High School DxD:Volume 5 Life 3
Life.3 Cat and Dragon!
The increased power from my Sacred Gear flowed into my body, and my physical power rose instantly!
“Try dodging this!”
Tannin-ossan opened his mouth wide!
I nimbly avoided the fire balls that he fired continuously, and put my hand out forward!
I imagined the image of a huge magic bullet! And of firing it! Dragon Shot!
Don! I shot a huge magic cluster from my left hand! It was about half the size of Ossan! It should be even more powerful than the one that blew up a mountain before! Thanks to that, my magic power was almost empty with what I shot out plus the increase! My weak point was that I could only store a small amount of magic power! The limit to how much I could raise the power was also only this much!
“Hmph! So you’ve sent out something a little decent!”
Ossan intended to take the magic bullet right in front of him without dodging!
Ossan caught it in front of him with his thick arms and then vigorously fired a breath from his mouth!
My magic bullet was sent far off into the sky over there by Ossan’s single breath!
My increased power was reset and I was immediately seized with fatigue.
Ossan looked at both of his hands. Small sizzling fumes were rising from them. Did my magic bullet burn Ossan’s hands?
“Nice shot. Compared to when I first met you, your dragon power has definitely risen. Your physical strength is also nothing to criticise. You’ve also gotten to the point where you can continuously play with me for a whole day as well.”
Unusually, Ossan praised me.
I was breathing heavily and was gulping down from the water canteen I always keep prepared on my back. This water canteen, as well as being for hydration, was also able to slightly offset and weaken Ossan’s fire breaths by increasing the power of the water through the power of my Sacred Gear. Well, I had also thought of various coping methods for it.
My appearance was also ragged. My jersey was no longer functional, with only my important parts protected, and my upper body was completely worn out and nude. Yeah. My chest had also become thick. And my unnecessary fat had also disappeared.
I had found plants and animals on the mountain, and had cooked and eaten them. I had acquired quite a lot of wild ability. I couldn’t believe that I had lived like a mountain monkey during my summer vacation.
Thanks to surviving in the wild like this, I had acquired fire magic, and by combining it with my Sacred Gear’s ability, I could do the fire technique directly taught to me by ossan. A huge fire power! I’ll show it to you sometime!
And so, many days had passed since I made that vow in Koneko-chan’s room. The battle with the Sitri family is on August 25th. Today was August 20th. Five days remaining. Time-wise, we were in the period where we were finishing things up.
The time to gather together was also near. It was planned for there to be a day for us to gather together again and also get some rest. For the sake of recovering on that day from the fatigue gathered during our training.
Afterwards, it seemed that there would also be a party sponsored by Maou-sama before the game, and our family as well as the other young devils also seemed to be invited. In other words, there was no time left for any more training.
“You did well up till now as well. But, it’s unfortunate. It might have been possible if you had just one more day. Your training ends tomorrow, but…it’s probably impossible.”
Tannin-ossan sighed. Yeah, I understand. I wasn’t able to reach it during this period of time. I had progressed when it came to physical strength or anything else. —But, I was going to finish my training without having reached Balance Breaker.
I couldn’t—complete the target of my training.
“Then, I’ll be going now. I’m also attending the Maou-sponsored party. Let’s meet again there, Hyoudou Issei and Ddraig.”
We're currently in front of the Gremory main residence. I had returned by riding on the back of Tannin-ossan. No, the back of a monster dragon was actually comfortable, and overwhelming! It was only a short trip through the air, but it was the best!
“Yes. Thank you, Ossan! See you at the party!”
[Sorry for troubling you, Tannin. We’ll meet again.]
“Yeah, I also had fun. Since I got to work together with that Ddraig. I’ve lived a long life. That’s right; do you want to enter the party by riding on my back?”
“Really? Is that okay?”
“Yeah, it’s no problem. I’ll take my group and come here on the day of the party. I’ll contact the Gremorys later for more information.”
Really, Ossan truly is a sensible dragon!
“Then, I’ll come here again tomorrow. Farewell!”
After saying just that, Ossan flapped his wings and disappeared off into the sky.
I saw him off while waving my hand.
[What an easy-going Dragon King.]
“I think he’s a good person. When we first met, he was scary, but…he’s cool for a dragon!”
[Me and you are also dragons, you know?]
That’s true, but…I think that a genuine dragon is really large and magnificent. Me and you, we’re just a possessed devil that was originally human and a part of a Sacred Gear.
[Well, that’s true.]
Right? As I thought, that’s “the dragon”!
When I turned around towards the familiar male voice—Kiba was there. He was dressed in his jersey, but it was all tattered. So I wasn’t the only one.
His good-looking face also looked quite tightened now.
“…You’ve gotten a good body.”
Kiba said that while looking at my naked upper body. I covered myself!
“S-Stop it, what’s with those eyes…Don’t look at my body with those eyes!”
Somehow, I felt danger to my body! Because, he was scary sometimes, this guy!
“H-How cruel. I just wanted to say that you built up your muscles nicely.”
“Well, because I have the body-type that has difficulty in putting on flesh. I’m jealous.”
“Oh, Ise and Kiba.”
This time it was a girl’s voice. —It was Xenovia. Wait, she had bandages all over!? With her whole body covered in bandages, Xenovia’s appearance was also ragged.
“But, y-you, what’s with that appearance…?”
When I timidly asked that, Xenovia looked over her appearance again and spoke.
“Yeah. I became like this because I trained, got injured and bandaged myself, and then trained, got injured and bandaged myself again.”
“You’re like a real mummy woman!”
“How rude. I have no intention of being preserved forever, you know?”
“That’s not what I meant!”
Geez, she’s incomprehensible as usual. But, I felt that the aura around her body was quieter and thicker than before. Speaking of which, Kiba’s aura was also denser.
Huh? My ability to see the flow of magic power had also improved from before? Was this also a result of training with Ossan? Did my sense become sharper from becoming one with the nature of the Underworld?
“Ise-san! Kiba-san, and Xenovia-san too!”
Coming out from the castle gate was—Asia in her nun clothes. Ah, it really is Asia!
“Asia, it’s been a while.”
“I-Ise-san! P-Please get dressed!”
Asia panicked at seeing my nudeness. She seemed to mean that, because she was embarrassed at my conduct rather than embarrassed at my nudeness, I should put something on. What’s with this girl, she was used to seeing me naked.
“Ara, it seems everyone from the group that went out has returned.”
The next to appear was—Buchou! It’s been so looooooooooong! My Buchou! My onee-sama! She’s still just as beautiful as always!
“Buchoooooooou! I wanted to see you!”
“Ise…You’ve become very robust, haven’t you? Your chest is thicker.”
She embraced me tightly while saying that. Ah, the feeling of Buchou…Rather, because my lust itself was suppressed during that mountain seclusion, the level of my arousal was intense from smelling the scent of the woman I missed so much…As I thought, women are nice.
“Now then, everyone. Please come in. Once you’ve taken a shower and changed clothes, we’ll meet to report the outcome of our training.”
It seemed I was once more living the civilised life I missed so much.
However, to report that I hadn’t attained Balance Breaker—it was truly shameful.
This was actually the first time in over two weeks that we of the Rias Gremory group had all gathered together like this.
After we had gotten our training plans from Azazel-sensei, I had been taken away by a dragon, but it seemed everyone else had split up after that as well. That’s why; this was our first gathering since then.
To be honest, this may have been the first time that we had all lived separately from the rest of the group for so long. —Rather, I think it’s the first time since I had joined it as a member. Since I didn’t know about anything before I was here.
After the ones who had trained outside, me, Kiba, and Xenovia had taken showers and changed our clothes, we all gathered in my room. Why my room? I had inexhaustible doubts about it, but it seemed that the reason was that it was easiest for them to gather here. It seemed there was a problem with going into Buchou’s room. Was there something there that she couldn’t show us?
So, we had gathered and talked about the contents of our training. Kiba gave a detailed account of his training with his master. Xenovia also recounted the contents of her training. I spoke about my life of survival with Tannin too.
Everyone else had it easy. Kiba and Xenovia had also trained outside, but they seemed to have trained while living at a mountain cottage and a villa belonging to the Gremorys respectively, and a life-style of hunting animals and plants in the mountain and avoiding the fire breath of a dragon for me seemed to be unimaginable to them.
Huh? Huuuuuuuh? That’s strange. What’s with this? Could it be that I was the only one that had a hard time? I slept outside, you know? With no blankets, nor pillows. I had to sleep there while lying on huge leaves that grew in the Underworld…
“Umm, sensei, wasn’t I the only one living a cruel lifestyle…?”
“I was also just as surprised that you could survive on the mountain. I thought that you would run home midway. That you would begin to live normally on that mountain was also completely outside my expectations.”
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? What’s with that…? I-I hunted, judged, baked and ate rabbit-looking animals and wild boar-looking animals native to the Underworld, you know…? I kept water in a water canteen after boiling and sterilising it once on an iron pan I found on the mountain…”
“That’s why I was surprised. You’re too sturdy. In some ways, you have surpassed devils.”
“How cruel! I lived while being chased around everywhere day after day by a dragon on that mountaaaaaain! Do you know how many times I was close to death!? Ueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!”
I cried at it all! Because! Because! Becaaaaaaaaaause!
