Life.1 Bursting into Summer!
After receiving this sudden news, we halted our pool activities and frantically rushed back home to the Hyoudou residence. In the living room at home, my parents, Rias’ parents, Ravel’s mother, Barakiel-san and Sister Griselda-san had already gathered together! Upon seeing our arrival, Rias’ father raised his hand with a hearty smile as he greeted us.
All of us were so shocked to see our own parents that we were completely speechless…! As soon as Rias opened her mouth to say ‘Otou—’, she was interrupted by a woman who came over to my side. A woman with black hair who bore a close resemblance to Irina approached me—. She took my hand, and then smiled.
“Ara ara ara ara, Ise-kun. It’s been so long since I last saw you! Although I’ve been watching your games on television, but you really have grown up so much now that I look at you up close like this!”
I seemed to have some kind of recollection of this amiable woman. And then, Irina stood in between us and then said to the woman
“Mama! Why are you here!? You said you were coming to Japan! But why here!?”
That’s right, the woman that Irina was talking to was her mother! Irina’s mother answered with a somewhat absentminded expression
“Ara, didn’t I tell you?”
The way she tilted her head was exactly the same as Irina. I greeted Irina’s mother properly
“It’s just as I thought, oba-san ! It has been a long time.”
It really had been a long time since I had last seen her. Ever since Irina and her family moved to England. I had always been in her care ever since I was young. She would often treat me to lunch, and she would also take me and Irina to the department store or to a hero show.
“Golly! You’ve really become such a wonderful man! When you were a child, I had half-jokingly said that Irina would be looked after by you in the future, but I didn’t expect that you’d actually marry her! Regardless of whether my grandchildren are boys or girls, it’s okay with me!”
Her high-spirited nature was just like Irina! And she also felt like a second mother to me, so I really missed that! Irina’s face turned red because of her mother’s words, and she murmured with embarrassment
“Please stop! We’re in front of everyone!”
I also felt rather embarrassed and my face felt like it was on fire! I really don’t know how to react when I get teased by these parental figures! So that she could better understand the situation, Rias asked her own parents
“Gathering so many people here at the Hyoudou residence…otou-sama, okaa-sama, what are you planning? Surely this is not just a tea party…”
Rias’ father nodded and said
“Hmm, it’s to discuss the ceremonial schedule. It’s also time to arrange things according to the conditions of each family.”
None of us could understand what Rias’ father had said. With a puzzled look, she asked her father again. Rias’ father smiled pleasantly, and then cheerfully replied
“Hahaha! Isn’t it obvious, Rias? We’re talking about the wedding ceremony arrangements for you and all of the other ladies who have accepted Issei-kun’s proposal.”
…All of us took a while to process the meaning of those words, and we fell into silence…and as soon as we understood, everyone cried out in surprise!
All of us shouted out in unison! H-He actually said that they were determining the dates of the wedding ceremonies! What’s going on!? And it seems our parents have already agreed that they want to discuss this topic!? A-Although I have certainly already proposed to Rias, Akeno-san, Asia, Xenovia and Irina, is that enough for all of our parents to come together right now to discuss the dates!? Rias and the others also seemed completely unaware of this, and they were so surprised that their expressions had frozen in place! Koneko-chan, Ravel, Rossweisse-san, Kiba, Gasper, and everyone else who was present were also at a loss for words. Rias’ mother looked at our vacant expressions and sighed as she complained to her husband.
“My dear, if you talk about wedding ceremonies all of a sudden, the children will only get confused, right?”
After saying that, Rias’ mother said to us again
“To be precise, there is still some time until the wedding ceremonies, isn’t there? However, because all of you are now officially engaged, when we began to think about Issei-san and Rias’ date, we thought it was a good opportunity to arrange the dates for everyone else.”
After that was said, Ravel said ‘I see!’ as she clapped her hands to express her understanding of the situation. Rias’ father also nodded in agreement with his wife.
“That’s correct, if the wedding ceremonies are to be held, there must be an order. Even if they could be held together, there is still a need to consider the position of each house, which makes things more difficult, not to mention any religious considerations.”
And then, tou-san said
“In that case, we have to talk about how to do it for each house. Ah — we do have to attend all of them!”
