Continues on from Life.3
Continues on to Salamander Tomita
Life.4 Go West!
“Geez! I can’t use that skill either…”
“Rather than that, what’s with this event!? Why is that general over there betraying!?”
“In any case, it’s kind of fun because of how it’s like walking into a completely different world.”
This happened on a particular day when Xenovia, Irina and Asia all became rather emotional as they watched a video game that was on the TV screen. The Church Trio accompanied me in my room as I played an open-world RPG. And then—
“Hey, do you have a moment nya.”
Just like that, Kuroka appeared. …If she was here, it probably meant that she wanted to play games again! Kuroka always took over my (and our) game consoles to play without permission, and she would also use our save data! Could she understand my feelings when the romance events in an RPG that I was looking forward to were skipped without my permission!? Therefore, I was somewhat on alert…but then Le Fay appeared behind Kuroka, so it didn’t seem as though they were here just to play games.
“Oh, so you and Le Fay came here to ask something huh.”
With an apologetic tone, Le Fay asked,
“To be honest, there’s something that we’d like your help with…”
I passed the controller to Xenovia as I returned the question to Le Fay. With a somewhat troubled expression, Kuroka explained,
“We’re responsible for taking care of the newcomers to our team right now.”
Newcomers? In other words, the new members of the Vali team? Hold on, is it really okay to just ask me for help? After all…we are rivals.
“You want me to help? Your team? Is that alright?”
Although we were both members of the same anti-terrorist team [DxD], we were once on hostile terms and above all, Vali was my rival as one of the Two Heavenly Dragons…. I was somewhat at a loss on how to respond, and Kuroka simply shrugged as she seemed to understand what was going through my mind.
“I guess. But it seems like we’ve run into a bit of trouble which is why we want your help, Sekiryuutei-chan. It’s mainly about Bikou.”
Bikou? Hmm, I wasn’t really familiar with the situation. I had no clue about what those guys were up to and where they were these days, so it seemed like they just came and went sporadically whenever they dropped by.
“Would you also like us to provide some assistance?”
“If you’re short on manpower, we can lend a hand.”
Asia and Irina commented…. To kick things off, I asked Kuroka,
“Would I be able to manage it on my own?”
In response, Kuroka uninterestedly replied,
“I think so.”
Was it that boring for her? The addition of new members to a team was usually quite an important matter, so it wouldn’t normally be strange for the members to be interested….
“Oh alright. I get it. I’ll hear you out for now.”
Although I still had many questions and doubts on the matter, I decided to listen to the whole story first before I came to a verdict.
“As expected from you. That’s a great help nya.”
“Thank you so much!”
Kuroka and Le Fay both seemed relieved as they responded. Playing the video game in my place, Xenovia said,
“Ise, your growth strategy is all over the place. I don’t feel like your distribution of skills is good at all. Although you’re suited to close-range combat in real life, your technique development in the game is interesting but it’s not a good idea to spend so many points on the strength stat. The priority here should be on evasion and technique—”
And like that, Xenovia continued to diss my gameplay. …You know, you’re also a power-type in real life, but you really like to pick on the fine details in games! …Anyway, I left the game to the Church Trio. And so, I made my way over to the Vali team late that night.
Kuroka, Le Fay and I teleported to a ridiculously large training space. Waiting for us there were — Vali, Bikou and two people whom I hadn’t met before. They were both dressed in baggy and loose-fitting clothes that were reminiscent of ancient Chinese outfits – jikitetsu, monk-like robes.
One of them was a beautiful girl who looked like she was in middle school! Her fluffy vermillion hair was a defining characteristic…though she also wore a necklace with many small skulls strung on it. Hmm, it seemed like poor taste.
The other one — wasn’t human! With a humanoid but bulky body and a pig-like head, he was a beast man. They were two indescribably unique strangers to me. So, they were the supposed newcomers? Hmm, even though it was the first time that we had met, why did it somehow feel as though we had encountered each other before? Speaking of which, when they were together with Bikou…it looked like…. No, because one of them was a girl, I couldn’t be certain because the mental image that I had conjured up was so different…. However, Bikou — with Sun Wukong and the pig-headed beast man together, I couldn’t help but think of that. Noticing my intense gaze on the three people who were all lined up, Bikou raised his hand and greeted us.
“Yo, Sekiryuutei. I see you decided to come?”
I walked up and asked Bikou,
“So, these are your new members? These two?”
