High School DxD:Volume 9 Life 4
Life.4 Showdown, Gremory Group VS Hero Faction! In Kyoto.
“Ah, I really stuffed myself! They even had a buffet combining Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine. We are so lucky to be students of Kuoh Academy!”
“That is so true.”
After dinner and soaking in the bath, Matsuda and Motohama lazed about in their room, their faces filled with happy satisfaction. After the battle at Togetsukyou, we visited Nijou Castle, and then returned to the hotel. I was now in their room. Tomorrow will be the last day of the trip, which will mostly consist of buying souvenirs to bring back. Thus, we decided to use this room to prepare the flat-screen TV for reviewing the photos we have taken so far.
“Pardon our intrusion. The beautiful quartet has arrived after a bath, perverts.”
Kiryuu announced as she led Asia and the rest into the room, all in their sleepwear.
“Oh, oh, oh! Asia-chan in pajamas after a bath is the best! Let’s begin!”
Matsuda enthusiastically pressed ‘play’, and the slideshow began on the TV. The first photos were taken on the bullet train, then Kyoto station, and then the hotel. Other than that, there was Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera and everywhere else. All the scenery we photographed over the past three days in Kyoto was displayed one by one on the TV.
“That was the time when Motohama almost fell down from the stairs.”
“Matsuda, isn’t that the time you tried to swallow the snacks at the booth all at once and they got stuck in your throat?”
“I say, you two, stop staring at girls from other schools with lewd gazes every time. For you guys to bring those perverted expressions all the way to Kyoto... It really looks bad on our school.”
Everyone burst out laughing whenever Matsuda, Motohama and Kiryuu shared their memories. —This was the precious school trip experience. As I immersed myself in the joy of the review party, I quietly clenched my fist. No matter what happens, I will face the next day with everyone. And everyone will go back together, back to Kuoh Academy...
After enjoying the photos, it was bedtime. The Gremory group plus Irina, the Sitri servants, Azazel-sensei and Leviathan-sama all gathered in my room. We were now using my room to discuss tonight’s upcoming events. Tonight, the Hero Faction’s experiment was going to take place at Nijou Castle. ...By the way, the room was too small, so everyone had to stand. That was to be expected. After all, we were fitting more than ten people in a room the size of eight tatami mats. Xenovia and Irina were participating in the discussion while sitting in the closet... You two like that narrow space so much? After being so drunk during the day, Rossweisse-san’s face was quite pale, but she still insisted on joining. Though I heard that she drank her own sobering medicine and recovered, she still doesn’t look too well... Sensei glanced at everyone, and then began. A map of the entire Kyoto area was spread out over the centre of the room.
“So, let’s start explaining our battle plan. The area centred around Nijou Castle and Kyoto station is now in a state of high alert. All Devils and Fallen Angels stationed in Kyoto have been mobilized to search for suspicious characters. The Kyoto Youkai are also providing us with assistance. Though we still haven’t confirmed the movements of the Hero Faction, we have successfully detected an ominous presence concentrating at the centre of Nijou Castle.”
“An ominous presence?”
Kiba asked Sensei.
“Yes. From ancient times, Kyoto was a city constructed using the principles of Yin-Yang and Feng Shui like a large-scale magic circle. As a result, there are many special power spots, like Seimei Shrine’s Seimei Well, Suzumushi Temple’s Kofuku-Jizo, Fushimi Inari’s pine tree Hizamatsu-san and others. Locations with incredible auras are too many to count. However, the flow has currently gone turbulent and is gathering at Nijou Castle.”
Saji swallowed a mouthful of spit and asked.
“W-What will happen?”
“No idea, but it’s definitely not something good. Since they plan on using the Kyuubi leader who controls the ley lines of this city to carry out some kind of experiment, we will use this key point as the basis of the entire plan.”
Hearing Sensei’s words, everyone nodded. And then, Sensei officially began explaining the plan to us.
“First are the Sitri servants. You will be on guard in the area around Kyoto station. Guarding this hotel is also your job. The hotel itself already has a strengthened barrier, so if anything happens, there will be a safeguard. Still, if anyone suspicious approaches, you Sitri servants will be responsible for handling them.”
The entire Sitri group replied.
“Next is the Gremory group plus Irina. I’m really sorry for putting you all on the spot every time, but you guys will be the main offence. In a short while, you will advance towards Nijou Castle. To be honest, the number of opponents and their powers are still unclear at this point. It could very well turn out to be a dangerous gamble. Your first priority is to rescue Yasaka-hime. Once you succeed, pull out immediately. After all, they have already announced they are using Yasaka-hime for an experiment. ...Still, there is a high chance that it was just a bluff, though with Cao Cao’s attitude, it could very well be true. Perhaps this was the reason why he was so eager to have us involved.”
“T-Then do we have enough battle power?”
I asked. Though we are the main offence, even with Irina, we only had five people. Recalling the battle power of the Hero Faction, it was clearly not enough!
“Don’t worry, I already enlisted some anti-terrorist experts beforehand. They have been the strongest reinforcements in many bloody battles against the Khaos Brigade. With them, the chances of success will increase substantially.”
“Just think of them as exceptional beings for now. This is good news.”
Sensei smiled happily, the corner of his lips rising. Since Sensei said so, they must be really powerful, right? Who could it be? It can’t be Buchou or Akeno-san, right? Or even the Satan Rangers? ...Impossible. But then again, in this kind of situation, please come, Satan Rangers!
“Finally, some bad news. This time, we only obtained three bottles of Phoenix Tears.”
“Only three bottles!? That is totally not enough! And our enemies are terrorists!”
Saji cried out in terror and asked Sensei.
“Yes, I understand. But due to the Khaos Brigade’s terrorist activities all over the world, Phoenix Tears have been in great demand. All the strategic strongholds of the various factions have less than ideal supplies. From the very beginning, the Tears were never something that could be mass-produced easily. The Phoenix family has been extremely busy. What was originally a valuable commodity has become even more precious with jacked-up prices. Among Devils, it has even been suggested that the Rating Game should amend its rules about the usage of tears. You should know this as it may affect your future Rating Games.”
...Wow. Things have really become serious. However, this was only natural. The more terrorist activity there is, the more people will end up getting hurt. Hence, as a recovery tool, it was natural for Tear demand to rise. Rather, it should be said that it was inevitable. Sensei continued.
“This is a secret, but now the various factions have banded together and redoubled efforts to find users of Twilight Healing. Though it is a rare Sacred Gear, it’s not unique, and our investigations have discovered there are several others apart from Asia. Finding them will be a great advantage, as well as denying the Khaos Brigade their use. Letting them gain powerful healers will be very unfavourable. However, the current Beelzebub, Ajuka, has also been carrying out personal research on new ways of recovery... That’s about all I can say. There is also the Grigori’s own research on recovery-type artificial Sacred Gears. In fact, Asia has been secretly helping us out on our research, and promising results have been obtained repeatedly.”
I-I had no idea all along! Since it was a secret, I guess they had to keep me in the dark... I see, Asia has also been helping the Underworld behind the scenes. What a great girl! She is truly my honour and my pride! Asia has insisted on training all along, so if a good opportunity arises, will she one day become a Balance Breaker user? I really wanted to know what she could do when that happens.
“So that’s the situation. These Tears will be divided, with two of the going to the main offence, the Gremory team. One will be given to the Sitri team. Please use them with care.”
Everyone answered. And then, Sensei turned to Saji.
“Saji, you will fight along with the Gremory servants.”
Saji pointed at himself. Though it was an unexpected arrangement, he immediately understood his mission.
“...Will I use the Dragon King?”
“Yes, that is correct. Your Vritra, Dragon King state will be very useful. The black flames can seal the movements of enemies, as well as absorb their power. Just like the fight against Loki last time, you will support the Gremory group.”
“T-That's not a problem. But I will easily lose my consciousness and go out of control in that state.”
“No problem. Ise will help you regain control just like the last time against Loki. Ise, just think of some words to say during that time. Since you are the Heavenly Dragon, show me that you control the Dragon King.”
After all, I’ve done it once already. When the time comes, I will help Saji. Irina raised her hand.
“Have the other factions been informed?”
This was a pressing concern. What was the situation now? Earlier, I was barred from reporting to Buchou.
“Of course. Outside Kyoto, large numbers of Devils, Angels, Fallen Angels and Youkai have gathered. In order to prevent the escape of the culprits, a barricade has been set. If possible, it would be best to capture them all using this opportunity.”
Leviathan-sama added to Sensei’s words and continued.
“I will be in charge of directing and coordinating the forces outside Kyoto☆. If any bad kids try to run, the various factions and I will destroy them.”
Though Leviathan-sama spoke in a relaxed tone, I knew that if a situation arises, she can really go all out...
“Also, I have contacted Sona at Kuoh Academy. They are willing to provide whatever support they can offer.”
Wow, Kaichou and Fuku-kaichou have also begun to take action on their side! Then, that leaves our side’s onee-sama and dear juniors...
“Sensei, what about our Buchou and the rest?”
Sensei furrowed his brow at my question.
“Yes, I wanted to tell them...but it looks like the time is not right. They are currently back in Gremory territory.”
Sensei nodded in response.
“There are reports of riots in some city located within Gremory territory. They have most likely gone to handle that.”
R-Riots! Could it be the Khaos Brigade!? And it was only Buchou and the rest of the club! I was worried to the extreme, but Sensei gave me a wry smile.
“They were incited by some Old Maou supporters. It looks like there was a group which did not have direct communications with the Khaos Brigade. Even so, their causing trouble is an undeniable truth, so the girls have taken action. After all, it will be their territory in the future. Also, I have received news that Grayfia-san is participating. Yes, since Grayfia-san is taking action, those rioters can kiss their asses goodbye. I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but it is rumoured that even the current family head’s wife, Lady Gremory, is present at the scene. Once infuriated, the Gremory ladies are quite a force to be reckoned with.”
Sensei deliberately shivered as he spoke. Ah, so not only Grayfia-san, but even Buchou’s mother has taken action! Buchou, Buchou’s mother, Grayfia-san. Knowing it’s those three is really reassuring. Perhaps because all the Gremory ladies give off such a reliable feeling.
“Ara, ‘The Flaxen-haired Madame of Extinction’, the ‘Crimson-haired Ruin Princess’ and the ‘Silver-haired Queen of Annihilation’ have gathered in one spot☆. Hmph, that will teach those rioters a good lesson.”
Leviathan-sama happily listed out three very ominous titles! Extinction, ruin, annihilation... What were these, they sounded like ‘Untouchable Queen’ or something like that. ...T-The Gremory ladies all have these fearsome nicknames... Looks like Buchou’s father and Sirzechs-sama’s private lives must be very subdued under their wives...
“...You too, will have a worrisome future.”
Sensei placed his hand on my shoulder and repeatedly nodded. ...W-What was the meaning of that? Though I don’t quite understand it, I will never make Buchou angry? P-Probably... Sensei cleared his throat, and turned to everyone once more.
“So these are the plans I proposed. I will also search for those terrorists directly from the skies. So everyone will be taking their positions in one hour. If you find anything suspicious, report to one another immediately. And try not to die. Until the moment you get home, a school trip is still a school trip. We will protect Kyoto with our lives. Understood?”
The strategy meeting ended with everyone’s response. After the battle preparations, I came to the lobby. I had agreed to meet Asia and the rest here, but no-one else was here yet. Oh, Sensei and Rossweisse-san were sitting in the seats over there. Sensei stood up after spotting me.
“Ise, come over here.”
What was it? I was feeling curious when Sensei took something out from his pocket. It was something like a red jewel that gave off light. Sensei spoke.
“It was just now. There was another molester incident just outside the hotel. I happened to be on the scene, so I beat up the guy who wanted to fondle women’s breasts... And then this thing came out from his body. I was thinking if it could be...”
...A-A jewel from a molester’s body...? Why are you giving it to me? By the way, ever since we arrived in Kyoto, molester incidents seemed to have become especially frequent.
[That jewel is—]
Ddraig's voice sounded out for Sensei and me to hear.
“What is it, Ddraig?”
[Oh, this came from the box and escaped from your body during the bullet train ride.]
W-What are you saying!? It’s this!? This jewel!?
“Just as I thought. We analysed this jewel and found your energy within it.”
Sensei nodded as if his suspicions were confirmed. I had reported to Sensei about what happened when I dived into the Sacred Gear on the first day. Though Sensei tried using his resources to help me look for it, nothing came out of it. I received the jewel from Sensei. ...Hmm. ...Even though I was holding it in my hand, there wasn’t any obvious change...? What is going on, Ddraig?
[Yes, no mistake about it. I can feel our pulse from it. No, wait... What is this?]
However, Ddraig’s voice suddenly became depressed.
[...I investigated a bit about this jewel... The contents of the box, your potential...it has been passed around Kyoto through all sorts of different people—b-by touching others’ breasts.]
...! Y-You, what are you saying...? I began to doubt my ears as I heard those incomprehensible words, but beside me, Sensei was laughing wryly as if he figured it out.
“Oh, so that’s why. The numerous molester incidents these past few days, they occurred due to your potential. This jewel has been using people as a medium to pass around Kyoto. Whether man or woman, as long as they come into contact with this jewel, they become obsessed with touching breasts.”
“R-really!? How can this be...? So the series of molester incidents in Kyoto were all due to my potential...?”
Because I am the Oppai Dragon, because I really love breasts, the potential contained in the box became related to breasts...? The first one was definitely Matsuda. He sat in front of me on the bullet train and wanted to grope Motohama’s chest. And since then, it had been passing between different people in Kyoto, and then finally landed here. Something like that. Let me first apologise to all the molesters and victims. Actually, all the molesters turned out to be victims in this case!
“So, Ddraig, what’s the situation with this jewel?”
After all, so much has happened before it came back to me. There should be something, right? I must have gained something, right? But—
[...No idea. Its power is definitely stronger... B-But power gained from touching the chests of various people in this city, this... Is this really OK, your potential...?]
Don’t say anything more! Even I have no idea! Who could have thought things would turn out like this!?
“...To have made so much trouble for the people of Kyoto... Ise-kun really must find a way to compensate all these victims who were arrested as molesters.”
Rossweisse-san solemnly declared. Of course, since they were arrested while being innocent, they must be helped, or else that would be totally unfair!
“I will think of a way. But I wonder if Ise’s potential is trying to gather some kind of special power? For example, Ise’s body contains something other than demonic and dragon power. Perhaps it’s something like ‘breast power’...? If it’s Ise, it could very well be possible.”
Sensei spoke softly, deep in thought. ‘Breast power’... Does such a thing exist?
“Really, trying to save people on one hand, while creating trouble for others on the other. You truly are impossible to comprehend, Ise-kun... Hmmmmm, I feel like vomiting...”
Despite covering her mouth with her hands while trying not to puke, Rossweisse-san was relentless in criticising. Sensei sighed.
“Are you OK? But this goes for you too. After getting all drunk and out of control, and vomiting non-stop back at the hotel, I feel like you’re not in any position to lecture others...”
“I-I don’t want to be criticised by you! It’s all because you were drinking in that kind of place during daytime... Oooh, I’m going to puke...”
“Anyway, I apologise. So, are you really OK?”
“...Let me go to the washroom.”
Ah, Rossweisse-san ran into the washroom after all! Is she really OK?
“...The vomiting Valkyrie. Anyway, as the owner, why don’t you hold on to that jewel, Ise? Who knows whether its power might leak for one reason or another.”
So said Sensei. ...True, it’s probably best for me to hold on to it. I can’t cause any more trouble for the residents of Kyoto! But then, what should I do to make the jewel react? And it looked like Ddraig has no idea either, so I’ll just keep it for now? Welcome home, my cute potential. Ah, that’s right. I had one more thing I wanted to ask Sensei before the battle.
“What is it?”
