High School DxD:Volume DX3
- 1 Novel Illustrations
- 2 Life.1 The Precious of Asia
- 3 Life.2 The Ordinary Days of Red Dragon Emperor
- 4 Life.3 Let’s Go with Training! ~Mascot Chapter~
- 5 Life.4 Talents of the Student Council
- 6 Life.5 Worldly Desire of Steel
- 7 Extra Life.1 Cross×Crisis
- 8 Extra Life.2 Graduation Trip and Vortex Bunch
- 9 Afterword
- 10 Translator's Notes and References
Life.1 The Precious of Asia
“So, Damascus Steel was actually something that originated from Wootz Steel—”
I, Azazel, am digressing on a particular subject whilst teaching today, while also instilling useless knowledge into these students. Not long after, the bell for the end of class rang.
“Azazel-sensei, next time, could you explain your unique view on UFOs please?”
“Ah, could you also talk about the Pyramids that you mentioned before please?”
“It was really interesting!”
After talking to some students after class, I returned to the staff room. I was hired as one of Kuoh Academy’s teachers, mainly teaching Chemistry. Well, I was always engaged in research and performing experiments while I was in Heaven. In terms of teaching, it wasn’t a problem. Moreover, I also frequently participated in the teaching activities of other subjects. However, when it came to languages, geography and history, they give me a bit of a headache. There was a group of Fallen Angel Cadres that said this.
[Azazel-sensei? He would definitely make a mess out of teaching things.]
Although they were being sarcastic, I did have a responsibility to fulfil my duties. ...Today’s digression occasionally drifted towards impure topics...
“Listen up, the exchange of diaries is not allowed in class. Furthermore, male and female students should not be writing anything which is impure.”
The teacher in the next room was lecturing her students. It looks like Rossweisse (Civics Teacher) was currently teaching a pair of male and female students how they should behave. Her angry expression actually revealed a rather cute side. From what could be heard, Rossweisse needed to punish two students for their misconduct during class. This arrangement of indoor staff really prevented me from being excused for some things. Anyhow, it certainly must have been Rias who used her power to have Rossweisse situated right next to me so as to keep me in line. ...Seriously, it’s like she couldn’t trust me...
“I’m really sorry.”
The students apologised. But then, they quickly reverted and said.
“But Rossweisse-chan, do you really need to punish students for this level of behaviour?”
“Yeah, exchanges like this are really common in the other classes.”
Telling students not to exchange diaries during class is only natural, but the content of the diaries themselves is more important. I suppose they are kids in puberty who are probably curious about relationships with the opposite gender. However, the young female teacher very stubbornly refused to budge.
“What you’re saying is insignificant. High school students should put their learning first. Getting into a good university and finding a good job is more important than anything else.”
Ah, ah, this girl said the same thing every time. I really didn’t know whether it was because she was less than twenty years old and naïve or simply lacking in experience. Those two students were probably thinking along the same train of thought as I was right now.
“Rossweisse-chan, you’re not getting any younger. If you’re so stubborn, you won’t find a boyfriend.”
They actually said the words which should never be mentioned! This was the most forbidden sentence to her! It was obvious as the kids were frozen stiff and went completely silent. Rossweisse’s entire body was trembling. She made woeful noises, and even started crying!
“B-Boyfriend... I have one!”
A big lie. I couldn’t help criticising that. Well, she wanted to pretend in front of the students. However, I did hear about the rumour among the students that Rossweisse’s age = length of time without a boyfriend. Had such rumours spread throughout the entire school? Rossweisse didn’t seem to be aware of this situation, and she was especially strict in some areas, so the truth was seen by the students quite quickly. The female students called her ‘tragic beauty’, while the male students called her ‘pure bishoujo sensei’, so she was surprisingly popular. Well, she was also the subject of the female students’ envy for having the quality that ‘even when angry, she’s still cute’, so she was constantly being praised. It couldn’t be helped, Rossweisse. Even if this was how you normally were, it’s enough for the students to look forward to... You seemed to be an example of someone whose relationships stayed at the level of friends. Anyway, speaking about these principles illustrated the importance of a teacher’s job. Compared to those long-winded lessons, this was a better way to convey knowledge.
“Well, let it be, Rossweisse-sensei. Just forgive them.”
I said that from the side. Just let the students be. You didn’t need to get so involved in this, Rossweisse-sensei. You didn’t need to emphasise the history that you didn’t have a boyfriend. Although saying this was a bit verbose when coming from another person’s mouth, it could let the other person know that enough was enough.
“As expected of Azazel-sensei!”
The students seemed to be happy about what I said, but Rossweisse turned towards me and said.
“I! H-Have a b-boyfriend I said!”
She sobbed as she finished that line... You can talk about it again the next time you go out with Ise.
On the way towards the old school building, Rossweisse continued to pout while walking beside me... She was still dwelling on what happened earlier in the day. I stared ahead with a slightly blank expression as I said.
“The next step is to complete that thing from last time.”
“I know that! I’m not angry!”
...It’s not like I didn’t have a brain. Well, whatever. We needed to call Akeno and Ophis next. But the person in question this time was Asia. What we needed to do was to allow Asia and a certain monster to form a contract. It would be best if the contract could be made smoothly and successfully. However, that girl Asia was too innocent and wasn’t bold enough. That’s why it was necessary for people who often dealt with monsters to help with the job. In fact, forming a contract with a monster was actually a bargaining process. The person needed to have some experience in negotiations. If the other party led someone by the nose, the price would result in a lot of trouble. Rossweisse, who already knew about this, frowned as she asked.
“But, is this really okay? The other party is Azazel-sensei’s important contract object. One of the Five Great Dragon Kings, Fafnir, which is quite incredible.”
Indeed, I had made a contract with one of the Five Great Dragon Kings, the Gigantis Dragon Fafnir. He would normally face people in the form of a dragon, but during battle, he would be utilised by me as an artificial Sacred Gear. However, I planned to release the contract. Preparing Asia to inherit this contract was today’s important job. Anyway, I haven’t been directly on the battlefield recently. Rather, I’d been doing more support roles. It would be best if the battle situations could be left to the young Devils and Reincarnated Angels. An old man like me should back down from the front lines and do rear support, I would probably be more useful like that. While watching Ise and the others, I couldn’t help having such feelings.
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with being retired. The Three Factions have a peace treaty, and have now started joining forces with other mythologies. Although there are some hostile forces, it is truly much more peaceful when compared to the past. The new generation is already present, so we old people should make way for them.”
Gremory, no, this was a team composed of members from a variety of factions. Not long ago, last year, this was something that I couldn’t even imagine. To be honest, helping these guys grow and providing advice as a consultant made me much happier than fighting on the front lines. I really enjoyed this kind of life from the bottom of my heart. Well, the Grigori was originally a group of defectors from Heaven who taught humans knowledge. Hoho, I wondered what the Gremory team and Sitri team will grow to become. These growing youths were like a seedbed with an infinite number of possibilities. They were also my best research material. With Ise in the lead, everyone had been able to obtain unexpected results and growth.
“...Don’t think about strange things again. It’s the same as that time when you taught Ise bad things and were punished by the Grigori. If you have such thoughts, even the Maou-sama will get angry this time.”
Rossweisse stared at me while I was lost in these thoughts.
“That suits me fine. I wouldn’t be one of those in the old group of bastards who betrayed the omniscient and omnipotent God if I was teaching useless knowledge to humanity! I will turn these guys into the strongest team that no one can defeat, and no one can stop me.”
After hearing my speech, Rossweisse simply sighed in amazement. I would also help you to become strong, talented Nordic woman. But right now, the one who would be strengthened was Asia.
“Let m-me...form a contract with the D-Dragon King...!”
Asia was stumbling and stuttering as she spoke because she had been startled. After discussing it in the Occult Research Club, Asia, Rias, Akeno, Rossweisse and I came to the underground training area in the Gremory’s territory on the chosen day, which was today. It was a very spacious area. The Gremory Family, no, Sirzechs had prepared a truly remarkable training space for Ise and Rias as it was both high and wide. In this case, it wouldn’t matter even if things got a little messy. Before we transported here, both Rias and I told Asia what we would be doing. I would rescind my contract with Fafnir, while telling Asia about the matters relating to the monster at the same time. I would then allow Asia to form the [Dragon King Summoning Contract]. Well, since Asia had a rather modest personality, she panicked a bit at the beginning. There were two reasons why I wanted to let Asia use the Dragon King Summoning Contract.
The first was because Asia had successfully formed contracts with extremely difficult Dragons as a Devil. Although there were only a few varieties of Dragons, being able to form a contract with a Sprite Dragon was incredible. Dragons could be said to be the strongest existence amongst all living things. After all, the only ones in this world who dared to hate and kill Gods were Dragons. It could be said that Asia was the best candidate to make a contract with a Dragon. Still, suddenly making a contract with a Dragon King seemed like too much of a jump even to me. However, no one could know what would happen if they didn’t at least try. Currently, the members of the Gremory household all had different growth. Growing in great leaps and bounds was a very rare thing.
The second was because Asia’s role as a healer was crucial in battle, so the enemy would definitely target her. When Asia played a supporting role, it was necessary for someone to protect her. That was the current state of the Gremory peerage. As a team with overwhelming firepower, it would be wasteful if one person had to stay behind when they advanced. If Asia could protect herself, the team’s movement would become more convenient, and their overall strength would also increase. It would be quite appropriate for the Dragon King to have the role of protecting Asia. I also had a certain reason for advocating this. I turned my eyes towards the side. There was a girl wearing black clothing on her entire body — Ophis.
“What do I need to do?”
The Dragon God-sama scratched her head as she asked! She was exactly the reason why I was supporting this.
“I want to get your support. Well, you just have to support Asia.”
After I replied, the Dragon God-sama in the form of a girl seemed to have a ‘?’ floating above her head. This time, Ophis would be participating as well. Regardless of how it was seen, Asia had been under the care of Ophis. Asia normally had good luck, and often had lucky things occur. Irina was also the same. Circumstances like these were rarely seen in the world. This was the so-called ‘protection from God’. I took out a device that I created myself from one of my pockets, and then pointed it at Ophis. After it locked on to her, it measured Ophis’s aura level, and I then pointed the measurement device at Asia. This testing device was used to investigate mysterious presences and to what extent they affected an object. After seeing the numbers on the device, I felt relieved. A special faint and benign aura was radiated from Ophis’s body towards Asia. This was the truth behind Asia’s protection. This special aura caused Asia’s luck to become better. The God of the Bible, who was the backbone of our mythology, had already died, so the believers of the Church actually had no way to receive protection or blessings (accurately speaking, they were able to receive something similar to protection by using the System in Heaven which was left behind). Asia, who was practically unable to receive blessings from Heaven, was now receiving the blessing of the world’s strongest Dragon God. After having just met, Asia showed kindness to Ophis...and since then, Ophis had been giving Asia a blessing probably without even knowing. Most likely, this protection, which originally covered Ophis, was a token of gratitude towards Asia.
“This contract will take place under Ophis’s watch and with our help.”
Choosing Fafnir to form a contract with Asia was an overwhelming consideration. With the supervision of a Dragon God and our assistance, it would really make her feel more at ease. Compared to having only Asia make the contract by herself, the success rate of forming the contract would now be much higher. After hearing my words, Rias and Akeno both nodded.
“Mn, I will also give Asia a helping hand.”
“Fufufu, Asia-chan really is quite brave to form a contract with a Dragon King.”
After the comments by the King and Queen—
“I will also use relevant magic or summoning techniques to assist from the side.”
Since even the magical genius Rossweisse said that, the preparations were already complete. However, even with these people here, it was still possible to fail.
“...Although I don’t know how much I can do, I will also work hard to become strong. Please accompany me to the end, everyone!”
Although Asia was a bit nervous, it was evident that she was determined. Even we could see that this girl consciously wanted to become stronger.
“Good. We’ll first prepare an ordinary Dragon. Just talking casually to it will be fine. Before negotiating with Fafnir, it would be better to have some others for practice.”
Asia was not very good at negotiations. Although Asia needed to complete her Devils’ Job, most of the requests were from good-natured people, thus it didn’t require too much negotiation skill. However, against a Dragon King this time, it would be very important to have a certain amount of skill. Moreover, the other party wasn’t a human or a Devil, but a Dragon. In comparison to the humans that she met before, I was afraid that their values and thoughts were very different. It would be best to get used to it sooner.
“I, will help Asia.”
“Thank you, Ophis-chan.”
Ophis conversed with Asia happily. ...Well, she was seemingly able to communicate with Ophis. I wasn’t sure if this person would be categorised as a Dragon, or as something else. Rias then said.
“Does it matter if we reveal Ophis’s identity in front of the Dragons?”
The information regarding Ophis’s presence wouldn’t be disclosed. That was because it wouldn’t be good if it were revealed when summoning the Dragons.
“There isn’t a big problem. Ophis’s power has already been reduced as much as possible, so as long as it isn’t a particularly powerful Dragon, it won’t be detected.”
In this regard, I had already prepared everything. After hearing this from me, Rias said.
“That sounds like it took a lot of preparation.”
The situation could be left alone now. Thus, we continued with our original plan to summon a normal Dragon. In the centre of a magic circle appeared a massive Dragon. I gave Asia’s back a light push.
“Go, Asia. Talk to the Dragon.”
With a determined look, Asia began to converse with the Dragon (practice)...
“...Fire Dragons which can breathe fire are mostly good, and they have strong and generous personalities. Water Dragons which manipulate ice and water are a slightly calmer type...”
In the practice area, Asia conscientiously confirmed her notes. Including me, everyone who was here working together with her smiled. Asia said to Ophis beside her.
“Wind Dragons are a very free type. Lightning Dragons are slightly sensitive when small, but become very sociable when they grow up. Ice Dragons like to live peacefully in places where there are fewer people.”
Asia was repeatedly reciting her knowledge of Dragons. It had already been a few days since that now, and Asia had encountered a variety of different Dragons. The type, personality and values of these Dragons were all different, and she had more than a few troubles when speaking to them. With her serious and innocent personality, Asia continued to work hard. In the midst of Asia’s conversations with the Dragons, I did my best to lessen Ophis’s power so that the Dragons wouldn’t discover her true identity. ...If they really found out, there wouldn’t be any conversation, and they would definitely try to make a quick escape out of fear. However, as a Dragon King, Fafnir would definitely notice that it was Ophis who was beside Asia. We already knew about Ophis’s existence, but I didn’t think Fafnir would be afraid of Ophis... Up until now, Ophis had been beside Asia as she spoke to the Dragons. The person who came up with such a bold plan was awesome. If the other Cadres knew about this, they would definitely condemn me. Hahaha, it felt like I’d constantly been in highly dangerous situations recently. Perhaps my intuition had gone numb? Well, having received Ophis’s blessing, Asia hasn’t encountered any situation in which a Dragon had become irritated or angry. From the perspective of those watching from the side, her conversations were quite interesting. Well, the other parties were Dragons after all. In order to match the other party’s speech, Asia was also working hard.
At the same time, I provided Rias and Akeno with guidance in demonic energy. Rossweisse also trained in magic, in particularly, summoning magic. There was a lot to remember in a short amount of time, but their basic ability to learn and magic ability was quite high, and they finally learnt everything within this period. I watched the students while I took notes in my notebook. I had a habit of writing down my ideas. In order to prevent myself from forgetting, I wrote down everything that I thought of, and if there were any that I liked, I would go and research them. That was why, when I was in Heaven before, I had recorded a lot of data on Sacred Gears. Really, after those materials were taken away by Michael during the war, there were a lot of things that I couldn’t understand.
“What are you writing down?”
“Ah, the next quiz for the next class at school. It’s best to formulate the questions when I’m concentrating like this.”
I replied. Although I had to supervise Ise and the others, as well as the situation in the surroundings, I was also a teacher of Kuoh Academy. It was my job to guide the students properly. Rias made a soft laugh.
“What’s surprising is that the students taught by Azazel are particularly outstanding.”
‘Surprising’ was unnecessary. I did what was necessary. All of a sudden, Rossweisse raised her voice.
“While maintaining a slovenly appearance, you finish your job brilliantly and produce results. You actually have such profound experience in the workplace. Your relationship with the other male teachers isn’t too bad either...mn...”
Ah, this young girl didn’t need to talk about me like that. I had actually lived longer than you guys have, so I naturally made more use of my opportunities. Rossweisse-san, you will also be able to do this after accumulating more experience. ...Ah, hold on, since Rossweisse had a somewhat more serious personality, it might be a bit difficult. Putting aside the chatter, we should progress to the next stage today. I said to Asia.
“Asia, I’m going to summon Fafnir next, and rescind my contract.”
Although I didn’t spend much time interacting with him, I decided to rescind the contract today. I removed the gem of the artificial Sacred Gear that Fafnir was sealed in. I clicked my fingers, created the magic circle that I used to make the contract, and then placed the gem in the centre.
“The Dragon King like gold, the existence on the other side. Please respond to my call, and appear before me—”
I recited the chant, the magic circle glowed at the same time, and the gem also responded by emitting light. After a dazzling flash of light was released, an enormous golden Dragon appeared in the centre of the magic circle. It was a Dragon with four legs, he didn’t have any wings, and his scales were shining with a sacred golden glow. One of the Five Great Dragon Kings, Gigantis Dragon Fafnir. He was a Dragon who collected treasures. I said to the Dragon King.
“Fafnir, I didn’t summon you today for anything else. I want to rescind the contract.”
After listening to my words, Fafnir opened his thick and heavy mouth, and then said.
“Azazel, you want to give up your contract with me?”
“Ah, I’m already old, and I want to retreat from the front lines. So I want to rescind the contract with you.”
The Dragon King did not respond... Well, it didn’t matter for this guy anyway. In order to rescind the contract, I had called him out of his residence, yet that guy seemed to have an indifferent look. Perhaps rescinding the contract was simpler than I initially thought. I cleared my throat and then said.
“Although I’m somewhat sorry about this, I’ll introduce the next contract person to you... How is that?”
Really, he was still silent. Speaking of which, I initially said ‘I’ll use the treasures that I have personally collected as the price, so form a contract with me’. In the end, the contract was completed when he simply nodded silently. My lips were trembling and I was smiling slightly.
“Yes, it’s a very cute girl. Don’t worry.”
“I have my own interests.”
Ho. He actually said something like that. Dragons don’t care what race the other party is, but they’ll like them as long as they’re female. In this world, there aren’t any stories about beautiful girls being offered as sacrifices to Dragons. I introduced Asia, who was beside me, to the Dragon King.
“This is the person to form the contract today, Asia Argento. What do you think? Cute, right?”
Asia’s whole body was trembling intensely as she was nervous, but she tried her best to introduce herself.
“H-How are you? I am Asia Argento.”
The Gigantis Dragon inched closer to Asia and stared straight at her. His eyes suddenly opened wide and showed the reflection of Asia within them. Asia seemed to be very nervous, and she was trembling slightly while she smiled. Asia could interact with a Dragon God and a Heavenly Dragon quite well, but she was inevitably confused in front of a Dragon King that was indifferent to people.
“Come on, talk about what you think now. You still don’t talk much.”
I said to Fafnir.
He suddenly made such a comment. This guy only had gold in his eyes. The treasures that he had collected are all gold items. Gold was his favourite thing.
“Yes, golden hair. A golden-haired girl who is also a nun. She’s very popular at school.”
After hearing the word ‘nun’, Fafnir’s eyes widened even further. Hey, were you interested in nuns? He really could have interests in such things. Rias and I both watched the Dragon King’s reaction. The word nun seemed to have caught his interest.
...Eh? What, did I hear wrong? Did Fafnir just say ‘tan’? Hold on, how could it be such a nonsense thing? This guy is one of the Five Great Dragon Kings, Gigantis Dragon Fafnir. How could he possibly use such a childlike honorific? While I was thinking about this, the Dragon King then dispelled some of my doubts, and suddenly wagged his tail left and right as he said.
“Golden-haired girl Asia-tan, I, think she’s very cute.”
...I didn’t hear that wrong at all. He added a ‘tan’ on to it... Seeing this unexpected response, my expression went stiff. On the side, Rias also had a ‘?’ confused look. No, this could actually continue. Having a good first impression was a good thing!
“T-Thank you for your praise.”
Asia lowered her head in acknowledgement as she smiled. Seeing this, Fafnir began panting, and his tail was also waving about.
“—Want to lick.”
Eeeeeeeehh! This Dragon kept on repeating that towards us while we were unable to understand the situation.
“Asia-tan, lick, cute, lick.”
I covered my face with my hands. What a waste, this was truly a waste. This was a waste of a Dragon... Just because of her hair! This guy was going too far! This Gigantis Dragon actually liked to lick strange things!
“...Does he mean that he wants to eat Asia?”
Rias tilted her head. That was a rather innocent way of thinking! If Ise saw such an innocent Rias, he would certainly be irritated. S-Slow down! Slow down! That guy seemed to have taken a liking to Asia! I exhaled, and then said.
“Well, Fafnir, your next contract person, Asia, isn’t bad right?”
Although he didn’t say anything, that guy’s tail was still swaying from side to side. He really liked her. Speaking of which, the Dragon King was like a dog! Now it was time for the next step.
“Do you want to make a contract with this girl at a price?”
When making a contract, there were two types, paid and unpaid. These two methods were fundamentally different. In the case of a price, Asia would have to pay Fafnir what he wanted in order to have him serve her. The price to be paid could be very broad. If it was just a very expensive item, then that would be fine. If he requested a part of the contracted person’s body or the soul as the price, it would be very difficult to negotiate with Fafnir. Well, it would be good as long as that guy didn’t make such requests.
“I, want a price.”
He did indeed say it. Taking into account the immaturity of Asia and that her relationship with the Dragon King Fafnir was not equal, in order to make up for the difference, words of praise, gold or other similar things were necessary for the contract. However, by being cautious, the contract could be completed as long as a price was paid. Good. I didn’t actually expect it to get off to such a smooth start. Asia said with a slight sense of trepidation in her voice.
“B-But, I don’t have any money or treasures which I can pay the Dragon King with...”
Of course, I knew this. For Asia, who had not been a Devil for very long, the presence in front of her was immense. It was completely out of her reach. I said to Asia.
“I will help out in this regard, and Rias will as well, right?”
“Yes, you can leave the price to me. You’re one of my peerage members, and also my cute sister.”
Rias placed her hand on top of Asia’s shoulder, smiled, and then showed a sort of motherly expression. She was truly one of the Gremory Family who had deep love for their servants.
Asia thanked her several times repeatedly. In terms of the treasures, it would be fine for both Rias and I to prepare them, and then Asia to give them to the Dragon King. Asia was an irreplaceable team member of the Gremory household, which fought against terrorists. Those who understood Asia also understood this point. ...In a Rating Game, there was nothing that could be done because there were rules and restrictions. After all, this being was a Dragon King.
“Well, Fafnir, what do you seek from Asia? Gold? Or would you want treasures like you asked of me?”
I asked. The Dragon King didn’t even stop to think and replied.
“I, want the golden-haired girl’s treasure.”
It was the same as with me. He demanded treasures. In legends, this guy was a madman that collected treasures. He really wanted to collect all of the world’s gold and treasures. Among Dragons, there were many legends in which they collected and guarded treasures. In particular, Fafnir was famous because of his abnormal obsession with it. I then said.
“What do you want exactly? Legendary weapons? Rare metals like mithril, or perhaps orichalcum?”
Mithril... It was possible to buy it from the Nordic Dwarves if the price was right. However, orichalcum was somewhat more scarce... Because of work needs, there were several requests for the Grigori to obtain these metals, but... Even if the Gremory family possessed many riches and assets, these rare items were very difficult to obtain. I would have to get it from Grigori’s top item storage vault to give it to him...but, even if I gave it to him, would he really be satisfied? While I was thinking deeply about this, Fafnir expressionlessly opened his mouth and said.
...Eeeh!? Eh, hold on, what was that? J-Just then, what did he say? Everyone furrowed their brow as they could not understand the word that Fafnir said.
“I misheard it, right?”
Rias also wondered whether she heard that incorrectly.
“I-It’s pantea, right? ...A kind of tea that Dragons like?”
Asia’s interpretation was simply too strange, and she said out the name of a word that she didn’t even know the meaning of. A tea like that didn’t exist! I looked over to the Dragon God-sama.
“Hmm, want a benarlya?”
She was eating so many bananas that even her cheeks were bulging out. Hey, that’s too relaxed. Fafnir once again spoke amidst our silence.
“I want Asia-tan’s panty. —Please give me panty!”
—He even added on that honorific! Everyone aside from Ophis was rendered speechless... I coughed a bit, and then smiled.
“Well, it doesn’t really matter, right? That’s good, isn’t it?”
Midway through came Rias’s accusing tone of voice.
“As if that’s good, Azazel! Did you use some kind of strange spell or techniques when he was sealed in the artificial Sacred Gear? Furthermore, p-p-pan...cough, cough.”
After coughing several times, Rias continued.
“...Have you ever heard of a Dragon King asking for someone’s panties? Did you do something again?”
“This is my fault?”
Even I was so surprised that my eyeballs nearly popped out. I was being glared at by Rias, Akeno and all the Gremory household members here! How terrifying!
“Wait, hold on, give me a break, I didn’t do anything like that...”
While I was explaining...hmm! I felt as though I had a slight clue in my mind...
“This Dragon King seemed too stubborn as a Dragon, so I performed many experiments.”
Could this be the result of one of the strange experiments I did that time...? No, no...it really couldn’t be, right?
I stuck my tongue out in a way that didn’t fit my age towards them.
Rias immediately shrouded her entire body in a crimson aura. The Crimson-haired Ruin Princess was angry now! Akeno also looked at me as if she was looking at a cockroach.
“It really was you. No wonder. After all, it is Governor Azazel. I’ll have to report this to my otou-san.”
How strict! Only Akeno was that strict with me! Ah! You didn’t give any of the love that you show to Ise or your otou-san to me! But I treated you like a lovely niece!
“I knew this would happen! Azazel-sensei is truly the chief villain!”
Rossweisse confidently pointed to my nose as she criticised me.
“Azazel, you evil beast.”
Ophis, you’re also bullying me? No! What strange beast!? Hold on! Surfacing within my mind was a theory about Fafnir. That’s right. Fafnir, who had once been defeated by the Demonic Sword Gram, was revived by the Norse Gods. It was then that he became confused, so it must be that! It was the mythology of that perverted geezer Odin! Such a thing happening wasn’t surprising! That’s how it was! It wasn’t impossible since Ddraig and Albion also had some subtle perverted tendencies as well. Perhaps because the contracting person was female, Fafnir displayed his true desires like this!
“...W-Well, are those pantea things really such expensive things?”
Up until now, Asia still did not understand the situation. She really was an innocent girl. Akeno moved towards Asia’s ear, and then told her the truth. After understanding the truth, Asia immediately showed a flustered and embarrassed face.
“...H-How, my...under, you want my under...wear!”
She was shocked by the truth. Until now, Asia had received all sorts of training, but the truth just then was far from those topics. Rias felt that that request was somewhat inappropriate, and then said to Fafnir.
“That is really a bit too much. Is there anything else? I will prepare something more valuable than underwear.”
If the Gremory family was serious, they could really bring out all kinds of treasures. However, the Gigantis Dragon shook his head.
“—I want the golden-haired girl’s panties. It’s something that cannot be bought with gold, a high-class product!”
Too deep! These inner thoughts were too ridiculous, Fafnir! You actually said such passionate words which only a man could understand...! Being infected by this mysterious emotion, I turned to the side to look at the Dragon God-sama. She took something out and gave it to Fafnir.
“My panty, give you.”
Where did that come from!? That’s her underwear!? Did they come off? Did you just take them off?
Fafnir silently moved his nose towards the underwear in Ophis’s hand. —Sniff sniff, he was sniffing the scent of the underwear. Really, this was ridiculous! The Dragon King was smelling the Dragon God’s underwear? What was this!? Was it sacred? A legendary scene? This was too nonsensical! While he was in the midst of expressionlessly smelling the scent of Ophis’s underwear, Fafnir suddenly shouted.
Hey, deal with your dripping nose first. Oh, did the smell of fruit that Ophis was just eating get onto her hands? How did he even smell that!? I see, so the Dragon God-sama’s underwear actually smelled fruity! No, hold on, Fafnir! Didn’t you have any questions when Ophis took out her underwear for you to smell? Why did you just naturally try to pick up the scent of the underwear!? But, when I thought about it, this was a bargain sale now. Simply by using one pair of underwear, Asia could form a contract with the Dragon King. This was incredibly exceptional especially for a beginner like Asia!
“Just using a pair of underwear to forge a contract with Fafnir is very cost-effective. Don’t you girls also feel that way?”
I said to all the girls present (Rias, Akeno, Rossweisse).
It was actually rejected.
“To actually give out the underwear of my cute Asia...”
Rias had rather mixed feelings.
“But to make the innocent Asia-chan do such dirty things...”
Rias and Akeno seemed to show some resistance against this situation. Usually, Rias and Akeno treated the younger members such as Asia like younger siblings.
“The statement just now is no longer something someone can consider.”
Rossweisse-san, you would also buy cheap underwear to give to the Dragon King, right?
“If I can, then I’ll give my underwear to you.”
Ophis said. Indeed, the one in question was that Fafnir... Looking at our confusion, Asia shouted.
“I can’t keep giving O-Ophis-chan and my onee-samas trouble! Akeno-oneesama! Please transport me back home! I’ll bring all of the u-un-underwear here!”
Asia had already made up her mind! That scene between Ophis and Fafnir must have really provoked Asia. That girl was under the influence of Ise and Rias, so her values had undergone a wonderful change.
“I understand. Since Asia-chan also said that...”
Akeno seemed a bit troubled about agreeing to Asia’s request. Just like that, Asia began forming the contract with the Dragon King with the price being her underwear...
“I order you in the name of Asia Argento! As an ally of mine, respond to the call of the contract!”
At the centre of a large magic circle for making a summoning contract, Fafnir and Asia began the ritual for the contract. This was different from the contract that would not require a price, as Asia was entering a give and take contract right now. ...The price, which was also placed in the centre of the magic circle, Asia’s underwear, began to emit a glow. The magic circle projected a golden flash of light, and then returned to a calm state. The summoning contract was now complete. Fafnir and Asia had now formed a give and take relationship. While Asia was in the middle of healing her comrades, she would be able to summon Fafnir to protect herself. This meant that Asia could take on a healing role during a battle. Hahaha, their fighting strength had now increased by quite a lot. He was one of only five in the world – counting Tannin as well, it should be six — one of the Dragon Kings. This was not an ordinary protective barrier. Extremely few people would be able to break through the defence of this fierce Dragon King. Suddenly, Fafnir’s eyes began to glow, and he turned his eyes towards the underwear that were in the magic circle. The underwear vanished in an instant. Where exactly did the underwear disappear to... I looked towards that area, and stopped at a certain spot. ...The underwear was actually sitting in a corner on top of the Dragon King’s head! It’s actually s-stored there! I really could not say anything about this Dragon King’s interests.
“Ah! My underwear...is actually there! It’ll be seen during a battle!”
Upon hearing Asia’s exclamation, Fafnir obediently removed the underwear — no, that didn’t happen.
“Asia-tan’s underwear, I accept. My treasure, very happy!”
That bastard displayed a look of satisfaction.
“Anyway, the contract has been completed, so be grateful.”
I changed the subject. Next was the main event. I actually predicted that the contract would be successful, so I prepared something in advance.
“Haha, as congratulations, I have a present for you, Asia!”
I waved my hand, and then created a transportation magic circle. From there, a mechanical Dragon emerged. It was a mechanical Dragon that I created by using Fafnir as the prototype.
Rias was surprised upon seeing this, and I revealed a mischievous smile.
“This is my secretly developed mechanical Dragon King, a mechanical Fafnir! Asia! I want you to perform a test since you just successfully completed your contract! Use Fafnir to defeat this mechanical Dragon King!”
Come, my student! Go through my trial!
“You’re misusing the funds of the Grigori again! Your experiments are getting even worse in this advisor position.”
Rossweisse pressed her hand against her forehead with a look of disbelief. Well, I suppose you are right!
“Now, let’s fire first!”
Simultaneously with my command, the mechanical Dragon King began to move. The mechanical Fafnir’s eyes fired a laser. Fafnir stood in front of Asia and acted as a shield for her. That was a good response, Dragon King! He was also unharmed!
“Asia-tan, protect! I also want underwear.”
Fafnir appeared to be very firm. Before fighting against the mechanical Fafnir, Asia had also resolved herself.
“Y-Yes! So, Fafnir, please defeat that robot!”
While the Dragon King followed Asia’s command to begin fighting—
“Hello, is this otou-san? Azazel made something weird again. Hmm, it’s a mechanical Dragon.”