Bikou scratched his cheek as he replied,
“…Yeah, that’s the deal. That first-generation old man of mine gave me these troublesome ones to look after…. …Let’s see, that pig is the current [Zhu Bajie] and that girl is the current [Sha Wujing].”
I understood as soon as Bikou put it into words! Yes, exactly!
“Seriously!? Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing!?”
Once again, I looked at them — the pig, Zhu Bajie-san and the beautiful girl that was Sha Wujing! Yep, definitely! If Bikou was together with a pig-like person, then one couldn’t help but think of the [Journey to the West] tale! …On the other hand, Sha Wujing not being a kappa seemed a bit odd…. Huh? Wasn’t Sha Wujing from Journey to the West a kappa? No no, I think someone once told me that it wasn’t true…? So much had happened lately that I occasionally forgot about some things…. Bikou laughed as he continued,
“Well, you have to add ‘current generation’ on though. They’ve only recently acquired those names.”
Still, it was amazing! It was incredible enough to encounter Sun Wukong, but meeting Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing made it even more unbelievable, despite being the ‘current generation’! Ah, being able to meet these two today was already a sufficient and satisfying reward. Moreover, these two were the two new members of the Vali team? The fact that the first-generation Sun Wukong old man introduced them was also intriguing. With all that in mind, my interest had been piqued. I couldn’t help but alternate my gaze between Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing. Putting Zhu Bajie-san aside, Sha Wujing seemed somewhat shy because of my constant gaze. So cute! Returning my gaze, Zhu Bajie-san mockingly said of himself,
“Yeah yeah, I’m a pig. Ah yes, a pig. A rascal pig who can do nothing but snort and squeal.”
“N-No, that’s not…”
His physical appearance was like that because he was a pig Youkai, and I didn’t recall saying anything about it…was it wrong of me to look at him? Bikou made a wry smile as he said,
“Ah, the current generation [Zhu Bajie] is super gloomy and negative so don’t mind him.”
In response to Bikou’s words, Zhu Bajie-san simply shrugged.
“Heh, sorry for being a negative pig. After all, I’m a pig. A rascal pig.”
—However, Zhu Bajie-san then directed his gaze at Kuroka.
“By the way, Nekomata onee-san. There’s something I’d like to ask of you.”
“What is it nya?”
While Kuroka tilted her head, Zhu Bajie-san blatantly laid out his request.
“Can you hit me? Also, when you hit me, can you say ‘Did you really want my cat punch that badly!? You rascal pig!’? I guess not, right? Ah, sorry for troubling you.”
What did that guy just say!? All of a sudden, he just started saying some really perverted stuff!? Stuff about getting beaten and verbally abused! Faced with such a request out of the blue, even Kuroka’s expression blanked out in surprise.
“…Wait, Bikou. Is this pig-san a pervert?”
Upon hearing Kuroka’s question, Bikou heaved a deep sigh.
“Yeah, he’s a negative and genuine masochist. He feels joy and excitement when a beautiful girl abuses him and calls him a ‘rascal pig’.”
“Oh yes, the way you said ‘pig-san’ just then was pretty good. I could do with some of that. It even made me want to let out a squeal.”
…Holy shit, this pig-san. He said that with a totally serious expression! He’s way too much trouble! Even among the perverts that I had seen, he was with the upper echelons of them! Given that it had only been a few minutes since we met, there was surely something wrong with his head, right!? …Well, whatever. Leaving pig-san aside for now, the other one was — the beautiful girl, Sha Wujing-chan.
“…U-Umm, it’s nice to meet you, I’m the current [Sha Wujing]. You might be a bit surprised that I’m a girl…but, I intend to work hard to live up to my name.”
The beautiful Sha Wujing-chan gave a proper self-introduction! Mmm, as expected, her skin was fair, and she was cute as well! That silky vermillion hair looked great on her as well! Noticing my gaze, Bikou shared some additional information.
“…By the way, the current [Sha Wujing]-chan is…just as you see, a JC  — middle school girl.
“JC! Oh, a middle school girl huh!”
That was somewhat surprising, but she did seem to be around that age based on her appearance. Though it was somewhat premature to judge a Youkai by their appearance…she looked quite alright. Wait, a JC? Did that mean she attended middle school? It was possible that she was concealing her true identity. We hid the fact that we were Devils and went about an ordinary school life, so since she looked just like a human girl, that was certainly a possibility. But for some reason, compared to my mental image of Sha Wujing, she…. Noticing the odd expression I made as I looked at her, Sha Wujing-chan asked,
“U-Umm, are you okay? You’re looking at me a bit strangely…”
“…I-It’s nothing, it’s just that the Sha Wujing in my mind always seemed like a kappa, that’s all…”
Upon hearing that word, Sha Wujing-chan abruptly teared up as she retorted back!