“What kind of person is Cao Cao? I mean, the one in Records of the Three Kingdoms.”
This was because I didn’t know the Records of the Three Kingdoms very well. However, if the opponent was the descendant of Cao Cao, I’d better find out a bit more beforehand.
“So, how do you interpret him?”
Sensei asked me instead. I scratched my face as I explained what I knew.
“...Uh, he was Liu Bei’s opponent, a villain, right?”
He was the enemy leader who stood in Liu Bei’s way. That was the image presented in the manga and puppet shows I saw on television when I was young. Sensei smiled wryly after hearing my response.
“Your impressions are coloured by the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Though the real Cao Cao did kill many innocents, he was responsible for important political developments, and his most important feature was gathering and developing human talent.”
“Yes. No matter their family background, Cao Cao would use anyone as long as they were capable. Due to this, the state of Wei became a strong meritocracy. The Hero Faction’s Cao Cao has also set his eyes on gathering talent, but, ironically, with strong prejudice. It is reported that he recruited all sorts of special ability users. However, the current Cao Cao differs from his ancestor in that he focuses on humans alone. With neither Devils nor Angels under him, he gathers all kinds of talent, but limited to humans only. This is the only principle the Hero Faction stubbornly maintains, and it is most incomprehensible. And to reach their goals, they will even use brainwashing to create members for terrorism. To increase the number of Balance Breakers and develop Annihilation Maker through terrorism is going a bit too far.”
Humans. I was a Devil, and my opponents were now humans. In this area, I seem to have accepted things quite openly in my battles. What was surprising was that dilemmas like ‘the enemy is human, and although I am a Devil now, I used to be human too’ did not occupy my mind at all. Me becoming a Devil was already an unchangeable reality, and since I’ve been attracted to the Devil lifestyle, I have embraced my new life wholeheartedly and charged forward at full speed. Since my lifespan was very long, one day, I would have to say goodbye to all my human friends and family. This will be a painful thing, but it doesn’t mean I will hesitate when my enemies are humans.
The Hero Faction. Were they humans who fought because they held deep beliefs in what it meant to be righteous or evil? After all, they were crowned with the description of ‘heroes’. Hmm, it really was difficult to understand... However, terrorism is no good. Forcing people to do their bidding through brainwashing is too inhumane. No matter what the reason, from my perspective, such methods were ‘evil’. As I puzzled over this, Sensei questioned.
“What is it?”
“Not much. I was just thinking about what it means to be human and what it means to be a Devil, questions I usually didn’t think about... And also heroes. The Hero Faction’s official members are all descendants of heroes, and they rival Angels and Devils in terms of physical capabilities, right? So what does it mean to be a ‘hero’? Ah, I don’t mean the definition, I mean in terms of their existence.”
Even as stupid as I was, I knew that the word hero carried within it the meaning of being a saviour. However, these so-called ‘heroes’, what made them different from ordinary humans? I always wanted to know.
“The ones called heroes are those who possess special powers or abilities. Logically, they should use these powers and abilities to benefit mankind through great accomplishments, or to defeat great evil. In other words, you can say that they have to be born with the power to become heroes. However, these guys here are just people born with Sacred Gears. So-called Sacred Gears are what God granted to certain individuals for the purpose of mankind’s salvation. But this doesn’t mean that all Sacred Gear possessors will become heroes, nor does it mean they will gain happiness, since ‘born with the power to become heroes’ is not equivalent to ‘actually becoming heroes’. Among Sacred Gear possessors, there are many who abuse their power and become notorious.”
People born with the power to become heroes. How amazing. From my perspective, it sounded so enviable.
“Heroes. When I was still a human, an ordinary human, they were the idols I admired and aspired to be. Fighting heroes... Uh, I’m a Devil now, as well as a Dragon, so from the heroes’ point of view, I’m the villain now, right?”
“Have you been thinking about the issue of being a Devil and turning into the enemy of heroes, of mankind? ...Hey, just think about this. What do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish?”
Sensei asked. Without hesitation, I replied.
“I want to become a High-class Devil, to become the Harem King! Still, I will also work hard for Buchou and the other servants!”
“Isn’t that great? Just work hard towards this goal. You can do it, right?”
As Sensei laughed, things became clear in my mind.
“Ah, so that’s all it takes. Anyway, there’s one more thing; I will help Kunou’s mother!”
That’s right. That little girl was now crying and suffering. I must resolve this matter! Sensei rubbed my head gently.
“You’re fine as long as you stay like this. But other than you, if it’s Asia and the others who are facing humans, they might hesitate. However, as long as you go forward, they will follow behind your footsteps. Just be yourself. This also matters for the growth of the other servants.”
I see. The morale of the servants depended on me.
“Understood! I, Hyoudou Issei, will now advance towards the enemies with my fellow comrades!”
I declared to Sensei, and then went to meet with my companions who had just arrived in the lobby.
As we were preparing to leave, we found the Sitri servants gathered at the hotel’s automatic doors.
“Gen-chan, don’t push yourself too hard.”
“That’s right, Gen-chan. We already agreed to go shopping together for Kaichou tomorrow.”
“Yes, Hanakai, Kusaka.”
“Genshirou, show those terrorists the will of the Sitri servants.”
“Please run away if it gets dangerous.”
“I have been frequently training my escape skills, Meguri.”
Saji’s companions were encouraging him. I’ve heard that his relationship with his comrades has improved over the summer. However, the key relationship with Kaichou hasn’t advanced... Uh, well, I’m in pretty much the same situation. As I sighed, Kiba placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Now that Buchou is not here, as substitute, our ‘King’ is you, Ise-kun.”
“—! R-Really!? ...Whaaat!? I am ‘King’!? Is this possible!?”
“What are you talking about? You’ve always aimed to become independent from Buchou in the future and become ‘King’ yourself. Under such circumstances it is natural for the servants to take orders from you, right?”
“U-Ummm, I guess that's right...”
For me to substitute for Buchou’s position? This was the first question entering my mind. As I pondered, Kiba said to me.
“During the battle at Togetsukyou in the day, you already gave us orders even though it was an emergency decision. Though your strategies and decisions may or may not have been the best possible, everyone came back safe and sound. So I believe they were good orders. Hence, I would like you to continue directing us for tonight.”
...Kiba. He approved of my immature directions that I wracked my brain to come up with at that moment... Xenovia joined in.
“That’s right. Irina, Asia and I can better apply ourselves when given orders. Though you suddenly took charge during the day, you were able to get Buchou’s team organised.”
“Yes, yes. However, Ise-kun, you were too impulsive. That’s no good, got it?”
“That’s right. Don’t lose control.”
Irina and Asia also chimed in.
“Since I only joined recently, I will let Ise-kun, who has been in the team longer, be in charge.”
Even Rossweisse-san was agreeing... Umm, no problem, I guess? ...Everyone was paying attention to me, giving me advice and worrying about me... Once again, I felt how wonderful the servants, no, my companions were. Ah, ah, Buchou! I wish to continue staying in this team, overcoming trials and tribulations with everyone while always advancing! Hmm? I couldn’t help but notice the object Xenovia was carrying... It seemed to be a weapon wrapped in some kind of cloth covered with magical script. Ah, I think I got it. Xenovia saw my expression and handed the weapon over for me to have a look.
“Oh, you wanted to ask about this, right? It just arrived from the Church. It’s the new and improved Durandal.”
It was the sword after all! That’s what I suspected since she had told me on the bullet train about Durandal being upgraded by the Church.
“Though I will have to use it in a real combat situation without a test run, that totally fits Durandal and my style. It’ll be great.”
I was interested in how much the sword has been powered up. After all, it was already renowned for its great power. If it became easier to control, stamina consumption and precision would be vastly improved.
“Sorry, I chatted too much.”
Saji made an apologising gesture with his hands as he ran over to meet up with us. The other Sitri servants gave us words of encouragement like ‘we will leave the offence to you guys’ or ‘let us welcome tomorrow together’, and then we swiftly ran towards Kyoto station. The Gremory group plus Irina and Saji. This was the attacking team advancing towards Nijou Castle.
“Good, let’s set off for Nijou Castle.”
And so, we directly advanced towards the place Cao Cao indicated, Nijou Castle—
After leaving the hotel, we hurried towards Kyoto station. At the station, we planned to take the next bus to Nijou Castle. Everyone was wearing the winter school uniform. Xenovia and Irina seemed to be wearing their church combat outfit underneath. If a situation came up, it would be easier for them to move once they took off the school uniform.
Rossweisse-san covered her mouth with her hands, battling with the urge to vomit rising from her stomach from time to time. She really didn’t look too well. How much did she drink after all...? During this trip, Rossweisse-san had revealed many of her formerly unseen sides. After we go back, I will never let her drink alcohol again. At the station, while we were waiting for the bus, something suddenly collided into my back.
“Sekiryuutei! I am coming too!”
It was the blond girl dressed in a priestess’ clothes, Kunou. W-What was going on with her? Shouldn’t you be staying in the Youkai-filled Inner Capital?
“Hey, Kunou, why are you here?”
Riding upon my neck, she slapped my forehead with a series of smacks as she spoke.
“I want to rescue my mother too.”
—! Hey, hey hey!
“This will be very dangerous. I hope that you can stay back and wait. Didn’t our Maou Shoujo-sama and Fallen Angel Governor tell you already?”
“Yes, they did. However, I-I want to go save my mother! Please! Take me along! I beg you!”
...To beg to such a degree. If I called Sensei right now, they would definitely send someone straight away to take Kunou back to a safe place... But it’s not like I don’t understand the feelings of this child. Perhaps taking this child along may actually improve the odds of saving the Kyuubi leader? OK, I will take responsibility. Just as I decided to respect Kunou’s feelings—a light mist appeared from under our feet. At the same time, a smooth, warm feeling penetrated my entire body. ...! This feeling, I’ve experienced it once already during the day! Yes, this was...Dimension Lost!
As I came to my senses, I saw the subway station platform before my eyes. The sign revealed the name of the station to be ‘Kyoto’, so this must be the Kyoto subway station. ...By the way, we got transferred again! We’ve been transferring like crazy today! Surveying the area, there wasn’t a single soul other than me except—
“...I-Isn’t this the subway station platform?”
Kunou was sitting on my shoulders. It looks like she got transferred together with me.
“Ah, it looks like what happened during the day has occurred again.”
“T-Then, this is an alternate dimension created in the image of Kyoto? Those guys’ techniques are amazing!”
It was just as Kunou said. Surrounding us with mist without warning was already very alarming, but who could have expected them to recreate the entire area around Kyoto station just like the simulated space during the daytime...?
My mobile phone rang. It was Kiba. He also came to this place? By the way, phones actually worked here!
“Hey, hey, Kiba? Where are you now? Have you been transferred to this weird space as well?”
[Yes, we’re at the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Rossweisse-san and Saji-kun are here too. And you?]
“I’m with Kunou at the subway platform of Kyoto station. Wait a second, let me check the map.”
I let Kunou down from my shoulders and took out the map that all the servants carried from my pocket, spreading it out on the floor of the station platform. ...The Kyoto Imperial Palace was...here! Northeast of Nijou Castle. ...Wait a minute, what?
“This dimension, can it be that vast? It happens to be comparable to the size of this map, which is centred around Nijou Castle.”
[Yes, this dimension has recreated Kyoto’s vast streets with Nijou Castle at its centre. Though one wouldn’t be surprised at the battlegrounds of the Rating Game, which are equally vast, it looks like the spellcaster has researched the game fields of the Rating Game in depth.]
Well, I guess we can treat this as a rare chance for training before our next match. After all, there were few opportunities to take action in a space as vast as this.
“Kiba, we will set the gathering point at Nijou Castle, OK?”
[Yes, understood. Have you contacted Asia and the rest? I think they have also arrived in this dimension. We all seem to have been welcomed by our esteemed heroes.]
“Ah, I will try calling them from here. Why don’t you try calling Sensei who is outside? Really, such a sudden welcome.”
The conversation with Kiba ended. After that, I was able to reach Asia and the rest. The Church Trio seemed to be together. I felt relieved that Asia had Xenovia and Irina by her side. If Asia was alone, I would be so worried. I also told them to meet at Nijou Castle. Then, Kiba called back again. It looked like it was impossible to reach Sensei outside. I also tried on my end, but it didn’t work no matter what. ...How strange. Clearly we could call one other from within, but couldn’t make contact with the outside. Rossweisse-san explained through Kiba to me that this dimension probably had a special barrier or spell preventing communications with outside...yet allowing us to communicate with each other within it. Their intentions were mind-boggling. Continuing to ponder this wasn’t going to yield any clues, so let me meet up with everyone first. Now, I must hurry to Nijou Castle. After we toured it during the day, one of the ways of returning back to the hotel from Nijou Castle was to take the subway from near Nijou Castle, and then switching to the tram to get back to Kyoto station. Currently, all I need to do is continue ahead following the subway line to reach the station in front of Nijou Castle. In order to make it easier to move, I summoned the gauntlet and started the Balance Breaker countdown. Since we were brought here by the enemy, it was only natural to expect attacks.
[Welsh Dragon Balance Breaker!!!!!!!!!!]
Red light wrapped around my body, and the aura took the form of armour. Seeing this scene unfold, Kunou couldn’t help but be impressed.
“Hmm, though I already saw it in the daytime, the Heavenly Dragon’s armour is truly red and beautiful. So this is the legendary Dragon.”
She patted my armour several times, and marvelled at it greatly. This curiosity was just like my other child fans. Though she spoke like a princess, she really was a little child at heart. To think someone would take the mother away from this child. No matter what the reason, forcefully abducting the innocent is unforgivable.
“Kunou, I will definitely come up with a way to save your mother. Don’t leave my side. I will protect Kunou carefully.”
Upon hearing these words, Kunou’s face went red.
“Mmmhmm! That sounds about right!”
She was blushing. So cute! But just as we bantered, I suddenly felt the presence of hostility. Looking at the front of the station platform, I found a man wearing the Hero Faction uniform making his way towards me. ...His hostility was aimed at me. I must be his target. He stopped once he neared me, and smiled.
“Good evening, Sekiryuutei. Remember me?”
...Nope, no memory at all.
“My memory...is a little bad.”
To my answer, the man smiled wryly.
“Well, that’s true. How could you remember a small fry like me? But thanks to the power I gained that time, I can now fight against you.”
—The man’s shadow began to move as if it had a mind of its own. After witnessing this scene, I recalled instantly. The owner of the shadows who wore a big black coat, freely controlled shadows and could transmit attacks through the shadows of others—
“I’ve got it. You’re the Sacred Gear possessor who attacked me in town using shadows.”
Hearing my answer, the man showed a smile.
“Very correct. At that time, I was defeated by you guys most pitifully. However, it is different now. The regret, fear and self-loathing from my defeat have brought me to a whole new level. Let me show you, the real shadow skills...”
A rustling sound... I felt an indescribable sense of pressure. The shadows in the area near the man, the pillars, the automatic vending machine, etc., all of them started to squirm in a way that gave me goosebumps. And then, the man muttered in a low voice.
The series of rustling sounds continued... The presence given off by the man strengthened, and all the shadows from the surroundings gathered together to his side, surrounding his body. The shadows wrapped themselves around the man’s entire body... And then, gradually, those shadows took form, becoming something shaped like armour over the man’s body. ...A full-body armour made out of shadows? It was almost like my own Balance Breaker.
“—It’s similar to your own Balance Breaker. Isn’t that what you are thinking?”
As if reading my mind, the man whispered joyfully.
“Yes, when I was defeated by you guys, I was filled with thoughts of increasing my defence. I felt myself wanting armour like yours. The Sekiryuutei’s powerful offensive capability truly impressed upon me this much. This is my Sacred Gear, [Night Reflection]’s Balance Breaker, [Night Reflection Death Cross]. Come, Sekiryuutei, let me avenge my defeat!”