Akeno reported me to the organisation. Ah, I’ll be scolded by Shemhazai again. Oh, whatever. No one can get in the way of my fun! As long as you were still students of Kuoh Academy, I would do everything I could to let you grow! Seeing the real Dragon King send my mechanical Dragon King flying, I felt grateful that I could allow my students to grow! The day after tomorrow, I had something I was slightly concerned about, so I went to ask Fafnir.
“I want to ask something. What do you think about Asia’s underwear?”
“—Priceless, it can’t be measured in value with gold, that’s what I think.”
...Those were such deep words. This guy had his own philosophy. Uh! Before, he clearly looked as if he didn’t care about anything! The Dragon King’s name wasn’t used just for show! You were a Dragon that wouldn’t even allow a single underwear to be unaccounted for! Seriously, these legendary Dragons really took these things seriously! Ah, as a former host of Fafnir’s artificial Sacred Gear, I thought that.
Life.2 The Ordinary Days of Red Dragon Emperor
It was a few days after Rias left for Romania. That day, when I was passing by the Student Council room by chance...
“Come on. Show me your new skills today☆.”
I heard a familiar voice. Hearing that voice, I stopped and peeped into the room through a small opening in the door.
“Onee-sama. To come here unannounced and to ask my peerage to show their artificial Sacred Gears, why did you...?”
“What do you mean why~? Sona’s peerage just gained a new ability, right? Onee-sama wants to see it!”
...The perplexed Sona-kaichou and her Sitri peerage, along with Maou Leviathan-sama, who was making an unsatisfied expression, were inside that room.
Wait, what was Maou-sama doing here!? It hadn’t been long since the Magicians’ attack, so the Underworld should be busy with the aftermath, right...? Leviathan-sama noticed my confused expression and looked around. Soon, her eyes met with mine as I was peeping into the council room! As expected of Maou-sama! Her detection skill was too good! Maou-sama flung open the door and gave me a bright smile.
“Good timing! You follow me too, Sekiryuukei-kun☆.”
Whatever the case, it looked like I had been dragged into some troublesome event...
Me, Leviathan-sama and Kaichou were together, while the Sitri peerage was all assembled at a different location. Everyone, including me, was now in our gym clothes. This was an area underneath the land of the Sitri. It was just like the area that the ORC members and I used for our training. It was basically the Student Council version of that. And the reason why I was here with Leviathan-sama and Student Council members was...
“As our special guest, Chichiyuutei-kun has joined us☆. Now, show me Sona’s peerage’s new powers!”
Leviathan-sama was still filled with excitement. She really was a person with a lot of energy... It looked like the reason why Leviatan-sama suddenly visited us out of nowhere was to see the artificial Sacred Gears that the Sitri peerage obtained recently. Looks like she was mindful about the new powers that her sister got her hands on. Not only that, she seemed to have been interested in the artificial Sacred Gear since a long time ago. Sona-kaichou, who was standing next to me, said this while giving me an apologetic gaze.
“Ise-kun, I’m so sorry that you got pulled into this mess...”
“No, it’s fine. Well, I was surprised that Leviathan-sama suddenly visited us...”
I really was surprised, you know. It wasn’t that long after the surprise attack. In this kind of situation, I really started to get worried as a Devil that Maou-sama decided to visit our school. Kaichou continued.
“It seems like she came here to reaffirm the current combat capabilities of this place, a special administration of the Three Factions. Since that kind of incident has happened before, Maou-sama would personally come check it... Although I think there is a considerable lack of tension.”
Looks like even the Kaichou wasn’t approving this visit. But then again, that incident happened not too long ago, and so, the fact that someone from the higher-ups wanted to check on our battle capabilities wasn’t too far-fetched. I wonder if that’s why Leviathan-sama wanted to see the Sitri peerage’s new powers. Looking at her younger sister sighing, Leviathan-sama pouted.
“We can’t even get through a proper meeting because those granddads from the council keep giving us shit.”
She ranted cutely. Was she talking about the higher ups in the government when she said ‘granddads from the council’? I did hear that the experienced politicians that were older than the Maous were still quite vocal. And the reason why I came here was because I was chosen to be the opponent to test the new powers of the Sitri peerage. And I had decided to participate. My fate was sealed as soon as I peeped into the room. Kaichou said to me while I sighed.
“But don’t worry. We’ve already got permission from Akeno and your manager Ravel-chan. Ravel-chan was excited at the fact that this was a good time to learn more about the Sitri peerage.”
So she’d already got permission from Akeno and Ravel. As expected, Kaichou was very quick at getting things done. And it seemed like Ravel was okay with me training with the Sitri peerage. Well, if it was that girl, then...
[Since Ise-sama was utterly defeated by the Sitri peerage in the previous game, if we know more about our opponents, it’ll come in handy in the future.]
...She probably said something similar and gave them the go ahead. Kaichou then continued.
“In truth, we thought about training together with the Gremory peerage. But before then, it seems like we will get to spar with Ise-kun first.”
I was also in favor of a joint training session with the Sitri peerage. It would be beneficial to have a training session with the other peerages. Kaichou then addressed the Sitri peerage.
“Everyone here knows how Ise-kun performs within games and his fighting style in real battles, right? Just think of today as part of your learning experiences.”
They answered unanimously. Well, I had somewhat been dragged along here, but listening to their story wasn’t much of a deal. I could just do what I’d been doing with the Gremory peerage during my training with the Sitri peerage. All in all, I just had to participate in the training session with the Sitri peerage! Thinking like that, I recapped the situation in front of me before the special training started. The Sitri peerage was training daily like the Gremory peerage. After having witnessed the part played by the Gremory group during the surprise attack by the Magicians, Kaichou had said...
[We will also increase our training sessions.]
...And had a thought like that. She said that she was certain that even for Devils, if they trained continuously, they would be able to have an impact far beyond their basic capabilities.
As mentioned before, this huge space was the Sitri peerage’s personal training ground. It was basically the same as the one that the Gremory peerage was using. It was said that Kaichou created this area after looking at our training area and got inspired. To create such a space at her own expense, it was such a Kaichou thing to do. Now that I was warmed up, should I join in the training? Training with someone different was getting me excited. ...Seriously I was such a sucker for training, just getting excited because my partner had changed. It just showed that I’d gotten more into training. Well, it was a good thing to get stronger, especially when you thought about your future as a Devil or just in case of a surprise attack. After making up my mind, I asked Kaichou.
“So how should we go about the training?”
“Is sparring alright? We are doing our basic training regularly. So what we lack is a real life-styled brawl training.”
Sparring. I also liked this format of training. It integrated into the basic training well and there was nothing better than a brawl to learn more about your opponents.
“What about Pailingual?”
I asked. The Sitri peerage had quite a few female members, so I asked in advance if I could use my technique which could talk to female breasts.
“““Please don’t use it!”””
This time, the female members of Sitri peerage answered in unison. I knew this would happen!
“Kyaa~! So this is the famous Grim Reaper☆.”
I heard Leviathan-sama’s shrill. When I turned around, I saw her bear hugging the recent addition of the Sitri peerage, the Grim Reaper Bennia. I just noticed this, but the Grim Reaper Bennia and the giant Rugal-san were here. Both of them had impressionable attire, but maybe their presence was weak... Bennia was in her usual Grim Reaper clothes and Rugal-san was in his gym clothes like the rest of the Sitri peerage.
Rugal-san was keeping quiet. He was a giant and had a great build, and on top of that, he was a Rook! It seemed like his attack and defence was pretty solid, so I felt like I could have a proper match with him.
《Me and Rugal-nii are just going to watch today.》
Bennia said so. Ah, so they were just going to observe then. I wanted to see the Grim Reaper’s characteristic scythe, but...oh well. Leviathan-sama hugged Bennia from behind and started to dote on her.
“Ufufu, so cute~☆. Rugal-kun also looks dandy♪.”
Looks like she was fond of the new members of the Sitri peerage. Well then, should we start the brawl? I quickly activated my Balance Breaker and donned my armor.
“First will be our Rook, Tsubasa.”
When Kaichou finished, a tall girl came forward. She was wearing a pair of half-finger gloves.
“I’ll be in your care, Hyoudou.”
This girl was Yura Tsubasa, one of the Sitri group’s Rooks. She wasn’t born from any special families, but it was said that ever since she was young, she was able to see or touch supernatural beings or phenomena. So even before becoming a Devil, she fought against these beings on her own.
As soon as Kaichou finished, Yura jumped towards me! Unlike what her figure suggested, she kicked and jabbed towards my sight using agile footwork and light movements! Hmm! Maybe because of her weight, unlike our Rook Koneko’s punch, her attack had some weight to it! Koneko’s movement was faster, but Yura’s reach was farther due to her height. Her upper roundhouse kick changed its course several times, so I’d been hit by it several times even though I thought I dodged it. However, I had activated the Red Dragon Emperor’s armor, Boosted Gear Scale Mail. Even with a punch filled with demonic aura, I wouldn’t take any damage! Well, the shockwave from the punch still transmitted through the armor though! While having a close-range brawl with Yura, I struck a conversation with her.
“Now that I think about it, I heard that back when you were a human, you used to beat up monsters or evil spirits with martial arts alone?”
She then made a confident smile.
“Yup, but I couldn’t go up against stronger monsters as a human!”
Yura concentrated her aura onto her right fist! I dodged her sharp attack...but I felt a pain on my hip. I’d been hit by a low left kick filled with demonic aura! So her right fist was just a decoy! She anticipated that I would dodge the first attack! Hell yes! This was what I called a fist fight! But I had got something up my sleeves! I fired a Dragon Shot from my right hand! The Dragon Shot travelled at a fierce pace, but just as it was about to hit its target, something changed from Yura.
A shield materialised from her left hand and blocked my Dragon Shot! The artificial Sacred Gear, Shield of Spirit and Glory, Twinkle Aegis! There was a loud explosion, but she was fine! Her shield successfully blocked my attack. This shield was going to be a nuisance! This was the artificial Sacred Gear that she received from Azazel-sensei! With the addition of the Rook’s characteristic of solid defense, it showed its ultimate strength. Did they also make a contract with a spirit and apply its power to the shield? ...Seeing as flames had enveloped the shield, maybe it was a fire spirit? Yura then threw the flame shield at me like it was a frisbee! If I blocked it, it should go back to her! Hand to hand brawl in close quarters, defense using her shield, and now, she could attack at longer ranges by placing certain characteristics into the shield. ...Truthfully, it was a flawless ability. Not only did this increase the usefulness of the artificial Sacred Gear, it also covered its weaknesses. It was hard to find a Rook this difficult to fight against. Observing Yura’s ability, Leviathan-sama exclaimed excitedly!
“So that’s Tsubasa’s shield that she can throw like a yoyo☆. I wanna see her tossing it like it’s a flaming yoyo!”
...Maou-sama, your eyes are twinkling, you know!? How much do you like your sister’s peerage!? As I was slowly getting warmed up, I charged towards Yura with all my power. Fifteen minutes after that, Yura dropped to the floor while panting and raised both hands.
“… As expected, Sekiryuukei. You’re strong. I’ve lost.”
Yura surrendered, but in the end, I couldn’t penetrate her shield and give her a finishing blow. Then again, I didn’t use my Triaina and True Queen...but man, that shield was tough.
“Hey, that shield is really strong.”
I said while helping Yura up. It could completely negate any power-type. The shield itself was very strong along with all those technical moves she could do by forming a contract with different spirits. For us Gremory peerage, who were filled with power types, she was one of those nuisance ability users. ...In a real match, it felt like either skill types like Kiba or Rossweisse-san, who could use many different types of element magic, would be the ones to deal with Yura. After our brawl had finished, Kaichou picked out my next opponent.
“Next is Tomoe.”
The girl wielding a katana-shaped Sacred Gear stepped forward. Tomoe Meguri-chan. One of the Sitri group’s Knights. From what I had heard, she was from the Meguri clan who mainly exorcised demons as their way of life. They had been defeating demons using Holy Swords combined with their unique sword style. However, after receiving resentment from a certain demon, the Meguri clan was then cursed, and it was said that her soul had been cursed from the day she was born. Not being able to live with their cute daughter who was dying because of the curse, Tomoe Meguri-chan’s parents decided to ask a Devil to release the curse on her as a last-ditch effort. And the Devil that was called upon was Sona-kaichou... However, the only way the curse could be lifted was by getting reincarnated into a Devil. In the end, honoring her parents’ request, Kaichou made her part of her peerage. It was a good thing that the Devil who was summoned was Sona-kaichou. Even after saving Meguri-chan, she didn’t demand any other compensation apart from making her a part of the Sitri peerage from the Meguri clan. However, since one person from the clan became a Devil, Meguri-chan’s family was exiled from the exorcism business, but even then, Meguri-chan was living in this town with her parents peacefully.
Just like with Yura, Meguri-chan was a front line fighter. Meguri-chan got into a battle stance. Hmm, her stance was different compared to Kiba. Kiba used a Japanese kendo fighting style stance, but he also used a more freestyle stance. Xenovia didn’t even have a stance. Unlike them, Meguri-chan had a moderate stance. Beautiful, yet it showed no weakness.
As soon as Kaichou gave her command, Meguri-chan swung her artificial Sacred Gear sword! The blade covered in bright and dark aura soared towards me! The Spirit Slaying Blade of Light and Darkness, Blazer Shining Aura Darkness Samurai Sword! Damn, that name was long! What was wrong with Azazel-sensei’s naming sense!? It felt like it had something to do with his chuunibyou and black history past... But the destructive power of this sword was quite high. When I dodged the attack, the blade destroyed the floor that I was just standing on! ...It looked like it had different properties compared to Kiba’s Holy Demonic Sword. This felt more like the properties of light and darkness were activated at the same time and their high output was clashing with each other. This artificial Sacred Gear was different from the combination of the properties of light and darkness... According to Sensei, that sword was the result of his research after using Kiba’s Holy Demonic sword as a reference... This sword was more closely related to Xenovia’s sword’s destructive power than Kiba’s Holy Demonic Sword. Seeing Meguri-chan’s katana, Leviathan-sama became even more excited.
“That’s the same as the one that Azazel swung about at the Sports Festival! I don’t mind it at all! We need that kind of personality in politics!”
Seriously?! Do we really need that chuunibyou in Underworld politics!? I-I couldn’t believe it! I nearly got distracted by Leviathan-sama. Anyway, from Meguri-chan’s attack, her stance, as well as her movements, her talent was shown clearly. But thanks to fighting against better swordsmen than her, I could easily dodge all of her attacks. Spotting a weakness, I punched her side and sent her away. Meguri-chan tumbled a few times, got up and put both of her hands up. She surrendered. I went up to her and offered a hand.
“Hmm, this sword is strong, but it doesn’t work against Hyoudou-kun.”
Meguri-chan said while getting back up.
“Well, I always train against a swordswoman who overwhelms the enemy with her overwhelming attack power and a one-hit-kill swordsman. To tell the truth, I’m used to fighting against sword users.”
“You mean Kiba-kun and Xenovia-chan. I feel stupid that I get slightly angry after hearing their names.”
Meguri-chan made a bitter smile.
“I think Meguri-chan’s skill is great too. Also, that sword is made by Sensei, right? There might be some kind of hidden feature...”
Actually, I was fearful of even getting hit by that sword. There was a chance of something like [Hidden Ability Activate! Poison!] happening when I got hit by it... Meguri-chan genuinely got horrified.
“D-Don’t say stuff like that! I didn’t think about it that much on purpose...!”
Ah, so you had that kind of anxiety. So why did you choose this Sacred Gear? Thinking back when I asked her before, she replied saying ‘It’s strong’. Meguri-chan was, unexpectedly, a funny person. Yura, Meguri-chan, next was...
“Now, let’s have three people challenge him at the same time. Momo, Reya, Ruruko, you three fight against Ise-kun.”
This time, Bishop Hanakai-chan, Bishop Kusaka-chan and Pawn Nimura-chan came forward. ...One front and two rears. Hanakai-chan and Kusaka-chan’s abilities weren’t suitable for combat. So she made them fight alongside Nimura-chan. Hanakai-chan’s father was someone high up in a certain company, and apparently had relationships with the Sitri House since way back. I didn’t know the actual reason, but Hanakai-chan was currently a Devil. It didn’t seem like she became a Devil due to a wish or as a kind of payment... Kusaka-chan’s grandmother was a witch, and due to that link, she got to know about Devils and met Kaichou that way. Kusaka-chan’s communication/spying ability was based on the magic that she learnt from her grandmother. Finally, the Pawn Nimura-chan. By chance, she learnt that the Student Council members were Devils, and in a light-hearted manner, she asked to be reincarnated.
“H-Hyoudou-senpai. You are making a bitter smile while looking at me behind that armor, right?”
The first year student with good awareness, it’s Nimura-chan, everyone. Well, although this girl, who decided to become a Devil light-heartedly, was amazing, Kaichou who agreed to that was also amazing. ...Or maybe not. If it was Kaichou, then she might have seen through her talent, since she didn’t waste her time with useless agendas. Now, let’s get this three versus one started! Pawn Nimura-chan and I confronted each other. Her long twin tails hair was impressionable. She had a strong will, and she was also one of those people who’d say anything and everything. Her two legs shone with bright lights, and her legs were then covered in armor. That was her artificial Sacred Gear, Moon and the Rabbit, Procellarum Phantom. The armor came up to her hips. That artificial Sacred Gear was said to give more importance in increasing her pace and the destructive power of her kicks.
Nimura-chan promoted to Queen, and then, after jumping with a light step–she disappeared! She suddenly disappeared from my eyes! If that was the case...! Noticing a presence on my back, I turned around and took a defensive position. Just then, a sharp body kick came towards me! It was powerful enough to be felt through the armor! The aura from her leg armor was coming out energetically and increased the power of her kick. No, it wasn’t just any ordinary power-up. It felt like it was at least ten times more powerful than an ordinary kick! After her kick got blocked, Nimura-chan backed off and disappeared from my sight once more. Turning my head towards a place where I felt some presence, I saw Nimura-chan next to the two Bishops. She was quick. She wasn’t as quick as Kiba, but she was definitely faster than Xenovia. It was quicker than what my eyes could follow. If I didn’t rely on her presence and feelings, I’d be cornered. Her synergy with the Knight properties of Queen seemed to be great, which was the complete opposite of me, who had great synergy with Rook. Seeing that, Leviathan-sama spoke in a bright voice.
“Ruru’s really quick~♪. A Pawn with the Knight’s properties can be used against the game’s irregular tactics. Even in chess, depending on the situation, instead of promoting to Queen, they promote them to Knight.”
Nimura-chan disappeared again. She was going to attack again, so I lowered my body and waited for her to strike. Her attack wasn’t something that couldn’t be blocked against. Her sneak attack using her speed was outstanding, yet it did not reach fatal levels. Just then, Nimura-chan appeared next to me while I was in a defence position and threw a kick. As expected, she was quick. Her attacks hit me consecutively while mine didn’t even get close to her. Taking light steps, Nimura-chan sent multiple precise, but weighted kicks. Well, I was used to this really. I struggled all the time because I couldn’t land a single hit that often since everyone just dodged my attacks and aimed for counters. But I had a tactic for these kinds of situations! Taking the opponent’s attack, I grew a fire inside me, and after taking a big breath–I unleashed it! The surrounding area was enveloped in Dragon fire. That flame nearly devoured Nimura-chan, but...after sensing danger, she tried to escape the flame. As expected, she was trying to get away after I set the surrounding in fire! Having expected this outcome, I navigated through the fire and caught up with Nimura-chan.
Her face got tense! I caught her! When I was about to punch her with my right fist...a blue barrier surrounded Nimura-chan! That thing was strong enough to withstand my attacks! I looked towards the Bishop Hanakai-chan. There was a wristband on her that didn’t exist until a moment ago.
“Leave the defense to me, Ruruko.”
Hanakai-chan smiled. Garden of Moments, Applause Wall, if I was correct. Her artificial Sacred Gear had the ability to surround a person in a barrier. That barrier was sturdy and wouldn’t budge against an ordinary attack. It was an annoying ability where she could cast a barrier at will within a certain distance. Just then, something touched my shoulders. It was a floating mask. When I turned around towards Kusaka-chan, she stuck her tongue out.
“I’m a spying specialist, so attack isn’t my forte. But I should at least do something like this, right?”
Mmm, that was commendable! Bishop Kusaka-chan’s artificial Sacred Gear was the countless number of masks floating in the air currently. Masquerade of Monsters, Scouting Persona, I believe. You could control the masks from distances that were far away, and thus, it would be suitable for spying activities. Using her masks, she could scout distances that were far away. She could move the masks around like this, but...against heavily defended opponents, all she could do was distract.
“Momo and Reya have powers which reflect their personality☆.”
Leviathan-sama said while nodding. Just like she said, the Sacred Gears of the Sitri peerage were all based on distinct personalities. They were quite good at role allocations. I got back to my battle position. Now, what should I do? Nimura-chan and Hanakai-chan’s combo was perfect. If I could just defeat one of them, the rest would follow, but they were covering each other’s weak points. So I couldn’t decide which one I should go for first. To cover each other’s weak points using their best points... I thought to myself that the Sitri peerge was a much more balanced team compared to the Gremory peerage. We just went head on towards the battle... Making a bitter smile, I shook my head and focused. ...Then, let’s have a duel to see whether my stamina or Nimura-chan’s stamina would run out faster. As soon as you got tired, it would be the end Nimura-chan! I launched forward. Sensei’s artificial Sacred Gear vs my Sacred Gear, let’s see which one was better!
“You really are a monster. To have a stamina battle in a three-versus-one...”
Saji just sighed next to me. I supressed Nimura-chan’s group in a prolonged battle. It seemed like Nimura-chan hadn’t yet made the Sacred Gear truly her own as she mistook her pace and ended up tiring out first. After that, I caught Nimura-chan and Hanakai-chan easily. Kusaka-chan gave up after the other two surrendered. With that, the training session between me and the Sitri peerage who received the artificial Sacred Gears from Azazel-sensei had finished.
“So I don’t have to fight Saji or Shinra-fukukaichou?”
I asked the two of them. Fixing her glasses, Shinra-senpai said.
“Yes. Today’s training purpose was to make Hyoudou-kun and the artificial Sacred Gear users spar... Most likely, Kaichou wanted to analyse many different things while making you, the Longinus user and Sekiryuutei, fight each other.”
Ah ha, maybe this was to allow her peerage to get used to their Sacred Gears? Well, they did just receive them only a few days ago. Maybe because of that, everyone was feeling fatigued after using their Sacred Gears. Yura and Hanakai-chan were currently sitting down in the corner of the field waiting for their strength to come back. They said that this was a unique occurrence with artificial Sacred Gears. Since it was dangerous to either take or apply Sacred Gears, you couldn’t normally do such things. I mean, Asia died once because her Sacred Gear was removed from her, and in order to gain Vritra’s Sacred Gears, Saji had to go through a procedure at the Grigori institute. The artificial Sacred Gear that Azazel-sensei had researched and invented also had several limits and side effects. Some of them which caused fatigue after their usage was the biggest concern.
“Is it harmful for your body if you use an artificial Sacred Gear excessively?”
I asked Saji. He made a bitter smile and nodded his head.
“Yeah. I heard that it gets to a dangerous state if you use them for long periods of time. Sensei said that, although there won’t be any decrease in your life expectancy, it may affect your powers and abilities.”
Thinking back, I also heard that even the genuine Sacred Gear might have a negative effect on your original abilities if you obtained them in other ways. I guess this was similar to this scenario. Kaichou, who was observing the match until now, was now talking to the new recruits, Bennia and Rugal-san. They were probably talking about what they felt watching the matches against me. I was sure that Kaichou was already thinking about how she’d be using her new recruits in her team. She was such a scary person. And Leviathan-sama...
“So Ben likes Oppai Dragon!? Aren’t you watching Miracle☆Levia-tan?”
《I am a Sekiryuutei fan through and through, although Levia-tan isn’t bad either. Since I’m fan of the original Milky, I don’t think I can just like Levi-tan much.》
“Oh my! So you’re a Milky fan! I’m so happy! Which one is your favourite!? I love them all!”
《I’m an original purist. Ah, but the third one...》
Ah~, Leviathan-sama and Bennia were talking. Looks like the new recruit had become friendly with the Maou-sama. For her to not be nervous around Maou-sama, she definitely was courageous.
“...I don’t know what that is.”
Rugal-san said in short. From our side, we also continued our conversation.
“Maybe I should have gone for a healing-type Sacred Gear like Argento-senpai.”
Pawn Nimura-chan said while tilting her head.
“Why do you think so?”
“There’s Tomoe-san and Tsubasa-san at the front line, so it’s sorted there, and I’m not as good at close quarters combat like a Rook.”
“Oh, you fought really well just now. You were fast and your kicks were accurate.”
When I said that...
“To hear that from the Sekiryuutei Hyoudou-senpai, I’m feeling more encouraged.”
Nimura-chan said that. Like that, she was such a cute first year student and as simple as Xenovia.
“Not only that, although healing-type Sacred Gears are theoretically possible, I hear they come with great danger.”
When Hanakai-chan said that, Saji repeated.
“He said that it’s very difficult to master, to the point where you have to sacrifice your other traits. Therefore, unless you give up your other powers, you cannot truly use it to its full potential. That’s why healing powers are so precious.”
Just like Hanakai-chan said, the healing abilities were rare and very precious. That’s why everyone wanted such an ability. So in short, Asia had such power since she was born, but it meant that if someone tried to attain such power afterwards, there would be many consequences. Upon hearing that, Nimura-chan smiled brightly.
“Saying that, Argento-senpai is so cute~. She always has such a bright smile on her, you can’t help but idolize her. She’s a person that totally fits into the healer type image.”
Oh ho, I guess Nimura-chan was a fan of Asia. Yeah, she was so cute and always had that smile on her. I was proud of her. Then, I just blurted out whatever came to my head.
“So, what does the Sitri peerage think of the ORC members? Ah, not in terms of fighting abilities, but in the social kind of way.”
Thinking back, we never asked the Student Council about us before.
“Ah, and I know what you think about me, Kiba, Rias-buchou, Akeno-san, Asia, Koneko and Gasper roughly, so more about the others please.”
I was a pervert and Kiba was the handsome guy, Rias and Akeno-san were super popular idols onee-samas. These were all known facts. Koneko was probably this school’s mascot, and Asia was probably the ‘cutie’. I also heard about Gasper before. Meguri-chan was his fan since she liked younger boys. So I wondered what they thought about the others? Rook Yura said this as soon as she opened her mouth.
“Shidou isn’t a bad person but...she is quite weird.”
The others just agreed with Yura. Hanakai-chan then continued.
“Shidou-san was praying in front of the vending machine a few days ago. It was one of those that had the ‘winning’ ones, but it looked like she was praying to Heaven hoping that she could win it.”
Irinaaaaa! Someone saw your pitiful state! So you prayed to win something from that vending machine! You are the Ace of Michael-sama aren’t you!? Bishop Kusaka-chan also continued from that.
“I saw her once when she was giving out bread to people who couldn’t buy them from the shop. It looked like she made some with Xenovia-chan with home bakery stuff.”
Nimura-chan then said.
“Ah, that’s actually a bit famous. They called it ‘Irina bread’ and it was super popular amongst the poorer students. But because the shop manager was complaining, we had to ask Shidou-senpai to stop.”
Ahhhh, there were talks about that home bakery stuff. That thing that the Church Trio bought from Akihabara! I did see them making bread from time to time. So they were giving it out to students! And got a complaint against themselves! She probably started it out of good will, but...it would have been a total humiliation from the shop manager’s prospective. She must have been giving it out while saying things similar to someone leading a stray lamb or something! Haaa, were you trying to open up a bakery or something?
I blurted out an apology. I reflected by thinking that I should apologise since a girl that is home-staying in my house did such a thing! Next, they talked about Xenovia. Saji started it off.
“Everyone in the sports club is trying to recruit her fiercely. We get requests like ‘Can you do something to make Xenovia-chan come to us’ at the Student Council.”
Hmm, sports clubs, huh? Well, to be fair, her sports sense was way too good so that was to be expected. Knight Meguri-chan then spoke.
“Especially the Kendo club is gunning for Xenovia-chan and Shidou-chan. Although I also get that request from time to time, those two are on a whole different level. Well, if they’ve got those two, getting to the Nationals wouldn’t be a dream to them anymore.”
That’s true. If they got those two, then getting to the Nationals wouldn’t be a problem, so for them to want those two was no surprise. But for Reincarnated Devils and Angels to get involved in human world affairs, it might be a little problematic since it would most likely be against the rules. Well, including Meguri-chan, all the reincarnated swordswomen here were probably of National level even before their reincarnation. Nimura-chan then said with a bitter smile.
“Xenovia-senpai is super popular amongst the first year girls. The reactions from the first year girls are quite something. She probably has more female fans than male fans?”
Well, if you just looked at her image, she looked cool, and those kinds of girls often got idolized by the same gender Kouhais. Although she could be goofier than me sometimes, that was probably another characteristic of hers.
“I don’t think Xenovia-chan is a bad girl either.”
Saji said so, and Kusaka-chan agreed.
“I don’t know about during battles, but normally, she seems quiet.”
That’s also true. Xenovia tended to be quiet at school, both during classroom and break time. Since she was living in a Church facility before coming here, there were times when she would show that she lacked common sense, but she would apologize straight away when she was in the wrong. The third person to be discussed was Rossweisse-san.
“She’s full of missed opportunities.”
Everyone finished at that. Finally, we finished off with Ravel. As soon as she became a topic, everyone at the Student Council said from one after another.
“Can’t you spare her to the Student Council?”
“We want her in the council next year!”
“She’s so great that we’re trying to recruit her like this!”
Hey, hey, hey, hey. Your opinions on her were great! Not only did they praise her highly, but they were actively trying to recruit her into the Student Council!
Then again, I did hear from Gasper that Ravel was a model student, not only in the classroom, but also in social aspects. She did complain a bit, but she was known to have an honest personality, so her habit of complaining became one of her characteristics... That was why the Student Council was being like this. Of course, they didn’t want her as part of their peerage, but as a student at Kuoh Academy. Even I realized that my manager was really great! Even if she did go into the Student Council, she’d be able to do any work without any problems. Hanakai-chan then pulled her face close to me and said.
“I wanted to ask Hyoudou-kun who has her as his manager! We need her in the Student Council next year!”
Yura next to her also nodded. That’s right, Saji and the others were already thinking of next year.
“But isn’t the Student Council limited to the Sitri peerage only? Is it fine for outsiders to join?”
When I asked, the members of the council looked at each other and nodded.
“Others beside the Sitri peerage can join the council, and this is Kaichou’s opinion. It’s not like we can increase the number anymore anyway.”
Saji replied. That was also true since it wouldn’t be easy to run the Student Council with just the Sitri peerage. The number of peerage members that the King could have was fifteen maximum. So that meant that after the Sitri peerage graduated, the Student Council had to be made from people outside the peerage. So considering that, they were recruiting people outside the council from now on. That must be why Ravel was one of the best contenders. I thought about it for a long time. It wasn’t like I needed to give them an answer right now. It’d be better if I talked with Ravel and the rest of the ORC members. While I was considering this, Kaichou walked towards us.
“Please don’t say things that might put Ise-kun in a bad spot.”
Kaichou threw me a life support! Thank you so much! Fixing her glasses, Kaichou changed the subject.
“Now that the brawl against Ise-kun has finished, we can have a reflection meeting. Everyone is fine with that, right?”
Everyone in the Sitri peerage spoke in unison. So they were having a proper reflection meeting. They were doing self-analysis way more strictly than us. At that time, Kaichou spoke directly to me.
“Ise-kun. Can you spare some of your time after the reflection meeting?”
While I was wondering what was going on, Leviathan-sama with her sparkling eyes came into my sight.
“...Ah, I know what you mean.”
The place that me, Kaichou and Leviathan-sama arrived to after coming out of the training field was–a Mega toy store, one that was open even during night time.
“Kyaa~! The best toy stores are definitely the ones in the human world, especially the ones in Japan.”
The highly motivated Leviathan-sama ran around the store acting like someone not her age! Ahh, she started to look around the store running here and there! That’s right. The reason why Sona-kaichou asked me to spare my time was to visit this toy store on the way home. All in all, to help Leviathan-sama with her shopping. Walking around the store, Kaichou asked me.
“Ise-kun. What did you think while fighting my peerage?”
“I think it’s a great team. Let’s just say the balance in the team is great. I think it’s a team that can cover each other’s weaknesses when it is needed.”
“It doesn’t have impact, some kind of special flair, doesn’t it?”
I did think that... It was probably because I knew my team, the Bael peerage and the bunch from the Hero Faction that I might be thinking that. We were all one weird bunch after all.
“I still think it’s fine as it is right now. The people I have chosen have great synergy and are people who can learn new powers.”
