The winter break came to an end, and Kuoh Academy entered the third trimester. Besides the third year students who have more freedom, the first and second year students continued as usual as they had to attend school every day. Because today was a half-holiday, after roll call and the opening ceremony, it was time for club activities. It was the important first day for the Occult Research Club to begin working under the new arrangement! The first years and second years were also gathered in the club room, around the new President to decide on the club activities. After Ravel took the tea which was prepared (Akeno-san who took care of this before had passed the duty on to Ravel) and served it to everyone, the meeting began. …But, there was a sudden silence between everyone. It became like this, because our new President had absolutely no idea where to begin. I wondered and asked the new Buchou Asia
“Buchou, what are we going to do for the third semester’s activities?”
And Asia — seemed like she didn’t expect her name to be called, and glanced around.
I sighed, then called out to her again. Then, Asia seemed like she finally realised, and got up in a panic.
“Ah, yes! S-Sorry! Because I didn’t think you were calling me…”
…Hmm, that was said with Asia’s style, or should I say that it was very innocent and pure. Everyone showed an understanding smile towards her.
“Well, it is only the beginning.”
I said as I scratched my cheek. The first day. Regardless, it’s just changed too much. The new Fukubuchou Kiba also agreed.
“Well said. Because Rias-zenbuchou is no longer here, it probably feels quite hard to understand the new environment. We’ll get used to it little by little. First, why don’t we all write down our ambitions, that would be nice.”
Calligraphy. This new style of things isn’t bad. It’s something the previous Occult Research Club probably wouldn’t do. It’s necessary to try new things.
“Speaking of which, where are Rias and Akeno-san?”
I asked. After leaving the club, it felt a bit lonely without those two around, it was still quite unbelievable.
“…Those two said that they might come over if they’re interested. Like Sona-zenkaichou and Shinra-san, they went to visit the third year classrooms to chat.”
Koneko-chan told me. Four third year students chatting in the classroom. Perhaps they were talking about their memories of the past three years. After all, these four people, each of them would have their own memories of the past three years…. Kiba began speaking
“Rias-zenbouchou, has basically handed everything over to us. She said that if she comes here, then it would easily affect the new arrangement, so she would wait until we settled down and decided when she would come back.”
So, for the first week, she wants to see how we go. If Rias were here, she would probably be asked all sorts of questions. In that case, the new arrangement would be meaningless. However, their graduation is only around two months away, so I hope that they’ll be able to come before then. Suddenly, Gasper appeared lonely and said
“…So that means Rias-buchou and Akeno-san will hardly ever come, and then they’ll graduate…”
Gasper seemed down. Koneko-chan lightly patted Gya-suke’s head.
“…Gya-kun, you’re too pessimistic.”
“But, it is very lonely. Normally, Rias-buchou and Akeno-san would be here.”
Indeed. No matter what, those two would always have greeted me with a smile here. Ravel took a sip of red tea, then said
“However, they said that Kuoh Academy’s university division was quite close to the high school division, so will they come back after graduation?”
As she said, Kuoh Academy’s university and high school were extremely close. It would only take a little while to walk. Basically, during lunch break, it would be possible to get here if you wanted. Asia stared at the seat reserved for the President that Rias usually sat in, and sincerely said
“Rias-oneesama’s graduation is one thing, the new first year students who have joined us are another thing, and both will be happening soon…. I feel that, one year passes by very quickly. I came here in the spring of last year…”
That’s right, Asia met me in the spring of last year, at the end of April. In a few months’ time, that season will be here again…it felt like a very long, yet also short time. Asia gazed at the ‘President’s’ seat…but was not mentally prepared to sit there. Even I understood Asia’s personality, so I didn’t tell her to ‘sit there’, so I decided to silently wait until she recognised herself as the new President, until she would sit in that spot of her own will.
“Then, in a few months, I’ll also become a third year student, and the new first year students — will also be starting. So shouldn’t we confirm our new members?”
Hearing what I suddenly said, Koneko-chan raised two fingers.
“There are two members.”
Ravel was the one who answered me.
“They are Le Fay-san and Bennia-san.”
—! I see. Le Fay had mentioned that she would transfer here. After all, she is my contracted magician and we live together as well. Rias and Azazel-sensei often said that, a girl of this age staying at home wasn’t healthy or something along those lines. I also heard that her brother Arthur was secretly hoping for her to transfer into Kuoh Academy. I also heard about Bennia’s situation from some rumours. Whilst training with Saji, he had mentioned
“We’ve got a new person who’s quite interested in joining Kuoh Academy, they might join.”
Kiba then said
“This morning I heard from the Student Council members that, Le Fay-san and Bennia-san will be taking this year’s normal entrance exam. If they pass the exam, then they’ll become students here starting in spring.” Ah—, things are really moving forward. Le Fay’s appearance in uniform…would look great! Another thing to look forward to in spring! Bennia in uniform…was unimaginable! Well anyway, she’s really cute so it should look good!
“Le Fay-san had said that she wanted to join us. Bennia-san never had a chance to speak to us, so it’s not certain…”
“Maybe, there might also be new members we’ve never seen before joining, so we don’t know what will happen.”
Ravel and Gasper said. Indeed, until spring is actually here, we certainly won’t know about these things. Even if we’re discussing these things, they’re irrelevant right now. Kiba seemed to have the same thoughts as me, so he then stood up and said
“In short, we need to decide on our initial direction. Although I think that maintaining things as they were last year is very feasible, we’re the first new arrangement since Rias-zenbouchou was President for the past three years, so we should first—”
Like this, the discussion on being the first new arrangement began. After talking for a few hours, our new Occult Research Club took a break for the time being. Our final plans were
“There would be no sudden changes, and if there were any other changes we would discuss it again.”
This was simply maintaining the status quo, the same as Rias and Akeno-san’s arrangement, any new situations which arose would be handled by a discussion between us. We got a decent outcome from that discussion. There was no other way. The previous administrators had left, and the new President Asia didn’t have any confidence, as all she could say to our opinions were things like ‘Y-Yes’ and ‘I-I understand’ to show her agreement. So, we decided that we couldn’t unreasonably force things onto her. After all, it wasn’t possible to gain enough self-confidence on the first day. We first needed to support Asia, then allow her to develop her own confidence and awareness. For Buchou, I need to try my best! Mmm!
Even if the leadership has changed, my feelings towards the Occult Research Club have not changed since last year. Rias, Akeno-san, were truly amazing. I really feel that right now, as long as it’s for Asia-buchou, I could do anything! —Mmm, the matters relating to the club were put aside for now, as there was another worrying matter.
I looked at the sofa where Xenovia and Irina usually sat. Today, both of them were not here. The reason was due to electoral activities. Xenovia had already started her campaign, and she was together with Irina in another room of the Old School Building currently discussing matters related to the election. This time, Irina was Xenovia’s assistant. As a friend, Asia also wanted to join them, but she had just been promoted to the position of President, so she couldn’t possibly leave her spot empty. Kiryuu from her class also became her helper. Kiryuu probably joined the discussion in a classroom of the Old School Building as well.
“Hmm, Xenovia and Irina, I wonder if they’ll be alright for tomorrow’s election activities.”
As I just finished speaking, the doors to the clubroom went ‘bang’ and were opened. The ones who appeared before us were, Xenovia in front, as well as Irina and Kiryuu. Kiryuu said in a high pitched voice
“We have to pick out Xenovia’s victory dress for the election!”
Everyone in the new Occult Research Club, all focused their attention onto Xenovia!
“Hoo , cool right?”
Xenovia who was feeling cool, was currently dressed in fine clothing like that of the Medieval European aristocracy. But it was a men’s style! In other words, this was the men’s style beauty Xenovia! Although it looked good on her, it’s because Xenovia naturally leaned towards the boyish side…but, why wear this? Kiryuu seemed to have taken notice of my puzzled expression, so she adjusted her glasses and said
“A-Ah-Ahem, I want Xenovia to suit her new clothing, and besides, doesn’t it have the feeling of a President? If she were wearing this while standing in front of the school gates, the female students would all be screaming.”
 A grunt of acknowledgement.
 Onomatopoeia for exhaling / breathing.
…Uhh, I don’t understand cosplay…Xenovia was currently pretending
“Ah, should I be saying ‘André’ right now, then carry Ise in my arms?”
“Mm hmm, there’s a saying that goes ‘clothes make a man just as a saddle makes a horse ’, which would describe now!”
“…Irina-san, I think what you said is a little wrong…”
Asia (born overseas) gently corrected Irina (born in Japan). While watching the three of them, Kiryuu and I quietly conversed.