Every part of that shadow armour began to squirm as if it was alive. The shadows covered his face, leaving a pair of eyes staring sharply at me. It looked like the eyes of a monster... Next... Since Asia was not here, I couldn’t use Promotion. Really, I was already unlucky before the battle began. Oh well, this was a good chance to train. Let me try fighting without Promotion. ...It looks like I’ve become more courageous, perhaps from all my real combat experience. The feeling of extreme nervousness has disappeared. No, the feeling of tension still exists, and my body was trembling. However, this was not trembling due to fear. Perhaps due to fighting in the various matches and against Vali, Loki and other strong opponents, I neither feared nor faltered at the sight of my opponent entering Balance Breaker. After all, the one I trained against every day was Kiba, the one whose Balance Breaker was the Holy Demonic Sword.
I clenched my fists, my back boosters shooting out magical power to accelerate as I charged at the enemy! Swinging a left, I lunged at the man, attacking with great speed—
My attack passed right through his body! The man’s body scattered like smoke or mist, and at the moment of impact, there was no feeling of the punch connecting! My opponent looked completely unhurt... The feeling was like penetrating mist. I swiftly turned around, charged at him and sent a flying kick at his back.
Again, this kind of attack simply passed right through his body! Returning to my starting position, I adjusted my stance... My opponent was still totally unharmed.
“Don’t bother directly attacking this shadow armour. It’s useless.”
The man spoke with a mocking tone. I see. Due to the shadow armour covering his entire body, directly attacking him was ineffective. Though I understood that fact, my only strength was direct attacks! I sprayed the area with a series of Dragon Shot attacks! My Dragon Shots disappeared when they touched the man’s body! They did not attack him directly, but seemed to be sucked into him... I instantly had a premonition. That’s the guy’s original ability! By the time I was aware, my own scattered Dragon Shots were being fired back at me from various dark corners of the station! The sound of my Dragon Shots approached me!
“Bastard! So that kind of ability remains unchanged!”
During that battle, our attacks were also absorbed by the shadows, and were then released from shadows elsewhere. I picked up Kunou in my arms, and either dodged or kicked away all the Dragon Shots as I parried them away! If I get taken out by my own attacks, that would be too shameful! The sound of more rustling...! —! The shadows in the station swarmed towards me as if they had minds of their own. The shadows formed into sharp blades to attack me... But too bad for them, my armour was very sturdy. This level of attack was completely not a problem. However, Sairaorg-san could shatter this armour with his bare fists. Now that kind of attack power was like a monster’s! Just as I felt confident, a shadow entangled my left leg, and was wrapping itself around and around to tie me down. At the same time, a large number of shadows in the form of sharp spears were advancing. I summoned Ascalon and slashed apart the shadow on my leg! Swiftly jumping back, I adjusted the stance of my body. ...How troublesome. A Technique-type. To me, it was the most difficult type to deal with. I hate those unconventional attacks which defied common sense and defences that made direct attacks ineffective. This guy had both.
“Hahahaha...! Very good. As expected of the Sekiryuutei. But your attacks are useless against me. In a battle of attrition, I have the advantage.”
Oh, oh, he really knows how to talk. Well, he’s right. A battle of attrition will cause my armour to release when the time limit is up. What should I do, I’m being countered. The magic-wielding Rossweisse-san would be more suited to handle this guy after all.
Kunou, who I was carrying in one hand, pushed forward with both hands and attacked the man using a fireball technique. A very tiny fireball. The man made no effort to evade and smothered it in his clenching fist.
“This is the little fox princess? This is fox fire? This level of heat cannot work against me, you know? It’s not hot enough.”
The man laughed in mockery. Kunou’s face was full of regret. ...Eh? Not hot enough? So in other words, he can feel heat despite wearing that armour? This form of attack gave me an idea, and so I spread out my Dragon wings to cover Kunou.
“Ddraig, please keep Kunou safe under your wings.”
[No problem, but partner, what are you thinking?]
Ddraig asked. I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with air. And then, I lit a tiny fire within my belly.
—I will win, Ddraig! Boosted Gear Gift! Transfer power to the fire in the abdomen!
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!]
Forming massive flames in my belly, I expelled them out through my mouth!
The gigantic flames engulfed the entire station platform, and the whole underground space was filled with them. The shadows could transfer fire, but the entire platform was all in flames now. Though the shadow armour protected your whole body from direct harm, but you can still feel the heat from inside, right?
“This is the fire learned straight from the former Dragon King. I can guarantee its heat completely. Evaporate!”
The flames formed a vortex around the man. Defeated by the heat from the fire, the man screamed as he painfully rolled about on the ground. Even if you can avoid direct attacks, you cannot evade the heat from the massive flames filling up the subway station. I possess the Sekiryuutei’s armour. Dragons are not afraid of heat. After all, Dragons can withstand the fire from a Phoenix.
From underneath the dragon wings, Kunou spoke softly. Smoking intensely, the subway station was scorched all black. It looked like they didn’t replicate the fire extinguishing system. Maybe I went a little too far. Luckily, it’s not the real Kyoto. The man was lying smoking on the ground. ...The shadow armour had been released, and his body was covered with severe burns. The presence I felt up till now had disappeared. Let alone entering Balance Breaker, he likely couldn’t put up a fight any more.
“...Too strong. Even though I reached Balance Breaker...I couldn’t defeat the Heavenly Dragon...”
—Shaking, the man tried to stand up.
“You still want to fight? You will die.”
I tried to warn him for his own good, but the man’s body shook as he repeatedly tried to get up despite falling over many times.
“...If I die, so be it. For that guy...to die for Cao Cao is my wish.”
I could tell he was sincere.
“You didn’t get brainwashed?”
“That’s right... I followed Cao Cao out of my own will. Why do you ask? Cough, cough...”
The man was breathing painfully as he spoke. Clearly his throat was also scorched by the heat, but he still continued.
“...You cannot be unaware of the tragedy faced by Sacred Gear possessors.”
I understood. Asia was also caught in tragedy because of that.
“...Not everyone can live a happy life relying on the power of the Sacred Gear they are born with... What do you think would happen to a kid like me who could freely manipulate shadows...?”
The man spoke in self-mockery as he continued.
“Fear and oppression from others. Due to this power, I couldn’t even live a normal life... But that man told me it was great to have this power.”
“He also told me that being born with this power made me a talented and precious existence... He told me I could become a hero... If you heard these words, which changed the meaning of your life, what would you think? Wanting to live and die for that man is only natural.”
This man was pouring his heart out with his monologue. ...Was he that devoted to Cao Cao? Unfortunately, that man is a terrorist. And even now, he has kidnapped Kunou’s mother and is planning some kind of conspiracy.
“Perhaps he was just using you?”
To my words, the man laughed.
“Is there anything wrong with that? He, Cao Cao taught me how to use my power and gave me a reason to live! That is enough! With this, I can live on! My previously worthless life is finally rewarded! There is nothing wrong with that, Sekiryuutei!!!”
I was silent as the man tearfully spoke out his deepest thoughts.
“...To us who were treated like rubbish, he is the light...! My power is for defeating Devils, Angels and the various Gods...! Where else can I find something like that...!? Also...whether it’s Devils, Fallen Angels and Dragons, they are the enemies of mankind...! This is common sense! And you—both a Devil and a Dragon! Humans cannot regard you as anything but a threat!”
A threat? True, seen from a human’s perspective, I may be a fearsome existence. Cao Cao—that man is a person who has given meaning to life for those possessors who spent their lives in tragedy as a result of their Sacred Gears. To this man before me, perhaps it was the chance of a lifetime. However... His legs shaking, the man stood up. He slowly stepped towards me, his hostility intact.
“Don’t look down on us humans...! Devil...!”
Yelling, he slowly approached. Yes, I am a Devil. This fact will never change. I clenched my fist, took a great step forward and sent it into the man’s face...
“Yes, I—am a Devil!”
His face hit, the man flew away backwards, his back smashing heavily into one of the pillars in the station. Sprawling on the ground, he lost consciousness. I spoke softly to the fallen man.
“Due to the things you do, there are those who are crying sadly. No matter what your reasons are, I must blow you away.”
Throwing the man a final glance, I focused my gaze on the darkness in the tunnel ahead. Just a little more and we will reach Nijou Castle. Let’s go. Everyone has probably defeated their opponents and is advancing now.
“Kunou, let’s go.”
I carried Kunou on my back, spread my Dragon wings and flew towards the end of the rail line.
Gliding as I flew along the subway rail line, I kicked away a bunch of attacking monsters and finally reached the subway station in front of Nijou Castle. Leading Kunou up the stairs, I reached the outdoors. As I walked towards the eastern gates, I saw that everyone else had already gathered.
“Sorry, I’m late.”
I apologised as I approached—
“Cough...” (Vomiting sounds...)
Clad in her Valkyrie armour, Rossweisse-san was leaning against an electrical pole, vomiting repeatedly. ...The 100-yen shop Valkyrie, the drunken Valkyrie, and now the vomiting Valkyrie. Amazing, throughout this Kyoto trip, she has been gaining so many new titles in my heart...
“Ah, it’s great you guys are fine.”
Kiba smiled to welcome us. I was still troubled by Rossweisse-san’s unusual state, but it really was great that everyone arrived safe and sound. Oh! There was some minor clothing damage, but no obvious injuries. It looked like everyone was attacked on the way here. For the sake of emergencies, Kiba and I each carried one bottle of Phoenix Tears. Luckily for us, none were needed so far.
“Asia, are you OK?”
“Yes, thanks to Xenovia-san and Irina-san protecting me, the assassins were defeated.”
“Leave it to me!”
“Well, it’s because having a healer gave us better odds.”
Already in their combat outfits, Irina and Xenovia spoke. My only worry at the time of separation turned out to be redundant. Well, since Xenovia and Irina were present, there was no point in worrying. Xenovia’s Durandal—was in a carved sheath! It really gave off a different impression when kept in a sheath. The offensive aura did not spread out at all. Does this mean the sword no longer needs to be kept in an alternate dimension?
“...Rossweisse-san, how is she...?”
“Yes, she was fighting the assassins. Perhaps the motion was too intense, and she couldn’t bear it...”
Kiba also didn’t know how to judge the current scene.
At the same time as we gathered, the massive gates gave off a great heavy sound as they opened. Watching the opening door, Kiba laughed wryly.
“It looks like they are waiting for us, and the performance is about to start.”
“It’s as you say. They are looking down on us.”
As Kiba spoke in self-mockery, I also sighed. Once we confirmed with one another, we set off into the confines of Nijou Castle.
“Before he fell, the assassin I defeated said that Cao Cao was waiting for us at Honmaru Palace.”
Kiba spoke as we walked. Honmaru Palace, eh? Within the boundaries of Nijou castle, we walked past the gardens of Ninomaru Palace, and could already see the moat around Honmaru Palace. We then passed through the yaguramon gate that connected to Honmaru Palace. The place we reached was full of rows of ancient Japanese eaves. The garden was swept nice and clean. These were all illuminated by lights, so even in the dark world of the night, it was as bright as day.
“I see you have defeated the Balance Breaker-using assassins. Though they only count as low or mid-class Sacred Gear possessors, they do have Balance Breakers after all. It is surprising that all of you were able to defeat them.”
I caught sight of Cao Cao’s figure standing in the garden... There were also many other members all around the buildings. All of them were wearing the same old uniform as before.
Kunou cried out. Following her gaze I found—a beautiful woman clad in a kimono standing there. I could see fox ears on her head, as well as several fox tails. This must be the Kyuubi leader. What a true beauty!
“Mother! I am Kunou! Please wake up!”
But no matter how much Kunou cried out, Yasaka-san remained unresponsive. Beneath the darkness in her eyes was a completely expressionless face. Kunou angrily glared at Cao Cao and his group.
“Contemptible, you guys! What have you done with mother!?”
“Didn’t I explain already? We hope to have your mother cooperate this time for a little experiment, little princess.”
After saying that, Cao Cao tapped the ground with his spear. In that instant—
“Oooh... Ooh... Ah...!”
Yasaka-san began to cry painfully, and her appearance began changing dramatically! Her body began to shine and its form gradually transformed! Expanding constantly, the nine tails also began to blow up in size.
The giant golden beast’s roars reverberated across the night sky. Before our eyes, a massive fox monster had appeared! So big! Being at least ten metres tall, she was probably about the same height as Fenrir? Her tail was divided into nine, and overall, she looked even bigger than Fenrir. This was the legendary Youkai, the nine-tailed fox! Fenrir’s figure had slim shoulders and a narrow waist, and was beautiful as a drawing, but the Kyuubi leader’s form was just as entrancing. Tannin-ossan’s dragon poise was also very cool. Do all legendary monsters have such charming figures? ...No matter how you look at them, those eyes had no emotion at all. She is probably being controlled... Can we snap her out of it? Or do we have no choice but to fight Yasaka-san in her current state? I questioned Cao Cao sternly.
“Cao Cao! Making this replica Kyoto and controlling the Kyuubi leader, what kind of conspiracy are you planning!?”
Cao Cao tapped the shaft of the spear against his shoulder audibly as he answered.
“The existence of Kyoto itself is actually a large-scale magical device surrounded by powerful leylines. The various places known as famous sights are the power spots, abundant in spiritual, Youkai and demonic power. The ancient Yin-Yang masters, the Onmyoji, hoped to mould the city itself into a kind of massive ‘power’. Well, precisely because of that, all sorts of existences have been attracted to this place... Our current pseudo space is located in the Dimensional Gap, both infinitesimally close to and infinitely far away from Kyoto at the same time. The power of the leylines is now flowing here. As the strongest level of existence amongst Youkai, the nine-tailed fox is said to be on the level of the Dragon Kings in power. The relationship between Kyoto and the nine-tailed fox is also intricately linked in a variety of ways. That is why our plan must be carried out here.”
Exhaling, Cao Cao continued with shocking words.
“Using Kyoto and the power of the nine-tailed fox, the plan is to summon Great Red to this place. This would normally require a Dragon Gate, as well as multiple Dragon Kings, but gathering several of them by force is virtually impossible even for Gods and Buddhas. So Kyoto and the power of the Kyuubi will have to do as substitutes.”
...W-What are you saying...?
“Great Red? Why do you want to summon that massive Dragon? That fellow, all he wants to do is swim and fly around in the Dimensional Gap, and he is harmless to everyone, right?”
“Correct, that Dragon is essentially harmless. But to our boss, his existence is an obstruction. It makes going home very troublesome.”
—Ophis? Ophis’s appearance as a young girl floated into my mind. The boss of the terrorists. From the perspective of the Three Biblical factions, it was an existence like a final boss. Do they intend to fulfill her wish of returning to the Dimensional Gap? But doing that could cause adverse effects to the entire world! It’s no joking matter!
“...So you are going to summon Great Red and kill him?”
Cao Cao shook his head at my question.
“Well, maybe we won’t go that far. Anyway, we will catch him first before we decide what to do. There are so many unknowns with his existence, and there is so much to be learned. For example, what effect the Dragon Eater will have on the Apocalypse Dragon. Anyway, no matter what, it’s just an experiment to see if we can summon a powerful existence.”
—The Dragon Eater? It was a term I heard for the first time. I was surprised, but it will be an ominous character for sure.
“...I don’t understand these things, but I’m sure bad things will occur after you capture that gigantic Dragon. Also, the Kyuubi leader must be returned.”
I had hardly finished my sentence when Xenovia pointed her sword at Cao Cao. The various parts of Durandal’s sheath began to move and transform.
With a violent sound, the mobile portions of the sheath began releasing a large amount of holy aura! It covered the entire length of the sword, and the massive aura shaped itself into a blade! This is the new Durandal? The offensive aura was not affecting the surroundings, but was wrapped around the sword instead. Even standing next to it, I could feel the powerful pulse of the aura from behind my armour. I see, so the new Durandal has combined with its sheath? The sheath was keeping Durandal’s power under control very well.
