High School DxD:Volume 9 Life 1

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Life.1 Yeah, let’s go to Kyoto![edit]

Part 1[edit]

“In the future, I would like to establish a Norse magic school in Gremory territory and start a business training new Valkyries out of Devil females.”

Rossweisse-san was describing her plans for the future.

“As an Angel, I never thought I would visit the home of the upper-class Devils, what a supreme honour! This must be the grace of the Lord and...Maou-sama!”

Irina was also very happy.

As the date of the school trip loomed near, we, the Gremory servants plus Irina, were chatting with Buchou’s parents while having tea in the dining room of the Gremory home.

To commemorate the completion of her team, Buchou needed to reintroduce us all to her parents. Elegantly sipping tea while chatting, was this a hobby shared by the upper levels of society? Perhaps it was because I never had the experience of having tea and chatting surrounded by so many servants that I felt very uneasy.

“Hahaha, Rossweisse-san seems very interested in Devil industries. As the head of the Gremory family, I will look forward to your contributions.”

Buchou’s father laughed openly. As always, he acted full of noble flair. Buchou’s mother sipped some tea, put down her cup, and changed the subject.

“By the way, Ise-san and all you second years will be going on the school trip soon, right? Are you going to Kyoto in Japan?”

“Yes, yes. According to plan, we will be leaving for Kyoto immediately.”

I answered. Buchou′s mother was quite strict on manners, so I spoke every sentence with apprehension.

“Last year, Rias brought back some Japanese pickles from Kyoto which were quite tasty.”

Buchou’s mother actually ate Japanese pickles? No, Buchou ate them all the time at home. Still, I felt rather surprised at the revelation. It’s impossible to associate the noble Lady Gremory with Japanese pickles.

“I...your humble servant will bring some back from the trip.”

“Ara...that’s not what I meant... I apologize, you really don’t have to do that, no?”

Upon hearing my answer, Buchou’s mother blushed slightly and brought her hand to the corner of her mouth. This response was unexpectedly cute! After more trivial chatting, the team completion commemorative tea party ended successfully.


After the tea party, we prepared to return home via magic circle. But because Sirzechs-sama suddenly returned to the Gremory castle, we had to go greet him before leaving.

“I will go too!”

Millicas-sama also wanted to see his father, so he came with us. On a special path used only when Sirzechs-sama returned to the castle, Sirzechs-sama was meeting with someone—a certain black-haired guest. Ah, looking closely, that guest was Sairaorg-san in noble attire!

“Thank you for your hospitality. Looking good, Rias and the Sekiryuutei.”

Even under such normal circumstances, an overwhelming presence could be felt from him. His violet eyes were shining, full of spirit and determination.

“Yes, it is great that you came to greet us. You look wonderful too. —But let me apologize for my delayed greeting. Onii-sama, salutations. We heard you returned home and came to greet you.”

“Don’t sweat the formalities, it makes me uncomfortable. Thank you all.”

Sirzechs-sama picked up Millicas-sama in his arms and smiled at us. The reason he returned had to do with Sairaorg-san? If that was true, then it must be related to the upcoming match. As I puzzled over this, Buchou asked Sirzechs-sama.

“Onii-sama, Sairaorg came because...?”

“Yes, he came expressly to deliver some fruit, a specialty from the Bael territory. How thoughtful of our cousin. We were talking about how Rias should visit the Bael household to express our gratitude some time.”

Sirzechs-sama spoke. Yes, for Sirzechs-sama, Sairaorg-san was his cousin from his mother’s side. Thinking of it like that, Sairaorg-san’s status is actually quite high.

“We were talking about a few things for the next match. Rias, he has no special requests about the rules, except that all complicated restrictions be lifted from the rules of combat.”

“—”

Hearing Sirzechs-sama’s words, Buchou was surprised, but then her eyes become serious.

“Sairaorg, that is to say, no matter how many uncertain elements there are on our side, you will accept them all? Is that what you mean?”

To Buchou’s serious question, Sairaorg-san smiled fearlessly.

“That is correct. Whether it’s the Vampire that stops time, or the Sekiryuutei who reads thoughts and blows girls’ clothes away, I will take them all on. If I cannot handle your all-out attacks, how can I call myself the heir of the Bael family?”

