A facility lay undetected underground beneath the world’s largest cathedral.
It was a secret location known to only very few to this day, housing abominations under the order of the Vatican, the headquarters of the Hero Clan—a research facility utilized by the predecessors of the special corps to create clones made from Jin’s cells.
The interior of the dimly lit facility possessed a long passageway that appeared to be as amply deep as it was tall; the only source of illumination of the tenebrous space, denying any traces of sunlight due to its location underground, was the innumerable amount of large, cylindrical water tanks that lined the walls left and right, their liquid contents within possessing a special power that made them shine with a pallid glow, as if the tanks themselves were the very lighting of the room.
And a sole figure was present within the deathly still space—the stark white of the vestments he wore, standing out amidst the gloomy space, were ones that were only fit to be donned by the Holy king.
His gaze was fixated upon one particular tank that now contained nothing but emptiness, connected to tubes and pipes of different thicknesses and materials. Wordlessly, he placed his right hand upon the tank’s curved wall of glass, thereupon which the chill of its surface took his temperature away as it spread through his body from the surface of his right palm.
“Twenty years, huh…” And as he suddenly muttered those words, his thoughts returning to the days of long past—
“So this is your little secret castle, Albareos.”
A voice resounded behind him, and the man could see the reflection of another figure behind him through the pane of the tank.
And so Albareos, who reigned as the top of the pyramid as the leader of the Vatican—the headquarters that governed the Hero Clan—turned toward the source of the voice. Before him stood a man that once upheld the responsibility of the Hero Clan; a man renowned among friend and foe alike, where allies would revere him as the strongest member of the Hero Clan, while his enemies feared him for his reputation as a war god.
“Jin…” Albareos narrowed his gaze, his eyebrows creased as he uttered the figure’s name.
“Well, I see you don’t look so pleased to see me. By the way, this is overdue, but I haven’t really said it yet, haven’t I?” Jin said, looking as if he had just remembered something,
“Congratulations. You’ve finally got what you’ve always wanted, huh? Taking the title of the whole Holy King and all.”
“I see you’ve fallen quite low yourself.” Albareos snorted in response to the comment of his former comrade, “You, once a revered hero, who then suddenly brought back a child with an unknown mother out of nowhere during the war, and ended up choosing to step back from the frontlines and eventually relinquish the duties of the Hero Clan of your own accord.”
“What, is it really that surprising? Well, truth be told, I didn’t expect myself to have a kid as well, but it can’t be helped, can it?” There was no sign of shame or regret in Jin’s words, as he continued, “After all, I happened to stumble across women who I knew I could call the love of my life. Women who knew their own strength more than anyone and used that strength to fight for others more than themselves…women who would put on a brave front, refusing to show weakness to anyone else.”
“And yet they willingly gave it all to me—their unpainted faces, their weaknesses, everything. Of course I’d come to decide that I’d protect them no matter what.”
What Jin said next came in a voice more sombre than usual.
“Even now I still can’t forget it all…how happy I was when I learned how one was pregnant with my child. How helpless I felt when the other had to give birth to him while I couldn’t even protect her. Even so, I can’t let anything happen to the product of our bonds—the beacon of hope the three of us had made together. That’s why I’d resigned from being a member of the Hero Clan. My duty is no longer to the world—but to my son.”
“You would assume such trivialities as your own duty? How risible.”
And as Albareos mocked him—
“Is that so? Is your own duty any more noble than mine, then? You always went on and on about elevating the standings of the Hero Clan, making the world a better place and whatnot.”
“But c’mon, what happened after that? Has the world really changed for the better—even if a little—after you stuck your ass on a throne?”
“It’s not something your eyes can see…what one sees of the world changes with one’s particular viewpoint of it. And so if one is to truly reform the world, one must oversee it through a view comparable to that of a god.” Such was Albareos’ answer to Jin’s question.
“A god, huh…c’mon, don’t you think you’re too old for that kind of childish nonsense already? And I thought you would stop being all self-righteous and whatnot after the whole fiasco you pulled with Kyouichi.”
“…I have already grasped the situation and have full control over it. There are no issues pertaining to that anymore.”
It was then that the Holy King, Albareos, finally cut to the case.
“Well, what is your purpose here?”
“Isn’t it obvious why I’m here? I’m here to take out the trash, of course.” Jin immediately answered, “Basara’s already done his job…guess it’s about time I did mine.”
Toujou Jin now directly faced Albareos.
“To think you wouldn’t even bring any followers with you as the Holy King…quite careless, aren’t you?”
And the next moment, he slowly stepped his way toward him.
“And for you to take control of the situation off the other side of the sea while neglecting your own situation right now…if that’s your so-called ‘viewpoint of a god’ or whatever that is, I’d say it’s quite lame, if you ask me.”
And as Jin let out those words—
“In the end, you and I share different visions. You’re blind to what I see.”
A group of people now stood in front of Albareos, who let out a smile, in his defense. Jin immediately understood why each of them were identical to the other in almost every aspect, from looks to form.
They were clones—clones of Shiba Kyouichi.
There appeared to be a total of seven standing in a row before Jin.
“As I’ve said before, I’ve already grasped the situation and have complete control over it.” Albareos said, calmly. “I have no need for your son or his so-called friends of his…I can always use these to crush that flawed specimen as I see fit.”
“……So that’s how it is.” Jin muttered, having had Albareos’ trump card revealed before him.
—It had been twenty years since that day.
To Jin, such a period of time was the arrival of a new happiness before him—the birth of his son, Basara, and the time he had spent with him.
To Shiba Kyouichi, such time had been months and years spent to accumulate power with the purpose of taking revenge on the Hero Clan.
And to Albareos, twenty years had been, to him, time spent mounting the stairways of becoming the Holy King and securing such a position for himself.
…Such was the likeliest conclusion, at least.
Shiba wasn’t the only one Albareos saw as a threat to him—there was also Jin. He feared that Jin would one day appear before him just as the scenario presented itself before him at this very moment.
That was why he took whatever measures necessary to eliminate all obstacles in his path—and he had been storing power for that purpose to this day.
“After all, I did consider the possibility that the Village, whom I entrusted that specimen with, would plot to use him against me…I made good to save a few hairs of his and create a couple of spares before his transfer.” Albareos said, “The appearance of a specimen capable of absorbing the Kegare in its entirety was a miracle back then…but the world has changed so much in the last twenty years, and with the advancement of magic and technology of an evolutionary level, it wouldn’t be difficult to recreate that miracle with the way things are now.”
And as Albareos said so, an aura of dark Ki energy seethed from the seven clones of Shiba.
It was a sign that the clones were not only identical to the original in appearance—they also possessed the same abilities.
Jin narrowed his gaze, looking straight toward the group of clones before him. And then—
“And since you’re here…I’d say it’s a good opportunity. I supposed I could use a few clones of you as well.”
“When you returned from the Demon Realm after the last great war, I sensed a reaction in the soul within you like I’ve never seen before. And I will recreate everything of you with my own hands, and elevate you to an even higher level, such that even your current moniker of a war god would pale in comparison.” Albareos smiled and said.
“Man, you really don’t know when to stop, do you? You’ve already done enough, letting Kyouichi get out of control and all.” Jin looked evidently displeased at Albareos’ words. “Heck, at this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d find some excuse to invite Basara and the others to you after all of this is over.”
“Naturally, I would. My duty is to lead this world toward a distant, bright future. And in order to fulfill that duty, I cannot cease my footsteps, even if it means walking down the path to becoming a god. And I will make good use of your son and his companions in order to achieve that future.”
“And that future will start with you…” Albareos sneered. “A hair or a piece of flesh will suffice…kill him.”
At his command, Shiba’s seven clones moved as ordered; Albareos witnessed the seven Clones of Shiba charging toward Jin simultaneously.
One particular clone led the charge while the six others followed behind it; the extreme speed of their formation closed their distance from Jin in an instant.
The other six would follow up and finish Jin at the moment he would respond to the first clone; It didn’t matter if the one leading the charge would be sacrificed in the process.
They were merely clones and nothing more; he could always procure a replacement regardless of the expense he would need.
…And there was the prospect of obtaining an even more valuable research subject once he got rid of Jin.
As Albareos’ heart danced as he filled his thoughts of such a future seemingly seconds away from reality, he then saw it—he saw Jin casually raising his right palm toward the first clone charging toward him.
And the next moment, a flash of blinding light was released from his palm.
The light swallowed the leading clone of Shiba and the six others behind it—and the moment the flash of light dissipated,
“…——What in the world…?”
Albareos was dumbfounded.
All seven of Shiba’s clones had been destroyed; and there was not the slightest trace of any of them.
Albareos then understood the phenomenon that just occured.
It was Banishing Shift, an iteration similar to Basara’s own Banishing Shift that sent its target to the zero dimension.
“Impossible..I thought only your son could use that technique!”
“Not surprising, really…like father, like son, as they say. Why wouldn’t I be capable of using my son’s abilities? I even know the whole gist of how it works.” Jin said, “Well, my iteration isn’t as unrefined as Basara’s though; I’m not limited to using it for counterattacks.”
Jin’s words, explaining his stance as if it were only natural for it to happen, took any semblance of words Albareos had left in his mouth.
And before he knew it, something resembling a tattoo suddenly appeared on Jin’s body.
It was the crest of an ancient dragon.
“Actually…you wanna know something? Before I arrived here, I went over to the restaurant you used to take me to for a bite, and I must say, it gave me quite a shock. I imagine it’s because of the good business it now has that it feels so different?” Jin stared into space as he thought of that, “I tried most of the food there. It all tasted good, of course. It’s just…the price and the stuff they put in the menu we used to order during old times is completely different now. Too extravagant, really, like it was something else entirely.”
And Jin’s next words sounded somewhat lonesome:
“A pity, isn’t it, that the food we once shared there is no more—much like how your old self is no more as well.”
Albareos swallowed hard, unable to move.
The pressure that Jin was exuding before him was already far beyond that of Shiba’s; it was at such an unseen level that it scared the color out of the Holy King’s face.
“Do you know why I didn’t make my move sooner even after the whole incident with Kyouichi you pulled? It’s because of Basara. If I were to make any careless moves, surely you could take the opportunity to mess with him during my absence in the human world…that’s the only reason I’ve left you alive until now.”
Albareos’ gaze slowly rose as he could not keep his eyes off Jin; the form of the man before him was changing before his very eyes.
From a man, Jin slowly transformed into a dragon, its entire body coated in an exoskeleton as white as the battle armor that the Hero Clan donned.
Albareos’ eyes widened; he was at a complete loss.
“What’s the matter, Albareos? Don’t you want to know why my soul had evolved to be so huge after the events of the great war?”
The moment his voice grew to be so deafening it shook the very atmosphere around them, Jin’s appearance had completely changed, now taking on the form of a titanic, white dragon, looming over the Holy King as he gazed at him below.
“You once said that you wanted to make the world a better place, and I have no doubt your words were true back then…but alas, only back then. In the end, you even ended up being tainted by your own filthy desires.”
