Continues on from The remaining hopes
Long time no see, it’s Ichiei Ishibumi. The fourth arc which was started in the second half of 2012 has finally ended. It actually took three years, so it’s really quite long. I was very nervous while writing the twenty first volume. I think the readers also thought that way. Volume twenty one was full of climactic battles! Indeed, that is so.
Sairaorg + Saji versus Bedeze -> Vali versus Aži Dahāka -> Ise versus Apophis -> Ise & Sirzechs versus Trihexa’s core
…A total of more than four climactic battles were included within this volume. More than any other in the past. As popular characters, Sairaorg and Vali also received a second power up. Sorry, it would only appear at the end of an arc like this so please forgive me…. Looking back on the fourth arc, this period was the most mentally difficult for me, especially during the period that I wrote volumes sixteen ~ nineteen. I had to prepare so many heroines (+Gasper) for the story, so it feels a bit too stiff. The content was also somewhat weak, and perhaps the reason is because it was very painful at that time to write. The attitude of ‘Regardless of whether it’s a heroine role, or the fight between some kids, I want to write it!’ continued to accumulate, and this eventually burst out in the previous volume, and the final part of the battle, this volume. And precisely because of this, this volume, the previous volume, and DxD’s second ~ twelfth volumes are the most satisfying for me. If the readers who didn’t finish reading the fourth arc because it was too long are seeing this, then I want to tell you ‘the fourth arc is finally over!’.
Changing the subject a bit, the next section is about Ise, Vali and the situation on Team [DxD]. Because this time it was Vali’s volume, I was finally able to dig into his true character. Since it won’t be good if he isn’t confirmed as Ise’s ultimate rival, the scenes of Azazel in this story were written around this. Much like the previous volume, Vali’s focus is also about parents. But it was a sad story this time. The two people have been made to stand at opposite ends of the spectrum. Vali finally Maouified! What he gained was a transformation power up. Moreover, I think Vali’s form will also become known as [DxD] . If Ise’s new form is called [DxD] G (God), then Vali’s new form would be [DxD] L (Lucifer). By the way, the wyverns which appeared during Vali’s fight are Funnels . Regarding the legendary [White Dragon], there are many versions of its name. DxD uses the ‘Latin [White] as etymology’, and contains numerous meanings to appear as [Albion]. While Ise and Ddraig underwent training, Vali also powered up accordingly, and used this opportunity to use the true name of [Gwiber]. Ise also responded in his style with the use of ∞ Blaster  + Longinus Smasher, a terrain changing blast with incredible firepower. Sairaorg has transformed into the Beast of Supremacy which was only mentioned previously. Dulio and Tobio have also displayed their Balance Breakers. However, neither of their special abilities have been completely revealed. Also, Elmenhilde has appeared once again. She already appeared once in the short story that was published in Dragon Magazine, and I will probably include it in the third volume of DX.
Next is about the boss of the fourth arc.
Rizevim has already prepared the stage for the event that readers hate very much. Thus, Aži Dahāka, Apophis and Trihexa were the best candidates for the enemies of the conclusion of the fourth arc. I especially enjoyed writing the fights of Aži Dahāka and Apophis. The character of Aži Dahāka was inspired by King Ghidorah . And because of that, it had the feel of a boss when I was writing it. I was very happy to be able to write about this massive three-headed dragon like a monster. Apophis himself is a mass of unpredictable darkness. No matter how Issei attacked, he was unable to cause any damage. Aside from borrowing an extraordinarily powerful attack power, only a god named after the sun would be able to defeat him. Trihexa is considered to be a true monster. It could easily destroy the entire world. This time, it also caused massive amounts of damage to the territories of each faction, and it is also the most destructive force in DxD. If Azazel’s plan didn’t exist, then even more gods would have been defeated. A serious Great Red and Ophis in her prime would be roughly equivalent, or perhaps even superior than this. You can understand the abnormality of Ise who has inherited the power of both those Dragon Gods.
Allow me to change the subject again, this section is about the other world [ExE] . The setting has finally been revealed. High School DxD will not be replaced by [ExE]. However, it has already been determined that they will come into contact with each other in thirty years. So, what will develop from that in the end? Please wait patiently. By the way, DxD is an original view of the world, and is not related to any actual myths. In fact, this has already been touched upon by the extra story of DxD. Bundled with the BD/DVD of the third season of the anime [High School DxD BorN] were the special short stories [High School DxD EX], in which the invasion from the other world and Ise’s children from the future were written about, of which there are a total of six parts. The extra short stories and their complementing optical media are a limited first production item. As I am unsure about the initial stock of each store, if readers wish to buy it, please keep an eye out for it.
Next are my acknowledgements. Miyama-Zero-sama, editor H-sama. This time I bothered you right up until the deadline, so I’m very sorry. Thanks to you, the script that I finished could be published.
The fourth arc has mostly ended. Yes, the second half of the next volume will be the beginning of the final arc! The fifth and final arc will have the main themes of ‘DxD’s final decisive battle’ and ‘lively ceremonies’. The first half of the next volume will act as the epilogue of the fourth arc, as well as the graduation ceremony of Rias, Akeno and the other third years. It will be the end of a generation. Volume twenty two will have Rias and Akeno as the focus. Also, it was mentioned in the second volume of DX that volume twenty two would have an intriguing start to look forward to. A flag has been buried in this volume. I think the fans will be very excited to continue. As such, the second half of the next volume will be the start of the fifth and final arc. I’m very grateful to the readers who can accompany DxD to the end.
(Part 1 of 1) (16/8)
 Kana was Diabolos Dragon. The next two instances of DxD are also Diabolos Dragon.
 Gundam reference to the Funnel-Type weapons.
 Pronounced as: Infinity Blaster.
 Reference to the golden three-headed dragon in Godzilla.
 Kana was Evie Etoulde.
This is the end of High School DxD Volume 21.