“Ara ara, regarding that. If Xenovia were to use magic to bewitch everyone then she would be invincible.”
“Yeah, but you have to remember that Xenovia’s powers — hey, those powers aren’t possible for normal students.”
I couldn’t help blurting that out. While Kiryuu made a mischievous smile like that of a child.
“What you say is correct.”
I also laughed. ……. ……Eh? Eeeeh? U-Uh…. No no no. I carefully looked at Kiryuu from the corner of my eye. And next to her head was a [?] symbol….
“…Wait, wait a sec, hold on. Kiryuu, you, you just mentioned using magic or something?”
Just to be sure. Uhh, Kiryuu should be a normal student right…? That should be the case, she doesn’t know about the true identity of us….
“Hmm, I said that?”
Kiryuu calmly replied. …I was already speechless and turned to look at Asia, who paused for a moment, then suddenly seemed to realise my reaction, and nervously said
“T-That, the thing that probably hasn’t been mentioned to Ise-san…”
Xenovia then naturally continued for Asia and said
“Kiryuu is one of my regulars. Of course, she knows about our real identities.”
……Is that for real. I looked at the church trio with the expression of ‘is that for real?’, and the three of them nodded.
I let out a cry of surprise! T-That was the reason! W-W-W-Why would Kiryuu know about our real identities!? A-A-A-A-And she was also one of Xenovia’s regulars?! I had no idea! I still don’t know!
“W-When did this start?!”
I couldn’t hide me bewilderment and asked Kiryuu. Kiryuu recalled while saying
“It should be sometime back in December. I received a flyer near the station. Then I tried thinking about it, and summoned Xenovia. In the end, after talking to her, Rias-san also appeared so that’s how I know about the current situation.”
D-December…. That was last month. And it was around the station that she received a flyer…. Then not only did she summon Xenovia, but Rias also appeared…. Kiryuu continued while giggling.
“Don’t worry. I haven’t told anyone, and I won’t tell Matsuda and Motohama. Because Rias-san and Asia are my friends, they asked me not to tell anyone. With these kinds of things, I’ll keep my lips sealed.”
…Really, that was good. I didn’t imagine, that this person would actually know about our true identities…. That is to say, last month, although Kiryuu knew that we were devils, she still continued talking to us as usual…. Kiryuu nodded.
“But, you haven’t got it easy, Ise. I heard from Xenovia and Asia, that you hold the fate of the world in your hands right? Although, since you’re usually so perverted, it’s quite difficult to imagine.”
“You guys, you guys.”
Kiryuu kept poking me with her elbow…ah, but it was still surprising. Everyone else here, half of them were calm and the other half were surprised. In other words, some people knew the truth, but there were also some who were kept in the dark like me. Then again, as our leader, Rias did not feel that this was important. …Considering that she is a classmate of mine, it was quite unexpected. Well, maybe because we fought a tremendous battle last month, Rias didn’t want us to have any extra burdens on our mind.
“Well, I think that Xenovia has no problems even without makeup, so there’s no need to wear strange costumes. If you think that there’ll be an obvious disadvantage then you could try this, or something like this.”
Kiryuu pretended to hold a camera, taking pictures of Xenovia.
“I won’t lose. I’ll definitely win against Hanakai!”
“Yes, that’s the spirit, Xenovia!”
“Yes, that’s right! Although I can’t come to help you as I’m the President now, but I’ll still support Xenovia as a friend!”
“Ah, that’s the heart of friendship, my friends!”
Xenovia, Irina and Asia linked their arms around each other’s shoulders, looking full of enthusiasm. Kiryuu then called out and spoke to everyone
“So, that’s why I said that I’ll assist Xenovia, you guys of the new Occult Research Club need to work hard.”
After saying that, she took Xenovia and Irina with her to leave, returning to the empty room in the Old School Building. It seems like they have more things to discuss. …Anyway, Kiryuu, she…. It was just the beginning of a new year, and something so extraordinary already happened. That’s not to say, there’ll be a lot of noteworthy things happening this year…. I, might even die three times this year…. After Xenovia’s commotion, and waiting until everyone had calmed down, Ravel raised her hand again.
“Next, I’ll wait until after the Occult Research Club has settled down from its initial period, as I need to return to the underworld for a while.”
Hearing this, Kiba said
“Now that you mention it, Ravel-san needs to temporarily return as a member of her brother’s peerage.”
“Currently Raiser-oniisama’s peerage is not full. I was quite worried, so this time okaa-sama  traded pieces again, and I’ll be back to join the game.”
That’s right, Raiser’s return to the game was previously determined. What’s more, his opponent is the current Champion, Diehauser Belial-san! Everyone was shocked, as they didn’t imagine that the first match upon his return would be against the Champion. Ravel’s participation in this game was already decided. It seemed to be because Raiser still had not filled up all the members in his peerage, so he asked his mother to temporarily lend Ravel to him on the day of the game. Because Raiser obtained Ravel by trading his unused [Bishop] piece with his mother, he was currently missing a [Bishop], last year he had a competition to see who would be his last [Bishop], and I also participated…but the new member hasn’t been decided yet. Well, once the peerage has been decided, it’s difficult to redo it, so you need to be careful. Having said that, it is Raiser, so compromising on having the girls he likes is one of the reasons. Hmm! I understand your heart’s troubles, Raiser! Compromise is truly difficult; after all, it is a member of his harem!
At this time, I suddenly thought of a question. It was related to trades.
“Say, is it possible for last minute trades?”
I asked Kiba.
“Basically, trades which happen after a match is decided need to fulfil certain conditions to be recognised, so it can often lead to cancellations. If the trade happens after the match between the two was decided, then it could go on forever. If the trader was indecisive, or there were constant changes in strategy, the whole peerage could be traded within ten matches.”
That was his response, if you did make a trade after the match was decided, then it would be endless. It wouldn’t be surprising if the entire team was replaced. As a result, their peerage — the [Evil Pieces] and the Rating Game would have no meaning. Ravel continued and said
“This time, it was because onii-sama’s peerage was not full, I was originally a member of his peerage, the Rating Game prediction score is not largely affected, it was agreed to by the side predicted to win the game, and various other conditions.”
So their opponents also allowed it. To begin with this match was quite one-sided, even though Diehauser allowed the new member, it doesn’t change much.
“…How much is the predicted winning side’s ranking currently ahead by?”
I asked everyone. A Rating Game was like the ranking of pieces in human chess, to Rate — points were used to determine ranking. As I had forgotten Emperor Belial’s current points, I asked everyone. Koneko-chan was the one who replied
“…It seems like it’s around 3500 points. Even the Top 10 who are ranked over 3000 points are called unknowns.”
Unrivalled. Well, I did hear that he’s been the Champion for some time.
“So, what about Raiser?”
I wondered about the points of the one I fought with, Raiser’s points.
“…Not even 2000 points. And he’s still regarded as one of the promising young competitors…”
Ravel timidly said. …The difference is more than 1500!? Hey, hey, hey, that’s quite ridiculous! This isn’t even a competition!
“T-There isn’t a problem with such a large difference?”
I asked with a stiff voice. Kiba tilted his head and said
“Normally speaking, a game with such a large difference wouldn’t be held. This time’s game is Raiser Phoenix-san’s return match, and also a chance for the underworld which has constantly been attacked by terrorists to watch his match against the Champion; it’s more of an exhibition match.”
An exhibition match! So it’s just for show. Well, with such a large ranking difference, it would turn into this situation. Although I feel a little sorry for Raiser about saying this, but this match probably won’t be a serious showdown. Ravel continued to tell me more information.
 This is a reference to “The Rose of Versailles”. Read more.
 A Chinese proverb. Similar to “Clothes maketh the man”.
 Okaa-sama: respectful way to address one’s own mother.
“If I had to say it, this is actually a special event known as [Emperor Belial’s Ten Matches], and one of his opponents is onii-sama.”
“Ah, so what Rias was talking about at the end of the year, ‘The Ten Matches which must be recorded…’ was actually this.”
During her free time, Rias had suddenly thought of the same thing and said that. So what she was referring to was actually this.
“Because there are many combinations that you wouldn’t normally see, Rias-zenbuchou also thought of the same thing, this is because the battles apart from the Phoenix battle are just as interesting.”
Kiba added. So that’s how it was. Ten matches! That was the special event that the Champion would be participating in. And Raiser was also one of the people who would be in it. In a sense, this would be the glory of a young devil. After all, not only would you be able to compete against the Champion, it would also be an excellent experience, and simply being chosen to participate in a match would be a great honour. Even if it was me, if I was able to have such an opportunity, I’d be extremely happy. With a proud look, Ravel then said
“A-Anyway, this is a great honour to onii-sama, as well as the Phoenix family, despite only being an exhibition match, to be selected as one of Emperor Belial’s opponents, it makes us very happy. There’s absolutely no reason to refuse.”