“I-I’m not a kappa! That’s just the image that the Japanese people conjured up without permission! The original Sha Wujing was a river-based Yousen — a Youkai sage! Not a Youkai with an amphibian head!”
With quick pace, she voiced her dissatisfaction at my previous judgement of her! The way that she pouted when angry was cute. Bikou nodded in agreement with Sha Wujing-chan.
“That’s how it is. Sha Wujing wasn’t a kappa, but a Youkai sage. Sha Wujing being a kappa is a modified setting that made it easier for the Japanese people to understand.”
…Yes, I had heard about that kind of thing. That was what I had just forgotten. Bikou — Sun Wukong had explained that to me the first time we met. Ah, but the thing is, I actually met a real kappa, so that might’ve messed with my memories…. I’d met all sorts of strange individuals, perverts, bizarre humans and supernatural beings, which is why this misunderstanding occurred. All of this happened in only my first year of being a Devil as well…. After listening to Bikou’s explanation, JC Sha Wujing-chan nodded as well.
“Yes, that’s exactly right! I’m not a kappa!”
Youkai sage Sha Wujing-chan! I got it, I’ll remember that you’re a JC!
“Well, I’m a pig in both the original and the Japanese version. After all, I’m just a rascal pig…”
Just like that, Zhu Bajie-san continued to ridicule himself…. Bikou then elaborated on Sha Wujing-chan’s circumstances to me,
“…Take care alright. The Sha Wujing clan are pretty sensitive when it comes to being called [kappa]. They seem especially irritated when they’re described as that by Japanese people.”
I see, it was something that I definitely had to keep in mind…. In any case, after listening to both of their explanations, I asked anew,
“So, what did you need my help with in the first place?”
Indeed, the very reason that I was here. Why was my assistance needed for the two people who stood before me? Moreover, me. Was there a reason why it couldn’t have been anyone else? Bikou put his hands together in a pleading pose as he said,
“Well, how should I put this…please help me.”
What did he want me to do with the perverted masochist Zhu Bajie and JC Sha Wujing-chan…?
“Well, just tell me the details for starters.”
“To be honest—”
Bikou began to explain. It seemed that the first-generation Sun Wukong had spoken about something rather important a few days ago. It was…unbelievable! It was a request from Xuanzang Sanzang. Originally, the three disciples were the Great Victorious Fighting Buddha – Sun Wukong, Cleaner of the Altars — Zhu Bajie, and Golden-bodied Arhat — Sha Wujing. The request was to bring them back together. Faced with the first request from their master in a long time, the first-generation old men were delighted, but also gave consideration to the matter.
—Would it not be better for our descendants to carry out this wish? Moreover, if the three of them worked together, it would improve relations between the clans and be splendid if they could produce good results.
The three disciples of Xuanzang Sanzang who came to this conclusion thus gave an order to those given their name (or possibly given their name).
—The three of you are to fulfil Xuanzang Sanzang-sama’s wish.
With that reasoning in mind, the first-generation Sun Wukong old man sent the current [Zhu Bajie] and [Sha Wujing] who had recently been entrusted with those names to the Vali team that Bikou belonged to. Training was an aspect to fulfilling that wish, and there was an implication that Team [DxD] would help to train the Journey to the West group a little. …What surprised me the most was the valuation of Bikou by the first generation. Even though he hadn’t yet been entrusted with his ancestral name, did they group him with the current [Zhu Bajie] and [Sha Wujing] as a way of expressing their expectation of him becoming [Sun Wukong] in the future? Well, it was impossible for me to understand the minds of the first-generation old men who had become akin to gods and buddhas after a long journey.
“…I see, so it was a request made by Xuanzang Sanzang-sama…that got passed on through the first-generation Sun Wukong old man.”
I re-iterated to express my understanding following Bikou’s explanation. Bikou then heaved a deep sigh as he continued,
“…Ah, if it was only a request from the old man, I would’ve been able to turn him down, but obviously when it involves any of the other great disciples, I’ve gotta listen…. If I declined the request of all three disciples…I’d definitely be killed!”