The dragon’s gaping maw did not snap shut as it finished speaking; on the contrary, it only opened wider.
A flash of blinding light burst open following the massive dragon’s words; the holy light then swallowed what was every fiber of Albareos’ existence—his body, his mind, his essence.
…—He was dreaming of it again.
Gazing at the gruesome scenery of the tragedy that had unfolded in the distant past, Toujou Basara knew full well that he was in a dream.
He could see a pair of crazed, crimson eyes looming over his younger self.
They were the eyes of Seito, seemingly possessed by an evil spirit, as Basara could hear the shrill screams of despair of the surrounding adults that were cut down in his wake.
He could see his childhood friends sunken amidst an ample pool of their own blood.
And there was Yuki, young as he was behind him, the sound of her fearful breathing, trembling and sobbing all too clear to him.
Eventually, Seito, driven mad with insanity, slowly stepped toward the two kids.
And Basara knew better than anyone what the next tragedy entailed.
His body felt as if it was tied up, his breathing hard. And yet—
—It wasn’t that he was used to it; he simply could do nothing but watch it directly in his dreams. He could only watch his unerasable past, and his unerasable sins before him.
Before long, the tragedy that unfolded before him and the fear of impending doom drove the psyche of Basara’s younger self to its limit; the next moment, a flash of white light suddenly emerged before dispersing across all directions, with Basara as its center.
The power of Banishing Shift had gotten out of control; the blinding light then mercilessly devoured everything surrounding Basara and Yuki—the corpses of the adults and friends murdered by Seito along with it.
Toujou Basara continued to unblinkingly relive the day of the tragedy that he had enacted—as if it were the responsibility he had sentenced his sinful self to.
When Basara opened his eyes next, he found himself feeling startled again.
He should have awoken from his dream, but it was pitch black before him, and it was difficult for him to breathe.
His next thought was toward the abyss Shiba had locked him in; and as Basara’s thoughts first went to the bottomless pit of Kegare—
“!…Whaa ii tthh…..!”
Even Basara’s exclamations sounded vague; darkness was plastered upon his face, deterring even his ability to speak. And then—
“Nnnn….fuaahn♥…oh, Basara-san, you’re already so assertive even after you’ve just woken up…”
Amidst the slight warmth in the darkness, he could hear a familiar, irritating voice, one that spurred him to forcefully push his way out of the blackness that stood in front of him. His forceful attempts of clearing away what was before him were accompanied by the sound of cloth being ripped and torn apart, but his vision was still obstructed.
Even if he could see something other than darkness right now, there was a small butt in front of him; it plastered warmth to his mouth and his nose, and a somewhat comfortable sensation of weight was pressing on his chest and abdomen.
What in the world was going on here?
Apparently, Toujou Basara was now locked in what one would describe as the 69 position, a girl’s butt now sitting on his face. As his hands pried himself free from the darkness, he could feel the distinct sensation of ripped underwear.
Basara wordlessly placed his hands on the waist that was suffocating him, lifting away the girl who was sitting on top of him before he picked up the digital alarm clock placed on the bedside table, checking the time on the clock through an inverted point of view.
It was 5:30 a.m.; it was a morning earlier than usual, one that was welcoming sunrise.
And having understood what he could about his current circumstances, Basara finally spoke.
“Yes, Basara-san? How may I help you?”
“Explain our situation right now.”
“Hmm, let’s see…where do I start with this, huh…” Maria stared into the nothingness in the mid-air as she spoke.
“Can you just tell me what you’re doing for the time being?” Basara repeatedly reminded himself in his heart to not be angered by it all, asking her politely.
“Given that it was Mio-sama and I that did it with you yesterday, I thought waking you up should be my rightful duty as a result. I figured I’d get the best out of my head and use it to wake you up.”
“You mean to say you wanted to get the best out of your knowledge. Your head inspires questions; it rarely has answers.”
“Oh, no, I insist I’d go for “get the best out of my head”, though for a succubus like me, perhaps ‘get the best out of my breasts’ might be more befitting…shall we start over?”
“I’ll pass. Go on.”
“I see…what a shame. Anyways, I was remembering the many ways I’ve been trying to wake you up until now because of this.” Maria said, quietly. “In the end, I realized that although I’ve always been messing inside your T-shirt and your underwear, I’ve never actually invited you to the same inside my own clothes and underwear. I was careless in that regard….such an oversight really gave me quite a shock, and I felt really guilty as a result.”
Basara had yet to turn angry at Maria’s words. “I see. And then?”
“My pleasure. Making as much space as I could by pulling the waist portion of my panties with my right hand,
What do you think? Although I used some of my succubus sleeping magic so that you won’t be woken by such small movements, this new 69 position is still an outstanding new achievement, don’t you think?”
“…I don’t even know where to start with you.”
“As long as you’re going to start with your dick, both my upper and lower holes will welcome you with open arms.”
“I’m not even going to try and respond to that statement…why are you so obsessed with this new 69 position, anyway?”
“Oh~I’ve been thinking that our morning fellatio sessions haven’t been as spicy lately.”
“You don’t have to worry about something like that. I’m really happy with the way you guys are waking me up daily as is.” As Basara kindly told her that everything was alright, Maria simply waved her hand in dismissal.
“Oh, no, Basara-san—I’m the one who’s unsatisfied with things being as they are.”
“So it is about you, huh!”
And he ended up losing it after all.
Stop being such an idiot! Even if you can’t take it, just keep it in! Do it with all you’ve got!
And then said idiot became shocked at Basara’s response.
“But that’s…I’ve already crept into your shirt and your underwear, and you won’t even let me return the favor. What exactly do you even want me to do, Basara-san?”
“Just wake me up the way one normally would, damn it!”
“Normally, huh…oh, it’s true that I can’t say good morning while my mouth is holding your thing during sessions…I’ve seen the light!”
“Given that lustful little mind of yours, I don’t expect you to be able to see anything.”
Following Basara’s bitter remark, Mio, who was sleeping right beside him, slowly fluttered her eyelids open as she woke up and took a breath.
“Sorry…seems we’ve woken you.” Basara immediately apologized.
“It’s nothing…good morning. What are you two up to so early?” Mio asked, rubbing her eyes.
“Basara-san and I are discussing and experimenting on the most ideal way to wake him up in the morning.”
“…………..What’s this….I think there’s something hard in here….” Mio suddenly discovered that something felt odd, appearing rather puzzled.
“Eh? Is something wrong with Basara-san’s—”
“Maria! Look…I’m talking about this.” Mio then reached under the bedsheets and withdrew a plastic box from beneath them—one that was commonly used to store games or film CDs, its cover incidentally facing Mio and Basara, and the two then took a closer look to discover what it was.
The cover was decorated with girls dressed as lavisciously as their expressions, their necks chained with collars. The name of the product happened to be—
‘My Unknown Youth Life with my Real Little Sister vII.”
It was an erotic game.
“Ah, the new arrival on the market released late last month.”
“I don’t care what it is! What’s with the game having a version II, is it really that popular right now!?”
“But of course. The budget for production was quite high for this piece, there are many character and routes for you to go through, and there’s a massive influx of sex scenes, as well. Apart from it being far more hot and heavy, there’s even a perfect harem route included in this.” Maria said proudly. “That said, you really must use this game as your own personal reference, Basara-san.”
Maria’s preposterous words caused Basara and Mio to turn silent, and the entire room suddenly went still along with it.
After a while, Basara turned the box around to see what was behind the cover; the scene on it was filled with pictures of lewd girls that were being disciplined by the main protagonist, their expressions melting with pleasure at the delight of yielding to their master in sexual fashion. It was likely that it was done as fanservice that would attract customers.
And the acts and expressions of the characters of this restricted game were no longer an illusion to Basara the way he was now; he’d already done most if not all of them to Mio and the others already.”
Swallowing hard, Basara then turned to Mio and Maria.
“Oh, Basara-san….nnn, even though you were already so intense yesterday….haaah!♥”
That alone had already managed to trigger Mio and Maria’s lustful curses.
“Mio…Maria…” As he said so, Basara brushed away the silk sheets they used as bedsheets, exposing all three of them naked, just as they were since last night. Basara’s member was already painfully erect, whereas the thighs of Mio and Maria glistened with their womanly fluids as the two lost themselves in their lust.
“Spread your legs…both of you.”
At Basara’s order, the two nodded obediently and did as they were told—exposing the most obscene part of their bodies.
And their gazes betrayed their excitement, waiting for Basara to make his move.
“—I got it. I’ll make you guys feel better now.”
And as Toujou Basara finished those words, he immediately acted upon them—as if to satiate his own carnal desires, he ravenously helped himself to the two sisters.
A week had passed following the end of the battle against Shiba; said week was the last few days of time before their spring break would end.
And within this period, Basara had continued to make love with his girls day and night.
—Maria had acted too recklessly when she battled Kouryuu, and she needed to restore her life force as a result; acting on the pretense that it would be for Maria’s sake, Basara and the others had decided to use succubus drugs to stimulate themselves, engaging in continuous sessions of obscene activity. They had only needed to engage in such erotic activity in order to dispel the effects of the curse or increase their strength up until now, but after they had crossed the line and attained the Master-Servant Vow, whatever rationale and restraint that they had held up until now had finally shattered, and they were incapable of helping themselves.
Within this week, Basara had come to actively desire Mio and the others on his own accord; they too, however, had released their own desires that they had suppressed for so long in order to achieve their Vow, and were instead happy that Basara himself was taking the initiative toward them.
And while the curse would no longer trigger at signs of betrayal of the servant toward their master after advancing their contract to a Vow, another change had occurred within Mio and the others; whenever Basara would feel any sexual arousal toward them, the Vow would react in response and trigger the curse that would excite Mio and the others as well, allowing them to accept Basara’s desires accordingly.
Such was the repercussion that came with Mio and the others’ decision of giving everything to Basara and accepting everything of him in return.
However, Basara as well as Mio and the others decided that they would not hold any regrets over their decision, devoting themselves to drowning in their own pleasure as if to drown out such guilty feelings.
Up until now, everyone had sought after the other upon the enormous bed in the basement that still had space to spare even after accommodating six people; Starting yesterday, however, Basara had decided to sleep in his own room.
Given that Mio and others were to succumb to the lustful effects of the curse simultaneously, Basara would have to take a lot of time to tend to all five of his girls, and as a result, he had been unable to secure time for sleep until morning; to solve this, the group had decided that two girls would get to sleep with Basara in his room at a time, allowing all of them to get the adequate rest and sleep they needed.
And for the first day since their decision, Mio and Maria were given that initial privilege.
After leaving the Mio and Maria lying on the bed, the two of them dizzy from the ecstasy of their previous excitement following their countless climaxes after being held in Basara’s embrace after waking up, Basara left his room; as he entered the corridor, the fresh morning air, signature to the spring, soothed his warm body as it brushed past him.
He then went downstairs, heading toward the bathroom.
