Leaning on the tree behind the Occult Research Club building, Issei sat down on the ground while looking up to the blue sky above him. Just several days ago, he was promoted to a mid-class Devil. With that, his dreams of being a Harem King was getting closer and closer! Yes. Issei's eyes turned into a melancholic look. His dream…

His eyes turned its attention from the vast blue sky to the Occult Research Club building. It was the place where his life changed.

[What's on your mind Partner?]

Ddraig's voice broke him out of his thought. With a sigh, Issei let the wind graze his body. Truth to be told, Issei was here to relax. Sure, he liked his second family that was the Occult Research Club. However, just for now, all he wanted was to relax from the usual shenanigans.

"Nothing, Ddraig. It's been a while since I feel this relaxed."

[Well, that's true. Looking back to the time when you first awaken me, it feels like a long time ago now.]

"How strange. Not even a year has passed, but time sure flies quickly, huh?"

Issei's mind went back to the first time his girlfriend murdered him. It was also the time when he got the second family he come to treasure. The time when Rias needed them to fight Riser, the time when Kiba nearly went stray because of Excalibur, and many things after that. All of it was one way or another memorable to Issei.

Letting out a deep breath, Issei's eyes caught a single flower beside him. On second look, it hadn't become flower yet, as it was still a bud. Truthfully, Issei did not know what kind of flower was it, or how could a single flower grew on the ground. His grade in biology was mediocre, and it was not like he got interest in flowers. However, for some reason, the sight of the flower captivated Issei.

"Ah…"

[What is it, Partner?]

"Seeing that flower reminds me of the time before I was enlightened on the path of harem king."

[Ha?]

Even if Ddraig was inside the Boosted Gear, somehow Issei could picture Ddraig tilting his head as he spoke that. That mental picture actually made Issei's lip quirked upwards.

"Ever since I was little, I always like seeing buds grow into a beautiful flower. At that time, I thought it was a girlish hobby so I hide it from anyone. However, after I was enlightened on the path of harem king, even when I like big boobs, just seeing the pictures felt lacking to me," Issei began to explain.

[You want to see the real deal from when you were kids?]

"No… Yes… No that's not what I mean, anyway hear me out first. Even after I was enlightened, I still continued my secret hobby of seeing buds grow into a beautiful flower. And that was when I realized, when I see a flower no matter how beautiful it is, it felt lacking to me in a manner that is similar to the way I see a pictures of big boobs."

[I still don't understand where you're going with this Partner]

"I was in middle school back then, and several of my female classmates had hit puberty. Whenever I got the chance, I always took a peek at their boo- no, I always took a peek at the growth of their boobs. And no matter how small that growth is, I always felt satisfaction. Do you understand, Ddraig?"

[…I see… Yes, I understand what you're trying to say. The thrill of seeing forbidden things is always satisfying no?]

"No, Ddraig. That's not what I meant," Issei deadpanned. "What I mean is, since I was kids, I always love seeing growth."

[…AH!]

"Now you're just realizing it?"

[We-Well, you're comparing the growth of flowers and boobs! Of course not everybody will get it the first time! So why are you telling me this?]

Issei's eye went back to observed the Occult Research Club building again. Despite its age, it was still standing strong.

"I think the reason I love the Occult Research Club is because I can always feel the growth inside there. All of them, they blossomed."

Asia, from a timid innocent girl blossomed into a less timid and still innocent young woman. Kiba, from an avenger with troubled past blossomed into a free man who can be relied his comrade. Koneko, from the stoic girl blossomed into a girl who can express her emotion. Akeno, from being burdened by the hatred of her father blossomed into being freed of it. Gasper, from a hikkikomori scaredy cat blossomed into a man. And most importantly, Rias, from just his Club President, all this time she was blossoming into the woman he loved. Issei bore witness to their blossoming.

Sure, he hadn't seen the growth of Xenovia, Irina, and Roseweisse. That just meant that it wasn't time for them to blossom yet. He was sure, someday they would blossom into beautiful flowers. And when that time comes, he will be the one tending the garden full of beautiful flowers.

[Huh, partner. Did you just think about your harem using a flowers metaphor? That's… quite beautiful actually.]

"…I'm going to be the best gardener ever! I'm going to tend all those beautiful flowers in my garden! I will surely appreciate the sight of all those different kinds of beautiful flowers together inside my garden! Surrounded by many kinds of flowers, my life will be complete!"

[Translation: I'm going to be the Harem King. I will help them if they got problem and etc. etc. The sight of them together in my bed will surely arouse me.]

"Hey! Don't ruin the beautiful sentence with such perversity!"

[Great. Now my partner got a new kind of obsession.]


Blossom


A/N: This came out of nowhere. Not even I understand why did I write this. But I think I like this little (not so) deep and (definitely not) philosophical piece of a fic. Also, tl;dr: character development.