High School DxD:Volume 2 Life 3
Life.3 I Started My Training
Lesson 1: Sword practice with Kiba.
I was swinging the bokuto (wooden sword) and was doing sword training with Kiba. Kiba evades my attack smoothly. No matter how much force I apply to my swings, it doesn't seem like it will hit Kiba.
Kiba hit my bokuto again.
“That’s not it. Don’t just look at the opponent’s sword movements but widen your line of vision. You also have to look at the opponent and the surroundings.”
Even if you say that, it’s not that simple. The more I practiced with Kiba, the more I realise the difference in strength between us. Kiba’s ability is splendid. No wonder he has the role of a 'Knight'. He beat me with minimal movements. He has practiced for a longer time, has more battle experience and talent at using a sword than me.
“We are not done yet. Here I come!”
That day I witnessed it again. Kiba’s sword technique is superb.
Lesson 2: Magic practice with Akeno-san.
“That’s not it. Magical power is gathered from the aura that covers the whole body. You have to concentrate and feel the wave of magical power.”
Even if Akeno-san, who was wearing a black jersey, was teaching me, I couldn’t even gather magical power into my hand. Gununun..... Concentrate! I need to concentrate hard! I have to gather the magical power in my hand while imagining something!
“I did it!”
Asia who was wearing a white jersey, gathered the block of magical power in her hands. A light green colored magic. So Asia’s magic aura is green. It’s beautiful.
“Araara. So Asia-chan is gifted in using magical powers after all.”
Asia’s cheeks got red after Akeno-san complimented her. Nu........ Crap, I suck at this. It didn’t even look like magic power at all. I somehow made a really small magical ball, but it was not big like Asia’s. If Asia’s magical ball had the size of a softball, mine had the size of a rice........... Well if Asia can get stronger then that’s fine. But I have the ultimate Sacred Gear anyway! Hahahaha!
“Now we will change that magical ball into fire or lightning. You could make this by imagining it. But for a beginner, it will work better if you use it on actual fire or water and make it move by using magic.”
Akeno-san sends her magical power into the water inside the water bottle.
The water that received the magical power formed into the shape of a spike and ripped the water bottle from the inside. Wow, that’s amazing.
“Asia-chan. I want you to do this next. Ise-kun, I want you to continue to gather the magical power by concentrating. The source of magic is imagining. Anyway it’s important to make the thing you imagine inside your head into reality.”
Hmmmm. Imagination, huh. To make the thing you imagine inside your head into reality.....
“It’s easier to make it into the shape of something you are good at or things you always think about.”
That’s what you say Akeno-san, but........ Nnnn? Something I’m good at? Something I always think about? So is it possible to make “that” into reality?
“Akeno-san, do you have a minute?”
If I can make something I always think about into reality....... Then I can become invincible! Wow that’s awesome! Even I think this will be something great! Akeno-san paused for a second.
“Fufufufu. It’s something you would come up with Ise-kun.”
She made a chuckle. Oh! So this may be possible? Akeno-san went back to the mansion. She brought something and put it in front of me. She brought loads of carrots, potatoes, and onions. Isn’t this the ingredients for curry?
“Then Ise-kun. I want you to strip these off with your magic power during the stay here.”
Oh I get it. I understood what Akeno-san wanted me to do and what she was trying to say. Looks like it’s a long road ahead.
Lesson 3: Sparing with Koneko-chan.
Gufu! Today I succeeded in getting pushed into a big tree for the tenth time. No that’s not it. I was blown away by Koneko-chan’s punch! Da...damn it!
A loli shoujo who was wearing a yellow jersey gave me harsh words. Shit, I’m so shocked. I felt it with the incident with Raiser, but getting beaten by a small girl pains me. Koneko-chan is a devil shoujo who is good at martial arts technique including throwing moves and pinning techniques. She’s insanely strong with the mix of a “Rooks” traits of super strength and super high defense. She’s also keen because she has a small body, so if I let my guard down she will immediately be right in front of me. Then I received a blow in my stomach. I’m sure she was holding back, but it still hurt.
“......You have to aim at the middle of the body when you give a blow. You hit with accuracy and also by thrusting your blow deep into the opponent’s body.”
Even if she says that, it would be hard for me to hit the opponent because I’m a total newbie. Koneko-chan started to swirl her arm around then pointed her fist at me.
“......Then here’s another round.”
Looks like I’ll be killed.