W-Well, of course, my parents would actually have to attend all of them…! I was made speechless by what they had said, and at this time, Ravel’s mother placed her hand against her (ample) chest as she said
“The Phoenix House shall be responsible for overseeing the series of schedules. There are many things that can also serve as a reference for the future. Isn’t that right, Ravel?”
After hearing her own mother ask her that, Ravel acted rather surprised and her face suddenly reddened.
“O-Okaa-sama! I-I haven’t…”
“It’s only a matter of time. I will also make arrangements for you in the schedule.”
Ravel’s mother didn’t allow her to make a single retort. Leaving us on our own, our parents began to chatter away in a lively manner. Kaa-san said with a slightly troubled expression
“How troublesome…I wonder if I should wear a different dress for each ceremony…”
After hearing that, Rias’ mother said
“Ara, please leave that to the Gremory House. I’ll introduce you to various shops.”
“Oh! That will be a great help!”
Meanwhile, Akeno-san couldn’t stop trembling in excitement as she said to her own father, Barakiel-san
“Tou-sama! I want to wear a shiromuku .”
What are you saying Akeno-san!? I thought that accelerating the process would actually make her father angry, but Barakiel-san’s eyes actually became watery! Upon hearing his daughter’s request as a father, Barakiel-san couldn’t help but let out manly tears.
“Fuguu! Leave it to father, Akeno! I will definitely prepare you the most finest clothes! Leave it to me!”
And then Irina also stepped forward and her eyes shone brightly as she said
“Papa! Mama! I want to hold my wedding ceremony in Heaven!”
And then Irina’s father waved both of his hands in the air and said with a wide smile
“I knew you would say that, so papa already reported this to the higher-ups!”
Aaaahhh! I couldn’t keep up with the rhythm at all, but on the contrary, all of the girls and their parents seemed to be enjoying it and one by one, they conformed! Kaa-san said to Asia
“Asia-chan, you can also tell me about what venue you’d like, okay? This is the time when we can make use of the money that Ise has earned.”
“Yes, okaa-san! I-I-I want to have a wedding in Japan!”
After listening to Asia’s request, tou-san has an ecstatic expression and it seemed as though he had begun to daydream.
“Asia-chan’s wedding dress, it’ll be beautiful…”
Xenovia also sat down next to Sister Griselda-san quietly, and they began to converse.
“If you think about my origins, then surely my wedding has to be at the Vatican. What do you think?”
“Choose the place that you like. This will be your big day. I’ll listen to your choice.”
Watching the situation unfold in front of her, Rias was no longer able to stay calm, and she raised her voice as she said to her parents
Even Rias will mention a few complaints to her parents, I originally thought—.
“I want to hold my wedding ceremony in Kyoto!”
She somehow took out a wedding brochure from somewhere and started showing it to her parents! Seeing even Rias fall into line with everyone else, I was left completely speechless!
“I guess parents are happier than anyone else when it comes to things like this.”
—Kiba smiled wryly as he said that. And then, Ravel said
“But, just as Venelana-sama said, Ise-sama — considering that you will continue to act as the [Oppai Dragon] in the future, it is a very wise decision to decide on the schedule to some extent now. Since you’ve already proposed, it is quite natural that everyone will start to get busy with various preparations for the date.”
What Ravel said was correct. As a Devil [King] or as the [Oppai Dragon], my schedule from now on would be incredibly busy. After all, I had my Devil’s job, and I also had to attend hero events as well. Rias would also be just as busy as me. Moreover, we also had the responsibility of being a part of the anti-terrorist team [DxD]. Although everything had felt rather peaceful up until now in the Tournament, it was difficult to predict whether there would be another madman like Rizevim who could emerge. Thinking about things like this, it was better to arrange the dates for our wedding ceremonies now, as that would probably make things slightly easier…? Kiba said
“Ise-kun, I’m sure there will be many VIP guests attending your wedding ceremonies. It’s best to confirm these events as soon as possible. It’s not sufficient notice to tell them to come at the last minute. But on that topic, of all the parents here, it’s necessary for them to have a sense of peace in their minds.”
