To be continued…
This is what happened on the day of the party to celebrate Xenovia becoming the Student Council President. That day, after the commotion of the party mostly subsided, Azazel-sensei gathered everyone of the Occult Research Club in the lab. Sensei just briefly explained the reason why he called us to the lab…but it was really shocking news! Deep inside the lab, after passing through several stringently arranged doors, we arrived before a rather isolated intensive care room. Through the glass, we could see Valerie Tepes who was connected to numerous machines. Because the Holy Grail which was taken by Qlippoth had not been returned to her, she was in a state where she couldn’t wake up. The two people who entered the intensive care room were — Gasper and Azazel-sensei. Gasper who went to Valerie’s side gently stroked his benefactor’s hair. Apparently Gasper came here every two days, telling her what had happened every day while she was still asleep. Those two people who rarely saw each other…were clearly in front of each other, yet felt so far away; that guy always had a lonesome expression when he spoke to her. After Azazel-sensei placed his briefcase onto the table and opened it, he took something out of it. It was a necklace with some kind of fragment in the centre—. That fragment — was the fragment of the Holy Grail which was obtained from Vasco Strada a few days ago. So the reason why sensei called us here today was…to use the fragment of the real Holy Grail so that Valerie could awaken! When we heard about this news earlier, we were all really surprised! The fragment of the Holy Grail which we got from that muscular jisan could actually do this…. The Grigori was able to make a necklace using that fragment. Sensei walked over to Valerie who was lying on the bed with it. Through a set of speakers, we were able to hear the conversation inside the room.
“…Can Valerie really wake up with that?”
Gasper asked sensei with moist eyes. Sensei revealed a gentle smile and said
“Ah, I said before that this was insufficient to replace the Holy Grail within this girl’s body. This is a necklace made from a genuine fragment of the Holy Grail, so if it’s worn by her, then perhaps—”
Sensei quietly placed the necklace around Valerie’s neck. After silently observing for a while—.
A noise was emitted from Valerie’s mouth! After continuing to observe for a while, albeit slowly, her eyes were gradually opening! The lights made Valerie who was looking up at the ceiling feel uncomfortable for a moment.
It seemed like she was conscious. Gasper’s face approached hers. His face — had already been crying. Even so, Gasper still tried to smile and asked Valerie
“…Valerie. Do you know, it’s me?”
Facing Gasper who was holding her hand, Valerie smiled.
“……Ara, if this isn’t Gasper. Good morning.”
That blank tone — was exactly the same as Valerie Tepe’s when we met her in the Vampire’s country.
Gasper, who couldn’t control his emotions, kept on shouting Valerie’s name as he cried on her chest. He probably wanted to see her again, and probably wanted to talk to her again. This was because when we rescued her, she — was already unconscious. Valerie gently patted Gasper who was crying on her chest.
“Ufufu, it really is Gasper! What is it? Such a crybaby.”
…I…could only shed tears as I watched them. But, it was great! It really was great! I didn’t think that it was actually possible to wake her up in this way! Looking closely, all of us were crying as we watched Gasper and Valerie’s reunion. Ah, that’s right! It really is too good, Gya-suke! There was no longer anyone who could hinder these two now! Not possible! If there was someone like that, I, Gasper, and everyone definitely wouldn’t forgive them! Sensei heaved a sigh of relief as he watched those two.
“This really was a serious gamble. As an emergency measure, isn’t it good that it went well?”
Sensei said to Gasper as he lifted his head.
“Listen carefully, Gasper. There is one thing that you have to keep in mind. Firstly, she always has to wear this necklace. I can’t guarantee what will happen if she goes outside. Also, as long as we haven’t recovered Valerie’s Holy Grail which is in Qlippoth’s hands, she can’t go outside. After this, the area immediately around the Hyoudou household — the apartments that you and Kiba live in are also included in this area, will have a special barrier. That is to say, as long as she’s wearing the necklace, she’ll be fine as long as she doesn’t leave this area.”
I see, so this awakening was just a temporary measure; if her original Holy Grail isn’t returned to her, she won’t be able to obtain true freedom. So that’s why a special barrier had to be erected around my house to allow her to safely move about. Rias spoke to sensei who was in the treatment room through the glass.
“…His Eminence Strada, while losing the challenge, he gave us a lot of useful things.”
“That’s what that man is like. He’ll find a reason just to give that to us. He’s the type that uses his fists to communicate. He got rid of the rebellion’s dissatisfaction, and at the same time, didn’t forget to think about us. That’s the kind of man he is.”
…No matter whether it was Asia, Kiba, Xenovia, or even Gasper; they were all saved by that jisan Strada’s consideration. That jisan…had prepared all of that before he even stood before us. Sensei said
“…I guess it could be thought of as insurance.”
Hearing my question, sensei continued.