Lesson 4: With Buchou!
“Ise! Keep on going!”
I was currently climbing up a very steep mountain. I had a rock on my back that was tied to my body with rope. And on top of that, Buchou was sitting on the rock. I was walking up the mountain and then down the mountain. I kept on repeating this. The mountain path with no walking path was really exhausting. My legs were getting numb after I did dozens of laps and Buchou finally let me finish this.
“Okay, we are done with this. Next is muscle training. We will go with push ups.”
She’s a devil. A devil-buchou! I lack basic stats so I had way more training than the other members. Also “Pawns” are required to run around the battle area the most, so it’s essential for us to increase our stamina and power.
Buchou put a rock on my back without any hesitation when I was in the posture for doing a push up. Magic is really useful because you can lift a rock up in the air with ease. If only she used that to carry the luggage......
Then Buchou sat on top of the rock. Even a slight force pained me......
“Then three-hundred push ups. Let’s start.”
If I wasn’t a devil, I would have already died hundreds of times.
“Uoooooo! Delicious! It’s really delicious!”
We were having our dinner after finishing a day of training. We had an extravagance of food on the table. The herbs Kiba collected earlier were used for spices. The meat was made from the boar Buchou hunted earlier. It was my first time eating it and it tasted delicious because it didn’t have any nasty taste to it! Buchou also caught some fish. They were just cooked and had some salt on it yet it tasted good as well! There were also different types of food on the table.
“Araara, we still have more food left so eat as much as you want.”
Akeno-san gave a refill of rice. And the food was all made by Akeno-san! Oh!! It’s good! It’s really good! Everyone was digging into the food. We were all seriously tired from the training. That’s why I could fill my stomach with lots of food. Most of the things inside the luggage were equipment used for cooking. It was worth all the hard training if I got to eat delicious food like this. I probably shouldn’t say it out loud, but Koneko-chan was eating a lot of food quickly.
“Akeno-san, you are the best! I want you to be my wife!”
“Ufufufu. You are embarrassing me.”
Akeno-san smiled while putting her hand on her cheek. She looked so good in the Japanese apron.
“......I'm the one who made the soup.”
Huh!? Asia who was beside me looked sad. She looked so sulky. Apparently the onion soup on the table was made by Asia. She was probably feeling sad because I was only praising Akeno-san’s food. I got the bowl of soup and drank it with one sip. Yes, it’s good!
“It’s good Asia! It’s the best! Give me another one!”
“It is!? I’m so glad..... Then now I can also be with......Ise-san.......”
“Hmmm? I couldn’t hear the last part. What was that?”
“N..no, it’s nothing!”
Asia waved her hand while her face became red. Huh? What was she trying to say?
“Now, Ise. From today’s training what have you found out?”
Buchou asked me after drinking green tea. I put my chopsticks down and answered her seriously,
“......I am the weakest.”
“Yes. That’s for sure.”
I felt like crying after she answered back quickly.
“Akeno, Yuuto, and Koneko have lots of battle experience even though they have not participated in the game, so they can fight if they get used to it. But you and Asia basically have no experience yet. Even so, your Boosted Gear and Asia’s healing ability can’t be ignored. Even the enemy knows that. I want you to have at least the power to run away from the enemy.”
“Run? ........Is it that hard?”
Buchou nodded at my question.
“Running away is also a part of the strategy. Retreating to form a new formation is also a professional way of battling. There are ways to win a match like that. But running away with your back facing an enemy is something very hard. If it’s an enemy with roughly the same strength as you, it is easy, but showing your back to an enemy who is far superior to you is basically saying please kill me. So running away from an enemy like that is also part of the strategy. So I have to teach you and Asia the timing to run away as well. Of course I will also teach you how to fight the enemy head on.”
Asia and I replied to Buchou. It was unavoidable that Asia got involved in this fight since she became a member of the Gremory household....... I need to have the power to at least protect Asia. In the worst case I will have to become Asia’s shield. That is the resolution I need to have.
“Let’s take a shower after the meal. It’s an outdoor bath so it’s wonderful.”
! With Buchou’s words I started to think about naughty stuff. Bath!? Outdoor bath!? If it’s an outdoor bath, then it’s a place to peek! Peeking is the right way for an outdoor bath! Yes! It’s a sin not to peek if you are born as a man!
“I’m not going to peek, Ise-kun.”
Kiba said it to me smiling.