Hehe, although she rarely talks about her brother, she’s actually very concerned about him. That’s one of Ravel’s good points, being so cute. Ravel continued speaking about the previous topic.
“So because of these reasons, I will be temporarily returning to the Phoenix household.”
As everyone expressed their understanding, more than ten people entered the clubroom. Rias, Akeno-san, Azazel-sensei, as well as Sona-kaichou’s household. Everyone had a serious expression on their face. Seeing their appearance, everyone in the new Occult Research Club had a premonition that something significant had happened. Asia called for Xenovia and Irina in the other room to return as well. Whereas the ordinary student, Kiryuu, waited in the other room. After being certain that everyone had gathered, sensei looked at everyone and said
“Although it’s the beginning of a new school term, I regret to say that there is some bad news. Well, it’s not the worst, but I should at least tell you first.”
Not the worst of bad news…. Well, these days it’s always been bad news. Sensei continued
“Some of the Church’s followers — in particular the warriors under its control are rebelling, I mentioned this last year didn’t I?”
That’s right, the Church’s warriors are currently the people who are at the centre of this rebellion. After the Three Factions joined forces, ever since they had to follow the [Prohibition of Devils and Fallen Angels as enemies], they’ve been dissatisfied with their lives. Not to mention that everyone had their own reasons, originally they didn’t have a good impression of Devils nor Fallen Angels, and then the Peace Treaty from the upper echelons appeared out of the blue. Even so, they were still disgruntled about having to stop their old job, instead going to hunt vampires and monsters.
Now, however, it is said that even the vampires are moving towards the same direction as the Three Factions with a peace treaty. Whilst some of the soldiers feel at ease, naturally, there are a lot of people who feel dissatisfied. Thus, the outcry of dissatisfaction by these warriors has caused them to start a rebellion together. Putting yourself into their position, it would be like taking away their reason to fight — their chance for revenge, it’s like taking away their food, the very reason that they live for. Regarding this matter, Xenovia had previously said
“It’s not difficult to understand. For the Lord, for the Church, for the fight against the existence of evil, the reason that they were fighting had suddenly been taken away from them…. They don’t know how they should live their lives, they really are quite helpless.”
Xenovia’s words are quite persuasive. This is because she once also lost her reason to fight, and left the Church. Although she’s settled down now and accepted her current life as a devil…not all soldiers can be the same, to be able to find a new meaning for their existence. The current situation is just like that. Azazel-sensei continued
“The Church group’s rebels…in fact, most of them have already stopped. The ones who were provoking riots have already been supressed. The cadre class leaders who were behind it have all been arrested. —But”
Sensei raised three fingers.
“Three of the rebel leaders are on the run. Currently, there are many soldiers who are still following them.”
…The mastermind is leading the soldiers huh. Sona-zenkaichou then listed their names
“The three of them are His Eminence Cardinal Bishop Teodoro Legrenzi, His Eminence Cardinal Priest Vasco Strada, and His Eminence Cardinal Deacon Ewald Cristaldi.” Hearing this, Rias said with a soft voice
“…I’ve heard of these names.”
I then quietly asked Koneko-chan
“…What are those positions?”
Although I’ve just come to understand the situation of the Devils’, I’m still unfamiliar with the Church. Koneko-chan sighed, then said
“…A Cardinal Bishop is a high position within the Church, second only to the Pope. A Cardinal Priest is one rank lower, and a Cardinal Deacon is one rank lower than that. Although there are several people who hold the title of each position, the names mentioned are highly regarded.”
So the names of those mentioned are all extraordinary people. And they’re also famous to the point that even Koneko-chan knows about them. Kiba then said to me
“That is to say, the people in the Church who are ranked second, third and fourth instigated this rebellion, and are still on the run.”
I see, it’s actually quite easy to understand then. This report left Asia, Xenovia and Irina who were originally from the Church at a loss for words. In particular, Xenovia and Irina who were once warriors nervously stiffened the expression on their eyes. Xenovia finally spoke
“…His Eminence Strada and Cristaldi-sensei”
“Do you know them?”
Hearing my question, she widened her eyes and said
“Of course. — His Eminence Strada was the previous user of Durandal.”
This honest declaration left me, and some of the other members here speechless! …It truly was too shocking! It was beyond our expectations that the previous wielder of that holy sword was actually one of the leaders behind the rebellion! Azazel-sensei said
“This man is among the minority of Durandal wielders who is capable of rivalling Roland, and many people believe that he’s even surpassed Roland . He’s also one of the few people who’ve successfully emerged from the war. He was a man who embodied strength and authority on the battlefield, and is also a leader.”
An extraordinary man who was originally a warrior! On top of that, he was also a wielder of Durandal…. Irina then said
“His Eminence Strada is already eighty seven years old…”
This guy’s not like an old man! He’s over eighty and yet he still has the energy to start a rebellion! Is he weak from old age then? But, Xenovia’s eyes still conveyed seriousness.
“…It would be best to forget about his age. This man…is a living legend. His body has barely aged.”
—! You’ve got to be joking. No matter what you say, being over eighty, that’s an old man! Yet he’s a human? Well, if he’s already eighty years old then…. Sensei’s expression was just as serious as Xenovia’s.
“…Even if that guy looks older now, he’s not weak, he’s still just as strong. In World War II, he fought against Kokabiel from our side once, and in the end we were at a disadvantage. This guy has quite an interest in holy swords, and he also has many achievements.”
Kokabiel was at a disadvantage against a human?! …With what happened after the incident with the holy swords being stolen last year, it feels as though there’s some sort of strange connection of fate. Speaking of which, that guy Kokabiel had once said something about it, Durandal’s previous wielder was an incredible person.
“I remember now, wasn’t he was one of the top candidates to be an Ace of the Four Great Seraphs?”
Hearing sensei’s question, Irina nodded.
“Yes. Uriel-sama and Raphael-sama had both selected His Eminence Strada, but he refused both of them. …He said that he wants to return to the Lord upon death.”
Two of the Four Great Seraphs made an offer at the same time but they were both rejected! Everyone’s expression was serious, but only Asia made a complicated smile.
“While I was a nun with the Church, I met His Eminence Strada once…he seemed to be an honest and friendly person.”
Asia didn’t have a bad impression of him. That was why the news of his rebellion made her confused.
“Personally, I really don’t want to see Cristaldi-sensei…. After all, as warriors of the Church, we’ve been under his care and he’s also been our mentor.”
Irina mentioned another person who was involved in the rebellion, Ewald Cristaldi. The mentor of the Church’s warriors…. Xenovia and Irina were definitely facing some complicated feelings right now. Xenovia nodded in agreement to Irina.
“I was also under the guidance of Cristaldi-sensei, he taught me how to fight against devils and vampires…”
“…When I went to the Vatican, Cristaldi-sensei diligently taught me how to use Excalibur. I’ve heard that when Cristaldi-sensei was on the frontlines, he was able to simultaneously control three of the six Excaliburs.”
Azazel-sensei confirmed Irina’s words
“Ah, that’s true. Back then, Ewald Cristaldi was a topic of heated discussion within the Grigori. Although he could only use three of the Excaliburs simultaneously, people have said that theoretically it wouldn’t be impossible for him to control all six of the swords at once. Anyway, whether its Vasco Strada or Ewald Cristaldi, they were well-known during the war as ridiculously strong people. Plus, they also trained a large number of warriors, and those warriors have said that those two people could be described as titans. With a single call, they could have many warriors follow in response…. In fact, more than half of the Church’s warriors are involved in this rebellion.”
…These two men are the most influential people in the Church. They’re also the former users of Durandal and Excalibur…. Since it’s come to this, it makes people feel as though this can no longer resolved through simple means. This is how lesser powers will gather to where the stronger power is. Sona-zenkaichou adjusted her glasses then said
“They’re blessed with talent, so much so that they’re even able to kill the highest class of devils—. After all, such people are extremely rare; their power has even become a legend to devils and they’re still alive even now.”
…So the two people called Ewald Cristaldi and Vasco Strada are actually such formidable opponents….
 In a traditional sense, a bishop is the highest ranking below the Pope; they are the head of a church who oversees the priests and deacons. A priest is usually involved in teaching and governing, but not as highly ranked as a bishop. A deacon is an assistant to a bishop who is involved in some teaching and administration. Cardinal is an honorary term meaning a senior or elder.