“I wanted, I so wanted to see Buchou! I wrapped myself in leaves and slept while remembering Buchou’s warmth every niiiiiiiiight! It was so hard! The dragon Ossan wouldn’t go easy on me and also attacked while I was sleeping! He blew off rooooooocks! I was assailed by forest fiiiiiiiiire! I ran awaaaaaaaaay! If I didn’t run away, I would have diiiiiiiiiiiiied!”
“Poor Ise…You endured a lot, didn’t you? Yes. Ise, you became so sturdy…That Mountain doesn’t have a name, but I’ll name it [Mt. Ise] from now on.”
Buchou pulled my head to her chest and hugged me! The feeling of Buchou’s breasts healed my tough past!
Having endured so much shock, I also hugged Buchou back and cried enormously! So cruel! Azazel-sensei is cruel! He let me be kidnapped by a dragon! I still remember Buchou waving her hand below me! It was a kidnapping! Even thinking about it now, it was a kidnapping!
“No, even so, your physical strength seems to have improved considerably. With this, the time when you can wear the armour in Balance Breaker has just about arrived. —But, you weren’t able to attain Balance Breaker, right?”
Azazel-sensei didn’t seem particularly disappointed that I hadn’t attained it.
“Well, the possibility of you not attaining it was also within the range of my predictions. Yeah, you didn’t receive any shock, Ise. I mean, it’s impossible to attain Balance Breaker when there are no dramatic changes. I thought that something would be changed in you through the survival lifestyle and by coming into contact with a Dragon King-class dragon, but the time wasn’t enough. If it was at least for one more month…”
Impossible! If I had lived another month of that kind of lifestyle, I would die of Buchou-deficiency disease! If I couldn’t feel Buchou’s warmth like this periodically, I’d die!
I buried my face in Buchou’s breasts and shook my head in refusal! No, no! I can’t take going to that mountain again! Buchou also gently caressed my head! Ueeeh! Buchoooooou!
“Well, it’s fine. The report meeting ends here. Tomorrow is the party. You’re all dismissed for today.”
The report meeting ended with sensei’s voice.
In this way, my survival lifestyle came to an end.
The night of that day.
It was bedtime, but somehow Asia and Xenovia were staying in my room. It had been arranged so that me, Asia and Xenovia shared the same bed.
Unable to calm down with both Asia and Xenovia on the wide bed as well, I slipped into my bed.
Asia was already sound asleep. Perhaps because the bed we shared was wide, Xenovia was laying a little ways away from me. Moreover, for some reason, she seemed to be unable to sleep as she just stared at the ceiling.
Now that I think of it, maybe she couldn’t sleep until late because this was the first night that we shared the same room.
“…What’s with you, you still can’t sleep?”
“…Yeah. When I think of it, I’m not used to sleeping with a man yet. Even if there isn’t a sexual meaning to it…I’m tense…”
Hey, hey, hey, seriously? You’re tense after saying those kinds of things?
Well, it’s not like I don’t understand.
“T-That’s true. Even I was excited and couldn’t sleep the first time I slept together with Buchou and Asia. Having boys and girls of the same age sleep in the same room does that, you know?”
“I-I see. So this is natural, huh? But, Asia is amazing. She seems to be sleeping so peacefully.”
“It’s because Asia…is always sleeping with me and Buchou at home. She was embarrassed at the beginning, but now she’s used to it. Having Asia lying down next to me gives me great peace of mind.”
“…Ise-san, please don’t leave me…Munya…”
Asia murmured in her sleep…
“Fufufu, I understand the reason why Ise and Buchou think that Asia is cute.”
Xenovia said that while giving a wry smile. Right? Asia’s cuteness is the best.
And then, before I knew it, my consciousness also slipped away…and I gave myself into the night.
It was the evening of the next day and I was wearing the summer uniform of Kuou Academy while waiting in the parlour. Because today was the night of the party, after all. I had slept for a full half-day today. Thanks to that, I felt like I had greatly recovered from all my built up fatigue.
It had been a long time since I had last worn this uniform. That's because until recently I had only worn my jersey. It really did fit quite nicely.
Just in case, I also wore an armband that had the Gremory pattern inscribed on it. With this, it seems like I was okay for the party.
The girls had been taken away by all the maids, saying that it would take some time for them to get ready.
Hmm, Kiba and Gasper had also gone off somewhere for some kind of business…
When I turned to look towards the familiar voice—Saji was there. Why was Saji here!?
“Saji, why are you here?”
“Ah, Kaichou will be going to the meeting place along with Rias-senpai and I followed her here. So, Kaichou went to meet with senpai and after that I inevitably ended up wandering aimlessly around the mansion, until I arrived here.”
This main residence really is wide inside as well, after all. So he arrived here after losing his way.
Saji took a seat a little bit away from me and spoke while wearing a serious expression.
“The game will be taking place very soon now.”
“Me too. I was chased around by a dragon on a mountain every day.”
“I-Is that so? You’ve had a hard lifestyle as usual. Well, I also did an extremely hard menu.”
I see. He also put forth great effort in his training. Naturally, it will affect our masters’ victory or defeat. I also had a strong fighting spirit. Saji spoke while scratching his cheek.
“Hyoudou. Do you remember the time when the young devils gathered a month ago?”
“Yeah. What about it?”
“We were serious then….M-My…d-dream is to become a teacher!”
All of a sudden, Saji said that with a red face.
“Teacher? What will you teach?”
Even though he was flushed red, Saji answered my question sincerely.
“Kaichou is trying to establish a Rating Game specialty school in the Underworld. It isn’t an ordinary school. It’s an open school for anyone and that accepts devils regardless of whether they are high-class or low-class, aristocrat or commoner. I heard from Kaichou that things like discrimination and traditions have been softened in the devil industry little by little, but there is still a part at the root of it all that refuses to accept these changes. That’s why the current Rating Game School only accepts high-class devils from aristocratic families. The games have to be equal for everyone—. This is what the present Maou-samas have decided. Though it’s equal, the path of the games is far for low-class devil commoners. That’s strange, right? Though even a non-aristocratic devil may be promoted to a high-level devil depending on the method. The possibility shouldn’t be zero!”
Along with being surprised, I also admired the serious opinions of Saji.
This guy looks seriously towards the future in his own way, huh.
“Kaichou has told me that she wants to do something about that. That she wants to teach so that even low-class devils can participate in the games. That’s why she’ll make a school that anyone can enter in the Underworld! Kaichou is even studying in the human world as well for the sake of that! To give a chance to the ones who never got into the spotlight! Even if it’s just by 1%! Even if it’s almost zero! As long as it’s not zero, one might be able to become a high-class devil! Hyoudou! Even we believe in that possibility and try to become high-class devils, right?”
“Yes, that’s exactly it.”
That’s right. I had set my sights on becoming a high-class devil. Even if the possibility is zero, I have the fighting spirit to make it 100%. Saji made a declaration while raising his fist.
“T-That’s why, I will work as a teacher there. I’ll study a lot, fight in a lot of games, and store up various things. I’ll become a teacher who teaches about [Pawns] with that. Kaichou also said that she wants to help me. Even someone like me may be able to become a school teacher…I-I’ve only done stupid things in the past. I've also caused trouble for my parents and was disliked by the people around me. But, if it’s Kaichou, I can see a dream! I will stay by Kaichou’s side and help her for life! Kaichou’s dream is my dream!”
Saji spoke while feeling embarrassed.
“Hehehe. I kept the fact that I became a devil secret from my mother, but even so she cried when I told her about my future dream. [You, become a teacher!] She may have said that because it doesn’t suit me. But, it wasn’t bad, the relieved face of my mother.”
So that was Saji’s dream. It’s a different path from me. Since we’re the same [Pawns], I had thought we might be the same, but people really are respectively different after all. He has his own dream.
I wanted to become independent of my master in the future and had set my own goal. He intends to serve his master his whole life. Even if we became devils at the same time, the paths we aim for are truly different.
I felt that there was something a little miraculous about such a simple thing.
“I think that’s a wonderful goal, Saji. Become a good teacher.”
“Yeah, it’s also for the sake of that goal that we have to beat you guys this time!”
“Ah, I see. Then, it’s no good. Since we’re the ones who are going to win!”
“No, it’s us. Since we acted so stupidly before, we have to prove ourselves with our results.”
Though we laughed at the same time, his eyes were serious. He won’t back down.
However, a teacher, huh? I suddenly remembered Azazel-sensei, but… well; this guy would never be like that, as expected.
“By the way, Saji.”
“What is it?”
I poked the air with my finger.
“It seems a woman’s nipple is like a buzzer when poked.”
“…W-What’s with that?”
Oh, Saji was listening with apparent interest. As expected, he really is a lewd person just like me!
“I heard about it from Azazel-sensei, that the possibilities of breasts are infinite. It might not be good to go on to the next world with not only lacking the experience of rubbing them, but also of doing other things like poking them. But, to poke…”
“…Hey, Hyoudou. What about me? When will I be able to rub my master’s breasts?”
He discussed that seriously.
“W-Who knows. Even I have never rubbed them. After one piles up luck upon luck, one can rub them.”
Saji drew near me with eyes of anger!
“What’s with that “luck”! None of it has been coming to me, you know!?”
“No, I said too much. Usually, I’m only at the extent where we sleep together and go into the bath together—”
I only said that much, but it was no good. Saji gave an expression which showed the shock he received in the depths of his heart.