As he opened the wooden door and stepped into the dressing room—
“…Oh, I forgot a change of clothes…oh well.”
Although he had forgotten to bring a set of clothes with him, there were bath towels on the shelf; he decided that he could just cover himself with it when he was done.
And so Basara entered the bathroom to begin his shower; a warm bath would wash off all the sweat from Mio and Maria that they’d put on him from last night till earlier that morning.
As Basara began to wash his body, however, another girl suddenly entered the bathroom.
It was Yuki—as one would expect given the setting, she was stark naked.
“Good morning, Basara…can we bathe together?”
“Be my guest. What’s wrong? You don’t usually get up so early.”
“It’s because I heard Mio and Maria earlier…” She said, a wry smile on her face as her feet stepped on the wet bathroom floor, inching toward Basara.
“I see…I’m sorry to have awoken you.”
“No worries.” Yuki shook her head in dismissal of Basara’s apology. “Basara….can I clean you up?”
“….Mmm, I’ll leave it to you, then.”
At Basara’s response, Yuki then walked before Basara before squatting directly in front of him. What came next, she opened her mouth and took Basara’s member within it.
“Nnn…bleargh, chuu…hum….nnn, chuu…chuuu♥”
And as Yuki’s slippery tongue slid through every nook and cranny of Basara’s member in order to clean it, Basara readily accepted her erotic service.
The relationship between Basara and the others had evolved as such that these sessions were commonplace in their lives.
Basara’s placed his hands on Yuki’s head and gently stroked her as she lost herself in servicing him, exciting his beautiful childhood friend even more as she continued to lick Basara’s member more intensely; before long, Basara’s thing had become slippery, fully coated in Yuki’s saliva, before she finally released it.
“Nnnn….haah…nnnn….♥there’s not only your taste, Basara…there’s a little of Mio and Maria’s taste as well.” And as Yuki noisily gulped down the saliva that was all over her mouth, Yuki’s expression was absolutely captivating.
It was to be expected; Yuki’s fellatio had already excited Basara’s member so much that it was now fully erect. It meant that Yuki had succumbed to the lustful effects of the curse, as well.
As Basara called out her name, Yuki stood up and turned her back toward Basara, placing her hands on the bathroom wall as she spread her legs and stuck out her shapely butt.
“Mmm…before we start showering, I want to leave my taste all over you, Basara.” She said, her eyes wet with lust as she looked over her shoulder, smiling seductively.
As Basara’s hands clutched Yuki’s rear, he then slowly inserted himself within her—and the next moment, Yuki’s libidinous cries echoed across the bathroom.
After finishing with Yuki, Basara took a shower once again, wiping Yuki’s sweat off along with it.
Yuki, who felt exhausted over the aftermath of the session of pleasure, need a while to recover before she could leave the bathroom.
If she were to stay in the bathroom any longer, though, she might not be able to recover from her excitement no matter how long she were to stay in there; that said, Basara had prepared a hot tub for Yuki and soaked her within the bathtub before leaving, knowing that she could catch a cold if he didn’t do so.
Wiping himself dry from the droplets on his body with a freshly cleaned bath towel, he wrapped it around his waist as he left the dressing room and headed toward the living room. As he headed towards his destination, Basara could detect a pleasant aroma from the corridor; as he entered the living room, he could see that Zest was already preparing breakfast in the kitchen. Kurumi was also sitting on the sofa, dressed in her pajamas as she fiddled with her laptop.
“…Morning. Looks like you guys are up early too.”
“Good morning, Basara-sama.”
“Good morning, Basara-niichan. You’re up early as well.”
At Basara’s greeting, Zest and Kurumi responded with sweet smiles; Basara then approached Kurumi, situated at the closer distance from him between the two. He found that she was wearing only her pajama top, leaving her lower half defenseless except for her panties. Her exposed thighs added to her coquettish figure all the more.
“What are you doing with your tablet?” Basara asked as he stood behind her, his gaze attempting to make out what she was doing on the tablet screen.
“Mmm…nothing. I’m just emailing my dad and my mom.” Her expression appeared somewhat lonely as she said so.
“…I see.” Having sensed her feelings through her words, Basara took Kurumi into a close embrace from behind her, and Kurumi placed her hands upon Basara’s warm arms in reciprocation, the two remaining like that for a few moments. Before long,
“…Ah, that’s right. The moving company mailed us a while ago.” Kurumi then showed Basara the new mail she received that she suddenly remembered about. “They said that they could be transferring everything at night as per our contract, and we should call this number if we have any changes to report to them.” The phone number included in the mail’s contents would likely connect them to the manager.
“Got it. Seeing as school ends around the afternoon today, I don’t think they’ll be any problems….do send me that email just to be safe, though.”
“Mmm, will do.” Kurumi nodded, preparing to send him the mail through her tablet.
“I’ll leave it to you, then. Thanks.” After thanking Kurumi, Basara went to the kitchen and withdrew a carton of milk. As he took a drink and let the cool sensation of the milk trickle down his throat and quench his thirst fresh after taking a shower, he let out a satisfied sigh.
His gaze then idly turned toward Zest, already dressed in a kitchen maid’s uniform as she continued cooking in the kitchen, handling many dishes at once. With every flip and gesture she made with the frying pain, his attention would turn to Zest’s sizable breasts as they jiggled before him.
It was absolutely tempting.
“……Um, I’m sorry. Are you already hungry? I thought you’d be waking up a bit later today, so it’s going to take a little longer before I can finish breakfast.” Zest said apologetically, noticing that Basara was staring at her. “Or should I cut up some fruits for you first? Or if you don’t want to wait, I can let you have a taste right now…” She then turned off all the stoves as she said so.
Basara knew exactly what she meant by that lattermost statement, but he pretended not to understand, continuing to gaze at her back.
“…………Ah…..Nnnn…….!♥” Zest let out a seductive voice, appearing to be unable to help herself as she lightly shook her butt. Seeing this, Basara placed the carton of milk he was holding upon an empty space on the kitchen counter, slowly approaching Zest before hugging her from behind. He then groped her breasts and squeezed them, all while shoving his erect lower half between her hips and her rear, showing her how aroused he already was.
Zest had fully fallen into the effects of the lustful curse, moaning as she stood at the mercy of Basara’s loving caress.
It would be dangerous for them to do it near the gas stove, and they couldn’t dirty the kitchen while Zest was still preparing breakfast, either; Basara then carried Zest in his arms to the living room.
As he placed her upon the sofa, Zest fully understood what it was that her master wanted.
She then embarrassingly raised her hips and pulled up her skirt, exposing her shapely hips and butt along with the white lace of her garter belt and her panties; it led way to the fully transparent shape that was Zest’s most embarrassing spot between her crotch, now wet with her womanly fluids.
Basara immediately stripped her of her underwear.
After completely exposing Zest’s private part, Basara undid the knot on his towel that was wrapped around his waist. At the same time, a pair of hands came from behind and extended themselves in front of Basara, gripping his erect member as a tongue began to lick all over his back.
“Um….I’ve already sent you the email….nnnn♥” Kurumi said provocatively, appearing as if she had responded to Basara’s arousal.
“Nnn….Basara-sama, Kurumi-san…I know today’s your big day, and yet I…” As Basara thanked Kurumi, Zest apologized for unsightly behavior as she shook her butt left and right.
“Don’t worry….you’ve done nothing wrong.”
This was all due to the fact that they had made the Master-Servant Vow with one another—they couldn’t have managed to defeat Shiba without committing to it.
That said, they would willingly accept their current circumstances; it’s just that Zest, who was fully obedient to Basara as his maid, felt somewhat guilty despite also feeling happy that she had managed to entice Basara.
—Her current state of lust, however, was entirely due to Basara’s arousal toward her, resulting in her curse triggering; Basara was obviously the one at fault in this case.
Basara could not apologize to her as her master, however; Zest was a maid who had sworn absolute loyalty to him, and to do so would be to wound her pride as she adopted that role.
So Basara instead spoke of nothing related to an apology or some such, instead asking:
“Zest….what are you?”
He wanted to know what Zest’s role was.
Kurumi, who had been behind Basara, then circled toward Zest’s side, her lips ticklishly close to Zest’s sensitive ears and whispered:
“Hurry up, Zest…hurry up and tell Basara-niichan who you are. I’ll end up going first if you don’t, you know?”
“Alright…” With the way Basara and Kurumi were treating her now, Zest couldn’t help but let out sighs and moans of genuine euphoria. And then—
“I’m a maid…I’m a maid that’s given absolutely everything to Basara-sama.” Zest was already at her limit as she confessed what exactly she was to him.
And so Basara thrusted his waist into the girl before him, giving the maid her rightful reward.
He would convey to Zest what exactly Toujou Basara was to her.
After thoroughly enjoying himself with Zest and Kurumi on the sofa, Basara and the rest of the household had breakfast and went off to school after finishing their preparations.
A clear azure sky spread out across the horizon as sakura petals danced about, heralding the arrival of spring, and a perfect day for Hijirigasaka Academy to host two important events for the occasion—the school was to hold a ceremony to celebrate the forthcoming of the new year along with the annual school opening ceremony for its new students.
A particular spot within the grounds of Hijirigasaka Academy was crowded with students—bulletin boards with stands had been placed in front of the school entrance specifically for this day. The mix of joyful and disappointed looks that were scattered across the faces of the students who inspected the board were due to the fact that the students’ respectively assigned classes for the year were posted on it; the matter of which circles and friends the students would be spending with this year was one of life-and-death for them.
However, even amidst the mix of expectant and anxious gazes of the surrounding students toward the bulletin board—even amidst the cacophony of their cheer and lamentation—as Toujou Basara kept his gaze upon the bulletin board, he was calm in every sense of the word.
Much like how both Yuki and Takigawa had infiltrated the school and had been placed in the same class as Mio with the intention of keeping an eye on her last spring, Basara had pulled some strings of his own and had ensured that he would share the same class as Mio, Yuki and Takigawa this year once more in preparation for various risks and worst-case scenarios.
Basara was thus not looking for his own name on the board; he was instead ensuring that there were no errors in the outcome that he had expected.
“Year 2 class F…it seems everything went smoothly. That’s good.” He murmured, as he confirmed that all of the particular names he was looking for had been assigned to the same class without flaw.
“Mhm. We have to thank Hasegawa-sensei later.” Yuki, who was standing next to Basara, nodded as she remembered that it was Hasegawa who had manipulated the assignment of their classes to their liking.
Although they felt rather penitent of having to go so far as to manipulate the minds of the school faculty, they found it a necessary evil to reduce the risk of potentially endangering their surroundings, given that it would easier for enemies to target Basara and the others of they were to be scattered across different classes; after all, even after the incident concerning Shiba had come to a close, it did not mean that all their worries and concerns had been dispelled. Moreover, Hasegawa held a special position in the school as the school nurse, so allowing her to take on such a task was decided as the best way to reduce their concerns to a minimum. Considering the fact that Yuki and Takigawa had each done so once respectively last spring added by Hasegawa’s instance of doing so when Basara had first transferred here during the second semester, the group had manipulated the minds of the school faculty up to a total of three times; settling everything with this last and single instance of manipulating the student faculty was done rather lightly as a result, and there seemed to be no significant ramifications.
