about all the various things. In any case, overworking yourself is no good. If you don’t take care of your body…though, I have no right to talk while I’m receiving hellish training.”
“…I want to…”
Koneko-chan muttered something very quietly, and since I failed to hear it clearly, I asked again.
“Eh? What is it?”
Then, Koneko-chan looked straight at me and spoke in a clear tone. While holding tears in her eyes—.
“I want to become strong. Like Yuuto-senpai, Xenovia-senpai, Akeno-san…and also Ise-senpai, I want to make my spirit and body strong. Gya-kun is also becoming strong. I don’t have a healing power like Asia-senpai either…At this rate, I’ll become useless. Even though I’m a [Rook], I’m the…weakest…I hate being useless…”
So you were worrying about that…Certainly, Kiba has also become stronger. Xenovia is strong too. Akeno-san is the strongest piece, [Queen], and Gasper can stop time. Asia may be no good at fighting, but her healing ability was great, and then there was me. Even though I myself was weak, I hold a legendary dragon in my body.
Koneko-chan continued to talk even as she shed large tears.
“…But, I don’t want to use the power sleeping inside me…my Nekomata power…If I use it, I…just like my Nee-sama…I don’t want that…I absolutely don’t want such a thing…”
For the first time—. For the first time, I saw Koneko-chan’s crying face like this. Since she was a kid that hadn’t directly shown much of her feelings up until now, seeing that was a shock to me.
Koneko-chan’s Onee-san had her power run out of control, and killed her devil master. And then she had just left like that. Buchou’s mother had said that this girl had seen all of that.
Because she knew that a dangerous power that could just kill her master was sleeping inside her too, she was afraid…But even so, when thinking of the situations in the coming future, she wanted power. This girl had carried these conflicting feelings even when coming to the Underworld…
So she overworked herself because she tried to become stronger without using the power sleeping inside her.
Koneko-chan possessed a warm heart with strong feelings for her friends. So she was vexed that she herself was useless. I think it was hard for her, not being able to repay Buchou who saved her.
I was also mortified at my lack of ability and uselessness to Buchou, and wished for power as well…
Akeno-san shook her head and spoke to me.
“Ise-kun, please leave the rest to us.”
“You’re a kind person. But, it’s also important to sometimes keep your distance just a little. Besides, you yourself have to become stronger. And I also…since I’m the same as Koneko-chan, we have to overcome this together. If one can’t accept all of oneself and can’t understand it, one can’t move forward. Koneko-chan and I understand this in our heads. But…our courage is just slightly not enough yet. Please wait just a little longer. Koneko-chan and I will definitely get through this. Definitely—”
Akeno-san also displayed hatred towards the Fallen Angel blood sleeping inside her. But, if she didn’t accept that power of light, she may not be able to play an active role in the tough games from beyond this point.
I see, the two of them are similar in that regard. Denying the power that sleeps inside them, because those two have done that…
“Yes. Akeno-san, Koneko-chan, I’ll…try to do the things only I can do.”
I bowed my head to the two of them, and then went out of the room just like that.
…We each have our respective battles. We each have our respective trainings. We each have our respective walls that we must surpass.
Alright! I’m fired up! Akeno-san! Koneko-chan! Everyone! And Buchou!
I’ll also surpass the training that only I can do!
After I slept soundly that day, I returned to the mountain the following morning.
Translator's notes and references
- This is a nickname for Gasper, which combines the first part of his name ギャー with the kanji 助, which comes out as "suke". The kanji basically means "help" or "assistance", but I do not know how significant this is.
- Casual word for "old man" whose usually in their middle age.
- Essentially a Japanese version of the kind of animalistic cries used by Tarzan.
- The "flag" is a term from visual novels where the player encounters an event that improves their relationship with the girls in the game. Also note that Ise is referring to the "girls" in his delusions here.
- Translated literally as the "Black Magic" or "Sorcery" in English, youjutsu is a kind of magic that is almost exclusive to youkai.
- Senjutsu, translated literally as "Wizardry" or "Secret of Immortality", is another form of magic more closely related to the body. Sennin, translated literally as "Immortal Mountain Wizard", are sages that are capable of using senjutsu, and thereby immensely increase their lifespan.
- Youkai is a general term for "demons" in Japanese. There are various kinds and species.
- Nekomata: Mythical Two-tailed Cat Demon. A species of youkai.
- A rare sub-species of Nekomata. Kanji used is rare and outdated, so literal translation is difficult.
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