He unsteadily moved away from me and feebly sat down in a chair with a GAKUN. He was in a terrible state. His eyes were opened wide, and his whole body was trembling.
“…Sleeping? …Bath…? …What’s with that….? I-I…have never done those things with Kaichou…”
I called out to him, but there was no reaction, he just kept murmuring those quiet words.
“Ise, sorry for making you wait. Ara, so Saji-kun came.”
When I looked behind me—there was a dressed-up Buchou there! And all the other club members too!
Amaziiiiiiiiiiing! Everyone had put on makeup and was wearing dresses. Their hair was also done up!
They all looked like princesses! Akeno-san was wearing a western dress today, too! Uwaaaaaaah! This was baaaaaaaad, she was just too lovely. She was a beauty that surpassed excellence!
Asia was also embarrassed, but her dress really suited her. Xenovia also appeared to be unfamiliar with wearing such things, but she was sufficiently taught in being an ojou-sama!
Koneko-chan wore a dress that was a size smaller, but she had a cuteness that would inevitably have her kidnapped by a lolicon!
The problem was Gasper.
“Why are you also wearing a dress!?”
Gasper was also dressed up in a dress! It was so suitable that I could say nothing! I thought he had disappeared because he had some business to take care of, but it was for this instead!
“B-But, I wanted to wear a dress too.”
This guy is so…His girl clothes-wearing habit is so considerable even to this point.
“Saji. Saji, what’s wrong?”
The likewise dress-upped Sona-kaichou was dubiously looking at Saji’s state.
So you’re shocked to that extent, Saji…
When the dressing up was finished, there was the massive sound of something flying in the garden along with a soft tremor in the ground.
Soon a butler came and spoke to us.
“Tannin-sama and his family have arrived.”
Ossan had come to greet us just as promised!
When we went out to the garden, the best part was there!
Along with Tannin-ossan, there were 10 dragons about the same size as Ossan!
So huuuuuuuuuuuge! Amazing! All the members of Ossan’s group are dragons!
“I came just as promised, Hyoudou Issei.”
“Yeah! Thanks, Ossan!”
“While you all ride on my back, I’ll place a special barrier around you. With that, your hair and clothes won’t get messed up by the wind. Since those things are important to women.”
This dragon is so considerate! As expected of an ultimate-class devil!
“Thank you, Tannin. We’ll be relying on you until we get to the meeting place. The people of Sitri are also here, is that okay?”
“Ooh, Miss Rias. You’re especially beautiful tonight. Please leave that matter to me.”
Thus, we got on the dragon’s back and flew off into the sky of the Underworld! I got to ride on top of Tannin-ossan’s head! A special seat! I held onto the edge and surveyed the sky!
Uwahhah! As I thought, the scenery seen from the back of a dragon is a superb view! Since coming to the Underworld, I haven’t gotten tired of these fantasy experiences! But, I could do without the part of being chased around by a dragon!
[For me to see this scenery from on top of a dragon, it’s an experience that can’t be described.]
Ddraig gave a rare bitter smile. Ddraig originally had the body of a dragon too, after all.
“Hahahaha, that is an interesting experience, Ddraig. However, there are only three mighty dragons that are still active left, including myself. No, since I was reborn as a devil, the only real ones remaining are Ophis and Tiamat. The rest have either been sealed, or have retired. Yu-Long and Midgardsormr never come out onto the surface anymore. And Ddraig, Albion, Fafnir and Vritra have been sealed into Sacred Gears. —In all ages, strong dragons have been suppressed. Strong dragons are a fearful existence, after all.”
Ossan said that in just a slightly lonely tone.
“Now that you mention it, why did dragon Ossan become a devil?”
Ossan seriously responded to my question.
“One reason is that, in this era where there aren’t any big battles anymore, I thought that I would get to fight various guys if I participated in the Rating Games. And there’s another reason.”
“…Do you know of a fruit called the dragon apple? It’s an apple that dragons eat.”
“No, it’s my first time hearing of it. Rather, it’s a very blunt and obvious name.”
“There is a certain race of dragons that can only live by eating that dragon apple. However, the ones that grew in the human world have become extinct because of sudden environmental changes. Now, that fruit only grows in the Underworld. But, dragons are hated in the Underworld. They’re detested by both devils and fallen angels. There’s no way they would give it away for nothing, right? —That’s why; I became a devil and so the territory that grows the fruit was all made my territory. When you exceed a high-class devil, you can receive a part of the Underworld from the Maou. I had my eyes on that place.”
“Then, do those dragons that have food trouble live in Ossan’s territory?”
“Yeah, thanks to that, they avoided becoming extinct. And I also performed research on how to artificially grow the dragon apple in my territory successfully. It’s a special fruit, so the research takes time. Still, if it lets there be a future for that race, it’s better to continue.”
Amazing! So he went that far for the sake of helping that race. I thought he truly deserved the title of Dragon King.
“Ossan really is a nice dragon.”
Ossan laughed loudly at my words.
“A nice dragon? Gahahahahahahahaha! That’s the first time I’ve been told such a thing! Moreover, I’m greatly obliged to receive praise from the Sekiryuutei! However, boy, the desire for the continuation of one’s race is the same among all living beings. It's the same, for humans, devils, and dragons. I only thought of saving my fellow dragons as well. That is what a dragon who has power does for dragons without any power.”
“…Amazing! I just blindly wanted to become a high-class devil. A-And, I try dashing forward just because I want to form a harem. Is this kind of mental attitude no good?”
“That kind of thing is fine while you’re young. If you’re male, it’s inevitable that you come to want women and wealth. It isn’t good to overdo it, but it’s fine if that becomes the driving force that moves you. However, Hyoudou Issei, it’s so wasteful to just make a harem your final goal. If you become strong, it’s natural for females to approach you. The problem is after getting both women and wealth…It may still be too difficult for someone young like you to understand.”
Yeah, it may be a bit difficult for me.
However, because of the various devils I’ve met since coming here, I’ve come to think just a little.
—Everyone lives while having a goal.
Wanting to win in the tournament, wanting to become Maou, wanting to save dragons, wanting to become a teacher.
They’re all devils, yet what they aim for is completely different. For me, it’s to become a Harem King.
That still hasn’t changed, but it may be no good to not move towards that realistically and away from my ordinary delusions.
—Various things are needed to become the Harem King I aim to be.
In that way, after I thought about these things with my slow brain while chatting about this and that for a short hour, bright lights began to spread out below me.
It seemed like we had finally arrived at the meeting place.
The high-class high rise hotel that was being used as the meeting place for the party was located in a wide clearing within a huge area of forest that was on the edge of Gremory territory.
The scale wasn’t incomplete at all! I could see the entirety of the grounds from Tannin-ossan’s head, but the scope of it was so great that the town I lived in could completely fit inside of it!
The dragon we were riding on alighted down to a place that was like the grounds used for a sports match. When Ossan came to the skies above these match grounds, lights were simultaneously concentrated on him from below, making him look like something out of a monster movie.
“Then, we’ll be going to the waiting space exclusively for large devils.”
“Thank you, Tannin.”
Buchou and I gave our thanks to Tannin-ossan. Ossan and the other dragons then flapped their wings again and moved towards another area of the party grounds.
Then, we were led by the hotel employees who had come to pick us up at the sports grounds…and we got into an expensive-looking limousine! …Hahaha, It was truly an astonishing way of continuing on after coming this far.
The dress-wearing Buchou and Asia sat down next to me. Everybody from the Sitri family sat in the back of the limousine.
Buchou gave an explanation while fixing my collar.
“There are also facilities located around the hotel, and the army is also standing by here. It is much stricter here than in the lower urban areas, you know?”
Buchou then took a comb out from an expensive-looking bag and combed my hair. It seems my hair had become disheveled because I rode on Tannin-ossan’s head instead of on his back. Though I didn’t feel any truly strong wind thanks to the barrier he mentioned.
“Buchou, what about Azazel-sensei?”
“It seems that he will head here after joining up with Onii-sama and the others on another route. Since they’re really close friends, after all…”
Hahaha…So they hit it off well with each other as mutual powerful leaders.
I was smiling, but just then Buchou got a serious look.
“Ise, you couldn’t hear because you were on Tannin’s head, but just before, I declared war on Sona. —Saying that [we will beat you for the sake of our dream].”
So such a thing happened on Ossan’s back! I was too absorbed in looking at the scenery from the air then.
“A school. —A Rating Game school. For the sake of building that, Sona studied the school system of the human world while living as a student there. The schools of the human world, which anyone can enter, are important for Sona, after all.”
Saji said the same thing. That Kaichou was attending Kuou Academy for the sake of her dream.
“Buchou, Saji also said it. That he would [become a teacher]. His eyes were shining as he said it, but it’s a serious goal to him…”
“Even so, we will win. We have our own dreams and goals as well.”
Buchou’s determination was firm. She wouldn’t go easy on her opponent, even if it was a friend.
In that case, I will also strike against the opponent in front of me. Right, Saji? I’m going to come straight at you.
While I was thinking this, the limousine arrived at the hotel. When we came out, we were welcomed by many employees. We entered inside like that, and once Akeno-san confirmed us at the front desk, we went into the elevator.