Ah — that is also something I need to think about…. From my perspective, I had turned to the girls who were precious to me, and pledged to them from the bottom of my heart that I wanted to spend my life with them in the future. But from the perspective of their parents, since that was the case, it was necessary to prepare for the ceremonies. No, this was a major thing that I should have considered as well…. Because the situation was far beyond my imagination, even when placed in front of me as a third year student, there was nothing I could do but feel confused! Rossweisse-san seemed to realise what I was thinking, and she said to me
“Ise-kun, it’s normal for you to worry. Even when you became engaged, you thought that the wedding ceremonies would be held in a few years’ time, and that’s why everyone is confused by the excitement of the parents. But it’s only because your parents are so happy about it.”
Even though I had listened to the opinions of Kiba, Ravel and Rossweisse-san, I still felt as though I had been too naïve in my thoughts. Hmm, I’ve already proposed to them, so I can’t just go on like this. Rias and the others probably really wanted to talk to me about these things. From now on, I should talk to them about these things, while relying on everyone’s parents for guidance. That’s right, since they’re here, I should go to Irina’s parents and Sister Griselda-san to say ‘Please give me your daughter!’ or ‘Please give me your sister!’. I had already gained the approval of Rias’ parents and Barakiel-san, so I had to make sure that I had everyone’s blessing! Although I was previously quite confused, I had changed my mind now, and decided to face everything head on. —Just at that time. An enormous figure appeared in the living room—. A two metre tall body with a thick neck, thick arms, legs thicker than my waist…and the face of an elderly man that was incongruent to that body! The grey-haired giant who was wearing a priest’s vestments stood right there.
“Hoho, wedding ceremonies huh. Please allow me to give my blessings at that time as a priest, as that would give me great satisfaction.”
After saying that, he revealed a smile upon his wrinkled face! T-This was a man whom I couldn’t forget.
“Your Eminence Strada!”
The Vatican’s former Cardinal Priest, His Eminence Vasco Strada stroked my head with his large hand.
“Good day, Sekiryuutei boy. I watched your game, and I must say that it was truly a splendid match.”
Astonished by his sudden appearance, both Xenovia and Irina quickly knelt down (following this, Lint-san also knelt down). To the warriors of the Church, he was their former leader…. Strada waved his hand, motioning for the three of them to stand up. T-This man was a major figure who had come to Japan from the Vatican during the previous rebellion of the Church warriors. After taking the blame for the coup, he should have begun to live a secluded life afterwards…. Although he had given us his support during the battle against Trihexa, why did His Eminence Strada come to my house…? My team members were also very surprised — but that didn’t appear to be the case for the members of Rias’ team. It was only natural that the appearance of such a major figure here would cause Xenovia and Irina to feel surprised…. Ravel seemed to have understood the meaning behind His Eminence’s appearance, and she looked towards Rias. Rias smiled fearlessly in acknowledgement.
“It’s just as you think, Ravel. I invited His Eminence to join my team.”
Rias’ remark completely shocked all of us! Damn it! It’s been surprise after surprise! Our parents had begun to discuss wedding ceremonies in an energetic manner, and Rias’ team had managed to recruit His Eminence Vasco Strada for battle! I had heard that he was already retired, so I never expected that he would participate in the World Tournament! Moreover, he joined Rias’ team! Under normal circumstances, even if His Eminence was to participate, he would probably join a team that had some relation to the Church or Heaven…! What exactly did Rias do to persuade His Eminence Strada to join…? No, Rias was very good at persuasion to begin with. We had also taken been persuaded by her in the past to become her servants and gather together here! All of us were incredibly talented people. Taking into account the addition of His Eminence Strada, I guess it is quite unbelievable. B-But! I still found it difficult to believe that His Eminence Strada had joined Rias’ team…! The expressions of Ravel, Xenovia and my other team members shifted from surprise to caution. The atmosphere had shifted from the liveliness of the wedding ceremonies to the heat of the tournament. Yet the people to break this apart were Irina’s father and Sister Griselda-san. The two of them also knelt down upon seeing His Eminence.
His Eminence Strada smiled, and then motioned with his hand for them to stand up.
“It’s quite alright. Warrior Shidou Touji, Sister Griselda, please stand up. I have come here on a private occasion.”