“Like Ise said, your conspiracies may be very deep, but no matter what, you will bring disaster to us and the people around us. Eliminating you all, right here, is the best solution.”
Kiba nodded and agreed with Xenovia’s declaration of war.
“I also agree with Xenovia’s opinion.”
In response, Irina created a sword of light in her hand.
“It’s always a battle to the death when the Gremory group is involved.”
Saji sighed as he spoke. Sorry, Saji, this kind of stuff is what we get into all the time...
“Fine, this is for everyone at school and my friends anyway.”
Many black snakes appeared from Saji’s arms, legs and shoulders, and began to entangle his body. As his body was covered entirely with black snakes, a large black serpent also appeared under Saji’s feet. The massive serpent presented itself next to Saji and formed a coil, its whole body emitting black flames. Saji’s left eye turned red and resembled a snake’s eye. Saji’s presence was unbelievable! Sensei, you upgraded him way too much!? T-This guy, even in normal mode, was completely different from that time during the Rating Game in the Underworld!
“...Vritra, I’m sorry, but please lend me your strength. Hyoudou, please support me from the side. Today, we will fight to our hearts’ content!”
As Saji muttered, huge black flames appeared all around. The huge serpent then began to speak in a deep voice!
[Ah, my other self. Where is the prey? Is it that Holy Spear? Or that fox? Either is fine. It’s been so long since I last appeared, I feel great right now. How about this? No matter who, let me just consume everything with my black flames.]
Wow... What a scary speech from this snake of flame. By the way, its consciousness recovered to the level of acquiring speech, eh? So this is part of the Dragon King. A completely different feeling of pressure came from him compared to Tannin-ossan. It’s a bit scary and horrifying. It was said that Vritra excelled at capturing the power of opponents. Just as I was about to order ‘OK, let’s capture Youkai-form Yasaka-san first’, at that instant—
It was the sound of Xenovia raising Durandal to the heavens and a massive aura gushing forth from the blade! Expanding to over fifteen metres tall in an instant, the blade of holy aura appeared before my eyes. It looked as if it was about to pierce the heavens. Sooooooooo long! Sooooooooo cool! Sooooooooooo amazing! Before, the Durandal plus Ascalon combination also produced a great aura. At the time, there was a pulse of spiritual energy like a pillar of light, but it’s nothing compared to the current spectacle. But then, this time, the offensive aura was not diffused or spread around like before. I could see that most of its power was concentrated together. I say, Xenovia-san! The battle is just beginning! Are you trying to break the rules by attacking early again!?
“—Strike first and end the battle. Taste my sword!”
As if retorting against the protests in my heart, Xenovia smashed her massive sword of holy light and aura down upon the heads of the Hero Faction! Like the felling of a heavy log, the new Durandal crashed down to smash them.
A massive aura pulse engulfed buildings, structures and the entire scenery! The ground split into two, with the resulting tremor causing everyone to fall to their knees! After the attack, the entire area—was a total mess. The massive aura attack had also crossed over Nijou Castle’s moat and even destroyed outside buildings and roads further beyond, leaving nothing behind! ...Shocking! What devastating offensive power!
Xenovia took a deep breath and wiped the sweat off her forehead with her hand. Durandal returned to its sheathed state once again. Was it over with just a breath!? And what’s with that mission accomplished face!? Using a finishing move at the very start! No, no, perhaps this might be a good result!
“Hey, Xenovia! Isn’t that going overboard for a first attack!?”
I was a bit emotional as I spoke, but Xenovia simply made a victory sign with her hand.
“The opening always requires such a strike.”
“So the battle with Loki also required such a sudden strike as well!? Hey, hey, hey...”
Talking to her was useless!
“Relax. Despite what it looks like, I did adjust the power. If I felt like it, I could have swept everything clean. My goal is actually to achieve something like your full-powered Dragon Shot, but it doesn’t seem to be that simple. Yes, your kind of Power-type is exactly the ideal battle style that I seek.”
“Don’t just go ‘yes’ and be done with it! I’m not some kind of destruction freak!”
This person was clearly a Knight, but she was only seeking power... She was the complete opposite of Kiba. Perhaps she should have been better off as a Rook? Xenovia tapped the new Durandal.
“This new Durandal is the result of combining it with Excalibur by using alchemy.”
With Excalibur!? Really! Irina began to explain.
“Let me explain. Basically, they used all the Excalibur pieces possessed by the Church to create a sheath to cover Durandal’s blade. Excalibur’s power allowed Durandal’s offensive aura to be contained. In addition, Excalibur’s power can attack at the same time as Durandal’s, allowing their powers to amplify each other, and thus producing deadly destructive power!”
Irina pointed at the destroyed wasteland.
“I see. So Excalibur not only restrains Durandal’s aura, it and Durandal also amplify each other’s power. By combining the two Holy Swords into one, that was how such a strong attacking power was produced.”
“Yes, Ise-kun. The fact that Durandal’s aura could be applied to other Holy Swords is something that Heaven had already started doing related research on.”
“Ah, during the match in summer, Xenovia kept Durandal in an alternate dimension, but could still wrap its aura around Ascalon. In the battle to recover Asia, she used the mutual amplification effect with Ascalon to raise the power of both their auras.”
“Yes, yes. Heaven came up with the idea of a new Durandal starting from that time.”
Irina spoke as she nodded.
Ha... The union of Excalibur and Durandal into a single Holy Sword. But then, didn’t the Church only possess six of the seven fragments? So, they only used six to make that sheath? Xenovia raised her sword and muttered to herself.
“—Ex-Durandal. This is the new name I give this sword.”
Ex-Durandal. A name without objection. It was similar to the old name. Definitely, it should be a name like this.
“Well, if they could be beaten in one hit, then we’d have a much easier time.”
Xenovia shifted her gaze forward. ...I see. I didn’t think those guys were inexperienced enough to be taken out by one attack.
From out of the rubble in the wasteland, the surface of the ground, an arm rose up. A piece of earth was lifted, and out emerged many members of the Hero Faction, covered by a thin mist. All of them looked a bit dirty, but completely unharmed. Did that mist shield them the power of the Holy Sword? The huge man whose arm was the first to appear was roughly two meters tall and was flexing his neck loudly. Behind him, Cao Cao tapped his spear audibly on his own shoulder. They were unaffected by Xenovia’s attack. Well, without that kind of power, they wouldn’t have been able to undertake terrorist activities against the various factions... Cao Cao rubbed his chin and laughed.
“Ah, not bad at all.”
It was a joyful tone that came from the depths of one’s heart.
“You guys can already hold your own without disadvantage against the bulk of the High-class Devils, no, the top servants of the High-class Devils. Sister of the Maou, you sure have gathered a group of excellent servants. Once you start participating officially in the Rating Game, you should obtain a double digit ranking in no time—and perhaps reach the top in a few decades? What a bright and glorious future. Shalba Beelzebub really underestimated you guys. That guy was a complete fool.”
Siegfried smiled wryly at Cao Cao’s words.
“Being bound by anachronistic pride, they couldn’t see the new generation rising up to replace the old. That’s how I’d put it. This is why Vali did not lend his assistance and let the Old Maou Faction perish. Anyway, how should we proceed? After taking that attack just now, my excitement feels a little bit funny.”
“Oh, right. Then, let’s start the experiment.”
Cao Cao tapped the ground with his spear—and the Kyuubi leader began to glow! What was going on!?
“Focus power into the force nodes of the nine-tailed fox and prepare to summon Great Red, Georg!”
On Cao Cao's orders, the youth wearing a mage-style robe over his uniform, Georg, reached out with his hand. What seemed to an endless number of magic circles appeared around him! Magical script and numbers began to spin rapidly within the circles! He matched Rossweisse-san in terms of the number of magic circles summoned!
“...From a rough glance at those magic circles, I can see Norse Magic, Demonic Magic, Fallen Angel-style Magic, Black Magic, White Magic, Fairy Magic... Quite a diverse array of spells...”
Rossweisse-san narrowed her eyes and spoke softly. A somewhat amazing mage? But that guy was the mist user? Not only was he a Longinus possessor, he was also a powerful sorcerer! A massive magic circle appeared underneath the Kyuubi leader. That magic circle, though its appearance was different, I felt that some of the crests to be familiar... Yes, last time, when Sensei woke up that enormous Dragon King, the consciousness of Midgardsormr, the magic circle then was very similar to this one!
As she roared, Yasaka-san’s pupils dilated, her eyes gave off a dangerous light and her golden fur stood on end! It was clearly an abnormal situation! This was going to get dangerous if it continued! The mist user who was also a mage spoke.
“The magic circle and the sacrifice for summoning Great Red are ready. The next step is to see if Great Red gets interested in the power of the city and takes the bait. Luckily, we happen to have a Dragon King and a Heavenly Dragon present as a bonus. My apologies, Cao Cao, but I will be occupied with operating the magic circle. It is a very taxing thing.”
Cao Cao waved his hand at the mage’s words in acknowledgement.
“Got it. What’s next then? Annihilation Maker Leonardo and the rest are battling the allied forces outside. I wonder how much time they can buy? Reports say that not only the Fallen Angel Governor and Maou Leviathan, but even members of the Seraphs have arrived. Jeanne, Heracles.”
Stepping forward in response to Cao Cao’s call was a blonde foreign lady wielding a slender sword and the giant man from just now.
“They are the ones who inherited the will and the spirit of the heroes Jeanne d'Arc and Heracles. Siegfried, who do you want to fight?”
At Cao Cao’s question, Siegfried drew a sword and pointed with the sharp tip of the blade at Kiba and Xenovia. Watching this scene unfold, the lady called Jeanne and the giant named Heracles laughed.
“Then, I’ll take Angel-chan. She’s pretty cute.”
“I will pick the silver-haired lady then. Though she doesn’t look too well.”
They all exchanged glances... Kiba and Xenovia vs Siegfried, Irina vs Jeanne, Rossweisse-san vs Heracles...
“That leaves me the Sekiryuutei. How about Vritra-kun over there?”
Cao Cao looked at Saji. Saji strengthened his flames, but I stopped him with my hand.
“...Saji, your opponent is the Kyuubi leader. You must find a way to release her.”
“So I get the monster battle... Understood. Hyoudou, don’t die!”
“How can I die? You do your best too.”
“No matter what, I already promoted to Queen before I came. I am full of battle spirit from the start!”
As we encouraged each other, Saji’s body was surrounded by tall, black flames. And then, the flames began to spread outward and grew increasingly bigger in size.
The flames reached up into the sky! The jet-black flames gradually shaped into a body, forming a long, serpentine, oriental dragon.
The massive black Dragon roared, facing the Kyuubi leader. Saji had successfully transformed into the Dragon King. The black flames arranged themselves into a magic circle and began releasing a dark cloudy aura. It is said that there are many strange components to Vritra’s powers, and some of them were used to great effect during the battle against Loki. Though the species is different, let’s hope it works against the Kyuubi too...
“Asia, watch over Kunou.”
“Kunou, can I leave Asia in your protection?”
“Leave it to me! But—”
“Ah, I understand. Leave your mother to me. We will save her!”
I made a thumbs-up in response to Kunou. At the same time, I spread the Dragon wings on my back. The one I faced was—Cao Cao. The leader of the Hero Faction. The man holding the ultimate Longinus. Really, why does it feel like I keep having to face these boss-level opponents all the time now?
“Well, fine. You, are you stronger than Vali?”
I asked. Cao Cao happily smirked and shrugged.
“Who knows.? But I can say for sure that I’m not weaker than him even though I am a frail human.”
“Don’t joke around. Anyone who can face Sensei cannot be weak.”
“Hahahaha, that’s true. But isn’t that Sensei super strong? I think I’m still slightly inferior, Oppai Dragon.”
As we started our battle with words, there was an instant of silence. And then—
Saji and the Kyuubi leader had begun the monster battle! The black flames danced as they surrounded Yasaka-san. The flames suddenly shook violently as the Kyuubi leader released an aura from all over her. This seemed to be causing her great pain. Was this the power absorption seen from Loki’s battle? If this continues, perhaps the battle can end without injuring her! Just as I thought how convenient it would be—the Kyuubi leader suddenly spat out large amounts of fire from her mouth! Though not as powerful as Tannin-ossan’s flames, they still packed quite a bit of firepower! I could feel the heat even through my armour! Unless the opponent was on a similar level, these flames would surely turn them instantly into charcoal. Vritra-form Saji also spat out black flames, and the two massive fireballs collided in mid-air above Honmaru Palace, causing a huge explosion! At the same time, the black flames immobilising Yasaka also vanished. The giant monster battle, not seen since Loki, was continuing fiercely!
[Damn it! I can’t use the flame barrier as effectively as last time against Loki...!]
[Concentrate, my other self. To use my power, a high level of focus is required... But then, that’s not all. Though powered by Kyoto, the Kyuubi’s massive Youkai power is also very strong, and that mage’s magic circle is also producing some strange barrier effects. Those spells are a little complicated, very troublesome... It’s like it is interfering with my power, neutralising my flames... The combination of Kyoto, the Kyuubi’s power, the Longinus as well as magic... Even if you want to drain the Kyuubi’s power, her Youkai powers are instantly being refilled by the flow from Kyoto. If this continues, it may very well be us who will fall first.]
Saji’s conversation with Vritra could be heard through Boosted Gear. The Kyuubi leader, Kyoto’s flow of power, the magic circle, all of them were huge obstacles. To handle so many opponents all at once was really troublesome.
[Do you need my Transfer?]
I asked using my Sacred Gear. Perhaps using my power, Saji can use the power of the Dragon King to demolish the magic circle...
[Don’t! Since he still cannot control my power fully in this state, if you add the Sekiryuutei’s power, he will only go berserk. He can only master the characteristics of my powers through battle experience. There is no other way.]
Vritra answered. Understood. Saji, do your best! If the situation gets dire, I will try my best to help you!
[...Understood! Then kick those guys’ asses quickly too!]
Leave it to me! As we communicated over the Sacred Gears, Vritra and the Kyuubi leader continued to breathe fire at each other! Massive fireballs collided in mid-air once again, bouncing off each other! The battle of fire created a windstorm sweeping over the entire area, but both the Gremory group and the members of the Hero Faction stood their ground while facing off against their opponents. Now that Saji has claimed the opening battle, it was our turn to shine!
“Kiba! Xenovia! Let us fight a bit further away! I want to get the Kyuubi leader as far away from these bastards as possible!”
“ “Understood!” ”
The two of them answered and began to change the battlefield. Siegfried pursued after them.
With the sight of silver flashes and the scattering of flying sparks, Kiba and Xenovia started their battle against Siegfried. Using a three-sword style, Siegfried handled Kiba and Xenovia’s sword strikes with the minimum of movements, counter-attacking with sharp and deadly thrusts! Xenovia’s Ex-Durandal looked like it could be adjust the sheath to reveal the blade for normal combat.
“...Let’s use another one.”
Xenovia grabbed a part of Ex-Durandal’s sheath. With a mechanical sound, the sheath transformed and revealed a hilt! Xenovia held the hilt and pulled, separating it from Ex-Durandal. What was thought to be only a hilt ended up producing a sword blade! W-What is going on!? Did the new Durandal keep additional swords within it? Then, could it be one of the Excalibur fragments? This sword has way too many features! Switching into a two-sword style, Xenovia adjusted her stance and raised the speed of her sword strikes. Seeing this, Siegfried laughed.
“This is getting interesting. Wonderful. It’s time for me to show off!”
Siegfried made a wide swing with his Demonic Sword. Kiba and Xenovia evaded and temporarily retreated.
Siegfried’s body gave off a kind of pressure that was hard to describe...! It gave a chill to one’s back, and the murderous intent was expanding!