It was true their synergy was one of the best. They’d probably be able to learn more useful things than us. Kaichou continued.
“Like Rias, I am thinking of entering the Rating Games in proper matches in the future. However, my peerage and I, unlike the Gremory peerage, will taste defeat in the beginning.”
...This was the complete opposite to the Gremory peerage that I belonged to. We were expected to win everything as soon as we debuted and that just showed how many high-level people there were in there, as well as how we were judged right now. Kaichou then gave me a confident smile.
“But that’s all fine. The life of a Devil is long, meaning that the amount of time being active in the Rating Game will also be vast. I will take my time and polish this team. I am planning to make this team into something that can react towards any event or any opponents.”
Then she suddenly asked me.
“By the way, Ise-kun. Don’t you think that it’ll be difficult to face off against opponents who are hard to defeat even after vast amounts of research and investigation?”
Uuu! That’s scary. Kaichou had the same smile like any other day on her face, but when I heard what she had just said, I just got a chill. ...This person was already planning for games in the next ten years...no, next hundreds of years, if not thousands of years. It just got chilly. This team... To think that, far in the future, this team led by Sona-kaichou would be our rival. In all honesty, it scared me. We were a bit special. People expected us to be one of the rising stars. As soon as we entered the official games and thanks to our flashy style, we would be able to rise in ranks early on. However...what if the other teams studied us? Not everyone was adaptable in the first place. Unlike real battles, there were many rules in the game which could either be a great weapon or a great drawback against us. ...For us, who had many exceptional abilities, the rules tended to hinder us, but wouldn’t teams like the Sitri peerage be able to use these rules to their advantage? A team composition that was able to hold its ground among the many different rules... So maybe she got hold of people with high adaptability so she’d be able to use their abilities in the long term. That was a great lesson learned, since it seemed like this would have been a great thing to note when making my own peerage in the future. I then began thinking about my future peerage while looking around the shop. Just then, Leviathan-sama spoke while touching a displayed toy.
“They said that this place stocks their items a day before release, but if you negotiate, then you’ll be able to buy them early☆. I really wanted to come here since there’s gonna be a new release related to Milky♪.”
She looked so happy right now. Seeing her like that, Sona-kaichou said.
“...She made some time out of her busy schedule, so I’m happy that she’s able to enjoy herself at least for now. It’s going to get busier than ever, so I think that even a Maou-sama can act like this for now.”
—Uuu. I could feel a warm and fuzzy feeling that she had towards her sister. Yeah, since the terrorists started to make suspicious moves, she would have more and more jobs to do as Maou. That’s why this Maou-sama’s toy shop visit must be like a peaceful moment that was granted upon Leviathan-sama briefly. Leviathan-sama then turned around towards me.
“That’s right. Going forward, I’ll also call Seikiryuutei-san by Ise-kun! Since Sona is calling you that, I’ll also call you that☆.”
“Ah yes! It’s my honor!”
I was so glad that she wasn’t calling me Oppai Dragon, especially since she had Oppai Dragon as her rival. Just then, Maou-sama stopped in front of a toy.
“This is it☆.”
The thing that Maou-sama pointed to was–a wand from a certain magical girl anime. Hmm. Its name is [Milky Miracle Hyper Stick Triangle Ver].
“Is this...the new item from the Milky series?”
When I asked, Leviathan-sama gave me a bright smile and nodded.
Leviathan-sama made the brightest smile while grabbing it. I thought that we had finished the shopping without any trouble, but...Leviathan-sama’s gaze followed somewhere else.
“Ah! That’s a Pla-model of Mobile Gundam J! I love that too!”
Having turned her gaze, Leviathan-sama then proceeded to drag me and Kaichou around and checked out every item in the shop. She even got herself a shopping cart and put everything inside there! Seeing that, Kaichou’s patience ran out.
“Onee-sama! Please restrain yourself! What are you going to do after buying all these toys?!”
“Oh Sona, you can’t say that this far in.”
“No way! Please only buy one toy! Take everything back beside the Milky item!”
“Uwwwwah~! Sona’s bullying onee-chan! Then, let’s negotiate and only buy five?”
Ahh, that Kaichou, who was talking strategy with a sense of coolness around her, couldn’t do anything against her older sister. It looked like Leviathan-sama’s shopping would continue for a long time. As I was sighing, I started to look for a gift to give to Millicas.
Life.3 Let’s Go with Training! ~Mascot Chapter~
This had happened when the members of the ORC, including me, had gone to the Underworld, more specifically, to the Gremory household. The payment earned by the Gremory peerage through fulfilling the request of our clients went to the Gremory household, and from time to time, we headed to the castle to sort out and organise these items. After sorting them by their types, we put them inside the treasury that was under the castle. Irina and Ravel, who were not part of the Gremory peerage, also helped out, but...I often pondered whether it would be a problem for Irina, who was an Angel, to help us Devils out. Well, the more the merrier. It was when the sorting was nearly done. The butler had told us that there was a guest waiting for us.
“I wonder who that is.”
I asked Rias.
“It’s been a while since he came here.”
Rias seemed to know who the person was. And through listening to her tone, it seemed like it was someone that she knew. When I and the rest of the members went to the large guest room while being puzzled—a strange-looking mascot was waiting for us! The body was that of a character suit and the head resembled an apple with a cute face attached to it. The Devils’ wings were attached to the back. How should I say this? It was a devilish apple. I know it sounded weird, but that’s all I could describe this as. There was a blond ponytail bishoujo standing next to this mascot. She seemed familiar. That woman greeted us.
“How do you do? It’s been a while, Rias-sama, people of her peerage.”
“Yes, it has been a while. You look fine as always, Kuisha-chan.”
Rias said with a smile on her face. That’s right. She was the Queen of the Bael peerage, Kuisha Abaddon-san! It was the first time meeting her after the Rating Game! I never thought the person who came to visit us would be her... At that exact moment, something came to me. Why did the Queen of Sairaorg-san come to visit us with this character? Everyone except Rias tilted our heads.
[It’s been a while, Rias. And also her peerage.]
A familiar voice came out of the character! T-This voice. I wouldn’t be able to forget it! I just about managed to move my mouth to ask the person in the suit as I was frozen in shock.
“...N-No way. In that character suit...Sairaorg-san is in there?”
When I asked, the character removed its head and showed the face inside it. That was indeed Sairaorg-san! He spoke while wiping his sweat off his face.
“Yes, it is me. It has been a while, Hyoudou Issei.”
A wild-looking man! Sairaorg Bael-san! One of the people that I respected and admired! For this person to come here while wearing a character suit! As I reacted blankly out of surprise, Sairaorg-san smiled and said.
“The truth is we, the House of Bael, are trying to create this [Mascot Character]. So I became the actor of this suit.”
...A mascot character, you say. It was popular in the human world, in Japan. Many different communities were creating a cute character to advertise and such. Sairaorg-san then continued.
“Actually, [Bapple-kun] was invited to the event held in the land under the House of Gremory.”
Event! Bapple-kun! Ah, I remembered. There was such an event today. Oh, and the name of the character Sairaorg-san was acting as was Bapple-kun.
“The name of the character was based on one of our land’s specialities, apples.”
Kuisha-san said as such. A mascot character based on a speciality in the Bael land... I guess they named it by combining Bael and apple. That was easy to understand. Sairaorg-san nodded energetically.
“There’s a lot to learn from the human world’s character business. As the heir of the House of Bael, I have these kinds of public works in mind.”
...And thus, as part of the public work, he, the heir of the House of Bael, was wearing a character suit... Was that what he was saying? I was surprised at this different side of Sairaorg-san. Rossweisse-san asked Rias.
“Umm, does the House of Gremory also have this Mascot Character?”
Rias lightly smiled.
“Yup, the House of Gremory also has a Mascot Character. And the event using that Mascot Character is being held in certain towns under our rule. And since we are having a collaboration with Bapple-kun of the House of Bael, that’s why Sairaorg is here.”
Oh, so that’s how it became like this. Hmm, so the House of Gremory also had a Mascot Character. But after finishing her sentence, Rias’s expression went dark. I wonder if there was anything wrong with the House of Gremory’s Mascot Character? Folding his arm in his character suit, Sairaorg-san said.
“If we enter this event, not only will we have an advertisement effect, but the specialities of our land will also be brought into attention. So I really wish to attend. Rias, I’ll learn from you guys today.”
Sairaorg-san’s face was full of spirit as always, but...since he was in his character suit, the mood was such that not even we could speak of! Rias continued.
“Now that it came to this, let’s move to the location where the event is being held.”
And just like that, we, along with Bapple-kun, Sairaorg-san, moved to where the event was held.
After arriving at the location, we moved to the waiting room. The thing that was waiting for us there was—another character suit! It was a character suit in the shape of a camel. Akeno-san introduced us to the character suit.
“This is the House of Gremory’s Mascot Character, [Gomorin].”
Gomorin, introduced by Akeno-san, said [Gomo, Gomo] in a unique voice. They also showed off their footwork skill there. Oh ho, so the Mascot Character of the House of Gremory was Gomorin and it was based on a camel. They said that the Gremory was also called Gomory. I guess they took the name from that. Thinking back, I did hear a story where when you summoned a Devil from Gremory, they appeared riding on a camel. They said that they did use a lot of camels in an event within an area governed by the House of Gremory. They also raised a lot of camels within the castle of Gremory. But we never got a chance to see a camel. The reason was because of this woman hiding behind my back.
Rias was shivering cutely behind my back. That’s right. Even though she was the heir apparent of the House of Gremory, she hated camels with a passion. She said that she got attacked by a camel while making fun of it when she was young. After that incident, she came to hate them. I only became aware of it after becoming a second year. Because Rias hated even a character based of a camel, there weren’t many chances for us to see camels. Probably the reason why her expression darkened back at the castle was because of the thought of meeting Gomorin here. Our time at the waiting room came to an end when the staff came to call us.
“Then, we’ll leave the rest to you guys.”
We followed the staff to the backstage area. Looking at the event venue from the backstage, there were many people there including families who brought their children. Wow, it was sold out.
Looking towards the direction of Sairaorg-san... while folding his arms, an unspeakable aura was seeping out of his body. ...Maybe he was nervous? For such an aura to seep out of an apple character suit even though it didn’t seem like he was related to that kind of job, it was hard to approach him... the onee-chan in front of the stage then shouted towards the audience.
[Then, let’s all shout Gomorin and Bapple-kun! Let’s all give our all and shout!]
Then the children covered in smiles shouted with all their might.
We heard the energetic voices calling for these two Mascot Characters! Gomorin and Sairaorg-san inside Bapple-kun then jumped energetically onto the stage. All we could do now was just to watch over them. The onee-chan on the stage was now striking a conversation with these two Mascot Characters, but looking flustered, Bapple-kun’s movements looked awkward.
[Ara? What’s wrong, Bapple-kun? Aren’t you feeling well today?]
The onee-chan then said that to him! Uuu, I couldn’t watch this! As expected, such a stiff Sairaorg-san was too much to be a suit actor! Meanwhile, Gomorin was showing an entertaining reaction towards the audience with its experienced movements. It looked like the person inside it was an experienced pro. After the character introduction, the two Mascot Characters were allowed to spend with the audience.
“Waaaaa~! Gomorin’s so cute!”
Gomorin was playing with the children. However, Bapple-kun was...
He was standing there with its arms folded, and was giving off a strange energy around it. Ahh. His aura was seeping out again! Sairaorg-san! Your aura could be seen by the naked eye! A Mascot Character shouldn’t be giving off a white light around its body! Because of Bapple-kun’s hard to approach aura, in the end, one child was...
A child ended up bursting into tears! They were sensitive to this kind of overpowering aura! Because I also participated in this kind of event as Oppai Dragon, I knew all too well that you shouldn’t make this kind of aura!
“This apple is too scaryyyyyyy!”
Like a domino effect, the children near Bapple-kun all started to cry. This situation couldn’t be salvaged... That’s what I thought, but...
Thanks to Gomorin playing with the children again, the situation calmed down.
“...It was too much after all.”
The Bael peerage’s Queen, Kuisha-san, who was watching this from the backstage, was looking at her master with a stiff face, but in the end, covered her face with her hands. Ah, by the way, Bapple-kun was... It looked like he was too shocked as he was frozen in place.
After the event ended, we all returned to the waiting room. Sairaorg-san sat down, but couldn’t keep his head up.
“...My god, to be hated by these children... I am a failure of a Mascot Character!”
Seeing that he was too shocked, Sairaorg-san facepalmed and was severely dejected. It was extremely rare to see Sairaorg-san like this, but...seriously, this kind of work didn’t suit him at all.
“I-It’s just that your aura seeped out because you were a little nervous.”
“That’s right. Don’t worry too much about it. You’ll get it after getting some experience. No, actually, there’s no need for the heir apparent to do jobs like this.”
Rias and I tried to cheer him up, but all that Sairaorg-san did was sigh.
“Even so I am...I am ashamed of myself who could not train enough.”
This person was such an honest person, so he must have tried his best to act as the perfect Mascot Character.
Gomorin also put its hand on Sairaorg-san and cheered him on.
“...Gomorin. You also are cheering me on... No, you are...!?”
Looking like he had felt something from Gomorin, he suddenly stood up from his place. Just then, Gomorin took off his head...
“It’s been a while, everyone.”
A dandy red-haired gentleman appeared from it.
Rias was bewildered! That was to be expected! The person who was wearing the Gomorin costume was her father! If the current head of the House of Gremory showed up wearing a mascot costume, then everyone would surely be shocked! The truth was that everyone here couldn’t believe their eyes!
“W-W-W-Why are you...!?”
A bewildered Rias asked with a trembling voice. Then her father, the current head, said with a leisurely smile.
“Be calm, Rias. This is all part of my job. There are times when you have to wear such costumes as a head.“
I certainly don’t think that’s true though! I gave him such a flack in my mind! I had never heard of a time where the head of a household participating in an event would wear a mascot costume! Sairaorg-san deeply bowed his head.
“To think it would have been you, Ojii-sama... I, Sairaorg, did not notice at all. You certainly are very impressive, Ojii-sama.“
Right, Rias and Sairaorg-san are cousins. Therefore, the current head of the House of Gremory, Rias’s father, was Sairaorg-san’s uncle. Rias’s father put his hand on Sairaorg-san’s shoulder.
“Hahaha, Sairaorg. The basic of the Mascot Character is to kill your own self. By becoming the character itself and serving others, it’s the correct action.”
“I cannot win against you, Ojii-sama.”
Sairaorg-san said that, and then...with a trembling fist, he shouted in a fierce voice.
“However, I cannot participate in further Mascot Character events in this state! Even if others can accept it, I cannot accept it myself! Would this be considered fine!? Never! To train myself over and over again is my essence! Only when I grow through driving myself into a corner can I then say that I am Sairaorg Bael!”
Sairaorg-san looked at me with a frustrated expression.
“Hyoudou Issei, I’ve got a request.”
“Eh? Ah, yes!”
Sairaorg-san then grabbed my shoulders.
“Won’t you come with me to the mountain and train? I wish that you would come and train as a Mascot Character...!!!”
—Mountain! Why even!? While perplexed, I asked.
“T-Training to become a Mascot Character inside the mountain!? W-Wait a second. I have trained inside a mountain multiple times, but I’ve never done Mascot Character training before...”
There were times that I’ve been dragged into the mountains multiple times to go for training. Why do Devils have a mentality where training = mountain? Well, I did drag Riser into a mountain for his own training! As I was helpless in wondering what kind of reaction to give, Rias’s father nodded his head.
“Hmm, then I shall go with you, Sairaorg.”
And said such nonsense!
Sairaorg-san hesitated after hearing his suggestion, but Rias’s father gave a dandy smile.
“Don’t refuse, Sairaorg. Just believe this Ojii-sama. There is nothing that I don’t know about the Gremory. I will lead you to the mountain most suitable for Mascot Character training. Let’s also go together, Hyoudou Issei-kun.”
Really!? I couldn’t refuse if the head was coming at me like that! Sairaorg-san was also getting pumped, shouting ‘Okay, let’s give it our all!’! Rias’s father then created a teleportation magic circle beneath our feet! I couldn’t even run away from Sairaorg-san’s grip! Rias shouted at her father, who was in the middle of his teleportation circle.
“Rias, please don’t stop us. There are things that a man must do.”
Rias said while shaking her head.
“If mother finds out, she will be furious!”
...T-That was a huge problem! Venelana-san, Rias’s mother, was a very strict person! If she heard about this, then it could only be bad! Not only that, but Rias wasn’t worried about me at all! Well, she must be thinking that mountain training wouldn’t be much of a problem for me! Rias’s father was also trembling all over, but as he was determined, he waved at his daughter!
“Then, let’s go, Sairaorg, Issei-kun!”
The light from the teleportation magic surrounded us. For some unknown reason, I ended up going to the mountain for Mascot Character training.
Same day, same time.
The majestic great nature was in front of my eyes. The well-shaded forest and the mountain range was within my sight. The surrounding areas were filled with high mountains. The apple character suit looked around, then exclaimed.
“...Hmm, they are great mountains. The trees are all full of life and the waters are shining.”
...Sairaorg-san was all fired up inside the character suit. He then grabbed my hand and pointed at a mountain before powerfully exclaiming.
“Hyoudou Issei! Let’s get started with training right away! First, we are climbing all the way up the mountain!”
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?! You want to climb the mountain first?!”
I was shocked to the core! It wasn’t surprising to be shocked after hearing such a thing right after reaching here! I didn’t bring any equipment! I was still in my uniform! You wanted me to climb in this form!? Sairaorg-san was also wearing the character suit!
“There are things that you can only see at the top. Let’s climb up first!”
...Well, if it came to that, I could equip my armour and Sairaorg-san wouldn’t have any problem climbing if he wanted to. But the mountain that he pointed at looked taller than Mount Fuji... While being perplexed, Gomorin, no, Rias’s father, started to build the tent that came out of nowhere.
“Hmm, then, I’ll be setting up camp here.”
Hey, he’s even got a canteen and a steel pen! Where did all these come from!? Hey, Rias’s father. Aren’t you bit too familiar with this!? Not only that, but he looked like he was enjoying himself!
“Then, let’s go!”
Sairaorg-san then ran towards the mountain while dragging me. Like this, I began mountain climbing with the apple-shaped Mascot Character...
...Seven to eight hours later, I descended the mountain on my own. Along with Sairaorg-san, we climbed a mountain that was easily four thousand meters tall. As I was climbing up that mountain which didn’t even have anything resembling of a road, we occasionally climbed a steep cliff too. I got tired midway up the mountain, but I continued after equipping my Balance Breaker... I wasn’t even a mountain guy, and to climb such a mountain without any proper gear, I would have died without equipping Balance Breaker... It took several hours to reach the top, but since I flew using my Balance Breaker, it didn’t take that long to come down. However when Sairaorg-san reached the top...
[I’ll stay here and admire the view.]
...He said so and began meditating in his character suit. Admiring the view from the unknown mountain top, the apple-shaped mascot character quietly meditated. Beyond shocked, I felt there was something spiritual witnessing that scene. Although I meditated together with him for a few moments... The person who greeted me was the camel Mascot Character who was making food in camp with the saucepan.
“Ah, Ise-kun. How is the training going?”
Rias’s father, who was wearing that camel costume, waved his hand towards me.
“Ah, I came down first. Sairaorg-san said he’ll be going waterfall climbing training...while wearing his costume that is.”
That’s right. The reason why I descended first was because, after Sairaorg-san finished admiring the view, he suddenly saw a waterfall he found interesting...
[Maybe I should climb up that waterfall I found.]
...He said something outrageous and made his way to the waterfall! Why are you climbing a waterfall when you aren’t a carp!? And even then, it was just a story! There was no way even a carp would climb up a waterfall! You shouldn’t be climbing up the waterfall in the first place! Even then, if it was Sairaorg-san, then I had no doubt he would do it! There must be a apple Mascot Character who was swimming up a waterfall right about now! Rias’s father nodded his head.
“Is that so? That’s the right direction.”
Was it really!? I didn’t think there was anything related between Mascot Character training and admiring a view from the top of a mountain or climbing up a waterfall!
First of all, I was confused on whether we even needed a training camp for being a Mascot Character! All you needed to do was get some advice from either the general manager or a professional suit actor, no!? But since I couldn’t say those things to either Rias’s father or Sairaorg-san...in the end, I just decided to help him cook. Just then, a teleportation circle appeared. Hadn’t seen that one before. The person who appeared from the circle was—a female with a bishoujo top half and fish bottom half. —Mermaid! A real mermaid! It wasn’t the tuna with legs, Estleena, but a real mermaid!
“Lord Gremory. I caught some fish from the lake.”
The person who appeared with a basket full of fish was a familiar mermaid!
“Oho. Lilitifa-chan, thank you very much.”
Rias’s father took the basket from her. That’s right, Lilitifa-san! Lilitifa Vepar-san! She was a descendant of the now extinct House of Vepar, a real mermaid who was a Devil! There was a time when she was living peacefully in the human world sea. She was troubled because of guys resembling a pirate crew, but the Gremory peerage, including me, protected her back then. After that, I did hear she was living in a lake within the land of Gremory... Thinking back, I did see a huge lake from the top of the mountain. Maybe that’s where Lilitifa-san lived? Lilitifa-san noticed me.
“Y-You are... Thank you very much for back then.”
She politely greeted me. Oh, so she did remember me!
“Lilitifa-chan is living in the lake near here.”
Rias’s father explained. Oh, so it was as I thought.
“It’s good that you look well.”
I said so. If she was smiling like that, then it looked like she was living peacefully. I was glad. B-But. Even if her bottom half was a fish, she still had a bishoujo top half... Her body was neither too fat, nor too thin, but just the right size, and my eyes kept looking towards her gorgeous body! So mermaids also had amazing breasts! This was the best! As I was staring at her breasts, she suddenly asked me a question.
“Sekiryuutei-sama. Japan is a good place, right?”
“Yes? Ah, yes, it is a good place. There isn’t any fighting, and the cuisine is also great as well, but it’s not like I’ve been to different countries much, so my words aren’t worth much though...”
I had come to the Underworld many times, but thinking carefully, I hadn’t even travelled to the main Japanese island properly. All I had been to were the local areas, Tokyo and Kyoto from back when we went on the school trip with a high schooler’s budget. That’s all we could do. But in the future, I did want to go to Hokkaido and Okinawa with Rias, Asia and the rest. Rias’s father explained Lilitifa-san’s situation while gutting the fish. But Lord-sama, you are quite skilled. Your cooking seems natural too.
“Lilitifa-chan wants to study abroad in Japan. So she’s studying hard.”
Studying abroad in Japan!? It seemed like every Devil related to us wanted to come to Japan. Lilitifa-san smiled brightly and nodded her head.
“Yes. I’ve began taking an interest in Japan after living on the land thanks to Rias Gremory-san’s generosity... Actually, I want to take the test for permission to study abroad this time.”
Oho, she’s even thinking about taking the exam.
“Lilitifa-chan. I’m sorry to ask, but could you get us some spices?”
When Rias’s father asked, Lilitifa-san replied ‘Yes’ and teleported again. ...So now, there was only me and Rias’s father. The two of us were left alone. And only the sounds of cooking were heard.
Neither me nor Rias’s father spoke. No, actually, in all honesty, it was so hard to talk right now! T-That’s! I-I was currently dating Rias! Lord-sama also knew that right? Our relationship was quite famous in the Underworld! Thinking back, I hadn’t met with Rias’s father ever since I began dating Rias! I couldn’t even give a proper greeting. This was bad! This couldn’t be one of those?! Things like ‘I’m dating your daughter’ or ‘Please give your daughter to me!’ were one of the most important times in the life of a man! Damn, I couldn’t believe that time would come at this kind of situation... We came to the mountain for Mascot Character training, but we ended up in a situation between me and my girlfriend’s father. This was too much! What should I do!? What could I say!? Just silence wasn’t good! If we kept this silence, this would be the worst possible scenario! For a person who normally went around saying Oppai, to be this quiet in front of my girlfriend’s father wasn’t good at all! No, no, no! This was really bad! The worst ever! My head was going into chaos from all the kinds of thoughts I was having! Just then, Rias’s father ended the silence.
“My daughter... Rias is quite stubborn. That’s because ever since she was young, I’ve been spoiling her. Even Sirzechs is truly treasuring her since he’s more than one hundred years her senior... I’m still sorry and apologetic for leaving the scolding of Rias to Venelana.”
“I-Is that so.”
That was the only thing I could say! I decided to just listen to his story without replying much. This wasn’t like me, but this was... having only the two of us here was too much! Rias’s father handed me the fish pieces and continued.
“Hahahahahaha. It won’t be good to create this mood in a situation like this, huh. Could you put these fish on top of the grill please?”
“Ojii-sama. I have just returned.”
The apple costume has appeared between us now. Sairaorg-san came back all soaked—eh! I was shocked at what Sairaorg-san was holding! He was carrying a huge deer-like creature!
“I caught this while coming back down.”
Did you just knock this out while coming down!? And in your costume no less!?
“Good job, Sairaorg. We can have that and the fish which Lilitifa caught as tonight’s supper.”
Looking at Rias’s father, who just greeted Sairaorg-san like no other day, I felt how brave you needed to be in order to become the ruler of the Gremory household...
For dinner, the four of us, including Lilitifa-san who brought spices, were eating together. Even though it was just a camping ground, the food looked like it just came from any high-end restaurant. Both the fish and the deer meat were salty and were turned into a fantastic meal. I took a bite. ...I couldn’t find any way to express this taste. I couldn’t, but it was good! The unique taste of meat and the fish were not destroyed. The sauce was bringing out the savouriness of the meat well, but most importantly...this sauce had eliminated the fishy and meaty smell! Were they always this tasty!? Not only that, but to make such a meal in the middle of nowhere!
“As always, your cooking is fantastic, Ojii-sama.”
Even Sairaorg-san said so. Rias’s father said while tossing wood into the fire.
“The life of a Devil is very long. There was a time where I spend some time in the human world honing my skill in the culinary world.”
Oh, so you could also have that kind of life! I could learn a few things to walk the path of the culinary world! I guess it was only possible because of our long life. While tending the fire, he then asked Sairaorg-san.
“What do you think, Sairaorg? Are there things you’ve realized about being a Mascot Character?”
Putting his plate down, Sairaorg-san’s expression stiffened.
“...Ojii-sama. I, who lacks years of experience, have not understood the Mascot Character yet...! I am truly disappointed in myself...!”
...There was no way you’d be able to learn that kind of thing by climbing a waterfall or hunting a deer! Rias’s father smiled.
“Hahaha, you don’t need to think like that since even I leave most things about the Mascot Character to my wife Venelana.”
“Obaa-sama you mean. The rumor about obaa-sama is well known even in the House of Bael. We hear that the money from businesses is quite a lot.”
Sairaorg-san said so. Hmm, so Rias’s mother was famous in the business world. Rias’s father continued.
“Mmm, her connections are very good. She’s got a talent in finding a hidden gem that has not yet been properly evaluated at its true price. She has been able to create a huge business out of rare crops that only people who live in the countryside know or crafts that natives make and she was able to make them popular in the city. The petition from the ordinary people of the land who want help from Venelana is always growing.”
That was an amazing thing to hear. No wonder she was being entrusted with works related to the Mascot Character and such from the Lord himself.
“Even she has calmed down compared to before.”
Rias’s father made a bitter smile. And Sairaorg-san continued.
“I have heard Obaa-sams’s tales of heroism ever since I was young.”
“...T-Tales of heroism? Was she that great when she was younger?”
When I asked, Sairaorg-san nodded his head.
“It was said that she was the strongest female in the history of the House of Bael.”
Rias’s father then said while sipping from his cup.
“She was once called [Brown-haired Ruin Princess]. Rias’s nickname was taken from Venelana. But compared to Venelana from back then, Rias is just being cute.”
I-I-It was that much... Brown-haired Ruin Princess... Her looks might not have changed that much, but I couldn’t even begin to imagine how much of a tomboy she would have been back then. Rias’s father then turned the topic back on track.
“Ah, the topic got derailed a bit too much. We were talking about Venelana’s talent, huh? She’s great at finding the less well-known treasures. Ah, Lilitifa-chan. Aren’t there any unique products around here?”
Rias’s father asked Lilitifa-san. Then, she tilted her head thinking.
“Hmm...there’s this village at the end of the river stream in front of us where they have rare and beautiful patterned fabrics.”
Lilitifa-san pointed at somewhere far away. Fabrics, huh. It looked like Rias’s father took an interest. He nodded his head.
“Oho, sounds interesting. Let’s go and see them tomorrow.”
Right then, Lilitifa-san had a worried look on her face.
“...Actually, bandits have arrived around here... That village is often getting attacked.”
Bandits were attacking the village. This wasn’t good.
“Bandits are in every other territory.”
Sairaorg-san also sighed heavily. Lilitifa-san then made an awkward expression.
“I think they are targeting me too... They kept saying that mermaids are rare and multiple times they have—.”
“They attacked you!?”
I raised my voice unconsciously. This lady was always becoming a target for these kinds of people! Hearing me, she shook her head.
“No, I’ve been confessed to. But for a bandit, I’m a bit...”
Ah, so she’s just been confessed to. But I still couldn’t forgive them! Such a bandit to confess to this precious mermaid!? I would not forgive them! I was going to protect this precious bishoujo! Rias’s father then spoke while putting his hand on his chin.
“I wonder if our mountain security is not enough. Hmm as the Lord, I can’t just sit still with bandits around this area. Then, let’s go beat some bandits.”
Rias’s father stood up, and following him, Sairaorg-san stood up too.
“Oh, as expected from you, Ojii-sama. For a Lord to personally defeat such people...you are a shining example for any High-class Devil. I can’t stop admiring you. I might be imprudent, but I, Sairaorg, will also help.”
“I do appreciate it. What about you, Ise-kun?”
Rias’s father asked me.
“Of course! If the Lord and Sairaorg-san are going, then I can’t just sit around doing nothing!”
How could I refuse! If the current head of the house and Sairaorg-san were going, there was no way that I could just sit here and wait for them!
“Hmm, as expected of Sekiryuutei. Then, let’s all go defeat these bandits.”
Leaving Lilitifa-san, we then headed towards the mountain where the bandits were said to appear.
Two figures, the apple-shaped character suit and the camel-shaped character suit, were climbing up the rough mountain road. If someone else saw this scene, it would be unimaginable. ...Since even I am in a Gomorin suit. I asked Rias’s father while climbing up the mountain.
“W-Why did we wear this thing...?”
“Ise-kun’s amour is known all over the Underworld. If they see you, then they might run away, so that’s why I suggested you that character suit. The bandits will also be less wary if you show up in a character suit. I prepared an extra-large one, so you’ll be able to wear your armor underneath the suit.”
That’s being too careful! Did you already prepare the suit that I would wear!?
“Also, don’t forget to say [Gomo, Gomo] while wearing that suit. You should never forget the mentality of a Mascot Character since we are here to train and become better at being Mascot Characters. Isn’t that right, Sairaorg?”
“Yes, that is correct. Since we are no more than mere Mascot Characters!”
Why are you so pumped up!? Sairaorg-san, aren’t you little bit too excited?! You are excited about defeating bandits, right!? When we walked for thirty minutes further into the mountain, a group of people rushed out.
“Oi, oi, stop there.”
They were men wearing clothes made out of fur like stereotypical bandits. They were shouting at us with an annoying gaze.
“This ain’t no theme park. Why are there two camels and an apple monster walking around here?”
I couldn’t even talk back! The bandits then shouted!
“This is the land of bandits, the land of the House of Bilba! If you don’t wanna drop dead, then hand us all you’ve got!”
“Hmm, the only things I’ve got on me right now are these character suits. Will you take these then?”
Sairaorg-san said whilst in his costume. Because of that, the bandits became louder and got angry at us.
“Stop jabbering nonsense, and if you don’t wanna die, then take those damn clown suits...”
Just then, Bapple-kun disappeared from sight, and in that exact same moment, the bandit who was talking got punched to the backline!
Screaming loudly, he was thrown into a rock nearby. Sairaorg-san had an aura concentrated on the suit’s cute hands. From the looks of it, he punched the hell out of that bandit just now. Sairaorg-san, no, Bapple-kun then shouted.
“If you want my character suit, then come and take it by force! However, this suit is not some cheap thing that I can just let you guys have!”
There was no way that there existed a bandit who could stop this apple character full of aura around his body.
We then walked along the road while completely destroying the bandits that came at us. After a few minutes, a huge camp located in the middle of the mountain appeared, and quite a few bandits were grouped at that base. One of those bandits then said to someone who looked bigger and was probably the most violent guy out of all of them.
“B-Boss! It’s them! They are the camels and the apple that I’ve mentioned!”