“In the worst case scenario where it isn’t possible for us to recover Valerie’s Holy Grail from those guys, we also have the option of destroying it. …If the Holy Grail was being abused by those guys”
Well, that is to say, the possibility of that also exists. Although I wanted to retrieve it, if it became a situation where it was only possible to choose either the world or the Holy Grail…. I was filled with the desire to return it, and if it became possible, I would risk my life for it. However, it wasn’t surprising that there were people who were worried about the worst possible scenario. Sensei muttered
“However, in the hands of those guys, they’ll probably use Valerie’s Holy Grail like a shield. That guy Strada, he clearly knew about the enemy’s approach, but he’s also able to understand our side when things like this happen.”
Shield, huh. Ah, that bastard Rizevim would probably do something like that happily. In other words, that jisan Strada thought about this a while ago.
“The higher ups of the Church provided the fragment of the Holy Grail to reduce our hesitation in the scenario where we would confront Rizevim but he would use Valerie’s Holy Grail as a shield.”
“Ah, that’s right, Rias. It would dampen the resolve of the members of [DxD]; it could be said that Strada and the Church thought that a single fragment of a Holy Relic, the Holy Grail was rather inexpensive in comparison. Well, in the event that you guys who are at the forefront have to face Valerie’s Holy Grail which is used as a shield, the Holy Grail is of no significance if the world is destroyed.”
Compared to fighting against Qlippoth on the front lines for the various mythologies, a fragment of the real Holy Grail could be said to be a cheap price to ease our concerns.
“It’s best to reduce our worries as much as possible. To be honest, this is a great benefit for us psychologically.”
Rossweisse-san felt impressed by that jisan Strada’s actions.
“Regardless of whether it was Yuuto-senpai’s comrade, or this fragment of the Holy Grail, they were handed to us through that rebellion. To apologise for causing this rebellion in this way…”
Koneko-chan’s words made Kiba close his eyes.
“…In order to give these to us, he intentionally took on the responsibility for it. Although it was an aggressive approach, when Trihexa’s revival becomes a threat, coupled with Rizevim’s schemes, this would certainly be a good thing…”
“Regardless of whether it was the fragment of the Holy Grail, or the survivor of the [Holy Sword Project], they were secrets within the Church. It’s definitely not something which comes free to us. That’s because of their long battle against Devils and Fallen Angels. Using the unrest within the Church to give us these. —Strada is a tough guy to deal with.”
Although sensei spoke in a reluctant tone, there was a sense of admiration in it. Because a precious fragment of the real Holy Grail was given to Devils and Vampires who are their enemies, complex situations and feelings would arise within the Church, but even so, there was nothing that could be done about their dissatisfaction. It seemed that after being questioned, that jisan Strada was imprisoned along with Ewald Cristaldi. …Without any excuses, he willingly took responsibility for it. They claimed that there was little room for consideration between the higher ups of the Three Factions, hence the rebellion was not entirely useless. …However, they still had to bear some punishment…. I shook my head, and changed my mood.
“Well, even so, I’m still filled with the desire to get Valerie’s Holy Grail back.”
I firmly declared. Of course, what was stolen definitely had to be returned. Regarding this, [of course] everyone unanimously agreed. Sensei suddenly asked Kiba
“—Say, Kiba. How is the comrade that you just reunited with?”
He was talking about Tosca-san. Kiba said shyly
“E-Eh! Ba…basically, after we told her about what’s happened these past few years, and also about Kuoh town, I introduced her to everyone. I feel like there are a lot of things she doesn’t understand, so she will need me and everyone to teach her various things next.”
Yes, going between the apartments that Kiba lived in and the Hyoudou household, Tosca-san began to learn about various things. As she had never left the Church’s facilities, there were many culture shocks for her, so Asia and Xenovia who had similar experiences were helping her. It seemed like her top priority was to learn Japanese first. When Kiba spoke — as if possessed by something, he seemed to have a gentle expression. …To become a sheath to this guy that I’ve always been concerned about. Kiba had said that he was determined to protect her forever. For it to become like this, I’m worried for Shinra-senpai…. But Shinra-senpai didn’t seem to have given up.
“Yes, a very powerful rival! Anyway, I also need to win over Hyoudou-kun!”
—She was in high spirits. I’m also counted as a rival!? Seriously, please give me a break, Shinra-senpai! Sensei suddenly confessed
“…Phew, somehow my worries are disappearing one by one on their own. After that, I’m just waiting for you guys to grow and defeat Qlippoth.”
Sensei’s words were full of expectations! Please wait a little longer for that! That side had gathered formidable enemies, so just preparing for that would take a lot of effort! —Suddenly, Akeno-san seemed to have been contacted by someone, so she created a magic circle on the floor for communication. Projected out from it was Sona-zenkaichou.
“Rias, is it convenient for you at the moment?”
Her expression was rather tense.
“What is it, Sona? For you to contact me so urgently…”
“It’s about Raiser Phoenix’s game…”
“Come to think of it, it’s not surprising for the results to be released around this time.”
Yes, we had already been contacted by Ravel to tell us that Raiser’s game would be today. But, the tension on Sona-zenkaichou’s expression intensified.
To Rias who asked in surprise, Sona-zenkaichou broke the silence.
“Raiser Phoenix and Ravel-san—”
That sentence carried with it a dreadful sense of foreboding—.
Continues on to Top Secret