“Ara. Ise, do you want to peek at us while we are taking a bath?”
Everyone looked at me after Buchou’s question. Oh shit. I feel awkward..... I feel like apologizing for being a perv. But Buchou laughed.
“Then do you want to take a bath together? I don’t mind.”
What! I felt electricity running through my body! Ku! Buchou’s Japanese was stunning like always! I felt like crying because of her wonderful idea!
“How about you, Akeno?”
“I don’t mind if it’s Ise-kun. Ufufufu. I might want to wash the man’s back.”
Akeno-san gave me an okay with a smile! I totally want her to wash my back! Absurd! It’s okay then!? It’s really okay!? How unguarded can the girls from this club get!?
“How about you, Asia? If it’s your love, Ise, then you are alright with it right?”
Asia got red and became quiet after Buchou’s question, but she eventually nodded. Wow! I never thought a situation like this would happen to me!? Wow wow wow wow wow!! What should I do!? I’m confident that I will have to bend my body the whole time!
“Lastly Koneko? How about it?”
She rejected me!? I was dreaming for a moment, but this was a natural response from an ordinary girl!
“Then it’s a no. Too bad, Ise.”
Buchou made a chuckle. Wha..... They raised my hopes up, then dropped me to the depths of abyss. Because of the shocking conclusion, my view became black. Sob..... I was so close.... So having a dream that is impossible is impossible after all..... Then it looks like I have to peek.....
“.......If you peek, then I will hold a grudge against you forever.”
Guha! I received a finishing blow from Koneko-chan! Shit! It’s a no after all! I had my hopes up!
“Ise-kun, let’s have a naked bath together. I will wash your back.”
“Shut up!!! I will fucking kill you for real, Kiba!!”
My shout of anger echoed throughout the mansion.
Training Day 2.
When I woke up in the morning, what awaited me was the intense pain of muscle aches. That’s because I also trained at night.
“You also have a special training program for night time.”
That’s what Buchou said. The training was much harder than the training I do every morning. It has a few times more training than the one I did in the morning. Even if a devil is much stronger at night, I would still die if I train during both the day and night. I was already in a bad mood because I had to share the room with Kiba. When I heard the girls' voices from upstairs, I regretted being born as a guy. Then in the morning for day 2, it was study time. Apparently they gathered at the living room so that they could teach me and Asia about devils' knowledge. Therefore they were teaching me some weird names that were hard to remember. Because I was taught things that I don’t even understand, my brain was about to get fried. When they pumped quite a decent amount of information, Kiba asked me a question.
“Our greatest enemy are the angels led by God. What is the name given to the top angels? Also what are their names?”
“Ummm, it’s seraphim, right? The members are Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Ur.......Uriel?”
Fu..... So it’s correct. I remembered that they all have an “-el” at the end of their name, so somehow I remembered them all.
“Next is our “Maou-sama”. What are the names of the “Yondai-Maou-sama (Four Great Satans)”?”
“Alright! Piece of Cake! I’m planning to meet them when I get a peerage! So I remembered all their names! Lucifer-sama, Beelzebub-sama, and Asmodeus-sama! And lastly the “female Maou-sama” that I look up to, Leviathan-sama!”
“I’m definitely going to meet Leviathan-sama!”
I heard from Buchou that the person standing at the top of the female devils is “Maou Leviathan-sama”. I also heard that she is a beautiful Maou! I was also told that I would get a chance to meet her! Ku! I can’t wait! How beautiful will she be? Since she is Maou-sama, she would be very beautiful....... Ha..... I really want to meet her.
“Then next, I will ask you to say the names of the leaders of the fallen-angels that you, Ise-kun, totally detest.”
Here it comes. The names of those fallen-angels I totally hate...... The fallen angels have more leaders than the other factions. But their names are complicated..... But I remember the names of the top 2.
“The main group is called “Grigori”. The name of the Governor is “Azazel” and the name of the vice-governor is “Shemhaza”. I know completely up to here. The name of the leaders are .....Armaros, Barakiel, Tamiel....... And..... ummmmm, huh? Bene-something and Cociane?”
“Benemue, Kokabiel and Shariel. You have to remember them properly. This is also the basics. It’s the same as remembering the names of the prime minister and vice-prime minister of Japan.”