“It seems the party is on the huge top floor. Ise, if you’re called out to by any people from distinguished families, make sure to greet them properly, okay?”
“Y-Yes. But, Buchou. Tonight’s party…was prepared by Maou-sama for the young devils, right?”
“That is the official stance. In truth, people won’t get very excited even once we enter the room. This is an annual custom. If anything, it’s more like a gathering for the members of all the distinguished families to meet. We, the next family heads, are just extras, while it’s really a party for our fathers to enjoy themselves. In reality, they’ve made reservations at the nearby facilities until the fourth or fifth after-parties. Proof of that is that they arrived at the meeting place separately from us. They probably gathered together before the young people arrived and may have already finished their alcohol.”
Buchou grumbled with a displeased face. Next to us, Akeno-san and Kiba were also giving bitter smiles.
Haah, Buchou seems fed up with this kind of party…or rather, with the actions of her father and the others. In other words, although it was sponsored by the Maou, since it seemed to be a casual kind of party that’s still different from a high-society party, her father and the others looked forward to it very much, as it was one of the few times they could cut loose.
The elevator arrived, and when we stepped out, the entrance to the meeting place also opened.
We were led into a gorgeous hall! On this incredibly large floor there was a crowd of devils and various delicious-looking foods to eat! The ceiling had—as expected, a huge chandelier! I couldn’t stop looking at that chandelier here and now!
Everyone noticed Buchou’s entrance, and breaths of admiration were let out.
“Princess Rias. You’ve become more and more beautiful…”
“Sirzechs-sama must also be proud.”
Everyone was looking at Buchou. Buchou had said that they wouldn’t be excited, but they were plenty excited right now! I was also somewhat happy. And above all I was proud.
—I’m the man that has rubbed this person’s breasts!
Fufufu, my face broke into a grin just now. What is this strange feeling of superiority? It could be called a pleasant feeling of only me knowing the secret of the woman that everyone longs for.
“Uuu, there’s so many people…”
The dressed-up Gasper was tightly sticking to my back. You again…Aren’t you wearing a dress for the sake of being seen in it? How can you enter here with that hikikomori spirit of yours…? As usual, his cross-dressing hobby is still difficult to understand…
Ah, but, he’s improved a little, hasn’t he? Even though he was exposed to the curious gazes of so many people here, he didn’t try to run away. So he’s also trained for this too.
That’s great, Gasper. I’ll give you some candy afterwards.
“Ise, we’re making our rounds of greetings.”
I had an idiotic face, but even so, it seemed the fact that the legendary dragon had become a devil was famous and there were many high-class devils who wanted to greet me.
For that reason, I ended up being led around by Buchou as we circulated the floor. I was surprised by how the gentlemanly behaviour that Buchou’s mother had taught me was more effective than I had expected.
I see, now that I’ve become a part of Buchou’s group, it was an indispensable skill.
Buchou’s mother. Thank you very much! Thanks to you, I wasn’t embarrassing myself!
“Ah, I’m so tired.”
Having finished my greetings, I was freed, but…
Me, Asia and Gasper sat down on chairs prepared in a corner of the floor. Buchou and Akeno-san were a distance away conversing with some female devils.
Kiba was—surrounded by all the female devils! Damn it! Die, good-looking guy!
Though even if I say that, since this really was my first time at such a party, me and Asia and the others were all mentally fatigued and completely exhausted in a corner.
Occasionally, there were male devils that greeted the cute Asia. As I thought, Asia’s cuteness is well understood even in the world of devils, because she’s so extremely cute.
“Ise, Asia, Gasper, I’ve gotten some food, eat up.”
Xenovia, who had gotten up from her seat a little while ago, was skilfully holding a massive quantity of dishes. On top of the dishes were various extravagant foods.
“Sorry about this, Xenovia.”
“No, it’s nothing. This amount is inexpensive. Look, it’s better for Asia to have a drink too.”
“Thank you very much, Xenovia-san…Since it’s my first time doing this kind of thing, I was nervous and my throat got dry…”
Asia accepted the glass of juice from Xenovia and started drinking it.
I started on the dish I’d been given…It came complete with chopsticks. Well, since there were reincarnated devils besides us in here, they must have been prepared for every way to pick up one’s food.
And then, there was a silhouette in front of me. It was a girl wearing a dress. She was staring at me really hard. Who was she?
Huh? I feel like I’ve seen her somewhere before…
“I-It’s been a while, Sekiryuutei.”
“The sister of that yakitori bastard.”
Yes, it was the sister of Rias’ former fiancé, Raiser Phoenix.
How nostalgic. It’s been several months since then, right?
“It’s Ravel Phoenix! Geez, this is why low-class devils are so slow and disagreeable.”
She was really angry. As I thought, she was angry because of the drama from the cancellation of the engagement, huh.
“Sorry. So, is your brother doing well?”
When I spoke about her brother, Ravel sighed.
“…Thanks to you, he’s been in low spirits. It seems that his defeat and having Rias-sama stolen away by you was a great shock. Well, since he had always relied on his talent and got cocky because of it, it should have been a good lesson for him.”
Arara, how harsh. So, she severely cuts at her brother too. What a sharp tongue.
“Hahahaha…You’re pretty merciless. You were also part of your brother’s group, right?”
“About that, I’ve currently finished trading, and I’ve now become my mother’s servant. My mother traded away an unused piece she had in exchange for me. Since my mother said that she would trade me again when I found someone whose family I want to become part of, I’m essentially a free [Bishop] now. Since my mother doesn’t participate in the games.”
I quizzically thought about this word that I wasn’t familiar with.
“Huh? Don’t you know? Trading, according to the rules of the Rating Games, it’s possible to exchange pieces between devils [Kings]. On the condition that they’re the same kind of piece.”
Heeh, so there was also something like that.
“B-By the way, Sekiryuutei—”
“Please stop it with the Sekiryuutei. My name is Hyoudou Issei. You’re the same age as me, right? Then, speaking to me normally is fine. Everyone calls me [Ise], you know?”
So I said, but since she’s a devil, she can freely choose her appearance, can’t she? Though she may look the same age as me, could she be older? No, judging from the times we’ve met each other, I get the sense that she’s the same age.
“I-Is it really okay for me to call you by your name!?”
Eh…? What’s with that reaction? She’s a bit happy? Impossible, she looks down on me so much, after all.
“*C-Cough*. T-Then, I’ll oblige and call you Ise-sama without reservation.”
“Sama? No, no, it’s fine without such a thing.”
“No, this is important!”
…Hahaha, I understand this girl even less than Xenovia. It’s difficult keeping company with her. And then, an Onee-san that I recognised also appeared.
“Ravel-sama. Danna-sama’s friend is calling for you.”
If I remembered correctly, this person is from Raiser’s family. An Onee-san called Isabella, who hurt my face badly with a flicker. Her naked body that I saw when her clothes fell apart is still preserved inside my brain.
“I understand. Ise-sama, the next time we meet, would you like to have some tea with me? A-A-A-And if it’s okay with you, would you like to have a homemade cake p-p-prepared by me?”
Ravel suddenly raised the hem of her dress, curtsied and then left.
Somehow, I don’t understand that girl very well.
“Hey, Hyoudou Issei.”
This time it was Isabella-san who spoke to me.
“You’re Isabella-san of the Phoenix family, right?”
“Yes. You gave me a good blow back then. I still remember it. It seems you’ve become even stronger. When you become even stronger, I’ll be able to boast about my story as well.”
“Umm, are you that girl’s…Ravel’s escort?”
“Well, something like that. Because that girl has things that she can’t grasp as a child, like our master Raiser-sama…Since that battle during the engagement party, Ravel has only talked about you. She seems to have found the fight between you and Raiser-sama very impressive.”
“Isn’t she just complaining? Since I interfered in her brother’s engagement, and made some thoughtless remarks to her too.”
“…No, it’s the opposite. Well, it’s fine. You’ll understand eventually.”
“? In any case, please tell her that having tea with her would be okay with me.”
“Really? Thank you for that. Ravel will be happy. Now then, please excuse me now. Please have a good time at the party.”
With that, Isabella-san waved her hand and left just like that. I really don’t get it…
Well, there’s no use being troubled about it anymore, tea is fine, right?
“…Ise-senpai, you surprisingly have a lot of devil friends…”
Gasper said that with a look of admiration, but…Does it really look like a lot?
Hmm, I don’t know. But, I have met various devils since coming here.
However, my encounters with devils besides Buchou and my friends have a lot of value to me. The things I now know like about the problem of discrimination, and about dragons were a lot. I think that I’m glad to know these things now.
Not only power, but such things may also be important for me to catch up to Vali. But, the stupid me also has a limit to my brain capacity! …Hah, I wish I had been born smart.
As I sighed about that, a small shadow came into my sight.
—It was Koneko-chan.
For some reason, she was quickly heading out of the party room. Her expression seemed absorbed in something. Was there something wrong? I was suddenly seized with anxiety. I had a bad feeling about this.
“Asia, Xenovia, please wait here.”
“Ise-san, what’s wrong? The Maou-sama’s greeting will be starting soon.”
“No, there’s a little acquaintance of mine here that I want to go see. I’ll return by the time of the greeting!”
“Alright. We’ll stay here.”
I had lied to the two of them. I wanted to keep them safe. In any case, I stood up from my seat and went into the direction that Koneko-chan headed in—.
