|Infinite Dragon Emperor
Author: dragonliege242 PM
What would happen if Issei was replaced by Ichika? Better yet, what would happen if the whole female High School DxD crew went with him to IS academy? Lousy Summary I know. IchikaxHarem with Rias as the main girl. R&R pleaseRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Ichika O. & G. Rias - Chapters: 10 - Words: 118,358 - Reviews: 111 - Favs: 205 - Follows: 188 - Updated: 03-10-13 - Published: 03-24-12 - id: 7953017
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclamer: I do not own Infinite Stratos, High School DxD or any other terminology and/or characters from other series that may turn up somewhere along the line.
Thank god, my exams are finally over and now I can get back to writing.
It seems that a lot of you readers think that Ichika has too many weapons. In that case, I'll place a restriction on them. I already planned on doing so eventually anyway.
Shiranui Amaterasu: By all means, go ahead. I look forward to reading about it.
roughstar333: No, it will remain the same as canon. As for the second question, probably during the summer break.
J. : Actually, I read somewhere that Sekiryuutei meant Crimson Dragon Emperor and then I read somewhere else that it meant Red Dragon Emperor. Now that I think about it, Red Dragon Emperor makes more sense.
xxBladeMaster79xx: The Abhorrent Ones are new beings, though I'll not say anymore than that.
dragon-cloud16: Actually, Rossweisse hasn't been confirmed as part of the harem yet. We'll have to wait for the date or later volumes to be sure. Then again, it's Issei/Ichika, so it's pretty much guaranteed that Rossweisse will fall in love with him.
Thanatos: Wow, this is an honor, the author of one of my favourite Naruto fanfics is reviewing my story. Sorry about the mistake, it'll be corrected from this chapter onwards.
Gemu no zakari: Sorry about Ichika always being a punching bag for the girls, even I can't really stand that, but even though he is different from canon, he is still quite dense, and can unintentionally offend the girls, and he realizes it after the fact, which is the only reason why he takes their beatings. Of course, it will not always be like this, if he didn't do anything wrong, then naturally he won't take any of their shit.
On a side note, I'm not sure how Ophis acts around Issei/Ichika, so be prepared if she appears OOC.
On with the story!
On the first Sunday of the month, I left the campus and returned home. Ophis must have been pretty lonely with most of us away for so long. I'll have to find a way to make it up to her.
Rias and the rest didn't come since they had to aid in the investigation of Kokabiel's escape from Cocytus. I was given permission to return home so that I could keep Ophis company and guard her at the same time. Who knows, maybe the remnants of the disbanded Hero Faction or the Old Maou Faction may come after her. Or maybe Kokabiel himself would come to kidnap her.
Even now, I still couldn't believe it. Kokabiel, a former leader of Grigori and our old enemy. He stole 3 of the 7 Excalibur fragments and came here to Japan in an attempt to start a war between the three factions. He was ultimately defeated by Vali and sealed by Azazel-sensei in Cocytus. It's been so long since then that I had completely forgotten about him. And now he's back, and probably looking for revenge. Either that, or he wants to start a war again.
Back then, we were completely outclassed. But now, at my current power level, even if he were to regain his original power, which is unlikely, I can easily defeat him in my normal Balance Breaker state. The one we should be careful of is the one who freed him. Breaking the seal of Cocytus without Hades noticing is completely unheard of. We're up against a completely different class of enemy again, it seems. Reynalle and her group, rogue exorcists, Raiser and his Peerage, Kokabiel and Freed, Vali's team, Saji, Sona-san and her peerage, Diodora and the Old Maou faction, Loki and Fenrir, the Hero Faction, Sairoag-san and his peerage, Annihilation Maker's Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch, and now a completely new enemy. We seem to be attracting this kind of trouble all the time.
Something else is bothering me too.
(Flashback to 3 days ago)
I was hugging Rias in bed the night after I destroyed that unmanned IS. Naturally, she was completely naked, and had fallen asleep at some point. Ah, the beautiful curves of her perfect body, I can never get enough of it!
WAH! Whose fist is it now! I immediately lept out of my bed and dashed towards the door. I straightened my clothes out before opening the door.
"Yes, may I know who—"
The one standing in front of the door with an unhappy face is Houki.
"What is it?"
Houki didn't answer me. She continues to look unhappy, as if she's a time bomb with unknown danger rating and has 5 minutes left...well, I haven't watched those kinds of things.
"What happened? Enter the room first!"
"No need, I'll just stay here."
"...Houki, if there's nothing to say, I'm going to bed."
"OF, OF COURSE THERE'S SOMETHING!"
Houki just shouted out, scaring me. You'll get scolded if you shout that loud on the corridor—by the devil-like dorm supervisor.
"Ne-Next month, in the individual division tournament..."
That tournament should be held in June, and it seems different from the class representative tournament; it's a free-for-all individual tournament. Except for the fact that the applicants are sorted by the year of the student, there isn't really that many special conditions. However, the fact that a personal IS has an overwhelming advantage hasn't changed.
"If, if I win—"
Houki blushes as she continues. For some reason, she seems to be blushing as she looks at me.
"You-You'll go out with me!"
Houki emphatically points at me.
Of course, as of now, I am a bit puzzled, but this seems to be a declaration of war. ...Is it directed at me? In that case, I won't hold back!
Thankfully, Rias didn't wake up even from all that noise. At that time, I thought she was challenging me, but now... Could she have meant something else?
I unlocked the front door and took off my shoes.
"I'm home~" I said out of habit, though there was no one here except Ophis.