Mio, however, who was standing beside Basara albeit opposite from where Yuki was standing, refused to look at the bulletin board, her head hung downward. Her slightly nervous expression betrayed the fact that she was both expectant and fearful of the results of her assigned class deep down, much like the rest of the students.
“Ah, I’ve found them! Chika-chan, over here!”
Amidst the hustle and bustle in front of the bulletin board, an especially loud voice of a girl suddenly resounded amidst the noise. Turning toward the source of the voice, the three could see Aikawa behind them, waving at them as she approached with another girl.
“So you did find them! Good morning, you guys.” It was Sasaki greeting Basara and the others with a smile, seemingly guided to them by Aikawa.
“Yeah.” Good morning.”
“Ah….mmm. Good morning to the both of you.”
As Basara and Yuki greeted the two girls in return, Mio, who was closest with Aikawa and Sasaki among their group, somehow greeted them with an unusual, intricate expression on her face—and Basara understood why.
—Aikawa Shiho and Sasaki Chika, both of whom were in the same class as Mio last year, had been inadvertently dragged into the incident where Mio was being targeted by Zolgear; the incident caused Mio to be torn between her personal desire to share a class with them and the guilt and fear of endangering them back then. As much as sharing a class with them would expose them to potential danger, it would also be easier for Mio to protect the two girls in case of said danger; both choices had their merits and there was no right or wrong in this case.
That said, Basara and the others decided to leave Mio to make her own decision on the matter, given that she was the closest to Aikawa and Sasaki among the group—they would respect her decision regardless of what she chose.
—Regardless, there was no denying the fact that the two innocent girls had been dragged into their affairs back then; the fact that Mio also possessed the trauma of her adoptive parents murdered by Zolgear because of her meant that she could not make her decision even at the last second, such that in the end, she would leave it to fate to decide whether or not she would be sharing the same class with Aikawa and Sasaki without any personal manipulation on the matter.
It was something that Mio was unsure about as she kept pondering upon whether or not she had truly chosen for the best—something that she had yet to find a proper conclusion to, even now.
“Have you seen what class you’re going to be assigned to, Mio?” Sasaki asked.
Basara and Yuki already knew the answer; Mio herself had yet to confirm it. And as Mio tried to think of a reply that would not come across as weird—
“It’s a relief that we’re all in the same class again, huh~ Let’s all get along well this year too, alright?” Aikawa suddenly rushed up to hug Mio as she said so.
Mio, surprised by the sudden news, first turned to Aikawa, then Sasaki, and then to Basara; Basara smiled and nodded at her, having known the outcome beforehand.
“Yeah. I look forward to getting along with you guys this year, as well.” He said.
Mio looked as though she was about to tear up for a moment, but she quickly changed her expression into a smile immediately after.
“Me too…I’m really happy that we get to share the same class again this year.”
“Please get along with me this year, as well.”
There was a lot of resolution and determination placed within her words—sentiments that Basara and Yuki shared as well.
Mio wasn’t the only one who was a friend of Aikawa and Sasaki—they were friends with Basara and Yuki too.
No, they weren’t the only ones—they had many other friends and acquaintances within the school, as well. This school was an irreplaceable part of their daily life for Basara and the others—one of many things the group wanted to protect and to keep in their hands.
And so they would protect it no matter what—they renewed such a resolve there and then.
Kurumi suddenly approached them, having received the class she would be placed in from the bulletin board opposite the school entrance surrounded by second and third-years; however, she appeared to be somewhat perplexed.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Kurumi?”
“Is there a problem with your assigned class?”
“…No, I wouldn’t call it a problem.” As Basara and Yuki asked her what was going on, Kurumi couldn’t help but stroke her cheek with her finger, appearing to be slightly disturbed at what she’d just found.
“It’s just…there appears to be a Naruse Maria among my classmates from the list.”
“Eh……..?” And as Basara and Yuki stood in disbelief by the news—
“Fufufu~ At last, this day has come!” And as they spoke of the devil, a certain erotic loli succubus suddenly showed herself beside them, a brazen smile on her face.
Toujou Basara could not look away from the sight before him; with her hands on her hips and with her chest puffed with pride as she cleared her throat to draw the group’s attention, Maria was wearing the Hijirigasaka school uniform.
“Hold on a second, that outfit…are you saying you’ve…”
What was he going to do with her? Just thinking about it gave Basara a headache. The fact that it suited her as if it were the most natural thing in the world only served to anger him more.
“Yeap! Although the three of you can keep an eye out on each other, Basara-san, it’s far too dangerous for Kurumi-san to be alone all by herself, right? That’s why I’ve come along to school with you guys! Oh, how could I have thought of such an excellent idea, even if I do say so myself~” Maria said, hugging her body as she wiggled idly in self-praise over her decision, a beaming smile alight on her face as she appeared before the group. “That said, I’ll be under your care from now on, Basara-senpai!”
“You should’ve told us something like that sooner, kouhai!”
If she was doing it to protect Kurumi, it’s not as if Basara had any reason to object; she must’ve kept quiet about it because she recognized that fact. Besides, it was quite atypical of the mischievous Maria to plan surprises such as these.
However, that said, her decision to come to the school left them with another problem they couldn’t ignore.
“We can’t let Zest take care of the house all by herself though, can we?” The school was quite some distance away from the Toujou household, and they might not make it in time should something happen to her.
They needed to give her a reason to come to the school.
For the time being, I guess I’ll consult Hasegawa about this later. And as Basara thought of that—
“Ah, about that, you don’t have to worry about that anymore, alright? Fufu~” The erotic loli succubus of a new student said, smiling suggestively.
The meaning behind Maria’s words was revealed during the short morning homeroom period.
Before the school opening ceremony, all currently enrolled students were to gather at the gymnasium for another important event—the term opening ceremony. It was a ceremony different from that of the school assembly; after the students took their seats on the folding chairs prepared for them in the venue, the prerequisite principal’s speech came first, before new additions to the school staff were introduced.
An approximate of ten or so new staff members went up the stage—and among them was a familiar, beautiful woman with brown skin.
It was Zest.
Although she wasn’t flashily dressed, she possessed tremendous beauty and sexual appeal—much like Hasegawa, and was a figure of temptation to them. Her foreign appearance made her stand out on the stage all the more.
“Next is Miss Zest. B . Steward, who will be teaching English for the second-year students.”
The second-year boys went loud with cheer at the announcement as the third-years let out sighs of disappointment something deserving of the vice principal to announce “Silence!”, warning them for their unsightly conduct.
Zest then stepped forward with the microphone in her hand.
“Um…my name is Zest. B. Steward, and I will be working as a part-time teacher starting today. I’ll be responsible for teaching English, and I hope I won’t cause any inconveniences during my stay here…one way or another, I hope you’ll all bear with me.”
It was a message clearly meant for Basara—it was likely that Maria was also behind this, so she was apologizing for not saying anything about it.
A part-time teacher was different from a full-fledged teacher of the school in that the former was not bound by several school duties such as being a homeroom teacher, acting as advisors for clubs, and counselling and guiding students; they would only need to come to school to give lessons, and could leave immediately after finishing them.
With this, Zest would not be left alone at home while still being able to act on her desire to be responsible for the entirety of the chores and housework in the Toujou household.
Zest had chosen such a surname for herself from the word “steward”, meaning a person who serves, such as a maid or butler. She had decided against using Toujou as her surname due to the fact that it would invite any unwanted misunderstandings, but also wanted a name that held some semblance of meaning, at that. Moreover, the middle name of “B” likely came from the first letter of Basara’s name.
There was no particularly special meaning behind the name; Zest had named herself after her role and duties to Basara as his maid.
And after she finished her brief introduction, she bowed deeply, inviting a fervent round of applause that enveloped the gymnasium. Amidst the noise, Basara’s eyes met with Zest’s as she slowly raised herself.
As Zest gazed at him apologetically, Basara simply smiled back at her and shook his head lightly, all while giving her a loud applause at her introduction.
Don’t worry about that—it’s fine for you to teach here. Mio and the others likely shared the same thoughts and expressions as Basara did right now.
Zest’s expression lit up upon seeing Basara’s response, her smiling eliciting another round of cheer and applause from the boys, so loud that no traces of the vice-principal’s attempt to calm them could be heard.
Once more, Basara’s attention went away from the stage amidst the obstreperous noise—to the wall right next to the stage.
Among the staff members who were watching the stage just like the students, his gaze met with a certain female teacher’s, her gaze locked only upon him.
It was Hasegawa—prominent, all too beautiful, and dressed in her white doctor’s coat, she gave off a smile of satisfaction at Basara. To that, Basara returned her smile with a wry smile of his own, knowing in his mind that he had much more other things to thank her for beyond her involvement in assigning their classes.
The term opening ceremony ended shortly after the introduction of all new members of the school faculty; as Basara and the other currently enrolled students moved from their seats in the front to the prepared seats in the middle, the school opening ceremony finally began.
The ceremony began with the entrance of parents and guardians; it was custom of the Hijirigasaka Academy that they, too, deserved to be congratulated along with their children of whom they had sent to study in this new environment, and the students heralded their arrival with a welcoming applause. After the parents and guardians who had arrived before the ceremony had taken their seats, it didn’t take long before the gymnasium gradually became silent once again.
“Now for the arrival of our new students. Everyone, please give them a round of applause.”
A thunderous applause followed after that announcement as the freshmen entered the gymnasium one by one amidst the congratulatory noise.
“—Next, we’d like to welcome Miss Morino Moki, the homeroom teacher for class 1-F.”
The young female teacher entered with a bow before she took the microphone and called out the names of the students that would be in her class and the numbers of their respective seats, starting with the boys and then the girls.
Suddenly, there was a small stir amidst the procedure; two girls appeared to be standing out among the female students.
It was none other than Maria and Kurumi; as Maria pridefully trodded into the gymnasium, Kurumi followed right behind her, looking somewhat embarrassed. The two were assigned into the F class as Basara and the others’ classroom was directly above the classroom the two younger girls would be studying in, making it easier to detect any abnormalities and reach them within the shortest distance should anything occur.
…I have to thank Hasegawa for that, too. She was the one who planned all this, didn’t she? Basara thought of how he needed to properly and thoroughly thank Hasegawa later.
And as he gazed at Maria and Kurumi, clapping his hands at their entrance—
I wish I could’ve invited them all here.
He wished that he could have invited Yuki and Kurumi’s parents in the distant Village, Shuuya and Kaoru.
And in the Demon Realm, there was Maria’s mother, Shella, her sister, Lucia, and Ramusas.
However, he could not invite them all to celebrate with them today.