Koneko-chan went down on the elevator? Is she going down to the bottom?
Once I confirmed that the elevator next door opened, I boarded it. Then, someone else got on the elevator. When I turned around, it was Buchou!
“What’s wrong? Your expression changed.”
“I saw Koneko-chan suddenly leave as if following something.”
“I see, so you were worried. I understand, I’ll go too.”
“Yes! But, how did you know that I was going to board the elevator?”
To the puzzled me, Buchou said the best possible thing while smiling.
“It’s because I’m always watching you.”
The elevator arrived on the first floor. After me and Buchou stepped out, we described Koneko-chan to nearby devils and asked if she had passed by.
Having discovered that Koneko-chan had been seen by various people going outside, Buchou hurriedly called forth a bat familiar and sent it out into the sky. Buchou and I waited in front of the fountain that stood outside the hotel until the bat returned.
“As I thought, Koneko-chan’s behaviour is abnormal.”
“Yes. However, what was Koneko-chan following all the way out here?”
Buchou brooded deeply over my question, but she said with just a grim expression that she suspected that Koneko had come across something serious. Rather, it seemed like Buchou had just realised something.
After a little while, Buchou’s bat returned.
“It seems it found her. —The forest? So she’s gone to the forest surrounding the hotel?”
The forest! Koneko-chan! Just why on earth did you go there!?
Buchou and I started running after the bat!
After we left the familiar places behind, Buchou and I ran through the forest in the dark night. Somehow, although we were in a hurry to find her, I still didn’t have any trouble running like this. Thanks to the results of my survival lifestyle, I could now move relatively easily. Sensei, I’m somehow scared that I may have grown in a different sense!
After we had advanced through the forest for several minutes, Buchou pulled my arm and made us hide in the shadow of a tree. When I peeked my face out just a little, I saw Koneko-chan over there!
Koneko-chan was restlessly turning her head back and forth in the middle of the forest as if looking for something.
Then, she noticed something and turned her gaze in that direction. We also followed Koneko-chan’s gaze and looked.
“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
An unfamiliar voice.
Appearing without making a noise—was a woman wearing a black kimono. Somehow, she seemed similar to Koneko-chan…Wait, she had cat ears on her head!? I-It couldn’t be…
I had an inkling about something, but Buchou shushed me and indicated for me to calmly watch.
Koneko-chan’s whole body shook in violent surprise.
“Hello, Shirone. It’s me, your onee-chan.”
Shirone? That’s the first time I’m hearing that name, but was it perhaps Koneko-chan’s true name? I knew from Buchou’s mother that “Koneko” was a name given to her by Buchou.
Koneko-chan’s voice squeezed out those words.
—! Koneko-chan’s onee-san! I had a feeling that’s how it was since they were similar, so it was just like I thought!
So this beautiful nekomata onee-san is the “exiled demon” that killed her master…In the future, will Koneko-chan look like her sister? When I imagined it, I got slightly excited!
There was a black cat snuggled up to that onee-san’s feet.
“Onee-chan is very impressed that you came this far following after this black cat that sneaked into the party-nya.”
I see, Koneko-chan came across that black cat at the party and came here following it.
“…Nee-sama. What is this about?”
There was anger in Koneko-chan’s voice. But, Kuroka just smiled.
“Don’t make such a scary face. I just had some minor business to take care of. I heard that the devils were holding a big party here, you know? That’s why I was a little interested. Nyan♪”
Onee-san waved her hand like a cat and winked cutely! So cute!
Ooooooooow…please don’t pinch my face like that, Buchou…
“Hahahaha, could it be that you’re a member of the Gremory group?”
A voice that I had heard from somewhere before spoke out—. Then, a good-looking man wearing what looked like ancient Chinese armour came out—it was Son Goku Bikou! Vali’s comrade! What was he doing here? Wait. He’s a member of the [Khaos Brigade]. Is this a terrorist attack aimed at the party hall!?
Suddenly, Bikou’s gaze turned to look in the direction of me and Buchou! So he noticed us!?
“Even if you erase your presence, it’s useless. With people like me and Kuroka who know senjutsu, we can approximately detect you with just a slight variation in the flow of your spirit.”
Tch! We’ve been found out! Even though I would have preferred not to fight!
Buchou and I readied ourselves and stepped out from the shadow of the tree. Koneko-chan was surprised to see us.
“Yo, damn monkey-san. Is Vali doing well?”
“Hahahaha, pretty much. As for you…Heh, so you’ve become a little stronger, huh?”
Hmm? Did he understand my strength just from looking at my body a little?
While I thought that in puzzlement, Bikou spoke while smiling.
“Didn’t I tell you? I also have an interest in senjutsu, and I know the flow of your spirit to a degree. The volume of aura that covers you has risen since we last met.”
…I see. When other people said it, it seemed that my training really had given me results.
“By the way Buchou, what is senjutsu? Is it different from magic and the sorcery used by magicians?”
Sighing, Buchou gave an explanation to my question.
“Yes, senjutsu is different from magic and sorcery. The biggest difference is that senjutsu stresses the importance of something called chakra, the aura that is the great original power that flows into one’s spirit, in other words one’s life-force, and turns it into a constant current. It’s a power that is both similar yet different from the magic of demons and the light power of angels. Its direct destructive power can’t match that of magic or the power of light, but senjutsu can make use of the unknown part hidden within plants, animals and people. For example, if one learned senjutsu, it’s said that they excel at reading the flow of someone’s spirit, of their aura, and that they can also grasp the movements of a faraway target to a certain degree.”
“We can also control the flow of spirit and can reinforce both the interior and exterior of our bodies, or disturb the spirits of all the surrounding trees, make them bloom, or make them wither-nyan♪. Senjutsu is a skill that manipulates the flow of life, after all. We can disturb our opponent’s spirit, and inflict damage to their life-force by cutting it. Because the methods for repairing the disorder to one’s life-force is limited for the magic of demons and the sorcery of magicians in comparison, this attack method almost always results in death-nyan♪”
Koneko-chan’s onee-san explained this while winking! I’m troubled by how she acts so brightly while creating such a dangerous atmosphere at the same time…
I don’t really understand the explanation that well, but in other words she’s a blooming jii-san equipped with a scouter, right? And moreover this blooming jii-san can influence the life of his opponent with a single fingertip, right?
Well, leaving that aside, the problem is the reason why these guys are here.
“Why are you here? Is this a terrorist attack?”
I asked this frankly, but the two of them just smiled.
“No, we didn’t come down here for such a thing. It’s just that a standby order has come out in the Underworld. Me and Kuroka are off-duty right now. When the order was given, Kuroka suggested visiting the devils’ party. Since she likely wouldn’t return easily, I came along with her too. Okay?”
He chattered on pointlessly, this monkey-san. But, as long as he wasn’t lying, I understood the gist of it.
In other words, when Koneko-chan’s onee-san inspected the party hall with her black cat familiar or something, Koneko-chan coincidentally came across it and chased it here.
“Bikou, who is this boy?”
Koneko-chan’s onee-san pointed at me and asked Bikou this.
When she heard that, onee-san’s eyes widened.
“Really-nyan? Heh~. So this is the current breasts-loving Sekiryuutei who repelled Vali before.”
…So that was how I was described to her. Well, since it’s true. A breasts-loving Sekiryuutei, huh? That’s also fine.
Bikou spoke while yawning.
“Kuroka~, let’s go back. Since we can’t participate in that party anyway, it’s a waste to stay here.”
“Yes, let’s return. But, I’ll take Shirone with me-nyan. Since I didn’t bring her with me that time♪”
“Arara, if you bring her back with you of your own accord, Vali might get angry, you know?”
“When they know that the same power as mine flows within her, both Ophis and Vali will be convinced, right?”
“Well, that may be so.”
Koneko-chan’s onee-san smiled widely with narrowed eyes. Seeing that, Koneko-chan’s small body shivered. She was scared! —In that case!
I stepped in between the two of them and spoke right in front of them.
“This girl is an important friend among us of the Gremory group. I won’t allow you to take her away.”
Seeing my actions, both Bikou and onee-san laughed.
“No, no, that’s very brave of you, but do you really intend to make me and Kuroka your opponents? This time, we’ll leave immediately once we take this girl, so it’ll be fine for you, right?”
What kind of nonsense is Bikou saying!? This damn monkey!
Buchou stepped forward with an angered expression.
“This child is my servant. I won’t let you put even a single finger on her.”
“Ara-ara-ara-ara, what are you saying-nya? She’s my little sister. I have the right to love her. A high-class devil like you doesn’t have that privilege.”
I understood that this place’s atmosphere had completely changed. Buchou and onee-san were glaring at each other, and carried the aspect of an explosive situation! It was onee-san who stopped glaring first. She spoke while giving a wide grin.
“Since you’re so troublesome, I’ll kill you-nyan♪”
At that instant, I was seized by an indescribable sensation! What is this, this feeling of having transported to another space? Even though the scenery hadn’t changed, it was like the air and mood had changed or something…
“…Kuroka, so you learned not only senjutsu, youjutsu and devil magic, but also the skill to control space?”
Buchou said this while making a sour face.