"...Welcome home." A voice came from behind me.
"Why are you sitting there?" It's Ophis, sitting in the corner next to the door.
"...I was waiting for you."
"...You could have waited in the living room, or in your bedroom." As usual, she lacks common sense.
"Well, whatever. Are you hungry?"
As though answering me, her stomach immediately growled. Now, if it had been any of the other girls, they probably would have blushed. Instead, Ophis just looked down at her stomach, then back up at me and nodded. I laughed a bit.
"Alright, just let change my clothes and I'll cook lunch."
I walked up to my room on the second floor, in between Rias's and Asia's rooms, although they never really use them, preferring to sleep with me.
I took off my shirt, and was starting to remove my belt when I felt someone staring at me. I turned my head and as expected, it was Ophis.
"...What are you doing?"
She tilted her head to the side. "...Waiting for you."
"...Could you wait outside?" It's nice being stared at by a girl, but since it's the ultimate being, I can't help but be a bit nervous, even though most of her powers are gone.
"...Why?" Great, how do I explain this to her?
"It's a bit uncomfortable for a guy like me to be stared at by a girl when changing." That's a lie though. Rias and I change clothes together all the time.
"...You do it with Rias all the time." Damn, she caught my lie.
"...I'm a bit uncomfortable with any girl other than her." Well, that was true to an extent.
"...I can turn into a boy if you're that uncomfortable." No way!
"Please just wait outside!" I pushed her out and shut and locked the door.
Throwing on a clean shirt and pants, I walked back out and found her sitting on the floor. She looked up at me.
"Let's have lunch." I smiled at her. My heart started pounding. There's something about her that triggers an instinct to protect her. Is it a brotherly or fatherly instinct?
After our lunch, Ophis and I went to the Gotanda residence to kill time until Rias and the others come home.
Ugh, talking to me while we're playing a fighting game! Cheh, UWAH! A super move on me! Damn you, don't get cocky!
"Please, of course I'm talking about the all-girls school. There should be many good things over there, right?"
I've told you so many times, no! How many times must I say it before you get it?
Let me explain. Gotanda Dan here, is a friend of mine from middle school. The day we first met, we kicked off quite well. Also, during those 3 years, Rin and us were in the same class, so during middle school, the 3 of us often hung out together... Also, back in middle school, he and Kazuya were known as the pervert duo. It should have been a trio, but since I was popular among the girls, I wasn't counted among them. Although, these two idiots always spread rumors about me to try and destroy my reputation.
"Stop lying. I can tell that you're lying from those messages! What, don't you have a ticket to that kind of Heaven?"
Who would, you idiot?
The school I'm studying at right now is a special independent High School that's managed by the country-'IS Academy'.
IS-formally called 'Infinite Stratos', is a multipurpose unit that was designed for space exploration, but right now, it's used on earth, and it's even used by many countries as military weapons.
The person who invented the IS was the older sister of that childhood friend of mine who seems to be hiding something. It's really hard to explain it, so I won't. The thing is that IS can 'only be used by women'.
On a side note, I'm just a normal boy.
But for some reason, I'm being half-forced to study in IS Academy as the 'only male in the world who can pilot IS', so right now, I'm living a dormitory life with all the students, teachers and staff, who are female. At least most of my friends are there with me.
"Speaking of which, about that, Rin transferred in recently. I wonder why she didn't take the application test though."
"What? You're talking about Rin? Rin..."
Hm? What? Why is this guy sneering at me? Such a weird guy.
"Alright, I win!"
"WAH! USELESS STUFF! WHO WOULD USE SUPER MODE TO KILL AT THE END~~..."
On a side note, we're playing 'IS/VS'. It's a game that broke a million sales within one month. Oh yeah, the game uses the second Mondo Grosso data.
...Well, for some reason, Chifuyu-nee's data wasn't included in it.
"Italy's Tanbesta's really powerful! Or rather, really violent."
"You should change characters once in a while. Like England's Milton or something?"
"Nope. That one's ridiculously hard to use, her moves are weak, and even the combos are weird."
Oh yeah, as the company that produced this game was from Japan, anyone can expect the other countries to voice their discontent, saying 'Our countries aren't that weak!'.
Thus, the harrassed video game company actually increased the specs of each IS in its respective country, and sold them separately in 21 countries. They managed to sell it well just like that.
Speaking of which, to actually manage to make 21 versions of the same game just by tweaking the specs, they sure can earn lots here.
But in the World Cybergames Tournament, every country wanted to use their own country's version and started arguing over it until the tournament was terminated.
"Argh, one more time!"
"Ha! I've been playing these kinds of games with Azazel-sensei a lot, so don't expect to beat me anytime soon!" Azazel-sensei is a master of games. Even if it's a game he's never played before, he quickly masters the gameplay and can beat even veterans. Like that racing game we played when we first met.
"Gah! Dammit, I need to train with Azazel-sensei too! Where is he anyway?" We started another round.
"Hm? Oh, he went to investigate the case of that escapee from that supposedly inescapable Cocytus."
"Oh yeah, you mentioned him before, right? His name was Kokabiel, right? A fallen angel like Azazel-sensei..."
"That's right. Though he made a mess of things a year ago and really strained the already fragile relations between the angels, fallen angels and devils. So Azazel-sensei sent Vali to bring him back to be imprisoned."
"Vali, huh? You did say he was crazy strong back then."
"He's still crazy strong now. If he and I go all out at each other, I'll lose instantly." His Imperial Juggernaut Overdrive is stronger than my Cardinal Crimson Queen after all.