How can I!? They have too many leaders! Two is enough! What are the jobs of the other leaders, then!? Man, that’s why fallen-angels are such a pain. They are probably scum anyway. Also they survey the “Children of God”, the “Sacred Gear” possessors twenty-four seven. That’s also the reason why I was attacked and why Asia was killed. The fallen-angels made a group to research about the Sacred Gears. They invite beneficial Sacred Gear possessors to their group or they take their Sacred Gears. If they aren’t beneficial then they kill them on the spot. Seriously they are the biggest scum ever. They even kill those possessors that do not know about their own Sacred Gear. That’s how I was. They seem to be the greatest enemy of the devils, so I won’t hold back on them. I won’t hold back on those guys who did such a terrible thing to Asia! Like this I was taught about angels and fallen-angels. It’s becoming quite useful to know. I need to remember especially about the relation between the devils and other factions. Then next, Asia lectured us.
“Cough. Then now, I, Asia Argento will explain about the basics of the exorcists.”
Oh. Clap-clap. I gave Asia a clap. Then she turned red. Man, she is cute.
“Um...ummmm. From the place I used to belonged to, there were two types of exorcists.”
Asia nodded at my question.
“The first type are the ones that appears in films and novels. The father reads a section of the book, then he uses the holy water to get rid of the devil from the person’s body. They are known as the “Usual exorcists”. Then the “Other exorcists” would be the ones that are a threat to us.”
Buchou continued from where Asia left off.
“Ise, you also have met him before, but the greatest threat to devils' are either God or exorcists who received the divine protection from the fallen-angels. We, the devils, have been fighting against them for a very long time. They come to destroy us with the power of light received from the angels, and with their physical bodies that they trained to the uttermost limits.”
Then I remembered the crazy priest guy from before. He was a crazy exorcist with white hair. He not only kills devils but also those who have connections to a devil. To tell the truth, I don’t want to meet him ever again. While I was thinking about it, Asia took out loads of stuff from her bag. Buchou picked up a small bottle with water inside it with her fingers and was holding it as if she was touching something disgusting.
“Now I will talk about the traits of holy water and the Bible. First of all, holy water. It will be very terrible if a devil touches it.”
“Yes, that’s true. So you can’t touch it as well, Asia. Your skin will get harmed.”
“Sob.....that’s right...... I can’t touch holy water anymore.”
Asia was shocked after hearing Buchou’s comment. Well she is a devil after all.
“I will tell you how to make one afterwards. I don’t know if it will be useful but there are a couple of ways to make them.”
Asia continued to talk energetically because it was her strong field. Yo, devil priestess! If I say something like that she probably would cry so I shouldn’t say it.
“Next is the Bible. I have been reading it every day since I was a child. But I’m in trouble now because it gives me a pain in the head even if I only read a sentence of it.”
“That’s because you are a devil.”
“You are a devil.”
“Ufufufu, devil’s receive intense damage.”
“Sob..... I can’t read the Bible anymore!”
Asia started to have teary eyes after everyone pointed it out to her.
I heard from Buchou before. We devils suffer greatly if someone reads out the bible to us. I haven’t experienced it yet, but I would probably suffer because of boredom if someone read it out to me. But then it means Asia has been reading the Bible. If she continues she might die!
“But this is my favourite phrase.... Oh God. Please forgive a sinful person like myself who can’t read the Bible......Ouch!”
There she goes again. She received damage again by praying to God. Please God, just ignore this child’s prayer. Like this we finished our morning study session, and then moved onto training.
There were a few things I found out while training like this with everyone for several days. I have no talent in using swords. I have no talent in martial arts. I have no talent in using magic. And the most crucial one is that I am insanely weak. I realised how weak I am the more I trained with the others.
I won’t be useful in the game. I don’t have a healing ability like Asia. What I’m doing alright is peeling off the vegetables. Well this is also a part of the training. I’m.......so weak and useless........
That night at the mansion.
I was looking at the ceiling while lying down on my bed. It had been a week since we came to the mountains. I had been training and training every day. We also repeated different battle formations and combinations for the upcoming game. I looked at Kiba who was sleeping. He was sleeping peacefully.
......Kiba is amazing. I realised the difference between us the more we trained together. I would probably not beat Kiba in a sword fight ever. It’s the skill he attained with his own talent and loads of training where he almost died. I don’t have either. If I train hard from now on, will I be as strong as Kiba? After how many years will that be? Or after how many decades? No, maybe forever. I...... In magic training, Asia kept on improving her magic. She started to master using fire, water and lightning. But me, right now, I could only make a magic block that had the size of a grain of rice. I...... Shit! I couldn’t keep on lying down so I got up from the bed. I then headed towards the kitchen. I drank a cup of water.