Out of Siegfried’s back—grew another three additional silver-scaled arms! Wow, it was just like Asura! The new arms drew out his three remaining swords. It was a six-sword style!
“The Demonic Swords Tyrfing and Dainsleif, as well as a sword of light for Devils. Despite how I look, I used to fight for the Church, you know?"
A sword wielded in each of the six arms. That truly was the stance of the Asura.
“This is my [Chaos Edge Asura Ravage]. As the subspecies of Twice Critical, the Balance Breaker is also a subspecies. The power is simple; multiplying arms. A useful enough ability for one like me, who only uses technique and Demonic Swords to fight. Let’s see how well you two can keep up.”
...Kiba, Xenovia! Just as I worried for the two of them, Irina had begun an intense battle with that lady called Jeanne.
“O, Light! Ha!”
Irina spread her pure white wings and aimed several spears of light at Jeanne from the sky. What an acute attack. The size of the spears of light was also very large. If a human or an ordinary Devil got hit, they would probably be vanquished immediately. However, these attacks were lightly dodged by Jeanne. That lady sure was fast! Though she was inferior to Kiba, her speed was enough to be a challenge for eyes to follow!
“Not bad! Angel-chan’s attacks are very direct! Onee-san is very touched!”
Why is she so cheerful!? Jeanne swung her rapier and deflected Irina’s attacks of light.
“Then, eat this!”
Irina flew down from the air and charged straight at Jeanne! Holding her sword of light high, she slashed down at Jeanne! However, Jeanne stood her ground, taking on the attack directly.
The sound of metal colliding was heard as the two were caught in a deadly battle! They were even! Jeanne then smiled confidently! She must be planning something!
As Jeanne called out, a sword grew out from under her foot! Irina was surprised, but she managed to evade to the side! As Jeanne took the opportunity to thrust forward with her sword, Irina spread her feathered wings and retreated to the air.
“Not bad at all! Yes, it looks like I underestimated you. That’s my Angel-chan.”
“D-Despite appearances, I am the Ace of Michael-sama, leader of the Angels! Do not underestimate me!”
“Is that so? Michael? Got it, then just like Sieg-kun, it’s time for onee-san to show off.”
Jeanne fluttered her eyes... Sieg-kun? Was that Siegfried? Show off? Could it be, like Siegfried, she is going to—
“Onee-san’s ability is [Blade Blacksmith], the Holy Sword version of that Holy Demonic Sword wielder’s Sacred Gear. Holy Swords with all kinds of attributes can be created! At the current rate, it seems that my Holy Swords are not going to win. However, don’t you believe in the existence of exceptions?”
The lady smiled elegantly. So, Jeanne’s Sacred Gear was the Holy Sword version of Kiba’s. This was something I should have known. After all, Kiba could create Holy Swords as a result of reaching Balance Breaker. However, exception...? An ominous premonition filled my mind. And then, it came true.
From beneath the feet of the lady who smiled adorably, a huge number of Holy Swords gathered together into a stack violently! Those Holy Swords seemed to be forming a giant object! Appearing behind Jeanne—was a massive Dragon made up of an uncountable number of Holy Swords!
“This child is my Balance Breaker, [Stake Victim Dragon]. Like Sieg-kun’s, it’s a subspecies.”
Jeanne smiled, while Irina’s expression was serious.
“...The Holy Maiden Jeanne d’Arc... It feels complicated to be fighting the one who inherited the spirit of the saint, but I will fight for Michael-sama and everyone! Peace is the most important!”
Wow, she raised her sword of light and renewed her determination! Irina, you have to do your best!
Judging from the sound of numerous explosions, Rossweisse-san’s battle of demolition against the giant Heracles was in full swing.
“What!? No damage from being hit by magical attacks!?”
Rossweisse-san released a whole stream of magical attacks, but Heracles took them straight on with his body, laughing madly!
“Hahaha! Great! This magical attack tastes just right!”
—! He was laughing! Despite being hit by Rossweisse-san’s Norse Magic bombardment, he could still mock his enemy as if nothing had happened. No, he did get hurt! Though the wounds were tiny, his entire body was covered with wounds. By the way, taking such light damage from all those magical attacks, just how sturdy is his body!?
Every time Heracles punched with his fist, an explosion was created! It’s like he was holding bombs in his hands when he attacked! Rossweisse-san nimbly dodged, causing Heracles’ iron fist to miss, hitting a tree behind. Instantly, as the explosion was heard, the tree turned into dust.
“My Sacred Gear is [Variant Detonation], which makes my targets explode when I attack! I suppose I could continue like this, smashing your magic with my fists like a fireworks show. But seeing everyone else going Balance Breaker, I’ll probably get nagged if I don’t go with the flow! Sorry, I will enter Balance Breaker and defeat you right away! Heya~~! Balance Break!”
The giant gave off a loud roar, and that huge body began to give off light! The light gradually formed thick objects on the man’s arms, legs and back! As the light faded, the man, Heracles’ entire body was covered with numerous protrusions! These protrusions...were shaped somewhat like missiles... No, no, can it be...?
“This is my Balance Breaker, [Mighty Comet Detonation]!”
Heracles took aim at Rossweisse-san! Rossweisse-san, aware of his intentions, began taking evasive manoeuvres to distance herself!
“At this rate, this place won’t be safe...!”
With a bitter expression, Rossweisse-san quickened her retreat towards a direction away from Honmaru Palace! Rossweisse-san was trying to avoid us getting hit by the missiles’ explosion.
“Haha! What a great woman! Trying to draw my attention to avoid getting your companions caught in the explosion! Fine! I will get duped this once!”
Heracles happily laughed with excitement. Having left Honmaru Palace, Rossweisse-san turned around in mid-air and conjured numerous magic circles! Heracles’ missiles were prepared to fire, and he shot them all at once. Like I’m going to let you succeed! I aimed at Heracles’ direction with my left arm and prepared to fire the Dragon Shot! In the instant that Heracles fires his missiles, I will strike down as many as possible! But just as I was about to fire the Dragon Shot—
“Hey, your opponent is me.”
Cao Cao swiftly appeared in front of my left arm! Fine, you can taste it yourself!
The Dragon Shot left my hand!
Cao Cao lightly lifted his spear and deflected my arm upwards. The Dragon Shot fired out of my hand and disappeared into the sky! At the same time, Heracles’ numerous missiles flew towards Rossweisse-san.
As the innumerable missiles struck the magic circles conjured by Rossweisse-san, a massive explosion was created in the air! The violent wind swept across the entire area! Appearing out of the smoke was a figure! Looking closely, Rossweisse-san was covered with wounds, but she landed in a stable manner. Despite the defence provided by the Rook and her defensive magic, she still suffered significant damage. Worst of all, her magic, which could take out a city, seemed to be ineffective against this Heracles. Did this giant surpass Rossweisse-san in both offence and defence? Or did he have some kind of advantage in attacking and defending against magical attacks? No matter what, the first priority was to recover Rossweisse-san’s injuries!
I gave the order to Asia.
The green aura was sent to Rossweisse-san’s body! Asia had fired her healing aura towards Rossweisse-san. Rossweisse-san made a thumbs-up as thanks. Looks like she was almost completely healed! Well done, Asia!
“Ha! You recovered! Well, that’s all right with me!”
Heracles also seemed to have happily accepted Rossweisse-san’s recovery. What a battle maniac. Heracles began to run, charging in Rossweisse-san’s direction! ...Damn it. No matter who, every one of these bastards is going Balance Breaker! As if he read my thoughts, Cao Cao laughed joyfully.
“Isn’t it great? This is a Balance Breaker free-for-all. Without a little inflation, how can humans compete with you supernatural existences?”
As Cao Cao spun his spear in his hands, I distanced myself slowly... Though it looked like there were many openings, I knew that rash attacks would be countered. It was only my instinct, but that guy was most likely a master of techniques. If I attacked recklessly, then like just now, Cao Cao would use the smallest movement to parry and render the attack useless. This was very scary.
“Aren’t you going to Balance Break like the others?”
I asked, but Cao Cao shook his head.
“No need, no need. We can win without going that far. However, today is my chance to really have a good look at the Sekiryuutei’s power.”
“...It looks like we are being looked down upon. However, it doesn’t sound like a joke.”
“Ah, I was just thinking about how to draw out our power and have a satisfying battle.”
This guy is just like Vali. The relaxed version of Vali. While the other guy uses force to measure my power, this one here is watching my every move with amusement. Cao Cao raised an index finger.
“My companions came up with a theory on how to defeat you. The proposal was to attack you with a time-accelerating Sacred Gear. The Balance Breaker time limit will be shortened and the armour will release prematurely. We already have such a Sacred Gear user, and it is very effective against Sacred Gears with time limits like yours, accelerating time in an instant to waste the time limit. However, it has no offensive or other special abilities. Just time limit control. Still, targeting the time limit will be a decisive blow against you. However, that is probably not enough to defeat you.”
...What was he trying to say? I couldn’t discern Cao Cao’s intention behind telling me this.
“You have been trying to enter the depths of the Sacred Gear to understand it. For example, if you were to release Balance Breaker voluntarily and switch to using the normal ability of power doubling every ten seconds along with the accelerated time, what would happen? You would become a horrifying existence that could multiply power in an instant. Of course, it is still unknown whether the time acceleration effect will affect the normal mode Sacred Gear if it was applied during Balance Breaker. But for someone like you who has reached the depths of the Sacred Gear, it is very possible.”
“What on earth are you trying to say?”
I couldn’t help asking. Cao Cao shrugged.
“What I’m saying is, rather than using these indirect manners, it’s probably best to defeat you with direct attacks. You have a great wariness of Technique-types, so I was thinking those types might not be able to handle you.”
Yeah, right. It’s me who can’t handle the likes of you. We just met and yet you’ve already analysed me so thoroughly. This man was really scary.
"But then, Hyoudou Issei, you have two decisive weaknesses; the Dragon Slayer, as well as Light. Dragon and Devil, while possessing these two attributes can make you more deadly, but naturally, at the same time, it increases your number of weaknesses. These weaknesses are very conspicuous to me. It makes me feel like wanting to prove to the world that a truly invincible being does not exist. Well, that’s enough talking. Let’s begin.”
Cao Cao raised his spear and pointed the sharp tip at me... Then, I must begin to fight. The first was Promotion... Knight? Or Bishop to power up the Dragon Shot? ...No, better stop trying to train on a real battlefield. Let’s go all out.
“Asia! Promotion to Queen!”
With Asia’s approval, I promoted to Queen! Power flowed into my body! Ever since last time, I have insisted on training all along! I have already reached the point where I could make use of the traits of the various pieces! Then, let me show off the results of my training right here! I spread my Dragon wings, ejecting magical power strongly from my back boosters!
Extending my fist, I used my extreme speed to give Cao Cao a punch! After considering many plans, in the end, a straight punch was best! I accelerated strongly forward! Cao Cao spun his spear dexterousl, and lightly dodged to the side just before my fist struck! He can handle my charging! If so...! I changed trajectories with my boosters and charged once again in the direction that Cao Cao evaded! I gathered magical power in both hands! Predicting the instant Cao Cao would dodge, I was going to fire the Dragon Shot at that bastard—
Cao Cao kicked my right hand as he parried the left hand with a sweep of his spear! Once again, my Dragon Shot flew off to nowhere! Bastard! Neutralising my attacks with the least possible movement!
Just as I was getting annoyed, there was something at my abdomen. Lowering my gaze—I found Cao Cao’s spear firmly embedded there.
Large amounts of fresh blood were rushing up from my abdomen and spewing out of my mouth. ...I-I lost!
“You’re not weak, but your style of rushing in directly has too many openings.”
Cao Cao slowly withdrew his spear from my abdomen. In that instant, my abdomen, no, my entire body, was engulfed by the intense pain. With the wound as the centre, my entire body began emitting smoke. ...I-It really hurts...? W-What was this...? A feeling identical to Holy Swords... The smoking wound was also the same...! O-Of course, it’s the Holy Spear... So the pain and effects are... Damn it, my consciousness is growing faint...
The green aura surrounded my entire body. The pain in the abdomen gradually subsided. ...It must have been Asia who sent me the recovery aura just at the right moment. Just now, I really was about to lose consciousness. However, the wound was still open. And it was smoking a bit. No way, it looks as if it is about to expand again! Was it because the healing provided from a distance was not strong enough? Asia’s distance healing was very effective, but still inferior compared to her direct touch... Still, long-range healing was already very powerful, but the Holy Spear’s damage seems to have exceeded it. I took out the Phoenix Tears from my shirt pocket and scattered them over the wound on my abdomen... The wound finally closed. Wow, as expected of the Phoenix Tears.
“Did you know you almost died just now? Pierced by the Holy Spear, you were almost erased. Death is surprisingly simple, no?”
Cao Cao laughed lightly. ...You said I almost died just now? Really. Yes, it was a critical wound right in the belly, but I’ve had similar in the past and I could still move. I was even thinking of sending a punch to your face as a counter. —Wait, almost erased? Was he referring to Devils disappearing without a trace from holy attacks? ...I was in that state just now? ...Smoking all over my body, my existence was about to disappear? Realizing that, I had reason to shudder. ...T-That was really dangerous. If I died just like that, I couldn’t face Buchou and Asia ever again! Cao Cao tapped his shoulder with his spear. I-Is that this guy’s habit? Whatever, that’s not important anymore.
“Remember this well. That was the Holy Spear just now. No matter how powerful you become, you can never overcome this attack because you are a Devil. Even if it’s Vali, as long as he remains part Devil, the Holy Spear’s damage is absolute.”
Lesson learned. Better stay away from that spear... Next, what should be done? Cao Cao saw my response and was taken aback.
“...Ah, you didn’t get scared. I was thinking it would be fun to see you cowering in fear...”
“Ah? Of course I’m afraid! But I won’t be scared off. I won’t be able to face everyone if I don’t give you a punch to the face. Being the Sekiryuutei is not easy!”
Cao Cao suddenly laughed out loud... What is this guy? His facial expressions have been changing rapidly.
“How nice, this. I can sort of understand why Vali likes you so much now. Interesting. Vali, you’ve finally found a good opponent.”
Using his fingers to wipe away the tears from his laughter, Cao Cao opened the front of the spear, creating a blade of light!
The pressure from Cao Cao intensified. Looks like he is full of spirit? This is getting more and more scary. I extended my right hand, preparing to fire off the strongest Dragon Shot!
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!]
I fired a massive blast at Cao Cao!
“If this hits my body, it could get dangerous.”
Cao Cao prepared to parry the attack with his spear—but I already anticipated it! At the instant of firing, I activated the back boosters and jumped! Aiming at the moment Cao Cao parried the Dragon Shot attack, I sent him a punch from the side! Cao Cao raised his spear high, and with a giant swing, split the massive Dragon Shot in half like cutting a watermelon! What the hell do I care about that!? Let me punch him with my right fist while he is swinging his spear down!
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!]
I punched Cao Cao with my boosted fist!
“I feel the power of your hidden potential!”
Cao Cao happily declared and swiftly turned his spear to parry my arm. Now! The right fist was actually a feint! The right fist stopped in front of Cao Cao! His parry missed. I pushed forward my left fist! At the same time, I transferred power to Ascalon in the gauntlet!
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!]
I made Ascalon’s blade appear from the gauntlet, and then I jumped backwards immediately! At the same time as I jumped, I emitted a pulse of aura from Ascalon!
As Ascalon’s aura flew towards Cao Cao, it seemed to have exceeded his expectations as he made no effort to evade!