Oh, it certainly seemed to be the case given that his face turned pale as he clutched his head. He was seriously so afraid of them that he was trembling on the spot.
“…Are the first-generation Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing really such bad news?”
I asked Vali out of curiosity. If anyone was familiar with abnormal strength, it was this guy.
“Hypothetically, it might be possible to take them on if the entirety of Team [DxD] stood against them. When the three disciples of Tripitaka Master Xuanzang Sanzang are together, they’re pretty much monsters. That’s why Bikou couldn’t get out of it on his own this time.”
Vali asserted. …I see, so even Bikou couldn’t escape from them. Even though Bikou had constantly been terrified and avoidant of his first-generation ancestor, he was completely helpless against all three disciples of Xuanzang Sanzang.
“So, why’d you ask me to come here?”
I asked to probe about their objective. I certainly wanted to understand what I was getting involved in before I got my hands dirty. If it was too far beyond my expectations, then I’d have to decline. Bikou made an emotional appeal,
“Isn’t the Sekiryuutei the one who’s resolved many situations like this? You’ve gotten through everything from difficult requests to perverted opponents, right? If you can help take care of these guys with me and Vali, then that’ll take care of this mission, you know? If we don’t manage to clear this mission, I’m not going to have a future! But, it’s just a bit unsettling to be teamed up with this perverted rascal pig and a JC. That’s why I need help!”
He put his hands together and pleaded again. …I didn’t like the idea of cooperating with this mischievous guy, but it wasn’t his problem alone. Moreover, it also seemed like it’d be a good experience to get to know those associated with the famous [Journey to the West].
“Hmm, what are you going to do, Vali?”
To start off, I asked the team’s leader for his perspective.
“Well, when it’s a request from Tripitaka Master Xuanzang Sanzang, I can’t just ignore it. It’s a pain, but I have to take care of it. I’ll be supporting Bikou and the others this time as well.”
Ah yes, I had heard that Xuanzang Sanzang offered some counselling to Albion. …Even though Ddraig had recovered now, I’d want to consult Xuanzang Sanzang if something happened next time as well. It seemed like Xuanzang Sanzang was a counsellor for the Two Heavenly Dragons. Kuroka suddenly approached and whispered to me,
(…That may be the case, but there’s also the fact that the first-generation oldies will introduce Prince Nezha to Vali once this is all done. That prince is strong, you know? That’s why Vali is delighted about this on the inside.)
Ah, so that was the reason. For someone like him who enjoyed being able to fight against formidable opponents, the introduction of someone strong to him was probably the best bargaining chip out there. I crossed my arms and tilted my head as I mused over it. Now, what should I do? This was a request to support the mission of the Journey to the West team — to help Bikou. I contemplated whether to accept or decline. While I thought over it, Bikou came over to me.
(…Can’t you help us out here? In return, I could help give you and Kuroka some alone time together, you know?)
Bikou suddenly blurted out something like that!
(W-What do you mean…?)
I gulped in anticipation as Bikou continued with an indecent look and tone in his voice.
(Do I have to spell it out? You got a special erotic room from Heaven, right? You can do whatever you want with Kuroka until morning without anyone getting in the way, right? Knowing her, won’t she get wild with love and passion once she’s in that room with you?)
Where did he get that information from!? No, this guy probably knew all of that already! To a degree, a lot of our information had somehow been leaked or overheard! But just as he said…if Kuroka and I were alone in that room, then—.
[Ufufu, doesn’t it look like no one will be disturbing us? Isn’t there only one thing to do when a man and a woman are alone in a room like this? Let’s – make – babies – nyan ♪]
I began to daydream about Kuroka taking off her kimono as she said such things in a sensual voice!
(…T-That may certainly be the case. But the thing is, surprisingly, there’s almost no chance of being alone with a girl, you know? It always ends with another one of the girls watching or finding out.)
Indeed, it was almost impossible to get a chance to be alone with any one girl in particular! After all, there were so many of them! Maybe that was why I could never be alone with any of them! Because I always ran into the various girls who lived with me, it was difficult to coordinate alone time with any one of them! Perhaps having anticipated such an issue, Bikou then said,
(Exactly! I can transform myself into Former Governor Azazel or someone else and fool them until morning, while you have all the fun you want in the meantime!)
I seeee! This guy could transform himself! Moreover, he was also a senjutsu user! He could probably fool Rias and the others! And using that opportunity, I’d be alone with Kuroka in that room until morning! Splendid! What a wonderful idea! I rubbed the bottom of my nose with a finger as I extended my other hand out towards Bikou.
