It happened just a while after the match between Rias’ team and Vali’s team---.
“A bath, a bath.”
“A bath, a bath.”
“A bath, a bath ♪.”
I was washing my body down in the large bath at the Hyoudou residence, along with Ophis, Lilith and Kunou. When I decided to take a bath, Ophis, Lilith and Kunou came along, and we all went in together. The four of us were now side by side. These three girls occasionally accompany me in the bath. I always tell them to wash their bodies properly, and not to play around in the bath. Well, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be an older brother.
Splash! After rinsing Ophis's back while she sat in the front of me, we decided to soak in the bathtub together.
“Ise, carry me on your back.”
“Carry me on your back.”
“Bring me along too ♪”
There are three people hanging off my back! Even though the girls are small, as might be expected, all three of them together are still heavy! But after being carried into the bathtub, they finally let go.
Ahhh, bathing after training really is effective. It’s as if I am in heaven. Looking at them, the three girls next to me seem like they are also comfortably enjoying the warm bath. The first time Kunou entered the bath together with me, she was so embarrassed, but---
“Thinking about the future, this is just a trivial matter!” said Kunou.
---And, before I realised, Kunou bathing together with me had already become something normal.
Kunou then suddenly said
“Ah, I want my breasts to quickly become as big as okaa-sama's.”
While placing her hands over her breasts, Kunou said so. Her breasts are still too flat that they can't be called ‘oppai’ compared to the well-developed oppai of her okaa-sama, Yasaka-san. Aaaaaah!!!!!, I want to massage those oppai to my heart’s content, even only once would be okay!
As if reading my mind, Kunou stood up from the bathtub energetically while saying
“If they become as big as okaa-sama's, I will allow you to have a good look at my breasts. You better be ready at that time!”
I then replied with a mischievous face
“Unexpectedly, they’re still pretty small, huh.”
Kunou then pouted.
“They will become bigger, surely! ”
Kunou then abruptly jumped towards me! Guwa! She covered my face with her body!
“Me too, me too”
Ophis and Lilith mimicked Kunou and pounced onto me.
Before the match with the [Leisure of the Kings] Team, which was approaching soon, I spent my peaceful moments with these loli girls.
Playing with Kunou was good and all, but the bitter part about being the Sekiryuutei was that the day wouldn’t merely end like that. We, the Hyoudou Issei Team, gathered in my room and talked about the next match. And amidst that, what we were paying attention to was---
<<Oh! The match has been decided! Following the sudden return of the Champion Diehauser Belial, he has once again earned a victory!>>
The status of the tournament was displayed on the TV screen. There, the splendid sight of the Rating Game Champion who returned to the tournament was shown. Diehauser Belial had clenched yet another victory.
“As expected of Rating Game Champion. Even though he only started participating from the middle of the tournament, it’s only a matter of time before he qualifies for the main draw of the tournament.”
It was exactly as Xenovia said. Even though he joined part-way through the tournament, he smoothl-, no, he naturally keeps gaining stars, and his evaluation is already in the top ranks as well.
“He is also winning against God-class beings, right? Needless to say, the Champion really is amazing.” added Irina.
Emperor Belial even defeated teams belonging to God-class beings with his superior tactics and great knowledge of the Rating Game’s rules. Well, since Diehauser’s true strength alone is undoubted, even if God-class beings were to get close, he could deal with them properly. As expected, Diehauser’s specialty, [Worthless] is strong….inviolable even. If the enemy was an unskillful God-class being, their power would be crushed by [Worthless]. And because of that, Team Belial, who showed the nature of the Champion are certainly expected to go into the main tournament.
With something like that, and because the tournament is also progressing to the finale, us members of the Hyoudou Issei Team are paying attention to the teams that are going into the main draw, as well as players who stirred up a big fuss in the tournament. Even on television, there is this special program called “New Faces Noticed in the Tournament”, which highlights players in the tournament who stood out. Rookies that are being looked forward to are shown one after another. And among them were the mysterious Devils Who suddenly appeared in the tournament like a meteor yesterday.
---The copper-haired Balberith and the jade-haired Verrine.
<<Even though they didn’t really stand out, this team is not most certainly unusual. They suddenly participated in this tournament and instantly stood themselves out from the others. The mysterious young Devils, with Balberith as the lead, the [Black Satan of Darkness Dragon King] Team.>>
Balberith and his mysterious Devil teammates easily defeated ultimate-class devils, and they were even able to subdue God-class beings. Every mythology paid attention to them, but also felt terror.