“Ara? Your awake?”
Buchou’s voice came from the living room. When I looked, Buchou was sitting where the table was.
“Ah, Buchou. Hello.”
“Why are you so stiff? Good timing, let’s talk for a bit.”
The faint light from the candle made the table visible. Devils can see at night, even if there are no lights. Thanks to that, we were able to train even at night. Then this candle was used probably for looks then. I then sat opposite of Buchou. Buchou was wearing a red negligee while wearing glasses and tying her crimson hair into one.
“Huh? Buchou, do you have bad eyesight?”
“Oh this? It’s just for looks. I can think more clearly while having my glasses on. Fufufu, this is the proof that I have been in the human’s world for so long.”
Buchou made a chuckle. Even Buchou with glasses looked beautiful..... More like her negligee also looked great! On the table there were loads of paper that looked like a map and battle formation....... Was she making a plan by herself at night? Buchou then closed the strategy notebook.
“.....To tell you the truth, reading this won’t help me at all.”
Buchou said it while making a sigh.
“Why is that?”
“If the opponent is another high-class devil, then we could fight by reading this. This book is written with lots of research. But the problem isn’t that.”
“? Then what’s wrong?”
“Raiser himself. No, the problem is that our opponent is Phoenix.”
Buchou took out a book after answering me and put it on the table. She then pointed out at an opened page. There was a picture of a fire bird with its wings spread wide open.
“A long time ago the mystical beast, Phoenix, was looked upon by humans as a bird that represents life. The tears of the phoenix can heal any wounds, and the blood that flows within its body can give eternal youth to those that drink it. It became a legend and that’s how it’s told in the human world.”
But there was also another clan that was different from the mystical beast phoenix. They were the devils that had the rank of Duke, and were counted as one of the “72 pillars”. The “Phoenix” from the devils' side.
“The humans gave a different name to the Devils' Phoenix to distinguish it from the mystical beast Phoenix. They gave them the name “Phenex”. But the mystical beast phoenix has the same ability as Raiser’s clan. In other words immortality. We need to fight someone like that.”
Immortal!? Wa..wait! Then!
“That’s cheating! I mean immortal!? That’s basically invincible!”
“Yes. They are basically invincible. Even if you attack them, their wounds will heal right away. Their flames won’t even leave a bone left. This is the record that Raiser has at the Rating Game. 8 wins and 2 losses. This is the official record of Raiser’s Rating game results. He fought 10 times and won 8 matches. He lost 2 of the match on purpose as kindness to one of the households he is close to. In other words he won most of his games. He already became a candidate to obtain a title in the official game.”
......Wha..... I lost the words from my mouth. I now know what Buchou meant by “problem”. It’s Raiser! She was thinking of a way to beat that bastard!
“I felt something uneasy when I heard that Raiser was chosen as my fiancé. Yes, I think otou-sama and the others chose him in case something like this were to happen. They chose Raiser so I will have no choice left. Even if it becomes a match between households, they knew that there was no way for me to win.”
No matter how strong Buchou is, her parents knew that there was no way that that Buchou could beat someone immortal. That’s unfair! Then no matter whose daughter it is, they can’t avoid getting married.
“When the Rating Game became popular, the ones who rose the most is the house of the Phoenix. There weren’t that many battles among devils until the game was introduced. In a game where the “King” also participates, the strength of Phoenix became more clear. The house of Phoenix is the leading group in the ultimate class. Immortal. Devils realised how terrifying this power was for the first time.”
If they are immortal, then they can resurrect no matter how many times they are defeated. The other devils have limits to their powers unlike the Phoenix, and once we get tired they will use that as a chance and defeat us. Wow. They would be so insanely strong that it’s unfair! And that is our opponent... Even if we defeat Raiser’s bishoujo army, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t defeat Raiser. Can we even defeat him? It won’t be a fight where they planned to cheat to beat us, would it? Buchou made a chuckle after looking at my face.
“You know, it’s not like we can’t defeat Raiser?”
“Are you serious!?”
“Yes. There are two ways you can defeat him. One is to beat him down with incredible power and the other one is to keep on taking him down until he loses the will to fight. The first method requires the strength of a God. The second one is to save our stamina until Raiser loses his will to fight. If we can crush the soul of Phoenix, then it’s our win. Then their resurrection will stop and they will fall. Well, the easiest way is to defeat him with a power that is on par with God that crushes him down with one strike.”