The person who looked like the boss of these bandits came forward and narrowed his eyes.
“...I thought they were just humorless jokes by my underlings, but it’s actually a real apple and camels. What the hell is going on here...? It’s not like you idiots mistook this mountain as an event location!”
Seriously, I wonder what happened?! For an apple and camels to visit the bandits’ lair! Sairaorg-san, no, Bapple-kun then took a step forward.
“Oi. Are you the boss?”
The boss then smiled after hearing that.
“What are you gonna do if I say yes?”
“I heard that you guys are attacking the nearby village? We cannot leave such villains go unpunished. I, as the land of Bael’s Mascot Character, Bapple-kun, will show you justice!”
When Bapple-kun said that, the bandits all burst into laughter. The boss then grabbed a huge axe and sighed.
“Oi, you idiots, did you hear? This Mascot Character-sama is going to show us justice. Haaa, is that what you shout around after coming into a mountain in that clown suit? I got no clue why you guys are here, but it looks like you guys are confident in your skills. But you see, some mediocre skill shortens your life! Oi, you idiots, get ‘em!”
As soon as their boss shouted at them, the bandits all screamed and ran towards us! Ahhhh, in the end, this was what it came down to! Sairaorg-san threw his body towards them!
“Looks like we won’t be able to talk our way through. Let’s go, Hyoudou Issei! No, Gomorin second!”
“Ah yes! Ah no, [Gomo]~!”
I activated the Balance Breaker inside the costume and followed Sairaorg-san. Looks like this costume was specially made so I could fit inside here with my Balance Breaker activated. Seriously, the people in the House of Gremory loved to spend their money on this kind of stuff!
“Hyaa! Bapple-kun Chop! Bapple-kun Kick!”
There’s no way there existed any bandits who could block a bare fist attack from Bapple-kun.
One by one, the bandits were thrown away after getting beaten up! Even in the character suit, he annihilated the bandits with amazing speed and destructive power! To be fair, I thought it would be fine to leave all this to Sairaorg-san, but I didn’t like to just stand around so...
Shouting that, I defeated a few bandits. Well, I couldn’t leave the people who were targeting Lilitifa-san alone! Rias’s father stood there in awe seeing us fight.
“Hmm, certainly, as expected of Issei-kun and Sairaorg-gomo. Even during the battle, they’ve got enough space to become Mascot Characters-gomo. If only we had a camera here, then we could capture this amazing battle scene-gomo.”
You’re more incredible by not forgetting to add [gomo] at the end of every sentence!
“W-What the hell is wrong with these two? They’re super stroooong!”
Looks like they had noticed our power too since they were hesitating. Even during all this, Rias’s father, who dodged the bandits’ swords and axes effortlessly, said this.
“Hmm, it’s been what, tens, no maybe hundreds of thousands of years since a real battle. Hahahaha, it’s quite entertaining. Ah, gomo, gomo.”
He was enjoying the battle with bandits so much that he was forgetting to say [Gomo]! Ara, not only was he enjoying this, but his movements were also mesmerising! Every move was smooth and his effortless movements wasted no energy! As expected of a High-class devil and the current head of the House of Gremory! In the middle of sorting out the bandits effortlessly, we heard the voice of a woman...
“Dear husband. What is going on here?”
Venelana-san, Rias’s mother, had appeared! As if she was possessed by anger itself, a pitch-black aura was seeping out of her entire body! And behind her, Rias was also there! She was shaking her head in a disappointed fashion. As soon as she appeared, Gomorin first froze from his steps.
“......My name is Gomorin-gomo. Hello.”
Gomorin first said in such a stiff robotic voice. Hearing that, Rias’s mother narrowed her eyes and exerted an overwhelming force.
“Is that...something a lord of the land should be doing and throwing his body into? Not only that, but to bring your nephew Sairaorg into this... Dear husband, would you like to be scolded now or later?”
Rias’s mother spoke in a low and freezing cold voice. Although I wasn’t the one who was getting scolded here, but I was getting chills! When I turned around, even Sairaorg-san stopped his fists and didn’t know what to do! Gomorin took his helmet off and immediately got on his knees.
“I’m so sorry, but Venelana, there is an unavoidable reason for all this.”
He apologized! The Lord of the land apologized to his wife! Not only that, but it hadn’t even been a minute since Rias’s mother appeared here! Every male of the Gremory house was seriously weak against their wives! Looking at this scenery, the boss of the bandits shouted at us.
“H-Hey, you people! Why the hell are you guys stopping after crashing into our base!? W-We don’t wanna fight you monsters anyway! You bitches over there! Just hurry the damn up and take these camels and apple away!”
As soon as he shouted at Rias’s mother—
Venelana-san directed her cold gaze toward them. Her hands exerted an enormous power and covered the bandits and the surrounding area in a black aura!
All the bandits screamed and were flung away! The boss was also flung away into a great distance! It was then told that the bandits here were not only surprise attacked by a group of unidentified characters in suits, but had also been blown away by a single attack from a single female Devil...
In the end I, Sairaorg-san and Rias’s father were escorted by Rias and her mother. After coming back to the castle, we were scolded by her mother for at least half a day.
“I’ll be the one who’ll be directing the Mascot Character, so there won’t be any reason to go to the mountain or for the lord of the land to wear the character suits.”
And thus, Rias’s mother became the producer of Gomorin and Bapple-kun. It also looked like she was going to turn our victory against the bandits into Mascot Characters defeating the bandits in the news instead. If that was the case, then Bapple-kun and Gomorin would be known all over the Underworld. Well, I couldn’t help but feel like I had gotten the worst deal out of this unfairly...
Around the time when the lecture was finished, Rias called me... Man I was so tired, I wanted to heal by Rias’s side. Thinking that, I walked towards Rias.
“I-I hate camels!”
Rias pushed me away in tears! I forgot that I was still wearing this! Looks like I first needed to help Rias get over her fear of camels...
As a side note, the fabric that Lilitifa-san introduced to us got into Venelana-san’s attention and also became famous all over the House of Gremory. Lilitifa-san also became the model for those fabrics, and thus became a celebrity around the land of the House of Gremory.
Life.4 Talents of the Student Council
My first April after becoming a third-year student. During lunch time, a trio of three newcomers from the Student Council greeted me while I was spending my lunch time at the school ground of Kuoh Academy. First was a clerk, and she was also a third-year, Kamo Tadami-chan. Kamo-chan had long braided hair. She was thin and was a long eyed third-year with a tall figure. She was actually from an Exorcist family. They were using their powers to exorcise spirits independently around the Kuoh area and were helping ordinary people around them. Kamo-chan took Mil-tan as her rival, and it was said that those two have had fierce battles... I sometimes also thought of measures against Mil-tan with Kamo-chan. Then, there was the second-year male clerk, Nakiri Ouryuu. Nakiri was one of the Five Great Families and he was also the apparent heir of the household. He was a guy with an energetic personality and the one who just called out to me. And the last person was...a student who wrapped herself with thick clothing. She was deep inside a hoodie, wore a pair of huge glasses resembling the bottom of a glass bottle and was wearing a muffler around her neck. She was wearing trainers under her skirt and even wore gloves around her hand. No part of her skin was exposed. Smiling, I spoke to this fully-covered student.
“Hmm, you must be the second year clerk Millarca Vordenburg-chan, right?”
When I asked, the fully-covered person replied ‘Yes’ in a cute voice. There were reasons as to why this girl wore such heavy clothing. The eyes behind those glasses had...a scarlet kind of colour to them. As if to cover her, Nakiri said.
“Millarca always dresses like this during day time. Hyoudou-senpai may not be used to this attire, but this is her standard clothing...since she’s a Vampire.”
That’s right. Just as Nakiri said, this female student under heavy cover was a Vampire! Not only that, she was a Pure-Blood and the Princess of the Vordenburg Household of the Carmilla Faction. It was surprising indeed that she was here. But because she was a Pure-Blood, she couldn’t walk around during day time like Gasper, so many activities were restricted for her. In other words, she was weak against sunlight. She wasn’t like low-class Vampires who disintegrated as soon as sunlight touched them, but...apparently, her powers were reduced significantly. The reason why such a Princess was in Japan, and especially in Kuoh Academy was because...she said it was for her country. She was currently in the middle of a mission with Nakiri under Ajuka Beelzebub-sama, and was also entering his [Game], as well as investigating the mysterious Longinus. Thus, these were the new faces of the new Student Council trio including Millarca-chan. Kamo-chan then asked me.
“Hyoudou-kun. Do you know where Xenovia-kaichou is?”
Xenovia just ate lunch with me. Actually, Asia, Xenovia, Irina, Kiba, Kiryuu and I all became classmates as we advanced to the third year (Oh, and the homeroom teacher was Rossweisse-san!). So, along with Matsuda and Motohama, who as always became my classmates again, all eight of us had been having lunch together often. By the way, Xenovia was escorted out by the Student Council Secretary and Sitri peerage Pawn, Nimura Ruruko-chan. Like last year, Nimura-chan was still in the Student Council. From what I’d heard, a fight broke out between the sports clubs regarding the usage of the sports hall. And so, Xenovia and Nimura-chan went to where the situation was happening. Upon hearing that, Kamo-chan grabbed her hair and sighed. And she told me.
“...So Nimura-chan said something to Xenovia-chan again. This happens more and more after that incident. My god...even working well together is troublesome...”
Xenovia and Nimura-chan tended to try and solve the students’ problems with power. Since both were types who acted before they thought, their way of thinking was quite similar. Just then, Kamo-chan suddenly smiled and looked at Nakiri and Millarca-chan.
“Kouchin, Millarca, let’s follow them. Kaichou is really awful, not telling us such fun events!”
Making a bitter smile, Nakiri replied ‘Yes’ and Millarca-chan also saluted and shouted ‘Let’s go’. ...The new Student Council was so energetic. Seeing them off, I fondly remembered that ‘event’ Kamo-chan talked about...
This happened on the third semester of the second year shortly after the Student Council election.
After school, inside the ORC room were Rias, Akeno-san, Sona-zenkaichou and Shinra-zenfukukaichou. They were relaxing and spending their time there. Third-year graduating students had free attendance during the third term, so they didn’t have to be at school if they didn’t want to. Rias and Akeno-san only attended school on the days they felt like it. Enjoying her tea, Rias spoke.
“Ise, I’m sorry, but we’ll be here for a little longer.”
Rias said in a slightly apologetic tone. She must be thinking that since she was retired, she was considered an outsider and that made me sad! This place was built by Rias, so she could come in whenever she wished to. I’d also told her several times back at home, but Rias still hadn’t changed her mind about leaving most of the work and the club room to the ORC members. Saying that without passing the responsibility to the new generation couldn’t be considered fully to be a high school club... Sona-zenkaichou smiled and nodded.
“It’s not like retired students to take up a seat in the council room.”
That’s also right, these two also retired from the Student Council. For retired Student Council members to show their faces at the council room had to be more awkward for them than retired club members coming to the club room. A club was in the end just a club, but the Student Council was a functioning organisation. Hearing that, Rias said.
“So I asked them to come here. This place has enough space, and there isn’t any problem with people coming here. Ah, we’ve also got permission from Asia.”
Asia, who sat at the President’s chair, said with her hands up.
“Yes. Since this is the place that Rias-onee-sama founded, I told her she could come and visit us whenever she would like to.”
Asia also seemed like she wasn’t used to her new title of Buchou yet as she was being hesitant. Well, we’d be sure to help Asia-buchou from now on! This was only just the beginning! Rias thanked Asia.
“Asia, thank you, but we’ve already retired. We can come hang out, but we don’t want to get in your way during club activities. This is now your place to make yours.”
“Ufufu, that’s right. Although I did make our tea out of habit...I did wonder if I should be doing that without permission.”
Akeno-san also had the same attitude as Rias. These two were aware of the fact that they had retired from the club, but...it was still lonely.
“It seems like we’ll be in your care until the graduation. I do apologise about that.”
Sona-zenkaichou said while lowering her head. Seeing Sona-zenkaichou relaxing while drinking tea here felt refreshing. As I was thinking about our onee-samas, someone ran into the club room.
“HEEEEEEEEEELP MEEEEEEE! HYOOOOOOOOOUDOU!”
That was no one other than Saji! He grabbed onto me as soon as he came into the room!
“S-Saji, what’s up?”
When I asked, Saji said in a sobbing voice.
“Kuuuuuu! President is! President issssss!”
Looking at the retired President sitting right here, I asked.
“You are talking about this President over here, right?”
Saji looked towards the direction I was looking at. It looked like he realised only just then that Sona-zenkaichou was there. She spoke to Saji in her usual cool voice.
“Saji, you’re being noisy.”
Saji, startled at that, fixed his posture. But looking at his expression, it seemed like he was still surprised.
“...P-President! No, former President! I-I didn’t know you would be here!”
Sona-zenkaichou simply replied by saying ‘I’m just enjoying tea with my friends’. I asked Saji again.
“Anyway, why did you come running looking for me? You also said something about the President or something.”
Hearing what I said, it seemed like he remembered why he came here and shouted.
“Ah! That’s right! Hyoudou, help me! I don’t understand Xenovia-chan at alllllllll!”
Me and Asia-buchou looked at each other and listened to what he had to say.
Well, the person who this guy could call the President of this school right now was just Xenovia. That girl was fighting against the Sitri peerage’s Hanakai Momo-chan in the last school-wide election, and in the end, she won the election. So ultimately, she was elected as the new school Student Council President. Following that, Saji was named the new Vice-President. I assumed the reason why Saji was being all weepy and asking for my help was probably because of the current President. Well, the current President also happened to be a member of the ORC... Listening to his story, it looked like Xenovia said something outrageous during the council meeting.
[So, today’s job for the Student Council is outdoor activity.]
When Xenovia-kaichou said that, Saji-fukukaichou made a confused face.
[Huh? Were there any activities that needed to be done outside?]
Saji checked the schedule, but there weren’t any activities that involved outdoor activities. Just then, Xenovia-kaichou said this.
[Yup. It looks like the students at this school caused some trouble against students from the other school. We’ve received the request to sort that out. So, we’ll charge into the enemy school.]
Upon hearing that, Saji lost his cool.
[Making trouble against another school!? Charge!? H-Hang on Xenovia-chan...no, Kaichou! Would it not be better telling teachers about this?]
Xenovia-kaichou then spoke in confidence outrageously.
[Mmm, I did tell them. When I asked Azazel-sensei, he told me to go ahead and encouraged us.]
[You chose the wrong person to ask! ...Well, that’s fine... So, where is that other school you were talking about?]
Saji asked one more time. To regain his cool in this situation, it was so like Saji. I automatically thought of the absolute worst case scenario as soon as I heard this since this was a collaboration of Xenovia and Azazel-sensei.
[Hmm, it’s Destroy High.]
After hearing that, Saji’s eyes nearly popped out and he said.
[THAT’S THE FAMOUS DELINQUENT HIGH SCHOOL IN THE AREA THAT EVERYONE KNOWSSSSSS!]
That’s right. As Saji said, that High School was the worst delinquent school around this area. It was to the point where there was an unspoken rule of never making any eye contact with the students wearing that uniform between the normal students.
[Yup! We are going to charge into Destroy High!]
It looked like the current President thought this outing/charge into that delinquent school was a positive thing... Saji wiped his tears off his face with a handkerchief and said in a defeated voice.
“...In the end, the current President took other members of the Council with her and charged into Destroy High... There were members who objected this like me, but the new members supported her...”
...My god. All the new members this year were muscle brains! Bishop Kusaka-chan, Knight Meguri-chan and Pawn Nimura-chan from last year were still there, right? That meant the total number of members who were there from last year were currently four. That meant three new members came in this year excluding Xenovia.
Now that I thought about it, there was a fellow third-year and a member of an Exorcist clan, Kamo Tadami-chan, from the new people of this year. That person was someone I was quite familiar with, and although she wasn’t a Devil, she had a bit of a cheeky personality. Hmm, she seemed like she would get along with Xenovia. Koneko explained some more.
“...I won’t say that all the like-minded people gathered together, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that half the people elected are muscle brains. Especially since the first years are the ones who prefer to talk with their fists instead of their mouth.”
Oioioi! Even the new first years!?
“Is Nimura-chan also like that?”
I asked just to be sure. Nimura-chan, who stayed in the council following last year, was easygoing, but since she was one of the people who used to be under Sona-kaichou, I thought she’d be more of a strict person... Also, Hanakai-chan, who didn’t get elected, and the Rook Yura-chan, who didn’t even stand for the election, retired and became normal students. Saji grabbed his hair.
“Yeah, that Nimura girl was getting along way too well with Xenovia...”
My god... I’ve got nothing else to say at that. Sona-zenkaichou said while sipping her tea.
“Ruruko was like that from the beginning. I thought from the beginning that she’d get along well with Xenovia-chan.”
Oh no! The thought of having an energetic Xenovia and an easygoing Nimura-chan in one place! N-Not only that, but if the muscle brain Exorcist lady was added to the mix, then it was basically a total train wreck! Saji continued to grab his hair and said.
“...Uuuuu. It’s not that long since the new Student Council was elected and the difference compared to the time when Sona-kaichou was the President already...! File work and hospitality towards the teachers are better than I expected, but the rest is...”
Then, he started to tell us the difference between Sona-zenkaichou and Xenovia-kaichou.
- Argument between sports club about the use of the sports hall.
Sona: [Talk this out between you guys.]
Basketball club: [We called you because we couldn’t do that! We’ve got a competition next week!]
Volleyball team: [Hmph! We’ve also got a competition soon! So we’ve got to prepare for that!]
Sona: [I understand. Then, I’ll ask the hall teacher. This will be sorted once we figure out the time slot. And also, you have to use the sports hall fairly with not only between the basketball club and the volleyball club, but other sports clubs as well. You guys know that, right?]
Basketball Club: [Yes...]
Volleyball club: [We will do as you say, President.]
Saji: [As expected of the President! She solved it with just negotiation!]
Xenovia: [Alright, determine this using your fists.]
Basketball Club: [We called you because... Whaaaaat!? Fist fight!?]
Volleyball Club: [What about negotiation or asking teachers for help!?]
Xenovia: [There are things you can only show each other through fighting. Especially the sports clubs which use their bodies. I’ll be the referee! Get ready!]
Basketball Club: [Stop with this nonsense!]
Volleyball Club: [Someone stop the President!]
Saji: [President, stop it! Don’t try to solve it using a fist fight!]
- Cultural festival problems
Sona: [For the manga club to sell such manga. I cannot allow this.]
Manga club: [T-That’s... It’s the freedom of expression! Like drawing my imagination inside my head...!]
Sona: [For such a thing, it’s too erotic... For two males to be doing such things...]
Manga club: [The expression of love is different from each other!]
Sona: [I will not deny such claims, but I cannot overlook the sales of such things within the school. In case such things get out of the school, it may cause our reputation to drop. I will not impose on your freedom of expression, but as the creator, you should be wary of the fact that your work will be seen by others. You understand that, right?]
Manga club: [...Yes.]
Saji: [As expected of President! She solved it with negotiation!]
Xenovia: [So, isn’t there the next volume of this manga?]
Manga club: [T-That’s… T-That’s… it’s freedom of expression… W-Waaaaaaaait?! N-Next volume?!]
Xenovia: [This character and this character are Ise and Kiba right? As their comrade, I’m concerned with what will happen.]
Manga club: [A-Are you saying that the expression of love is different from each other?!]
Xenovia: [Well, you could say that. Not only that, but Kiba in this manga is very Kiba-like. The way he talks and looks at Ise is very much like how Kiba does it, and the observation is very good. But why would Kiba be hugging Ise? Wouldn’t it be the other way around?]
Manga club: [Xenovia-kaichou is Ise x Kiba-kyun side?! B-But even so! Kiba-kyun is...the bear!!!]
Saji: [Stop, President! I’ve got no idea what you guys are saying at all! Try to convince me!]
- Report to the teachers
Sona: [Teacher, I’ve brought you the report you asked for.]
Teacher: [Ooh, Shitori! As always, you’re quick to finish your job! ...Hmm, perfect! As expected!]
Sona: [This much isn’t too much.]
Saji: [Hehe. To finish the report in a day after being requested. As expected of the President!]
Xenovia: [Azazel-sensei, I’ve brought you the report you’ve asked for.]
Azazel: [Ooh, Xenovia! Let’s see... Student Council power-up uniform, huh!? Looks good to me!]
Xenovia: [I’ve heard from Kiryuu that there are many special things that are in the Japanese Student Council President’s uniform. I wonder if I could transform?]
Saji: [The Student Council President has got no need for such thingsssssssssss!]
Everyone, including me, couldn’t say a word after hearing Saji’s confession. That Xenovia, she was really going along with her talk (physical attack)... After hearing that, the former President didn’t get flustered and was not surprised. ‘Well, since the change of leadership, this might be the case’ was all she said. Rias and Akeno-san were just smiling and listening to the story. Oi, the onee-samas were reacting like retired grannies already! While we didn’t know what to do after hearing Saji’s confession, the council members Meguri-chan and Kusaka-chan came into the club room.
“Gen-chan, we’ve found the kid.”
Behind Meguri-chan stood a meek-looking male student.
“It looks like this guy talked to Xenovia-kaichou about the trouble with the delinquent school.”
When Meguri-chan insisted, the male student took a step forward. They said he was the reason why Xenovia was charging into their school. He hesitantly opened his mouth.
“...W-Well, the truth is that...”
Saji then started to interrogate the student.
“Haaa. To ask Xenovia-san for such a request... How did you even get into trouble with them in the first place?”
When Saji went on his case, he started to cry his eyes out.
Then, he clung onto Saji and said.
“...Please don’t blame Xenovia-kaichou!”
Then, he started to talk about the incident.
“...My younger brother is in primary school and his road bike, which he got as a gift from our parents, was stolen by his class bullies. When we went to get it back, the older brother of the kid who looked like the leader was the boss of the delinquent school...so we came back without the bike.”
He said that he brought out all the courage and went back there once, but got beaten up in the process.
“...I-I couldn’t discuss this with anyone, but...my little brother was so upset...”
Not being able to discuss this with anyone else, he was feeling upset at the bench of the academy. At that time, Xenovia talked to him by chance.
[You don’t look well. Is there anything wrong?]
Since he wanted to discuss the problem with someone, he told her everything. So, after hearing his story, Xenovia stood up and said.
[...Got it. Just trust me.]
And she left. He didn’t understand what happened...
...And asked her back. Then, Xenovia proclaimed with confidence.
[I’ll get it back for you.]
[You are a student in this school, and I’m the Council President of this school. So it’s only natural that I’m helping you!]
That was what the male student said while crying his eyes out.
“...I just heard the news that Xenovia-kaichou is going to Destroy High from the council members... I’m really happy, but Xenovia-kaichou is in danger! The guys at that high school are people that even adults can’t touch! I-I don’t know what to do here...! Will it be good if I also go!? Or should I contact the police...!?”
The student said that in confusion, but... So that kind of incident happened. There was no way that Xenovia, who had such a high regard for justice, would overlook this. On top of that, she was now the Student Council President, so she wouldn’t just lay down and do nothing! Hearing that, Saji wiped his nose.
“...Che. If there was such a story, then why didn’t she tell me sooner?”
While walking towards the exit, he told his fellow members Meguri-chan and Kusaki-chan.
“Meguri, Kusaka. Looks like our new President is in a pinch... will you guys come?”
Hearing that, Meguri-chan and Kusaka-chan looked at each other and made a bitter smile.
“Well, there’s no way the council members won’t help the President, right?”
“We’ve always helped each other this whole time...although the new President is just full of trouble.”
It looked like the opinions of those three were the same.
“Then we’ll get going!”
Saying that, all three of them ran out of the club room! Since Saji was also a guy with a great sense of justice, he probably couldn’t stand still after hearing that student’s story. Now, what should the ORC members do? I kind of wanted to go just to observe, since I was worried about our comrade Xenovia and our friend Saji. I told Rias.
“Rias, I’ll go too... I want to see the great success of the new Student Council that we’ll be with for the future.”
Just then, Irina and Asia also raised their hands.
“Me too! I, Shidou Irina, am Xenovia-kaichou’s BFF!”
“I also, as the president of the ORC, will go and help Xenovia-kaichou!”
Our vice-president Kiba, who was observing the event from the corner, also raised his body while making a slightly bitter smile.
“Ah, then, shall all the new ORC members go and pitch in?”
Just as everyone agreed, we all raised our fists!
Nice! Let’s all go and see the success of the new Student Council! Just as I was about to leave the club room, I heard the retired onee-samas’ conversation.
“...Fufu. Both your side and ours are full of young ones.”
“Isn’t this not that bad? It’s because they are like this that we can trust them.”
Rias and Sona-zenkaichou said so while smiling. Ahhh, I’ve only just realized that they trusted us from the beginning to do a good job.
The place that we arrived to was...the river side of Kuoh. It looked like Xenovia was called to this place. We had caught up with Saji, Meguri-chan and Kusaka-chan, and were secretly observing the area. There were Xenovia, the new Student Council members and the delinquent students, and they were having a confrontation. They seemed to have more than fifty people on the delinquent side. Xenovia took a step forward and asked them.
“Are you guys the students from Destroy High?”
In the middle of the group of delinquents, there was a guy with a lot of piercings on his face leaning on a road bike. With an annoyed face, he made a punchable smile.
“Hehehe. What did the Student Council Prez of Kuoh Academy come here to see me for?”
The delinquents around him started to make noises in order to back him up.
“What’s up with these idiots!?”
“We’ll dunk ya!”
Something that didn’t even sound like Japanese came out. Instead of getting scared, Xenovia pointed at the road bike.
“Why don’t you guys give that bike back.”
Putting his foot on the pedal, the delinquent boss shouted in a loud voice.
“This road bike? Hell no! I’m gonna ride this bitch and go pick up all them gals! Recently, the guys on road bikes are in with these bitches!”
Whenever the boss shouted something, the delinquents around him just made random noises... Bitches, what kind of era did these delinquents live in?
“Ruruko, is that really so?”
Xenovia asked Nimura-chan next to her.
“Hmm. I’ve never heard such things. Boss, you don’t need to listen to the nonsense from delinquents.”
Nimura-chan said in such an ‘underling’ tone! She also said ‘Boss’!
“Really? Anyway, I don’t understand that well, but you need to give that back here.”
Xenovia said without hesitation. That boss-looking guy looked at Xenovia‘s body with lecherous eyes.
“Oioi, your face isn’t too bad either. If you let me ride you instead of this bike, then I’ll think about it.”
The entirety of the delinquent group laughed out loud. Seeing that, Xenovia sighed at that sight.
“It doesn’t matter what, but the things that these idiots say are all the same whatever it is.”
“Boss! Let’s get rid of them! It looks like just kicking their butts first would be the best option!”
Nimura-chan said that in such a bright manner! You really look much more energetic compared to when you were under Sona-zenkaichou, you know!? Then, I just noticed that Saji and the rest of the council, who were with us just a moment ago, were gone. Looking back, I noticed that they were walking towards Xenovia and her gang.
“Xenovia-kaichou. We came to help.”
Saji burst into the scene!
“Ah, you’re here. What took you so long?”
Xenovia said that, but she seemed genuinely happy. Saji replied scratching his cheek.
“Well, I had some things to think about as the Vice-President.”
The Student Council gathered around Xenovia. Everyone was fired up now! Sona-kaichou’s cool Student Council was no longer there, but it was replaced by Xenovia’s hot-headed Student Council! Xenovia led the group!
“Alright! Looks like everyone’s here now! Let’s show them what our ‘conversation’ is all about!”
Xenovia pointed at the delinquents with her chin.
“Ruruko, charge innnnnnnnnn!”
Taking that as her signal, Nimura-chan send a punch into the air and said–
“Roger. I love this kind of stuff!”
–and then she just charged straight through them! And like a flash, she kicked down two or three delinquents in one go! Even without her artificial Sacred Gear, her kicks were sharp! Simple delinquents had no chance against her!
“Ouryuu! Send them flying!”
After giving her orders, the first-year clerk, Nakiri Ouryuu, stepped forward and sent some more delinquents flying.
“To think that this will continue for next year... I’m enjoying this, but I’m scared of the future too.”
It looked like he was enjoying hanging out with Xenovia. Next, the second-year Kamo-chan threw a talisman towards the delinquents. Those who got hit by one all dropped on the ground there.
It looked like she was also enjoying herself. Millarca Vordenburg-chan, who was just next to Kamo-chan, also sent some guys away with her cheerful punches and kicks.
“Hyyya, hyaaa. It’s hard to move around during day time. I’m so envious of daylight walkers...”
In contrast to her cute voice, she was showing such massive destruction power!
“Haaaaa. How the hell are we going to recover from this!?”
Saji also threw away incoming delinquents even though he was constantly complaining.
“Don’t worry! Azazel-sensei will do something about that! It’s not like we’re doing anything bad!”
Xenovia shouted with such confidence! Xenovia-kaichou, what the hell are you talking about!? Well, Azazel-sensei must have thought that this would have been the easiest solution and would show the delinquent school what would happen if they touched our school’s students. Yeah, Azazel-sensei would do something so this would have never happened! The Student Council was comfortably beating the others, but...we, the ORC members, didn’t really have anything else to do here. I asked the others just in case.
“So, what should we do? Looks like they don’t need any help.”
But Irina looked like she was itching to go! No, she already ran out!
“My name is Shidou Irina, BFF of President Xenovia! I came to help out!”
The twin-tailed and brown-haired girl ran out while holding a wooden sword and was shouting something that sounded like lines from a historical play! Xenovia was also happy to see Irina there.
“Ooo! My faithful friend! Thank you for coming!”
When I thought this couldn’t get worse, even Asia went out!
“I-I’m also here to help! I’ll heal you when you guys get hurt!”
She wouldn’t fight the delinquents directly, but it looked like she wanted to show Xenovia that she was also here! Xenovia was also happy to see her.
I scratched my head... Ahhh, we had no choice but to jump in now.
“...Since Asia-buchou also joined the fight, this is also our problem, right?”
I asked while looking at the others. Vice-President Kiba had a bitter smile on his face and nodded his head.
“It looks like we haven’t got a choice, right?”
“Yes, let’s go.”
“W-We have to help our president as the males of the ORC~!”
Koneko and Gasper also nodded their heads. Well then, there was no helping it! In the end, we also joined the Student Council!
“Let’s go! We’re Kuoh Academy’s president Xenovia’s comrades–!”
Just like that, a new chapter of Student Council history was written with the title ‘Xenovia-kaichou declares war against the delinquent school’.
Sometime after the incident, the student who returned the bike back to his younger brother was sincerely thankful to the current Student Council. Of course, Azazel-sensei did something and made sure the incident didn’t get too big. However, in Destroy High...
[Don’t even touch Kuoh Academy students. Their Student Council and Occult guys are monsters.]
...Such a story was floating around. As a result, even if they saw Kuoh Academy students, they would be the ones now avoiding us. Not only that, but rumours were going around the high schools in this area that ‘Kuoh Academy's Student Council is a group of people who are raring to fight’. After hearing that, Sona-zenkaichou just laughed.
“It’ll be fine with the new generation of the Student Council being this energetic. It will be a breath of fresh air compared to when I was running the Student Council.”
It seemed like the former President became bold after retiring... Looking at that scene, Rias smiled brightly and told me something.
“Sona was always this bold. She just acted a little reserved during the Student Council period.”
...Thinking back, I did feel this back when she came over to our house before.
Just then, Saji burst into the ORC room again! And he grabbed onto me as soon as he saw me!
“H-H-Hyoudou! Our President, she caused another problem! That Nimura is also supporting her! Not only that, but Meguri and Kusaka have also gone over to herrrrrrrrrrrr!”
He was crying his eyes out... The only thing I could do was just smile and say ‘Is that so?’ while listening to him... Well, I thought I needed to teach him how to handle Xenovia first. It looked like the relationship between the new Occult Research Club and the new Student Council would continue on for a long time...
Life.5 Worldly Desire of Steel
–Fourth of January. The four of us, including me, my parents and Asia, were in our car and currently on our way to the countryside. The reason was... In the countryside far away from the big city, our car stopped in front of a small house in that village. And there was an old lady greeting us with a warm smile as we got out of our car.
“Happy New Year, Issei. How was your journey?”
“Grandma! Happy New Year! It’s been awhile!”
Today’s story was going to be the Hyoudou family’s humble, but warm scenery... Well, that was the plan, but...
After having multiple guests from Devils to Angels to Fallen Angels and others, we’d spent the past four days in chaos and decided that we should spend the rest of the winter holiday on our own.
“I’m going back home for now.”
It looked like she wanted to go and greet her parents before the third term started. Having heard that, I asked if we needed to greet them as her peerage, but...
“It’ll be fine with Yuuto only, so there’s no need for everyone to follow.”