With a rough noise, Cao Cao’s left arm was sent flying in the air. Ascalon’s attack has severed his arm! Success! Feint after feint, and then the real attack within another feint! The training with Kiba finally came to fruition. I declared victory in my heart. Yes, no matter how powerful the spear, or how numerous my own weaknesses are, that guy also has his own weakness; the frail body of a human. In terms of durability of the body, I had the clear advantage as a Devil and s Dragon. Though Cao Cao and the Hero Faction are much tougher than ordinary humans, they are surely more vulnerable than Vali and Loki. As expected, I can win. If not, then I can still put up a fight. Cao Cao stabbed his spear into the ground and caught the falling left arm with his right. Expressionless, he held the left arm with his right armpit and took out something from his pocket. As I wondered, my gaze focused on a familiar looking bottle! That’s...! Cao Cao opened the lid to the bottle, poured the liquid over the wound and connected his left arm to the spot. Smoke rose from the wound on the left arm—and then everything was restored as if nothing had happened! That bottle... No mistake about it! It's Phoenix Tears!
“W-Why do you have something like that!?”
I questioned, and Cao Cao laughed.
“Black market. As long we keep certain channels open, all it takes is money. I’m sure the Phoenix family definitely does not want these to fall into our hands.”
...How could this happen? As an important recovery tool for the Devils, the Tears were already extremely precious, but to have them fall into the hands of terrorists...! Countless victims suffering painfully from your attacks could have been saved if only they had the Tears!
“...Due to anger, your aura has increased. Letting your aura fluctuate due to emotion, did you know that it could bring destruction in certain circumstances? That was the reason you entered the Juggernaut Drive state once.”
It’s none of your business! Bastard! These guys, they really stick their fingers in too many pies!
At this moment, my armour crumbled! ...What was this?
“Just as you were jumping back, I happened to make a few strikes with the spear. Though there seems to be a delay, it looks like a few simple attacks can wreck the Sekiryuutei’s armour.”
...Looks like I was attacked without even noticing. Ddraig, I’m sorry, but I’ll leave the repairs to you.
[...Understood. However, most likely due to the effects of the Holy Spear, restoring the armour will take time.]
Really. How much does that spear counter me!?
“A very good attack. Strong. It looks like I may need to raise my Sacred Gear a bit.”
Cao Cao, that bastard, looking so happy... If only a hit lands, I will win. Of course, if that guy gets a hit in, I could very well die too... Just as I was agonising over how to deal with Cao Cao’s Holy Spear—
Asia’s sorrowful cries were heard!
“Ara? You guys are still going at it?”
A woman’s voice was heard. Glancing over, I saw it was Jeanne...carrying the bloody body of Irina in her arms. Irina...
“Well, it is the Sekiryuutei. He should put up a better fight than these guys.”
Siegfried’s voice... Held in his six arms were Kiba and Xenovia, all covered in blood as well... Hey, hey...
“If only I got to fight the Sekiryuutei.”
Huge Heracles threw down something in front of me. It was Rossweisse-san, her body dyed red with fresh blood. ...E-Everyone... How can this be...? They’ve all met such fates...?
I heard a roar. Vritra was entangled by the Kyuubi’s nine tails and roared out in pain! ...Even Saji...! Cao Cao tapped his shoulder with the spear.
“Sorry, Sekiryuutei. It looks like this is the end. Strong, you are all very strong. This is already exceptional among Devils. But this level of power cannot win against us who hold the power of heroes in our hands. Also, for Devils, Fallen Angels, Dragons and Youkai to be uniting as enemies of humans, isn’t that too scary? Wouldn’t humans feel threatened? Resisting is only natural. It is only normal for humans to defeat Maou and Dragons. This is the principle behind the Hero Faction’s actions. Well, whether for me or the other members here, that is one of our goals. Anyway, Georg, how’s the magic circle?”
The mist user nodded in response to Cao Cao’s question.
“It will still take a while, but will Great Red really come?”
“Even if he doesn’t, we will get data on why he didn’t come. We’ll try other methods if that happens.”
“Still, making this all work will mean a heavy price. Are you sure we are doing this at all costs?”
“Don’t look at me. If possible, of course I want a good result.”
...These guys, they’ve forgotten about us and were now occupied with the matters of the experiment. Jeanne, Siegfried and Heracles left my companions here, and then started talking with Cao Cao.
Asia ran to everyone over here and began to heal theem, her tears flowing incessantly. ...In my mind were the promises we made before coming here.
—We will protect Kyoto with our lives.
Sensei... I...couldn’t do anything...
I glanced at Kiba lying on the ground.
—Now that Buchou is not here, as substitute, our ‘King’ is you, Ise-kun.
Kiba, even though you said that...I couldn’t do anything.
“Mother, please wake up! I am Kunou! Kunou is here! Mother!”
Kunou cried as she spoke to her mother , but the Kyuubi leader didn’t even look at her.
—Your mother will be saved by us!
Did we save anyone? W-We didn’t accomplish anything...!
Asia continued to heal, weeping.
...What was I doing...? Why did I become such a pitiful sight...? Even though I have restored Boosted Gear Scale Mail, Cao Cao and his group did not even glance at me. Though they felt we were strong, they didn’t think we were enough of a threat to reverse the current situation. To be viewed like that, even though we tried our best, it was too... From the very start, to them, we were just on the level of entertainment, a side dish for the experiment. This truth brought me great pain... H-How can I call myself the Sekiryuutei? What Oppai Dragon, what a joke... ...Unacceptable. My body trembled within the armour and tears of regret streamed down without end... Why was I so weak? I was always so powerless at critical times like this. Why was everything always out of reach by that little bit...? No matter how hard I tried, there were still so many opponents I couldn’t catch up to... Was this my limit...? Why am I...? I knelt on the ground, knocking on the surface with hate and regret. My companions have all been downed by them, and my chances of defeating Cao Cao are... Even just saving Kunou’s mother, the chances were...zero. No, I cannot give up! I don’t want things to end here! I must continue to fight! ...But there was no way to win... I regretted it, and the pain filled my heart...
[Are you crying?]
Someone spoke to me from within my body. This voice belonged to...Elsha-san?
[Yes, that’s right. Why are you crying?]
...I feel so regretful... Why am I so weak? ... This is clearly a critical moment, but I failed again...
[Yes, it is regrettable. But did you forget? The Fallen Angel Governor once mentioned it; you are the embodiment of possibilities!]
At this time, I recalled Azazel-sensei’s words in my mind. Yes, it was just before the battle with Loki.
—I believe in your possibilities. All the past Sekiryuutei were devoured by power until they died, no exceptions. Perhaps you may be the least talented Sekiryuutei. However, you reached Balance Breaker using female breasts. You returned from a berserk state through female breasts. I feel that someone like you can be described as the embodiment of possibilities.
...Embodiment of possibilities.
—Oppai Dragon! Isn’t it such a cool name? Has a Dragon ever received such a unique title? Though your body and demonic power compares poorly with Vali and other past possessors, from another perspective, you have your own unique method of using the Sekiryuutei’s power to become strong. From now on, it will be fine as long as you work hard and persevere, as well as put in a little thought to discover key techniques.
Yes, that is what Sensei told me at the time. I can at least use my unique way to apply the Sekiryuutei’s power... Because I am the Oppai Dragon!
[Yes, now that’s more like you. Current Sekiryuutei, Oppai Dragon. The possibility Belzard and I saw! Come, release it all now! Your possibility!]
A bright light emitted from my shirt pocket. I took it out to have a look, and it was the jewel giving off red light. T-This was...
[Raise the jewel to the sky, and summon loudly!]
S-Summon? Just as I wondered, Elsha-san announced loudly.
[That’s right, go summon the breasts that belong only to you!]
In that instant—
The jewel became even more brilliant and gave off an intense light that illuminated the entire surroundings!
“...What is going on?”
Cao Cao noticed the light and turned to look! Amidst the light emitted by the jewel, something appeared. Those things gradually took on human form. One, two, they began to multiply. W-What is this...? Elsha answered my question.
[The jewel has been transferring among all sorts of humans in Kyoto, and these figures are formed from their residual memories.]
The figures of all the poor innocent men who became molesters due to me...? The number of figures multiplied, easily exceeding a thousand. What kind of molester surge did this jewel produce in Kyoto!? That’s far too many people I have to apologize to!
“Lots of oppai.”
“Many, many oppai...”
...The lingering memories began to repeat oppai over and over again. Hey, hey, hey! When did this become a hentai exhibition!?
“ “ “Oppai! Oppai! Oppai! Oppai!” ” ”
As the huge number of figures all chanted ‘Oppai!’ in a low voice, they slowly and casually shuffled their footsteps, entering some kind of formation.
“ “ “ “Oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai.” ” ”
“This is going too far!”
I couldn’t help but exclaim at this strange spectacle. The lingering memories repeated the word ‘oppai’ as they looked like they were about to perform some kind of ceremony.
Cao Cao spoke softly. That’s right! They looked just like zombies! Did people who got their chest fondled by the people who had become molesters due to the jewel get infected and turn into zombies? The clones from lingering memories, after arranging themselves in a circle, the oppai zombies melted into the ground. Next, light moved about within the circle to carve out symbols in the centre, forming a massive magic circle. The oppai zombies turned into a magic circle! This series of shocking events had left me completely puzzled, but Elsha-san said to me.
[Everything is ready! Summon!]
W-What? All these incomprehensible things have killed my ability to think!
[Summon the breasts that only belong to you!]
Breasts belonging to me... The first image that floated into my mind were that crimson-haired onee-sama’s—
[Go, yell it out! Summon, breasts!]
I couldn’t keep up with the rapid developments! Do I really have to yell it out!?
The magic circle gave off a bright light, the word ‘oppai’ was spelt out in the magical script, and within the magic circle were even the characters for breasts! Summon? Could it really mean for me to summon that image in my mind...? Something appeared in the centre of the magic circle. With a flash of light, what appeared inside the magic circle was—the crimson-haired Buchou! Bu-Buchooooooooooooooooooooou!? Was she in the middle of changing clothes? She was wearing only underwear. Noticing the change in scenery, onee-sama lifted her head to look around and got a big shock! Of course!
“W-What is going on!? Honmaru Palace...? K-Kyoto? A-Ara, isn’t this Ise? Why are you here and why was I brought here? S-Summoned!? Eh? Eh?”
Buchou was in an awkward situation! I was so surprised I couldn’t speak! Even the Hero Faction were staring speechless, unable to react! Sorry! For something so incomprehensible to happen, I am very confused too! With full seriousness, Elsha-san spoke to the confused me.
[Go ahead, poke!]
I couldn’t help but doubt my ears. Just now, I heard something that could not possibly be heard. And then, Elsha-san spoke to me again.
[Please poke her breasts.]
[That’s right, poke just as usual. Poke it with a ‘pochitsu’ sound.]
“With a ‘pochitsu’!? No, no, what will happen if I poke!?”
What was this person suggesting!? Are you really the strongest female Sekiryuutei!? Onee-sama, I fear you have gone mad! Ignoring my astonishment, Elsha-san continued.
[This is the final switch required to open your possibilities, in other words, Rias Gremory’s nipple. This is the switch, the switch needed to open the doors of your potential!]
No way. You’re mad. Come on, this is beyond my imagination. Elsha-san, Buchou’s nipple cannot be the switch to my awakening!
[No, this is the switch to your awakening. Please understand, I truly believe this after observing you closely all this time.]
Too far! Those words have gone way too far! But why do they sound so convincing!? As I struggled pondering, Buchou’s body began to give off a golden light!
“W-What is it now!? I am surrounded by light!”
Buchou was beset with shock followed by a troubled look, but something incredible was happening before my eyes.
Buchou’s breasts were flashing with some sort of holy light. ...Elsha-san, this is...
[Rias Gremory’s breasts have come into contact with your possibilities and entered a new phase.]
[Hoho, those breasts have exceeded the limits. The frontiers of the Switch Princess are entering the second phase!]
Sorry, I don’t understand! What second phase!? All these incomprehensible things are making me cry!
[Just touch it and you can change. You will realize a dramatic change. The power of the Evil Pieces within your body will be liberated with one touch. Press it.]
Nosebleed. I finally understand. I get the situation now. I walked over to Buchou, withdrew my mask into the helmet and smiled.
Buchou tilted her head with an expression of surprise while I solemnly said to her.
“Buchou, please let me poke you in your breasts.”
My frankness made Buchou—speechless. However, she only thought it for a moment before she said.
“...I don’t quite understand, but still...I get it!”
Amazing! She understood my words! How did this situation come about!? It has become incredible! Though I tried to ridicule myself with incisive derision, there was nothing else that could be done! Then go ahead and touch! Yes, touch it! Touch it in Kyoto! Poke Buchou’s breasts! Poke Buchou’s nipples! Since letting others see her own nipples would be very embarrassing, Buchou shifted her position so others could not see and took off her bra.
As the clasp was released, the voluptuous breasts were liberated all at once! As I noticed the change to those so very familiar nipples, I couldn’t help but be surprised. The pink areolae and nipples were emitting a faint peachy glow. Areolae giving off pink light! What kind of situation was this!? W-Was this caused by the second phase!? Amazing! I am an idiot for trying to figure out these complicated things! Now then, all I need to do is touch it for immense benefits! Yes, yes, breasts can glow... Releasing the finger portions of the gauntlets, I extended two fingers and poked forward, aiming at those shining nipples. ...Thinking back, when reaching Balance Breaker, I also poked these breasts and awakened. It felt like I obtained something every single time I touched these breasts. It was truly thought-provoking. Amazing. Buchou’s breasts are amazing. No matter what happens, everything can be solved using these breasts. S-Switch Princess! Buchou is also evolving! Perhaps she will really become the Switch Princess!
Are you ready, Ddraig?
[Ooooooh! Oooaaaaaaah! Oooooooh!]
Ddraig began to sob loudly. There was nothing left to do but cry. Sorry, I’m sorry, partner! But I have to poke! Not poking is impossible! I have a reason I must poke!
“Here I come!”
I declared loudly as I nosebled while touching breasts. Feeling that incomparably soft sensation from the breasts and the nipples, watching the fingers sink into the breast. All these sensations travelled all over my body, giving my brain the highest pleasure.
Buchou’s final exhalation gave me a critical hit!
Buchou’s breasts suddenly gave off a bright light!
“T-This is...! Ahahahaha!”
Buchou could not help screaming at this extraordinary development. As Buchou’s breasts gave off light, she rose into the heavens and the whole space was illuminated with a pink glow! ...Amazing. Buchou, she’s ascending to heaven! Her breasts were still flashing with light! I couldn’t help clapping my hands together in respect, my eyes tearful. —Ah, breasts. As Buchou rose into the sky and disappeared, the light and the magic circle vanished as well.
Eh, eh, Elsha-san, where did Buchou go?
[Back to where she came from.]
Really? Buchou was summoned all the way to Kyoto just for that!? What the heck!? When I get back, I will have to prostrate myself and apologise!
“...What the heck was that?”
Cao Cao and his group were stupefied. What happened had exceeded their comprehension! Of course! They wanted to summon Great Red, but got Buchou instead!
I felt an intense beat from my heart.
Again in a loud voice, it was...
[It’s coming! Go forth!]
As Elsha-san raised her voice, red light overflowed from the jewels all over the armour... Warmth could be felt coming from within my body... It was like some kind of overflowing power...spurting out...! It couln’t be suppressed! Is this the power sleeping within the Sacred Gear? Is this Juggernaut Drive? No, no, there’s no feeling of terror. Rather, it was some kind of energy pulse never felt before. But it has a certain feeling of nostalgia. Ddraig, this is...
[I feel it too, partner... How nostalgic. This is—my original aura. Unlike the power from Juggernaut Drive, driven by extreme emotion, there is no curse or negative emotion. This feels like the time when I still had my material body, when all I cared for was to simply fight the White One to determine the victor!]