"Basically, it's like his super mode, right?"
"More like a super super mode. His ultimate form is a level higher than mine."
"Geez, always attracting trouble, aren't you?"
"Sorry. Kuou may turn into a battlefield again."
Before anyone asks, Dan and Kazuya know about the existence of the devils, fallen angels, angels and the rest. I told them myself after we defeated the Hero Faction. I figured I should let them know so that I won't have any regrets if I happen to be killed in a future battle. Not that I have any intention of dying. No one else knows though.
"This Kokabiel, you can beat him, right?"
"Yeah, even at his full power, he won't win so easily against me. If all of us fight, it'll be over in an instant."
"I see. That's reassuring. GAH, HEY! WHAT THE HELL, YOU USED SUPER MODE AT THE END AGAIN!"
"It's a thousand years too early for you to beat me!"
"ARGH, GODDAMMIT!" Hey hey, God is already dead, you know?
Suddenly, I felt someone tugging my sleeve. It's Ophis.
"Hm? What is it?"
She pointed at the screen and said, "That... I want to try."
She wants to play?
"Hey Dan, you mind playing with her? She's a beginner, so go easy on her."
"Sure, it'd be nice to actually win for once. Ophis-chan! Let's play!" Oi oi, don't bully a beginner. And "chan"? You're pretty damn brave if you can address the ultimate dragon with the suffix "-chan", though she has lost most of her power.
Well, whatever. I picked one of Dan's manga from his bookshelf and started reading when...
"GAH! WHAT THE HELL!"
! Dan's scream suddenly pierced the moment of peace. I turned to look, and Dan had lost.
"ARGH! HOW CAN THIS BE! I LOST!" Sure enough, Dan's chosen character was lying at the feet of Ophis's chosen character. Oi oi, don't you feel the least bit embarrassed about losing to a beginner?
"THERE'S NO WAY SHE'S A BEGINNER! SHE BEAT ME EVEN FASTER THAN YOU DID!" Are you serious?
"Hey Ophis, it's your first time playing a game like this, right?" She nodded in response. There, you see? She probably just has a knack for games.
"Oh, forget it already. Anyway back to Rin-"
Just as Dan, for whatever reason, brought Rin up again, someone interruped him.
"Onii, hurry up and come eat already. Lunch is ready-"
Kicking the door down and walking in is Dan's little sister-Gotanda Ran. She's a year younger than him, and is now in her senior year of middle school. She's said to be an honour student in a prestigious private girls' school. Hm, she's really different from her older brother.
"Ah, hi, long time no see. Sorry for disturbing you here."
"I-Ichika...san! And Ophis-chan too!"
As expected, girls dress up like this when they're at home, huh? Ran's shoulder-length hair is tied back with only a hair clip holding it from behind, and she's wearing shorts and a sleeveless vest. It's really a get-up that focuses on functionality.
But maybe I've gotten too used to it, since the girls tease all the time, like the time Akeno-san wore that dominatrix outfit in front of me, or when Rias wears that Brazilian swimsuit. Uh-oh, better stop there, I can feel a nosebleed coming.
And maybe because the weather's been getting too hot lately, the girls have been wearing clothes with a low neckline, and besides, in such an environment where there's no guys other than me looking, it seems like no one wears any bras indoor, either due to liberty or to openness. Oh well, that just means more eye candy for me.
On a side note, Ran doesn't know anything about me being a devil or any of the others. We made up a story that Ophis is Rias's cousin that came to stay with us for a while some problems back home were sorted out. Though, who knows how long we can keep up this pretence.
"I-It's not that, well, you were here...? I heard that you went to a boarding school..."
"Oh, that's right. I had something to do today, so I went out. I wanted to check up on Ophis today, so I thought that I should drop by here."
"I, I see..."
However, Ran's always been like this. Why is it that she would stutter and sound so respectful all of a sudden? That's weird.
"Ran, you could at least knock, right? You'll be considered a shameless woman-"
*Kling!* Ran instantly shot a glare.
Oh! Dan curled up already like Super Mario. The difference in battle prowess between those two is obvious.
"...Why didn't you tell me that he would be here..."
"Oh, wait, I didn't tell you? Sorry, my bad. Ah hahahaha..."
*Klong!* Ran again shot a glare at Dan like a knife being thrown at a corpse, and then frantically left the room.
"If, well, if it's alright, please join us for lunch, Ichika-san! You aren't leaving yet, right?"
"Eh? I already ate lunch, but I guess I can still eat some more... Thanks."
"It, it's alright..."
*BAM!* After Ran slammed the door shut, silence fills then the air.
Speaking of which, what about a skit of the 'Hot-blooded Siblings Dan and Ran?' Can't they air it on the Sunday morning timeslot? Most likely not.
"But I have to say, I've known Ran for 3 years, and yet it seems like she can't open up to me."
Allow me to go off-topic for a while. Don't you feel that guys who call younger girls with a 'chan' are impressive? I can't do it, even if it's my friend's little sister. I have reservations about it, which is why I prefer to call them by their names.
Now that I recall it, the person involved did say 'It-It's okay' and agreed to it.
"That's not it. Don't you find that she's rather courteous to me? She just left the room so quickly."
Well, Dan sighs, and then exhales.
"Nothing. Sometimes, I really wonder if you're like this on purpose. Even though you already have a fiancée and everything."
"Well, it's good if you don't notice it. I wouldnlt want to have a younger brother of my age."
"Why are you talking about a younger brother out of nowhere? That's ridiculous."
