<<—team, [King] has retired. It’s the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team’s victory.>>
Just as I sent the opposing team’s [King] flying backwards, they faded into the light of retirement. The announcement of our victory echoed throughout the entire venue. After the game concluded, we returned to the stadium from the vast field (an aquatic location this time). An ovation of cheers welcomed our return as the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team. A live announcement was then made.
<<It has been decided again—! The victory goes to the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team—! Hyoudou Issei-senshu’s1 team is on a roll! They continue their winning streak!>>
The audience’s voices enveloped the entire stadium, culminating into a fanatical whirlpool. We raised our hands up and responded to the audience. The cheers intensified even further, which honestly surprised us. The Rating Game World Tournament that all factions were able to participate in had already been running for more than a month now.
—We had won yet another game, adding to our steady accumulation of wins.
After the game ended, the members of the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team returned to the waiting room. After gulping down a supplementary drink in one go, Irina spoke triumphantly
“Fufufu, we’re on a winning streak. Our team is full of momentum right now!”
“Perhaps one of the reasons is that we haven’t encountered a god-class being’s team yet…but we’ve even defeated the teams of high-class Devils, so we’re actually doing very well.”
—Rossweisse-san used a towel to wipe her cheek as she calmly replied. Indeed, we had been victorious ever since we first started competing in the World Tournament. Of all the teams that we had fought against so far, some had been below us, while some were professional Rating Game players, and though they weren’t easy fights, we had still won until now. …However, it could only be considered luck that we hadn’t encountered a team with any god-class beings so far. If we really were to face off against one, victory would be extremely difficult to obtain. No members of the anti-terrorist [DxD] team had encountered a god-class being yet either. If we continued to accumulate wins like this, we would eventually encounter a god-class being — or perhaps someone on the level of a Maou. Thus it was only sensible for us to continue accumulating wins before that encounter to ensure that we would have a qualifying score. Nonetheless, our team was brimming with vitality and momentum because of this winning streak. So long as our morale was high, our performance improved in correspondence, so it was definitely a gain. Of course, we also have team members like Rossweisse-san who maintain a calm mind. It was actually Xenovia who seemed somewhat gloomy this time. Upon seeing that the joy of victory did not emerge on her friend’s face, the surprised Irina asked Xenovia
“Ara, Xenovia? You don’t seem to be very happy?”
Xenovia sighed as she responded
“Hmm, I’m pleased about our continuous wins…but based on my experiences, it’s very easy for bad things to happen at times like this.”
This should be the experience that Xenovia had cultivated when she was a Church warrior — or perhaps it was intuition. Unexpectedly, I can’t do anything like that. In fact, there have been times where we’ve relied on a team member’s intuition to escape from a few dilemmas. Ravel nodded in agreement with Xenovia.
“I think that will be the case from now on. In professional Rating Games, it is often the case that new teams rely on strength and morale to maintain their winning streak at the beginning. However, there are many changes that occur once they reach the midpoint.”
Everyone’s attention was directed towards the strategist Ravel. With a serious expression, Ravel said
“From here on they will start to experience losing streaks. The reason is very simple; no matter how good a team is, the formation of a good strategy will completely stop them as long as another team has done enough research.”
Precisely because they were strong, countermeasures were developed. Because we have been so successful thus far, we are bound to become the targets of other teams. …We have definitely been analysed with great depth. It was also uncertain when we would be hit. Perhaps it would be the next match. As we continue to win these matches one by one, there will eventually come a day when….
“Even if it is possible to win, countermeasures can immediately be devised. You can never have too tactical plans, that’s what my father said.”
—The team’s [Pawn] Bova said. His father, Tannin-ossan had also participated in professional Rating Games. He had more or less experienced various things. At this time, even Bina Lessthan-shi2, who was usually silent, made a rare remark.
“If a tactic is popular, then it will lead to a lot of research, further increasing its popularity, the same thing applies regardless of whether it’s a game of Chess or the Devils’ Rating Games.”
Ravel also nodded in agreement.
“Bina-sama is correct. As a novice team, if we simply rely on momentum, others will develop a counter-strategy which has a high probability of defeating us.”