Rias said. In these situations, our Knight, Kiba, went with her as her bodyguard in case of emergencies.
“But, we don’t know what will happen.”
...As I said that in a worried tone, Rias said–
“Ise’s parents are going to visit your grandparent, right? I heard Ise also went with them every year? Why don’t you go with them this year too?”
–and smiled at me. That’s right. Every year on the fourth of January, we always went and visited my dad’s side of my family, the village where my grandmother lived. Rias knew this already and was looking out for me. The other members beside Rias also...
“I also arranged to go visit my mother’s grave with my father this time...”
After Akeno-san said that...
“...I’m going to go train with my older sister in the mountain.”
“...I didn’t wanna, but...it looks like I’m gonna get dragged along, nya. Well, apparently, our destination also has a natural onsen~. I’m gonna relax and enjoy the onsen♪.”
“I-I’m also going to follow Koneko.”
“I’m also going to go with Kuroka-san.”
The sisters Koneko and Kuroka plus Gasper and Le Fay said this also.
“I’m also going back to England to see my mum and dad! I’ll be back before the third semester starts!”
Irina was also going back to her home.
“I’m going to help Sister Griselda, so I will end up going too... The School President election is coming up, but the church side of things is also worrying me...”
Xenovia said that while sighing, but she didn’t seem to mind helping out the church.
“I was thinking of just going around for a bit.”
Rossweiess-san seemed like she was going to go on holiday on her own. She probably decided to spend a little bit of money since it was the New Year.
“I’m also going back to my house.”
Ravel seemed like she was going back like Rias was. Now, the only ones left were Asia and Ophis. Since Asia didn’t really have anything to do, she was wondering whether to follow Rias, help Xenovia out or go training with Koneko, but...Rias stroked her cheeks and said in a gentle voice.
“Asia, go with Ise and his parents this time. I also want to go, but I’ll go when I get a chance later. As someone who has spent the longest time in this house, you should go and greet her first.”
“Yes, I will!”
After hearing that, Asia decided to join our family.
“...I, don’t have anything to do.”
Ophis, who couldn’t move freely around, decided to stay at home... But as Xenovia decided to commute to where Sister was from home, it looked like she wouldn’t be alone. Rassei was also staying, so even if we were gone for few days, she wouldn’t get lonely. Like that, the ORC members decided to spend the rest of our winter holidays separately. And me and Asia came to my dad’s hometown.
“I’ll be in your care~.”
When we stepped into the house, the nostalgic feeling, the smell and the atmosphere rushed in. It was an old wooden house, but it had been cleaned from top to bottom well. Whenever I felt this nostalgic feeling, I could finally say that I came to my grandmother’s. Stepping into the living room, we gave our greetings to our grandfather in front of the alter. Granddad, in the picture, was smiling brightly... It had been awhile since grandad died, but whenever we came back, he always greeted us with a smile. Grandad, I’ve got a girlfriend now. And I’ve got tons of friends too... I did become a Devil, but I’ve survived this year without any problems. Please look after us for next year too. Now that we greeted our granddad, my dad relaxed a bit.
“Fuuuu. I always relax when I come back here.”
It hadn't even been a few minutes since we came here, but he looked completely relaxed. Well, it was where he was born and raised, so I guess it made sense.
“I’ll help with that, Mother.”
Mum followed my grandma to the kitchen. Asia, who came here for the first time, was...
She was sitting down in the corner of the room looking nervous. She looked like she didn’t know what to do here. Well, it was her first time here, so that was understandable. Since this was our family’s house, she might be a little nervous about it.
“Asia, do you want to go and help my mum and grandma?”
It’d be best to calm her nerves by helping around with house work. After that, everyone relaxed and drank tea together. Then, my dad introduced Asia to my grandma.
“Mum, she’s Asia. She’s been living with us in our house.”
“Ara, I did hear about you, but...I never thought it’ll be such a cute foreigner. Can you speak Japanese?”
“Ah, yes! I’m Asia Argento! I-I’ve been in the care of the Hyoudou family!”
While hesitant, Asia kept bowing her head for no reason. Grandma was smiling gently at her.
“You can stay here like it’s your own house.”
Grandma then glanced at me and smiled brightly.
“Maybe at this rate, I’ll be able to see my great-grandchild. Ise, if possible, please hurry.”
...Ku! G-G-G-Grandma and her jokes. What was she saying all of a sudden!?
“G-Grandma! Stop joking around!”
Mine and Asia’s faces turned red! Even mum and dad were joining in and saying ‘We can’t wait’! Aaaaaah, it had to be in our blood somehow...! It was like this kind of stuff was in our family’s genes... Maybe I was such a pervert because of this bloodline! Just like that, the holiday at the countryside started.
Afternoon of that day...
“Asia, I’m really sorry. My grandma’s that kind of person...”
“Ah, it’s alright.”
Having such a conversation, Asia and I took the road out of my grandma’s house and we walked ten or so minutes to get to downtown. Well, even if you said downtown, compared to the city, it was a lot less busy and not many stores were here either. Even the stores were a few hundred meters apart from each other. After getting things done at my grandma’s place, I wanted to show Asia the places around here so we decided to go for a walk. As we were going out, grandma was...
“Ise, Asia. Here’s your New Year’s money.”
And she gave both of us New Year’s money. ...Grandma’s such a good person that she might give every kid that came here some New Year’s money. Maybe it was a good thing that the entire ORC members didn’t come this year. If she prepared New Year’s money for everyone in the club, she’d be broke! Anyway, this countryside hadn’t changed at all. This tranquil and nostalgic feeling around this country scenery hadn’t changed since I was a kid.
“Did Ise-san come here often?”
Asia looked around in confusion.
“Yeah. Whenever mum and dad had something to take care of and needed to travel far, they often asked my grandma to look after me. I played with my grandparents around here often.”
And also, I came here during Obon. I couldn’t come here last time since I was busy in the Underworld. Even after getting older, I came here for the New Year and Obon and so on every year. This was like my second home. Ah, now that I thought about it, grandma did say something like ‘it’s been dangerous lately, so be careful’. She said that there had been multiple cases of people getting ambushed at night lately. People who had been attacked all had some kind of bite mark on their necks... Surely, there was no non-human this far in this country? Hmm, if that was the case, what should we do...? If there was evil like that in my grandma’s countryside, then it was probably best to defeat them. But if the opponent was from another faction, then it might become a headache if we attacked needlessly, but I also couldn’t leave the bad guy who had been causing problems in my grandma’s village alone. But it might cause Rias and Azazel-sensei some trouble... Should I contact them first? But to contact people who might be enjoying their winter holiday was a bit... Man, it was doing my head in. I walked around the town with Asia while thinking about that problem. After passing the barbers, launderette and grocery store, we reached our destination. Looking around the area, I looked for the specific store.
“There was a dagashi toy store near here...”
I went to that dagashi with my granddad quite often, and whenever I went there, I kept asking him to buy me that Gunpla... Ah, maybe we came here to buy the models and bought some snacks along the way. We stopped in front of quite an old shop.
“Ah, this is it. Asia, it’s here.”
When I opened the door, the chime rang. Man, this was nostalgic. Random snacks were all over the place and old toys were either hung on the ceiling or inside the boxes.
“Ahhh, this brings back memories.”
Stepping inside the store, I bowed my head towards the man on the till. Well, it wasn’t likely that he remembered me, but I still greeted him just in case. After wandering around the snack corner, I took Asia to the Gunpla  area. The Gunpla that I saw when I was a kid was still there and was not being sold.
“For a private establishment in such countryside to even have old and precious Gunplas...”
Noticing that there was someone else in the store before us, I stopped talking.
“L—Look at this, Alivian! T-This is the discontinued [Yata Robo] Gunpla! Not only that, but it’s Yata Robo 3, which is said to have the least amount of production!”
...Ku! That person was a green-haired, bespectacled bishoujo. As soon as I saw that person who did not seem to fit into this countryside at all...I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, but...
“!!! And there’s the discontinued [Robo Fighter Varum] 1/100 model of the enemy [Metaliums]! ...The model that they couldn’t even bring out for the resale festival because they couldn’t find the mould a few years back, to find such a thing here...!”
The bishoujo was so excited that her entire body was shivering in excitement while holding onto the Gunpla box. She was Seekvaira Agares-san! Oioioioioi, what was Seekvaira-san doing in such a remote dagashi!? Me and Asia were so surprised that we couldn’t say a word! No way did we think we’d meet her in such a place! Seekvaira-san said while fixing her glasses with her shaking hand.
“I thought the experts would have searched all over such a remote toy store, but unexpectedly, the treasure was buried here.”
“Looks like it’s a good thing we came here, Seekvaira-sama.”
The person next to her in the butler outfit was Agares’s Queen, Alivian-san!
“Yes, I came into this store without much expectation but… this is such a good find.”
Seekvaira-san hugged the box with an ecstatic expression on her face. A person wearing a deep hoodie then approached her.
“...W-Wait a second, Seekvaira-sama. Things get complicated when you enter here! This...this isn’t our purpose in this area, right...?”
Judging from the voice, she was a female...but because of her hoodie, I couldn’t see her face well. But her voice was quite familiar...? Seekvaira-san replied to her in a cold voice.
“There’s no reason to hurry in this moment since we’ve done the investigation work during the day. We now just have to wait for the night to fall.”
Seekvaira-san said this, but...I didn’t know. The fact that she was holding a Gunpla box meant her words didn’t have much persuasive power or something... I guess you still loved your robots. Now that I think back, we saw each other during the New Year. Back then, she asked me about the new mecha anime airing this season... I think she was considering me as a fellow comrade... Alivian-san greeted me and Asia, having noticed me, who was just watching from afar dumbfounded.
“My, I never thought we’d meet here like this.”
I gave a late greeting. Seekvaira-san also noticed us and sent us a smile.
“Ara, it’s Hyoudou Issei. We met just a few days ago. I never thought we’d meet here like this.”
Seekvaira-san stopped her words and made an expression that said she knew what was up.
“Ah, that’s right... You’re also a person who truly loves Gundam... You found this place with your senses, right?”
Seekvaira-san made a wide grin... Woah, she’s got the wrong idea again! Did she mistake me for a comrade who was going around the countryside toy stores to find rare Gunplas!? While I was pulling my hair trying to think of a way to get rid of this misconception, the person inside the hoodie looked at me.
So this person also knew me...? Who could this be? As I was thinking about that, the person lifted her hood slightly so I could see her face.
Seeing the unexpected face inside the hoodie, I was so shocked I couldn’t say anything. She was a girl with red eyes and long, wavy blond hair and with a doll-like face...the Vampire Elmenhilde! ...I totally did not expect this situation, not at all! It was shocking enough that Seekvaira-san was in such a remote countryside, but for one of the people travelling with her to be Elmenhilde...! This was the first time I saw her ever since we departed from the Vampire country... Not only that, but we didn’t even have a proper farewell... Having been startled, I told Seekvaira-san my situation regarding the fact that I was here since my dad’s family lived around this area. After listening, it seemed like Seekvaira-san finally understood why I was here.
“Oh, so this is where your dad’s main house is at.”
“So, what is Seekvaira-san...doing here?”
When she heard my question, Seekvaira-san exchanged a look with Alivian-san and nodded her head.
“...I guess I can tell you this if it’s you. Let’s go outside for now... Ah, before that, I need to buy this.”
Saying that, Seekvaira-san went off to buy that rare Gunpla. ...So she was really buying that. The owner then said this while entering the price into the till.
“Lady came from somewhere else, right? Did you move here?”
“No, I came here for the holiday.”
Seekvaira-san said so. Then, the owner nodded his head and continued.
“Hmm, so you’re here for your holiday. But this is quite strange since the new lady who recently moved here also came here from time to time like you are right now and bought whatever Gunpla she could get her hands on.”
The owner said that while putting the box into the bag. Then, Seekvaira-san seemed to realise something after hearing the owner’s words.
I sat on the bench in front of the dagashi and listened to Seekvaira-san while eating the snack I bought.
What she told me was...about a Stray Devil! That there was a Vampire Stray Devil around this area, and that this information was given to the House of Agares not too long ago! Apparently, that person was extremely dangerous and they ran away after becoming part of the peerage of a High-class Devil. Since they had dangerous tendencies, even the owner’s house was being cautious around it... In the end, they showed their true colours and rebelled. Hearing that, I stood up from my seat!
“...S-So that dangerous Vampire is somewhere in this village... A Stray is around here!?”
...This had to be what grandma was talking about! The bite mark on the people’s necks had to be because that Vampire drank their blood! My god! Of all places, why did that Vampire hide in my grandma’s village!? Seekvaira-san spoke while eating candy from the shop.
“Coincidently, we were touring around the human world after they had their New Year celebration as per our schedule. At that time, I heard from the house and came here. Then, I met with the agent from the Carmilla Faction...Elmenhilde over here.”
Elmenhilde, who was sitting right at the edge of the bench, said under her hood.
“That Vampire is one of the heretics that the Carmilla Faction has been after for a long time. And now, it showed itself.”
So, it was also a Vampire that the Carmilla Faction was pursuing. Seekvaira-san continued.
“I think this started because of that terrorist attack by Qlippoth against the Carmilla Faction and the Tepes Faction. At that time, multiple High-level Vampires were defeated. There’s no surprise that the rebels, who were being pursued by such people, will seek out to strengthen their own power.”
So, they were hiding with Devils while being pursued, and after the Carmilla Faction sustained huge damage, they started their activities again...! Alivian-san sighed.
“...It’s a problem since Vampires can increase their own peerage whom they have absolute rule over. All they’ve got to do is bite the neck of the person that they have their eyes on during a full moon. You could say that it’s much easier compared to the Devils’ reincarnation ritual.”
Alivian-san said as Elmenhilde’s expression darkened and she lowered her head.
“...Ah, I do beg your pardon. I have overstepped my boundaries.”
“...No, it’s all true. For such low-life Vampires, that ritual is simply a method in which they increase their power. Even though it’s a really disgusting act...we never thought they would become Devils... I can see why we couldn’t get ahold of their whereabouts.”
Elmenhilde said unimpressed. Was she still a little bit of an elitist?
“Rias...should I contact my master?”
I asked Seekvaira-san.
“There’s no need to call Rias and the others. They’re having their holidays, so let them enjoy their time. We will deal with this on our own.”
It sounded like Seekvaira-san, Alivian-san and Elmenhilde were going to handle this on their own...but I couldn’t let them just do that!
“I’ll also help! If I leave such an unwelcoming person around my grandma’s village, I can’t go back to Kuoh with a sound mind!”
I said enthusiastically! Yes, this was my second home and the place where my late granddad lived. I couldn’t let a stray Vampire disturb this place!
“I-I’ll also help!”
Asia also joined in! When we told them that, Seekvaira-san smiled slightly.
“Ufufu, it’s reassuring hearing that from you two. We were going to deal with this with just the three of us, but it’ll be great if someone with your knowledge of the area joins us... Should we go on a secret [DxD] mission early in the year?”
Seekvaira extended her hand for a handshake! I said ‘Yes!’ enthusiastically and shook her hand! But after that, Seekvaira-san placed her hand on her chin and murmured to herself.
“...However, it’s a bit concerning that they bought Gunpla from this shop. I wonder why... I have this feeling that something will come with the bell sound and the flashing light.”
Seekvaira-san said such things, but...I didn’t dare open my mouth. It felt like she’d talk about Gundam again at this rate... When I then looked at Elmenhilde...
She didn’t say a thing. I thought when we said we’d help, she’d reply saying ‘This is a problem with the Carmilla Faction’...but she didn’t display such cocky attitude. Well, seeing as how they asked help from the House of Agares, it showed that there had been some change. Seekvaira-san then stood up and asked me with a serious look on her face.
“So it’s decided that we’ll start our mission during night time when Vampires are active... And also, Hyoudou Issei-san.”
“...Are there more toy stores in this village?”
...It looked like the Archduke’s heir apparent-sama wanted to enjoy her short break to the fullest.
Having come back to my grandma’s house, Asia and I got ready to go out during the night without anyone being able to notice us. And I also asked my dad about this area.
“Hey, dad. Are there...any place where ghosts might appear?”
If the Vampire was going to hide, I thought they’d use a house or a building that people wouldn’t usually use. And they wouldn’t be very active during the day unless they were Daywalkers like Gasper was. From what we’d heard, they weren’t the type who was active during the day. Elmenhilde also wore a very deep hoodie as she was careful not to show her skin. If that was the case, they must have some kind of hiding place. Most likely, it was somewhere where there weren’t many people and was a dark place. Dad scratched his cheek and said this.
“You remember when you were like eight years old, the place that your granddad and I took you, right? That forest full of beetles. There’s a western-style mansion deep inside that forest. I suggested going there as a Test of Courage, but you cried shouting ‘No! I wanna go back!’.”
Ah~, now that I thought back, that did happen... There was a mansion in that forest. According to dad, that was a holiday home that some noble had built somewhere around the Meiji or Taisho era. Whether the noble sold the mansion, or their bloodline had been extinguished, or whatever the case might be, dad told me that no one was living there when he was born... As soon as I got that information, I contacted Seekvaira-san. And soon after I sent the message, she replied saying ‘It does seem like they might be hiding there’. So we decided that the five of us would check that mansion out today. After checking that everyone had gone to sleep, me and Asia sneaked out, making sure no one saw us. We took my familiar Skíðblaðnir to the place where we’d accompany Seekvaira-san’s group. This guy had grown quite nicely as it could now carry multiple people with it and fly. We joined Seekvaira-san in the middle of the countryside road in the fog and night sky.
“...Let’s go to the forest then.”
Seekvaira-san asked me to lead the way, so I took them deep into the forest. This place was more like a small mountain with the side road instead of the forest, and there was a mansion on the top of the mountain. While climbing the mountain, Elmenhilde asked me a question out of the blue. Since it was dark, she had taken her hood off.
“I’ve got something to ask.”
“...What is it?”
“...How is Gasper Vladi doing?”
“He’s doing fine. He’s training hard, saying he’s going to wake Valerie up.”
This girl treated Gasper like an idiot just because he was a half. Well, Pure-Bloods seemed to think everyone was beneath them, so it probably wasn’t just aimed at Gasper... But my Kouhai was training himself to wake someone precious to him. And I wouldn’t let anyone make fun of such admirable and strong resolve.
“Don’t make fun of him, will you.”
I said that looking at her. But she...didn’t retort or get offended. She just kept looking forward.
“...I was just curious.”
She just said that to me and walked in front of me.
“...She doesn’t look like she’s got much attitude compared to when I first met her...”
I was perplexed at her response. Back then, she was overbearing, but it looked like she wasn’t like that anymore. Then, Seekvaira-san told me in secret so she couldn’t hear us.
“She’s currently acting as an agent from the Carmilla Faction and traveling around to eliminate those who took advantage of the chaos and rebelled. The reason why she’s here alone is because her country is currently in recovery and short on people.”
So that was why her servants that I saw before weren’t protecting her. Since her country became like that, no wonder they were short on hands. So, she was working tirelessly for her country then.
“But why did the Carmilla Faction ask the House of Agares for help? Did you guys have some kind of communication before?”
I just realised that fact and asked her that question. It kind of bugged me regarding the relationship between Agares-san and the Carmilla Faction. It was something along the lines of an unexpected pair, since I never thought I’d meet both of them here.
“Since ancient times, Agares was known as the Devil [To make Deserters Return]. So, wizards of different factions summon the Devils of Agares from time to time thinking that’s still true.”
Seekvaira-san explained as such.
Oh~, so it had to do with what their attribute was, which was passed down onto High-class Devil families. To make Deserters Return, huh? It was a peculiar attribute.
“So, have you got such a power?”
I asked again. Then, Seekvaira-san nodded.
“It was said that the first generation had such powers, and it was said that he could even control time somewhat with his power. But currently, we’re focused on the collection of information using our position as Archduke.”
First generation... So he was the person who had put their name on such documents. So, the rumours of his powers reached to even his descendants.
“Can Seekvaira-san control time as well then?”
“Well, [Time] is the House of Agares’s attribute, so such power has been passed down to the people of the house. Although limited, I also have such powers.”
...Maybe I’d seen it from the records of Sona-kaichou versus Seekvaira-san’s Rating game, but...since it didn’t happen frequently, I couldn’t really remember. Instead of that, the Dragon battle between Alivian-san and Saji was more memorable. I needed to go back and watch the footage again. –The conversation got side-tracked, huh. Well it looked like the House of Agares and the Carmilla Faction were related by information. We walked for ten minutes after that, but...I was feeling uneasy now. Even the fog was getting thicker, but the mansion was nowhere to be seen. When I was a kid, it didn’t take more than twenty minutes to get here during the day. Even if it was dark out now, I could see well during the night since I was a Devil. So even with thick fog, I should be able to see the mansion. Not only that, but this fog was... It had some heavy and ominous aura. It probably was a barrier. Using fog as a barrier was a common tactic. Seekvaira-san stopped her feet and looked straight forward.
“...It looks like they’re looking at this direction. Maybe they’re using fog to delay us while setting traps around their hideout?”
Seekvaira-san nodded her head and talked to herself.
“...Maybe they’re trying to escape using this fog?”
I asked Alivian-san.
“That’s impossible, since this area is under Seekvaira-san’s own barrier. It’s likely that the opponent knows this already and placed their own. So, all in all, they’ve placed their own barrier inside ours.”
No way! Seekvaira-san already placed a barrier around here! She was really thorough... She must’ve put it around here to not only prevent the enemy from escaping, but also to make sure the outsiders didn’t notice if there was a huge fight.
“So you’ve managed to place the barrier even before the enemy runs away.”
Asia said to Seekvaira-san. Then...a small shadow appeared under Seekvaira-san. Looking at it closely...that was a Guunndam Gunplaaaaaaaa! Not only that, but it moved like it was a living thing! Seekvaira-san grabbed the Gunpla and said with a showoff tone.
“These guys are supporting my barriers. They don’t take much power to move, and since they’re small, we can infiltrate without the enemy noticing. Right now, using these little guys, I’ve set them up within a radius of several hundred meters to support the barrier.”
Woah! To use moving Gunpla as a placeholder for the barrier...! Alivian-san then added to the conversation.
“Also, as reference, inside this field which encompasses in the area near us, the flow of time is different compared to outside. You can say that an hour here is equivalent to a few minutes outside. This is the limited Time power that Seekvaira-sama spoke of earlier.”
...So her ability was to create a space, and then control the flow of time within it? Hmm, although it wasn’t an offensive ability, it’d come in handy if you used it wisely. So that means there were a bunch of Gunplas around this forest, and they were the ones who were holding up the barrier. That was quite wicked! I wanna control the Gunplas using my powers now! My eyes shone and I stared at the Gunpla. Just then, Seekvaira-san’s glasses shone, and she said this.
“Shall I teach you how later?”
“Of course, as a fellow comrade with common interests!”
She seemed awfully happy! I was just getting played by her tricks! I had a feeling that she’d ask me to join the Gundam mania fan club later! While stroking the Gunpla on her hand, she said to Alivian-san.
“Well, it’s fine searching through the forest with the heavy fog around us, but it’s bad that we can’t see the destination. Alivian, make the road.”
“Yes, as you wish...”
Bowing towards Seekvaira-san, an immense aura came out of his back! That aura changed its shape, and assumed the shape of a Dragon! The Dragon-shaped aura opened its wide mouth and forced out a powerful Dragon shot! The blast that Alivian-san’s Dragon shot forward quickly got rid of the thick fog around here! After that, we could see the huge mansion ahead of us! So, Vampires hid their presence like that... We continued forward towards the mansion and soon reached in front of it. The fences were broken in several places and weren’t doing their jobs well. Even the metal door was half-blown off, so it was easy to get into the ground. This place hadn’t changed ever since I last came here as a child. The garden was overrun with weeds and the paved road leading toward the front door was also broken in places. Seekvaira-san stood in front of the mansion, and while swiping her long blonde hair out of the way with her hand, shouted confidently.
“The ones who left their master and live to fulfil their own desire, that sin is worth a thousand deaths. In the name of Archduke Agares, I will punish you! Show yourself!”
Oh~, as expected, the intimidation coming from Agares towards the Stray was intense! I was getting pumped up as well! Just then, an ominous feeling crept up to all of us. And we could all feel a killing intent near us! I looked towards the direction the killing intent was coming from! Something flashed behind the building! That killing intent was directed...towards Elmenhilde!?
Sprinting towards her, I grabbed her and used my Dragon wings as I flew up! Just then, with a loud noise, a beam of light struck the place where Elmenhilde just was! ...That was, the Power of the Holy Light? I think I remembered seeing that kind of power in Heaven! Seeing as how the light beam had the shape of a cross, I was probably correct. After placing Elmenhilde on the ground, I looked towards where the killing intent came from.
“...My, well done spotting that.”
The caped person who came out of the dark without making any noise was a black-haired female. Her eyes were blood red. Most likely that woman was the Stray Vampire... She was a seductive onee-sama with a voluptuous figure and a mysterious aura around her, but that was also the trait of Vampires! Not only that, but the aura that we could feel from her power was...above a Middle-class Devil. Since it seemed like there were traps around here, it was best not to let our guard down. I rapidly increased my power and summoned my Boosted Gear Scale Mail.
“Asia, I’ll leave the support to you.”
After entrusting the back to Asia, I stepped forward. The Vampire lady then spoke while making a confident smile.
“That attack just now was made with modified tools I got from guys from the church that were after me...”
The lady laughed with a voice filled with mockery. Elmenhilde gazed at that lady with eyes filled with hatred. So that was an attack with modified church tools! If a Vampire or a Devil got hit by that, it was gonna be dangerous. Flapping her cape, she put her arms wide out.
“This area is filled with my peerage equipped with weapons similar to that! If you guys aren’t careful, it might get dangerous, you know?”
Maybe she prepared this while we were lost in that fog? Or maybe she prepared this from the beginning. Well that wasn’t the important part. But her peerage... So there had already been victims! After turning my second home town like this, I couldn’t forgive her now! I, who was filled with rage, then noticed the countless number of small shadows (?) that were around the lady. Those were...Gundam Gunplaaaaa!? No way! Why were there this many Gunplas here!? Gunplas with weapons were around this mansion! Observing this, Seekvaira-san shouted after realising what was going on here.
“No way, you...! You really are doing that!?”
What was going on now!? I had no clue! A Stray, traitor of Vampires and...Gunpla!? Seriously, what was going on here!? The only part I got right now was that she was currently controlling the Gunpla with her power like Seekvaira-san!
“Fufufu. That light just now came from the weapons of these Gunplas. Using my very own modification schematics, I’ve modified them all!”
...The female Vampire said in a somewhat proud manner. Looking at them more closely, lights were coming out of those weapons! ...N-No way, the light beam came from those things!? Using weapons stolen from Exorcists...you modified these Gunplas!? Seriously!? The Vampire lady then took out another Gunpla from her cape. Seeing that, Seekvaira-san couldn’t contain her anger.
“...T-That is! The original Doll Armour [Great Gundam Evil Plan Prototype No.4] that I sent on patrol! You were captured by the enemy!”
The Vampire lady then glared at this great Gundam...whatever. Oh and for your information, Doll Armour was the title given to robots from the Gundam animation!
“...This is made by you, huh? Looks like you’re controlling them using your power... To send such an ugly contraption on patrol, you’re out of your mind.”
...She was so angry that she sent Gunpla on patrol... Wait, that was wrong! She was also using her Gundam as a weapon! The Vampire lady then couldn’t contain her anger.
“Why...why! Why did you put Another Gundam series weapons on the New Universal Century!? This pla-model is from the New Universal Century! But the flashy rifle and shield with flashy decoration in addition to this backpack with the useless huge wings on it is from Another Gundam! I can’t forgive you!”
The lady then pointed at her own Gunpla.
“A simple, yet effective rifle! Humble, but practical shield! Backpack without any useless items, but only consisting of the Burner and Saber Holder! This is the true Gundam! Unless it’s the New Universal Century, you can’t call others true Doll Armour!”
Hearing that, Seekvaira’san retaliated.
“So you are...a New Universal Century fan? And looking at your stare, you seem to distaste Another. There are extreme factions who consider Another Gundam as like their family enemy. So, you’re one of those.”
“If you’re one of those Another clan, then I can understand you. But to mix the Another and New Universal Century... As long as my eyes stay red, I cannot accept that!”
While the Vampire’s shouts were filled with rage, Seekvaira-san made an expression filled with sorrow.
“...You poor one... It is because of New Universal Century and Another that the current Gundam exists right now. If you deny the existence of one, then the Gundam as we know it right now won’t exist.”
“How come you don’t know that the reason why they have corrupted the production company and the young viewers is because of those weak and diluted senses from the mania from the previous series!?”
“That’s just their ego.”
...Me, Asia, Alivian-san and Elmenhilde couldn’t do anything but just look at this scene with confused expressions. ...I-I couldn’t really say anything to this. ...I couldn’t do anything but grab my hair and just fall to the ground there. ...My god! In this remote forest in the remote countryside, a Devil and a Vampire are fighting over the topic of Gundam of all things! Just then, Alivian-san created a magic circle and nodded his head. It looked like he was doing something right now...
“It looks like a few villagers are inside that mansion... Everyone is just creating Gunplas with dead eyes.”
The Vampire lady then made a shrill laugh after hearing that.
“Fufufu. These villagers are troops that were selected to create my peerage! I then bring life into the completed ones and I can control them! This is what I truly wanted after leaving my home country and my former master!”
Wait, what!? Are you saying that these Gunplas were your peerage!? So, just for that, you betrayed your homeland, became a Devil and in the end, you controlled the villagers and gathered them here!? No, really! You really dragged the villagers to build you Gunpla! After figuring out the current situation, Alivian-san then said.
“So, it seems like the new person living here, whom the toy store owner referred to, must be her. And the things she bought were also Gunplas. And the reason why she bit the target wasn’t to turn them into her peerage, but to build her peerage Gunplas... Seriously, I’m lost for words.”
I agree with you! My second home was being threatened by a Gundam otaku (and a brutal New Universal Century fan at that)! The Vampire lady shouted rejoicing.
“These humans are nothing more than staff who build my peerage, nothing more than a tool. Fufufu, after building factories all over the places, I’ll mass produce them. And if I succeed in doing so, I’ve got nothing to worry about that lot from the Carmilla Faction!”
!! So to build your Gunpla...no, to build your peerage you were going to take advantage of these people. Not only that, but to create pla-model weapons based on an Exorcist’s tools was a dangerous creativity! This must be why she got chased out of her country!
While all this was happening, Elmenhilde had an expression like there was a constant question mark above her head. There was no way the Pure-Blooded vampire princess would understand the Gundam talk. Most likely, even what that lady proclaimed, as well as the topic of Gunpla, would sound mysterious to her.
“...Gundam... It’s something that even the Heiress of the House of Agares gets emotional about, and something that has tempted such a Vampire... What is this? Will I be able to understand it better if I visit that toy store again?”
“Stop! You’ll get sucked in!”
I stopped Elmenhilde there! At this point, to get her hands on one of those was like making a deal with a Devil!
“I-I also want to build one of those when I get back home!”
“Not you too, Asia!”
I couldn’t send our Asia into the New Universal Century world as well! Then, the Vampire lady and Seekvaira-san, whose emotions got the better of them, took a battle stance!
“This mansion is a place where I can use an airbrush without getting any noise complaints! If you bother me, then I’ll destroy you!”
“In the name of Archduke Agares, I cannot let you get away with such evil! And there’s no way that your soul will be able to reach the Gunpla that you haven’t even built yourself!”
In the middle of the night, the Gundam Gunplas controlled by the power of the Vampire and Devil respectively were having a brutal fight...a Gundam aerial battle. Meanwhile, I focused on Vampire exorcism while being bewildered.
After finishing our job, we walked towards the road at the side of the mountain... Maybe because this was the first ever Gundam fight, I was still mentally tired from this ordeal... That Vampire lady was defeated after getting hit by our direct attacks, and the villagers, who have been freed, returned to their home. We gave that Vampire to Elmenhilde. Using a Devil’s teleportation circle, she took the culprit to her homeland. Since she was a Vampire and also a reincarnated devil, she’d be tried under the Carmilla Faction and the Underworld.
“...I left her in the mercy of jurisdiction of the Underworld and my country.”
Elmenhilde finally relaxed after finishing her job.
“...She will soon be able to accept all the Gundam in the near future...”
Seekvaira-san gave a little tear of remorse while looking at the sky. ...Uuugh, I was always tired after getting involved with this person... Just then, Elmenhilde asked me.
“...Sekiryuutei. Why did you save me before?”
I saved her from the attack aimed at her from that Gundam controlled by the Vampire lady. So, she was asking this question because of that.
“Well, it was a reflex action. And also...the feeling of wanting to protect your home...the place you hold dear is the same for humans, Devils and Vampires, right?”