......Won’t both methods need a lot of effort to pull off? Is it even possible to do something like that in our first battle? No, we have to. In other words we have to fight until he says “I resurrected so much that I lost the will to fight so please forgive me”. Oh yeah. There was one thing that I was wondering about so I will ask Buchou now.
“What is it?”
“Why do you hate Raiser....? No, why are you against the marriage?”
Buchou made a sigh with my question. Certainly Raiser was a womaniser and seemed like scum. But if you think about Buchou’s houses problem it’s hard to deny the marriage.
“........I’m a “Gremory”.”
“Huh? Ummm, yeah.......”
“No. I didn’t re-introduce myself. I’m a person from the house of Gremory, and that name will follow me to wherever.”
Oh, I think I get it.
“Do you hate it?”
“I’m proud of it. But it’s also something that is a burden to me. Everyone looks at me as Rias from the Gremory. They don’t look at me as Rias. That’s why I’m enjoying my life in the human world. They don’t know that I’m a devil from the Gremory. Everyone looks at me as Rias. I really like that feeling. I never felt something like that in the devils' society, and I never will. The only time I feel like myself is when I’m in the human world.”
Buchou had a distant look. She also had very sad eyes. She told me a story that I could never imagine. I’m Hyoudou Issei, and I never felt anything to my name. I am “me”. I’m just the son of mum and dad. Right now, wherever I go, people look at me as “Hyoudou Issei” as an individual. Buchou had been spending her life with the name of Gremory on the line. That would be the same from now on.
“I want to be with someone who will love me as Rias. That’s my small dream.... Unfortunately, Raiser only looks at me as Rias from the Gremory. And he loves me as Rias from Gremory. That’s why I hate it. But still, the pride of being a Gremory is very important. It might be a complicated situation, but I want to cherish this small dream I have.”
So Buchou wanted to be loved as “Rias” and not as “Rias Gremory” from the opposite sex...... A girl's feelings huh. But Buchou also must feel complicated because of her house's problems. I don’t understand both the feelings of a girl and the structure of the devils' society. So I don’t know what to say to her. But.....
“I like Buchou as Buchou.”
I just said what I thought. But Buchou stared at me in wonder.
“I don’t know anything about Gremory or about the devils' world, but to me Rias-buchou is Rias-buchou....... Nnuuuu, I don’t understand all the complicated stuff but to me the usual Buchou is the best!”
I said everything I could think of with a smile. Hahaha, I totally suck at cheering up people........Huh? Buchou-sama? I don’t know why but Buchou’s cheeks started to get red.
“Bu....Buchou? Did I say something weird?”
I asked her with a dubious voice, but Buchou shook her head.
“No...nothing! It’s nothing!”
She was in panic. What? Did something happen? Well, I’ll leave that aside.
“But the opponent for the genius Buchou, someone like that is a hard obstacle, isn’t it?”
“I don’t actually like the word “genius”?”
Buchou answered me still with a red face.
“Why is that?”
“A talent that is given by heaven....... It seems like it’s a gift given by God so I don’t feel good. My talent is born from the roots of the Gremory that has been passed down to the generations. I inherited that trait as a devil. I never thought that I received it as a gift from God, and that’s impossible. My power belongs to me and the house of Gremory. That’s why I won’t lose. I will win if I have to fight. I have to win.”
Buchou said it to me as if she was saying it to herself. Amazing. Buchou is really strong. Compared to that I.......
“Buchou, I’m worthless. I have been useless since I got here........”
After I said it in a weak voice, Buchou made a worried expression.
“I think I’ve gotten stronger since I came here and trained with everyone, but more than that.......... I felt the difference between us. If I do sword training, I realised how strong Kiba is and realised that I won’t become a swordsman like Kiba...... When I do the magic training, I realise how superior Akeno-san is while Asia is improving her magic........ And I can’t do anything...... I was acting strong because I have the Boosted Gear.....”
Unexpected amounts of tears were flowing out from my eyes. I was regretting so much. The more I trained, the more I realised how weak I am. I have no talent for battle. I realised it.
“I found out that I was the weakest....... I also found out that I’m the most useless..... I realised it means nothing if I’m the one with the ultimate Sacred Gear. That’s why I was laughed at by Raiser back then. “Pearl before swine”. It’s a fitting phrase for me.”