Between the alarming strength of Shiba’s barrier, the manifestation of Kouryuu, and the power that he had previously attained, the incident about Shiba had spread to the other factions of the Hero Clan beyond the Vatican and the Village; the other factions had relentlessly bounded the concerning factions after the incident, particularly the factions from America and China, such that Fuji, Kumano and Atsutara had to relinquish their titles as the Village’s elders.
If everything proceeded smoothly, perhaps the relationship between Basara’s group and the Village would gradually improve and head toward a better direction.
That said, if they were to contact Basara and the others now, it would trigger potential rebellion against Shuuya assuming the role of elder, so they had to wait for the time being.
On the other hand, Sheil and Lucia could disguise themselves as humans or hide themselves from detection through invisibility magic; Basara had only known of Maria’s decision to enter the school just before the ceremony, however, and was unable to contact them in time as a result.
Perhaps Maria could have informed them firsthand—but she appeared to not have done so.
The secret message that was sent by Takigawa from the alliance between the Current Demon Lord Faction and the Moderate Faction to the Hero Clan entailed their request for the Hero Clan to place Basara and the others under the mantle of sanctuary; the Demon Realm couldn’t possibly get close to them so easily given that request.
Given that Kurumi couldn’t invite Shuuya and Kaoru to her school opening ceremony, Maria would be unwilling to invite her own family members, Sheila and Lucia, over on her own either.
As for Ramusas—no, Wilbert—he wouldn’t have come even if he was invited. He had chosen to live on as Ramusas, and would likely keep certain distance between them in the future just as he was doing now. However—
….I still really want to invite him, though.
Even if he were to reject his offer, Basara still wanted to show him that he understood how he felt.
It was an opportunity that Basara would never get, though; that said, he had asked someone to take pictures and videos of Maria and Kurumi.
He had done so hoping that he could be able to see them this way someday in the future, loving his two precious family members just as Basara did.
After all the new students had been registered in the gymnasium and the principal and guests of honor had given their speeches, it was then time for the representative of the currently enrolled students to give her welcome to the new students; the representative was the former vice-president now turned official student council president starting this spring, elected via popularity vote due to the fact that there was no replacement candidates following the events of the school sports festival last year.
It was Kajiura Rikka—and as she stood on the rostrum of the stage and oversaw the students gathered in front of her, she began her speech.
“To all new students, I bid you all a very good morning. Similarly, I bid the same for all parents and guardians present today. Congratulations for being a part of our school. I am Kajiura Rikka, the student council president. I’m sure that all our current students are just as excited as I am for this day, and we all give you a warm welcome for entering this school.”
Following that, she then explained the tradition of the school as well as Hijirigasaka Academy’s special characteristics from the perspective of a student. And then—
“Up next, I would like to introduce several annual events that students can participate in regardless of what year they’re in. We hope that these activities would not only evoke the students’ sense of belonging and pride for the school, but also inculcate love for the school and cooperation amongst one another.” As she talked up to this point, she began to appear somewhat embarrassed.
“Even as student council president, I’m still new to all of this much like all of you are, and had participated in student council affairs as vice-president up until last year…within this period, I had a lot of aid and assistance from my fellow friends at school, not just from upperclassman and classmates, but I also received plenty of help from those younger than me, as well. To all our new students, I hope that all of you can find your own irreplaceable group of friends and comrades and add a new spark and something to look forward to in your school lives.”
Even so, her eyes held a gaze most sincere, and each word she uttered reflected how much heart and soul she placed into it.
“And last but not least….I want to give another warm welcome to all of you to our beloved school. I hope from the bottom of my heart that all of you will enjoy a wonderful school life for the next three years from here on out.”
And the moment Rikka ended her speech—
She was honored with the greatest applause of the day. Between the freshmen and parents and guardians present, even the currently enrolled students and school staff, everyone—they were all greatly touched by her words.
And Basara too joined in, unhesitatingly and generously adding to the surrounding applause.
After the end of the school opening ceremony, the students began to return to their classrooms according to their respective grades. Basara had secretly split away from the wave of students, heading toward a certain location.
He was heading toward a particular spot of Higirigasaka Academy that was closest to the sky—the rooftop.
And after he walked up the flight of stairs that preceded the door before him, Basara opened it and went outside to discover a refreshing scenery welcoming him—it was a sky of spring, an azure canvas decorated with shades of white from thin clouds.
The combination of the wind that blew past the area, soft as ever, along with the gentle warmth of the sun’s rays, delivered a sensation of openness to those that arrived here.
—However, someone else appeared to have arrived there earlier than Basara; it was another male student, his back and elbows resting idly upon the railing, built to prevent anyone from falling from the rooftop.
It was a certain young man who didn’t appear during homeroom, someone who didn’t even attend the school entrance ceremony—Takigawa Yahiro.
“Hey, Basachi…skipping class?” Takigawa smirked, to which he received a smile from Basara:
“I guess. I figured I’d find you here, so I came up here to see if I was correct. What about you?”
“Same here. I thought you’d show up eventually if I lazed about here for a bit.” Takigawa shrugged.
“I see,” Basara nodded, approaching Takigawa to stand next to him. “How long have you been here? Have you gone back to the Demon Realm after that battle?”
“Yeah, I did. That Shiba guy did end up starting that whole mess at the exact same time I was assigned to the Hero Clan’s Village as a special envoy, after all. The fact that there was also the matter with Balflear to worry about meant that I had lots of troublesome reports to settle. It was a real pain in the ass,” Takigawa sighed. “Oh well, it’s all come to an end, for the most part…and so I ended up coming here last night. My current orders from the alliance between the Current Demon Lord Faction and the Moderate Faction remain keeping an eye on you and your ladies, as usual.”
“Seeing how the incident ended up weakening the Vatican and the Village, it’s not a stretch to assume that the Hero Clan will take up our current proposal of ceasefire. It doesn’t seem as if the Hero Clan intends to investigate your group in any way, after all, given that the elders have also retired from their post… it was Nonaka’s dad who was in charge of the ceasefire negotiations, wasn’t it?”
After defeating Shiba and returning the Four Gods to the Village, Basara and his group had promised to keep all the inconvenient truths of the Village and the Vatican secret, from the truth about Shiba to the subsequent incident following his revolt.
They were doing both factions a favour, in other words—and the three elders had resigned from their post as an act of gratitude toward that favour, apart from the fact that the U.S and Chinese factions of the Hero Clan had been pressing the three former representatives on the incident.
The incident concerning Shiba along with the defection of Yuki and Kurumi had caused the management of the Village to be placed under question; as such, the decision for the Village to be main window to form the agreement with the Demon Realm despite that had also received considerable opposition from the other factions of the Hero Clan, but the Demon Realm had brushed such disagreement aside with the claim that it was the Village that understood Basara and his group—now given protective status as per their mutual decision—more than anyone else, causing the ordeal to end without incident.
That aside, there was also a great disturbance in the Vatican—one that Takigawa came to explain.
“Oh, right. We’ve had reports saying that Albareos, the Holy King of the Vatican is missing. It’s unclear as to whether he’s playing chicken after what he’s done or if someone else took care of him, though.”
There was a pause.
“—Basachi, you’ve gotten wind of something, haven’t you?”
“No…I know nothing at all.”
Basara’s denial of Takigawa’s question was a lie.
Just a few hours after Shiba’s defeat at the hands of Basara’s group, there had been measurements of a severe earthquake with a magnitude of 7 in the Vatican. What was peculiar, however, was that the tremor had only occurred beneath the cathedral as its epicenter, whereas the structures and foundations on the surface had no sign of shaking whatsoever—a discovery that was limited to the knowledge of the Hero Clan alone. They then set out to investigate the occurrence the next morning, and eventually, a large crater was discovered in the cathedral’s lower ground.
Toujou Basara knew who was responsible for the particular occurrence; the perpetrator himself had contacted him personally.
“You don’t have to worry about the Vatican messing with you guys anymore.”
Jin, who had phoned Basara for the first time in quite a while, had imparted those words to him during the phone call.
At the same time, he informed Basara that he wouldn’t be returning for the time being; he had finally discovered the whereabouts of Sapphire, apparently being kept prisoner in the Divine Realm. Jin had presumed that she had attempted to rescue her on her own because she had been unable to contain herself upon hearing of Raphealine’s sealing when he had heard of her capture.
“Given the circumstances, I intend to rescue both of them.” Surprisingly enough, Jin sounded rather nonchalant about the matter during the call. Basara had offered to give him a hand to rescue Sapphire and Raphealine—both of whom were his mothers—only to be flatly refused by Jin.
“They’re my women. The only thing you need to do is to take care of your own.” He’d said back then. He did apologize, however, over the possibility that Basara and the others would be inevitably dragged into a conflict with the Divine Realm if the situation developed to such a point. Basara had only told his father to pay it no mind, knowing that his father was only doing his duty as a man, and for his family.
Basara, too, would definitely do what Jin intended to do should Mio and the others be captured by the forces of the Divine Realm.
He didn’t mind the level of risk that Jin was placing on them, and he would readily provide his assistance whenever necessary.
They were all family, after all.
Incidentally, Jin also mentioned that he had been travelling with a young man of the Demon Realm called Fio after the war of the current Demon Lord Faction, and intended to take him to the Divine Realm with him. Jin had laughed while mentioning that Fio had cried while pleading him to take the young Demon with him which was seemingly responded by a sudden, shrill cry of objection from the other end of the call, leading Basara to presume that Jin had exaggerated the scenario somewhat.
Fio, once a child soldier of the current Demon Lord Faction, had been dragged into the skirmish between Jin and Leohart and was subsequently relocated to the Moderate Faction by Jin. Although he was still allowed to live in Wildart Castle as usual, Jin considered the issue of the ill treatment of Zest in the Moderate Faction, who was a Demon that once served until the current Demon Lord Faction just as he did.
…So that’s why dad did that.
Jin had enticed Fio to follow him under the pretense that he could play a part in the rescue of Sapphire, the sister of the previous Demon Lord, Wilbert; with Fio’s involvement in such a significant, meritorious deed as a souvenir when he would return to the Demon Realm, any concerns and inconveniences relating to his stay in the Moderate Faction would be nonexistent from there on out.
That was why Jin had strong-armed Fio to come with him.
And as Basara’s thoughts lay tenderly on his father—
“Humph…well, I’ll leave it at that, then.” Takigawa said, deciding not to pry any further.
—It was possible that Takigawa had already caught wind of more detailed information regarding the incident, one way or another; even so, even if he already knew the truth or if Basara’s secret had been exposed, Basara wouldn’t admit it so easily.
The revelation of Jin’s disposal of the Holy King, Albareos, would be quite inconvenient for them; if the Hero Clan were to expose it, both Jin and Basara’s group would be placed in an immediate dilemma.
Such was why Basara neither informed Takigawa of the truth nor admitted it when asked about it.
Of course, the two were in the same boat, so to speak; they had already shared various secrets between one another, after all, and Basara knew that Takigawa would likely not report his findings to the Demon Realm even if he did tell him the truth. The amount of secrets that Takigawa could not tell anyone would only increase if he were to confide in him, and would make it impossible for Takigawa to turn his back on Basara.