Elmenhilde didn’t reply back to me, and neither did she mock my actions. She looked much cuter than she did before. Elmenhilde put on her hood once again–
“I thank you for aiding us tonight. I will be sure to repay back this kindness.”
––and she was saying ‘Good night’ while trying to get away from here.
“Wait a second.”
Seekvaira-san stopped Elmenhilde.
“You, don’t you want to know more about Gundam?”
Seekvaira-san said such a thing to her! She then pulled something out of a small magic circle... A Gundam blu-ray boxset! Then, Seekvaira-san handed that to Elmenhilde.
“Start with this one. You need to report this kind of thing to your superiors anyway, right? If that’s the case, then you should research on the thing that person wanted to obtain by going as far as betraying the country. This is just research material. Yup, only research material.”
After taking the boxset from her, Elmenhilde could only reply with ‘I-Is that so...’ and took it with her! Seekvaira-san was trying to make more Gundam fans using this opportunity! Seeing that scene, Alivian-san said something.
“Well, we surely will have more chances to cooperate between Elmenhilde-sama and [DxD]. It’s good to have such a connection at this stage.”
I still think she only wanted to increase Gundam fans... W-Well, I’ll leave that to the Heiress of Archduke! Just like that, the Stray Devil elimination has come to an end...
...Me and Asia snuck into grandma’s house before our parents woke up, but...
“Ara, Ise, Asia. You guys just came back?”
Grandma came out of the house suddenly!
“A-Ah, t-this is...!”
We didn’t even prepare any excuses since we didn’t think we’d get caught! Never did I think that grandma would notice us going out in the night! Grandma took us to the living room. There was a hot meal prepared for us. It was udon with plenty of meat, vegetables and mocha left over from the New Year.
“It must have been cold out there, right? Come on, have some.”
We thanked her and ate our meal. Maybe we were quite hungry after that ordeal since we couldn’t stop eating it. While looking at my face, Grandma said to me.
“...Before grandma even realised, Ise became able to make such manly expressions.”
Then, grandma smiled brightly. ...She didn’t know that I was a Devil now, but I was sure she could feel that I had grown. I was so happy to hear that. I was glad I was able to save this place. ...While I was thinking that, grandma touched her lips with her hand and made a cheeky expression.
“...Well, since you guys are so young, it’s not impossible to keep doing that for the entire night. So Ise and Asia have that kind of relationship already.”
!!!!! I choked up the noodles that were in my mouth! Wooooooah! She had such a big misunderstanding!? It wasn’t an all-night XXX course with Asia! Damn it, this perversion was definitely genetic! I wanted to think that...I was glad to be born from this family! That was what I thought during my winter holiday as a second-year high schooler.
Extra Life.1 Cross×Crisis
Inside the training room under the Hyoudou residence, two blades crossed against one another. Wearing training gloves, two people were colliding with each other as if they were dancing. Sometimes, they were slashing from top to bottom, others from bottom to top. From time to time, they were jabbing at each other. They were avoiding each other’s attacks by a hair’s breadth, and powerful attacks narrowly missed their cheeks. Although their attacks were nullified by each other, both of them smiled.
“You’re not bad!”
“That’s what I should be saying!”
I, Shidou Irina, was currently having A practice match against my friend and old comrade Xenovia. This was not our normal routine, but for some reason, we were having one anyway. I had trouble sleeping tonight, so I came over here to the training room and met Xenovia, who was here before me. So in the end, we ended up having this practice match. Xenovia swung her sword and continued.
“We practiced with practice swords back then too!”
“What!? When do you mean!?”
Now that I thought about it, both Xenovia and I sure did have many fights like this. So I didn’t know which period she was talking about. Xenovia then said while having a strength competition by locking her sword against mine.
“I’m talking about the first time we did this.”
–Kuu! I then remembered back to that event.
It was three years ago. Back then, when I was fourteen, after being blessed with a Holy Sword as a wielder, for our Lord and for the Church, I gave my all as a Sword of our God. The sword that I had received after being blessed was one of the seven pieces of Excalibur, the Holy Sword of Mimicry, Excalibur Mimic. That was a very honourable and glorious moment. So not only me and my parents, but also people around me were celebrating the fact that I was chosen to receive the Holy Sword. At that time, the Church had six out of seven swords, with the Vatican, the Protestant Church and the Orthodox Church all having two swords each. Therefore, there were only two Protestant Excalibur wielders. Saying it like that, I probably was quite underserving of the fact that I became one of the wielders of such a sword.
[You have become a Holy Sword user following your father’s footsteps.]
I’d also heard that many times. That’s right. My dad was also one of the Church members, and was a Holy Sword user who had been on many missions before. After moving overseas, thanks to my dad’s influence, I’d gone through rigorous training in order to become a warrior myself. So when I was chosen to be one, I was so happy. After inheriting the [Property of Light] at the Blessing Ceremony, I became a person who used Excalibur and fought enemies of the Church. When I was about to get used to working as a warrior, I was summoned to the Vatican. When I was moving toward the chapel inside the Vatican, I had a fateful meeting. I was waiting inside a church when a middle-aged male executive appeared next to me and said this.
“Warrior Irina. The reason we have summoned you here is because we’ve got a request for you.”
When I looked at him with doubt, the executive continued.
“We wish that you pair up with a certain warrior.”
Depending on the mission, teaming up with a person from a different faction wasn’t that rare. Normally, warriors from the same faction preferred to make up the combo or team, but depending on the details of the mission, there were lot of cases where teaming up with a different faction was necessary. At that time, it was the first time I had been combo-ed with a Catholic warrior. I heard that there could be friction between different factions. In order to avoid that, I was introduced to the Vatican warrior cautiously. The person that was brought in by the executive was...a long-haired Bishoujo. She seemed to be of similar age as me, but her eyes and the aura around her were razor sharp. Just with a glance, I could feel that she was someone who could be hard to get along with. She had an atmosphere around her that suggested strangers couldn’t approach her easily. The executive introduced her to me and said this.
“Warrior Irina. This person is Warrior Xenovia, who, like you, became an Excalibur user at a young age...”
–Kuu. As soon as I heard her name, I realised her identity. I’d heard a rumour that there was an Excalibur user who, like me, became the wielder of the Holy Sword at a young age. She was called [Demon of Destruction], [Decapitating Princess] or [Violence permitted by God]. Warrior Xenovia... The person that I was introduced to was a girl who was known as the Embodiment of Destruction. As soon as I realised who I was being introduced to, I was filled with nervousness. I’d heard nothing but bad rumours about her. Like how a person who got combo-ed with her got slashed by her, or how they got nearly destroyed just over a simple argument, or like how they were nearly erased from this world along with a Devil... Thanks to all the bad rumours I’d heard about her, as soon as I identified who this girl in front of me was, I trembled. This sharp-eyed girl silently stared at me, and then opened her mouth while raising something toward me...
“Want a banana? Banana’s a good snack. It becomes energy as soon as you eat it.”
While taking a banana from her, I made a dumbfounded expression. After looking at me and Xenovia, the executive nodded his head.
“Hmm, I’m sorry to suggest such a thing at people who’ve just met, but we wish that you guys fight each other with your weapons. There’s nothing better than to fight to understand each other.”
After being escorted to the training hall, Xenovia and I started our fight with training swords.
This girl attacked me from the front. It was bold, but since she attacked me while identifying my movement, if all I did was to dodge her, I would eventually be taken by her attack. Xenovia back then had the same energetic and exciting sword style. Even a single hit would cause huge damage to me. Even though her opponent was a girl her age, Xenovia didn’t stop her barrage of attacks.
From her attacks without any hesitation, and from the look of her responding to my movements at once, I could chillingly feel that she had got her skill through countless amounts of real combat. It was a stark difference compared to me, who built my skill through training, but even after a few battles, still made textbook decisions. She was different to the core. While I kept dodging her attacks, I found a opening spot on her side.
I slashed my sword horizontally toward her side. However, even before my attack hit her, Xenovia grabbed my sword with her free hand. As soon as I was disarmed, her jab came toward my chest.
Just before that attack hit me, I twisted my body to avoid the attack. And in turn, I grabbed onto her sword.
While holding onto each other’s weapons, we glared at each other from a short distance. Would the opponent send a kick toward me, or should I send a kick toward her, or should I headbutt her...? While we were predicting what the other was thinking of, the voice of the executive that was watching this fight rang across the training hall.
Hearing that, we relaxed and let go of each other’s swords. While panting, she smiled at me for the first time and requested a hand shake.
“This is the first time finding a person my age that can fight me equally. I’m so happy.”
I still remembered her bright smile. She was longing for a girl who had skills equal to hers. That was the first encounter between me and Xenovia...
“Listen well, Irina. You must destroy any evil spirit that doesn’t listen well.”
While saying that, Xenovia slung her weapon, the Holy Sword of Destruction, Excalibur Destruction, on her shoulder.
A few days after the introduction, Xenovia and I got our first mission as a combo. We went to fulfil a mission to exorcise a huge amount of evil spirits who were squatting in the countryside in an abandoned house. Normally, they would be ones that ordinary Exorcists would have trouble with, but for two Holy Sword wielders, it was a piece of cake. One thing that I learned about her ever since being in combo with her was that, unlike her cool demeanour and endless knowledge in Devils and Evil Spirits, her fighting style was really bold and energetic. Without holding back, she used the power of Excalibur Destruction wholly. Before meeting her in person, all I had heard was terrifying stories of her, so I thought she would have a demeaning look and would be a rude girl, but never would I have thought she would be some girl of similar age as me. Not only that, but she was cute. So much so that it wouldn’t be surprising if boys our age fell for her. Because of the aura she had around her, she’d be popular among girls as well.
Covering her sword in cloth, Xenovia fiddled with her hair.
When I asked her–
“This hair is getting in the way.”
–she complained about her hair. She was saying that her long hair was getting in the way of the fighting. Among those who fought on the front lines, there were girls who preferred short hair style. If your hair was too long, there were chances of the enemy grabbing on to them, or being used as a medium for enchantment and so on. There were few negatives about it.
“Then you can just tie them together like I do.”
Just like her, my hair was quite long. Back when I was living in Japan, I liked playing together with this guy outside, so I kept it short. But when my body hit puberty, I started to keep them longer. So right now, I was keeping it in twin ponytails. When Xenovia looked at my hair, she sighed.
“...If I could tie them well like you can, I would, but I’m not really good at that kind of things. Besides, even if I tied my hair like yours, it wouldn’t look good on me.”
‘Then you can keep it as one ponytail?’
...That was what I was going to say, but I’d only just met her recently, so I didn’t know what might piss her off. So I decided to keep my mouth shut. Back then, I was more worried about this combat suit that revealed quite a lot of skin. Even if they said it was because it was easier to move around during battle, I was repulsed at this tight skin body suit. I mean, it was obvious, right? I was attending Junior High School. As I was hitting puberty, I was embarrassed of things that revealed my skin a lot. Meanwhile, this girl of similar age as me, forget about being indifferent, she seemed like she didn’t care whatsoever. Xenovia stretched, and then, after praying toward Heaven, she said this.
“Well, we finished this without any incident. Irina, you hungry?”
Just like that, the first mission with her had come to a conclusion. As soon as I got back to headquarters, I reported my mission to them. But the guy over there was more interested in the Combo between me and Xenovia more than the Evil Spirits.
“...So, Warrior Irina... What was the mission with Warrior Xenovia like?”
The attitude of the executive back then was surely engraved to my memory even till now.
“Ah... S-So...maybe that she’s got really a energetic style to fighting or something...”
When I replied like that, the executive was confused for a second, and then coughed dryly.
“Warrior Irina. We hope that you two stay close from now on.”
At that time, I didn’t dream that that moment would affect my future...no, my whole life.
After I returned from the mission I reported to my superior, Caesar Villiers-sama (Current Jack of one of Four Seraphs, Uriel-sama), and he said.
“Looks like the Vatican will like this. Probably say something like ‘We’ve finally found someone who can work together with that troublemaker’ or something like that.”
For those people at headquarters, Xenovia was said to be quite the troublesome girl. It was said that there was a high probability of conflict between agents in a combo or team with her, and she would give them a bad impression of her. Since she fought using her unique style of combat skills, it was getting in the way of the majority of agents. Maybe, no most definitely, that bold and loose attack style was the reason why she was being hated. Using my Mimic, I covered her behind or aimed at the enemy by breaking through the front line. The attribute of Mimic, which changed its blade according to wielder’s will, had seen a great success in this mission. But Xenovia was a gifted person who had been selected to be the wielder of a Holy Sword from a young age. So the Church must want to use her as much as possible, so they must have asked me, someone near her age and also a fellow Holy Sword user, to be her partner. My superior Caesar Villiers said this to me.
“There won’t be a problem if they send her on solo missions, but warriors can’t fight like that. There will be a time when they must call a combo or a team. So at that time, what can they do about a troublemaker who needs to be part of a combo or a team? They will need a stopper, right? Irina, you have been chosen as that stopper.”
That’s right; I was selected as her stopper. Thinking about the future, the Church was trying to get Xenovia to get used to teamwork by creating a combo with me. I wonder if that was an honour or humiliation... Probably both. As a believer, fighting for our Lord brought us joy. But since I’d been picked as her partner...it looked like trouble wouldn’t be stopping any time soon.
It was a few months after that incident. This happened after working on a mission with Xenovia. After defeating a Stray Devil who had escaped to a nearby country, we were resting in a hotel nearby. Xenovia was touching her hair again as if they were getting annoying.
“Why are you keeping the long hair after all that complaining?”
“Ah yeah, a person from the same home town as me kept bothering me, saying that I should be more feminine. So I’m keeping the long hair.”
Xenovia said that while sighing. That person she just mentioned would be Sister Griselda whom I met later. That person was strict on her ever since that time. And it looked like Xenovia was running away from her and her lectures all the time.
“...I think you’d look feminine with short hair though...”
With her looks, she’d look stunning even without long hair. Xenovia got an old hairbrush out from her pocket. It was quite simple for someone of her age to carry around. Xenovia spoke while looking at that brush.
“Yeah, I’ve lived a life without knowing anything about ‘beauty’. If I can fight for our Lord, then that’s enough to make me happy.”
“That’s same as me, but since you are a girl, wouldn’t it be nice to just dress up a little?”
“Will that be needed for the mission?”
We were girls. In the future, there might be an infiltration mission using our trait as ‘girls’, since there were things only a girl could do.
“Since we’re both girls, we might be needed for such missions. But during our personal life, wouldn’t it be better to care about things like that?”
When I said that, Xenovia tilted her head.
“...It’s hard, this ‘beauty’ thing.”
It looked like her core values were far away from ‘Beauty’. But at the same time, since she was so cute, it felt like a waste not dressing her up. And that hadn’t changed even now. High School student Xenovia’s figure was plenty beautiful. Then, when I got back to the hotel and was about to lie down on my bed after showering my sweat away, the mission phone rang. It was a call from my superior.
“Yes, Irina speaking.”
When I spoke, an urgent voice tore into my ear drums.
[I realised that you guys have just finished your mission, but there’s something that we wish you to do.]
That was basically a call to ask us for another mission. It wasn’t rare for us to receive another mission on location.
[There was an incident in Country ‘I’. ‘T’ city that we monitored was ambushed by a Vampire, who turned the people into Undead.]
Vampires... It was a being that us, the Church, regarded as one of our archenemies. Like Devils, they were beings who lived in the darkness, but unlike Devils, who made contracts and received their reward from humans, Vampires exploited humans. No, it wasn’t an exaggeration to say they attacked humans and sucked their blood out. In the past, there were Vampires whose influence reached the central power of their motherland. Normally, they would settle at places with a lack of human interaction while maintaining their culture, but from time to time, those who wanted to spread their influence in human settlements would appear. This was probably the scenario.
Not only that, they said this incident involved Undead. When humans with low tolerance against Vampires got bitten, they became a living corpse...an Undead. The Undead then attacked living humans and would eat them alive, and then the bitten person became an Undead themselves and repeated the cycle. If this happened in a densely populated area, the number of Undead would multiply exponentially. ...They were turning people into Undead... I dreaded to think how many people turned into Undead... To resolve this situation, either Exorcists had to deal with these Undead, or the origin of the Undead, the Vampire, had to be killed.
[Three agents who had been deployed to resolve this situation have all martyred.]
I lost my words there. For three agents from the Church to be killed off, this had to be a High-level Vampire, one of the Pure-Blooded ones. Vampires belonged to the more advanced species among the Evil Beings. For one of those to be a Pure-Blood...the enemy wouldn’t be easy to defeat.
[The only agents near that village who are A class or above are only you two. Won’t you please handle this situation? The target who has been attacked by the agents is already taking offensive stance... The location must be filled with villagers who have been turned into Undead by now.]
Closing my eyes, I gathered my breath and replied ‘Yes’. While looking at me, Xenovia was already packing her stuff.
“Irina, what’s our mission now?”
I told her the information that I’d received just now.
“Well, let’s go and see what we can do. It’s important to kill the Vampire before the damage gets out of control.”
She accepted the mission just like that. I nodded my head in reply.
“Xenovia and I will take care of things there. However, who is this Vampire that we’ll be targeting?”
When I asked my superior, he replied back with an even more concerned voice.
[...It looks like it’s a Vampire from the House of Manthar. From what we have gathered, it looks like that Vampire entered that village after being exiled by his faction.]
Manthar... I’d heard of that name before. They were one of the clans who belonged to one of the two Vampire Factions, the Tepes Faction. As I expected, it looked like our opponent was a Pure-Blooded Vampire. This was the first time getting such an important mission like this after becoming an Excalibur user... This was the first S-class mission that we’d received after becoming a combo. ...For fourteen-year-old girls, wouldn’t this be bit too much? No, as people who had been chosen as Excalibur users, it was a mission that we had to carry out. Xenovia and I were young, but we weren’t going to decline our mission. After finishing our preparations, we headed out.
The place we headed for was the countryside of a certain country. It was a quiet place far away from any major city and filled with wheat farms. Although many villagers had been evacuated thanks to the Church, we also heard that many people had been sacrificed already. This happened right after we entered the village. I felt an uncomfortable gaze all over my body. Not only that, a thick fog filled the entire village instantly. I couldn’t see anything in front of me. This village under the dark had turned into a totally unnatural ground. ...I had trained to be aware of my surroundings only with presences around me, and since I had trained to be able to move around in complete darkness, if this was a normal mission, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But this was a totally different case... Thick, humid and dense fog dulled my senses. Most likely, the Vampire was the one who created this fog, since controlling fog was their specialty. For them, this was their version of a barrier and a sensing ability. Basically, as soon as we stepped into this land, our presence was known to the enemy. So there was no need to hide from them. This fog was also acting as a barrier against their weakness, sunlight. It was already evening, but it was still being used to block the sun. On top of that...the smell of corpses was everywhere. The smell of rotting bodies hit my nose sharply. While blocking my nose with my robe, I walked forward with Xenovia. ...Xenovia next to me was acting as if nothing was happening. She didn’t even block her nose. She must be used to this smell. That showed how many hells she must have endured. Xenovia then suddenly narrowed her eyes while staring at the fog in front of her.
While saying that, she took the cloth off form her sword.
Low and ominous noises were heard, and then a groan was heard over the fog. And the thing that showed over the fog was...turned villagers. Blood was coming out from every part of their bodies, and flesh was also missing from several parts of their bodies. And while dragging their intestines that were spewing out from their torn torso, they headed toward the living people. These people had already met their end of life as human beings. All they were now was beings hungry for living beings’ flesh, and in order to satiate such thirst and hunger, they would wonder around forever. Without hesitation, Xenovia slashed the nearest Undead into two pieces. The villager who had been slashed in half quickly turned into ash. The holy power of Excalibur had the ultimate effect on dark beings. Excalibur was like the worst enemy against these beings. Looking at the walking corpses coming at me, I prepared myself.
“...I need to cut them down.”
...But while holding onto my sword, I still had doubt in my heart.
The reason was simple. I’d been on many missions, but I had never slain other humans...or Undead for that matter. If it was Evil Spirits or Stray Devils who had given pain and suffering to other people, then I had slain many of them. But for the enemy to be human, or a being that used to be human...this was the first time.
“You’ve never slain other humans?”
Xenovia said that after looking at me, who was still hesitant. Hearing that, I realised that she had experience in this.
I’d never killed a human...but since I was living as a warrior, then there would come a time where I would have to do so. As soon as you were appointed as one, you would need to be prepared for that time. Even then...at that time, I was hesitant and scared of slaying humans. The end of my sword shook as my hands trembled. Xenovia, who was eyeing me from the side of her eyes while slaying Undead villagers, took a step forward.
“Is that so? Then, you can watch my back. I’ll kill these!”
Without hesitation, Xenovia swung her sword towards the Undead. People who had become the Undead instantly got destroyed and turned into ash. ...Meanwhile, all I could do was kick or push the Undead. ...I was so pathetic. I was shocked at my own lack of resolve. Here I thought I gave everything up for the Lord, but it looked like I hadn’t become a true warrior yet. In contrast, the girl next to me who was fighting bravely was… She was the true Sword of the Lord. She was the true warrior of the Church. But at that same instance, I felt fear. Fear of Xenovia. To me, that girl, who had no hesitation whatsoever at slaying what used to be human...didn’t look like a human to me at that time.
After slaying the villagers who had turned into the Undead for a while, we reached the village’s government centre that we’d already heard from the mission brief. According to the information squad from the Church, they had noticed extra strong dark aura emitting from there. The Vampire had to be in that building.
Slaying the Undead, Xenovia made a path for us. Breaking the glass door of the Hall building, we quickly blocked the door with chairs and tables. This was to make sure the Undead wouldn’t coming in anymore. After blocking everything, we searched the building. ...The light didn’t come on after switching it on. It looked like electricity was cut. Then, this happened when we reached the second floor. Someone’s voice boomed inside the building.
[Hmm, dogs of the Church, huh...? Looks like those idiots sent the Holy Swords over, but for those wielders to be these brats...]
With that voice, we detected a dark aura. Every pore of our body froze, and then cold sweat came out. We realised just with that sensation that our enemy was incredibly strong.
“You’ll regret it if you go easy on us thinking we’re just brats.”
I bluffed toward the invisible enemy.
“Be willing and accept your fate, Vampire.”
Xenovia next to me was calm. Unlike me, who was just bluffing, she just said that naturally. Just then, mocking laughter was heard.
[Kekeke... Looks like it wasn’t enough to be exiled from my country. To hear those kind of things from brats with Holy Swords...]
Then, fog accumulated into one place and created the form of a man. A man in an attire that looked similar to ones worn by noble men from the Middle Ages appeared. He even wore a cape. Our opponent had a neat appearance. No, it wouldn’t be weird to call him beautiful. He had such doll-like features. We didn’t feel any life inside of him. Just like a dead person, his face was all white, and dark aura was spread all over his body. That man stared at us with his scarlet eyes.
“Being dogs from the Church, you guys must be virgins? Looks like tonight’s feast will be made from virgin blood and flesh.”
The Vampire made a creepy smile on his face. He then turned part of his body into a spider and attacked us! Xenovia and I tried to attack the spider with our swords, but as soon as we lifted our arms, the spider spewed out its web! We dashed backward and avoided the black spider web. But I tripped over something that was on the hallway. I lost my balance and had to kneel down on one knee. Spider web covered the building’s entire corridor. As soon as it touched the floor, everything melted around it. It looked like the web would dissolve anything it touched. ...There was no way we could survive after getting hit by that.
“HAHAHAHAHA! LET ME ENJOY THIS FIGHT, DOGS OF THE CHURCH!”
Shouting that, the Vampire disappeared into the hallway.
Xenovia reached her hand towards me, but...
I dodged her hand. It was because of the fear I felt from her moments ago. Noticing my reaction, Xenovia retracted her hand. I stood up without saying anything else. In an instant, there was awkward atmosphere between us two, but we didn’t have the luxury to just wait around here all day. We then chased after the disappeared Vampire.
“Stop right there!”
We slashed the spiders that came at us in half and chased after the Vampire. From the corner of the hallway, not only spiders, but giant centipedes and bats also appeared. Vampires could either breed insects and bats, or they could change part of their bodies into them. Every animal or plant they handled had a grotesque form, and their natural instinct was fundamentally different from normal beings. So we could destroy them easily with our Holy Swords, but...countless number of monsters came out all over the place! Xenovia destroyed many monsters with one sweep of her Excalibur Destruction, while I changed my Excalibur Mimic into a thin whip and swung it around everywhere. The Excalibur that had turned into a whip killed many monsters in one go. The place that we reached after running through the second floor hallway was...a double door entrance. It was most likely a place where they had meetings or huge events. There was a wide interior that had a podium at the front, and benches were neatly arranged in a row. A few bluish flames appeared at the podium, and then the Vampire man appeared. He had this irritating smile on his face.
“You guys aren’t that bad, dogs of the Church. So, you guys are true wielders of Holy Swords at such a young age, huh?”
That man flung his cape and called a countless number of his monsters over.
...Protracted tactics, huh. It looked like the opponent was trying to call all of his monsters until we got tired and could no longer fight. Well, in all fairness, we were holding the most dangerous weapon against Vampires. There existed no vampire that did not fear Holy Swords. So, in order to take us out without touching these swords, he brought many of his minions here. Also, the Vampire would be better at such a tactic compared to us too. ...If we didn’t hit that Vampire at least once soon, we wouldn’t be able to last long. Just then when I was about to discuss with Xenovia on how we should tackle this... She had her eyes wide open and was looking behind us... Was there something behind my back?
She suddenly pulled my hand. She was pulling my hand away from the source of presence by the time I finally noticed it. The spot that I was at just a second ago was covered in spider web and the floor was melted down. Even without me noticing it, our back was compromised... If I had stayed there for a second longer, there wouldn’t even be a piece of bone left of me. Xenovia slashed the spider in half, and then pulled me to the back of the bench to hide. Hiding our presence as much as possible, we hid our bodies. Xenovia was looking around from the back of the bench. Then, I had to ask her.
“...Why did you save me there?”
I rejected her hand just before. In short, I rejected Xenovia. But Xenovia saved the life of such a partner. Xenovia said in an unassuming tone.
“Hmm? That’s not of much importance right now. Right now, we need to think how we can kill that thing. Irina, you too...”
While repressing all the emotions with all my might, I replied to her.
“I...thought you were scary! That people who slay human who have turned into Undead are scary. That you aren’t human like I am! But why did you save me...? You noticed what I was thinking from my actions, right? If so, why did you save me in the first place!?”
She must have been shocked, she must have felt sorrow, and she must have thought she couldn’t forgive me. I...hated myself. I hated myself for avoiding her. I couldn’t forgive myself. Even when I thought her as my partner, I avoided her. She didn’t have to save me back there. She could have easily left me to die, but why did she go out and save me? Her eyes were wide open and she was clearly shocked... And then, she scratched her cheeks and acted awkwardly.
After a long silence, she replied.
“...You are the only person near my age...that talked to me. So I was happy...”
After hearing that, I couldn’t say anything back. Xenovia, who always had a stoic expression, smiled and continued.
“You can hate me. I’m used to being hated. You thought that it’s scary how I killed humans, right? It’s alright. I...only think of this as something I must do as the Lord’s sword.”
“Why...? Why are you going that far...?”
After hearing what I said, Xenovia narrowed her eyes and looked at her sword.
“...The only talent I’ve got is just swinging this thing. I’m useless except for handling the Holy Sword. I’m sorry, Irina. Even though I’m like this...I...”
She then looked at my eyes.
“I thought of you as my first comrade.”
I was at a complete loss for words. She...thought of me as her comrade. That was why she rescued me. Although she was being rejected, she rescued me. She nodded her head, and she ran out there.
“So, I’m so sorry! If nothing else, I’ll...”
...Why was she apologising? The person in the wrong was me, who rejected Xenovia. Back then, the person who should have killed the villagers who had turned into Undead was supposed to be me. The person who stepped into the battlefield without even proper determination was me. The person who regarded being a warrior to be a high achievement, even though she wasn’t able to be resolved, was also me. ...Why were you apologising to me? You’d done nothing wrong...!
After blasting the Vampire’s monsters away, she finally got near to the Vampire himself. But even before the sword hit his body, he turned into fog and disappeared. That fog surrounded Xenovia, and easily dodged her sword. And as soon as she created an opening, the fog materialised into the Vampire behind her. The Vampire grabbed her long hair, and then pinned her so she couldn’t move an inch! This was bad! These Vampires were stronger than normal humans, so it was hard to get out of their grip! Grabbing Xenovia, the Vampire laughed.
“Hahaha! You dogs! You guys thought you could win against a Pure-Blood! Hahahaha! Even if you are Holy Sword users, you guys can’t win against me by force!”
Although she was caught by the Vampire, Xenovia was still defiant.
“… Hmmph, as a Vampire who has been exiled from your country, you boast that you’re a Pure-Blood when you can’t even survive without abusing a simple human village...? Don’t joke around!”
Hearing that, the Vampire’s face was filled with rage.
“...Damn dog, your mouth is will running wild...!”
Baring his fangs, he looked at Xenovia’s neck. At this rate, she was going to get her blood sucked! I...launched myself toward them!
While shouting her name, I changed my Mimic into a whip and slashed towards the Vampire! The Vampire dodged the attack at the last minute, but he lost his balance for a bit and let go of Xenovia. After being freed, she retreated next to me and fixed her posture. She then asked me.
“Why did you help me? I’m...scary, right?”
When she said that in a lonely tone, I forced a smile and shouted at her.
“I am...a warrior and a user of the Holy Sword Excalibur...! You are my comrade...! So I can’t show you my stupid weak side!”
When I made such a pathetic proclamation, she made a dumbfounded expression, but quickly smiled a little.
“...Is that so.”
After having such a conversation, we fixed our attention and faced the Vampire. After charging at him, we split from left and right.
Xenovia swung her Excalibur Destruction towards the Vampire, but the Vampire easily dodged the attack. Just then, as if it had its own will, Excalibur Mimic twisted its body and shot forward to pierce the enemy. At the same time, Xenovia swung her sword horizontally! Finally, the sword scratched the Vampire’s chest! As the power of the sword passed through the wound, smoke appeared from the area. It looked like he had taken some damage, as his expression darkened. But even though he was in pain, he managed a creepy smile.
“...Hmm, as expected, it’s harder than I thought with two enemies... However, your power and skills are still lacking! Lacking, I said!”
And he was correct. Our opponent had already identified our attacks’ range and skills. At this rate, he would try to use his minions from far away and cause another long distance attack.
As I thought before, as soon as we got dragged into protracted warfare, it was all over. There was no way that us humans could beat a Vampire against such tactics. The opponent was someone who had been said to live forever... After hearing his words, Xenovia had a confident smile on her face.
“Really? Then, shall I let you taste that ‘power’ you want?”
Saying that, she held her right hand. And then, she chanted...
“Saint Peter. Saint Basil the Great. Saint Denis. Holy Mother Mary. Please hear my voice.”
The area in front of her then warped around, and something appeared form there. The object that appeared from the area was...a single huge sword.
She then shouted while holding the sword that was releasing holy aura everywhere.
Both the Vampire and I were in shock.
“...!! D-Durandal!? N-No way! You can use such a thing!?”
No wonder he was so surprised. Durandal... It was one of the legendary swords the Church was keeping right now. Just like Excalibur, it had enormous power. And Xenovia just summoned such a sword! Xenovia said while holding on to such a sword that was emitting aggressive aura.
“I was originally selected as the user of Durandal, and I got Excalibur as a side. Now, I shall let you taste that power I was lacking with this. This thing is much more dangerous and nastier than Excalibur Destruction. Whatever your blood is, it probably will kill you in one go?”
Even while she was saying that, the killing aura from Durandal was destroying the floor, the ceiling, benches, whatever that was near her. A sword that even I, who had been chosen as an Excalibur user, couldn’t go near. She was just holding it there. ...So she was chosen for Durandal. That meant she must have gone through even more hell than I would have. She was...a genius who surpasses myself ten folds. Feeling the wave that Durandal was emitting, the Vampire’s face turned into fear itself.
“T-This brat is...the user of Durandal!? T-This God’s dogggggg!”
The Vampire summoned countless bats and spiders from his body, but, holding onto her Durandal, Xenovia didn’t cower.
“This is my only talent. Look closely.”
The strong aura that emitted from her swing filled the entire room! Bright light filled my sight. After getting hit by its holy presence, The Vampire’s body slowly turned into ash.
“...I-I’ve been... I, who am a Pure-Blood, have been...”
After not being able to accept his defeat, the Vampire sniggered.
“Kekeke... So, the [Blood] of the past has come to present time and chosen that half-breed... Both my own house and the Carmilla Faction... Kekeke, turn to ruin without even realising what has hit them... By...the power of those half-breeds...! Kahahahahahahaha!”