"Oh well, it's nothing. Anyway, wanna go out after lunch?"
"Oh, that's great. So you're treating me to lunch? Thank you~"
"What are you getting so worked up for, we're eating the leftover set meals."
I see. So we're eating that super sweet pumpkin stew set meal. But even so, I won't throw it away; things like rice are earned with so much hard work, so I have to be thankful to the uncles who worked on the fields.
"Let's go downstairs then."
We left Dan's room and headed downstairs, through the back door and then took a turn to the front door of the dining area.
Even though it's troublesome, Dan did say before that 'thanks to this set-up, our private lives won't be affected by the business'. Normally to people, the definition of a family is just to make the people who're staying in the house feel comfortable. Doesn't anyone feel that a house that's set up so nicely in TV is hard to live in? No wait, the most important thing is that the residents find it comfortable. I'll leave out the rest.
Dan let out that voice of disgust, and I peered over from behind him to look.
Our lunch's already prepared and laid out on the table, and someone's already sitting there.
"What? You have some complaint? If you want to, onii can go eat alone outside."
"Did you hear that, Ichika? Those super gentle words make me wanna cry!"
Sitting over there is Ran. And I suppose it isn't really brotherly of me to play along with Dan who's acting like he's wiping his tears off.
"It should be alright for us to have lunch. Besides, there are other customers around. Let's hurry up and sit."
"That's right, baka nii, hurry up and sit down."
And thus, I, Dan, Ophis and Ran sat down in order at the table...hm? That's weird.
"Wh-what is it?"
"You changed clothes? Are you going out later?"
"Ah, it's nothing. That's because...well, this, that..."
Ran's home get-up disappeared, and she let her hair down, giving off an impressive shine. As it's June, she's wearing a short-sleeved dress. The body that's covered by a thin clothing gives off the radiance of a teenager's youthful legs underneath the dress. As for the black stockings that look like some decoratives, those who are into that should really like this, right? Well, I'm not really sure about it.
"I got it!"
I thought of it, and a light bulb seems to light above my head.
"Are you going on a date?"
"That's not it!"
Woah! She stood up to deny it! This is bad, did I step on a landmine or something? They say that the Japanese lack awareness in terms of danger; I will die if this is a battlefield. I really lament my own immaturity.
"Ah, it's nothing...an-anyway, it's not a date."
"And you say that you're not. As your older brother, that's the last thing I want to hear from you. Besides, it's only once in a few months that you would dress up like that-"
The iron claw strikes over. Is that the so-called shut-up attack? She's actually holding down Dan's breathing; that's a scary technique, where did she learn it from? The famous private girls school even teaches assassination skills to go along with self-defense?
"(Klu klu klu!)"
And then, both of them exchange looks. Dan's giving a painful look of a criminal begging for forgiveness, nodding away at Ran, who's glaring at him with an ice queen glare.
"Well, you two have quite the nice relationship here."
Ohh, their voices finally overlap! On a side note, the word 'harmo' (overlapping voices) came from the word 'harmony'. Well, can't they just use the word 'mony' (resounding voices)? Or if they want to, 'harmy' (overlapping sounds) can do.
"You brats, if you don't want to eat, hurry up and get out."
"Ku, we're eating, we're eating!"
Silently appearing without anyone notcing is the head of the Gotanda family that runs the Gotanda eatery, Gotanda Gen, who's still in great shape despite being over 80. His long-sleeved cooking uniform is rolled up to the shoulders, revealing his muscular biceps. He can move two Chinese woks at one go, and those biceps are tanned due to the exposure to heat after so long. This really feels healthier than going to the beach 100 times.
On a side note, I've gotten punched by him a few times, but the power definitely can't lose to Chifuyu-nee. Well, better start eating.
In order, the ones who said those were me, Ran, Ophis and Dan
"Oh, start eating."
Grandpa Gen nods in a rather satisfied manner as he continues to fry another dish. It seems like some customers ordered a Gotanda's eatery specialty 'Wildfire Roasted Vegetables'-and there's a double entendre to it. *Tatatatatatatata*, the light-hearted sound of the vegetable knife being knocked down can be heard from the kitchen.
With the sound of the vegetables being fried acting as background music, we start to talk while eating. If we continue to eat and talk, the iron wok will fly over, so we have to follow the customs here.
"Oh yeah, Ichika. You said you and Rin...eh, and who else? The first childhood friend? So you reunited with her?"
"Houki...? Who's that?"
"Hm? She's my first childhood friend."
And so Rin's the second childhood friend.
For some reason, Ran's expression just got somehow stiff. Was there a same-sex repulsion because their names are so similar? Hold on, does same-sex repulsion refer to this?
"Oh yeah, Houki and I were supposed to stay in the same room, but-"
"IN, IN THE SAME ROOM?"
For some reason, Ran got confused and stood up without a warning, as the chair behind her collapses backwards.
"What, what's going on? Calm down."
"Yeah, you should calm down there."
*Klang!* With another sharp glance, Dan seems to have shrunk like Super Mario.
On a side note, grandpa Gen really dotes on Ran. If we were to flip the chair like what she did, the ladle would have flown over.
"I-Ichika-san? Living in the same room...that means, you ate and slept together?"
It's really an old saying, but Japan has always been a country that values traditions, so Ran's actions can be considered a virtue-report over, I end this report without even understanding what I just said.
"No... There was another change, so I've been rooming with Rias up until now."
Today's fried beancurd's really good... Ophis seems to like it too.
