Continues on from Deterrence
Long time no see, it’s Ishibumi Ichiei.
The final battle of the fourth arc has begun! Volume 20 went on sale prior to DX. The previous volume’s afterword mentioned that this would be Vali’s volume, but Issei became the main character, so I also turned Vali into more of a lead character. For myself, when I was planning volume 20, I thought ‘Perhaps Issei would be better?’ so I completely revised it. So that’s how it became Issei’s volume. Volume 21 will be Vali’s volume. I think the final battle of the fourth arc should be led by the Two Heavenly Dragons.
Another thing I have to say is, I was a bit confused as to whether this volume should have some ero scenes, but the atmosphere of the previous volume was quite tense, so none of the characters would feel like that before Ravel appeared, and in relation to that incident, Issei was unexpectedly serious; so I rejected it, this simply has to be serious, so I’m sorry. Please rely on the erotic parts of DX to make up for this before the end of the fourth arc. However, since this is the climax of the fourth arc, it will have to be serious anyway. Well, let me explain the various elements from the beginning now.
After Issei’s power up
Issei was always troubled about whether to tell his parents about his true identity. I actually planned to hide it until the very end. But, this memorable twentieth volume is Issei’s own volume, so for him, I think the most important thing is his relationship with his parents. For this reason, there was a very dramatic development this time. There should be no event better than the power up right? But, something more painful than death is headed towards him this time. It is the price of Dragon Deification. Next volume, please read it with this in mind.
The combination technique with Rias, Asia’s Balance Breaker, and Rias’ armour with the combination technique
The armour is similar to that of Issei’s where the entire body is equipped with a tight fitting armour — it would be correct to think of it as the same suit of armour. The feeling is the same as a certain iron O . Speaking of which, this is something which I thought of several years ago, and I was finally able to write about it now. The baka-uple came out together with their armour on. In this case, Rias is able to fight on the front lines to some extent.
Asia’s Balance Breaker; for a certain amount of time, and in certain areas, it expands an extraordinary healing field, and is an ability which can completely nullify any injuries. Rather than dispelling Rizevim’s attacks, it could be said that they couldn’t penetrate Asia’s healing field at all. That’s why it looks as though his attacks were cancelled by the barrier. Fafnir’s dragon aura was also added on. It is supposed to have high defensive strength, so it became a barrier which could block attacks. The aura feels the same as wearing armour. I previous said to the editor that I wanted to write this for the two main heroines, Rias and Asia, and it’s finally appeared now. The name will appear in the next volume. Even if it has just debuted, I will let her have an active performance in the final battle of the fourth arc.
Rizevim’s final moments
I’ve been writing the fourth arc for a few years now. This was Rizevim’s last moment. Perhaps some people were surprised that he died in this volume, but I originally planned to have him die at the beginning of the battle during the finale of the fourth arc, as some would expect. I was continually thinking about the people who would defeat him. At the earliest stage, I wanted Vali to defeat him alone. But, he is his real grandfather after all, so even if he hated him, letting Vali do it directly was really…it would actually feel difficult. Perhaps the readers also had similar ideas and believed that Rizevim would beg for mercy at the end. And that Issei would also beat him up mercilessly. This volume, he used to power of Dragon Deification to corner him, and even shattered Rizevim’s pride. Finally, there’s Fafnir who chose to deal the final blow. Fafnir has had a symbolic role in the fourth arc, he is an incarnation of peace as Asia’s guardian. Rizevim harmed Asia in Heaven, which angered Fafnir. Upholding the virtues of a dragon, I depicted him as a very persistent creature that protected his treasures. That’s it! That’s what I thought. That’s why for Rizevim’s death, I chose Fafnir to be the one who defeated him at the very end. Rizevim used the resurrected Evil Dragons, but at the end he was ridiculed by Apophis and Aži Dahāka, and then betrayed. In the end, he was insulted even further and then died. But, how should I say this, all of the people who hurt Asia die miserably.
Trihexa, Apophis and Aži Dahāka
As the final enemies of the fourth arc, the leaders of the army of Evil Dragons, Apophis and Aži Dahāka will be going to war. Unlike Rizevim, they’re pure, bold and fearless dragons, facing off against [DxD] as their dignified and imposing enemy. I haven’t allowed them to appear until now, as I planned to make them the final enemies of the arc, which would result in a direct clash to determine the winner. Trihexa also finally revived. It is a beast outside all specifications. It’s a beast even more powerful than Jabberwocky that appeared at the end of the third arc…so, what will happen to the world in this critical situation?
The Darkness of the Rating Games
This volume talked a lot about the internal things of the Rating Game. However, this is the case too often in real life as well. But our culture and values are different to Devils, so from our point of view, the impact should be quite different. This will be described in the next volume. In fact, it was also for future expansion that there was a lot of foreshadowing. …Please look forward to it.
First person, third person
The prologue and final chapter of this volume were both written in the third person. I’m afraid that this is the ninth time that DxD has been written like this. Originally, I also wrote my books in the third person, while DxD was mainly written in the first person as a truak. This time, I wanted to try mixing in the third person for use in DxD. The feeling would probably be quite different, but the seriousness and urgency of dialogue in third person narration is shown much more easily.
Next are the acknowledgements. Miyama-zero-sama, editor H-sama, as well as other people, in these past few years, I’m sorry for dragging things out, I’ve given you a lot of inconveniences. Well, the flames of the final battle of the fourth arc have been ignited…it will be written in the same way as volumes 11 and 12 of the third arc, where the climax is very fun to write. The ending of the fourth arc will be written with this momentum. Volumes 21 is next…having said that though, to be released next is the second volume of DX. It will be bundled with a limited edition anime BD. The short story from volume 13 [The Unresurrected Phoenix]. For the readers who like Ravel, please I hope you can recover a bit here! So stay tuned for the final battle of the fourth arc!
Finally, there are a few more lines, so please allow me to say something selfishly. While I was preparing volume 20, my most beloved mother passed away. In these few lines, please allow me to honour my mother and father  who have passed away. Father, mother, I still have a lot of work that I need to deliver to my fans, so I can’t go over to your side. Although I haven’t completed my duty of filial piety to you in this world, I hope I can finish it on the other side. I’m sorry. But, I am very happy to be the child of you two. Thank you so much.
 I believe that this is a reference to Iron Man (某アイOンマンですね).
 Ishibumi addresses his parents as tou-chan and kaa-chan.
(End of High School DxD Volume 20) (22/2)