I started shedding lots of tears in front of Buchou. I was crying with regret miserably in front of Buchou. My nose was even dripping. Buchou stood up and sat next to me.
Buchou hugged me gently. She started patting my head lots of times.
“You want confidence, right? Okay. I will give you confidence. But now, you have to rest your body and soul. I will be with you until you feel like sleeping.”
That time I didn’t know what she meant. But Buchou’s warmth was healing my soul. That was enough for now.
“Use your Boosted Gear, Ise.”
Buchou said it to me before the start of the training. I was allowed to activate my Sacred Gear that I was forbidden to use since I got to the mountains. I was allowed to use it now....but what was I supposed to do with it?
“The opponent will be Yuuto.”
Kiba came forward after Buchou ordered him. He then stood in front of me. What!? I have to fight Kiba!?
“Ise, activate your Sacred Gear before the spar. Yes..... Start the fight two minutes after you activate your Sacred Gear.”
I made my Boosted Gear appear on my left arm just like Buchou ordered me to.
The Sacred Gear made a sound after my words, and I felt power going through my body. With this my power was doubled.
After ten seconds.
My power doubled again. I felt the Sacred Gear giving more power to my body. It’s alright that my power is getting doubled, but there are things that I need to keep in mind when I use my “Boosted Gear”. I thought there were no limits to my powers, but that was not the case. Once I activated my Boosted Gear to see how far I could increase my power but after a few minutes I fainted. The reason was simple. My body couldn’t handle the power when it increased. Then afterwards I asked Buchou and she said,
“For example think that you are a truck. If you carry more package than the truck can carry what would happen? It won’t move right? That’s how it is.”
The package equals my powers that are doubling. If the quantity of package keeps on doubling, then the truck will decrease in speed and by the end it won’t move. So in other words if the power gets too big, then it puts stress on my body. That’s why I fainted. My body which is a vessel couldn’t withstand the increased power. That’s what happened when I activated it for a few minutes. The jewel in the gauntlet made a sound [Burst], then my body felt heavier and it felt like all my senses froze. Even if there is no limits to the Sacred Gear, the user which is me does have limits. That’s my Sacred Gear’s weakness. Well, it’s more like my weakness. It’s not the Sacred Gear’s fault. I made the 20th power up after Buchou ordered me to power up. Then Buchou ordered me to stop my Sacred Gear.
“Let’s go Boosted Gear!”
This sound also represents the stop of the power up and acts as a stopper. Once the power up stops, I can fight with that power for a certain time. The length of time I can use it depends on my action during the power up. The more I move, and the more I attack, it minimises the time. This also affects my stamina, and if I’m in a tired state, then the time will also be shorter. One of the ways to use this Sacred Gear is that I don’t receive any damage. So right now where I have no damage and have full stamina is the best time to use it. My power is growing while it’s getting a boost, but it is unstable compared to the time when I stop the boost to use the power up for a limited time. If I move around too much, there are risks that it might change me back to my normal self. So it’s better to stop the boost then use the power up. It would also be wise to run around and hide while getting a boost. Now, my body is in an unthinkable state because of the two minutes boost. The power I feel within my body isn’t normal.
“Ise, I want you to fight Yuuto in that state. Yuuto, I will leave you to be his opponent.”
Kiba made his stance by pointing his bokuto toward me after Buchou ordered him.
“Ise. Do you want to use a sword? Or do you want to fight with bare hands?”
Buchou asked me my battling style. Ummmm, even if I have a bokuto, I won’t be able to use it.....
“I will fight bare handed!”
“Okay. Then both of you start.”
I also made a stance against Kiba. Well it’s a newbie’s stance.
Kiba disappeared from my sight! Shit! The trait of “Knight” is speed! Kiba has God speed! Once I lose sight of him, I will receive the attack.....
Kiba’s swing came down at me, but I guarded it by using my arm. Yes! I can withstand this!
Kiba made a shocked expression. He let his guard down! I punched towards Kiba who stopped moving.
Kiba’s body disappeared just before I hit him, and my punches cut through the air. Crap! He dodged it! Where’s Kiba? I tried to chase him by looking around. He’s gone....! If he isn’t in front of me or to my left or right, then he’s behind me! But when I turned around, I couldn’t see Kiba.
! Above me!? When I looked up, Kiba was coming down with his bokuto aimed downwards.