Ddraig’s voice was full of happiness and joy. Though I didn’t know what had happened to Ddraig, the red aura was now bursting forth from my entire body, covering me and the entire surroundings—
...Once I regained my senses, I found myself in the white space. ...What was this phenomenon? I should be fighting at Honmaru Palace in Nijou Castle. And then, two people appeared in front of the confused me. It was Elsha-san and a fashionably dressed man. This was inside the Boosted Gear...? So only my consciousness flew here? To this point, I still couldn’t understand what had happened, but Elsha-san smiled and said.
[Your door is open now. This is the alternate path different from Juggernaut Drive.]
Elsha-san... I am truly grateful for just now. It felt like it was something important, so I went ahead with reckless abandon despite my surprise.
[This is good. We also bet everything on it—because what you seek are breasts.]
I-Is that so? Well, I do seek breasts very often...
[Belzard and I can now pass on.]
Pass on... Could it mean?
[That’s right. We exist here only as residual memories. It’s about time for us to be free from this Sacred Gear.]
...Do you mean to die?
[We died long ago. What remains here are just some memories. Not even souls. Is this beyond common sense? And so, we plan on disappearing.]
B-But I still have many questions for Elsha-san and need more advice! Elsha-san shook her head at me.
[You don’t need us because I really have no interest in breasts. Only you can cause all these strange phenomena by touching female breasts.]
Yes, yes... Sorry, I am the Oppai Dragon...
[You’ll be fine as long as you have Ddraig and your companions. Go, current Sekiryuutei. Though the curse of the Sekiryuutei has not been fully lifted, it is something that will be resolved in time. If it’s you, I’m sure the rest of the lingering memories will be liberated.]
Elsha-san... I... I was touched and was overcome with mixed emotions of gratitude and appreciation, and my tears almost flowed out. Amongst the past seniors, there actually existed someone who cared so much for me...
[We’re leaving. Belzard, give him some final words.]
The man known as the strongest Sekiryuutei ever, Belzard-san, was smiling at me. Give me some precious advice, I beg you.
Nodding his head, Belzard-san reached out with his index finger.
[Click click, zoom zoom, iyaaan~.]
...For an instant, I completely failed to understand what he was trying to express...
[It looks like he’s satisfied. Let’s go, Belzard.]
Elsha-san spoke as she smiled. Wait, wait! What were those parting words from Belzard-san!? What is that look of satisfaction? Click click, zoom zoom, iyaaan~! No way! Aren’t those the Oppai Dragon song lyrics!? Oh no, the two of them were slowly fading away in the whiteness of the background! I can’t believe it! The parting advice from the strongest senior were words of gratitude just like that! The two of them were waving goodbye! You must have better advice to tell your junior! And so, Elsha-san and Belzard-san disappeared, satisfied with my breast fetish...
Is that so? I understood now. To become the Sekiryuutei, almost all hosts had to be weirdos...
“After all, I’m just a pervert!!!”
Those were the first words I yelled out as soon as my consciousness returned to the real world. My mind was about to collapse!
“Let’s go! Boosted Gear!”
In tandem with my yelling, the red flashing light surrounding my body began to give off a massive aura! Power gushed out without end! From the depths of my heart, from within my body, it flowed from the Sacred Gear. So this was Ddraig’s original power. Combined with the negative emotions of that berserk state known as Juggernaut Drive, it became that dangerous power. But now was different. Those negative emotions could not be felt right now and my consciousness was intact!
[Ah, yes. I finally remember. Why did I forget...? Yes, it was God. The original power of Albion and mine that God sealed...]
Ddraig spoke, sounding like he noticed something... Anyway, let’s talk later. First, let’s beat these guys right here!
[Right! Let’s show them this power of mine which hasn’t been used for so long!]
[Go, Sekiryuutei! Use our power! The possibilities of the Gremory servant, use them all!]
Many voices sounded out from the jewel, which began to repeat the sound of ‘D’ as if it was broken!
The way to use the new power flowed into my mind. ...Hahaha, amazing. Beelzebub-sama, the traits of your adjusted Evil Pieces have been strengthened by the Sekiryuutei’s power... Possibilities. Mine. Ddraig’s. From now on, our possibilities...! Due to the interruption just now, Queen had been released. Promotion was required again! But Asia’s confirmation was not needed! I yelled out loudly!
“Mode change! [Welsh Blaster Bishop]!”
Promotion to Bishop! Of course, this was no ordinary Bishop.
As I steadied my footsteps, red aura gathered on the shoulders and the back to take form.
A backpack formed on my back, whereas on my shoulders two massive caliber cannons were formed!
Starting up quietly, the Sekiryuutei’s power began to concentrate in the barrels of the cannons. ...My magical power was raised due to my Promotion to Bishop, and by adding in the newly awakened power, the backpack was filled with an extremely large amount of aura. A massive high-energy blast was being prepared!
“...That is very dangerous...”
Cao Cao muttered. He seemed to have noticed the concentration of power in the cannons. That’s right, a direct hit from these cannons will vaporize anything. This was my wish as I gathered power! Kiba, Xenovia, Irina, Rossweisse-san, Saji. My most important comrades. To hurt them like this! And then to ignore us! That regret! That impotence I felt! Let me fire all those emotions back at you! Energy concentrated in the cannons.
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!!]
“Disappear! [Dragon Blaster]!”
The shoulder cannons fired, releasing an extremely massive blast! Even as I tried my hardest to maintain my footing, I could not stop the impact from the recoil, and it sent my body skidding backwards...! I had to use all my strength to stop myself from flying away! The high-output energy blast was fired into the midst of the Hero Faction!
“Interesting! I will take this shot, legendary Dragon!”
Heracles stepped up in front. Was he trying to receive my attack head-on?
“Don’t take it! Evade!”
Cao Cao yelled and used the base of his spear to hit Heracles away from the line of fire! Cao Cao and the other members then swiftly escaped from my attack. Without hitting anyone, the cannon blast continued flying onward far away behind them.
A large explosion shook the entire space while the city in the background was engulfed by the gigantic aura! ...The energy continued to spread, surrounding the entire city with intense light! As the bright light faded, nothing was left! The cannon blast eliminated the entire scenery, and even the game field was affected as the artificial dimension began to show signs of distortion!
“...He destroyed the whole city! Hey! If he keeps firing, this dimension won’t last!”
Heracles finally understood the power of my cannons and cried out in surprise.
“He distorted the artificial dimension even though this place was constructed to be sturdy... What kind of firepower was that?”
Siegfried stopped smiling and narrowed his eyes. Hehe, let me take my revenge. However, this is not the end!
I yelled that guy’s name and released the cannons on my back! The released cannons dissipated into particles of light. Coming right up! This was only the beginning! I adjusted the Evil Piece system within my body! Yes, I need speed this time! Unsurpassed speed! Let me imagine myself as Kiba! Visualize the Knight!
“Mode Change! [Welsh Sonic Boost Knight]!”
I spread my Dragon wings and flew towards Cao Cao! The boosters on my back were doubled and spewed out great flames of magical power! I streaked across the sky as if causing the air to shake! Not fast enough! I needed speed faster than he can follow! Sonic speed, high speed, god-speed!
As I yelled, various parts of Boosted Gear Scale Mail were shed off! Heavy armour was cast off from the body, arms, legs and helmet! Abandoning all excess baggage, I kept the minimum armour needed to fly! Boosted Gear Scale Mail shaped itself into a set of delicate full body armour. Giving up on defence, the armour was further shaped into a slender form suited for high speed! My wish is god-speed! Speed no one can follow! Enduring the vomiting feeling from the heavy G-forces, I flew through the air with god-speed! This must be how the world is seen by Kiba and Vali. ...Honestly, my body still hasn’t adapted to such speed... However, I can still continue!
“If all I need is to charge into you, that is absolutely not a problem!”
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!!]
I had Cao Cao in my sights and was going to charge straight from the front!
Cao Cao entered a stance with his spear and readied an attack! Good! Let’s decide the victor directly! Straight and to the point, that suited me the best!
I crashed towards Cao Cao with god-speed!
Cao Cao vomited lightly. I grabbed Cao Cao and continued flying!
“I finally caught you. No objections now, right?”
As I spoke, that guy laughed happily.
“Who would have thought that you would really charge straight from the front! But then, can that thin armour resist my spear!? Sorry, but I just raised its power, so let’s end this!”
That’s right, if my current armour is struck by your spear, it will end instantly. It would probably be erased the instant contact was made. But I already knew that very clearly. I understood! I adjusted the Evil Piece system once again!
“Mode Change! [Welsh Dragonic Rook]!”
Now what I needed wasn’t speed. It was overwhelming offensive and defensive power. Red aura gathered around me, restoring the lost armour. However, the aura didn’t stop with regenerating the original form. Instead, it went further beyond to create even thicker armour, a heavy shield. Massive amounts of Dragon aura concentrated on my arms. This must be double, no, five or six times thicker than the usual gauntlet! Losing my god-speed due to the mode change, Cao Cao and I continued flying through the air from the momentum. Cao Cao aimed his spear at me, and the blade of light approached me!
...I used the thick gauntlet on my right hand as a shield and received the spear’s attack. The Holy Spear struck the gauntlet, but stopped halfway and did not penetrate my gauntlet completely!
“I need to increase the output even further to destroy this armour!? This level is already enough to vaporize a High-class Devil instantly!”
Against the yelling Cao Cao, I raised my huge left fist. The fist was aimed perfectly and would definitely not miss. Let’s go, Ddraig! Let’s go, everyone!
“Don’t look down on the Oppai Dragon, you bastard!”
[Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!!!]
I smashed my massive left fist at Cao Cao! In that instant, Cao Cao withdrew his spear from my gauntlet and used it as a shield to block my attack.
As the fist hit the spear, percussion hammers appeared on the elbow of the armour! As massive amounts of aura were pumped out, it massively increased the impact of the punch! From the air, I smashed Cao Cao towards the ground!
Taking my attack, Cao Cao fell towards the surface of the ground! In the moment before he fell, and after receiving my attack, Cao Cao was smiling. The impact of his fall broke the ground surface, creating a massive cloud of dust and dirt. Ending the close quarters combat in mid-air, I landed in my heavy armour.
In that state, my heavy armour turned into mist and scattered in the wind.
I began to pant and fell to my knees... What remained was the intense feeling of fatigue. The stamina consumption was truly enormous. From the current situation, it also felt like my armour was nearing its time limit. I have received a new power, the ability to promote to other Evil Pieces according to my own will without the King’s consent. And then, in conjunction with the power released by the Sekiryuutei, it brought me frightening levels of magical power, speed, offensive and defensive capabilities. Promoting to Bishop would raise magical power and allow the firing of a super powerful form of the Dragon Shot. The Knight would shed excess weight to become a set of high-speed armour. Using it together with the Sekiryuutei’s new power, it gave me unbelievable speed. Finally, the Rook was completely opposite to the Knight, equipping me with heavy armour that strengthened offence and defence. This required giving up on speed.
The Knight, the Rook and the Bishop. The power to freely use these three while amplifying their traits to the limit. Though this did reduce other abilities as a trade-off. ...At the current level of output, it was not enough for the Queen. If I forced the Promotion, the power would either make me go berserk, or it would disperse because I wouldn’t be able to bear it. Beelzebub-sama provided the key. With the help of the adjusted Evil Pieces, the original power of the Sekiryuutei Ddraig was awakened. This was the state of my liberated possibilities... The door was wide open, and all that remained was to keep charging forward. But the stamina consumption was quite severe... If it was used in succession, I would be out of magical power instantly.
[Partner, due to the liberation of power, the Balance Breaker countdown has further decreased. The total Balance Breaker time has also lengthened. However, stamina consumption has increased, in particular due to changing modes continuously. This will be lessened as you get used to it.]
Is that so, Ddraig? So I still have plenty of room to train. Well, awakening was also something that could be achieved to this extent through hard work. By the way, this power can’t be used in the Rating Game, since ignoring the King’s presence and promoting forcefully is against the rules. Beelzebub-sama also mentioned it. Well, it’s OK for real battles, so I will keep using it. As I slowly got up, my sight was caught by Cao Cao, who stood up as well. ...Bastard, he can still get up after taking my direct attack...? No, just before it struck, he used the spear to defend, so he can still endure... Cao Cao stood up from the massive trench dug up by the impact of his fall. His nose and mouth were bleeding. Cao Cao wiped the blood off and audibly flexed his neck.
“So this is the Sekiryuutei. Pardon my earlier dismissive words. It looks like you obtained great power at a time of desperation. If I didn’t defend with my spear, I would have died.”
Then you’d better go die! Damn it! This was truly the ultimate Longinus! That guy was fighting with a normal body, and I should be winning in a direct confrontation!
“Is this a new characteristic you obtained outside the rules of the Evil Piece system? This is almost like an Illegal Move.”
...? I expressed doubt at the term I’ve never heard before.
Cao Cao replied to the question that leaked out of my mouth.
“This is a term in chess referring to irregular moves against the rules. That attack you just did is clearly illegal in the Evil Piece system.”
An illegal move? It really was like the words described. That power cannot be used in a match.
[This power gives me the feeling of the Triaina.]
Ddraig expressed his opinion. Triaina? What does that mean?
[Triaina is the three-pronged spear of the ocean god Poseidon in Greek mythology, better known as the Trident. I felt that the series of attacks from the three Evil Pieces was as intense as the Triaina itself.]
Illegal Move... Triaina... Not bad, this name. I will be using it.
“Illegal Move plus Triaina. Not bad at all. Then I will call this series of attacks [Illegal Move Triaina].”
Let’s try this name for now. Once I master the power of the Queen, let’s think of a new one.
“How terrifying. In terms of direct offensive power, this rivals Vali without Juggernaut Drive. No, Vali is improving every day. I wonder how he is now...?”
Thanks for the praise. Even I myself don’t think I have caught up yet. That guy is a genius.
“That attack should have consumed more stamina and aura than expected. You are also far from mastering it. No, even if you master it, its consumption will still be significant... By my estimate, ten minutes of Balance Breaker remain at most.”
...Damn, that’s almost the right answer. This guy analyses everything so completely. Of course, I’m not going to tell you how much time is left. I will fight till the end. I sighed, and said to Cao Cao.
“You are really too tough to handle. I thought you were underestimating us, but you were still calmly analysing all this time.”
"No, it was my stupidity to have underestimated you slightly. My apologies. As one who has gained knowledge of the secrets of the Sekiryuutei, yet does not revel in great power, you truly are a formidable adversary. I must go back and reflect."
Cao Cao tapped the spear on his shoulder.
“How exhilarating. I haven’t felt this way ever since the last time I dueled with Vali. Truly, fighting legendary Dragons is the best. This is also proof that I am the descendant of heroes.”
...Exhilarating. I hate all these battle maniacs. When can I build my harem and live peacefully...?
“Are you planning to have a total war with all the factions like this?”
Cao Cao shook his head at my question.
“You’re mistaken. This kind of team is not suited for long-term warfare. Though we are strong individually, we cannot stand against the allied forces. Yes, we will inflict heavy losses upon them, but we will be eliminated. Targeting vulnerabilities with sudden attacks is far more efficient, so I will continue to stay in this kind of organisation.”
...So he had this kind of reason for staying under Ophis. How sly. There must be other reasons too.
A noise began to rock the dimension. I’ve heard this sound before. It’s the sound of space being sliced open. Looking up at the direction of the noise—there was a hole being formed. T-This is...! The image of the giant red Dragon in the Dimensional Gap appeared in my mind.
“It looks like it’s starting.”
Cao Cao happily laughed. T-Then, Great Red has been summoned using the Kyuubi leader and the magic circle...!
“Perhaps that magic circle plus your massive power attracted the True Dragon here.”
Cao Cao spoke in a mocking tone! ...What? This happened because I raised my power?
“Georg, prepare the Dragon Eater ritual—”
Cao Cao stopped his words midway. He narrowed his eyes and stared at the Dimensional Gap with a questioning expression.