Laughing like a madman, the Vampire dissolved into dust. Those were the final words of the Vampire...
“Ah~, that did happen.”
After we finished our training, we were sitting down on the training room floor and were reminiscing the past.
“That place was blown into pieces thanks to Durandal’s power.”
That’s right. The area around the building was destroyed thanks to the power released by Durandal. She had done something fitting of her nickname [Demon of Desturction]. Back then, Xenovia couldn’t use her Durandal freely like she did now, so the amount of holy power that was released when she used the sword was unbelievable. So unless there was an order from above, she never took Durandal out. In the end, we had defeated the Vampire, but because she released Durandal without any order, she had said she got done in by the superiors. It seemed like she was also lectured in length by Sister Griselda. Xenovia furrowed her eyebrows and told me what had happened back then.
“Well, after that incident, the number of times we were combo-ed increased.”
I said as such. It seemed like that the superiors thought I could suppress Xenovia. In every mission that Xenovia was going, I was chosen as her partner. And that continued until now, and in the end, we became best friends.
“Sister Griselda was seriously mad at me back then.”
While making a bitter smile, she touched the area of her hair where she dyed it green.
Actually, there was a footnote of sort to that story.
A while after that mission, I was shocked at Xenovia’s look after a long time of absence.
I noticed her hair style had changed. She had cut her hair short.
“Remember I was in danger thanks to getting caught by that Vampire? Yeah, I don’t think long hair suits me well.”
Well, her hair was caught back then, but...the more concerning part was her partially dyed hair.
“Ah, I tried partially dying my hair green. What do you think? It’s cool, right?”
It looked like Xenovia tried her best at this fashion thing. When she asked me...
...I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Why did you dye your hair? Not only that, you’ve dyed your hair partially.”
I found her sense of fashion so hilarious, I couldn’t help but laugh loudly even while knowing that it was rude.
“Kuuu! I’ve done this after thinking about it for a long time! Damn, you’re so rude!”
She pouted and displayed her annoyance.
“Don’t be angry! I think it suits you well!”
I said such, but she continued to be angry for quite a while.
“Weather or not it suits me, I’m gonna go with this style! You hear me!”
Chasing after her, I kept apologising saying ‘I’m sorry, so cheer up!’. After that, she showed me various expressions and emotions.
That’s right. she was a girl of my age. She laughed, and she also got angry. Hey, Xenovia. We’ll be best friends forever, right?
Extra Life.2 Graduation Trip and Vortex Bunch
It was the end of March, right after our end-of-the-year assembly. As soon as the ceremony finished, the new ORC members went straight home and packed our bags for the holiday trip. Yup, that’s right! We were going on Rias and Akeno-san’s graduation trip we had talked about before! Not only that! This plan involved going on a trip from all the way up in Hokkaido to Okinawa to the south using all the time we had during our Spring Break! Everyone was so pumped about this trip as soon as we heard the details! Well, that was to be expected. From the end of last year to until recently, we’d been in battle after battle, so both our bodies and minds were tired. We had decided that we should use this opportunity to go and heal our tired bodies and minds in this trip, so it was no surprise that everyone would be so excited! Being in graduation classes, Rias and Akeno-san had begun their break early. So, after finishing their preparations early, they sat in the living room, drinking tea casually.
“So, our holiday finally starts tomorrow. Has everyone finished their preparations?”
Rias asked everyone in the living room.
Everyone replied in unison! Wow, the energy in here was off the roof!
“I want to go now!”
Asia, Xenovia and Irina had finished their packing last night first. There was no way Asia, who was always meticulous to the utmost, would be careless with preparations, and Xenovia and Irina both had a habit from being warriors (they both travelled a lot back then), so they were used to packing.
“...Local specialities, savouries... Meat, snacks, fish. The first destination Hokkaido is famous for their crabs, fermented fish roe...”
Koneko had also finished her preparations, and was currently focused on a [Must visit restaurants] guide book.
“I need to prepare my mind as the group’s supervisor... Hm, hm.”
Rossweisse-san had also finished her preparations and was reading a tour guide as well. Kuroka looked at the book Koneko was reading from the side.
“Ufufu♪. We’ll join after finishing things with Vali, nyaa.”
Kuroka and Le Fay had both decided to join, but due to their prior arrangements, they’d be joining at a later date. Le Fay lowered her head toward Rias.
“Thank you very much for letting us join in the trip.”
When Le Fay gave her thanks, Rias replied brightly saying ‘There’s no need. Don’t worry about it’. Kiba, Gasper, Valerie and Tosca-chan were all here as well. This time, Valerie and Tosca-chan decided to join as well.
“Ufufu. I’m looking forward to this so much.”
“To go on a trip around Japan, this is like a dream.”
Valerie and Tosca-chan had never been outside the Kuoh area, so they seemed to be super excited about this. Both weren’t used to Japan, but everyone decided to help out with Kiba and Gasper as their primary guardian.
“We’ve been to a lot of places, but we haven’t been to a place as a holiday a lot.”
Kiba said so. Ah~, thinking about that, we’d been to a lot of places to fight our enemies, but we’d never actually gone on a trip with everyone. Gasper then said in a bright voice.
“That’s why I’m really looking forward to this trip where everyone’s joining!”
Yeah, so was I! I put my hand on their shoulders.
“Right! Us three Males of Gremory! Let’s enjoy this trip to the fullest!”
If some kind of event that united us three Males of Gremory were to happen, then it’d be one hell of a trip! Looking at bishoujos around the area we visited wouldn’t be bad either! Actually, no, it’d be amazing if we could do that!
“We’re also celebrating Ise-kun’s promotion to High-class Devil, so it’ll be exciting.”
That Kiba! He was saying something I could agree with! Seriously, even I wanted to treat myself for the promotion! I think I’m gonna treat myself big and get expensive and luxurious stuff during the trip! One thing I was worried about...was Ophis and Lilith. The two Dragon Gods-chan (-Sama?) were fine if we looked after them, but when we were traveling like this, we hadn’t got a clue of what to do. There was no way we could let them go out easily. Just then, a handy and reliable helper opened her mouth.
“Do not worry, I will be looking after your house with Phis-sama while you guys are on holiday!”
Kunou said something so reliable. Kunou, who was starting primary school at Kuoh Academy from April, was already preparing for her homestay since this spring and nearly always showed her face in my house every day. And she just said that she’d look after these two instead of us for a while.
“Thanks, Kunou. We’ll leave those two in your care.”
When I told her that, she puffed her chest and said ‘Leave it to me’ enthusiastically.
“I will help you with Kyoto once your group gets there, so wait for me!”
As Kunou said, we’d be stopping by Kyoto during our trip. And Kunou said she’d be our tour guide during our time there. I said while looking at Ophis and Lilith.
“We’re sorry you guys can’t come with us, so we’ll leave the house to you guys. Don’t worry, we’ll bring lots of gifts.”
Ophis and Lilith opened a tour speciality catalogue and pointed at everything they wanted.
...It looked like the Dragon Gods were entranced by human world food. I patted their heads.
Well, most likely, everyone was going to buy things for these two, so if we added them all up, it was going to be quite a lot of gifts. It was thanks to those two that we won against Qlippoth!
“I’ve finished Ise-sama’s schedule.”
...When we were excited about our trip, Ravel appeared in the living room. After becoming part of my peerage, she had been managing my schedule more tightly than before. She also worked out the schedule around our trip this time. Well, since I, the Chichiyuutei, became a High-class Devil, so not only from the Devils’ side, but people from all over the different factions were contacting me. So my pride and joy, the Bishop Ravel, was working out the schedule for me! At this rate, I wouldn’t be able to lift my head up against Ravel. Ravel spoke to everyone.
“I’ve cleared Ise-sama’s schedule, so there won’t be any important requests during the trip. Now I can enjoy this as well.”
Saying that, Ravel made a huge bright smile! Grrrrrreat! With this, I could fully enjoy my holiday now!
“By the way, after the trip...”
Then, Ravel caught herself in the middle of something. Yeah, after the Graduation trip, my peerage (Me, Asia, Xenovia, Ravel, Rossweisse-san) plus Irina had something to do that we were keeping secret from Rias and the others.
Ravel quickly changed the subject.
“...Ahem. Actually, I heard that some strange unidentified cosplay gang has been causing nuisances all around Japan, so it seems like it’s best to keep alert.”
“Unidentified cosplay gang?”
When I asked, Rossweisse-san remembered something.
“Ah. That’s been gaining attention on the net. I heard that there are some strange people who are causing trouble around the tourist area or the people living in the tourist area.”
Someone then searched for an article on their tablet, and when we found one...it had a picture of people wearing some kind of animal costume, more like a cosplay, who were causing trouble to people at some village. They were making claims against some shops, or violently shaking vending machines, or even stealing money from a kid. They were doing some juvenile things...
“W-Well. Let’s be careful anyway.”
When I said that, everyone else nodded their head in confusion. With a dry cough, Rias grabbed our attention.
“Then, let’s do a final check before the trip. Everyone, take your trip itinerary out.”
Everyone raised their fists and shouted in unison. In our hands were our itineraries (the Church Trio made them for us)! It looked like everyone forgot about those costume people thanks to being excited about the trip.
“As per our schedule, let’s look around Hokkaido first. The first day is individual...”
Like that, we started our final check led by Rias...
Meanwhile, while Ise’s group was making final adjustments...
On an uninhabited island off the coast of Japan where their secret base...their hideout was located. Inside the hall furthest inside the base, there stood combatants dressed from top to bottom in black. Standing in a straight line, they were all looking at the podium at the front of the room. On the podium was an intimidatingly decorated chair, and on that chair sat a person with immense force. The person who was sitting on the chair was a elderly-looking male wearing a helmet resembling a Dragon...the leader of this organisation, Kaiser Vortex. Next to the leader were executives wearing masks and capes. Kaiser Vortex...the leader looked around the members with sharp gaze and triumphantly shouted.
“The prominent figures of the criminal organisation Khaos Brigade have finally been toppled.”
When he shouted that, one of the executive stepped forward.
“Both factions have collapsed, and the following Qlippoth has also been destroyed after the death of their leader.”
They knew about the existence of the Khaos Brigade who was causing terrorism around the Mythological worlds. Not only that, they had somehow received the information about the collapse of Khaos Brigade. Kaiser snickered.
“Fu. They were just another bunch of newcomers at the scene. With their lacking history, they lacked unity.”
Hearing that, everyone laughed darkly. Opening his eyes wide, Kaiser stood up energetically from his chair.
“Listen carefully, you all! Finally, the time has come for our secret society...[Vortex Bunch] to dominate this world!”
When Kaiser shouted that, everyone raised their hands, making a V shape, and shouted in unison.
Their voices filled the room corner to corner. The name of this evil secret society was Vortex Bunch. The shape that the members were making were also the initial V of Vortex Bunch. This organisation was a top-tier organisation that was formed by Kaiser and his most evil henchmen. Their members were demons, criminals, humans with supernatural powers, a wide variety of personnel were gathered. Between them were beings, monsters that Kaiser had modified himself... Suddenly, everyone started to badmouth the Khaos Brigade.
“Fufufu. It made no sense that those idiots at Khaos Brigade, who obviously and shamelessly copied us Vortex Bunch, should be parading around like that.”
“For idiots to go around and disappear after only a year. They were a second, no third-rate organisation, hahaha.”
Everyone there agreed with those sentiments.
“We were the first ones to start all this!”
“What’s up with their Khaos!? It’s obviously copying our Vortex!”
And there are good reasons why they were annoyed with them. This organisation was founded around fifty years ago, and since their inception, they’d been causing numerous troubles around the world in secret. It’d be annoying if they caught the attention of ICPO, so they’d been careful about their works. After a long time, when they finally got enough combatants to take over the entire Japan, thanks to the sudden rise of the Khaos Brigade, they missed their chance. Not only that, their name was very similar in kanji. Time after time, their work had been attributed to their nemesis, and Khaos Brigade’s work had been falsely accused to be caused by them. They were always falsely accused and were always drawing the short straw. ...Every member here was cursing the Khaos Brigade every day. And as if their curse got answered by Heaven, a few days ago, the Khaos Brigade had collapsed. Now everyone here thought to themselves that it was finally their time to shine. Kaiser announced to everyone.
“And now, we Vortex Bunch will commence our Japan takeover with full force. By throwing this country into chaos, we will aim for world domination! For now, we will start with the conquest of the north, Hokkaido!”
Kaiser raised his hand and clenched it into a fist. Behind Kaiser was a flag with an ominous spiral.
“And one day...we will make this place a true Hell.”
When Kaiser announced that with a booming voice, everyone once again made a V sign with their hands and shouted.
...And thus, they combined all their minds into one. With sparks in his eyes, Kaiser called upon a name.
“Monster Salmon. Come forth.”
From between the combatants, the monster appeared.
“Saaaaalmon! You called me, Leader Kaiser Vortex! Leave the first step to world domination, the attack on Hokkaido, to me, the king of all Salmons...[Limit Over Salmon] Salmon King!”
The monster that appeared was a fish(salmon)-headed humanoid monster. On his hand was a harpoon, and he wore a crown on his head. When the Salmon King appeared, murmurs went around the combatants.
“To call King Salmon-sama... Ah no, he hates that name... To call Salmon King-sama from the beginning...Kaiser is really going all in to this plan.”
“Yeah, normally, salmons go back to the river they are born from after six years, but Salmon King-sama is said to fight that instinct and has been swimming in the ocean for thirty years. And earning respect from the Kaiser, he’s a dangerous aquatic monster born from that.”
“This person is someone who easily calls a salmon that goes for more than ¥1,000,000 ‘Trash who lost to their instinct’... Such a scary person...”
While everyone was talking about how scary the Salmon King was, Kaiser gave him an order.
“Then, King S...no Salmon King. I will leave the attack on Hokkaido to you! Send that land into chaos!”
Kneeling down, Salmon King announced.
“Yes! I, Salmon King, will complete Kaiser-sama’s order!”
Then, standing up, he made a V sign with his hands.
The rest of the members followed him. While Ise’s group were checking their schedule for their trip, a mysterious group started to make their move...
Noon of the day after I, Hyoudou Issei, had arrived at Hokkaido’s New Chitose airport!
“WE HAVE ARRIVED!”
Ahhhhh, I could feel the cold air as soon as we arrived at the airport! As expected, it was the end of March, but it was still freezing here! But maybe because it was our first time here, this coldness still felt good! We’d decided to take the plane to our first destination. But we would be using teleportation circles when we would go to other regions though. It was decided to take the plane first at Rias’s request, and the rest of us agreed as well. First, we decided to separate from the airport. We’d visit the places that we wanted to first, then we’d meet up back at the hotel in Sapporo that we had booked. Not only that, we would be staying two days in Hokkaido.
“I’m thinking of going to Hakodate’s Goryokaku that’s related to the Shinsengumi. Tosca said she wanted to come with me.”
It looked like that was Kiba’s plan tomorrow. And like him, everyone would be traveling freely around during the trip. ...Then, Xenovia took a key out from her pocket. And while spinning her key around her finger, she bragged.
“Fufufu, I’m gonna ride this baby around here.”
I noticed that thing straight away!
“That’s your bike key!”
“Yeah, actually, I got my license, and I bought myself a bike with the money I earned doing my job. I’m going to bring it using a magic circle and ride it around this wide Hokkaido road.”
Really!? That Xenovia, she had been muttering about getting her mid-vehicle license. When did she even apply!? Thinking back, she said she wanted a bike as well! Woah~, I was jealous. I wanted one too!
“And I’m going to ride behind her later.”
Irina said while making a peace sign! Damn it! I wanted to ride it too! Rias smiled saying ‘Maybe Ise should get a license too’ and took a car key from her pocket as well.
“I also got my license, so I’m going to summon my car to drive around later. Actually, I wanted to ride my car on this wide road as well.”
I heard that she got her license before. Rias was interested in getting a license, so she went to driving school both in the Underworld and the human world.
“Ufufu. Actually, I also got mine as well. This is a good chance, so I should also drive my car.”
Ah, Akeno-san also got her license along with Rias. It felt like people around me were all getting their licenses. Timidly raising her hand, Rossweisse-san also said something.
“I’m also thinking of driving with a rental car.”
Ohh, so she was going to drive through Hokkaido as well! It looked like those who got their license wanted to race through Hokkaido’s road. Rias then said to me.
“Ise, let’s go on a drive date later. I’ll drive.”
Oh, Rias gave me such an offer! I also wanted to look around Hokkaido while sitting in a car. They did say it was hard to travel and enjoy Hokkaido without one. I was going to accept her offer...but quickly got denied.
Rossweisse-san flushed her face and boldly raised her hand.
When Rias asked, Rossweisse-san spoke with all the courage she had.
“I-I also want to go on a drive date with Ise-san!”
Ku! Rossweisse-san offered a drive date to me. I was really happy, but... Rias, who gave me her offer first, smiled and looked at me.
“Ara, so bold. I expected this much from my peerage. Ufufu, then, let’s decide using rock-paper-scissors. Winner takes Ise on a drive date, but you have to give him up to the loser next time. This is just for deciding on the order, understood?”
Rossweisse-san nodded her head! And the result was...
“—T-Then, Ise-gun... L-Letts go ‘ave our drive date.” 
Rossweisse-san! She was even using her accent to ask me out!
“Ah, yes. Let’s go.”
Just like that, my first day became a drive date around Hokkaido.
I rode on Rias and Akeno-san’s car part way, but since everyone wanted to go somewhere different, we eventually split up. They were using Rias and Akeno-san’s car to go to where each person wanted. The person whose destination was the same as me and Rossweisse-san was Xenovia on her bike. With Irina behind her, she was riding her bike across the wide, empty road of Hokkaido.
“That Xenovia is speeding quite a bit.”
Wearing a tight rider suit and a full-cover helmet, Xenovia was riding a blue Racer-replica bike. Damn, that fit really well on her! If she started using Durandal while riding that, she’d look so cool! Rossweisse-san, who was driving the car, then commented on her.
“She must be having so much fun since she’s able to ride that brand new bike on the wide Hokkaido road. But she really is speeding quite a bit! I’ll have to give her a lecture as a guardian later!”
Ah, it looked like her teacher-mode was turned on...but suddenly, Rossweisse-san apologised to me.
“Ah, I’m sorry that I’m being too cautious. It’s not that thrilling, right?”
“No, don’t worry about it. I like how I can just relax in the car that you are driving.”
I said that from the bottom of my heart. Rossweisse-san drove very cautiously, so I could enjoy the scenery leisurely. Driving around the road with snowy fields all around us, wow, I could definitely feel I was at Hokkaido.
“A-Actually, driving around with a guy like this has always been my dream...”
Rossweisse-san said bashfully.
“Ah, is that so? But since the guy is just sitting here in the passenger seat, it’s a bit unsightly.”
Maybe it would have been better if I was the one driving. Hearing what I said, Rossweisse-san quickly replied.
“N-No way! I’m...enjoying this as it is very much.”
The blushing Rossweisse-san was really cute.
“I’ll get my license as soon as I graduate from High School, so please, sit next to me in the car I’m driving then.”
Hearing what I said, Rossweisse-san was surprised.
“R-Really?! Y-You want to go on a driving date with me!?”
Being so surprised, she forgot to check where she was going!
“H-Hey, Rossweisse-san, look ahead!!!”
“Ah I’m so sorry! I-I showed you something so embarrassing.”
“Well, if you’re fine with me, then I’ll go on a driving date with you. So I’ll be in your care until then.”
When I lowered my head, she also followed me.
“N-No, I’ll be in your care for eternity!”
E-Eternity? Ah, since she became part of my peerage, we’d be in each other’s care forever. Such an honour. ...Xenovia, who was riding in front of us, slowed down and parked her bike at the side of the road.
“Huh? Xenovia stopped?”
We made a curious face. After stopping our car as well, we joined those two. Xenovia and Irina dismounted from their bike and looked towards the area full of huts.
“Hey, Xenovia, Irina. Why did you stop here?”
Xenovia pointed towards the hut.
“That campsite over there seemed a bit rowdy.”
Looking closely, it looked like people were running away from something, even screaming!
“They operate campsites in March then, but I wonder what that screaming is about?”
Rossweisse-san replied to my question.
“I saw that there’s a campsite that operates during this season at a cheaper rate.”
Hmm, that must be good business then, especially thanks to tourists. Anyway, now that we knew there was something going on there, we couldn’t just ignore it. We looked at each other and headed towards the campsite. When we went there...something very weird was seen. ...Weird people in black attire and...a person in a fish costume?
“Eh? What...are these cosplayers?”
While we were all wondering what was going on, Rossweisse-san said this.
“Maybe they are those people we were talking about before.”
Ah, Ravel did mention about this weird masked group that went around causing mischief, I think?
When we arrived, that guy in the fish costume made a horrendous laugh.
“Saaaalmon! You lowlifes enjoying your time camping here! Your peace is gone now that I, Salmon King, have arrived! I will make this place into a living hell! Let’s see, I’ll make all your barbecue ingredients into salmon!”
When that salmon guy shouted that–
–guys wearing black clothes made a weird pose and shouted something, and then everyone’s barbeque turned into salmon.
“Nooooo! My meat turned into fish!!!”
Getting their barbecue interrupted, all kids started to cry. The guy in the weird costume stole the barbecue from all the kids and shouted at them.
“Eat fish, you brats! You’ll ruin your health if you only eat meat, so we’ll eat all the meat here for you! Saaaaaalmon!”
...U-Umm, what are they doing? W-Well, at least it looked like they were doing something bad. Now, what should we do? We couldn’t just pretend to not see this after coming all the way here.
Just then, Xenovia and Irina, with their overwhelming sense of justice, approached them.
“Oi, you there, you fish...monster? Don’t go around causing trouble at leisure spots.”
“Yeah! Stop right there!”
They weren’t wearing a costume, but...a monster? Anyway, when the opponent saw Xenovia, he just smirked.
“Saaaalmon! Don’t butt in when you’re such a weak little girl! We won’t hold back if you’re thinking of causing trouble for us! I’ll drop you into salmon hell!”
That salmon got a harpoon!? We really couldn’t leave a guy with a weapon here. Xenovia and Irina both summoned their swords from the magic circle and faced off this fish.
“Hmm, it can’t be helped.”
“I don’t think we can avoid a fight like this.”
...No choice, huh. I put on my armour and Rossweisse-san readied her magic circles, and in the middle of all this, we prepared to fight against a salmon...
...A few hours later, after finishing the tour, we came back to our hotel at Sapporo. Ahhh, it was great when we went to the cheese factory at Furano! We all made butter, cheese and ice cream, and we also ate some pizza! We did meet that weird salmon, but the rest was great! Rias, who came before us, looked at us and said.
“Ara, what happened to you guys? I can smell salmon from you.”
It looked like that salmon smell seeped into our clothes. Thinking back, the people at the cheese factory also said something similar...
“Ah, yeah. Something happened. But that’s that. Where are we gonna eat dinner?”
I changed the topic quickly and asked where the location of our dinner was.
“Ufufu. I talked with Koneko, and apparently, there’s this place where you can get unlimited refills on Jingisukan...”
And just like that, our food tour also began.
While Ise’s group was enjoying their time...
At Vortex Bunch’s hideout... The meeting hall had become a scene of a funeral house. On the corner of the podium was...Salmon King’s picture. Salmon King, who has been deployed at Hokkaido, was killed in action by warriors he unfortunately met. Everyone there was silent throughout the afternoon. Kaiser also let out a deep sigh.
“...For King Salmon, a renowned warrior even within Vortex Bunch, to be killed...”
Kaiser said as such, but the members dared not correct Kaiser after he said the Salmon King’s name incorrectly. Just then...the executives at the podium all came forward.
“Fufufu, dear Kaiser. That guy was someone who had not been appointed as one of the [Four Invincible Generals]. Leave the rest to us!”
When one of the executives, the [Four Invincible Generals], said as such, Kaiser also gave a positive attitude.
“Oh, the pride and joy of our Vortex Bunch, the Four Invincible Generals! You say you four will handle the situation!”
One of the executive took his cape off. What showed up was...a person with brown skin who was dressed like a fortune teller, as well as wearing a pentagram on his face.
“Leave the front charge to me, Count Pentagram. Using my fortune telling, I will turn the prime tourist area of Japan, Kyoto, into utter chaos!”
When the man of pentagram, Count Pentagram, stepped forward, everyone got excited again.
“Ooh, the Count is stepping in personally!”
“A foreign born fortuneteller who still uses the name ‘Pentagram’ despite his job ! Not only that, he’s a high social elite, a ‘Count’!”
“But his skills are the real deal...! Thanks to his evil deeds in Kyoto, he was barred from all the shrines there.”
“It’s said that he swapped every fortune into ‘Worst Luck’ and hung up a plaque saying ‘Go die, normies’ on the wishing wall over there...”
While the other combatants were telling the glory of this Count, Kaiser gave him an order.
“...Count Pentagram. Turn the capital of history and culture, Kyoto, into chaos...”
Count kneeled. His mouth formed a cold smirk.
“Leave this to me. Voooooortex!!!”
The next target was decided while all the members made a weird pose.
The third day of the trip! After staying in Hokkaido for two days, my friends and I arrived at our next destination, Kyoto.
“Leave the tour to me, Kunou!”
And as we decided before, we joined up with Kunou and asked her to be our tour guide.
“I’m so sorry to ask you to be our guide every time we come here, Kunou.”
When I told her that, Kunou made a peace sign with her hand and said joyfully.
“No worries! As someone living at the Hyoudou residence, I should be able to do this much at least!”
We were going to spend only a day at Kyoto. While here, we decided to visit places people wanted to see together. Xenovia said that she wanted to visit Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji that gave her such a great impression when she visited here for the school trip. We asked Kunou for the most optimal course route that would satisfy everyone. While we were visiting all the places and eating Kyoto specialities, Kunou suddenly said this.
“It would have been better if Phis-sama were here with us...”
“Phis...and Lilith can’t move outside the house for certain reasons.”
Well, we couldn’t help it, so sorry, Ophis and Lilith. Kunou was with us, but please look after the house for today! Rias then told Kunou to ease her worry.
“Ufufu. We are sending them plenty of delicious food as soon as we find them, so don’t be so worried.”
“If it’s those two, it won’t be weird to imagine them just waiting in front of the circle for food to appear.”
Akeno-san also chimed in. Hehe, I couldn’t help but imagine the scene where those two were just patiently sitting in front of the circle with their mouths filled with saliva, waiting for food to appear. Just imagining that made me feel relieved. Hearing that, Xenovia, Irina and Asia all said in unison.
“But it’s a shame that they couldn’t look around Kyoto.”
“I wanna come here with those two at least once.”
“Yes, let’s do that one day.”
...Agreed. I also wanted to take those two everywhere. I wanted to show them a lot of things. I promised that much as a friend. We also wanted to go travelling with Kunou, who was looking after Ophis and Lilith. ...It was when we arrived at Kiyomizu-dera while talking about that. It looked like there was something going on in the temple.
“Hm, what’s going on? It’s quite noisy, and we’re showing Ise-sama’s group around here...”
When Kunou said that, a fox shrine maiden appeared and explained the situation.
“Dear princess, that is... Some weird person appeared at the temple and is complaining about everything...”
We were worried, so we decided to go towards the noise. Observing the people around the temple...a weirdo wearing a pentagram on his face brought a bunch of people in black clothes and was complaining to the temple manager.
“Fufufu! I have turned every fortune here into ‘WORST LUCK’!”
That Pentagram weirdo shouted while giving a weird laugh.
“D-Dear customer! P-Please hold on!”
The manager seemed to be quite angry. Well, if someone changed the fortune without anyone knowing, then it was to be expected. It was, after all, part of their business. Just right then, one of the employees at the temple pointed at the pentagram weirdo and said.
“Ah! It’s this guy! A weirdo known for getting banned from every shrine and temple in Kyoto!”
...Ah, so it was this guy. Ahhhh, same with that salmon, why did we have such bad luck meeting these weirdos while we were on holiday...? Xenovia and Irina also got angry.
“That’s unacceptable! Irina, you wanna join me and take care of this guy? Those guys from Hokkaido are the same guys as these ones.”
“Let’s go! Even if we teach them a lesson, the Lord surely won’t mind us doing so!”
Unlike that campsite from Hokkaido, there were too many people here, so we would cause a scene if we just released our power. Not only that, if we caused too much trouble, we’d be the ones getting banned.
“K-Kunou. What can we do? Weirdos are causing trouble.”
First, I asked the princess of Youkais here. After making the shrine maiden call somewhere, Kunou said this to us.
“There’s no need for you guys to do anything! It’s as simple as calling the police for those idiots. Now, I’ll lead you to delicious restaurants, so follow me!”
Ah, so they were calling the police... Well, the police could handle things here then, and if they tried something weird, Kunou’s Youkais wouldn’t just stand there doing nothing. After reaching that conclusion, we continued our tour.
After Ise’s group finished enjoying their trip.
At Vortex Bunch’s hideout...
“Unbelievable! You are saying Count Pentagram has lost?!”
The leader...Kaiser Vortex was shocked at his subordinates’ report. They continued their report.
“T-To be exact, he was captured by the police. H-He’s currently under investigation.”
Kaiser stiffened his expression and touched his forehead with his hand.
“...Ku. He better not tell them about this location. Police are bad news.”
Never underestimate the force of Japanese Police; that was one of the warnings given to Vortex Bunch members. At the news of the Count’s capture, the air of uncertainty began to cycle, but...
“Kaiser! Please leave da things ta me, anotha [Four Invincible General]! I will conquer da region o’ Osaka!” 
Just then, everyone heard a strong Kansai accent! And one of the executives threw away his cape and mask. The person that showed up was...the figure of a tiger wearing the uniform of the pro-league baseball team Hanshin Tigers. Unlike his appearance, he was a spirit who was picked as number one [Draft] at a Vortex Bunch meeting. Not only was he the owner of a ‘tough as steel’ body, he was a giant of over two meters.
“Hmph! Coach Tiger! For you to step up by yourself...!”
While Kaiser was perplexed, the tiger...Coach Tiger laughed.
“Nyayaya! No need ter worry! With this Dontobori nails, I will take on da fools!”
Taking his sharp claws out, his laugh was surprisingly cute. Everyone couldn’t contain their excitement!
“Look, it’s Coach Tiger!”
“A true warrior who force-fed countless Kanto people his okonomiyakii meal...!”
“I’ve heard that he knows literally any comedian on the face of the Earth! When asked to recommend a person, it is said that he recognises the person’s sense of humour one hundred percent of the time and recommends them the best match he could give!”
“There’s an unborn legend that says his power increases by a hundredfold when Tigers win!”
After calculating something with his abacus, Coach Tiger once again laughed.
“Nyayaya! I’ll dye Osaka with da colour o’ Vortex Bunch! Voooortex!!!”
When Coach Tiger made the V pose and shouted the chant, everyone followed his example.
However, unfortunately, Tigers did not win this year.
The fourth day! I, Hyoudou Issei, and my friends parted ways with Kunou after entrusting Ophis and Lilith to her, and arrived at the City of all things tasty...Osaka! Xenovia shouted in a loud voice.
“I heard that, in Osaka, you can eat until your wallet gets empty, and you still won’t be able to eat everything here! Asia, Irina! Let’s go and stuff ourselves until we get absolutely stuffed!”
Irina and Asia both raised their fists and replied to her.
“I want to eat original takoyaki!”
Asia was singing about original takoyaki for a while. Since this was my first time, I should also eat until I was stuffed. ...And finally, people who had joined us late opened their mouth.
“Nyahaha! We’ve finally joined, nya. Let’s stuff ourselves, Shirone, Le Fay. Us Nekomata can eat till we die.”
“This is my first time at Osaka. I’m so excited!”
Kuroka and Le Fay said that. Oh, and Kuroka wasn’t wearing her kimono this time. She was clad in a long coat and a skirt instead. It looked like the kimono got in her way while eating. Koneko’s eyes shone at Kuroka’s words.
“Of course. I prepared for this day by not eating a lot during dinner for the past few days.”
That was true. Koneko ate significantly less during Kyoto. It looked like she was preparing for this day. Rias put her hand on Koneko.
“Koneko’s sense of taste is quite reliable at this occasion. We’ll be in your care today, Koneko.”
“Rely on me, Rias-nee-sama. I’m not going to let you sleep tonight.”
Oooh, she was being quite reliable! She did look for every destination’s speciality restaurants before we came.
“Nyahaha! It’s best to prepare yourself when Shirone is in front of food heaven, nya.”
Kuroka seemed like she was enjoying herself as well... I thought she was also going to be quite an eater. After going around the famous Shinsekai, Tsutenakaku and Osaka Castle, we decided to have our meals at the main attraction, Dotonbori. As if trying to stuff everything we saw into our mouths, we filled our bellies with takoyaki, kushiage, okonomiyaki, speciality curry with raw egg, roasted squid and pork manju. These were all good...and it was as if there was a fear in our head like we were going to miss out if we didn’t eat everything here, but...
