The [DxD] team was currently gathered in the VIP room which was in the upper level of the Hyoudou residence.
I — Hyoudou Issei, the Gremory household that I belonged to, the Sitris, [Brave Saints], Azazel-sensei, and other members were all firmly focused on the video which was projected onto the screen in front of us. Shown on the screen were the Underworld’s TV channels, all of which were news programs, the text at the bottom of the screen read things like:
[Sudden accident in the Rating Game!?]
[Champion Belial has disappeared during the middle of the match!]
[Phoenix family’s third son, eldest daughter and Champion have disappeared together!]
……That’s right, the information that Sona-zenkaichou received was the same as that which was displayed on the bottom of the screen right now; something had happened in the match between Raiser and Champion Belial. During the match, in a corner of the arena which was a blind spot for the camera — the two people had continued their fight in a dome shaped cavern. Raiser, the Champion and Ravel who was also present had all suddenly disappeared. After we learned of this news, we once again confirmed the information. We then watched the video recording of the game. Indeed, after they entered a cave which was not captured by a camera, something which we could not see occurred, and the three of them had simply vanished. Only by looking at the recording from outside the cave, it may have been related to a blue light which was emitted from the entrance of the cave. It was determined that the light came from inside the cave.
There was still no news about the three people who had disappeared. Taking into account the current situation, the game managers, the Underworld’s government, army and police force had all begun to take action. …To stop my body from trembling, I was clenching my fists. ……Ravel! Raiser! My precious kohai, and manager Ravel. She had agreed to support me in my path to achieving my ambitions… …Raiser as well; after his trauma, it was finally his comeback match. He had once given up, but he had now stood up once again with a reignited passion. He was obviously looking forward to the match with the Champion more than anyone else… Having noticed the anger, sadness and anxiety in my heart, Rias wrapped her hand around my fist. Rias asked Azazel-sensei
“So, the whereabouts of Raiser, Ravel and the Champion Diehauser Belial-sama are all unknown right?”
Sensei raised his index finger and said
“Firstly, what can be confirmed is that before the three people disappeared, the game system’s emergency program was triggered.”
—Hmm! ……The game system’s emergency program? What was that? I had never heard of it before. Aside from Rias and Sona-zenkaichou, some people knew about it, but all the other members were the same as me and had clueless expressions. After Sona-zenkaichou saw our reactions, she began to explain.
“Originally, in order to respond to any kinds of situations, there was a corresponding set of procedures for professional Rating Games. For example, if the location of the match was destroyed more than was expected, then they would initiate a procedure to repair it.”
…That is to say, these emergency procedures were designed to respond to events and situations which went beyond what was expected. That was what happened in the match between Raiser and the Champion.
“So what happened?”
After Rias asked that, I went forward to ask sensei
“Is it possible that Qlippoth attacked the match!?”
“That aspect is currently being investigated, but one thing which is certain is — there is a high possibility that there was improper conduct during the game.”
Hearing this, everyone was just as surprised as I was! Improper conduct; which meant that something illegal happened in the game!?
“That’s prohibited! Could it be the Champion!?”
I couldn’t help blurting out that I thought it was the Champion. I didn’t think at all that Raiser and Ravel could have improper conduct. But, sensei undauntedly answered me with a serious expression
“……The managers believes that it’s the opposite.”
…Raiser had improper conduct? No, that wasn’t possible! That man, although very arrogant, as a noble he had a lot of pride, and didn’t think much. But, he was absolutely honest towards this Rating Game. At the very least, I could understand that attitude. He also had Ravel with him. It was impossible for such a thing to happen. She was my precious manager. She had promised that she would do a lot of great things in the future with me. An outstanding girl like her couldn’t possibly have improper conduct, it was impossible for her to have some conspiracy plan. After Rias realised my thoughts, she gripped my hand even tighter.
“Ise, I understand. You and I are the same. …For Raiser to have improper conduct, that’s impossible. It wasn’t easy for him to get over things and stand up again. And he also has Ravel by his side, those siblings would definitely not allow improper conduct.”
“Well, then it really is the Champion Belial…right?”
Kiba softly said as he used his hand to support his chin. He had an expression which couldn’t be read. Although Kiba couldn’t match up to Rias, he still knew more than me about Rating Games. Especially for the Champion, his familiarity and knowledge would be even greater. Kiba had seen quite a few of his matches. Kiba had said before that his games were very honest, his tactics were well refined, and that he preferred winning fairly over a surprise attack. Just as his name suggested, he was a true champion. …Whether it was Raiser or The Emperor Belial, it was hard to believe that either side would engage in improper conduct… Towards this emergency situation and the unknown safety of the Phoenix siblings, I was both confused and uneasy. Then, Akeno-san calmly asked Azazel-sensei
“…Azazel-sensei, don’t you have any ideas about this?”
Everyone’s gaze was directed towards sensei.
“Is that true?”
Hearing my question, sensei raised his hands and sighed.
“…I can’t say it. But, if it’s really as I think, the Phoenix siblings whose whereabouts are unknown shouldn’t be as bad as its being imagined. I’m really sorry that I can’t say any more right now, but if you believe in what I’ve said, then believe that those two are safe.”
—What! Really!? Raiser and Ravel are both safe!? Sensei really did have an idea about this situation! I didn’t say it to sensei… Azazel-sensei, he’s dealt with all sorts of situations up till now that he’s not only been able to cope with, but also handle well. If even this sensei said so, then there was no reason not to believe it…. A small communication magic circle appeared beside Rias’s ear. After listening to the report which came through, Rias told everyone
“It was from onii-sama. The Maou’s side are beginning to search for the whereabouts of Raiser, Ravel and Emperor Belial.”
To be honest, I really wanted rush out immediately to look for Ravel. But, even the Devils’ side was moving out, sensei also said that they were safe, so I would just be causing trouble for everyone if I rushed out there…if I allowed my emotions to dictate my actions…the enemy might just be waiting for that. Because the enemy that I was going up against was just like that—. As I was unable to reach an important mediator or opponent, I could only grind my teeth, with my right fist pushing heavily against my left hand. …Raiser, Ravel, Ravel! Rias placed her hand on my shoulder and said with a melancholic tone
“…Ise, it’s painful right now, but we need to believe in onii-sama and Azazel.”
After a deep breath, I nodded in response. Raiser, Ravel…please, you must be safe.
Continues on to Life.1 A Restless Career Consultation