…Of course. They suddenly showed up and even gods were defeated with their overwhelming power. Right now, even though they haven’t fought any of the teams tipped to win besides Mahabali-san’s team since they participated in the tournament, they have been mostly undefeated and continued to move up in the rankings. On the contrary, somehow, the fact that they had been penalised as a result of violating certain special rules made us realise that they were younger than us. But, this [Black Satan of Darkness Dragon King] Team was already at the level where they had been chosen as one of the winning candidates. By the way, isn’t the team’s name too long?
Incidentally, the [King] is a high-class Grim Reaper from Olympus. I thought he was somehow connected to the Netherworld, but…. I was more concerned with the [King]’s rank. It wasn't ‘ultimate’, only ‘high-class’. Did they do that because they didn't want to stand out? Or was it… Ahh… I can’t figure out their intentions.
Being concerned about the mysterious Devils was necessary of course, but, there were also other players that I had to look out for.
The moment those guys showed up on the TV, I pointed my finger.
“Personally, I am interested in this guy.”
Shown on the TV was a special program featuring Sacred Gears, called [Unknown Sacred Gears]. Indeed, a new type of Sacred Gear had caught the eye of Sacred Gear researchers such as the Grigori, and it was currently the subject of much attention.
A certain Sacred Gear user was shown on the screen.
The one player that caught my attention was someone who controlled iron and could create mechanical equipment. Moreover, he could also control electronic devices and use it in a way that I had never seen before. What shocked us was that his Sacred Gear had the ability to even control electronic devices. The Sacred Gear System was created by the God of the Bible a long time ago, so it was definitely surprising to learn that a Sacred Gear could interfere with modern technology.
Ravel then pointed to the guy who could control iron and electronic devices with his abilities.
“That guy is a member of Ruval-oniisama’s team.”
The team of Ravel’s older brother was not only formed with servants that were professionals, but also with a God from the Egyptian mythology who was known as the ancestor of the Phoenix, [The Immortal Sacred Bird, Bennu]! Yes, the team of the Phoenix’s family eldest son had a combination of holy and demonic phoenixes at the center and formed a team together. Their team showed the ‘immortality’ trait to all other players and factions.
The immortal army that even God-class beings couldn't easily defeat kept gaining victory. The guy whose Sacred Gear controlled iron and electronic devices was also a member of that team. On the other hand, the third son of the Phoenix’s clan, Riser Phoenix, continued to struggle in battles, and his elimination in the preliminary round of the tournament had almost become certain. One of the key factors was that his luck on the matching was terrible and he kept getting higher ranked players as his opponents. Lately, Riser keeps complaining to me via communication magic every night, and even I became quite troubled with cheering him up.
There was also another Sacred Gear user who caught our attention. Shown on the screen was the sight of the person who destroyed a large portion of the game field. He was neither a Maou-class nor a God-class being, but a young human — a human Sacred Gear user. The exquisite equipment that the young man used consisted of a longsword and a rifle. When they were wielded, it was certain that the earth would crack and the forests would be erased until nothing was left. It was clear that his Sacred Gear’s power was unique. A longsword… and a rifle, a pair of Sacred Gears!
While everyone focused on the clip, Ravel said to me
“That is… a team centered on a Sacred Gear user, the [King] of the [Shooting Star] Team, Shooting Star-senshu! That team keeps securing victories one after another.”
Xenovia, while being surprised by the massive damage dealt by the long sword and rifle said
“What insane power! In the middle of the match, a certain mythology’s god got blown away, huh… Is it really just a Sacred Gear?”
Simply in terms of power, it was possible to take a God-class being (non-battle type though) on as an enemy. Also, it seemed like he hadn't used his Balance Breaker yet. But, that was only if the devastating power hit its target. Most of them could be dodged.
Irina then continues
“They didn’t really stand out when the qualifiers began, did they? Only after reaching the mid-stage did their rank suddenly go up.”
Indeed, we didn’t hear anything about them in the early stage. Like Irina said, it was only when the mid-stage began that we started to hear the rumour “An unbelievable Sacred Gear user has appeared” a lot of times.
Then my junior, Nakiri Ouryuu, said
“From what I can see, it is possible to discern that this immense power is being mastered gradually. I mean, I saw the recording of their early stage match, but they lost because he couldn’t control his power and it exploded.”