“The real deal starts from now.”
Koneko and Kuroka seemed like they were still hungry. Were Nekomata stomachs just a black hole!? While we were surprised at the two sisters’ proclamation, we noticed something happening in front of us. People were crowded into one place, and we also heard a loud voice. After scouting what was going on, Xenovia said to Koneko and Kuroka.
“Hey, Koneko, Kuroka. There’s a tiger-type...Nekomata? Cat Youkai? Something’s up there.”
The Nekomata sisters looked at each other in confusion. When we arrived at the origin of the noise...this guy with a tiger head was having a fight with a normal person. Not only that, he was wearing a Hanshin Tigers uniform. And around the tiger guy were...other men in black uniforms!
“What the hell...? Cat...? Tiger spirit? Youkai?”
It looked like even Kuroka was confused. When we got nearer, we realised what was happening. This tiger...spirit was forcing plates of okonomiyaki and white rice at the unfortunate guy.
“Oi, ya Kanto bastard! Eat da rice and okonomiyaki right now! Force it ter ya mouth!”
“What the hell!? How can I eat both rice and Okonomiyaki together!?”
Ιt looked like the guy was from the Kanto region, since he was disgusted at the fact of eating okonomiyaki and rice together. Seeing that reaction, the tiger spirit got mad.
“Wot da fuck did ya just say!? Okonomiyaki is a fine side dish! What part that ya don’t understand!?”
“They are not side dishes! Okonomiyaki, takoyaki, even yaki soba! They’re not side dishes!”
When the guy shouted that, the Kansai people around him were...
“Wot?! Wot’s wrong with eating them as side?”
“This is why Kanto people no nothing about their food!”
...They agreed with the tiger spirit. Oh. so this was what they called Kansai spirit. They found fun in every situation. When the guy’s expression got worse, the tiger made an evil smile and said.
“They got spaghetti in them bento, innit? This is same as that, innit? Once ya get used ter it, this ain’t nothing. Now, why don’t ya try eating this as a side?”
My god, was he really trying to force the Kanto person to eat Okonomiyaki meal!? W-Well, I learned that people from the Kansai region ate like this, but...even I couldn’t do that. Okonomiyaki was definitely not a side dish! Well, maybe yakisoba was an exception to that!
When I was thinking that, Koneko stepped forward. And while protecting the Kanto guy, she said.
“Hey, tiger-san. You shouldn’t bully normal people.”
Then the tiger, unlike his terrible face, laughed like a kitten and said.
“And wot are ya, miss? Ah, Nekomata? Well, that ain’t matter. I’ll feed ya this Okonomiyaki meal as well!”
That tiger thing shoved bowl of rice and Okonomiyaki onto Koneko. With that, Koneko made a overwhelmingly confident smile.
“That’s not even a challenge, but I can’t forgive you for causing trouble here, in the land filled with food.”
While the crowd was shouting ‘Hit him up, missy!’, the fight between a tiger and a cat started...
After Hyoudou Issei’s group enjoyed their fill of tour around Osaka...
Insidethe hideout of Vortex Bunch...there was a picture of Coach Tiger on the one side.
“How unexpected of Coach Tiger to be defeated...!”
As if shocked by the outcome, the leader...Kaiser Vortex covered his face with his hands. Ιt looked like even he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Even the combatants were giving their reports in madness.
“They said two months until full recovery! Damn it! If the Tigers had won the season, then he wouldn’t have been defeated this easily...! Damn it!”
Kaiser then shook his head.
“Don’t say such nonsense. This was his fate. We couldn’t wait for the Tigers to win...!”
In the middle of the heavy mood due to the defeat of two of their executives, laughter filled the hideout.
“Pffft! Both of them are such embarrassments! Let me lead the Fukuoka raid next!”
The third one threw away his cape and the mask. And that person was...a pig monster wearing an attire similar to a Ramen shop owner. His head was that of a pig, and he also had wrapped a towel on his forehead.
“So, it’s you who’s going to go next...Chief Pork Bone.”
Kaiser narrowed his eyes. His expression showed that he realised this was now the time for the third executive to head out. At his deployment, every combatant was terrified.
“S-So, even Chief is getting involved.”
“For a monster that is the best among those Kaiser has created to step in...Fukuoka is as good as destroyed now!”
“He apparently charmed away customers from a ramen shop that only serves their regular customers!”
“...They say that once you step into the shop that chief owns, his special ability activates and you are forced to follow the house rule...! No talking! No phones! Start off by drinking soup!”
“Once you get charmed by its taste, then you start writing on blogs owned by ramen maniacs! Thanks to that, his shop is a crucial source of this organisation’s income!”
“Once his special water draining ability, [Last Pig Drain], gets activated, then Fukuoka is as good as gone!”
While the tensions rose inside the hall, Chief Pork Bone made a cruel smile.
“Pufufu, I will turn Fukuoka’s prized possession, the street stall area, useless with my ramen! I will turn every one of them into my [Vortex Bunch Ramen]! Pufufufufu! Vooooortex!!!”
While every combatant was shocked at this deployment, the invasion of Fukuoka begun...
It was now our fifth day of travelling! We, Hyoudou Issei and friends, had arrived at Fukuoka. After enjoying looking around the area, we decided to go around finding places to eat just like we did in Osaka. Xenovia once again made a bright smile and said.
“We’re gonna eat loads in Fukuoka again! Let’s go, Asia, Irina! We’re gonna go around as many stalls as possible!”
As eating lots of food from all over the places was taking its toll, Asia and Irina grabbed their abdomen, concerned about their weight.
“No doubt I’ve gained weight! But pork broth ramen, triple hot pot, fermented roe, grilled gyoza, chicken skewers...! I feel like they are sending a call to me to eat them!”
“Ise-san! Don’t hate us even when we get fat!”
Don’t worry, I won’t hate you for that. I’ll even help you with your diet! Our eating champions, the Nekomata sisters, were full of energy today as well.
“I’m not going to go easy on you, Nee-sama.”
“Nice. I’m gonna enjoy speciality food here while drinking Fukuoka’s special sake, nya~.”
Even Valerie and Tosca, who were overwhelmed during the entire trip around Japan, were...
“My, my, I’m being satisfied with all these rich foods and not blood, even though I’m a Vampire. Ufufu~.”
“There are so many delicious foods around the world...!”
They were excited and mesmerised about Fukuoka. Since they were sheltered all their lives, rich food would overload their taste buds. Hopefully, we would have more chances like this in the future! Watching this situation, even Rossweisse-san smiled.
“It feels like instead of a graduation trip, it’s quickly becoming a foodie trip.”
Rias also smiled and said.
“Ufufu. Eating each region’s speciality is also part of the fun during a trip.”
“That’s true. Since we can go looking around the region while looking for good places to eat, it’s so convenient.”
Just as Rias and Akeno-san said, this way, we definitely felt like we were on a trip! Going around seeing region-specific things and eating anything that looked good! This was what travelling was all about! We decided to go to Fukuoka’s speciality stall street and look around the food stalls there. But it looked like that general area...was quite noisy.
“Ara, looks like the stall area is quite lively.”
Rias’s expression turned dark while looking forward. She was right. Black curtain stalls were surrounding the area. Having ‘Ramen’ written on their curtain, it seemed like they were selling just that... It seemed like the owners of other shops were having some argument with the employees of these stalls. Ravel walked toward the stall. It looked like she was going out to scout ahead.
“Ravel, what’s going on there?”
When I asked, Ravel touched her forehead with her hand and pointed at them.
“...Ise-sama, everyone. Looks like those black stall people are causing trouble for other stall owners there...”
And when we looked at what she was pointing at, we saw...a pig...spirit that looked like the boss of these stalls directing his employees and starting an argument between the stall owners.
I couldn’t figure out what to say. No, I was dumbfounded. ...It was that black clothes bunch and a weird spirit again! We heard that they’d been causing trouble around the tourist areas, but to meet them this frequently... Ahhhh, this was causing me a headache. In all honesty, weren’t spirits showing themselves in front of normal people too much!? I swear this wouldn’t bode well with the other world. Well, it might just be a doll suit or just bad cosplay though... Ravel followed up.
“...Whatever the case, it looks like these are those [mysterious costume bunch] people we’ve heard about before. I never would have guessed that it would be a monster, not just random cosplayers, who are causing this much trouble.”
We looked at each other and just sighed.
“...Looks like we need to step in just to enjoy our graduation trip. It’s not like we can just ignore these people.”
In order to protect the food and the owners of these stalls, we walked toward the area. Anyway, after this, I needed to get some pork bone ramen.
After Ise and his friends enjoyed their Fukuoka specialities...
At the hideout...Kaiser, filled with rage, kicked his chair over. On the shrine, the picture of Chief Pork Bone was added. Heaving his shoulders, Kaiser shouted.
“This can go on no longer! I will personally step in!”
Being disappointed continuously by his executives, he announced that he would personally step into the fight. Everyone was horrified at that statement.
“What!? Kaiser himself will!?”
“P-Please calm down! I-If leader steps in, t-the world will be devoured in darkness!”
Everyone tried to calm him down, but Kaiser Vortex erupted his rage while emitting thick dark aura from his body.
“Our goal is no longer domination, but destruction! Destruction! After this continual defeat of Vortex Bunch, the only option left is to destroy the known world and start over!”
His voice was enough to shake the entire hideout. In the middle of all that, the voice trying to calm the Kaiser kept coming in.
“Please calm down, lord... It looks like, as the very last [Four Invincible General], only I can protect Kaiser.”
Taking off his mask and cape, the final executive...the fourth [Four Invincible General] stood next to Kaiser. Finally, Kaiser smiled and welcomed the person.
“Oh, you’ve come, master of defense, [Final Death Shisa].”
The final executive revealed himself! The person was... A black-furred lion, no, a dog-sized Shisa was sitting there. The cutest looking Shisa was the final executive. Everyone there, they all welcomed Final Death Shisa and mouthed off his legend.
“T-That legendary person is finally making his move...!”
“He’s a being that is said to protect a household, but instead of protecting anything, he is said to just wander around travelling!”
“It’s that Final Death Shisa-sama who was picked by female members as ‘Someone who we want to protect’ five years in row! And he’s protecting the leader!”
“But after deciding to protect someone, his protection level is so great that even if three of the Four Invincible Generals attack, they won’t be able to get close! Now there is no-one who can touch our Kaiser who has announced world destruction!”
“He’s weak against bishoujos, but...any man will be weak against that!”
“Not only that, he himself is so cute! He’s our mascot character!”
Kaiser put Final Death Shisa on his shoulder and stood in front. Final Death Shisa then cutely laughed and said.
“Then, let’s go and invade my old home, Okinawa. If the news breaks out that I, Shisa, didn’t even protect the citizens of Okinawa and went around destroying the world, the world will plummet into despair.”
At that suggestion, Kaiser nodded.
“Hmm, that’s a good idea. Then, let’s destroy Okinawa as the first step to world destruction! Let’s go, my comrades!”
Then, as Kaiser himself would enter the scene, all the members shouted with a force that couldn’t be compared to before.
...And thus, the final battle of Vortex Bunch begun.
After starting all the way up north at Hokkaido, and after visiting Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, we had finally reached the end of our graduation trip...Okinawa! I, Hyoudou Issei, had finally arrived at the tropical Okinawa! This warmth! It was still March, but it was warm enough for us to take our coats off! After a week of travel, we decided to spend the last two days at Okinawa. And the first day at Okinawa...
We decided to enjoy the beach of Okinawa at the Hotel’s private beach, which was owned by the House of Gremory! Let’s all get changed quickly! Blue sea! Bleach white sandy beach! And...half-naked bishoujos...! Ahhhh, and these bishoujos were my friends! So, it was obvious they’d all be such bishoujos! Akeno-san, Asia, Xenovia, Irina, Ravel and Rossweisse-san were all wearing their bikinis and were playing in the water. Oh, and Kiba was swimming there as well. Koneko and Kuroka were sitting under the parasol and enjoying Okinawa fruits... It looked like these Nekomata sisters weren’t full yet. And next to them was Le Fay, drinking fruit juice with a happy smile on her face. Valerie and Gasper were also playing on the sand beach.
“Ufufu, to build a sand castle on a beach. It’s just like a dream.”
“It’s so fortunate that we’re daylight walkers.”
Man, it was such a heart-warming scene. When I was looking at everyone who was enjoying their Okinawa experience, Xenovia approached me. She was wearing a bikini that was covering virtually nothing! After approaching me with her bouncing breasts, she said something outrageous to me!
“Ise, can you rub oil on me? I think even I should be wary of getting a suntan.”
With a lecherous expression on my face, I hurriedly received the oil from her.
“Of course! I’ll gladly rub oil on you with all my heart into it! Although I thought you wouldn’t really mind about your skin being burnt.”
Then, Xenovia suddenly grabbed my hand and shoved it toward her breasts! While the softness of her breasts was felt by my right hand...Xenovia spoke with a sensual voice.
“I’m in your peerage, right? It’s not an exaggeration to say that both my body and mind are yours, so shouldn’t I try to keep my body as your interest fits? You like white skin, don’t you?”
...!!! ...This Xenovia, where did she learned to say such things!? Both her body and her heart are mine...! Well, I was indeed her King! Xenovia lied down onto the mat and pulled her bikini hook off. Her bare chest and nipples were just simply gorgeous!
“Now, rub it on me. Ah, where are my manners asking such a thing so rudely towards my master...? Ise-sama, please rub oil on my body! ...Maybe that’s better?”
Don’t go around saying such things so cutely! W-Well, don’t mind if I do! Yeah, yeah, I’m gonna rub it on you! Since I’m your King, I’ll rub that oil on your body with all I’ve got!
“Y-Yes! I’ll rub oil on my peerage! This must be one of the King’s duties, right!?”
“Yes, I’ll be in your care, my King.”
As soon as I was about to rub oil onto Xenovia’s body...
“T-Then, as your peerage, I wish you would rub oil on me as well!”
Asia ran up to me and said such a thing! Not only that, even Ravel followed!
“E-Excuse me, since I-I’m in your peerage as well, so umm... It would be an honour if you rubbed oil on me as well, Ise-Sama!”
Asia and Ravel tossed their swimsuits away as well! Oioioioioi, not only Asia, but even Ravel became so bold now! This was a private beach, so no other people were here, but weren’t you guys taking your tops off way too casually!? Well, that was that, but seriously, I was so happy that you two’s breasts were getting bigger during puberty! Those beautiful breasts with little gorgeous nipples on top were so great! Then, after that, everyone else came!
“I-I’m in your peerage, so please rub oil on me too!”
“Darling, you’ll rub oil on me, right? I’m your teammate!”
Those were Rossweisse-san and Irina! Ooh, my peerage’s Rook and Knight both came as well!
“Ara, ara, I’m going to join in as well!”
And then, acting like a final boss, Akeno-san (she had already got the top of her swimsuit off and got ready to join in the battle) joined in! Not only that, Akeno-san hugged me from behind and gently bit my earlobe! And through my back, I felt her ginormous breasts and...that was such a blissful moment in my life!
“O-Oi. I was the first person to ask him to put oil!”
Even Xenovia got up, and while showing her bare chest, grabbed onto me!
“I-I can’t rub oil on everyone at one time! K-Keep to an order!”
!!! Since all these beautiful women were grabbing onto me, there was only so much I could do to stay calm!
!!!!! Right, left, front, and even behind! There were breasts everywhere! God, this was Breast Heaven...! The soft sensation of a female body was pleasuring me! But thinking this couldn’t go any longer, Ravel let go of me and, while letting her large chest bounce, suggested an idea.
“Then I’ve got a suggestion! Let’s choose the order by Toppling Stick!”
So, in order to choose the order in which I would get to rub oil on their bodies, all the girls decided to play Toppling Stick <Ba-Taoshi> on the beach while still exposing their chests, and a tournament-style game at that! ...It looked like this was going to take quite a long time. I just sat there with a dumbfounded expression while holding onto a single bottle of oil. Was I just supposed to sit here and watch them play...? Well, just watching bare-chested girls play in a sand pit was plenty of fun already! Ah~, I just wanted to get this over with and rub oil on their bodies! While I was thinking just that...
“Ufufu, looks like they’re having fun.”
Rias started a conversation with me, and then she asked me a question.
“Ah, Ise. Will you keep your promise with me now?”
Instead of a swimsuit, Rias was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt. She was gazing at something a little bit away from the beach. And there was...a red convertible. Rias asked me again.
“You remember the agreement I had with Rossweisse, right? Let’s go on a drive date with me around Okinawa.”
...Ah right, I went on a drive a date with Rossweisse-san at Hokkaido. In exchange, at the next destination... I smiled brightly and nodded my head.
“Yeah, sure. Let’s go.”
Since it looked like it was going to take a while before the Toppling Stick tournament between the girls finished, I decided to go on a drive date with Rias in the meantime. After changing into my casual clothes, I got into the passenger seat on the convertible. Wow, Rias owned a lot of different cars... At Hokkaido, she was driving a red saloon, and now, she was riding her red convertible. The car that she was driving was currently cruising through the road, and with that, we drove through the seaside road of Okinawa. After driving for a while making small talk...I suddenly said something like this.
“...This is something I thought about when I was on the date with Rossweisse-san earlier, but I think I should get myself a license as well.”
“Ara, so you will take me on a drive date next?”
“Yeah, I want to be the one who drives at least once in the future.”
After getting my license, I wanted to cruise around on a date with my girlfriend. Rias smiled at me. Slicing through the road with her car, her red hair fluttered around beautifully.
“Ufufu, that sounds nice. But it was my dream to take my boyfriend around to a drive date, so I think it’ll be great if we take turns doing that.”
“Ah, that sounds nice too.”
It’d be nice to take turns driving even after I got my license. It looked like Rias had a destination in mind. After driving for about an hour, we arrived at Okinawa’s famous aquarium. They said that this aquarium had multiple whale shark species, and the scene of these creatures swimming was very majestic. After entering the aquarium filled with tourists, we enjoyed ourselves watching many different aquatic creatures. It was a dreamlike scenery inside the aquarium where we saw many whale sharks and gigantic stingrays swimming with many different fish species as if they are flying inside the tanks. I’d seen and experienced many different fantasy-like adventures...but yeah, even in normal life, there existed something so dreamlike. Rias placed her hand on to the glass, and continuously chased after the creatures with her eyes just like a little girl.
“Ise, aren’t they just gorgeous!?”
Rias was enjoying herself to the fullest. She said before that she wanted to come here as soon as we arrived at Okinawa. The scene like this where Rias acted her age still warmed my heart so much. Quickly looking around...I...pulled up all my courage and tried to create a good mood! There were only us two around here! Let’s try to make a good memory here! It wasn’t like we’d be punished for having a quick kiss or something! At times like this, I needed to act like a man! After making my resolve, I was about to take Rias to somewhere with a nice atmosphere...
“Hey, Rias, let’s...”
Just when I was about to ask her...
We heard screams coming from somewhere nearby!
“What’s going on?”
We both looked at each other briefly and ran towards the place where the screams were heard. Once we reached the outside...a certain man wearing a helmet resembling a dragon was laughing while leading the men dressed in black.
“Hahahahahaha! Run! Run! You bunch of ignorant people!”
Looking around, we saw those guys in black were stealing and taking bags from the tourists! That helmet person then announced to everyone over there.
“From now on, this aquarium is under the leadership of I, the leader of Vortex Bunch! All the otter, sea cow, whale sharks, all sorts of fish, I will personally turn all of you into my soldiers!”
And then, the guys in black all shouted something in unison.
That pose they were taking with both their hands above their heads... These had to be the same ones we had kept bumping into! Not only that, this guy just said he was the leader? So the boss had stepped in? Wait, wait, wait, wait... Why the Hell had we been meeting this lot ever since we started at Hokkaido!
Was this on purpose!? Were you guys stalking us or something!? Or was this just bad coincidence? If that was the case, then our luck was utter trash for the past few days... Not only that, this guy was letting out quite a lot of pressure and aura. He wasn’t so weak!
Rias narrowed her eyes and ranted.
“Just like what Ravel said at Fukuoka, these guys seem to be that mysterious costume group thing...”
“Ah~, yeah I guess so...”
All I could do was just agree with her at this point. After exchanging eye contact that seemed to confirm that we had no choice but to step in, we stepped in front of them. I shouted with a voice filled with annoyance at this point.
“Oi, you guys. Stop with all this nonsense.”
Rias also shouted while standing in front of these lot.
“You guys sure are annoying lots of people at the tourist area. I, the Heiress of House of Gremory, and my fiancé Issei will stop you lot.
That was such a Rias-like announcement. Since she said it like it was a Stray Devil extermination job, tension rose... Wait, fiancé!? I-I was honoured, but that was unexpected!
“...I’m correct, right?”
When Rias asked me, I engaged my armour and got into battle position.
“Of course! To become a man that is befitting of your presence, I will continue to work hard!“
Looking at us two, the guy in his helmet smirked.
“Kekeke. Such an enthusiastic boy and his girl. But there is no one who can penetrate the barrier of my guardian. Our guardian that boasts the highest defence characteristic out of everyone in my organisation, Final Death Shisa, will be protecting me! Show your might!”
That guy called upon something, but no-one showed up. Frowning, that guy asked one of the black-clothed guys.
“...Hm? Where did Final Death Shisa go?”
Then, that guy explained the situation to his boss.
“T-That is, maybe he got lost... He hasn’t joined us yet.”
Hearing that, the leader went into shock.
He just barely managed to get those words out of his mouth. It looked like he was so shocked at that news that his energy weakened. ...W-Well, should we attack now?
“...W-We can get rid of them now, right?”
Rias, with a dumbfounded expression on her face, nodded.
“Yeah, looks like they’re bad guys, so let’s quickly wrap this up.”
When I and Rias approached them, that guy in the helmet, as if he was making a final stand, emitted an overwhelming aura from his body!
“Fine! You red-haired girl and red armour boy! We will defeat you! Do not take the leader of Vortex Bunch, Kaiser Vortex, so lightly!!”
That guy then commanded the people to attack us! And just like that, our little weirdo extermination started...
A few minutes later... We defeated that weird group. The guy in the helmet was actually quite strong, so I had to keep my armour active this whole time. But thanks to the combo attack from me and Rias, including those guys in black, their organisation was obliterated. And since it felt weird handing this guy over to the police, we left this case to Ikuse Tobio-san. It looked like they were one of the organisations that he was chasing after, so Ikuse-san came as soon as we called. The House of Gremory also took care of the rest. Soon after leaving the aquarium, we went on a walk around the beach.
“It’s a beautiful beach.”
While walking through this beautiful white beach, we talked. I was interrupted when I wanted to make a good mood between us, but since we ended up being together with just us two, I guess it was all fine? Rias, who was walking just in front of me, turned around and smiled at me.
“Hey, Ise. You know, I want to travel all over the place with you. Not just here on Earth, but also places in the Underworld...”
“Yeah, me too. I don’t know when we will be able to, but I promise to go with you... No, actually, I will take you anywhere you want. Next time, let’s go on a date with my car.”
The lifespan of a Devil was really long, so it was possible to go everywhere we wanted to. We could walk on any soil we wanted... Rias, whose red hair was fluttering with the wind, smiled and looked at the blue sky.
“Yes, I can’t wait. But I want to go on trips with the others as well.”
“That too, let’s go. We’ve got plenty of time left.”
We continued to talk like that. ...Rias, I’ve decided. I had become a High-class Devil, but there were many things I was lacking. So I wanted to learn many things in my life. My life serving you is amazing...but now, I had become a High-class Devil myself. So, by going independent, I wanted to walked into my future with my own two feet. And most of all, I wanted to become a man that could stand next to you, the Heiress of the House of Gremory and a person who wanted to become the Champion of the Rating Game. I would become a man who could proudly stand next to you. Yes, I would become a man that was most befitting of you... Therefore, when this graduation trip finished, I would start my journey... I wanted to enter the International Rating Game where Vail, Sairaorg-san, Cao Cao, Saji, Dulio, Ikuse-san, many Gods and rivals that I hadn’t met were waiting, and I wanted to win against all rivals that had entered the game. Of course, even if the opponent I faced would be Rias, I...
...But Rias, this is what I thought. Until that person, until Azazel-sensei returned, I should strive to become an amazing man. ...Azazel-sensei. During the trip, everyone at one point made a lonely expression on their faces. Most likely, we were still chasing the shadow of our Sensei even unconsciously, that even in the most unlikely situation, he would just randomly turn up and join us in our trip. I...wherever I went, I would look out for Sensei’s shadow.
“Ah! There he is!“
...Just then, I heard the voice of Xenovia. When I turned around, everyone (who had changed their clothes) was chasing after us!
Asia was pouting and was on the verge of crying! Damn, somehow, they had found us! How the hell did they manage that? Actually, if it was these guys, finding us wouldn’t be that hard. They were quite good at sensing where we were!
“Ise-san! Rias-nee-sama! You guys are so mean! What are you doing leaving us alone!?”
Ravel was also chasing after us with a notepad on her hand.
“We’ve decided on the order with that tournament! Let’s start rubbing oil!”
Oh right, oil rubbing! They had finally managed to set an order! Meanwhile, Xenovia showed me and animal (?) she was hugging.
“I caught a Shisa just over there! I’m thinking of keeping it as my familiar!”
Xenovia was holding onto a black Shisa. So they really did exist. Looking at everyone, Rias laughed and pushed my back toward them.
“Ufufu, it looks like skinship between your peerage will be a priority, rookie King-san.”
Ahahaha, it looked like we were ending this with a good mood. With a lecherous face, I raised my fingers and said to the girls.
“Ha! Well, since it came down to this, I’ll rub oil on you guys as much as you want! There’s no point in hiding your breasts now! Show me your breasts with all your might!”
I didn’t manage to have a kiss with Rias! So, as compensation, I would rub oil on everyone here!
“Then, will you rub oil on me once we get back as well?”
Even Rias said something like that! Well, we came this far, so let’s go all the way with this! Hey, Azazel-sensei. I would try my best to become a King, and also a Harem King, so be prepared to listen to my story once you come back!
It’s been awhile, Ichiei Ishibumi here. The third instalment of the short story series [DX] has finally come. There wasn’t any limited edition this time, but to make up for it, there’s a lot of story in this volume. The legendary short story [Cross X Crisis] was also put into this volume as well. Now, let’s discuss each short story in this volume.
Precious of Asia – Between Volume 13 and 14.
This is a story about the meeting and contract of Asia and Fafnir. Well, with this being a story about the Panty Dragon, it’s quite something... I guess the fact that Ophis’s panties are fruity is the highlight of this volume. And there’s a rare scene where it shows the teacher-like qualities of Azazel and Rossweisse.
The Ordinary Days of Red Dragon Emperor – Right after Volume 14
This story took place during the time Rias was at the country of Vampires. And also, this chapter describes the Sitri peerage. Finally, I was able to write about their backgrounds, as well as their abilities. In the story line, there were problems regarding the artificial Sacred Gear. However, in the main timeline, the technology of the artificial Sacred Gear has been dramatically improved compared to when this story was set, so there aren’t many problems to be told.
Let’s Go with Training! ~Mascot Chapter~ – Between Volume 16 and 17.
This is a story which involved Sairaorg’s struggle to improve the House of Bael’s business, Rias’s dad’s character and the re-introduction of Mermaid-chan. Oh, and we weren’t able to discuss this on the main story, but Rias, although she’s a member of the House of Gremory, really hates camels. Around this time is where the relationship between Sairaorg and his younger brother was set, and it was really nice that we were able to explore the relationship back in Volume 21. If you go back to Volume 21 after reading this story, you’ll be able to feel the different emotion from before.
Talents of the Student Council – Beginning of the story in the middle of volume 22, main story in the middle of Volume 19.
This story is about the brand-new Student Council that Xenovia is leading now. The beginning of the story and the sections that handle the new characters that are introduced were edited slightly. This is also where Millarca is introduced for the first time. The two crucial members that are currently investigating the Longinus through Ajuka’s [Game] are Millarca and Ouryuu Nakiri. I would like to show off the story where these two achieve great accomplishments to readers if possible, especially since I am thinking of adding Ouryuu near the end of the DxD main story line. Tadami Kamo is a character introduced back in the special story that came bundled with the first season anime BD. She considers Mil-tan as her rival and is constantly looking to unravel the mystery of Mil-tan. Now that I lay it all out like this, the new members of the Student council that Xenovia is leading...they all have quite a strong character impression...
Worldly Desire of Steel – Middle of volume 19.
Seek-chan, A.K.A Seekvaira-san, finally came back. Whenever she is introduced, I always have fun with the writing. This chapter was heavily influenced by the anime [Gundam Build Fighters]. which was airing at the time of writing this chapter. and since I enjoy Gun-pla as well, I always wanted to write something like this. But the [Dun-pla] that is mentioned in this chapter is actually based on Danball Senki, but...well, let’s not focus on it that much! Also, Elmenhilde was seen again in this chapter. This is the point where the relationship between Ise and Elmenhilde begins. Now...please look forward to the advancement of what will happen to Elmenhilde in the future!
Cross×Crisis – Beginning of the story somewhere between Volume 17 and 19. Main story, few years ago.
Finally, the back story of how Xenovia and Irina met! This wasn’t a story that was published in Dragon Magazine, but rather a short story that was given out in a limited quantity during the Season Two anime event. With the introduction of Xenovia and Irina in the anime, I decided to write a story focusing on those two. This was virtually the same as when we gave them out during the event. This story was well received by the editors and was praised at how well polished it was. I’ve even heard that it was a waste to give them out as free merch. Well, since I was dealing with the precious first encounter between Xenovia and Irina, I thought it would be more fitting to write a more dramatic and serious chapter instead of a comedic one. Because of that, this is one of my top five short stories and I’m so happy that we can finally release this in this volume. Now that I think about it, this Volume has a lot of accomplishment of Vampires! This is the first book after Volume 16, which deals with Gasper, to have this many Vampires in one volume. Looks like this DX3 volume is revolving around Xenovia and the Vampires.
Graduation Trip and Vortex Bunch – Middle of volume 22.
This is the new graduation story mentioned in Volume 22. Thanks to the idea of hunting and whatnot, I had a great chance to travel all over Japan in the past few years. When I thought that I wanted to put those experiences in my writing, I got a chance to write about a graduation trip, so after seeing the opportunity, I started to write while thinking ‘Let’s put everything I’ve seen from all the traveling into this!’.
The name Vortex, the secret organization that was introduced in this chapter, actually originated from the time when a number of fans mistook the kanji of Khaos as Vortex, and also the fact that sometimes on the internet, their names were misspelled. Either way, this was one weird chapter, filled with people who didn’t care about what they did. Actually, if it was against the ORC at the beginning of the story, the Vortex Bunch would be strong enough to defeat them easily. Well, since Ise and his friends got undoubtedly strong over the course of the story, they managed to defeat them quite easily...
One part that I was a bit uncertain while writing this chapter was a problem regarding Ise’s driving license. With him being the main character, I do want to write about him driving around with his girls sitting next to him on the passenger seats. That’s that, but Xenovia and her bike is really a nice combo. I kind of wanted to put that into the main series as well. Oh, and Final Death Shisa has really become Xenovia’s familiar.
As for the closing of this Volume, I would like to give many thanks. Miyama Zero-san, Editor T-san, thanks for everything.
Oh, and there’s something I would like to report to the readers as well. At the time regarding the publishing of this volume, the fourth season of the anime should have been announced. All thanks to everyone’s overwhelming cheer and support, the new season has been planned. I will not let everyone’s expectations down. With all that, the brand-new season will be in its planning very soon. However, I’ve also heard that it’s incredibly rare for a light novel geared towards male readers to get a fourth season, and because of that, I’m quite nervous and feeling pressured. I will do my best to create an animation that meets everyone’s expectations, so it will be an honor to be cheered by the fans.
Finally, I thought I would advertise something. The next Volume is going to be Volume 23 of the main series, a fight between Ise’s team and Dulio’s team, as well as the story involving the Church Trio. The Rating Game arc is also going to become more and more intense, so please look forward to Ise’s new life as a High-class Devil!
Translator's Notes and References
- also known as the Golden Dragon King, Fafnir.
- The Sprite Dragon is referring to her familiar, Rassei.
- –tan is a variation of the –chan honorifc typically used to show a young child’s mispronunciation or to emphasise on cuteness.
- She can’t say banana properly because her mouth is stuffed with them.
- The hiragana literally read "desutoroi".
- TN Japanese sweet shop
- TN Gundma Pla-model.
- This is supposed to be Hokkaido dialect
- TN Pentagram is related to devil/bad luck, and he’s a fortune teller who still uses that name.
- Osaka accent this time
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