"Th-Then, you and Rias-san stayed together for one and a half months?"
"Mn, sort of. It's pretty much the same thing we've been doing for the past year."
*BAM*... I seem to hear a huge blow, or maybe that's my imagination.
Speaking of which, Dan-kun, can you please tell me why are you sweating crazily? Do you really have skin that sweats a lot?
"...Onii, we'll talk later..."
"Well, I-I'm going out with Ichika later, so...hahaha..."
A tone that doesn't allow any refusals. I remember that Ran's the student council chairman in the school of ojous, so she got affected by them? Anyway, for some reason, I find her intent really sharp.
Yes, what did you decide on?
"I'm taking the IS Academy entrance exam next year."
"What, what are you saying-"
Wow! The ladle hit Dan directly on the face, and the floor trembles due to the chair falling backwards.
"Wha? Why do you want to go there? Isn't Ran's school a direct path to university? Can't you get into some super good university?"
It's just that I can't remember the name of that school.
"No problem. I can get in with just my grades."
"But IS Academy doesn't accept school recommendations..."
Dan wavers as he stands up. Though his Hit Points are low, he recovers fast-that's the hidden skill of Dan. However, that's meaningless anyway.
"Unlike my onii, I just need a notebook."
"No, but...that, that's right, Ichika! They have a practical test right?"
"Hm? Ohh, that's right. There's a 'IS initiation test', and it seems like those who aren't suited at all will be rejected."
On a side note, the initiation test basically estimates how the candidate would start, and then uses the result to set the level of the candidate when they enter the school. My battle with the instructor (and apparently, it was Yamada-sensei) was like that.
Ran silently takes a piece of paper from her pocket, and Dan receives it and opens it.
What, what just happened? Did Guan Yu just arrive? I haven't even heard the gong!
"IS suitability test...result-A..."
Wooah! That's a cool line! I want to say that at least once in my lifetime.
"That seems to be some test for those interested, right? I remember the government used it to gather IS pilots."
"That's right! It's free."
It's free. It doesn't matter whether there's too much of it as long as it's free. Grandpa Gen continues to nod away.
This person really dotes on Ran...
"So, so then,"
Ahem. Ran clears her throat and gently returns back to her seat.
"So, so Ichika-san, please guide me through as my sempai..."
"Oh, okay, that's if you get in." I'll have to do the same for Koneko-chan and Ravel next year too.
The moment I agreed heartily, Ran happily stood up.
"Then, it's a promise. You must, definitely, definitely abide by it!"
I got held down somewhat by her pressure and nodded twice.
"Hey, Ran! How can you just choose to transfer schools like that! Isn't that right, mom?"
"It's okay, there's no problem. Ichika-kun, I'll leave Ran to you then."
Speaking of which, Gotanda Ren-san's the self-proclaimed mascot of the Gotanda eatery. Her age's a mystery, and it's said that 'my age won't increase after 16'. She still maintains a smiling face-people would say that a smile can make them prettier than their actual looks, and that's true. She's really a huge beauty today.
"WHAT'S WITH THAT!"
For some reason, Dan was getting agitated alone. Who are you going up against?
"ARGH! I CAN'T TAKE IT! DAD'S NOT EVEN AT HOME AT THIS TIME! IS THIS REALLY ALRIGHT, GRAMPS!"
"Ran made the decision herself. Nobody else has the right to argue."
"What, Dan, you have any comments about it?"
Ahh, this guy's really weak. If it was me, even if the other person's a relative, I would viciously argue back when I have something to say.
"Do you really think that you can beat your own sister?"
Yes, I do remember how my only blood relative is like. Pardon me, please allow me to take that back.
"Well, that's decided. I'm done."
Unknowingly, Ran finished her meal, stacks the chopsticks neatly, place her hands together to say grace, and stands up from the seat. Of course, you have to clear your own dishes.
Ohh, Ran may become a good wife in the future. Anyone who becomes her husband in the future should have a good life.
Dan cautiously brings his face over, and for some reason, whispers to me,
"Marry Rias-senpai! Immediately!"
"What do you mean by that, hurry up and get married! This year-no, in this month!"
Why is this guy so agitated all of a sudden? Oh yeah, let me add on. I heard that bulls can't recognize red, right? It's said that humans will get excited by the red cloth, not fighting bulls. I see.
"Rias and I decided to take it slow and only get married after university..."
"You haven't changed at all...you're a withered old man! Because of you, Rin-"
"What's with Rin?"
"No, never mind, Anyway, just hurry up and marry her! Got it? You hear me?"
What's this guy planning to do? Speaking of which, how did this conversation begin in the first place?
"Speaking of which. Since when were you interested in girls? I know, you're the kind that finds yourself cool and popular, right? Stop messing around, you bastard!"
"What are you getting so angry for?" Hasn't that been going on forever? Why are you complaining now?
Doesn't sound convincing. You're the kind who'll shout 'I'm not drunk' when drunk, right? Well, I don't really know myself. I've never drank alcohol anyway.
That's strange, Ran came back. For some reason, I feel the air temperature drops.
"Oh, ooooooo, I'm here, whhhhhaaaattt's up?"
Dan's trembling, is he feeling cold?
Thus, I turn to look at Ran.
-For a moment, just for a moment, I clearly saw an Asura embedded deep in her eyes.
'Don't get involved in this'
Her eyes are clearly saying this. As for the guys who came here to watch, it seems like she can just use a finger-or just a glance to knock them down.
"We-well, I'm leaving then."
Finally recovering, Ran hurriedly leaves.