[—!]

Sairaorg-san’s open acceptance caused all of us servants to gasp. ...What an amazing spirit and determination. This man really wanted all of us to put our all into it. With piercing eyes, Sairaorg-san gazed at Buchou, and then shifted his gaze towards me. ...It was a solemn presence that gave a chilling and frightening feeling, but utterly devoid of malevolence. There was not a single shred of evil to be felt, just pure battle spirit. This guy was a pure battle maniac just like Vali, and similarly, both of them did not carry any evil in their intentions.

“...So scary. T-there actually exists someone who wants to take on my power so actively... This makes it even more scary!”

Gasper hid behind my back, showing a scared expression. He’s right. After all, it is taking on the powerful ability of stopping time. E-Even my skills are accepted... That makes me feel so thankful! I must thank you. Watching us all along, Sirzechs-sama made a suggestion.

“Yes, there is no better opportunity than this chance encounter. Sairaorg, you once said you wanted to spar with the Sekiryuutei—Ise-kun, right?”

“That’s right, I did say that before...”

“Then, let’s just have a friendly match. Don’t you want to experience the fist of the Heavenly Dragon?”

...

Due to the suddenness, my mind was a complete blank... But after a moment, I was able to react. W-W-Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!? To have me fight Sairaorg-san right here, right now!? Really!? No, no, even if you suddenly say so...! Ignoring my wide open eyes of surprise, Sairaorg-san asked Buchou.

“Rias, what do you say?”

Buchou considered this for a moment, then answered with determination.

“...Since Onii-sama...no, Maou-sama says so, then naturally, I have no reason to refuse. Ise, is that OK?”

—!

What are you saying!? Really!? I have to go? ...Uwuwuwu, if Buchou says so, I cannot refuse... And I can’t look weak in front of Asia, Akeno-san and all the girls.

“...Yes, yes! If you don’t mind!”

I stepped forward and made such a declaration! Since things had come to this, I had no choice but to give it my all! ...After all, sooner or later, we’ll have to face the attacks of the strongest young Devil, Sairaorg-san. If that’s the case, then let me face him now to provide a useful reference in preparation for the match! Furthermore, by watching my fight with Sairaorg-san, the other servants will definitely benefit from it. As Sairaorg-san and I exchanged glances, Sirzechs-sama nodded in agreement.

“Then show me the fists of the first among the new generation of Devils and the Sekiryuutei.”

Hearing that, Sairaorg-san—

“Thank you for the opportunity. I will show it to you clearly, my fist...!”

His face showed a bold smile.

In the basement of the Gremory castle, there was a vast training hall, easily large enough to house the entire Kuoh Academy stadium. We of the Gremory and Sairaorg-san went over there together. As for Millicas-sama, Grayfia-san took him some place else to wait. In front of me, Sairaorg-san took off his fancy noble attire, leaving just a grey shirt. ...Even through the shirt, his perfect body could be clearly seen... Muscular and extremely sturdy, strongly built upper arms, huge fists. The muscles on his shoulders and back were bulging. Furthermore, he was totally handsome as well. As expected from the family of Buchou′s mother.

“Ddraig, let’s go.”

[Leave it to me.]

I summoned the gauntlet on my hand and the Balance Breaker countdown began. As long as nothing serious happened in that short time, the Balance Breaker armour could be sustained for a long period of time, but battlefields are unpredictable and I would always get nervous during the short time limit. But during the countdown, Sairaorg-san patiently waited. ...Is he that confident? It must be because he wanted to see my full strength and didn’t want to do anything unnecessary. Everyone here understood that. I cannot show cowardice in front of all the other servants, as well as Buchou. Even if I lose, I must fight to the death and lay everything out on the line... —Now, the countdown has ended!

[Welsh Dragon Balance Breaker!!!!!!!!]

As the gauntlet sounded out, it gave off a flash of red light, covering my body. The red aura took on the form of armour—Boosted Gear Scale Mail!

Pak!

Giant dragon wings spread from behind my back and I readied for attack. With a flowing motion, Sairaorg-san also entered a stance. ...Though I have already seen the match video between Sairaorg-san and the delinquent from the Glasya-Labolas family, Sairaorg-san’s speed was still faster than expected. Even god-speed Kiba would feel threatened by this speed. Probably, it is faster than me. ...I cannot keep letting my opponents make the first move. I must take the initiative with suicidal abandon!