Rias’ parents then also greeted His Eminence.
“It’s our first meeting. Your Eminence Vasco Strada, I am the current head of the House of Gremory. This is my wife Venelana.”
Ravel’s mother also said her greetings
“I am the wife of the current head of the House of Phoenix. It is an honour to meet such a famous holy man today.”
It was quite a striking scene to be able to see high-class Devils and a former executive of the Church in one place. If this was in the past, it would likely have turned into an unavoidable war. Barakiel-san stood up and shook His Eminence Strada’s hand.
“Being able to see each other face to face like this…it has been decades.”
“Hahaha, I was still a youngster back then. It’s nice that you’re still in good health.”
The two of them know each other? Well, His Eminence Strada has been a warrior for a long time. Kiba explained to me
(His Eminence is said to have had several encounters with the Fallen Angel Cadres when he was younger.)
Ah — I recalled the story of how His Eminence had forced Kokabiel to retreat. And when Kokabiel attacked us here, he had made mention of His Eminence Strada, most likely because that incident had a great impact on him. Like this, His Eminence Strada also joined the discussion of the wedding schedule, and the talks continued—.
Sometime after the topic of wedding ceremonies was discussed, kaa-san quietly said to me
“We should also call over your grandmother in the country, but how do we explain something like this to an elderly person…”
What she just said…was rather serious. My grandmother had no idea about Devils or Youkai! Tou-san also said
“If my old man was still here, he’d probably say something like ‘Oh, so they exist!’ and accept it on the spot.”
Ah — just as tou-san said, jii-chan would probably believe in the existence of Devils and Angels. After all, he was a rather open-minded and easy-going person. Tou-san continued
“Hmm, I think kaa-chan like to believe in such things too. For a long time, she’s been the kind of person who would believe in youkai, mountain gods, and the like.”
“Surprisingly, the older generation may accept such things much more quickly.”
Kaa-san replied. And then Rias’ father said
“—If normal people believe in the supernatural, then showing those people the supernatural beings of their own country is the most direct way. The best one would be the Kappa…but, it’s possible that the shock will be too immense…hmm.”
Rias’ father then shifted his gaze towards Koneko-chan and Kuroka (came home just earlier) who were sitting side by side on a sofa.
“Since Koneko-kun and her sister are here, it might be better to start making her feel accustomed with the nekomata. She can look at their cat ears and tails while talking about it.”
Starting with Koneko-chan and Kuroka huh. That should work. Based on appearance alone, they aren’t very different from ordinary people. Their cat ears and tail might fool some people into believing that they’re decorations, but they’re not frightening, so it seems like they’ll be able to be accepted by people more easily. I had become a Devil, and my future wives are Devils and Angels, so it will be necessary to honestly explain things with my grandmother before the wedding ceremonies. My parents also seemed a bit worried as to we would actually explain things to my grandmother. …Should I also be honest about it with Matsuda and Motohama? No, if I tell them, I may put them in danger…. But, those two guys might accept the situation immediately after the shock, and then say ‘Hurry up and introduce us to some cute Devil girls!’. Asia came over and asked me
“Ise-san, what was your ojii-sama like?”
“He was very perverted. That’s the first thing that I can think of.”
I replied without any hesitation. Hmm, not only did he have a stockpile of ero magazines, we would also chase after a beautiful onee-san’s bottom whenever we went out together. He would talk about oppai all day long. Tou-san also nodded unreservedly.
“…Yes, Ise’s perversion and aim for a harem must have been an influence of my old man. After all, kaa-chan has said that he’s always been chasing after girls’ skirts ever since he was young.”
Kaa-san then continued
“Ara, mother-in-law also told me that he still kept chasing after young girls’ skirts even when he got older.”
Well, grandmother told me about that too. Seeing me so lecherous despite my young age, she said I was just like grandfather. Every time I went back there to see my grandmother, she would say the same thing. I said to Asia
“Jii-chan’s whole face would change if he saw a beautiful onee-san at the supermarket checkout, you know?”
And then, tou-san said to me with half-narrowed eyes
“Ise, aren’t you the same? When you were young, you’d also keep your eyes glued to those beautiful women.”