“But, in order to prevent this, we should come up with our own countermeasures, right Ravel?”
To answer Xenovia’s question, Ravel replied with
“It is only natural. …However, it is regrettable that I am also an amateur. Although I do want to come up with a countermeasure that has no gaps…weaknesses will still be exposed by professionals or god-class beings.”
…It was true that we had already defeated several professional players, but they were not high-ranked opponents. There were several top-ranked players also participating in the World Tournament. Needless to say, they also had many wins. If we were to fight against them, it would certainly be a difficult match. Bina-shi also added
“Creating weak points — such things are also possible. In the past, there was a perfectly synchronised team, but one particular player had a more fragile mind, so when their opponents made a clever counter, the team’s entire balance collapsed.”
Making weak points huh. That is truly quite terrifying. Although I can’t imagine how one would come up with tactics like that, the teams relying on power would surely crumble if they were countered with a clever strategy…. Just as I delved into deep thought as the [King]…. Ravel reacted to what Bina-shi just said.
“Bina-sama, about what you just said, could it be that person—”
Before she could finish her sentence.
There was someone who had appeared to speak to us. —It was a blonde-haired female vampire wearing a red sweater, Elmenhilde. She extended a clipboard towards Ravel.
“I have completed…the record of the game.”
Ravel smiled as she accepted it.
“Thank you. Elemenhilde-sama’s record is always so neat, it’s a great help.”
“Ah no, I was the one who asked in the first place, so I’m willing to do anything.”
Elmenhilde answered respectfully. On the day that the two shocking combinations of my match against Dulio, and Sairaorg-san’s match against Cao Cao were announced, there was a sudden visit to the Hyoudou household — it was the pure-blooded Vampire ojou-sama3 of the Carmilla faction, Elmenhilde Karnstein. As soon as she arrived, she stated that she wished to join the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team. We were all rather surprised to hear this. I haven’t asked about the details yet, but it seems that she came to visit us regarding the revival of her hometown. But either way, this was an important tournament; it wasn’t possible to incorporate her into our team without a single thought. In order for her to observe the situation, Ravel asked her to record the details of our games for a while. The decision not to add her into the team immediately wasn’t just because of her identity; it also took into account the dangers of the tournament and the future of the [Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth] team. More importantly, she was also an agent of the Carmilla Vampire faction. She had to obtain permission in order to leave the country. …But it seems she had already negotiated this in advance. However, suddenly adding in a new member would mean that the team’s balance and teamwork had to be reworked again, and our current momentum would halt. So Ravel left her in charge of recording, in hopes that she would be able to witness our activity while she memorised the actions and personalities of each member. …If we forced Elmenhilde in and it ruined our current teamwork, then it would not be worth it. Although I felt sorry for her, it was necessary to slowly get used to her through practice. In fact, she had now joined in with our team’s training sessions. I still don’t know whether Ravel will include her in our future team composition. Even if I gave approval, Ravel would definitely disagree right now…. If I insisted on her joining, Ravel would probably concede, but even if I did that…. While I gave thought to such matters, I realised that Elmenhilde’s former haughty attitude had changed, and she was now rather timid! She seemed to have become rather honest and quiet. Although her naiveté as an ojou-sama was evident in her daily life, her previously condescending attitude and atmosphere had already disappeared. …I guess she became like this because she must have experienced something unforgettable. The Vampire country had been destroyed by Qlippoth, and she was now working hard to rebuild her own country. I thought about Elmenhilde’s feelings…and then, I began to reflect on our tournament game. As we continued to chat, Ravel looked at her wristwatch and then said to me
“Ah, it’s time. Ise-sama. We’ll stop the reflection meeting here, it’s time for work.”
“Oops, that’s right. As a newly appointed [King], I have to take care of those matters.”
Indeed, as a high-class Devil, I had also started doing [Devil’s jobs]. Between the tournament and Devil’s jobs, there was honestly a lot of things to do as a new high-class Devil. We concluded our reflection, and then returned to Kuoh Town. For us, the first great mountain of this tournament was — [Trump Card of Heaven]. There was not much time left until our match against the team of reincarnated Angels that Dulio led.