“Hehe, I totally understand, Bikou. Well, I can’t say no to a request from a rival team.”
“Yeah yeah, as I expected, the great Sekiryuutei totally gets it!”
The two of us exchanged a passionate handshake! And so, as the Two Heavenly Dragons, Vali and I began to look after the Journey to the West team.
The first mission from Xuanzang Sanzang.
Late that night, Vali, the three members of the Journey to the West team, and I lined up in front of a large retail electronics store. A vast number of people formed a line under the cold sky even though it was late at night. Mission number one was to get a Monster Watch ! ……Our first request from Xuanzang Sanzang was to obtain a toy! The game known as [Monster Watch] was currently popular among children in Japan. Originating from the game, various anime, manga, toys and other merchandise of these monsters had become a huge hit. By the way, the House of Gremory which manages the [Oppai Dragon] franchise in the Underworld had been imitating it and paying close attention to its strategy. And as the [Oppai Dragon], I was lining up all night at this electronics shop for a [Monster Watch] toy which was set to go on sale at ten o’clock tomorrow morning. For whatever reason in case one wasn’t enough, five of us lined up in order to secure multiple of them. That was when the truth was revealed. Since he was not particularly human-looking, Zhu Bajie used a transformation technique to take on the form of a normal human. Hence, he looked just like a young and overweight man.
“…So Xuanzang Sanzang likes toys huh.”
I said, to which Vali replied,
“I think it’s for the children that he knows.”
Ah, so that’s how it was. So [Monster Watch] was popular over there was well.
“Even so, we have to be patient and line up here.”
Bikou seemed unusually motivated. Perhaps due to being given a request that he couldn’t refuse, he seemed more motivated than I had ever seen him. —But, upon noticing an oddity among those of us who were lining up, Bikou suddenly became infuriated.
“Hey, where’s Wujing!?”
Indeed, Sha Wujing-chan was missing today.
“She told us that she wouldn’t be coming because she has club activities early in the morning.”
Vali replied, having been in contact with her. It was because she was a JC…morning club activities were important after all. Because of that, Bikou began to panic.
“No no, aren’t Sha Wujing’s obligations more important than club activities!? Geez, that’s why the young Youkai are no damn good these days!”
Believing that all three of them had to be involved in this task, Bikou seemed rather serious about the matter. Though, I did think that he was probably the worst of them all. However, I had come here for support, so I was somewhat prepared. I introduced the person standing behind me who was wearing a long hood to Bikou. In fact, this hooded person was someone that I had prepared for my supporting role this time — a helper.
“This is today’s supporting helper—”
The man beneath the hood made a cold smile.
“I am Salamander Tomita. —I quite enjoy being a kappa.”
It was the kappa, Salamander Tomita-san. A former rapper, he was a rather odd kappa who had currently succeeded his family’s cucumber farm. He was a kappa that Koneko-chan looked up to, and he also happened to be a monster of the Grigori. I called him up because I knew that Sha Wujing-chan wouldn’t be able to make it this time.
“Huh! Salamander Tomita! That’s a kappa with a name that I’ve heard of.”
Oh, even Vali knew who he was…. This cucumber farmer who was a rapper and a kappa was quite the well-known existence then…. Hey Vali, don’t just start eating cup ramen while you’re standing in line. …It looks delicious though. However, Bikou was so astonished by this that his eyeballs seemed like they were about to pop out of their sockets, until he finally made an angry outburst,
“Hey come on! Being a kappa doesn’t mean anything! Go back to your river!”
However, Salamander Tomita-san quietly and gently produced — a single cucumber which he presented to Bikou.
“Just calm down. How about one? When you’re outside on a winter night, a cucumber is nice, isn’t it?”
Bikou took the cucumber as he complained “I don’t like them!”, though we ignored him for now. The most important thing was whether we’d be able to get the toy tomorrow. Meanwhile, Zhu Bajie-san said to one of the ladies standing in line beside him,
“Madam, can you beat me? If you can, I’d really appreciate it if you could call me a rascal pig while you slap my rear end, you know? If a pig like me is going to endure through this cold, I’m going to need that kind of encouragement for my soul.”
Because his perverted conduct seemed like it would become a nuisance to others, I gave him a smack! And so, for the sake of competing for this toy, we continued until around noon. We somehow managed to get our item!