Your son is so sorry for being perverted! But, didn’t those beautiful onee-sans also steal your gaze, tou-san!? Tou-san sighed and said
“My old man was too indulgent when he was young, and even the uncles among my relatives wondered if he would ever have any illegitimate children…. Back then, I was always afraid of having a sibling come out of nowhere.”
Please stop telling those stories! If jii-chan’s illegitimate children really come out, our family tree is going to be overturned!
“Hahaha, he sounds like an old man who quite enjoyed the company of a woman.”
Rias’ father listened in cheerfully. Speaking of which, all of the Devils present were now listening intently to the stories of jii-chan. It was rather convincing seeing as how I was so perverted, and the topic of illegitimate children was probably quite common among aristocratic Devils.
“Now that I think of it, I was in middle school when my old man and my classmate’s mother—”
—Tou-san began to progress deeper into the topic of my grandfather. All of the parents actually listened with great interest as they nodded along. As I looked over, Rias, Asia, Akeno-san, Xenovia, Irina, Ravel, and Rossweisse-san had all become fascinated by the story as well. …I guess stories about jii-chan were quite unusual for them. After all, that old man was rarely ever mentioned in our everyday conversations. I sighed as I got up and walked towards the kitchen. I thought of getting some juice from the refrigerator. But I didn’t expect for people to be in the kitchen already, and it turned out to be Koneko-chan and Kuroka who were sipping on a cola as they talked about the past. Kuroka quietly said
The expression on her face was pained, and her eyes were filled with sorrow…. She would occasionally show such a serious and beautiful expression, and I couldn’t help but feel fascinated by her. Kuroka, you’re really beautiful when you stay silent. Kuroka noticed me, and then asked
“When you marry Sekiryuutei-chan, will you still need your parents? What do you think, Shirone?”
Koneko-chan listened to Kuroka’s question—.
“……I don’t have any memories of tou-sama and kaa-sama, so…”
The tone of her voice was quite sombre. Kuroka smiled wryly.
“…That’s true. Sorry for asking you something like that, Shirone.”
And then the two of then silently continued to sip on their cola. As the game approached, the sisters who were sometimes in opposition because of a small thing would also drink cola and sit closely side by side like this. …But, their parents huh. I’ve never once heard about it from either of them. The kitchen was occupied by a silent atmosphere, while the living room was filled with voices of laughter from everyone else. I guess the stories of jii-chan are quite interesting.
The next day—.
Yesterday, the sudden visit of our parents and the appearance of His Eminence Strada led to the swimming pool not being completely cleaned…. At a later date, we would have to clean the pool again, but on second thought, my house also had an underground swimming pool (and it was bigger than the school’s), so there was no real need to rush over to the school to swim. In case anything happened, it was also possible to swim in the pool underneath my house…. But if we went swimming at school, then it would be possible to rub on some suntan oil and bask under the sun…. But, Devils and Vampires putting on sunscreen at the poolside so that they can bathe in the sun is a rather strange idea. While such thoughts streamed through my mind, I went out shopping with Ravel after school. Because the consumables in our club room had been depleted, we planned to replenish them at a nearby supermarket. After we finished shopping, and we were on the way back, Ravel and I spoke about the future direction of the World Tournament.
“His Eminence Strada will join Rias’ team…. This is quite unexpected, and we never even considered such a possibility.”
I said the truth. As the former wielder of Durandal, he was a major figure who had led the Church warriors—. His true strength was certain, and despite his age, he still had enough power to overwhelm us. Although his physical strength had weakened somewhat due to his advanced age…his participation was still a threat. Rias’ team members could all be considered to be first-rate. Ravel said
“In this way, Rias-sama’s team is now complete in terms of members…all of her members are considerably strong. Her original members are strong, and they will grow in the future as well, but she was also drawn in two Longinus wielders, the Evil Dragon Crom Cruach, and His Eminence Vasco Strada…they’re too strong. As comrades, they’re worth boasting about, but as opponent’s, it’s rather scary.”