 Roland is the famous wielder of Durandal recorded in legends who is said to have singlehandedly defeated thousands of enemies in battle.
Sensei then mentioned the last person of the three who were mentioned.
“Teodoro Legrenzi is the youngest, whose position as a Cardinal Bishop is a special case.”
Asia seemed to know something about this person, so she said
“…The truth is, I’ve never seen him. It’s said that within the higher-ups of the Church, he’s quite a mysterious person.”
“I’ve also only heard of his name but have never seen him in person. Even Sister Griselda is probably in the same position as us.”
Xenovia and Irina said in reply to Asia. Even a reincarnated angel hasn’t seen him, he truly is mysterious. This person probably has some reason to keep himself hidden. Hearing this, in relation to the three people who are on the run…. I don’t want to think about what’s going on behind the scenes here, but it isn’t hard to imagine. Sensei returned to the original topic
“In other words, the three people behind the rebellion and the warriors who are following them are currently fugitives. And I’m afraid that their destination is—”
Sensei extended his index finger and pointed to the ground.
“I’m afraid that it’s here. We interrogated some of the captured warriors, they were hoping to find [DxD], but they certainly didn’t just want to talk.”
…So that’s what they say. …Really, during such a busy time we get drawn into the Church’s rebellion. The diverse team of [DxD] is actually the target of their own comrades. Although our existence itself is rather special. Give me a break…. Everyone’s tension was growing more and more intense. However, sensei made a wry smile.
“Come on, there’s no need to be so serious. Although you’ve been through many life and death situations, you can be certain of this, that this incident should have zero casualties. In fact, although there were people injured in the rebellion at the Vatican, no one lost their lives. Reincarnated angels did their best to keep the situation from getting worse. In this incident, ultimately there were many warriors who were distressed, and their long-standing resentment burst out.”
No one died. That’s truly lucky…but it might happen again, which is almost certain now, so we can’t relax yet! Sona-zenkaichou sighed.
“…But, it’s possible that this could turn into a full-scale war. Although we’re trying not to cause any harm, we can’t know for certain what will happen. …Terrorists may also capitalise on this opportunity to make their move. After all, this is the perfect opportunity for them to do so.”
Zenkaichou’s reasoning certainly made sense. Whilst we’re being attacked by the rebels, there’s no guarantee that Qlippoth won’t do anything. From the terrorists’ point of view, the defeat of either side would be favourable. Sensei shrugged.
“Of course, we still need to be wary. …It’s said that this whole incident was started by Rizevim when that guy encouraged the higher-ups of the Church. In terms of the rebellion, that man is the truly the devil. If it’s related to incitement and encouragement, no one can even come close to him. You can’t be overly cautious, which is basically what Sona just said.”
…So that bastard was behind all this. I totally understand what sensei said. That guy…every single word that guy says is made to confuse people. Even if he knows everything, he does this on purpose; I can’t even control my anger towards this guy.
“…Having said that, Kuoh Academy seems to have some sort of fate connecting it to holy swords.”
Saji whispered. I’ve had the same thought. I never expected that the sword’s wielders and the swords themselves would all be gathered here.
Kiba noticed and went into a state of deep thought. …Having a connection to holy swords, that goes for him as well.
“Sorry Kiba. I shouldn’t just say things like that.”
Saji apologised with an embarrassed expression, to which Kiba laughed softly.
“It’s fine, don’t worry. I’ve come to terms with it now so I won’t be the same as before, relying on my hatred of holy swords to live.”
That’s true. But…his insecure feelings make me worry. If an even more significant event occurs, Kiba would definitely give up his life to fight. I only learned about it after the battle, that he acted quite recklessly to defeat the mass produced Grendel…. Although he’s usually calm, in essence he’s an unsheathed sword—. That guy really needs a sheath. And I truly hope that there’s someone who can take on the role of his scabbard…. Well, even though Kiba understands my concerns, he’s not going to hold back. …If you die, I won’t forgive you. My friend. Sensei confidently smiled then said
“No, the fate with holy swords is not superficial and not necessarily a joke. This is a good opportunity. —Xenovia, Irina, Kiba, the wielders of holy swords should strive to surpass their predecessors. If the opportunity arises, you should go all out. Since you’re taking on the name of [DxD], this is the least you can do, use your skill against the enemy.”
Hearing Azazel-sensei’s guidance, all three of them nodded with a determined expression.
“Surpass our predecessors…”
Xenovia said to herself. —Exceed their predecessors. Not only with holy swords, she also has the same idea in running for President. With Xenovia’s ability, doing better than anyone else isn’t a problem.
“Listen well everyone. It should be the same towards the Church rebels as with Qlippoth, you can’t let your guard down.”
With those words, sensei concluded today’s urgent meeting. The club activities for the day also ended, and the time for our after school activities began.
Later that night.
In the Hyoudou mansion’s underground indoor pool, were the Occult Research Club members, Dulio, Sister Griselda, the Vali team (Vali, Bikou, Arthur, Kuroka, Le Fay), as well as Slash Dog Tobio Ikuse-san and others. The Sitri team said that they had to deal with something urgent, thus they weren’t able to come. There were two people above the pool who were making waves whilst floating in the air, they were me in armour and — Rias who had completely covered herself in her aura. Prior to this, we two showed the members of [DxD] our new ability. As a result of demonstrating our new ability, water from the pool had splashed up violently, with the area around the pool completely wet, but evidently people were expecting it so they had used umbrellas, demonic energy and magic to shield themselves. About the new technique, because it would utilise the Heavenly Dragon Ddraig’s power, in order to get Vali’s opinion, I called him specifically for it…but I didn’t expect that I’d be able to use it without any preparation, and to some extent it was better than I thought!
Seeing our new technique, the audience applauded and cheered. What we showed was a collaborative move. She had been thinking of ways to combine my power and her own destruction magic together. After the New Year, she came to discuss this with me. Hearing her ideas, I thought “That seems to be possible.” So, I called the other Heavenly Dragon Vali for help, listened to his opinion, and then finally created this new technique. Ah—, if I simply relied on myself, there would be too many things that wouldn’t be possible. The creation of this new technique, I think that it was only possible by relying on Rias’s talent. Good, the next time we encounter an enemy, if it feels like we can use it, we’ll try it out. After practicing the technique, Rias and I landed on the edge of the pool. I deactivated my armour to catch my breath. Everyone was having a leisurely time in the pool.
“Aahh…ooh! I can’t swimmmm!”
The person who was screaming was Gasper. He seemed to be with Koneko-chan, Ravel, Kuroka, and Le Fay, playing water polo but had slipped and now appeared to be drowning.
“Hey, Gya-suke! You need to be a man, let’s see you swim in this shallow water!”
I said that to him with a wry smile, but—
“I am…a vampire! I’m naturally afraid of waaatterrr!”
he cried. No, that’s not right, you were just in the water playing water polo!
“You’re of mixed blood! Not to mention that you’re currently a devil! You can do it! You can stand there anyway!”
After saying that, he finally reacted and said
then stood up in the pool…. I can’t stand it, he finally feels a little more masculine but I didn’t think he’d still be embarrassing in so many ways…. Even his swimwear, is a ladies style!
“Hoho, Gya-kun is so cute nyan ♪”
said Kuroka who was touching his head…because she was wearing a bikini which showed a lot of skin, her breasts kept bouncing. Mmmm, this is a feast for my eyes! When it comes to myself
“Haha, this kind of thing once in a while isn’t bad.”
I was currently with Akeno-san and Rias, helping these two onee-sans apply their sunscreen! They’re actually using sunscreen even at an underground pool! It was currently winter, and it also isn’t possible to get any sunlight underground! Also, all that’s needed to prevent sunburns is the use of some magic, so the use of sunscreen is purely for cosmetic reasons! But! As soon as I heard that they’d let me apply sunscreen, I, Hyoudou Issei happily came to do it! Two beach beds were placed side by side next to the pool! Lying on them were two onee-sans! They even took off their bikinis, so their backs were bare! Hehehe! I’m already very familiar with this type of sunscreen, I rubbed sunscreen onto Rias and Akeno-san in a skilful manner!
The two of them couldn’t help making such noises. My hands glided over their bodies! …Aahhh, such incredibly smooth and delicate skin! Their elasticity is just right, with a sensual feeling as I slid my fingers across Rias and Akeno-san’s backs, over their thighs, and all the way down to their calves! After coating their toes, I started over, making sure to cover every spot! First was Akeno-san. Starting from her fingertips, going over her back, rub-rub-rub-rub-rubbing all over down to her hips! I also rubbed her bottom over and over again! I couldn’t help it! If they asked me to do it, I have no reason not to! Absolutely no reason at all!