Basara had decided against it; adding more unneeded risks than necessary onto Takigawa would also add to the risk of his possible betrayal, as well.
—Basara’s victory against Shiba was largely due to his superior tactics; the end of the battle had unfolded through both sides reading the other’s trump cards and attempting to overwhelm the other in one fell swoop.
According to Maria, Leohart had defeated Balflear utilizing the full power unleashed by his magic sword, the Loki; his power back then could’ve rivaled that of Basara and Shiba’s, though this was primarily due to his Master-Servant contract with his older sister, Liala. It was a level that Basara achieved only through the combination of his possession of the magic sword, Byrnhildr, and the Vows he made Mio and the others; a level shared by Shiba, who had synchronized with Kouryuu and was in possession of Reginleif, one of the former Ten Gods, his power sealed within a pair of magic gauntlets.
Takigawa was different, however.
He had defeated the Kouryuu through his own abilities alone, without any possession of a Master-Servant contract or any special weapons; although he had help from Maria stalling it out and Kurumi and Zest buying time for him, there was no denying that Takigawa had defeated the Kouryuu with his own hands.
—Basara knew that Takigawa wasn’t someone he could ever fully understand the moment he met him; he was usually unmotivated and loquacious, and always found it annoying whenever he had to do something—much like what he was feeling right now.
However, Takigawa Yahiro—this man called Lars—had casually reached a level of strength that Basara and the others couldn’t possibly have reached on their own.
The way he was now, it was possible that Basara could defeat Takigawa head-to-head; but if they were to face off with no punches pulled and all cards played, Basara was not confident that he would be able to protect Mio and the others from the man that stood before him right now.
Losing what was precious to him would be nothing short of defeat to Basara; and so it came to pass that Takigawa was someone Basara could take down but never truly win against.
—Even so, Basara was fine with things as they are now; it was exactly because Takigawa was the way he was that he could trust him with his secrets, and even entrust his life to him when the situation demanded it.
He also couldn’t forget the fact that Basara was able to take down Shiba because it was Takigawa who had reported the situation to the alliance between the Current Demon Lord Faction and the Moderate Faction in the Demon Realm, and had brought not only Leohart with him, but Takashi and Celis as well; although Sheila’s dimensional tunnel had acted as their trump card, it was Takigawa, at the end of the day, who had facilitated the favourable circumstances.
It was due to his efforts that Basara was able to achieve victory and keep Mio and the others safe; Basara was very much obliged to return the favour.
“At any rate, now that you’re all officially deemed sanctuary, I have to come check up on you all to see if everything stays normal. The Hero Clan’s also going to send that Celis girl from before to check up on you guys starting next week, so as the representative of the Demon Realm, I have to keep my eyes peeled for any traitors from the Moderate Faction or the Demon Lord Faction, as well as any possible disturbances from the Hero Clan or some other external force. Good grief, man, it’s just such a drag that I only get more and more work.”
“Now that you mention it…Takigawa, there’s something I have to ask of you.” Basara asked after Takigawa finished lamenting over his situation.
“…………Hey, hey, you’re not asking for me to kneel at you like some errand boy again, are you?” Takigawa looked blatantly displeased upon hearing of Basara’s request.
“I suppose. It’s really not going to be a pain for you though—not all of it, at least.” Basara forced a smile before he revealed something he’d planned ever since the end of his battle against Shiba.
“We want to form an alliance with you. I want you to act as my messenger to Leohart.”
“You guys want to form an alliance with us, Basachi…?” Takigawa couldn’t help but knit his eyebrows in response to Basara’s proposal; he couldn’t understand what Basara was getting at. “Given that you’re asking me to say this to Leohart…are you saying you only want to ally with the current Demon Lord Faction and not the Moderate Faction?”
“No—I mean to forge an alliance with the alliance between the Current Demon Lord Faction and the Moderate Faction. It’s just that I want to talk about it with Leohart first.”
“What’s that all about, dude…? If we do end up forming an alliance with you, you and your group won’t have protective status anymore. Even then, given your relations to the Moderate Faction, if word comes out that you turned to the Current Demon Lord Faction as a point of contact for an alliance first, there’s no telling what it’d do to your current relationship with them. Unless you mean to say that…”
Takigawa’s eyes narrowed into thin slits.
“You’re planning to topple the peace treaty between the Moderate Faction and the Current Demon Lord Faction?”
“No, I have no such intentions to destroy your alliance at all…it’s just that it’s actually quite troublesome for us to have protective status, you see.” Basara said.
“After all, if anything were to happen in the Demon Realm, we wouldn’t be able to give you our assistance, wouldn’t we?”
…I see. So that’s what you have in mind. Quite naive of you, though. Takigawa thought, having finally understood what Basara meant after being confused before his explanation.
Basara and the others had received assistance from the Demon Realm during the incident with Shiba; that said, they wanted to return the favour by being there to provide their aid in return whenever Takigawa and the others would require it.
“I don’t know, dude…if that’s the case, you don’t have to use Leohart as a window for that, right? Wouldn’t it be better for you to directly discuss it with the Moderate Faction and open a conference about it?”
“When I said I wanted to talk to Leohart about it, I really only meant to tell him externally, that’s all. Besides, compared to the backlash we’d receive from the Moderate Faction if we were to talk with the Current Demon Lord Faction first, don’t you think the situation would be worse if we did it the other way around? Truth is, I intend to let both the Moderate Faction and the Current Demon Lord Faction know about this beforehand—by talking to both Ramusas-san and Leohart simultaneously.” Basara explained, “After all, the main purpose of the alliance between the two factions is to bring peace to the Demon Realm, no? With the two main powers of the Demon Realm bound together by a ceasefire pact and an alliance, there would be no bloodshed from sides, and it would also keep other foreign forces in check.”
“Yeah…you got that right, I guess.”
“That said—haven’t you guys thought about eliminating any further attempts of direct hostility by adding us into your alliance, at least? I think we’ve very much proved ourselves in that regard.” Basara subtly hinted at their performance when they had managed to defeat Chaos.
“Whoah, hang on, there…you haven’t really thought this through, have you? You’re forgetting that you and the Nonaka sisters are humans. The fact that you guys were once from the Hero Clan doesn’t do you any favours in the popularity department either. Sure, you can fashion yourself a threat given the strength you guys have, but that doesn’t deny the risk that you’re making another enemy at heart.” Takigawa calmly spoke to him of the potential risks of his plan.
“We can effectively reduce that risk by exposing the truth of my birth…my mother, Sapphire, was the younger sister of the former Demon Lord, Wilbert, after all.” Basara’s words came without hesitation.
“Whoah, whoah, whoah, are you serious right now?”
Takigawa wasn’t supposed to know about that fact; however, he hadn’t denied that he didn’t know about it, either. Basara had already revealed to Takigawa that Sapphire was her mother when he told him of his plan to assassinate Belphegor.
Knowing that he had the power of not only Banishing Shift but also could attack with gravitational waves, Basara made a wager that both he and Takigawa won in the end.
And after Takigawa was appointed with the role of keeping an eye on Basara and his group once more as the representative of the alliance between the Moderate Faction and the Current Demon Lord Faction, he’d asked Leohart to provide him with as much important, albeit classified information as he could so that he could make the best decision on the spot. The request was granted, and thus Takigawa had an overall understanding about the plans and secrets regarding Wilbert and Jin.
“And as for Kurumi and Yuki, as long as I reveal that we’re bound by a Master-Servant Vow, they’d know that they couldn’t possibly be any risk of betrayal.”
“About that…well, it’s not like they could ever betray you anyways, Basachi.” Takigawa agreed. “Well, sure, you could make it work out in the Demon Realm, all right…but an alliance with the Demon Realm isn’t something the Hero Clan will let slide so easily, I think you know that. Are you sure it’s alright for you to throw away your efforts of calming the waters between you and the clan?”
“You don’t have to worry about that. I’ll be discussing this matter with the Hero Clan, as well.” Basara then spoke of the unthinkable. “I have Mio and the others with me, after all…as much we’ve done both the Village and the Vatican a big favour this time, though, there’s sure to be other groups that don’t really like us all that much as far as the other factions are concerned. That said, rather than isolate us with the mantle of protective status I think it’d be better for us to be included in the ceasefire agreement between the Hero Clan and the Demon Realm.”
“Hold on. Sure, you might be right, but don’t you think that there’d be folks that would really get pissed off by your relation with the Demon Realm and ruin our plans for a ceasefire agreement?”
“I’ll be discussing that issue with Shuuya-san or Celis to find a solution to persuade the Hero Clan to accept. They already had initial intentions of accepting the ceasefire treaty with the Demon Realm, and given that we’re establishing something similar, I don’t see any real reason for them to object. Even then, I don’t think the Hero Clan really wants any more trouble to do with us…especially after we defeated Shiba, who managed to manifest Kouryuu.”
“If we can ensure that there won’t be any conflicts with the Demon Realm, we can reduce the risk of the Hero Clan the Demon Realm terminating the ceasefire treaty due to any ill winds. Rather than being completely untouchable, don’t you agree that it’s better if we maintained a situation where we had a fixed interval of contact? It should be doable if we manage to persuade them over the benefits of this plan. After all, it was the Demon Realm alone that suggested to deem us protected, so it’s not like the Hero Clan would accept wholeheartedly even if they agreed to it.”
Difficult as it sounds, it does kinda make sense, actually.
In short, they weren’t going to exclude Basara and the others, but instead use them as a medium to establish a treaty between them.
—Relating to that, it was Ramusas who had proposed the notion of deeming them sanctuary for the sake of Mio and the others in the first place; he had done so to isolate Mio from the conflicts of the Demon Realm, so it was possible that Ramusas would disagree to his proposal for an alliance. On the other hand, he would receive the benefit of having their aid whenever they would require it.
Even to Leohart, he was positive that he would have no reason to reject the opportunity to strengthen his forces to keep external forces in check. That said, there was only one real doubt left.
“I see what you mean by all that…what’s in it for me, though?”
“Mio heard about it from Noel…about your history, I mean. That said…” Basara said with a positive tone, “If the big forces of the Demon Realm stopped squabbling and formed a peace treaty with the Hero Clan, we could reduce the amount of innocent children suffering from similar tragic fates…that doesn’t sound bad, doesn’t it?”
Takigawa widened his eyes in response to Basara’s words.
—Takigawa lost his parents during the previous great war and was raised in an orphanage; there, he finally found new family members: two people he looked up to as brother and sister, only for them to be murdered by a man tainted with disgusting desires. He wished for nothing more than a world as Basara had described, a world without people like him who had suffered as a result of war and evil.
Basara meant that he and his group could offer a far better means of fulfilling Takigawa’s wish over what Ramusas and Leohart could provide.
“…Sorry. I’m not interested in such nonsense.” Takigawa said silently in response to Basara’s invitation.
“I see.” Basara murmured.