The second mission was—.
We were at a temple in a remote area of China. Because the temple was situated at the peak of a tall mountain, we had to climb steep paths and stairs that seemed to last forever in order to get there. It was a distance that would make an ordinary person’s expression turn pale just by looking at it. I was used to this kind of training, and Vali treated it like nothing from the beginning, so the two of us quietly made our way up….
“Zehaa zehaa…why…are you guys…going up…so calmly…!?”
Behind us, Bikou struggled to catch his breath as he dragged his feet along. …Oh, Bikou had a surprising lack of stamina. JC Sha Wujing-chan looked a little worse for wear, but she commented,
“This seems like good exercise.”
And she looked much more relaxed than Bikou was. However, Sha Wujing-chan made a displeased frown as she looked at those of us who were at the front of the pack.
“Phew, China’s mountains are nice as well. It feels like the kind of place where you’d come up with a nice melody, Koneko-chan.”
Gazing out at the mountain scenery — was the kappa, Salamander Tomita-san. Indeed, I had no idea why he had followed us all the way here! Thus, since Sha Wujing-chan was often mistaken for a kappa, she pouted and remained in a bad mood. Ooh, it was definitely a cute reaction that was fitting for a middle school girl. However, at present — Bikou was the most displeased. It wasn’t because he was tired either.
“Damn bastard! That rascal pig…!”
Bikou was angry at Zhu Bajie-san, and he had reason to be so. I was on this journey together with Vali, Salamander Tomita-san, Bikou, the beautiful JC Sha Wujing-chan and — a pig!
Following our line up was — a pig. Indeed, just a pig!
“Why is it a pig!? What the heck is Zhu Bajie doing!?”
Bikou was infuriated by the presence of a pig on the stairs. Having been contacted in advance, Vali said,
“Apparently, he ‘strained his roast area, so needs rest’.”
Roast, or perhaps better known as loin — in other words, he had strained the dorsal part of his shoulders to his hips.
“That rascal pig, I’m going to roast him! Besides, why is his substitute just an ordinary pig!?”
Bikou climbed up the stairs in a fit of anger. After Vali and I discussed the matter of being short of members, we came to the conclusion that we had no choice but to prepare a pig. We didn’t have much time…so we had no choice but this pig. But that masochist Zhu Bajie seriously isn’t motivated! He must’ve known about the existence of these steps! He didn’t come because he couldn’t be bothered with them! However, even though Bikou was never motivated, he continued climbing up the stairs without a complaint. …Surely, it meant those three disciples were truly terrifying….
It took us more than half a day to reach the summit, and from the respected monk who lived in that temple — we received several peaches. The peaches had a flat shape. They were a variety known as Saturn peaches, and they had long been treated as a fruit of immortality in China. Naturally, what we received weren’t just ordinary Saturn peaches which could be found in the human world, but peaches which possessed special properties. Well, rather than being a fruit of immortality according to its tale, it seemed like it was an ingredient for medicine that a sage would prepare. And it was what Xuanzang Sanzang wanted.
“Now then, please give this peach to Candana-punya Buddha-sama on my behalf.”
The monk said as he gave us a peach. Candana-punya Buddha — in other words, the Tripitaka Master Xuanzang Sanzang. Ah, and so, our second mission concluded. As I leaned back, I caught sight of Vali opening up a bento box in a corner of the temple! In the cute-looking bento box was a character-themed meal made up of a variety of colourful ingredients. The character-themed meal which seemed to imitate Vali’s face had the words ‘Va-kun’ written with seaweed.
“You’ve got a character-themed bento, huh. Who made it?”
I asked, and Vali ate as he replied,
“When I told a female magician I know that I’d be climbing a mountain to a temple at the request of the Tripitaka Master Xuanzang Sanzang today, she gave this to me.”
Ohoh, a female magician that he was acquainted with! It didn’t seem like it was Le Fay…. Having become interested, I listened as Vali continued,
“…For a time, she looked after me. She’s like an older sister.”
Huh, I didn’t know a person like that existed! Mmhmm, I was beginning to see more of a different side to him just through our interactions outside of battle, and it was rather enjoyable. I was able to obtain all sorts of information that I had never encountered before. Va-kun, huh. Well, perhaps I could try and find out more about it next time?