Akeno-san’s sweet sounds almost made my brain melt! And the feeling of her bottom…was like a pudding that would never break, my fingers and my palms were drawn into it! Aaaaaaaaahhhh, who knew there could be such an incredible sensation! They’re so smooth, soft, and full of elasticity, it just makes me want to be able to touch Akeno-san’s bottom for the rest of my life! Seeing this scene, Rias said
“Ise, what about my front side…there’s a lot of people looking here, so it’s not very convenient. How about we continue on the bed? Or in the bath?”
Please don’t look at me and say such flirtatious things! It’ll make me very confused! Aaahhh, applying sunscreen to her chest on the bed! That would also be great! Applying sunscreen on her whilst naked in the large bath! That would also be great! I-It’ truly difficult~ ! What should I do~ ! But even in my state of confusion, I was still thinking about firmly holding onto Akeno-san’s bottom!
Akeno-san couldn’t help making sweet noises whilst at the same time she also said
“Ara ara, how about, mmm, I get, mmmmm, on the bed to continue. Fufufu, this is quite exciting, ahhmmm. Ooh, I wonder if, aahhh, anything more intense than rubbing sunscreen on will happen?”
Ahhh, even Akeno-san was gazing at me seductively! —Then, I also heard the voices of other people who were around. It was Irina and Rossweisse-san.
“I-I also want darling to help me apply sunscreen, but I can’t get in between these two onee-samas!”
“……How inappropriate! I thought I was only innocently looking at the way people apply sunscreen! This is so shameful!”
You two both wanted me to help you apply sunscreen!? I-I’m so happy, but doing four people seems a bit difficult! It would take too much time, it seems like there won’t be enough time for rubbing oppai today! Someone suddenly joined in — it was Ravel! She had come out of the pool in the middle of her water polo game.
“Although now is the time for leisure, Ise-sama’s time is very precious! That’s enough time spent on applying sunscreen!”
Ravel’s management of my schedule was very strict, she objected against Irina and Rossweisse-san’s requests…but this time Rias said
“Ravel, you should let him do this. You need to relax occasionally, can you do that?”
“I-I can do that!? …Then, how should I do it?”
Whaaa! Should I do it or not, this is confusing!? After thinking for a moment, Ravel quickly took out a notebook, then shouted
“Come over to decide on the allocation of time for applying sunscreen!”
—After saying that, she began discussing this with Rias! H-H-Hey! T-There’s going to be a timetable!? No, I’m happy about this! But isn’t the number of people a bit too much!? Then Rias, Akeno-san, Irina, Rossweisse-san, and Ravel put me aside, and they began deciding on my schedule for applying sunscreen! Then Kuroka also pulled out of the water polo game, raised her hand and said
“I’m also joining in nya!”
Those six people huddled together in a circular formation, and began discussing my schedule for applying sunscreen. This isn’t a scene that you see every time! At this rate, I’ll be faced with an onslaught from the girls, and it’ll become a very awkward situation! …Fine, this must be the cost of happiness! I think so! I really hope so!
After being freed from my job of applying sunscreen, I walked over to a diving platform and sat down, then shifted my gaze over to the pool’s edge. Several girls were there discussing matters related to applying sunscreen, and on another side, Asia was talking to Xenovia. Seeing Xenovia’s serious expression, I could guess that they were currently talking about issues related to the Student Council Election.
“Xenovia seems to have changed.”
—I don’t know who said that to me. I turned around to look — it was Sister Griselda-san who was wearing a bikini! Currently, her large and prominent oppai which were usually concealed under her nun’s uniform appeared in front of me! Compared to her original plain colour and pure image, there was a large contrast after she wore a bikini, which generated a strong sense of attraction! Her dazzling white skin was too perfect! She sat beside me on the diving platform.
“…Slashing Princess, that was Xenovia’s title when she was a warrior. Using Excalibur and Durandal, she killed and defeated many enemies of the Church.”
I’ve heard of this before. I’d heard that during her time with the Church, as a swordsman of God, she had executed devils, vampires and various monsters. Because she showed no mercy in killing her enemies, people didn’t understand her and along with her inaccessible personality, at some point people began making fun of her by calling her [Slashing Princess]. Sister Griselda continued.
“She’s a child who needs a lot of care. Because we’ve been in the same facility, I was selected to be responsible for taking care of her, but no matter what I said, she grew big and tall, I taught her the minimum behaviour she should have as a lady, I’ve already done all I can.”
At first glance, she seemed to be complaining, but looking closer at her face, it was as if she was talking about a younger sister, with a smile full of warmth.
“Ever since she met her partner of the same age — Irina, she would occasionally show the expression that a girl of her age should.”
As Sister Griselda said, to become Xenovia’s partner, the person who was with her long-term, the first person to do that was Irina. It was said that most people who became Xenovia’s partner afterwards, were unable to adapt to her personality or fighting style, rejecting partnership the next time. This meant that only Irina was able to adapt to Xenovia’s personality and fighting style. To me, it’s because both of them were girls who had quirky personalities. I’d say that the combination of their quirky personalities formed a good chemistry, they were like kindred souls, hence they became partners. With a smile, Sister Griselda said
“When I heard that she’d become a devil, I fainted on the spot, but seeing her now occasionally worried, occasionally laughing, I feel that this is good.”
I followed Sister Griselda’s gaze, noticing Irina, Asia and Xenovia together. She was watching the faces of those three in conversation with each other. Three people laughing together, it was truly a heartwarming scene—.
“I heard that she plans to become the Student Council President.”
“Yeah. At first I thought she was joking, but it seems that she was serious. After school, she and her friends stayed back to have a strategy meeting for the election.”
“She really is enjoying school life.”
Sister Griselda truly felt joy from the bottom of her heart for the changes in Xenovia. Although she normally appears to be strict towards Xenovia, I think the truth is that they really care about each other. She said to me solemnly
“Hyoudou Issei-kun, please, please take good care of that child.”
“Yes, of course! But I have to say, I don’t think I’m of much use. How about this, I think letting her be together with Asia, Irina and her classmates would be much better for her.”
However, Sister Griselda listened to me and shook her head.
“Although what you say is correct…I’m talking about her as a woman. Ohh, I see. Living with several girls must be difficult.”
After giving me an understanding smile, Sister Griselda stood up and left with a
and headed towards Xenovia. I got concerned for a moment thinking that I’d said something wrong, but then I saw Sister Griselda scolding Xenovia …humpf, that Xenovia is really…Whatever, just being able to see a Sister in a bikini was an enjoyable experience! Every part of it was precious, I must record it into my memory. While I was doing that, I heard the Vali team’s conversation.
“Hey, Vali. Can you do me a favour when we’re free which can reduce my sins? Doesn’t the work that [DxD] does seem better?”
It was Bikou. To which Vali replied
“I want to spend my time on attacking Rizevim and Evil Dragons, as well as training my own power. Sorry, tasks like that should be given to Kuroka or Le Fay.”
Vali directly refused. He would occasionally show such an expression when he was training. But his primary opponents were strong people like the First Generation Sun Wukong-jisan and Dulio. He came over today, one reason was to provide his opinion, and the other reason was probably because he became interested in my new technique.
“I’d heard rumours that one of the people who started the Church’s rebellion was the original wielder of Excalibur, which is highly interesting.”
Arthur adjusted his glasses, smiling contemptuously. That guy seems like he’s doing things according to his own motives…. Hearing Arthur’s words, Vali said
“Yes, Arthur. What do you plan to do this time? Very soon the legendary wielders of holy swords may be arriving here.”
Hearing this, Arthur stroked his chin, then eagerly said
“That wouldn’t be a bad idea”
and laughed. …From what I can see, Arthur is probably the most difficult to deal with in the Vali team. On the other hand, Bikou and I could get along with each other. Where the three males of the Vali team were conversing, another person was approaching them—.
“Vali, you shouldn’t make things too difficult for Azazel-san.”
—It was Slash Dog Tobio Ikuse-san. Seeing Ikuse-san appear, Vali shrugged.
“…It’s Tobio. Since you’re here, whether it’s a matter related to Azazel or [DxD], there should be no problems.”
“But if you’re here, things should be even better, Vali.”
“I’d actually like to have a fight with you. —I’d really like to settle the scores from last time.”
Vali’s expression showed that he was ready for a fight. —But, Ikuse-san shook his head.
“If you want a fight then you should fight with the Sekiryuutei. Besides, I’m not your destined opponent.”
Hearing this, Vali laughed loudly, then turned around to leave.
“Hold on, Vali. Anyway, you should at least listen to the planned schedule after today.”