Dan is stunned. Was he just frozen? Well, doesn't matter, the weather today is warm, so he should thaw out soon.
"Oh yeah, almost forgot. I can't let the food that others have prepared for me go cold."
Though the pumpkin stew's as sickeningly sweet as ever, the flatfish that's cooked together with chili tastes just right. How can I make such a perfect taste? Better get them to teach me next time, I should let Rias, Chifuyu-nee and the others try this.
"WHY ARE YOU SO POPULAR! IS IT THAT FACE? IS THAT FACE THE COOL AND POPULAR KIND? I HAVE THE COOLNESS, SHARE SOME OF THE POPULARITY WITH ME!"
That's enough! Stop uttering rubbish.
"YOU'RE TOO NOISY, DAN!"
"Yes, I'm sorry."
With grandpa Gen shouting, Dan quickly kneeled down on the chair and greets. That's a product of good teaching, or rather, training? Besides, after training for so long, even the king of beasts can leap through a fire hoop.
"Ichika, I'll battle with you later."
"Yeah sure, what?"
He actually chose something he has lost 10 straight times in. Is this the so-called not admitting defeat...such he's prepared, no problems!
"Don't think I'm the same man from middle school, Ichika!"
With burning flames rising up behind him, he looks like an Asian dragon who's about to fly into the sky. Expecting a fierce battle, I tightly clench my slightly trembling left hand. It's time for devil power!
"Ahh...my hand's all numb now..."
Maybe I thought too much, as there wasn't a rising dragon. Just today alone, I managed to increase my winning streak to 16 times. Speaking of which, Dan, more than half of the wins were suicides on your own part... Although it might have had something to do with me using more power than usual. By the time we were done, the table was full of dents. And then, Dan challenged Ophis to try and salvage his pride. Needless to say, Ophis scored every time, without letting Dan score. By the time we left, his pride was in tatters.
It's past 6 now, and having returned to my dorm room, I'm lying on the bed, resting. I shake my arm that's somewhat tired and naturally look towards the bed beside me. Rias isn't back yet. Is the investigation really taking that long?
(And the Individual Division tournament is this month too...)
I check the calendar that's hanged on the wall.
The individual division tournament—
As its name indicates, it's an individual tournament, and it will be held the entire week. As for the reason why, it's because everyone's required to take part.
Each grade has about 120 students. As there are so many people taking part in it, the scale of this tournament's pretty big. The school will use this chance to assess the talent level of the first years, the growth and learning abilities of the second years, and the in-depth combat abilities of the third years.
The third year tournament is all the more important-forget about the scouts from the IS related enterprises, even the high-ranked officials of all the countries seem like they will be here. This makes me realize and admire that fact that I've really entered an amazing school.
(Well, anyway, got to work hard. I don't know how strong the rest of the students are, so I need to train some more.)
Last month, the class representative tournament was suspended for that attack, and everyone got ordered not to say anything about it. As for me, who fought the enemy directly: I was even forced to sign an oath.
(What was that anyway?)
Even though I can't understand it even if I continue to think about it, I still can't stop myself from thinking about it.
Suddenly, I raised the left hand that I used to play with just now and brought it in front of me.
Bringing it up to the light, the ring on my middle finger shone brightly.
That's the standby mode of my IS 'Purgatory'.
It's really hard to imagine that it's the control for some really powerful weapon. In standby mode, it's extremely quiet, or rather, it's asleep, though I don't really know whether it has the idea of sleeping.
(At that time, Purgatory told me that 'that's unmanned'.)
Though I tried so hard that I forgot about myself, but I could still feel it. On a retrospective, I recall that there was something that felt like a 'report'. It seemed like Purgatory sent it to me.
Even though there's no concrete evidence, I had that feeling.
(Oh well, can't change anything now no matter how much I think about it. Better go get dinner.)
I get up from the bed and walk towards the door. Just as I'm about to put my hand on the door handle, I can hear some knocking on the door.
"Ichika, are you there?"
The moment I opened the door, I see Rin standing there.
"Do, don't just open the door like that so suddenly! That scared me!"
Huang Lingyin, my second childhood friend. She's the pilot of the personal IS 'Shenlong', and she was my classmate before she went back to her home country. She has the lively twin ponytails and a flat chest-ha, better not think about it. For some reason, my thoughts are often being seen through, so I'm rather mindful about that recently.
"Wh-why are you staring at me like that..."
"Oh, it's nothing, nothing at all."
I said that as there was really nothing wrong, but Rin muttered 'I'm alright with that...'. What does she mean by that?
"Oh yeah, I'm going out for dinner now. Anything you want, Rin?"
"Fufuu, I thought as much, so I intended to get you alone. I'm someone who will bring a stray dog back after seeing it on a rainy day and feel that it's pitiful!"
Am I a dog?
"Well thanks. Let's go to the cafeteria."
Rin and I walked out. As it's dinner time, a lot of students opened their doors and walked out.
There are still many girls dressed in homestyle, and I really don't know where to look. Shorts, tank tops, and no bras...what should I say? Please be more mindful of how the opposite gender will look at you—
"Oh, it's Orimura-kun. Hello-"
A scantily dressed girl waved at me happily after she found me. On a side note, her name is...eh, Nohohon-san (for the time being). In the dorm, no matter what the time is, she'll always be wearing a wide and large nightgown, and at the moment, she will always use the hands hidden in her sleeves to wear it properly. She looks like she's going to tumble any minute, and that has left a deep impression on me.
"You're using this nickname?"