“I didn’t go as far as learning how to control time, but I have fairly picked up on how to control space. If I use the essentials of barrier techniques, it’s relatively easy, after all. I covered this entire forest with a barrier and isolated it from the outside world-nyan. That’s why even if we do flashy things here, it won’t leak outside and devils from outside won’t come in. You’re going to get pleasantly killed here by us and say goodbye-nya♪”
What!? Then, we’ve been imprisoned in this forest! What’s more, even if we fight, no one outside will notice it! Ooh! So these guys can’t be defeated by just me and Buchou!? Should we run away? No, it doesn’t seem like we can run away!
At that time—. From high in the sky, a voice was heard.
“When I received information that Miss Rias and Hyoudou Issei had come to this forest and I quickly came to look, to think I would be sealed in by a barrier…”
This voice! When I looked up, there was—.
The monster dragon! Tannin-ossan! What timing! Uwah, I’m really glad! It seems he entered this place just before Koneko-chan’s onee-san spread out the barrier!
“What an ominous aura. These visitors aren’t suitable for this party.”
Bikou looked delighted to see this dragon in the sky.
“Oh, oh, oh! If it isn’t the former-Dragon King [Blaze Meteor Dragon] Tannin! So you came! This is already a big problem, Kuroka! We have no choice but to fight now!”
“You seem happy, monkey-san. Very well. If we take down two necks that are above Dragon King class, Ophis will also be silent on the matter.”
Two necks! So I was also counted!? I was, wasn’t I!? No! I’ll die!
As he shouted that out, a gold cloud appeared at Bikou’s feet and he then flew off into the sky where Tannin-ossan was!
A long staff appeared in Bikou’s hands and he released it while aiming it at ossan!
The staff extended and tried to hit ossan, but—he avoided it with a speed that didn’t fit his huge figure!
Fast! Even though he’s so large, he can move himself so agilely!
Bikou horizontally moved the staff while it was still extended and chased after ossan who had avoided it the first time! But ossan used his wings skilfully and rotated in mid-air, avoiding it! The still rotating ossan opened his mouth wide!
A large mass of fire covered the entire sky! Amaziiiiiiiiiing! That amount is incomparable to what he let out during the time with me! Looking up, the entire sky was nothing but fire!
That’s right, sensei did say it. That ossan’s breath of fire was the same level as a meteor’s impact!
More significant though is that evasion skill with that huge body! Even though he’s a huge monster, he can really move! That’s right, now that I think about it, during the game of tag with me, he was able to quickly whoosh around despite his huge body.
So a Dragon King has high specs in every kind of ability!
[No, Tannin was still holding back the power of his breath there.]
Seriously, Ddraig!? That was holding back?
[It’s because, if he unleashed his true breath, not just the party hall, but we, too, would disappear. He’s thoughtful in his own way. Even with that, though, the number of people who can stop Tannin are limited.]
I was being pursued on that mountain by such an amazing person!? That’s scary! After the mass of fire faded away, the form of Bikou emitting smoke from his entire body appeared in the air.
“Ahaha! Not bad! Former-Dragon King!”
He was actually laughing! His armour and clothes were burned, but his main body was fine! He survived being engulfed by such powerful flames! As expected of Son Goku!
“Hmph! I was wondering what kind of person this Son Goku was! You seem quite happy to have received an attack from me, Tannin!”
“The name’s Bikou! Nice to meet you, Dragon Boss!”
“Kukukuku. You talk like a true monkey. Do you really understand who you have made your opponent right now?”
“I’m also descended from a legendary demon, you know. I can’t afford to lose so quickly.”
“In any case, I’ll be your opponent, monkey. Meanwhile, Miss Rias and Hyoudou Issei will defeat that cat. —They’re the master of the Sekiryuutei and the Sekiryuutei, you know? You’ll have to overcome them.”
Even if you say something like that! This onee-san in front of us can’t be beaten by me and Buchou!
“Hahahah! You’ve really gone out big! I’m fine just by myself!”
“Don’t speak so arrogantly, monkey. You’re just a single monkey. You won’t be any trouble! Besides, what happened to the pig and demon sage? Did you break up with them?”
“You mean the descendants of Hakkai and Gojou? Hahahaha! They, including the people of my family, are all conservatives! Every last one of them is satisfied with the current state of things! However, I love things that are fun! That’s why I happily accepted the invitation to join the [Khaos Brigade] and now act together with the Hakuryuukou Vali!”
“Hmph! Your temperament may be the closest to the first generation of Son Goku, but what are you scheming with the Hakuryuukou? According to rumour, only your unit is permitted to move separately from the rest! I also heard that you’re the only team that didn’t accept Ophis’ [snake]!”
“If you’d like to know, beat me!”
“Watch what you say, damn monkey! This place is the hell-like Underworld, called the [world of the dead]! Know that this is the best place for small fry like you people to repent!”
Ossan and the monkey began to fight fiercely with each other in the air! Well, since it seems like ossan will beat that monkey, I’m relieved, but the problem is…
Koneko-chan’s onee-san! She was giving a bewitching smile, but there was a dark ominous aura permeating her whole body that even I could feel!
Sensei’s aura was also black, but his had more of a feeling of vice than evil. This one here was completely evil! I could feel a strong malice and killing intent directed at us!
“…Nee-sama. I’ll go with you. So please overlook these two people!”
—!? Koneko-chan had suddenly blurted out such a thing!
“What are you saying—”
I started to speak out, but,
“What are saying!? Koneko! You’re a servant of my group! I won’t allow you to do as you please!”
In a flash, Buchou tightly embraced Koneko-chan!
However, Koneko-chan shook her head.
“…It’s no good. I understand best nee-sama’s power. Nee-sama’s power rivals that of an ultimate-class devil. For Buchou and Ise-sempai…Even with the power of a former-Dragon King, I don’t think you can capture my sister who excels in both genjutsu and senjutsu…”
“No, even so, I absolutely won’t hand you over to that person’s side! To this nekomata that didn’t try to help Koneko-chan who cried so much!”
Onee-san smiled at Buchou’s anger.
“It’s because a youkai cannot help another youkai. However, this time, I simply want Shirone because I want another piece under my control. I can understand Shirone’s power better than a red-haired onee-san like you, you know?”
Koneko-chan shook her head at onee-san’s words.
“…No…I don’t need that kind of power…I don’t need a dark power like that…I don’t need a power that brings misfortune to people like that…”
She started to tremble and shed tears. Buchou hugged Koneko-chan even more tightly.
“Kuroka…You who had been blinded by power left a wound on the heart of this girl that won’t disappear for her whole life. After you killed your master and left, this child saw hell. When I first met her, there were no feelings left in her. Koneko was betrayed by you, who was her only family to her, lost a future to rely on, and was despised and abused by other devils, to the point where she was going to be disposed of…She saw many harsh things. That’s why I will show her many fun things! This girl is Toujou Koneko, [Rook] of Rias Gremory’s group! My important servant devil! I won’t let you put even a single finger on her!”
Hearing that, Koneko-chan—began to overflow with tears.
Buchooooooooooooou! I cried at Buchou’s love! Even though I wasn’t Koneko-chan, I greatly wept! Because receiving words overflowing with such love is more than servants like us deserve! This is why Buchou is the best! The woman I fell in love with is the strongest!
“…I don’t want to go…I am Toujou Koneko. Kuroka-neesama, I don’t want to go with you! I want to live with Rias-buchou! To live!”
Koneko-chan cried that out! That was a declaration that could also be called her way of breaking off her relationship with her sister.
Alright! When you say that, I can’t pull back either! I’ll protect Koneko-chan!
After hearing that, onee-san briefly showed a bitter smile, and then gave a derisive laugh that seemed to freeze my whole body.
A thin mist-like substance sprung out from onee-san. It gradually spread and reached us. And the fog didn’t stop there, and continued to cover up the whole forest.
The mist was really thick. I could confirm it in front of me. However, there was an ominous air about it that made me dreadfully shudder. When we came into contact with the fog—.
At that moment, Buchou knelt down next to me! Eh? What happened?
Next Koneko-chan also dropped to her knees while covering her mouth! Wait, did Buchou and Koneko-chan receive some kind of attack?
“Hmm, so this mist doesn’t work on you because you’re the Sekiryuutei, huh? It’s a poison mist which only works on devils and youkai-nyan. Because the poison is thin, one suffers a little while it spread throughout the body. I won’t kill you quickly. I’ll kill you all gradually-nyan♪”
Before I had realised it, onee-san had sat down on a high tree branch and was looking down on us!
Rather, poison mist!? Moreover, that’s a heartless way of thinking! What an evil intention! However, I was the only one not affected. Was it because I was harbouring Ddraig in me? I didn’t really understand the reason very well.
Buchou began to fire magic bullets from beside me!
Don! The attack hit onee-san completely! Her body vanished!
We got her…or not. Buchou didn’t seem to feel any resistance from her attack.
“That was a good attack. But it’s useless, useless. I can easily make a clone of myself with the essentials of genjutsu.”
Onee-san’s voice echoed through the forest. S-Suddenly, silhouettes were born one after another within the mist and all of there were women wearing kimonos! They were Koneko-chan’s onee-san! Clones!? So this was an illusion!
They all looked real, and I couldn’t tell them apart! All these onee-sans were wearing the same auras over their bodies!
“…If you can’t read the flow of spirit, you can’t deal with genjutsu used by skilled practitioners.”