After Ikuse-san finished speaking, Vali stopped walking, and said without turning around
“…I know. But I’m going to go back up first.”
—Uhhh. …Seeing Vali readily accept someone else’s opinion, I couldn’t hide my surprise. …Woah, that guy, actually said something like that to someone other than Azazel-sensei…. Shortly after I watched their exchange, Ikuse-san noticed me and began walking over.
“Yo, Hyoudou Issei-kun. Perhaps you saw something unusual just then.”
“No, that wasn’t the case…”
“About Vali, I need to thank you for dealing with him.”
Ikuse-san thanked me.
“…It’s a surprise, that Ikuse-san would actually say something like that to me.”
“Well, I should after all that’s happened.”
Saying so, he took out a photograph. —In the photo was Ikuse-san when he was a student, as well as other boys and girls who appeared to be his companions. One of them was a girl dressed up as a magician and a brown haired delinquent. Above them there was an arrogant looking silver-haired boy. …His face had a resemblance to Vali.
“…This is an old photo? Whoa, that guy is Vali? He looks especially arrogant!”
Hearing what I said, Ikuse-san laughed.
 –jisan: old man.
“He was very arrogant. Even more arrogant than he is now.”
“The other people in the photo are also Ikuse-san’s, your companions right?”
“…Yes, they’re members of the team that was formed during the unrest four years ago. During that time, a lot of things related to Sacred Gears frequently occurred. Ever since then, I’ve been working together with them, even till now.”
Ah, that is to say, among those who help the Grigori, that was a photo of some of the members.
“In the past, I lived with Vali for a period of time, so we know each other very well. Which is why I’m saying thanks to you.”
“As I had heard that you guys were hostile towards each other, I always thought that you hated him.”
Ikuse-san also seemed somewhat confused, so I didn’t know how to respond.
“Hostile? I wouldn’t say hostile, rather that guy is too clingy, I simply try to avoid him. Every time we meet, he’s always shouting to me, he’s simply too annoying. It feels like having a troublesome little brother.”
If he said something like that to me, it really must have been a headache to deal with. Speaking of which, that guy used to be a battle maniac.
“I heard that you’re really strong Ikuse-san? If you and I were on the front lines of the battlefield together, it certainly would provide us with a lot of courage.”
I heard that every time Azazel-sensei went to a dangerous place, the guard accompanying him was Ikuse-san. Azazel-sensei even had Ikuse-san with him when he went to the Underworld to see Hades. However, Ikuse-san shook his head.
“I simply work behind the scenes. To have the Two Heavenly Dragons as an opponent or an ally, to me that is too exaggerated and doesn’t suit me.”
…He’s really quite a low-profile person. Still, for us to be able to fight on the front lines, it’s only possible because this guy and his companions are silently supporting us from behind. Forcing him to move to the front lines probably isn’t good. I suddenly realised, that at some point a large black dog had sat down beside me — I remembered that its name should be Jin. Don’t get so close to me while being silent, you little dog. The aura surrounding its body was unusual, and I could not tell what it was thinking by looking into its red eyes. Its red eyes were staring at me. …Its pupils seemed to be drawing me in, their bottomlessness would creep people out. Ikuse-san patted Jin’s head.
“Sorry about that. This guy has a habit where it likes staring into things that interest it. As a guess, it’s probably noticed the dragon which resides in your body, Hyoudou Issei.”
Really, so it was looking into my body.
“Yeah, that dog kept on staring at me. Perhaps it’s particularly interested in Heavenly Dragons.”
—That was what Ddraig said.
“…Do you want to talk to Ddraig?”
“No, I don’t think they can speak with each other. Jin can understand human language, but it’s absolutely impossible for it to speak it.”
…It is separate from the Sacred Gear. Although it seems to be a Sacred Gear, this dog still retains a dogs’ will.
“Vali was watching you rub on sunscreen before. From the looks of it, he was highly interested in the process of rubbing the butt.”
That was what happened! That guy was actually interested in the way that I was rubbing Akeno-san’s butt! I-Indeed, so Vali really belongs to the butt faction…!? However, Ikuse-san quickly followed up with
Just kidding!? I seriously believed it! You know, that guy Vali actually watched H DVDs together with me! I was happy, that he was just as I expected, he developed an interest in the female body! But, I was surprised to see that Ikuse-san actually liked to make jokes!
“Anyway, I’ll say goodbye now. You’ve shown me a good technique today.”
After saying that, he left. For someone that I don’t often speak to, it feels refreshing and good. Especially talking to someone who knew Vali before, it let me understand that guy’s other side which I didn’t know, which is unexpectedly interesting. Well, it’s time to take a look at how the timetable for applying sunscreen is going, it seems like it’s become quite noisy. Xenovia and Asia were also currently urging my manager, Ravel.
“I want to register for getting sunscreen applied!”
“…Well, I want it too.”
“W-Well then, I also want it!”
“I wonder if I should even try…”
Koneko-chan aside, even Gya-suke and Kiba want to!? They want me to apply sunscreen onto the males! They’re not kidding! Suddenly, someone put their hand on my shoulder. I turned my head to look, it was actually Dulio. He looked at the scene and laughed.
“Oh—, whether it’s between boys or girls, Issei-san seems to be very popular. Hmm, well how about I ask you to help me to apply sunscreen to see how good it is?”
“Spare me from this…”
At this time, I could do nothing but helplessly lower my head. In this way, the day ended.
The next day, during lunch break.
I happened to come across the first year students in the school courtyard — Koneko-chan, Ravel, Gasper, and began talking to them after lunch. —At that time, the Church Trio and Kiryuu appeared. They distributed leaflets to the students who walked past.
“Come over, everyone! Please take a look at this! On these leaflets are proposals from the next Student Council President Xenovia! She’s a girl who can do anything if she puts her mind to it!”
“Here, please look after me in the future. Please cast a vote for Xenovia-san.”
“I pray that you make an honest vote! In any case, please!”
Irina, Kiryuu and Asia were enthusiastically handing out the leaflets to the students. Well, because it was currently the election period, the corridors were lined with handmade posters. The posters were of Xenovia assuming the pose of the Blessed Virgin Mary, along with [I will bring true peace to Kuoh Academy! I hope you vote honestly!] in large text, creating a rather strange environment. —However, given that Xenovia was originally a transfer student from overseas, along with her personality, which were widely known throughout the school, the general opinion of her posters and leaflets from students was [I really like her style], which was a surprisingly good response. …These Kuoh Academy students, could be described as tolerant, calm, and often curious. Next, Asia (helps out with the election campaign during lunchtime), Irina, and Kiryuu accompanied Xenovia’s entrance into the courtyard. She hung a sash with her own name over her shoulder, and began to speak when she had reached the middle of the path.
“Ah—, fellow students of Kuoh Academy, how are you. I am a candidate for this year’s Student Council President election, second year Xenovia. I hope that everyone will listen to my speech. Once I become President—”
Oh—, she boldly dropped the [Desumasuchō] honorific, and she’s using her usual manner of speech. That’s truly to Xenovia’s style. The students stopped walking, and listened to her speech, whilst occasionally male students would yell out
“Yo! Xenovia-san, go for it!” whereas the female students cried out
“I’m looking forward to you, Xenovia-chan”
and similar words of support or encouragement. Koneko-chan said while watching from afar
“…Xenovia-senpai is considered someone who is well known within the school, so as soon as she starts a speech, she naturally becomes surrounded by a crowd.”
Simply being a foreign girl was enough to catch people’s attention, not to mention the fact that she’s accompanied by Asia and Irina who, like her, are also highly popular people in the school. Not only the male students, even the female students are interested in her.
“Her style is completely different to that of Sona-zenkaichou, which has also attracted the attention of a lot of people.”
Ravel added. That was why she had become the centre of attention. The previous President on one hand had a robust working capability, and on the other hand was also able to listen to the opinions of the students, resulting in a flexible response. Naturally the opposite of the Student Council President who gained the students’ trust by producing tangible results, the Sports Clubs type Xenovia was more of an athlete. Of course, the students want to know the reason why she’s a candidate. However, just when Xenovia had attracted everyone’s attention, another candidate for Student Council President, Hanakai-san happened to walk past, and began exchanging greetings with the students.
“Hello everyone, how have things been recently?”
Hanakai-san was wearing a calm smile like that of Sona-zenkaichou whilst greeting the students. I heard that she truly respected Sona-zenkaichou, so I think this is naturally reflected in her behaviour and attitude.
“Good luck, Hanakai-san, I’m rooting for you.”
“I’ll be voting for you.”