That was absolutely true. From our normal point of view, we felt rather impressed by Rias’ negotiation skills, but in terms of the World Tournament, it was quite terrifying. Crom Cruach might have already surpassed Heavenly Dragon class, and on top of that, there’s His Eminence Strada as well…. Although it might not be possible for His Eminence Strada to move around for too long due to his age, that is just one of his weaknesses, he is still a terrifying person nonetheless. Ravel said
“…I think it is imperative for us to strengthen the line-up of our team, and Ise-sama, your Dragon Deification still needs an evolution that is better than a partial transformation.”
In other words, Dragon Deification has to last longer than ten seconds. Indeed, I have considered that…. But this isn’t something that can be solved immediately just by training. The Dragon God Ophis originally helped me with it, so I have a feeling that I’ll be able to gain progress as long as there’s something related to a God…. I began to feel worried about the vast number of tasks that I had to complete, but Ravel suddenly said
“Ise-sama, the Prince of the Asura gods has won yet another game.”
“Yeah, Mahabali-san’s team is incredibly strong. If we have to face them, it’ll definitely be a tough battle.”
Indeed, among the god-class teams that we were concerned with right now, one of them was Mahabali-san’s team. He was the god who had met with me along with Shiva at my high-class Devil promotion ceremony. He had been moving forward at full speed ever since the World Tournament began, and he hadn’t lost a single match. He seemed to have an intense hatred for Śakra, and he was competing intensely in order to take down all of the teams that stood before him one after the other. …The battles he was involved in even caused damage to the barrier of the game, and this had given me glimpse into the horror of fighting against the god-class beings. After seeing the kind of fierce battle that Mahabali-san engaged in, there were many teams that abstained from the tournament out of fear. Of course, this kind of shocking effect wasn’t just from Mahabali-san’s team alone, this was also the case for the other god-class beings. It was no surprise that people felt afraid after being able to witness the attacks of the legendary gods in front of their own eyes. Even I felt that it was growing more and more difficult to obtain victories in the Tournament…the fortunate thing was that we had already fought against opponents of that level before, so we could continue to participate despite our fears. Ravel then said
“Mahabali-sama’s team is also one of the top candidates. It is impossible to defeat him without the determination to win the entire Tournament. I’m sure that our upcoming game against the [Leisure of the Kings] team will be equally difficult. As the [Oppai Dragon] team, we have to muster the utmost of our full strength.”
Indeed, we would soon have a game against Vidar-san’s team. Nonetheless, there was still Rias and Vali’s game prior to that…. For us, it would be the first time that we had encountered a god-class being in the tournament, so there were many things for us to worry about. In terms of combat strength, our opponent has an absolute advantage, so how do we turn that around…no, how we counteract that is a major issue. The victory of the [Leisure of the Kings] team is almost set in stone — that’s what everyone is probably thinking. I say ‘almost’ because I have used the power of oppai to invoke a countless number of possibilities, so what might truly happen is still uncertain. A miracle caused by oppai—. If I can really make it happen, then I want to do it! It would really help to have the power of the Chichigami right now…I became immersed in the qualms of whether something like that would actually happen! W-Well, it was only a ‘miracle’ at that time because it happened by chance. Instead of concerning myself with such an uncertain and indecipherable miracle, it would be most realistic to focus on my own strengthening and pre-battle preparations…. Coupled with the request that was made by Roygun Belphegor-san, it would be best to concentrate on making in-depth preparations for our strategy. …Whilst burdened with all sorts of unease, I also had another concern. My gaze fell onto Ravel who was walking beside me. Yesterday, a while after the wedding talks ended, Ravel’s mother spoke to me in private.
[I watched the last game. …Hyoudou Issei-san. I did tell you in the past. Ravel’s true nature is the path of supremacy, and if you use it wrongly, you will immediately face such problems.]
The game that Ravel’s mother was talking about — was the game against the Sitri peerage. In facing off against Sona-senpai who was good at formulating various tactics, Ravel didn’t make any plans to deal with them and instead adopted bold, large-scale manoeuvres to beautifully break through Sona-senpai’s tactics. By the end, we had obtained a major victory. The other teams and various media groups who watched the game were all completely shocked. The chilling and bold approach enthralled the audience…but on the other hand, the fighting style which didn’t show a single shred of mercy had received criticisms such as ‘It lacked the style of the Oppai Dragon team’ and ‘The Phoenix family’s eldest daughter is a cold and ruthless tactician’. Ravel didn’t seem to care too much about how she was judged, but she was extremely concerned about the criticism which said ‘It lacked the style of the Oppai Dragon team’. Ravel’s mother continued
[Supremacy is a path of reason, and it also makes it easy to obtain a definite victory. —But its other side will cause resentment in people. It is a forceful and indifferent justice…. Watching the game that she commanded, I’m sure there are people who think that.]