“Well, it’s not like it’s all that bad, though.” He suddenly said again, a wry, resigned smile on his face. “Sure, it might be fine to stick with things the dumb way they are now, but if you refine the main point a bit, perhaps you may be up to something. That said,”
“Count me in for the time being…into the idea you just proposed, anyway.”
And the moment Basara returned Takigawa’s smile, the school bell rang; the post-ceremony homeroom class had ended, and school was now over for the day.
“Well then, it’s seems it’s about time I left. I promised Mio and the others to go shopping with them after school. We’ll continue our conversation tomorrow…there’s a lot of other stuff that I need to talk to you about in particular.”
“Gotcha. I’m expecting high quality meat the next time we meet, though.”
“Yeah…I’ll remember to make a reservation for us.” Basara then turned to leave.
“By the way, Basachi,” Takigawa Yahiro suddenly tossed a question at him, gazing at his back as he saw him off—a question asked out of genuine curiosity.
“What are your plans from here on out?”
“I don’t see anything changing on my end. Obviously, I’ll just keep on appreciating my daily life as usual. However—” Basara turned back toward Takigawa as he said that last word.
“If anyone even tries to hurt or destroy anything I hold dear, I won’t let up when that happens…I’ll fight them to the last.”
He took in a breath.
“—No matter who they may be.”
Someone was overhearing the conversation between Basara and Takigawa on the rooftop a certain distance away from them.
It was the school nurse, Hasegawa Chisato, who was returning to the infirmary after the school opening ceremony.
Her master’s declaration had renewed Hasegawa’s love for Basara.
“Well, don’t you seem in high spirits today, Afureia…oh, I’m supposed to call you Hasegawa-sensei here instead, am I?” A voice suddenly teased her, its owner wearing a gentle smile on his face as he addressed Hasegawa. It was a certain young man with slits as thin as thread for eyes, someone who had been in the infirmary as Hasegawa had.
“Does it please you so much that Basara’s list of ‘things he holds dear’ happens to include you?”
“If you’re here only to mock me, then get lost…I haven’t forgiven you yet for what you’ve done.” Hasegawa said, tranquilly expressing her anger toward the smirking Shiba.
“Now, don’t be like that. I am truly grateful to you for saving my life, you know?” Shiba shrugged, his words genuine.
Before Shiba could be swallowed by the torrent of Basara’s Banishing Shift: Annihilation, Hasegawa had rescued Shiba from the fate of destruction by transporting him to her imaginary dimension; however, there was a reason why Hasegawa had performed the unusual deed of rescuing Shiba, who had been their enemy.
“I’ve already told you…I had no intention of saving you. I only did so because Basara asked me to.”
—It was something that was planned before Basara’s final battle against Shiba; Basara had told Hasegawa that he would absolutely figure out a way to defeat Shiba, so he had asked her to secretly restrain Shiba without anyone knowing about it.
And he’d told her that if he were to attempt to destroy Shiba, Basara wanted her to save Shiba from death if that were to happen, if possible.
—However, he wasn’t forgiving Shiba after he had attempted to kill Mio and the other girls; he also didn’t think that the two would come to understand each other if Basara were to defeat him.
Of course he wouldn’t; the master of Hasegawa Chisato—Toujou Basara—was no simple fool.
Why was it, then, that Basara chose to secretly spare Shiba’s life?
Shiba then explained the reason why, looking evidently impressed.
“Still, I have to give Basara credit…I didn’t think he’d actually make a Master-Servant contract with me.”
That’s right—after the battle, Basara had secretly made use of Hasegawa’s power to form a Master-Servant contract with Shiba. That said—
“If you know that, think before you act…I’m sure you’re not ignorant of the fact that a few unnecessary words from your mouth could cost you your life.”
“But of course. My contract’s different from that of yours and the other girls’, after all, being made from Basara’s special power instead. One wrong move and I’d be sent to an empty dimension via Banishing Shift without a trace. I’m certainly not about to go against that.” In response to Hasegawa’s warning, Shiba let out a wry smile as he described his current circumstances.
“And Albareos seems to be no more, as well…the holy sword Georgius, one of the ornaments of power owned by the Vatican, has also been destroyed by Basara’s Banishing Shift. The Vatican will either disband or reform at this rate. Oh well, I guess I’ll take that little bit of justice Basara’s done for me and obediently follow the contract. I’ve already fulfilled his request to record Kurumi and Maria’s video about attending the orientation ceremony, haven’t I?” Shiba said, showing the camera he had in his hand, “And after defeating me after the trouble I’ve caused, they’ve done a great deal for the Village, so it’s safe to say that any problems concerning the Hero Clan on his end have been solved. And considering the fact that it’s likely that he’ll be able to make that nonaggression peace treaty with the Demon Realm….we can all be relieved for the time being now, no? Though I guess that’s what I should expect from Basara. For him to not feel a thing despite everything…..he knows exactly how difficult it is to protect everything that he loves.”
“I trust what I’ve done will draw the attention of the Divine Realm…and considering Basara’s the one who cleaned up my mess, apart from the fact that he was born from Raphealine, I imagine the Divine Realm’s going to keep a close eye on Basara. Well, Jin-san’s probably intending to head there as well, and I guess the best scenario is that everything goes smoothly on his end…if things go wrong, an all-out conflict against the entire Divine Realm would be unavoidable. I guess Basara made his Master-Servant Contract with me in preparation for that. However—” Shiba smiled as he turned to Hasegawa, “It seems he didn’t do that just to prepare for that alone. For instance…apart from Mio-chan and the others, Basara had also secretly made the Master-Servant Vow with a certain former member of the Ten Gods before our final battle.”
“….When did you realize that?” Hasegawa asked after Shiba pointed that out. She was confirming that what Shiba had said was indeed the truth.
And then came his answer.
“Let’s see…Basara revealed it when he was directly inside me, fighting against the Kegare that could swallow even Reginlief. They shouldn’t have been able to move an inch in the dark abyss, but Basara utilized the gravitational waves from Mio-chan to escape from my body, defeating me in the process. I thought it to be really strange, even after the Vow with Mio-chan and the others.” Shiba said.
“As odd as it was, I didn’t think it was impossible, either. The most effective defense against the power of the Kegare happens to be the holy elemental power of a divine being. And the divine power that flows within Basara comes from his mother, Raphealine, and you, who made a Master-Servant contract with him. Even then, however, I didn’t think it would’ve been enough.”
“With the Master-Servant Vow meaning that you’ve given him all your power, though, it’s a completely different story entirely. That’s the main reason why Basara could still fight despite being swallowed by the abyss of the Kegare, wasn’t it?” As he went on, he suddenly gave off a puzzled expression.
“There’s something I don’t understand, though. I didn’t think you’d recommend Basara to consummate his relationship with you. Sure, I don’t intend to deny how much you love each other…but practically speaking, doing so would mean the chances of being watched by the Divine Realm would only escalate.”
If one were to wonder why—
“Even with your restricted power, he’s still managed to make you surrender everything to him—you, a former member of the Ten Gods. I imagine that the Divine Realm…and the remaining members of the Ten Gods, particularly, will not turn a blind eye to Basara’s existence now. From what I think of Basara, though, I didn’t think him to be the type to ask you to share his bed just because he needed the power of the Vow to achieve victory. That’s why I initially thought he wouldn’t make the Vow with you. As much as it’s important to be aware of all dangers, being too wary may also result in crucial errors in judgement in a battle with so much at stake.”
“You committed to that Vow with Basara nonetheless…why did you do it?”
“……Do you know that your boorish intuition is going to be the death of you?” Hasegawa narrowed her eyes as she said so.
“And there you go again—am I not allowed to be aware of Basara’s intentions as his secret weapon?” Shiba smiled, “The fact that I’m still alive is a secret known only to you and Basara. If word goes out on the street that Basara spared my life after everything I’ve done and even contracted with me to increase his battle prowess, you can imagine what chaos would ensue if it were to be known…and a secret weapon works best when it is used as per its namesake—secretly.”
“Given that I’m going to be Basara’s personal detective from the shadows from now on…don’t you agree that it’s necessary for me to understand Basara and the things concerning him, regardless of what it may be?”
“If you really think that way, why don’t you go ask him instead?”
“I’m not so disrespectful as to ask Basara directly regarding affairs concerning his women, even if it is for his own good. Isn’t it better for me to fulfill my responsibility as his servant by learning his intentions from others that know of them, all the while showing some delicacy while I’m at it?”
Hasegawa gave off a sigh of reluctance in response to Shiba’s justification.
“I can’t say you’re wrong…the idea to make the Master-Servant Vow with Basara wasn’t ours.”
Then who was it that proposed it? Hasegawa then revealed the answer.
“The one who wanted me to make the Vow with Basara…was Mio.”
“Huh…it wasn’t Maria-chan…but Mio-chan?” Shiba exclaimed, evidently surprised at Hasegawa’s revelation.
…I’m not surprised you’d react that way. Hasegawa thought. She herself was quite surprised when Mio proposed it to her, after all.
There were many things to worry about when making that decision, the first being their current circumstances; there was the risk of being targeted by the Divine Realm if they were to do that, as Shiba had previously explained.
Then there was the matter of their own feelings: Basara had clearly stated that they should not force one another to cross the line of making the Master-Servant Vow.
Even while Hasegawa and Basara hesitated over performing the Vow, however, Mio had refused to give in.
“If anything were to happen to Basara, if he were to die here, even…we are going to regret it greatly should any of that happen.” She’d said back then.
“We”, of course, included Hasegawa herself, as well; Mio emphasized how they needed to do what they could, and finally:
“If you’re willing to give everything to Basara, sensei…then please, live on with us, walk with us—for Basara.”
Hasegawa, of course, could not refuse such a request; after all, Hasegawa herself desired to offer Basara everything she had, much like Mio and the others did.
And so she’d offered Basara her virginity, eventually arriving at their Master-Servant Vow after countless sessions in each others’ arms, becoming his and his alone.
Hasegawa’s body trembled as she recalled the happiness she’d experienced back then.
And starting tonight, she would be able to revel in more of such happiness.
Basara had asked Hasegawa to come live with them in his household; Zest had already used her magic to establish Hasegawa’s own room in the basement of the Toujou Household. All that was left was for the movers to move Hasegawa’s luggage into the house before Hasegawa could start living together with Basara.
Starting next week, Celis Reinhardt, who had been sent by the Hero Clan to keep an eye on the Toujou Household, would also be moving in to live with them.
—Celis was uninformed of the relationship Basara shared with Hasegawa and the other girls, however.
They could only imagine her reaction if she were to know of the truth, but according to Yuki, she’d eventually share the same feelings they did, considering that Celis herself apparently possessed feelings for Basara as well.
No one among them could have ever imagined that they’d go so far as to perform the Master-Servant Vow with one another; however, neither of them possessed even the slightest regret whatsoever after doing so.
They only felt scarily proud and euphoric over it all…and Hasegawa and the others would stay by Basara’s side and continue to strengthen the happiness they shared from now on.