Koneko-chan said that while falling to all fours. She seemed to be in pain! If there was some kind of counteraction method…Could Asia do something if she were here? No, leaving aside injuries, I don’t know whether it would be effective on this kind of poison!
I made the red gauntlet appear on my left arm, but wasn’t the sound just now different from usual? When I looked, the light in the jewel wasn’t a lot and it had become blackish! What was this!?
[…Partner, the Sacred Gear won’t move.]
What do you mean, Ddraig!? Why is it like this at such a crucial time!?
[The Sacred Gear has entered an ambiguous state.]
Ambiguous!? Why had it become like that?
[With that training, you reached a crossroad. I think the Sacred Gear will change with one more push, but I don’t know whether that change will be a normal power-up, or Balance Breaker.]
In other words, my Sacred Gear has stopped before a crossroads, and is wavering between a normal power-up and Balance Breaker?
[If you put it simply, yes. In a situation where the choices have multiplied, the Boosted Gear’s own system is confused on which option to follow.]
So both the normal power-up and Balance Breaker look good to it?
[Yeah. If it does a normal power-up, you may be able to achieve victory in a flash, but if a dramatic change isn’t born inside you, you won’t be able to attain Balance Breaker. But remember this. Right now, you only have a chance to attain Balance Breaker. The rest depends on you.]
Even if you tell me such a thing! What should I do…? I don’t know what to do even if you suddenly say that I need to go through a dramatic change! What do I have to do to attain Balance Breaker!? Damn it! If I knew it was going to be like this, I should have asked Kiba what kind of feeling he had when he did it!
Hey, Ddraig. Is it bad if I go for the power-up and leave Balance Breaker for next time?
[You won’t be able to grasp this state again whenever you want. It may be months or years before the chance comes again.]
Then, I’ve been given a very important chance right now! It would be wasteful to use it for a normal power-up! What do I need to do to attain it? I don’t knooooooooooow!
“Arara, is Sekiryuutei-chan unable to activate his Sacred Gear? But, I’m going to shoot-nyan♪”
One of the onee-san illusions stuck out its hand—began to shoot what looked like magic bullets at Buchou and Koneko-chan who were suffering from the poison!
Don’t joke with me! I dashed forward and rushed to become a shield for them!
I was hit by blasts full of destructive power! It hurts! Damn it! It really huuuuuuuurts! I got hit by one shot right in the front!
My uniform was also blown away from a direct hit! Thanks to that, my front was naked! …A place on my chest burst open a little and blood flowed out.
Buchou tried to move forward, but because of the pain, she couldn’t stand up well!
“Buchou! Please don’t move! The poison will spread through your body! Don’t worry, an attack like this is noth—”
Before I could finish speaking, I was hit by another magic bullet! Guhhah…!
Because it was a surprise attack that I had received before I was ready, the pain was intense…!
From just that second attack, I fell to my knees…This is bad. If it’s like this, I won’t be able to endure five more shots…
“So weak. This is Vali’s rival? Did you really drive away Vali?”
Onee-san simply sneered at me…Hehehe, truly, just how much more will I continue to be ridiculed like this…I’m pitiful. I won’t show my power in a pinch.
—I’m always like this.
I can’t show my power at critical times.
Did I save Asia? Did I rescue Buchou?
Everyone had praised me, but in truth it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t like that!
—Asia died once.
—Buchou cried once.
Because I couldn’t do anything at either of those times, it turned out like that.
Power that can’t be put to use to prevent others from being hurt…That’s just wrong! I was once again trying to repeat the same thing again…
—I can’t rescue Koneko-chan right here and now.
I made the people I loved experience sorrowful feelings before because my power wasn’t enough.
After each time, I was given a second chance to save them thanks to the help of others.
With just that. It was meaningless like that!
—What kind of legendary dragon can’t save people the first time!?
“…I won’t let you touch Buchou and Koneko-chaaaaaaaaan!”
I was hit by another blast. I was blown backwards by its power and my back crashed into a huge tree!
Idiot…A blow to the back…My consciousness faded for an instant from the great pain…Damn it, my body won’t move…!
My body had stopped functioning more from the shock of impact to my back than the pain…Though I’m still conscious…
I—stood up. I was so clumsy and pitiful that tears flowed from my eyes. It wasn’t from the pain.
To not be able to display my power when driven into a corner…Even though I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. Even though I wanted to save everyone. My power couldn’t stop people from being hurt again…
While crying, I crawled on the ground and approached where Buchou and Koneko-chan were.
When I came in front of the two of them, I pushed fighting spirit into my body.
I held down the pain somehow and stood up on trembling legs…Alright, I can still stand.
However, the frustrating tears wouldn’t stop.
“You may be Koneko-chan’s onee-san, but…I won’t forgive you for making Koneko-chan cry…”
I said this openly and frankly, but onee-san just laughed.
“For such a weak guy like you to say such a thing…Shirone is also serious. It’s one thing if a cooler-looking and strong prince with a sword says that, but when someone like you says it while having blood clinging to your body, girls will only draw back-nyan♪. How disgusting.”
Koneko-chan whispered to me.
I spoke while smiling bitterly.
“Koneko-chan…though I have a legendary dragon lodged in my body, I can’t do anything…If I had gotten stronger those times with Asia and Buchou, if I had displayed my dragon power, they wouldn't have had such sorrowful experiences…—I’m a talentless and useless devil.”
I…am an incompetent devil. I also can’t display the power of my Sacred Gear very well…I truly am worthless.
“Even though all the previous Sekiryuuteis achieved Balance Breaker in a short time…it will take who knows how many months for me. I understood that. I already understood that from the very beginning. Even though I possess the power of the Sekiryuutei, it’s wasted on me. Because I’m useless…I can’t do anything for you, Koneko-chan. I thought I could at least become a shield for you, but…”
However, Koneko-chan shook her head.
“…Ise-senpai isn’t worthless…Did you know? Most of the previous Sekiryuuteis were people that drowned and lost their heads in their power…I think that they were swallowed by the enormous power they had…My nee-sama is the same…Even if one has power…if they don’t have kindness…they’ll definitely go out of control…Ise-senpai is a gentle Sekiryuutei…Even if your power is a bit lacking…That’s a wonderful thing…You’re surely the first among the previous ones to be a gentle Sekiryuutei. That’s why—”
Koneko-chan smiled even though she was in pain from the poison. It was a dazzling smile.
“Please become a gentle [Welsh Dragon]…”
After hearing Koneko-chan’s words, I felt like I understood something inside me.
“—Buchou. I think I understand a little what I was lacking in myself to attain Balance Breaker.”
Yes, I felt that I saw the true meaning in Koneko-chan’s words just now.
“I’m probably going to need Buchou’s power in order to attain Balance Breaker.”
I will attain it by borrowing Buchou’s power—.
“…I understand! If you’re fine with me, I’ll lend you my power! So, what do I need to do?”
Buchou nodded even though she was in pain from the poison. I made up my mind, took a big gulp, and spoke.
“—Please let me poke your breasts!”
At my request, Buchou—became speechless. However, after thinking a little, she spoke with a look of determination.
“…I understand. If I can realise your wish with that…”
—!? …I was bewildered by her ready consent! Impossible! Is such a thing possible!? It’s no joke! Buchou, I really do want to poke your nipples!
“R-Really!? I can poke them!? I can really press on Buchou’s nipples with my fingers!? It’s really okay!?”
Buchou pulled down her dress and exposed her bared front with trembling hands, summoning her great jugs! Because the thing that restrained them was gone, her abundant breasts jiggled!
Bubah! To this pure undressing, I could only spurt out a nosebleed in reaction!
“…Please do it quickly. I-It’s embarrassing…”
Buchou was turning both pale from the poison and red from embarrassment! I’m sorry, Buchou! I didn’t think it would possibly turn out like this!
“H-Hey! What are you doing in the middle of a battlefield!?”
From high above the thin mist, Tannin-ossan gave out an astonished shout.
“Ossan! Please support me while I poke Buchou’s nipples!”
“Poke her nipples!? Poke her nipples, you say!? What are you saying!? What are you trying to do in the middle of a battlefield!?”
“If I poke them, the possibility that I will attain Balance Breaker is high!”
“So the training with me was a waste!? You truly are an idiot!”
At that time, Koneko-chan’s onee-san gave a puzzled expression.
“Hey, Bikou! Is that some kind of strategy? Rias Gremory has revealed her breasts and intends to do something with the Sekiryuutei.”
“Don’t ask me! The thought process of the Sekiryuutei is in a different dimension from us, you know!”
What a rude monkey! I’m serious here! I think that I have no choice but to poke Buchou’s nipples in order to attain Balance Breaker!
The talk I had with sensei had a dramatic impact on me. The dramatic change I first thought of after the conversation with Koneko-chan is—to poke breasts.
Because! After sensei told me about it, that was the only thing that filled my brain, and I had wild delusions all this time about just poking them! If I poke them, I should be able to change!
—. Having Buchou’s breasts immediately in front of me, I wavered… Oh no. This is bad.
“O-Ossan! I have a serious problem!”
“What’s wrong!? What is it!?”
I thought that it was better to ask the former-Dragon King here!
“The right breast or the left breast! Which should I poke first!?”
“You damn idioooooooot! Right or left, it’s the same thing! Just poke it already and attain Balance Breakeeeeeeeeeer!”