GOooooOOOO!

Firing up my back boosters to the max, I fly straight forward! Preparing a straight right punch, I thrust forward! Next is the fist in one motion—! ...Why isn’t he dodging!? Faced with my formidable straight punch, Sairaorg-san was not making any effort to evade! Bastard! Are you saying there is no need to dodge!? Fine, you can take my punch head on!

Crash!

With a deafening sound, my straight right punch made contact with Sairaorg-san’s face! —! H-he really didn’t dodge! Not only that, it was a clean and perfect hit!

A chill. At the instant of contact, I suddenly felt an indescribable chill, forcing me to rapidly take several steps back. After distancing myself, I put up a stance to attack again. ...Sairaorg-san’s body showed no signs of injury. ...Wait a minute. I put quite a lot of force into that straight punch... Though Boost wasn’t used, to think he is completely unhurt without defending. Sairaorg-san pointed at the part where he got hit and smiled.

“An excellent punch. Straight and to the point, a pure punch full of strong will. A normal Devil would have lost to such a punch. But—”

Sairaog-san vanished before my eyes—

“—I am no ordinary Devil.”

Sairaorg-san’s voice and fist next came from behind my back!

Crash! Kaching!

Sairaorg-san’s fist pounded towards me! —! When did he get behind my back!? Damn it! Though I raised my arms to defend, the heavy force of the punch was shocking! Even though the attack was caught by my crossed arms... but the gauntlet! The gauntlet portion of the armour was destroyed by the punch just now!? My body having completely lost balance, I quickly pulled away by shooting demonic power out through the back boosters.

...So fast! My eyes couldn’t follow him at all! By the way, he vanished! I thought my eyes were used to catching high speed motions from training with Kiba! Did I underestimate him? Perhaps a bit. But still, I knew that wasn’t the only reason. By the way, my arms were numb and had no feeling! For my arms to become like that from the impact of the gauntlets’ destruction just now... No, at least my fingers can still move. I can still fight! My bones are still OK!

Ddraig, please regenerate the gauntlets.

[Ah, understood.]

Red aura surrounded my arms and the gauntlets were formed once again. Sairaorg-san gave an impressed smile.

“Hoho. You didn’t get sent flying. Well, that was just a hello punch.”

...A hello punch!? A hello punch destroyed my armour!? W-what kind of joke is this!? This is the first time anyone broke apart Boosted Gear Scale Mail with just their bare hands!

“I have three weapons; strongly built body, fast legs and martial arts. Here I come!”

Sairaorg-san vanished again! The side!? My opponent has instantly appeared beside me! I shrank back to avoid Sairaorg-san’s attack on my body—

Howling!

It was the sound of the punch breaking through the wind! What amazing force from the punch!

Creak...

With a blunt sound, cracks appeared on my armour near the abdomen! How can this be!? Simply brushing past was enough to crack it open!?

“Damn it!”

I cursed and punched back.

Crash!

But Sairaorg-san took it with his face again without dodging! No damage!

Go!

Feeling a counter-attack coming, I pulled back again that instant using the thrusters to jump back. The vigorous sound of air rushing was heard. Sairaorg-san’s kick missed...but the force of the missed kick caused huge cracks to appear from the center of the training hall that rose along the four walls! If that kick were to hit... I felt shivers along my spine. —With that, I was already panting. Just a few exchanges and it was already clear. —Extremely strong. Unimaginable. How can this Devil be from the same generation as Buchou and Diodora Astaroth!? He is far stronger than Diodora!

[Ah, this really surprises me. This man from the Bael family has trained his power to the max. Using Rating Game types, this is a power type who has kept increasing offensive power again and again. How interesting. A man who pursues pure destructive power. Totally extreme. It makes me very interested.]