“...Wait, that’s not Great Red? ...That, plus this Touki...!”
Appearing out of the Dimensional Gap was a massive slender oriental dragon a few dozens of metres long. That’s not Great Red! W-What was that Dragon!? Exuding a green aura as it gracefully flew in the night sky, it was quite a dream-like sight. Cao Cao began to yell.
“It’s the Mischievous Dragon, Yu-Long!”
Yu-Long! I remembered that he was one of the Five Great Dragon Kings! Though Cao Cao was surprised at the arrival of the oriental Dragon, his gaze was not focused on Yu-Long, but on the figure on the Dragon’s back. I also looked in that direction. Over there was a tiny figure. Ah, that figure fell off the back of Yu-Long. No wait, he jumped? From that kind of height!? The tiny figure completely ignored the height and landed on the ground.
“What a massive flow of Youkai ki, as well as the flow of Domination. Due to these, the entire capital city is full of strange fluctuations.”
The short figure had an elderly male voice, and approached us slowly step by step. So tiny. His figure was really short. A child...? He had the height of a kindergarten school child. His fur gave off a golden brilliance! A monk’s cassock gradually took form over his body... He really looked like a monkey... His face was all wrinkled. By the way, his skin was black... A Youkai? A monkey Youkai? He carried a staff-like weapon, had prayer beads on his forehead, and wore shades with a cyber design! He smiled with complete confidence while smoking a pipe.
“Hey, it’s been awhile, Holy Spear user. That damn kid finally grew up.”
The monkey old man spoke to Cao Cao. Cao Cao smiled, almost closing his eyes.
“The great Victorious Fighting Buddha. I wouldn’t have expected you to come. I’ve heard that you have been thwarting our efforts all over the world.”
“Kid, your pranks have gone too far. It wasn’t easy for me to get assigned to have talks with the Kyuubi leader on behalf of the Heavenly Emperor, and here you go kidnapping her. There are heroes who become Gods, and then there are heroes whose descendants poison the world. Tyranny and domination only last a single generation. Isn’t that saying correct, Cao Cao?”
“Poison? To be called poison by you, I am honoured.”
...I could see that Cao Cao treated this old man with reverence as they spoke. By the way, the entire Hero Faction seemed to be gazing at the monkey old man with great seriousness? Or should I say tension? It seemed like they were under heavy pressure. By the way, the Heavenly Emperor’s... messenger? The Heavenly Emperor was Sakra, right? Then, the one the Kyuubi leader was going to negotiate with was this monkey old man? To be the messenger, this must be a very powerful monkey!
“...Who’s that monkey-like...old man?”
“...He’s probably Sun Wukong, and the first generation as well.”
Kiba had finished healing and spoke as he walked over to me. I-I-I-I-I-It’s really him! Kiba’s words surprised me from the bottom of my heart!
“The F-F-F-First Generation Sun Wukong! That monkey old man is the famous one from the Journey to the West...!”
Really!? Amazing! Yes, that’s right, Sensei mentioned reinforcements... The monkey old man must have noticed my gaze as he turned to me and smiled with his creased lips.
“Sekiryuutei boy, you worked hard. That’s a pretty good Dragon pulse. However, you don’t have to push yourself any more. I am the reinforcements. Just leave everything to this old man. Yu-Long, I leave the Kyuubi to you.”
Monkey old man Sun Wukong gave orders to the flying Yu-Long in the air. And then, the Dragon King Yu-Long expressed dissatisfaction.
“Hey, hey, don’t go giving orders to Dragons just like that, damn old man! Just getting here made me super tired! Anyway, what happened to the Hakuryuukou's witch companion!? Wow, look, it’s Vritra! Hey, hey, hey, the one fighting with the fox is Vritra! It’s been how many years!?”
...That Dragon is very enthusiastic!
[He hasn’t changed at all.]
I-Is that so, Ddraig...? First Gen puffed his pipe and spoke.
“You can eat your fill of Kyoto cuisine later. How’s that?”
“That’s a promise, old man! You have to treat me to some delicacies later! Ah! Don’t look down on the Dragon King-sama, fox lady! I am very amazing!”
While complaining, Yu-Long began to take on the Kyuubi leader.
“OK. Sorry to the red fellow, but I will punish Cao Cao’s descendant now.”
First Gen walked towards Cao Cao. Siegfried extended his arms and launched a surprise attack at First Gen!
“Siegfried! Don’t take him on! Even if it’s you—!”
Though Cao Cao tried to stop him, Siegfried happily rushed in!
“Monkey boss! If it’s that Sun Wukong, then I have no objections to such an opponent—”
As he spoke calmly, the staff in First Gen’s hands rapidly extended in length, easily sending Siegfried flying!
Crash, crash, crash, crash, crash!
With one hit, Siegfried was sent flying into a pile of debris. S-So very strong! W-What is going on with this monkey old man!? He defeated Siegfried with one hit! Even Kiba and Xenovia with the new Durandal couldn’t win!
“You are not ready to be my opponent, young Demonic Sword user. Not enough strength in that waist. You’d better train again. Start with jogging.”
As First Gen eyed Siegfried, Yu-Long wailed at this time.
“Oohwawawawa! Hey, damn old man! This fox is quite strong!”
Yu-Long has been entangled by the Kyuubi’s tails! I-It was a tough match! By the way, this Dragon King was really enthusiastic!
“Pull yourself together. You are a Dragon King, right?”
First Gen sighed as he spoke.
“Among the Dragon Kings, I am the youngest! And also the liveliest!”
“You sure know how to argue. You are that youngest Dragon King who first proposed retiring the instant you ended your most illustrious battle. Use your youth to pull through.”
“Understood! I will try my best!”
Ah, they reached an understanding just like that. They sure were good partners. The Dimension Lost user released the magic circle binding the Kyuubi and extended his hand towards First Gen. It looks like compared to summoning Great Red, handling this monkey old man was more important!
“Capture and bind, mist!”
The mist from before began to surround First Gen and gathered.
“By the justice of Heaven, thunder sealing the Dragon’s jaw. Prostrate upon the ground.”
First Gen chanted the spell, then tapped his staff on the ground once, and the mist dispersed! He broke through that kind of mist just like that!
“Your Sacred Gear training is very weak. You should enter in a dialogue with it like that red Dragon over there.”
Ah, I am being praised. So happy! The mist user was very surprised. Of course, since he held the power of a top-tier Longinus, yet it was completely ineffective!
Cao Cao saw an opening and extended the blade of his spear, planning on ambushing First Gen. With one finger, First Gen blocked the spear! Come on, can this be real!? He defended against that spear just like that!
“...Not a bad attack. But if it’s only at this level, you’re still young. If your attacks are at the level that can be stopped by my finger, it is impossible for you to eliminate the other Gods and Buddhas. Whether you or the mist user, neither gave me a serious attack. Don’t underestimate me.”
Upon hearing First Gen’s words, Cao Cao laughed.
“...I see. That monstrous strength still exists... We keep hearing how strong you were in your younger days. But how is it now?”
To Cao Cao’s question, First Gen simply shrugged his shoulders fearlessly. Siegfried picked himself up from the rubble and said to Cao Cao.
“Cao Cao, it’s over. Sun Wukong is famous for stopping Khaos Brigade operations numerous times. If we continue to attack recklessly, valuable talent may get injured. I was too naive. He is ridiculously strong.”
Hearing that, Cao Cao put away his spear.
“Time to retreat, eh? Choosing the wrong moment could result in grave injuries.”
The Hero Faction swiftly gathered in one spot, and the mist user started activating a giant magic circle conjured under his feet. It was a transportation magic circle! They’re trying to escape! Cao Cao left behind some words.
“Let’s call it a day, First Gen-dono, Gremory servants, as well as the Sekiryuutei. I hope to see you next time.”
Wait! Don’t think you can escape! T-To do this during our school trip! As well as taking Kunou’s mother... I gathered aura, forming a cannon on my left gauntlet. Packing my remaining power into that cannon, I focused it on this one attack!
With a quiet sound, energy gradually gathered in the gauntlet cannon. A massive attack is not needed. Just hitting that guy is enough! First Gen smiled at me.
“You will complete my mission? Sure, that’s fine. I’ll let you punish that kid. It will only be for a short while, but I will raise your power.”
First Gen lightly tapped my armour with his staff. And then, aura flowed forth from my body! Is this the power of Senjutsu? My body, did it ever have this much aura? No, was it sleeping? Much thanks, monkey old man! With this, I have enough to fire the cannon! I locked the aim of the cannon’s barrel onto Cao Cao.
“You think you can return without any punishment? This is my gift to you, your souvenir from Kyoto!”
A dense blast of magic was fired from the gauntlet’s cannon!
Heracles and Jeanne stepped forward, planning to shield Cao Cao. There! I imagined Sirzechs-sama’s magic in my mind. That unending stream of attacks! No, no, I don’t need to reach the level of those kinds of movements! Just change the course of the projectile!
As I yelled, I liberated my imagination in my mind! In that instant, the cannon shot changed trajectory and bent around Heracles and Jeanne!
The surprise attack hit Cao Cao right in the face!
“Oooh, ooh, ooh...”
Red smoke was rising as Cao Cao covered his face! It made a bend! I made my attack swerve! There really was plenty of room for improvement, so if I wanted, I could change the direction of Dragon Shots I had already fired! The battle with Sirzechs-sama was not a waste! Cao Cao’s right eye bled, but he still stared over here! His face was stained red. That guy was covering his right eye and showing an expression of mad glee.
“...My eye was... Sekiryuutei!”
Raising his spear, Cao Cao began to chant powerful words of an incantation.
“O spear! The true Holy Spear which pierces through God! Absorb the ambition of the King of Domination sleeping within me and pierce through the gap of blessing and destruction! Thou—”
Siegfried covered Cao Cao’s mouth and held him down!
“Cao Cao! Stop chanting! It is too early to reveal the forbidden form of True Longinus, [Truth Idea]!”
These words made Cao Cao calm down and he took a deep breath. And then, Siegfried said.
“We must retreat. Annihilation Maker Leonardo is also at his limit. At this rate, the outside members won’t be able to buy us time for much longer. After all, we already gained a lot of valuable data and obtained very good experience.”
Siegfried stared at First Gen. It looked like he could still make an attack like just now. Cao Cao stared at me with his left eye. What a sharp gaze... What kind of stare was that?
“Understood. First Gen, and the Sekiryuutei, no, Hyoudou Issei. Please allow us to take our leave. Really, I can’t laugh at Vali any more. I am in the same state. You always manage to rile us up at the very end.”
Was he talking about that battle at Kuoh Academy with Vali? The light from the magic circle intensified. Just as he disappeared, Cao Cao said to me.
“Hyoudou Issei, become even stronger. Stronger than Vali. If that happens, I can show you the true power of this spear.”
Leaving behind these words, Cao Cao and the Hero Faction disappeared from this dimension. ...In the instant they vanished, fatigue gushed forth. Even maintaining the armoured state was taking all my effort. Hero Faction. Cao Cao... The ultimate Longinus... All were so mysterious. I can only say this.
The Hero Faction, especially that man, were frighteningly strong.
After the Hero Faction escaped, those left behind were us, Sun Wukong and Yu-Long, who came as reinforcements, as well as the Kyuubi leader.
“Ah, so tired. If Vritra was not here it would have been a hassle...”
Yu-Long landed and took a deep breath.
The Kyuubi leader had been stopped by Yu-Long and the recovered Saji in his Vritra state. After that, Saji had returned to human form, but then had passed out on the ground and was now receiving Asia’s healing. Thanks for your hard work, Saji. However, the Kyuubi leader did not return to human form. Currently, her pupils were still grey and she had not recovered consciousness.
Kunou cried as she called for Yasaka-san... but there was no response.
“Now, what should we do? Though I can use Senjutsu to remove the evil ki presence, it will take a long while.”
Puffing his pipe, First Gen was considering other solutions. Then, he apparently thought of something and looked in my direction.
“Red kid. You seem to have a strange power that can listen to female breasts, no?”
What, how did he know...? Was my power that famous? Ah, if he watched the Rating Game match video, then it’s not strange for him to know?
“Eh, eheh, yes, it’s true.”
“Good. Then I will assist. Use the technique on the little girl and the Kyuubi lady over there.”
Use Pailingual on those two? What could he hope to find out by asking their breasts? Though I didn’t understand, I used my remaining magical power to produce that mysterious territory of breasts. Sending power into my mind and raising lustful thoughts to the max, I then released the ability!
I used the technique on Kunou and Yasaka-san! At the same time, I released my armour. Just doing these tasks spent all my remaining magical power! After confirming that the technique had been activated, First Gen twirled his staff and tapped the ground. In that instant, a strange space covering the breast territory we were in was created. The surroundings seemed to be spinning constantly... And my sight was getting blurry?
“This is a creative use of your technique, red kid, altering it to allow heart-to-heart telepathy. This will allow for a dialogue between the little girl and her mother.”
First Gen spoke to Kunou. Kunou nodded and closed her eyes. And then, I heard Kunou’s voice in my heart.
“...Mother... Mother. Can you hear me, mother...?”
It was Kunou’s voice. My heart was filled with her voice.
“Mother...please return to normal... I beg you, please...”
However, Yasaka-san was still unresponsive.
Tears streamed down Kunou’s face as she continued.
“...I won’t be stubborn any more... I will eat the fish I hate. I won’t fly out of Kyoto at night any more... So please, please go back to the usual mother... Please...forgive Kunou... Mother...”
...What a depressing plea. Kunou continued apologising many times to Yasaka-san. At this time—
It was very faint, but I definitely heard that voice! Kunou lifted her head and began calling out again.
“Mother! Kunou is here! Please sing that song to me again! Please teach me to dance again! Kunou, Kunou will be a good girl from now on! I want to be with mother...in Kyoto! I want to live together in Kyoto...!”
A gentle light surrounded Kunou, and then the light began to cover Yasaka-san. The Kyuubi leader’s body began to glow and, slowly, it shrank in size. As the light disappeared, Yasaka-san had regained the size of a human. Wonderful! She’s back to normal! I couldn’t help but raise my arms and cheer!
“...This place is?”
Yasaka-san’s body was shaking, which was worrying. However, even though her consciousness was still a bit fuzzy, at least she came back! Kunou ran to Yasaka-san’s side. Jumping into her mother’s bosom, she cried continuously.
Yasaka-san tenderly embraced Kunou, caressing her head.
“...What is it, Kunou? You’re always such a crybaby.”
Damn... I am crying from this touching scene.
“Oh... Kunou-chan, this is wonderful...”
Having finishing everyone’s healing, Asia was also crying. Ah, ah, this was truly a touching scene. It’s wonderful, Kunou! Confirming that Yasaka-san’s sanity had been restored, First Gen announced the incident as having come to an end.
“Well, no matter what, this incident has been resolved.”
And so, the fighting was over as the battle to rescue the Kyuubi leader ended after many twists and turns.
Translator's notes and references
- Seimei Shrine: a Shinto shrine in Kyoto.
- Suzumushi: properly known as Myotoku-zan Kegon-ji, this Buddhist temple received its nickname ("Bell Cricket Temple") due to the sound of crickets singing throughout the year. The Kofuku-Jizo is a stone thought to make wishes come true and bring happiness.
- yaguramon: usually large and impressive, these gates were often used as important entrances and could be garrisoned. Picture of yaguramon at Honmaru Palace
- touki: literally "battle spirit", it is an external manifestation of a person's life force. Usually used by those who have mastered advanced sennjutsu, in rare occasions it can also manifest for those with extreme vitality and bodily training.
- Yu-Long: in the Chinese classic novel, Journey to the West, the third son of the Dragon King of the West Sea. He was punished to become the white horse of the monk, Tang Sanzang.
- Sun Wukong: called Son Goku in Japanese, the monkey king protagonist of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West
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