Girls from the same year were cheering for her. I think I’ve heard people say that the people supporting Hanakai-san were mostly honour students. …However, being Sona-zenkaichou’s successor isn’t easy. When I was a new student to the school, Sona-zenkaichou was already the Student Council President. That is to say, she led Kuoh Academy as the Student Council President for two consecutive years. Hanakai-san probably wants to succeed her position. The person who walked up beside Hanakai-san was the candidate for Vice-President — Saji, there were also students who wanted to greet him.
“Hey, Saji, I’ll cast a vote for you as Vice-President, but you have to give my extra-curricular activities preferential treatment.”
An energetic looking male student half-jokingly said to him
“They’re two different things, I hope you can make an honest vote.”
Saji muttered something with his eyes half open, the male student then quickly laughed out loud.
“Hahaha, just kidding. I’ll vote for you.”
“Seriously, that’s what people from the Sports Clubs are like.”
Saji sighed…but I heard that it was this guy’s serious personality and resourcefulness that was liked, thus receiving great support from the Sports Clubs, especially the male students of the Sports Clubs who trust him. I also heard that a female student who just transferred in, was running in the election for secretary or treasurer. According to the rumours, it was a beautiful foreign girl…but I haven’t even seen her around. Then, I also heard that a famous male honour student from the first year was entering the election. But I didn’t get the details of that guy’s information, so I don’t really know much about it….
“That girl Xenovia, I don’t know if she’ll be able to beat Hanakai-san.”
I quietly whispered. …Xenovia’s opponent was Hanakai-san, she was often accompanying Sona-zenkaichou in the Student Council, and was more concerned about the Student Council than other people.
 Desumasuchō means “polite tone”.
“…I heard from a friend in the News Club, that it’s currently six to four, with Xenovia-senpai in a disadvantaged position. Hanakai-senpai has not only worked alongside Sona-zenkaichou, she’s also produced tangible results, so the support from the students for her is relatively high.”
“Well, that’s fair. But, there’s actually forty percent who support Xenovia.”
Forty percent — that’s not too bad. For a new person as a candidate to have such a level of support at this time, I think that there’s hope for a reversal. If it was only ten or twenty percent…the truth would be that loss was certain.
“…She’s a foreigner, an outstanding athlete, able to get along with anyone, so this kind of personality makes her popular amongst both the male and female students. Especially with the first year female students, she’s incredibly popular.”
“It seems that to the first year female students, she’s a very handsome woman, so her popularity is very high.”
Gasper said from behind Koneko-chan. Popularity with the first year female students.
“Xenovia-senpai! I’m supporting you!”
“Xenovia-oneesama! I’ll definitely vote for you!”
Seeing this situation, it was evident that she indeed had a lot of female first year students around her. Because Xenovia was slightly boyish, for those of the same gender — especially from the perspective of the junior female students, she should be very handsome.
“Thank you, I’ll work hard.”
After Xenovia replied with a smile to them, they sharply cried out
in a shrill voice. Ravel suddenly said
“I heard that among Xenovia-sama’s supporters, half of those votes would be unshakeable.”
“Oh, why is that?”
To my question, Ravel replied
“Because these people, are all girls from the sports clubs that Xenovia-sama has helped before, or were students that she helped when they experienced difficulties at school. Xenovia-sama was naturally born with this type of personality, she won’t turn her back on anyone who’s having trouble with anything. From the time before she was a candidate to be Student Council President or when she was an ordinary student, she was just quietly concerned about things in the school, that’s the reason for it.”
Perhaps it was also because of Xenovia’s athleticism, as she often helped out the girls’ sports clubs. Although there are some difficulties each time she received invitations to help out, by helping these people, she looked very happy. Her sense of justice is also stronger than most people, so she’ll definitely come to the aid of any student in need. I think that her kindness and deeds have accumulated over time, creating a group of unshakeable supporters for her. With this, it feels like the election campaign was really effective. …The students of the school have created a new Kuoh Academy. This time last year, I felt that moving to the second year was very natural.
“I’m a third year student now.”
I said to myself. Koneko-chan tugged on my sleeve. Gasper and Ravel were also smiling at me.
“In the next year, we’ll be there.”
Koneko-chan said to me. Aahhh, Koneko-sama is really good at reading people’s minds. I moved close to the three of them, and said
“Yes, I know. After one year, you need to take care more, my cute kouhai-tachi.”
—This time it’s my turn to lead these kids forwards. This is my role as their senior.
“But as a devil, we’re the seniors.”
Koneko-chan put me down again! I can’t stand it, I know already!
After school, Rias, Akeno-san and Xenovia all concluded the day’s extra-curricular activities, and we gathered together. Everyone reached a consensus, and we prepared to go to the neighbouring town’s Taiyaki shop together to eat.
“I think that aside from bean paste filled Taiyaki, the rest are wrong.”
“But, the ones with custard are also hard to let go of.”
“…Originally they were wheat flour, sugar and eggs. Since these ingredients are also used to make baked pastries, bean paste, custard, or chocolate can be used.”
Rias sticks to the original, Ravel likes custard, whilst there’s no problem for Koneko-chan as long as it’s a pastry, and the discussion of desserts by the girls became very passionate. Watching this pleasant and peaceful everyday scene, we prepared to pass the corner on a residential street.
We suddenly felt an indescribable surge of pressure, and everyone instantly assumed a battle stance! …What’s going on, this feeling is…? A powerful wave of pressure could be felt approaching. It couldn’t be called killing intent, but by no means did it seem benevolent…. However, it was certain that we felt an unknown person’s clear intent! Everyone was looking around warily. —At this time, Xenovia’s appearance seemed very strange. Her hands were violently trembling.
“…How, this restless feeling is…. Durandal…?”
Although she used her left hand to hold on to her trembling right hand, her left hand itself was trembling slightly. Koneko-chan’s ears perked up, they seemed to have discovered something, and she turned to face a certain direction. Everyone else followed her gaze and looked in that direction! Looking in that direciton — there stood a white-haired man draped in vestments!“Buon giorno, young devils.”
This person’s face was covered with wrinkles, only going by the appearance of his face, he should be a foreign old man over eighty years old. However, the body below his face contradicted this idea. An unimaginably thick neck, a thick chest, arms the size of tree trunks, legs which are probably the size of my waist…! The greatest point was his height, which looked like it was roughly two metres…? This was an ideal young body, which completely didn’t match his elderly face!
That old man’s figure…vanished in an instant! Where did he go!? Where did he disappear to!? No, I didn’t shift my eyes away!? There was no noise, nor were there any movements, he disappeared just like that! Someone suddenly placed their hand on my shoulder.
When I turned my head to look, it was that tall and large old man! He moved behind my back in the blink of an eye!? On top of that, he was also right in the middle of our formation! None of my companions could even respond!? They pulled back to increase their distance, and prepared to fight! —But, a smile formed on that old man’s wrinkled face. He said in a gruff voice
“I’ve come from the Vatican, my name is Vasco Strada.”
……Uhhh!? …T-This old guy, was the previous wielder of Durandal!? An important person of the Church! One of the people behind the rebellion! Hearing his name, my companions became even more tense! I also tried to move — but there was an enormous amount of pressure on my shoulder. …It almost felt as if my heart was being gripped. Damn it…. How many times have I survived these desperate situations…right now I just let someone put their hand on my shoulder, and it turned out like this…! This old guy, what kind of person is this! Vasco Strada turned to face Xenovia.
“Warrior Xenovia, it looks like you became a devil?”
“…Your Eminence Strada, it’s been a long time since we last saw each other.”
Xenovia’s expression was very serious, with beads of cold sweat all over her face. Normally she would act tough, but in front of this old guy, she’s become more nervous than ever! The old man released his grip on my shoulder. It was like unfastening the bindings on my body, and I could move my body freely again. …Is this really an old man over eighty…uh! I was shocked. It’s the same as what Xenovia and Azazel-sensei estimated, it feels like his strength is so powerful that no one could imagine that it belonged to an old man! Vasco Strada took out an object from his clothing.
“This is for you.”
—It was a letter. The old guy handed the letter to Rias. Rias carefully received the letter in her hands.
“—It’s a challenge letter. We want to formally make a challenge to you guys.”
Hearing his announcement, we were shocked! Of course! Because this was the person himself, alone, giving us a challenge letter! This guy must be really courageous, heroic, or not value his life at all to come here declaring a challenge alone! What happened was far too sudden, and everyone’s face was tense! Rias’s body was shaking, her anger was about to explode!
“You’ve got to be joking. Do you even know what the current situation is right now? Even if you’re one of the high ranking people in the Church—”
Before she could finish speaking, there was an index finger right in front of her! The old man turned his finger left and right, while his mouth made a tsk-tsk-tsk sound.