"It's been decided! Also, you're eating together with me and Kanalin~~"
This Nohohon-san (again, temporarily named as such), will always stick to me about 20cm away from me. This image should be similar to that-a mini puppy wanting someone to play with it and then using both feet to approach the guest.
"Unfortunately for you, Ichika's going to have dinner with me."
"Wa-it's Ling Ling. You're so brave~~
"Do-don't call me that!"
Slightly agitated, Rin's voice sounds somewhat crazy, but Nohohon-san isn't affected at all. Is this what they mean by wasting one's own breath?
Let me add on. When Rin was in elementary school, her name was often a joke among the guys in the class. And since she's a Chinese national, there will be scenarios like 'Ling's' the name of a panda, right? Go eat some bamboo.
Let me add on to that, I ended up fighting against 4 people that day, and of course, I got severely reprimanded.
"Forget about it, Rin. Calm down. It's alright if the 4 of us eat together, right?"
"It's not like I don't mind...but oh well."
Hm? Is this the so-called 'I did not-aru'? Damn it, that's a taboo. Mustn't say it.
"Isn't it strange for Chinese to have an 'aru' behind? Who thought of that!"
She once went crazy because of it, and once Rin gets angry, she'll be angry for a long time. I experienced that first-hand last month during the class representative battle.
"Speaking of which, where's that girl called Kanalin?"
"Uwa-you're right. She's gone-"
Perhaps since she found the home get-up really embarrassing, she used her arms to cover her body and disappeared into the other end of the corridor.
"Ah-...wait for me~"
And so, that Nohohon-san went off in a certain direction. Uwa! She's so slow.
"Ichika, how is it? You're really popular with the girls aren't you?"
"Huh? Isn't it just pretty much the same as it was in middle school?"
"Is that so...never mind, it doesn't matter."
Rin's expression doesn't look like it doesn't matter. She just hurriedly moves off to the cafeteria.
Ah, really. Wait for me!
"Hey, did you hear that?"
"I did I did!"
"Huh, what are you talking about?"
"Good things? Bad things?"
"The best news!"
"I want to listen!"
"Okay okay, calm down? You can't tell the other girls. Actually during the IS tournament this month-"
As usual, the cafeteria's crammed full of pubescent girls. And Rin and I notice the group of people gathered in a circle at a corner.
"Hm? What's going on over there? There's a lot of people over there."
"Maybe they're playing poker? Or maybe some divination."
But even so, today's a lot more rowdy than usual, and there are even squeals. What's going on?
"WHAAAAT! IS, IS THAT TRUE!"
"LIAR-! KYA-WHAT DO WE DO!"
"WAIT! ISN'T HE ENGAGED!"
Are they talking about me? I can hear squeals and screams all over the place. Hm, but it's good to be happy. If humans can keep their smiles often, it seems like they won't age too fast. Anyway, we'll be struggling a lot in society, so it's better to smile when we can now. At least that's how I often feel.
On a side note, my dinner's herbal fried chicken, fried mountain greens, omelet and a red spinach miso soup. The taste of the dried fish cake is great.
Rin's food is mostly the same as mine, but she chose clam miso soup. She continues to drink the soup as she says to me,
"You're thinking stuff that old blockheads would think of."
"No, that's definitely right. Whenever Ichika thinks of that, your eyes will narrow. What's that about. Are you in deep thought?"
Why is she staring at me? That's enough.
"Don't point at others with chopsticks. People will think that you've been raised improperly."
"Doesn't matter. It's nothing too great anyway."
"That's not the problem. You have to learn how to change your habits. Speaking of which, it's because of that that you got scolded by Chifuyu-nee."
As expected, it seems like Rin's still scared of Chifuyu-nee, as she really looks somewhat in pain.
"...Oh well, never mind."
What is it? Rin swallowed those words that she was about to say out, and seems like she wants to sink it deep inside as she gulps down large mouthfuls of rice.
Now that the conversation got interrupted, Rin and I silently continue to eat.
Unbelievably, the moment we stopped talking, no matter how much we chewed, we managed to finish our dinner.
"I'll get tea. Is Bancha okay for you?"
Though she's just helping me, I'm rather happy that Rin's concerned about me. However, Rin's looking unhappy for some reason, causing me to stutter in my response.
(Un, did something make her unhappy? No wait, got to find some way to calm the atmosphere down.)
Is there something we can talk about? I start to search through the forest in my brain-oh, let's talk about Dan. Rin probably wants to listen about the middle school friend who she hasn't met in a long while.
"Ah-! It's Orimura-kun!"
"What, really? Where?"
"Let me ask you, is that rumor tru-suu"
In the corner at the room, a girl suddenly rushed up at me after noticing me-hm? What's that rumor about? A girl did say that, but she got shut up by the other girls...
"It, it's nothing, nothing at all! Really, there's nothing at all! Ahhahahaha..."
"-Idiot, didn't I tell you that's a secret?"
"But he's the main guy involved..."
Someone's blocking me while the others are muttering behind her. "What rumor?"
"Hn, oh? What's that?"
"I-I say, we can talk about rumors 365 days, right!"
No, that's not right. That's too long. It's already a year.
"Wha, what are you saying, Miyo! It's only 49 days!"
No, that's wrong as well. Speaking of which—
"What are you hiding?"
They immediately retreated after launching a combination attack, and the process took only 2 seconds. Even I can't tell what's going on, and can only stare blankly as they vanish.
"What did you do now?"
Rin came back. She's holding onto two cups of hot tea that are letting out steam, making it look good.