Ravel’s mother asserted
[—By relying only on reason, it is impossible to understand each other’s true feelings.]
…Was she saying that Ravel had never understood a person’s true feelings? I am the ‘Oppai Dragon’…a dream that cannot betray the children of the world. If I continue to fight in this manner, the criticism will only continue to intensify, and things will truly turn out just as Ravel’s mother had said. But even so! Ravel has done extremely well! If we didn’t have the strategies that were formulated by Ravel, we might not have been able to win the game! I…know that Ravel works around the clock to make these plans as well as manage and adjust my schedule at the same time. Despite doing so many things at the same time, we still triumphed over Sona-senpai, and I feel proud of Ravel! —My manager is the best manager in the Underworld! That’s what I believe! But Ravel’s mother also added
[Moreover, that girl can probably only command the strategy up until the end of the Tournament’s preliminaries. Once things get serious, all that’ll be left are the mythological figures of Maou-class or god-class level. Will all of the tactics and strategies that have been used so far still work then…?]
To god-class beings, our…Ravel’s tactics might be ineffective. After all, these are the mighty gods who appear in their respective mythologies. How much of an impact will the tactics devised by a Devil be able to have? After all, the opponents are gods who can cause all manner of miracles—. How exactly does one go about formulating a battle plan against opponents who can make miracles happen? With so many problems to be resolved, we should first discuss our path from here on, and based on that, we should once again consider our battle plan for the [Leisure of the Kings] team. Since our goal is to be the victors of the Tournament, this is a necessary hurdle for us to overcome. There was no option to give up from the beginning. Really, it hasn’t been easy to be the [Oppai Dragon] up until now. So Azazel-sensei’s words ‘You’ll have things tough from now on’ had this kind of meaning as well. There are so many people, like my comrades and my peerage who are supporting me from behind. But the final decision is my own. It is me who moves forward. I can’t always let others deal with the situation. —I’ve already become a [King]. I have to become even stronger. Alright, after we return, we’ll start our club activities first, and then I’ll have another chat with Ravel or my team members afterwards. With Kuoh Academy now in sight, I saw Nakiri — and Bennia run past in front of us.
“Those guys! Their aim was actually that side!”
Seeing Nakiri as he shouted out, Ravel and I immediately understood that something had happened. I shouted out to the two of them
“Hey! Bennia! Nakiri!”
After the two of them noticed, they turned to look at us. Nakiri yelled
“Hyoudou-senpai! Phoenix too!”
<<Boss Oppai Dragon!>>
The two of them quickly ran towards us.
“What’s wrong? Has something happened…”
Before I could finish, Nakiri grabbed my hand!
“You should hurry as well, senpai!”
It was rare for Bennia’s expression to look so serious.
<<Nekomata-senpai and the others are being targeted by Grim Reapers.>>
—What!? It sounds like there’s trouble!
Nakiri explained the situation to us as we ran. One of the Student Council’s miscellaneous tasks was to clean the rubbish around the perimeter of the school, and this week, it just happened to be Nakiri and Millarca-san who were on duty. The clubs weren’t particularly busy, so Koneko-chan, Gasper (as a classmate) and Bennia (as a member of the Sitri peerage and Student Council) volunteered to help clean up. —Just then, they were attacked by a group of Grim Reapers! Why would Grim Reapers show up here!? While I was shocked, I also worried about whether the barrier that covered this area was working…. Nakiri had originally split everyone up to clean on two separate sides, but the majority of the Grim Reapers homed in on Koneko-chan, Gasper and Millarca-san’s group, and so Nakiri hurried over to the direction that they were in. On the way, they bumped into us.