Wow, Ddraig showing an interest towards someone apart from Maou and other Dragons. True, this was someone so strong that Diodora is entirely no match for him. Perhaps he is stronger than Rias several fold, no, more than ten fold. The Devil born in the Great King’s family without inheriting the Power of Destruction. With nothing but his body, his only choice was to train his body and successfully became the heir. He was like me, a Devil without inborn talent. —This was not the result of short term half-assed training. And to think this young Devil was from the same generation as Buchou. ...Buchou truly was in a difficult situation to compete with such a person. Sairaorg-san is definitely a massive wall obstructing Buchou’s dreams. Furthermore, he is an even higher and steeper, absolute wall in front of my dreams.

“Amazing.”

I said it naturally. From that brief exchange, I was already full of intense respect and admiration.

“So you can reach this level of strength completely through training?”

Faced with my question, Sairaorg-san replied.

“—I just believe in my own body, that’s all.”

Truly an amazing character. This sentence made me understand that this person must have conquered unimaginable obstacles and hardships. And because of that, I must attempt to give my all and test my own limits. Even if it is me, I cannot admit defeat!

...This was a good chance to try out Beelzebub-sama’s suggestion. After Beelzebub-sama helped me to adjust the pieces within my body, he also made a personal suggestion. About me and the pieces—

“Promotion to Rook!”

I made the declaration, promoting to Rook. Yes, Rook, not Queen. Power flowed into my body. With that, offensive and defensive power rose accordingly!

“The Rook?”

Sairaorg-san showed a surprised expression towards my promotion. He must have expected me to promote to Queen. Sairaorg-san then disappeared once again! —It’s coming! I sent power into the legs and entered a defensive stance as if my feet were rooted to the floor! Gritting my teeth, I wrapped my body in aura!

[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!]

Using the Dragon’s power, I enhanced my defense! I also didn’t forget to power up my right fist at the same time—

Crash!

Sairaorg-san appeared from the front, and sent a heavy punch into my abdomen. —A powerful impact! The force of the punch penetrates straight into my backbone!

...Cough.

Spreading throughout my entire body was intense pain as well as a feeling like everything was drying out! The impact transmitted straight to my feet, with my legs trembling non-stop... Thanks to having lowered my center of gravity, I withstood it. Though my consciousness was nearly lost at one point, I returned to full awareness! If I hadn’t gritted my teeth and struggled to endure it, my consciousness would definitely have been overburdened and lost! The abdomen armour... Though damaged, it has not been completely shattered. Aiming at the exact instant when Sairaorg-san withdrew his fist, I once again sent a powerful straight punch into Sairaorg-san’s face!

Crash!

Though it felt like punching a thick stone wall, I felt through my hand a tiny feeling of something cracking.

Spurt!

Fresh blood came out of Sairaorg-san, but at the same time—

Choke!

Blood also spurted out from the mask area of my helmet. Blood was rising from my abdomen and vomiting out of my mouth. ...How much damage have I taken from that punch to the belly...? Ribs must be cracked, perhaps broken? Just the act of breathing caused intense pain all over the body. But I endured it...! My armour and I made it through! Lately, all these enemies have been characters who could penetrate my armour with ease and made me think about focusing my energy towards defense. Well, this was a natural feeling when I keep fighting with all these existences that were stronger than me. However, diverting power to defense was an interesting thing to try. Though it hurt like hell, it made this clear; as long as the Sacred Gear’s power was used flexibly for defense, it is possible to take the attack of a super Power-type head-on and survive. At the same time as withstanding the attack, switching from full defense to counter-attacking was also key. See, Sairaorg-san had a nosebleed. ...Finally, a decent counter-attack. This was it. Though it wasn’t always useful, this was my everything. Promotion to Rook to enhance attack and defense had proven its worth.

—It works! I can fight with this man! Incredible new strength and motivation flowed into me simply from realizing that. Well, no matter how you look at it, it’s me who got more injured, but it is no longer the case that I cannot injure him. Perhaps, even if I lose, I can break an arm of his. Though I currently cannot defeat him, but at this level, let me give it my all! Sairaorg-san wiped the blood off his nose with his fingers. As if delighted from the bottom of his heart, he smiled.

“...Promotion to Rook, eh? Looks like it wasn’t a wrong decision. I put quite a bit of power into that punch. Your attack and defense were excellent as a Rook. Perhaps the Rook, which specializes in offense and defense, rather than the all-rounder Queen, is better suited to a Power-type like you. ...What is it? I see questioning in your eyes. You have a question about our fight?”