As Nakiri said, I also became interested and watched their early stage match… But, he couldn’t control the Sacred Gear well, and as a result of continuously missing the target, their team got cornered and they suffered a series of defeats. But, the recording also showed that he was gradually getting used to his power every time he fought, and when he entered the middle stage, his power blossomed.
The power and mass of the aura released by the long sword and rifle was out of the ordinary. It’s exactly as Xenovia said, you can’t think that it is just a normal Sacred Gear. Balberith and Verrine were good, the guy that could control iron was good too, this Sacred Gear that holds idiot-like power is also good; it’s as if people that we neither predicted nor imagined are starting to appear. Even though we were surprised, we accepted reality and began to make plans on how to deal with them. In the middle of the final stage of the qualifiers, we also started to see some pretty clear changes among the teams that participated in the tournament. Many of them had also improved.
“Ufufu, maybe the rumour is right”
The one who whispered that, was a pink-haired onee-sama who was lying down on my bed comfortably while looking at the TV --- Roygun Belphegor.
She was relaxing on my bed wearing a daring dress that showed her cleavage. Lately Roygun-san has been secretly participating in our strategy meetings. Because she was so silent while she was beside us, it felt as though she showed up out of nowhere. Also, her aroma is out of this world!
Ravel then asked Roygun-san
“Roygun-sama, what ‘rumour’?”
While fumbling with her pink hair with her hand, she replied
“The number of Longinus, don’t they seem to be increasing?”
We were all surprised by that information. Of course! We have no choice to be surprised if we hear that the number of Longinus is increasing! Roygun-san then speaks while sitting up
“The research on Sacred Gears which has been done by Heaven’s Seraphs, along with the Grigori, has been able to clearly confirm that there are several species that have deviated from normal Sacred Gears. Because of that, there is a discussion on re-classifying these new Sacred Gears. It was my servant who got me that information. This information will also probably be officially delivered to you guys, [DxD], soon.”
It was the first time we'd heard such information. It might be because the Sacred Gear’s research authority, Azazel-sensei, wasn’t here that getting the newest information regarding Sacred Gears has become harder than before.
Right when the TV was showing Gasper, Roygun-san continued to speak.
“I have also heard that the half-vampire on Rias’ team also got a Longinus certification.”
Gasper got a Longinus certification too! Well, it is certain I’ve been told that his ability was Longinus-class since last year. The person who was surprised more than anyone by this was Gasper’s classmate, Nakiri.
“Vladi has a Longinus! Is this for real…? Well, I guess it’s only natural with that ability.”
He wasn’t sure how to react to the fact that his classmate’s ability was a Longinus. He seemed half-happy, and half-frustrated. Because they were both close, it seemed like Nakiri was inevitably worried about Gasper. But, another thing that worried me was Roygun-san’s information network. The information just now wasn’t officially announced by the Grigori or the Heaven yet. How in the hell did she get that information? It was even faster than [DxD]. It’s probably because she, as a former second ranker in the Rating Game has her own information network. By the way, while watching the recording of the match like this time, Roygun-san also gave us valuable advice regarding the tactics for the upcoming tournament.
And, while we were talking about the tournament’s new faces and Longinus, there was one person whose mind seemed to be elsewhere. It was Rossweisse-san.
Even during this discussion, without saying a word, it seemed like she was thinking about something that was bothering her. With a worried look on her face, Asia asked Rossweisse-san
“Rossweisse-san, a-are you okay?”
After talking to her several times, it seems like Rossweisse-san finally noticed and hastily stands up and speaks.
“Eh? Ah, yeah! I-I am fine! If it’s about the marriage meeting, I am ready whenever it is!”
When Rossweisse-san made an awkward fist pump, everyone became silent and didn’t know how to react.
Ravel then nervously spoke
“U-Umm… We’re in the middle of our tournament strategy meeting right now.”
With that one sentence, Rossweisse-san’s face became red and she panicked as she waved both of her hands about
“Ah! T-This is! S-Sorry! What was wrong with me…..”
She then looked a bit depressed and sat back down in her chair. Everyone in the room knew what Rossweisse-san was thinking about. Yes, it’s exactly as Rossweisse-san herself said. It’s because the day of the marriage meeting between Rossweisse-san and the Norse mythology’s chief god, Vidar-san, is getting closer---.
These events occurred just before the last summer vacation of my high school life.