"Why are you treating me like a problematic person!"
"Don't you find that you're one?"
"Ahh, the tea tastes good."
"You're just trying to escape."
You're so rude! On what basis do you say that!
"Fuu...a good tea after a meal sure is soothing to me, soothing."
"...Ah, never mind, it's nothing."
After chilling out for a while after dinner, I prepared to talk about Dan. Rin must have missed him-or rather, I should have called him along.
"Speaking of which-"
I start to talk about what happened today, and Rin was attentive to what I said until we started talking about Ran. She started to show a dark expression.
"...So, she's going to study in IS Academy?"
For some reason, Rin and Ran don't really get along with each other. Is it because their names are similar? Assuming that there's someone with the name Ishika appearing in front of me, I'm not confident enough to believe that I can be good friends with him.
"So when she enrolls here, I have to take care of her."
"Oh...HOLD THAT, WHY!"
Rin slammed onto the table and stood up. Why, why's she angry?
"STOP GOING ABOUT MAKING PROMISES WITH GIRLS SO EASILY! YOU DEFINITELY CAN'T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY LIKE THAT, ARE YOU AN IDIOT? I SHOULD SAY YOU'RE AN IDIOT! AN IDIOT!"
Woah, she's really angry! Speaking of which, I got scolded by her last month because of another promise.
"No, that, well? Sorry, Rin."
"Instead of apologizing, why don't you just stop making promises so-"
"What are you 'ah-ing' about-ah!"
What's with this scenario? Three people just went 'ah' for no reason...let me add on. I called out first, then Houki, and finally Rin.
That's right, Houki. Houki's here. Seems like she's here to have dinner. Looking at the time, it seems like she was trying to avoid me...but it seems that I stayed around for too long. Houki looks rather awkward as she looks away from me.
"Erm, hi, Houki."
"We-well, if it isn't Ichika."
Damn it, can't continue on.
-Ever since that declaration last month that seemed like there was a different meaning from a challenge, it seemed to be like this between us ever since then. At first, I would try to look for her and find something to say, but she would often answer 'oh' or 'is that so' and things like that, which makes me really tired.
"What is it? Something happened between you two?"
-Damn it, I wanted to deny it and made an immediate response, but we unexpectedly replied in unison.
...In this situation, even I can only think 'it's over, we're dead'. Hold on, will others think about anything else? Hm, maybe I'm really sick.
"Are you deliberately giving me this 'we definitely did something' reaction?"
"How is that possible..."
With Rin glaring at me, I inadvertently try to give an answer that sounds like an excuse. However, it seems like I made Houki unhappy somehow, as she looks away and walks off.
Though it's weird to mention it, the way she sways the ponytail makes me unable to explain it. Well, I don't really understand what I just said.
"I'm going back to my room then."
"Hm? Oh, thanks for eating together with me."
"...Really, you should at least come invite me once in a while..."
"Nothing. Bye bye."
Rin shakes her twin ponytails and walks off in the opposite direction. Let me put on something that can sway, maybe a jacket or something.
(Uu-oh well. Never mind, let's just slowly think through this.)
Walking off to my own room at this point, wandering whether Rias and the others were back yet, I never expected what would happen later and tomorrow.
Rias returned shortly after I came from dinner. It seems that there wasn't any trace of Kokabiel, or the one who freed him. Better stay on guard from now on.
*KOK* *KOK* Someone is knocking on the door. Who could it be at this hour?
Rias went to answer the door, and came back with Yamada-sensei behind her. I wonder what she wants in the middle of the night.
"Ah, Orimura-kun. I need to talk to you about your IS." Hm? What now?
"It seems that the staff feels that Purgatory is too strong, especially with the wide selection of weapons available to you. So we decided that from now on, in official matches like tournaments, you are only permitted to use three weapons, excluding your One-Off abilities. Before the start of a match, you must confirm the three weapons you will use with either me or Orimura-sensei, okay?" Is that so? Well, I guess Purgatory does have an unfair advantage compared to other ISs, even other personal ISs.
"I understand. It can't be helped. Is that all?" If that was all, couldn't she have waited until tomorrow?
"Ah, there's still one more thing. You'll be switching rooms." Yamada-sensei suddenly announced to us.
"Huh?" "Huh?" Both Rias and I made the exact same sound at the exact same time.
Switch rooms. No. No no no no nonononononono! I don't want to leave~! I turned to look at Rias for support and immediately froze.
A crimson aura appeared around Rias, radiating anger. Woah, woah, Rias, you can't kill her! And don't release your Power of Destruction in here!
"...Sensei, please explain." Rias said in a low dangerous voice, emphasizing each word.
"YE-YES!" Yamada-sensei shouted in a panic. I can't blame her, Rias looks like she's about to go on a murderous rampage.
"The truth is, we have two 1st year transfer students coming in." Yamada-sensei started to explain. Two transfer students? At this time of the year? But how would that affect us?
"Yamada-sensei, even if two transfer students are coming, that's no reason to change our rooms..." I started to protest, with Rias vigorously nodding her head beside me.
"Yes, normally that would be true. However, that would only be the case if they were both girls." Huh? Is she saying...
"One of them is a boy like Orimura-kun." She dropped a bombshell on us.
And Chapter 8 is finally done. Not much motivation writing this chapter because of the lack of action, which is part of the reason why this chapter took so long to come out. The next chapter should come out sooner though, probably in a week or two.
Next chapter will introduce Charles/Charlotte and Laura, as well as a bit of action.
Once again, I apologize if Ophis seemed OOC.