“Don’t joke around! Right and left aren’t the same thiiiiiiiiiiiing! It’s important! It’s my first buzzer! It’s a once in a lifetime thing! Answer seriouslyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”
For some reason, me and ossan were quarrelling! Damn it! Ossan doesn’t understand! Which breast I poke is an important matter!
“Buchou! What’s your recommendation!?”
If it’s like this, I’ll ask the person herself!
“Geez! You idiot! In that case, you should just poke them both at the same time!”
What a ground-breaking idea! I shed tears at my master’s answer!
I aimed both my index fingers at each of Buchou’s breasts. This is fine. With this, I won’t miss.
My body was in very bad shape from the damage delivered by Koneko-chan’s onee-san, but this situation where I can poke breasts gave me unbelievable energy!
Then, after gulping, I suddenly moved forward my fingers as they aimed at the breasts—Zumuh.
Munyu, munyu, munyuuuuuu.
With this elasticity, softness and feel of her skin, Buchou’s breasts really were the best!
Without being violent, I gently and thoroughly buried my fingers in her breasts.
Seeing Buchou’s breasts wrapping around my fingers, I spurted a large amount of blood from my nosebleed. At that time—.
Buchou let her voice leak out slightly—. I didn’t miss hearing that!
Inside me, something revolutionary burst open—.
It spread. Something vast—took over my mind.
Within the tears that wouldn’t stop, I saw it.
—The beginning of universe.
[—You attained it. You really managed to attain it!]
Ddraig laughed inside me and let out an innocent cry.
[Welsh Dragon Balance Breaker!!!!!!!!!]
The light returned to the jewel, and on the contrary began to emit a huge mass of red aura that it didn’t have until now! The aura wrapped around my entire body!
“…You’re the worst. What a lewd Sekiryuutei…”
Even though her face was ghastly pale, Koneko-chan gave a retort to me. Sorry! I’m a lewd Sekiryuutei!
Then—. The aura which covered my body changed into armour, and clad itself on me.
“Balance Breaker, [Boosted Gear Scale Mail]! It’s been achieved here by poking my master’s breasts!”
My surroundings were blow away by the aura I released! A small crater was created with me at its centre…Alright, my body is overflowing with power! This is—Balance Breaker!
[Partner, congratulations. But, you’re terrible. I’m going to genuinely cry soon.]
Ddraig gave me praise. And his voice was tearful.
“Yeah, thank you. And sorry for being perverted! So, how is my state?”
[You can maintain Balance Breaker for thirty minutes. The results of your training have come out. For the first Balance Breaker state of the weak you, that’s a fairly good time limit.]
How many times can I do my max doubling?
[I think that each time will be used up within five minutes if you release it at the max. You can do it five times at the most. When you include your other movements, your sixth time will be the same as nothing. It’s the same when you use the transfer ability too.]
So if I use this power well, I can fight for fifteen minutes.
[You don’t need that long. —Look, stick out your hand, and try firing a magic bullet like usual.]
Following Ddraig’s instructions, I stuck out my hand and aimed at Koneko-chan’s onee-san.
Doh! It fired in an instant! It passed right by onee-san and went far into the forest.
The next moment—. A red flash unfolded.
The roar of an explosion ran from far away, and the blast even reached all the way here!
……Eh? ……What? I couldn’t react to this sudden event.
The poison mist was blown away by the blast from the attack and dispersed.
“Hahahaha! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that red blast! Hyoudou Issei! An entire mountain far away from here completely vanished just now! Also, the barrier covering this area has been blown off as well!”
Tannin-ossan said that from the sky above
A mountain!? An entire mountain vanished!? I didn’t even fire it with particularly doubled power!?
[It’s the type of attack that fires the collected power from your whole aura through your hands. Since the amount you can store is still little, you can’t fire it consecutively, though.]
“Fuhahahahaha! You attained it at last! I see, I see! It’s a surge of great power! That’s the condition of a good aura!”
Ossan also had a big laugh from above. Thank you, it really is thanks to training with ossan as expected!
Rather, so the barrier also disappeared. The others outside should also have learned what’s going on here with my attack just now.
There was someone else laughing. It was Koneko-chan’s onee-san—Kuroka!
“Ha! How interesting! Then, I’ll also show you a mixed shot of youjutsu and senjutsu!”
Kuroka’s hands began to be clad in two different powers each.
Just like that, she started to shoot two different kinds of surges from both her hands! I received it right in the front!
…I felt the impact of the surge blast, but there was no pain. Smoke rose from armour but—there was no damage. My armour was still solid as usual!
“Is that all?”
Kuroka’s expression changed at my lack of damage and she was shocked.
“It didn’t work!? No way. I built up a considerable amount of spiritual power!”
I vigorously leaped forward and closed the distance between me and Kuroka instantly!
“Don’t get carried away!”
Kuroka began to shoot countless more of the surges from before, but I either ploughed through them or flicked them away, and approached right in front of her!
I lunged with my fist, but stopped it right in front of Kuroka’s nose. The surrounding air trembled from the aftershocks of stopping it, and the surrounding plants shook greatly. In front of Kuroka who was frightened by my fist attack, I spoke.
“Don’t make my cute kouhai cry.”
“If you aim at Koneko-chan again, I won’t stop my attack next time. You may be a woman and Koneko-chan’s onee-san, but you’re my enemy!”
When I pulled back my fist, Kuroka immediately sprang back and put some distance between us.
“…You damn brat!”
Kuroka cursed me, but I saw the fear in her eyes. Since the armour I wore gave off a pressure that wasn’t normal. At times like this, the impact and intensity of this full body armour was quite effective.
Bikou laughed loudly when he saw that.
“Hyahahahahahahaha! This is really interesting! Now there are two dragon bosses! It’d be a lie to say I’m not enjoying this!”
Twirling his Nyoi-Bo staff around, Bikou showed his intention to continue fighting. This guy also loves fighting just like Vali! Really, why are my enemies only like this? There are much more enjoyable things than fighting. Like being popular with girls? Because our standards of value are different, I just can’t understand their thinking!
No matter how I think about it, rubbing Buchou’s breasts is much more enjoyable than fighting!
Well, it’s fine. Beating them here shouldn’t be a problem now. Since the poison mist from before had cleared up, Buchou and Koneko-chan seemed to be slowly recovering too.
With four against two, there’s nothing we can’t do! Soon, devils who noticed something strange was going on would come to help! —But, as we prepared ourselves, a tear appeared in the space before us! W-What was that!?
Appearing from out of the tear was—a man. A young man wearing a suit. He held in his hand a sword that was releasing a holy aura to the max. W-What’s with that sword…Is it a holy sword?
“That’s far enough, Bikou, Kuroka. The devils have noticed.”
Wearing glasses, the man said this to Bikou and Kuroka. A comrade!? Give me a break, another member of the [Khaos Brigade] is joining in on the battle!
Bikou descended from the sky.
“Aren’t you Vali’s attendant?”
The man pushed up his glasses and spoke.
“Because Kuroka was being slow, I came to see. And even Bikou is here. Geez, what are you two doing?”
The man sighed.
“Everyone, don’t get near that guy! The thing he’s holding in his hand is really troublesome!”
Tannin-ossan shouted that to us.
“The holy king sword Collbrande. Also known as Caliburn. For Collbrande, called the beyond strongest holy sword, to be with the Hakuryuukou is…”
Tannin-ossan gave a bitter laugh.
The beyond strongest holy sword!? So that means he’s stronger than either Kiba or Xenovia…?
“But, two swords? The one that’s in a sheath is also a holy sword, isn’t it?”
The man pointed at the sheathed sword on his back at ossan’s questions.
“This is the final Excalibur that was recently found, the strongest of the seven Excaliburs. [Excalibur Ruler].”
—! Excalibur!? The sword that was broken in ancient times and became seven pieces!? Certainly, I had heard that there was one missing, but…Is that really it?
“To be talking like that, you’re pretty calm, aren’t you?”
The man nodded at Kuroka’s question.
“Yes, the truth is that I also have a lot of interest in the comrades of these guys. Sekiryuutei-dono, could you please give my greetings to the holy demonic sword user and the holy sword Durandal user? I’d like to face them sometime as fellow swordsmen—you know?”
—. What an audacious attitude. I wonder what Kiba and Xenovia will think when they hear of this.
“Now then, let’s retreat.”
The man then cut the air with the sword called Collbrande and another spatial tear appeared and spread out, one that several people could pass through.
The man left with just those words and the other comrades of Vali also disappeared into the spatial tear.
After that, we were cared for by all the devils who had detected trouble, and the Maou-sponsored party was hurriedly cancelled because of the [Khaos Brigade] attack.
Translator's notes and references
- "Danna", in this case, means "master", as in the person with the highest authority of the family. In this case, it is reffering to Ravel's father. Lord Phoenix.
- "Nya" and "nyan" are the Japanese equivalent of "meow", which Kuroka often adds to the end of her sentences.
- Golden cloud that Sun Goku can ride and fly on in "Journey to the West". In the Dragon Ball manga and anime, the concept of this golden cloud is reused, called the "Nimbus cloud" in English dub.
- Staff that belonged to Son Goku, which has the power to grow and extend according to this will. Also appeared in Dragon Ball.
- This refers to Son Goku's companions, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing, in the the story Journey to the West.
- Alternate Japanese names for Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing.
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