“No, how should I put it...? Those upper-class Devils often...umm, look down on me... But Sairaorg-san has been serious from the start. It’s surprising.”

This man, I can feel he approved of me from the very beginning. All this time, Riser, Diodora and other upper-class Devils, none of them gave me any respect, so the current situation makes me feel refreshed, yet a little shy. Upon hearing my words, Sairaorg-san let out a sigh.

“So that’s why. You have been underestimated all this time. Don’t worry, I will not underestimate you! After having survived and won a direct battle against the Old Maou Faction, as well as Loki, the Norse God of Evil, I have no reason to look down on you."

These words...made me tremble with delight. Sairaorg-san made a fearless smile.

“Fighting you also makes me happy. Your punches are pretty good. It’s been a long time since I’ve been punched to a nosebleed. Facing a similar type is what makes me happiest. Your punch must have been trained. It is something that can be understood after being hit. Don’t worry and try to hit me with your full strength. Isn’t that the reason why you are standing here?”

I felt myself completely taken by Sairaorg-san’s charismatic smile.

Approving of me. ...This bastard. When clearly he is an opponent that I must beat... You truly are an opponent I must have a good long chat with after the match! I extend my fist and enter a stance! Abdominal armour recovered! I will take back the promise to break his arm just now! —Even if I lose, I will break both his arms! This is my response to you here, giving my best effort!

“Come! Hyoudou Issei! Just focus on beating me! Show me the power of the Sekiryuutei!”

“OK, here I come!”

[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!]

I fired off a Dragon Shot towards Sairaorg-san, who was charging straight on.

Smack! Crash!

With a single brush of his fist in a horizontal sweep, Sairaorg-san deflected my Dragon Shot into the wall of the training hall. No effect! After all, it wasn’t the Bishop, so my magic is too weak! Right now, I am the Rook! I must go with a fistfight all the way! Now is the time to defend against a counter-attack!

I held both fists in a stance in front of me, facing Sairaorg-san straight on!

“—! You want to exchange blows with me!? Interesting! Just try it!”

As Sairaorg-san roared at me, I took a leap forward—

“Ise-san!”

Suddenly, Asia cried out. What happened? I shifted my gaze over and Asia continued.

“R-recharge! After touching br-br-br-br-breasts, Ise-san will become more powerful!”

...Eh? Everyone was shocked by Asia’s words. And then, Xenovia went ‘Hah!’, as if she understood, and continued from where the conversation left off.

“Yes, that’s right! Ise is the Oppai Dragon! His power surely increases after touching our breasts! Buchou! Please fulfill the duty of the Switch Princess right here!”

“Rias onee-sama! I-I won’t mind! Please, give Ise-san the power of br-br-breasts! If this continues, he will lose!”

Xenovia and Asia begged Buchou in earnest. On the other hand, Buchou showed a troubled expression due to the sudden request. ...Asia! Xenovia! I know you don’t want me to lose, but don’t go yelling out breasts in such a loud voice! But the two of them were completely serious. Asia’s eyes were full of tears.

“T-that’s the truth! As long as he has Buchou’s breasts, Senpai can become infinitely powerful!”

Even Gasper! Really, has my cute junior been looking at me with such eyes!?

“Yes! Sexual desires are Ise-kun’s source of power!”

Even Irina! ...Still, everyone cares so much about me. It must be because they don’t want to see me lose. It felt complicated, but comforting somehow.

“...Really, touching breasts will give a power up? I thought it was just a rumour.”

Even Sairaorg-san is asking this!?

“...It’s true.”

Koneko-chan confirms decisively! Sorry, I am a pervert! I am the Chichiryuutei!

“Ufufu, what are you going to do? Rias?”

Akeno was smiling at Buchou with a subtle expression.

“...D-do you want to touch...? I-if you want to become stronger, I-I can...”

Onee-sama’s face was all red as she asked me! Buchooooou! Really!? Even in front of your cousin!? If it’s really OK, I will fondle to get stronger!

“Is this how it works every time? Hmm, I’ve never seen such a custom among the Asgard.”

Rossweisse-san was speaking with a frozen expression! She has made a very big misunderstanding!

I bet Kiba was laughing awkwardly, going ara, ara!

“Pu...puhahahahahahahahaha!”