“The Maou’s younger sister. —Is really young, too young in fact.”
……Whoa! Seeing this old man’s attitude, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and got in between them! I stood in front of Rias to protect her! I then faced the other side to speak!
“…I won’t let you touch this person, no matter who you are!”
 Kouhai-tachi: Group of juniors.
 Taiyaki is a fish shaped cake usually with a sweet stuffing inside. See Wikipedia.
 Vestments: The liturgical garments worn by the clergy. See Wikipedia.
 Buon Giourno: Italian for hello / good day.
Hearing this, the old man paused for a moment — but very quickly revealed an extremely satisfied smile. His enormous hand approached me — and heartily rubbed my head.
“…Not a bad look, young devil.”
……Uh! I felt that I was being belittled, so I smacked his hand away! —But, the old man had already disappeared from sight at some point, and moved to a spot a considerable distance away! …Again there were no signs of his movement that could be detected! Is he moving at a high speed? Can he make people feel as though there’s no scent or sound? The old man turned to face a certain direction and said
“—Very well, Your Eminence Legrenzi, please make your declaration.”
After he finished speaking, a very small figure appeared—. This was a black-haired boy who appeared to be the size of a fifth or sixth grade elementary schooler. Although he had a childlike face, he had a majestic presence. Furthermore, he was clothed in the same vestments as Vasco Strada. The old man addressed him as [Your Eminence ] . From the looks of it, that boy at his age already has a position which deserves such an address. Perhaps aware of this, Rias asked the boy
“You’re Teodoro Legrenzi?”
“That is correct, I am Teodoro Legrenzi.”
The boy nodded his head, and replied with certainty! …What is this! One of the people behind the rebellion, whose identity was said to be a mysterious high ranking person…it was inconceivable that it would be an eleven or twelve year old boy! My companions had the same reaction as me, upon knowing the boys identity, we couldn’t our surprise. The young Cardinal’s body was shaking nervously, but he spoke in loud voice!
“I…need to protect the rights and views of the exorcists! Although you are ‘good’ devils, there is also a need to eradicate the evil devils and vampires! To unilaterally deprive them of judgement for their sins — I cannot accept this! Even if this goes against Archangel Michael-sama’s will…only this, only this I cannot accept!”
Although the boy was trembling, his eyes maintained a strong sense of determination. As if in response to his words, we became surrounded by a myriad of warriors who emerged, and prevented our escape. Looking closely, there were male priests, as well as female warriors who wore uniform similar to that of Xenovia and Irina, there were many of them, thus surrounding us. …They were probably the warriors who were following the people such as the Cardinals in the rebellion. I could also see several white-haired priests. …They were probably warriors who came from the same organisation that Freed previously belonged to. Seeing them, I couldn’t help thinking about that guy and Siegfried. Just from those that I could see, there were more than a dozen warriors here. To be able to bring so many people here, certainly wasn’t an easy feat…. To be honest, I thought that all that was needed to become an outsider was to step outside Kuoh town. …I can’t stand it, every time we venture far, we get attacked, there’s no stopping it. I want to ask whether we really have any freedom or not. Among us, the first to ready their weapon — was Xenovia. She seemed to have controlled her trembling, and removed Durandal from the other dimension, holding it in her hands. Xenovia pointed the sword at Vasco Strada.
“…Your Eminence Strada.”
The old man’s wrinkled face showed a slight smile.
“Warrior Xenovia, are you able to use Durandal well?”
This sentence seemed to have lit her fuse, and Xenovia charged forwards with Durandal!
“See for yourself, actions speak louder than words. This is what Durandal’s wielder should be like!”
The old priest did not seem to have the intention to evade, and prepared to take Xenovia’s attack head on! Ex-Durandal’s blade was carrying an immense amount of holy energy, and if this one hit was received entirely, no one could possibly remain unscratched! The attack landed — in an instant! Xenovia’s strike was stopped! She maintained her swinging posture motionlessly. No, she couldn’t move at all! —Because Vasco Strada, had used one finger to block Durandal! …That can’t be real! To actually use a single finger to block Xenovia’s attack!? Even if it was a devil with a considerable amount of skill and training, they wouldn’t be able to do something like that!? Moreover, the opponent is a human, an old guy over the age of eighty!
Seeing this result, Xenovia was bitterly gritting her teeth.
“It looks like you’re far from it.”
Vasco Strada shook his head. …The aura covering Durandal was gradually disappearing! This old guy was the previous wielder, so he should be very familiar with how to control Durandal. However, was one finger all that was required to do this!? Seeing this situation, I really wanted to support Xenovia, but the warriors surrounding us were still watching us, and most importantly, I couldn’t see a single opening on that old guy’s body! If we could use a large area to attack, it should be possible to overcome this situation. But this was a residential street. It was impossible to do anything more extreme than that! It looks like my companions were doing the same as me, they didn’t know how they should attack!
“Xenovia! Your Excellency! Forgive me for being rude!”
Charging like her friend, Irina spread her white wings, and rushed towards the opponent at high speed! Held in her hand was the holy sword Hauteclere! Just before her attack was about to hit the old priest, a figure inserted itself between the two! It was a black-haired, middle-aged man dressed in vestments, he was resisting Irina’s attack head on! Seeing the person who was blocking her attack, Irina was astonished!
The man that Irina addressed was holding a sword which was capable of emitting a holy aura. It was that sword which was currently blocking Irina’s Hauteclere. Cristaldi—. That was definitely what Irina called him. It looks like this middle-aged man was the third person behind the rebellion — Ewald Cristaldi! He was the famous previous wielder of Excalibur! Ewald Cristaldi used the weapon in his hands to push Irina back, then he said
“…Warrior Irina, you shouldn’t limit your vision so narrowly.”
…This man’s body also didn’t appear to have any openings. —But, there was one person, who rushed towards him with a sword!
“The previous wielder of Excalibur…!”
It was Kiba! He was wielding a holy-demonic sword, pointing it at Ewald Cristaldi!
“Come on! Let’s decide this!”
With a single breath, he quickly closed the distance between the two of them, and dashed towards the person who was known as the Church warriors’ teacher! The opponent turned to face Kiba’s high speed attack — barely evading it by twisting his body! It was a body twist that had no wasteful movements! Kiba continued attacking whilst mixing in some feints, even producing afterimages whilst attacking nonstop, but this still seemed to be within the expectations of Ewald Cristaldi and he used his sword to fend off the attacks! My eyes couldn’t even keep up with that man’s sword movements! This can’t be real! Not only is he able to keep up high speed combat with Kiba, he’s actually able to evade as well!? Even during combat training, I had no way of blocking all of Kiba’s attacks! That man spoke whilst he was evading Kiba’s attacks
“Holy-demonic swords? So you’re the survivor of the Holy Sword Project? You’re movements aren’t bad.”
He fiercely swung his sword! Receiving this blow, Kiba suddenly fell onto the pavement! The aftermath of that attack destroyed the road, producing a crater!
Kiba seemed to have difficulty breathing and the sounds of his groaning could be heard!
“—But, if you’re comparing me to someone lowly like Freed, I will be very difficult you know?”
Ewald Cristaldi gave him a glance, then sheathed his sword. …I’m just guessing, that sword…is it somehow related to Excalibur? I remember that kind of high speed sword movement and the destructive power dealt to Kiba’s body. That’s right, it’s exactly the same ability as Excalibur.
“Kiba, Xenovia, Irina!”
Just when Rias and I had made up our minds, ready to step forward, Vasco Strada made a gesture towards us, beckoning us to stop.
“Princess of the Gremory family, we came here, not to start a war, but to make a final announcement. I hope you can understand this.”
Once the old man said this — the warriors who were surrounding us silently withdrew.
“…So, it would be best if we put away our weapons.”
Seeing this, Rias stopped walking, and responded. The previous wielder of Durandal — Vasco Strada, the previous Excalibur wielder — Ewald Cristaldi, and the young Cardinal all turned around together in preparation to leave.
“—Let us say goodbye, young warriors.”
After simply saying this, the group of rebels left—.
Xenovia didn’t make a sound, holding on to Durandal while she appeared to be upset.
“…Why, would conflict arise between their own people.”
Irina looked depressed, sitting on the floor.
After challenging the wielder of Excalibur and being easily defeated, Kiba expressed his feelings, heavily punching the ground with his fist. …The battle of people related to holy swords was about to begin again.
 This honorific is for high ranking religious officials.
(Part 8 of 8)(12/7)
Continues on to Life.2 Various Decisive Battles!