I heard a nasty sound! Guhaaa! I received a blow on my head. It hurts!
I didn’t have time to touch the part I was hit and I kicked towards Kiba who just landed on the ground.
He dodged it again! Shit! It won’t hit at all! If my opponent is a “Knight”, then will I have a hard time with their speed!?
“Ise! Shoot with block of magic! When you form a block of magic, shoot it with a shape you imagine the most!”
Buchou gave me an order. A block of magic? Me? Right now? I don’t know if it will hit but there’s no other choice! I will obey Buchou’s order. I gathered the magic flowing within my body and concentrated it into my hands. There was a block of magic that was the size of a rice ball. Small like usual! I then shot it towards Kiba! Then I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It’s huge! The magic ball that had the size of a rice ball got bigger when I shot it! It reached the size of a huge rock! This!? I get it! It’s the power of the Boosted Gear! The huge block of magic got closer to Kiba. The velocity was quite fast as well.
Kiba dodged it easily. Well that’s not surprising. But it won’t mean anything if it doesn’t hit. That’s what I thought, but soon I got rid of that thought. The magic ball that missed its target went towards the mountain next to the one we were on.
The mountain blew up while making a huge sound and blast!! Huh? Huh!? Huuuuh!!?
......The magic ball I just shot blew away a single mountain....... The mountain had a hole in it. It changed the view of it.
......Huh? Are you for real? It actually blew it up? It’s a mountain, you know? A mountain. Because of the sudden turn of events, I didn’t know what to say.
The gauntlet made a sound and I also felt the power leaving my body at the same time. Looks like the time I’m powered up for is finished. Then I felt my body lose strength. It felt like my insides became empty. Seems like I used up my magical energy.
“The spar is over.”
Buchou stopped me and Kiba’s spar. Kiba also put his bokuto down. I also sat on the floor. The mountain disappeared..... My heart was beating with that fact. Did I do that...? I still can’t believe it. An attack like that actually came out from my hand.....
“Good job you two. Now I will hear your impression. Kiba. How was it?”
Kiba answered Buchou’s question.
“Yes. To tell the truth I’m astonished. I tried to finish the spar with the first strike.”
Huh? First strike? The one I was able to block?
“But I couldn’t break through Ise-kun’s guard. I was focused into breaking through it. I also tried to knock him down in my second strike by hitting his head from above the air, but that failed as well. Hahahaha”
Kiba answered it while laughing. Kiba put his bokuto to the front to show it to everyone.
.....That bokuto was already broken.
“I strengthened the bokuto with magical energy, but it couldn’t give that much damage to Ise-kun because his body was too hard. If we continued, I would only have the option to run around because my bokuto is broken.”
“Thank you Yuuto. That’s how it is, Ise.”
That’s how it is....? Was this the thing she told me yesterday? The way she will give me confidence.
“Ise. You said to me that you were the weakest and you had no talent, right?”
“That’s half correct. You, who hasn’t activated your Sacred Gear, is weak. But you become a totally different person if you use the power of the Boosted Gear.”
Buchou pointed at the mountain that was blown away.
“That attack is one of a high-class devil. If that hits, most beings will be blown away.”
Are you serious!? Well it certainly does seem like an attack that could blow most beings.
“Your body which went through basic training became a vessel that can handle a Sacred Gear that increases the power drastically. Even now, your body is strong enough to handle the power increase. See? I told you before, right? You can become the ultimate as long as you improve your basics. The higher your initial strength is, the more the power can increase. The basic stamina rises from “1” to “2”. Even something like that would become a big factor for you to become strong.”
....My power is amazing.....? I still couldn’t believe in myself and Buchou said it with pride and confidence to me.
“You are the key to the game. Ise’s attack becomes the factor that decides the outcome of the battle. If it was only you fighting, then it would be scary because you would have your guard down while powering up. But this battle is a team battle. There are those who will support you. Trust in us. Then, you will become strong. So do we. We can win!”
Become stronger....? Me?
“Let’s show it to those that looked down on you. It doesn’t matter if the opponent is Phoenix or not. We need to show them how strong Rias Gremory and her servants are!”
Everyone replied to her with a strong voice. Yes! I have Buchou and everyone with me! I will become strong! I will become strong along with everyone! I will defeat Raiser Phoenix!
After having new-found determination, the mountain training went through smoothly. Then we reached the day for the decisive battle.
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