Sairaorg-san heartily laughed, as if very much amused.

“So that’s the case. Touching Rias’s breasts will make you stronger. Hohoho, I will remember it. —Sekiryuutei, let’s continue another time.”

Sairaorg-san made such a suggestion.

“I can still fight!”

I can fight as long as I touch breasts! With my pervert nature, the current me might possibly win!

“Your spirit is great. I too, can still fight—but if this continues I won’t be able to stop myself. I will fight to the very last blow, which would be quite a shame. After all, aren’t you in the process of awakening something inside you?”

My efforts to explore my own possibilities throughout the battle have been discovered? Sairaorg-san put on his noble’s attire, walked up to me and placed his hand on my shoulder.

“Let’s wait until you finish your awakening. Fight in your best condition. That is the fight I am looking for with the Sekiryuutei. Our duel will conclude within the future Rating Game in front of all the VIPs, as well as the common crowd, to determine our ratings. Whether it is you or I, we both have our own dreams, so let us meet again at the match. Rias and Rias’s servants, see you next time on the stage carrying our dreams. Come at me with everything you’ve got, and I will beat you with my full strength.”

Leaving those words, Sairaorg-san took his leave with Sirzechs-sama and departed. The tension of the battle dissipated as I released the armour. Sirzechs-sama came over and asked.

“How were his attacks?”

“...Too similar. It was so similar to my own fist that it shocked me.”

Sirzechs-sama smiled as he nodded.

“Yes, the same as you. In order to compensate for his inadequacies, he trained with everything he had. This is how he obtained such power. Completely direct attacks. This is what Devils lack in general.”

Really, Sairaorg-san is so similar to me. Foolishly direct. The same type. Hence our mutual understanding. —This was the only way. Attack. Defeat the enemy. And so, that man has been training himself so hard.

"By the way, in the fight just now, he already cast seals to apply heavy loads on both his arms and legs."

...Sirzechs-sama revealing the truth made me both shocked and excited. —No matter how strong I get, that man will always stay in front of me. It was good to have a target. It gave value to struggling hard. Sirzechs-sama continued to explain.

“He has already reached the level of experienced Kings in the Rating Game. He has also stopped the terrorist activities of the Khaos Brigade many times. However, Ise-kun is also amazing as one of the few who fought against Sairaorg without losing their will to fight. There have been numerous cases where Sairaorg’s opponents have completely lost their will to fight ever again. Finding their prized demonic powers useless against him, these proud Devils take a huge hit to their self-esteem when they are defeated by a bare physical body. Upper-class Devils have a lot pride, but find it difficult to recover when faced with defeat.”

“I...just don’t want to lose again. I don’t want to lose another Rating Game. I have never won in an official match.”

Diodora’s match doesn’t count. I gave him a sound beating, but that was not official. Riser’s match, Sona-kaichou’s match, I lost both times.

“So, next time, I definitely—”

Against the Bael family, I definitely will survive till the end and obtain victory. Sairaorg-san, I will defeat you and surpass you. Please wait patiently while I catch up. I swallowed my regret and renewed my determination.


"Ise-oniisama. When Rias-oneesama graduates from high school, are you still going to call her ‘Buchou’?”

Just as I was about to go home, cute little Millicas-sama tilted his head, asking that question.

...That...well, if Buchou graduates... How should I call Buchou then? Come to think of it, the two onee-samas in their third year will be leaving the Occult Research Club in the near future. If that’s the case, there will be a new Buchou. ...Is that so? I...will no longer be able to call Buchou ‘Buchou’ any more... How should I call Buchou by that time? Rias-oneesama? Or is ‘Master’ most appropriate? ...But, there is one name that I wish to use the most.

—Rias.

Because she is family living together, because she is the one I love the most. If only once, I wish to call her that.

Part 2[edit]

It was the day of the school trip.

From last night, I had been unable to sleep due to excitement. When Buchou discovered it, I ended up sleeping soundly in her gentle embrace.

Originally burying my face in her bosom was enough to make me temporarily forget about the school trip and sleep well, but due to the extreme excitement, I was unable to sleep for a short while! Truly, Buchou’s breast pillow was the best!

After this and that, our scene changed to the waiting area of the Tokyo bullet train station. The group has gathered in a corner of the waiting area, out of earshot of the others.