—Behind us, Bikou exclaimed in surprise. With his focus directed to us, the monk approached me and Vali and then said,
“This is a good opportunity. I shall tell you about it as well. What I’m about to tell you is also recorded in <<Journey to the West>>. It’s about when the first-generation Sun Wukong stole peaches from Xi Wangmu-sama’s Saturn peach banquet. So—”
And so, a lengthy story began—.
Having completed our mission at the top of the mountain, our group proceeded to the location of the final task.
In the wilderness of the mountains, Bikou wielded his Ruyi Jingu Bang against a Youkai opponent.
The JC Sha Wujing-chan also manipulated a powerful water current at her hands to blow several Youkai opponents away at once.
A rather unmotivated Zhu Bajie (who joined us just earlier) used a peculiar weapon with nine teeth that was reminiscent of a rake to swiftly defeat the Youkai. Indeed, the third mission was unexpectedly simple because the remote areas of China — which were home to sages also had rampaging Youkai bandits, so it was necessary to put them down. Vali and I supported them from the backline. The main force was the three members of the Journey to the West team. We simply blew away the Youkai that tried to escape. We also extinguished the stray sparks that made their way over to our side. Well, after listening to that endless <<Journey to the West>> story from the monk, it was only natural that we wanted to move about and get some physical activity. That was why this final mission was rather fitting for us.
For some reason, the kappa Salamander Tomita-san also participated in the battle, while the pig chewed on some grass in a corner of the battlefield…so, just ignore that part!
“Sha Wujing, Zhu Bajie! Let’s go!”
At some point, Zhu Bajie-san and Sha Wujing-chan suddenly began to unleash coordinated attacks on Bikou’s signal. For some reason or other, it felt as though this was the fate of Journey to the West.
“Leave it to me!”
The sounds of a kappa and a pig were occasionally mixed in with them, but…well, don’t worry about it! As I watched the Journey to the West team dispatch the Youkai bandits, I suddenly asked Vali,
“So, what do you think about making them your future team members?”
Vali looked on at the boisterous and joyful squad of three as he smiled and said,
“That’s a question for the white dragon. …Well, I don’t think it’ll get boring.”
Although a sardonic smile marked his expression, his words felt genuine. He was right though; they didn’t seem like team members who’d be boring to stick around. With that, the three missions that had been imposed on them by the first-generation old men had all been successfully completed—. Now, all that was left — was a debaucherous night of fun with Kuroka until morning! I made a salacious smile as I fantasised about such things.
On the next weekend.
“Whaaaaaaaaaattttt!? You can’t fulfill your promise with me!?”
I yelled in exasperation when I was contacted by Bikou via a communication magic circle. Although Bikou continually said ‘sorry’, he only offered a mild apology and didn’t seem genuine about it at all!
[Yeah…how should I phrase this? It’s nice that we cleared all those missions, but afterwards, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing became associate members of the Vali team because of the old man’s suggestion. So, we’ve gotta take care of them entirely now. What’s more, we’re looking after that piglet called ‘Chashu’  as well, so we’ve seriously got no free time.]
I-I-I didn’t hear a thing about any of that!? This guy told me that he’d disguise himself as Azazel-sensei or whoever to distract Rias and the others! In the meantime, I’d jump into that erotic room with Kuroka and let loose until morning! Speaking of which, they decided to keep that pig? That in itself was a good thing, but they named it ‘Chashu’! …Well, as long as it didn’t end up being sacrificed for Vali’s ramen research….
[That’s why. I told Kuroka’s little sister about the situation, so she’ll come up with something! See ya!]
With those words, Bikou cut the connection!
“Hey! Bikou! Hey! Damn, that bastard…!”
Amidst my furore…I finally understood Bikou’s last words! …Told…Kuroka’s little sister…about the situation…? I felt immense pressure directed at me from behind. As I gingerly turned around — Koneko-sama stood there shrouded in touki! She stared straight at me with narrowed eyes!
“…Trying to do something like that in secret from everyone…you’re the worst, Ise-senpai!”
“Nooooooo! I’m sooorrrrry!”
Koneko-chan’s educational guidance for me needed no words—. Damn it! Bloody Bikou! The next time I see him…I’ll absolutely make him hold up his end of the bargain! I firmly decided that to myself.
(All 1 of 1 parts) (30/8/20)
 JC: shortening of the Japanese pronunciation joshichuugakusei, which literally means middle school girl.
 A reference to the media franchise known as Yo-kai Watch.
 Chashu: Braised pork, generally from a fattier cut such as the belly.
Continues on to Salamander Tomita