<<I originally thought that I was their target.>>
Bennia said. She was originally a Grim Reaper executive — the daughter of Orcus who was one of the ultimate-class Grim Reapers. Just that was a reason for her to be targeted. However, for some reason, the Grim Reapers only repulsed Nakiri and the others back slightly before immediately regrouping and rushing towards the location of Koneko-chan and the others. In other words, their aim — was someone among Koneko-chan, Gasper and Millarca-san…. After stepping into a small grove near Kuoh Academy, I could feel the air of battle. It seemed that the fight had already begun a while ago. As we ran to catch up by following the trail of the battle — we noticed that Koneko-chan, Gasper, and Millarca-san had been completely surrounded by a group of Grim Reapers cloaked in black at a small, wide, open space. Just as they were in the past, they were draped in cloaks and their eyes emitted an eerie glow. Holding large and detestable scythes in their hands, their clear hostility was directed at Koneko-chan and the others. But, those who had been surrounded—.
Koneko-chan cleverly dodged the scythe blade that the Grim Reapers swung at her, and her retaliatory punches and kicks all struck the centre of her opponents.
“—Please don’t underestimate me.”
Gasper’s eyes flashed with a dangerous crimson glow; even without turning into a dark beast, he could extend his shadow and freely control it. The shadow had tentacles that almost seemed alive as they reached out towards the Grim Reapers and firmly bound them. Gasper turned towards the constricted Grim Reapers, transformed his right hand into Balor, and then sent the Grim Reapers flying with his study arm. Gasper’s partial Balor transformation must also be one of the fruits of his training. That guy is really getting used to a close-quarters fighting style.
“Torya! I’m tired! Really tired!”
While Millarca-san was dressed in her thickly-layered uniform, she mouthed out various complaints as she fought with her bare hands to easily knock down the Grim Reapers. As soon as there was an opening, she used her fists to defeat them. It seemed as though she had significant physical strength as a Vampire…. Nakiri watched Millarca-san as she fought and shouted out
“Millarca! Don’t overdo it!”
“Ah, Ouryuu. Don’t worry, something like this is nothing.”
“I’m not talking about that! Millarca, if you use your power, then this whole area will become like hell!”
“It’s daytime right now so it’s fine. There’s only a problem if it’s night time.”
Grim Reapers were said to be stronger than low-class Devils, but Millarca-san was able to defeat them with just her bare hands. It seemed as though she was not an ordinary Vampire, so just how much stronger would she become at night…? After hearing Nakiri’s voice, the Grim Reapers became aware of our arrival. Their eyes all homed in on me. Their air of vigilance grew stronger and stronger.
<<It’s the current [Red Dragon].>>
I instantly equipped my armour and prepared to charge forth at any moment. And then, the leader of that group of Grim Reapers who appeared to have distinctive decorations on his cloak said
<<…The Sekiryuutei huh. He’s a bad opponent.>>
With a wave of his hand, all of the Grim Reapers dispersed, and all they left behind was a black afterimage as they disappeared from the open space in the blink of an eye.
I said, but they had already fled. …T-The Grim Reapers are that wary of me? W-Well, compared to when I had been attacked in the Underworld during the [Demonic Beast Riot], I was now much stronger. Bennia put her scythe away as she said
<<…Judging by their aura just now, they should be servants of Thanatos-sama. He’s one of the ultimate-class Grim Reapers, and also one of the executives of the Netherworld. He belongs to a dark faction of the Netherworld.>>
—They’re from the faction of an ultimate-class Grim Reaper!? What was the meaning of the executive’s servants coming here…? We were simply left there in our confusion. Gasper said
“…Ise-senpai, they were aiming for Koneko-chan.”
—What! I looked at Koneko-chan.
Koneko-chan herself also revealed a surprised expression and asked herself
…In any case, it seems like another suspicious incident is veering towards us.
(All 2 of 2 parts) (1/4)
 Oba-san: Literally means aunt/auntie. In Japanese culture though, the term can be used to refer to almost any older woman.
 Shiromuku: A traditional Japanese wedding gown for brides. As the name suggests, it is a completely white kimono, and often has an elaborate headpiece as well.
Continues on to Life.2 The God of Death and the Dog of the Blade