Of the ones staying behind, only Buchou came to see us off. Though Akeno-san, Koneko-chan and Gasper wanted to come, the first and third years had normal classes. Since they were not allowed to fall behind in school, only Buchou came to the station. By the way, about the preparations for the school festival, the first and third years have no choice but to cover the shares of us second years. As for what the Occult Research Club plans to do for the festival, it is a secret.

“Here, this is a pass for each of you.”

As we second years were about to leave, Buchou was handing out to us something like a card. Everyone took one and confirmed it.

“This is the legendary...?”

Kiba asked and Buchou nodded.

“Yes, this is required for Devils to enjoy Kyoto, the so-called ‘free bus pass’.”

Since most of Kyoto’s sights are temples, or in other words, Kyoto is full of sites heavy in spiritual power, this normally caused all sorts of inconveniences for Devils. After all, shrines and temples are normally taboo for Devils. However, Devils can move freely using this pass which was issued by existences (like Onmyoji and Youkai) from the Kyoto office in charge of affairs there. Of course, a valid reason was required beforehand.

“We used the same kind of pass last year. As long as there is a legitimate reason, they will issue passes even to Devils. Gremory servants, Sitri servants and Heaven’s messenger, do you realize how fortunate it is to have certain forces backing you all?”

Buchou winked and I cheered.

“Wonderful! Long live the Gremory! With this, we can visit the temples of Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji?”

“Yes. Just keep it in your skirt or a pocket in your uniform and you will be able to enter those famous sights. Enjoy your sightseeing there.”

“ “ “ “ “ “Yes!” ” ” ” ” ”

After responding, we immediately placed the cards in our pockets. With that, things were OK now.

Asia’s mobile phone rang.

“Hello. Kiryuu-san? Yes, Xenovia-san and Irina-san are together with me.”

It seemed to be Kiryuu-san calling. Asia bowed to Buchou after taking the call.

“Then, Rias onee-sama, we will be taking our leave!”

“We are going.”

“We are going now!”

“Yes, take care.”

Asia, Xenovia and Irina bid Buchou farewell and turned to leave. Are they making final confirmations? I seemed to have packed handkerchiefs, tissues and underwear properly, but let me go check again later.

“Then, it’s about time for me to go. I will bring souvenirs back.”

Kiba also bowed and turned towards where his class was gathering. That left only me and Buchou. Buchou began to adjust my collar.

“Collar. Take care of your appearance. Even in Kyoto, don’t forget you are a student of Kuoh Academy.”

“Yes, yes!”

Having adjusted my collar, Buchou leaned her face against my shoulder.

“Buchou?”

“...Even though I’ve been trying to hide it, I am the same as Akeno. I will be very lonely during the days you are gone. Still, even if it’s like this, I have improved a bit. In the first term, I really couldn’t bear having you away from my side, but now I can at least endure not seeing you for a short while.”

Buchou... Perhaps she lavished too much affection towards me all the time? Was that why she felt sad about being separated from me? And recently, she really treated me like true family. Certain rare expressions and actions have appeared more naturally from her nowadays. I held Buchou’s hands and smiled.

“That’s a bit exaggerated. Even if I’m not here, there is Koneko-chan and Gasper.”

“I know. But...you still haven’t realized your own attraction. But then again, I like that about you too.”

As Buchou smiled bitterly, she drew her face near—and our lips pressed together.

“—”

...My ability to think went completely out the window, my face turned red, and I remained motionless! Because! Because...! This was such a sudden kiss!

“Bu-bu-buchou.”

Buchou smiled cutely at my shocked state and stuck out her tongue.

“This is a goodbye kiss. What are you panicking for? It’s not even the first time we kissed. Let’s just say that even if you were to initiate the kiss, it’s totally fine.”

“But, but even if you say that...! Still, it’s shocking!”

Hearing my response, Buchou showed a regretful smile and said.

“I am satisfied with this. Even if you are in Kyoto, I will be able to endure the loneliness. Take care, Ise.”

“Understood! I will take my leave!”

Buchou’s kiss! The best! Ah, I am being so spoiled by her... This felt like some kind of lucky omen! This trip will be a blast!

And so, we began the school trip!


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