And as Hasegawa’s thoughts lay on the future, Shiba took a moment to ponder upon the truth of her Master-Servant Vow with Basara after hearing her explanation. Eventually, he said:
“Now I see. I never really understood how the five-elemental power that Basara had obtained after making his Vows with the five girls didn’t become imbalanced after making his Vow with you as well, but now I understand.” Shiba explained, “The combination of the relationship of the Five Elements and the Yin-Yang relationship became a Yin-Yang Five Elemental relationship. Much like the taichi diagram consisting of Yin and Yang, Mio-chan, Maria-chan and Zest-chan of the Demon Realm represented the Yin element, whereas you, a divine being, and Kurumi-chan and Yuki-chan of the Hero Clan represented Yang. You utilized the balance between these two relationships to surpass that of an ordinary Five-Elemental relationship.”
On the contrary—
“I, on the other hand, did not seek the power of Yang…or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that I couldn’t obtain it. After all, the Yin power of the Kegare within me couldn’t be balanced by absorbing Reginlief alone. Perhaps this very difference was the factor that decided the outcome of our little conflict.” Shiba said, appearing to have put two and two together.
“So I guess my job now is to make sure no one interferes with your life with Basara from here on out. Things are going to be different from the past. In the future we’re dealing with enemies that attempt to lower your strength apart from enemies that attempt to overwhelm you with sheer strength itself. Well then—” Shiba murmured as he walked toward the door of the infirmary, “I’ve asked what I needed to ask. I should get going. Given that your fighting strength’s going to be affected at present…I’ll stand in for you all for the time being.”
“? What do you mean?” Hasegawa asked, finding his words dubious.
“I’m not surprised you guys haven’t realized it yet…I only know because I have the ability to sense and control Ki.” Shiba said. “I really don’t want to awkwardly disappear after I tell Basara about this all of a sudden, but…I’d probably have to do the same thing later on if something were to happen because I didn’t tell him about it anyway, so I might as well spill the beans.” There was a pause, “Maybe it’s not something you want to hear firsthand from me specifically, though.”
And following that preface, Hasegawa Chisato then learned of the most shocking truth that she’d ever heard in her life from Shiba Kyouichi.
“Basara’s sperm is quite strong, all things considered. I’d suggest that you and Mio and the other girls of course take extra good care of yourselves for the time being. You’d do well to look out for yourselves.”
After saying what he needed to say, Shiba Kyouichi had promptly left the infirmary where Hasegawa was. New students and parents alike were present along the corridor after the school opening ceremony, but none of them noticed Shiba, who had eliminated all traces of his presence.
“Oh, the look on her face…ah, priceless.” As Shiba leisurely strolled along the hallway, he recalled Hasegawa’s reaction when he had revealed the news of her pregnancy and couldn’t resist a chuckle.
Even amidst the happiness of such news, however, there was one fact that neither of them could overlook.
—Having made the Master-Servant Vow with Mio and the others, Basara was now at a level that could match even the strongest of Divine Realm, the Ten Gods; Mio and the others had also reached a level of power beyond what they were capable of until now following their Vows with Basara, and even Hasegawa had reclaimed her full power from when she was once one of the Ten Gods, Afureia.
Mio possessed the blood of the strongest Demon Lord in history, Wilbert, running through her veins.
Maria was heiress to the most powerful succubus in the Demon Realm, whose father also happened to be Wilbert himself.
There were Kurumi and Yuki, both of whom now possessed superior strength over the Hero Clan despite having defected from the very clan itself.
There was also Zest, whose abilities now far surpassed that of Zolgear and the other high-ranking Demons of the council.
Additionally, Hasegawa—once a member of the Ten Gods—and Celis, currently the most powerful member of the Hero Clan, were now added assets in their arsenal.
…And then there’s me. Shiba felt flabbergasted as he calculated the strength of their group in his mind. “And of course, there’s Basara, someone born with the mixture of four races in his veins, and whose father also happens to be Jin-san, possessing the power of an ancient dragon and historically the strongest of the Hero Clan. And his two mothers are of the level of one of the Ten Gods and the Demon Lord respectively, as well.” He said those words out loud.
With such strength on their side, surely there would be more people that would deem them threatening than those would find them trustworthy.
Several of the aforementioned members were currently expectant, and it would be best if they did not force themselves during this time.
“There’s so much worth looking forward to, huh…” Shiba casually went through his thoughts.
What Basara had proposed to Takigawa was for his group to become a cornerstone between the Hero Clan and the Demon Realm, simultaneously assuming the role of balancer for the two races; such an arrangement would enable Basara’s group to provide aid to not only the Demon Realm, but the Hero Clan as well if anything were to happen.
A group composed of several people, a group that could not even be deemed a significant political power such as theirs—such a single family would act as the mediator for two worlds, for two races. Such was what Basara had declared.
If the circumstances allowed it, he would even go as far as to make it so that the Divine Realm would not reject their freedom and existence.
On one hand, Basara had held strong feelings to protect all that he would not give up on up until now; on the other, he would crush his enemies that would attempt to harm those things, no matter how gruesome or cruel he needed to be.
To his loved ones he would be affectionate; to his enemies he would be merciless. He would be equal in doing both.
How much new love would such a young man have to cradle after knowing that he would be having his own children, and what stains of darkness would he have to harbor on the other side along with it?
It was simply preposterous just thinking about it.
“Jin-san seems to have gone through a lot of compromises to get this far…” Shiba smiled and muttered, “I wonder how far you’ll go—Basara.”
After the two ceremonies had come to an end, the students returned to their respective classes and introduced themselves during the extended homeroom class.
With that, the first day of school of the new year came to an end.
Basara returned to class 2-F to find Mio and Yuki, the both of whom were apparently still in class along with Maria and Zest, laughing while making conversation with Aikawa and Sasaki; the two girls had visited the Toujou household not long ago and had already acquainted with Maria and Zest, the latter of whom had been introduced as a distant relative from Basara’s maternal family who had come to Japan with the intent of studying there. Given that she had previously mentioned that she was looking for a part-time job, as well, Zest’s surprise appearance at the academy and her role as a part-time teacher there was also passed off with little excuse.
After Aikawa had called out Basara on skipping homeroom class on the first day, Basara, along with Mio and the others, went toward the gate to meet up with Zest, who was waiting for them outside the school building after dismissal. A welcoming party had been arranged for new teachers and lecturers for the year, though Zest had politely declined to attend.
Hasegawa would also be returning to her apartment after the mandatory meeting during this time of year, and would immediately head toward the Toujou Household as soon as the movers were finished with her belongings.
As such, the Toujou household was going to be full of unexpected celebrations today; apart from Kurumi getting into school and Hasegawa living with them, they also had to celebrate Maria’s entrance into school and Zest getting a job there. Basara, Mio and Yuki advancing into the next year was also something they would have to celebrate, but the main stars of that night would be the aforementioned four, after all.
As such, Basara and the others stopped by a supermarket on their way home to buy ingredients for their celebration tonight.
“Well, let’s make our celebration tonight as grand as it can be, alright? We’ll be doing all kinds of splurging today! Let’s start with the meat!”
“We’ll bake a cake to celebrate! We’ll make it so good that we can’t possibly lose to what Maria and Zest will whip up.”
“Right. That, and I’ve also prepared what you call red rice earlier for the celebration. We’d have to buy some extra ingredients for that, as well.”
With excitement glittering in their eyes, Maria and Zest began looking for their required ingredients.
“They’ll be using the oven for their own cooking as well, though, so we’d probably only be able to make one, at best. What we lack in variety we’d have to make up for with impact.”
“If that’s the case, let’s make a slightly bigger sponge cake. Should we make it into something like a pizza with two halves, or would a decoration with four halves be better? Maybe with the four flavors of shortcake, chocolate, fruit and cream cheese…”
Mio and the Nonaka sisters were deep in their own discussion as they headed toward the confectionery aisle.
“It’s going to be quite hard getting everything everyone wants for dinner now, huh…” Basara smiled, evidently pleased that the five girls were excited over the celebration.
During the earliest days when Basara was living together with only Mio and Maria, they would manage with the bicycle basket and for handling such shopping trips; however, there were now six of them.
—Hasegawa would also be joining them later tonight, and by next week, Celis would be joining them as well.
Although they weren’t particularly worried about the weight of the stuff they had to carry, the fact remained that the amount of groceries they needed had now increased. Nevertheless, it was quite the enjoyable experience for the family to come out together and work on their own shopping.
They couldn’t do this all the time at present, though; the Toujou Household would need a car for that.
Hasegawa already had her driver’s license, whereas Zest was fit in both appearance and age.
He could have never expected this after he had left the Village with his father, Jin, and when it was only the two of them living together.
Basara revelled in the happiness he held in his hand once more and headed to the restroom to relieve himself. As he reached the door, a middle-aged man dashed out of the restroom, looking rather flustered as he brushed past Basara.
“? What in the world?”
Puzzled, Basara stepped into the restroom, and then he immediately understood why what he saw earlier had occurred.
There was an adorable little girl inside.
Although she appeared to be dressed as a male student, she was the spitting image of a girl, no matter how one looked at her—and she was a girl, one that Basara was familiar with.
“Nanao—…?” Basara called out the girl’s name, recognizing her through her reflection from the sink mirror.
Upon noticing Basara, Tachibana Nanao immediately became excited and rushed up to him.
After not seeing her throughout spring break, Nanao now appeared to be much more feminine, and even her voice had become more high-pitched—something that gave Basara quite a shock.
“What are you doing in a place like this…? I didn’t see you at the opening ceremony. That made me kinda worried, you know?” Basara asked, attempting to hide how surprised he was.
As per Basara’s request, Hasegawa had assigned Nanao to be in the same class as Basara, and true enough, her name was listed to be in the F class; however, he had not seen any sign of her in class today.
The homeroom teacher had informed him that she was absent because she was sick, so Basara had attempted to ask her of her condition through messaging her on his phone, but there had been no response; he had initially assumed that she was still asleep due to having a cold or some such and intended to message her later that night.
“I’m sorry to have made you worry… I had something going on, so I couldn’t go to school today. And something went wrong with my phone, so I couldn’t contact you either.” Nanao said, apologetically. “Come here, Basara-kun.” Taking Basara’s hand, she then dragged Basara into one of the individual toilets; the toilet she had brought him appeared to have a white paper bag hanging on the coat hook on the door inside. Nanao then locked the door before her with her hands behind her back and began to explain, looking rather embarrassed:
“You see…it’s because of you that my body’s now taken on the form of a girl, Toujou-kun, right, Toujou-kun…?”
With the way Nanao murmured that with upturned eyes and their close proximity in the cramped space of the toilet, Basara’s face reddened as he recalled what he had done with the young vampire during the celebration of completing their course last year.
“And then, well…although I haven’t really noticed despite looking at myself in the mirror every day, my figure’s changed completely throughout spring break, and now I can’t fit into my old uniform anymore. Look,” Nanao said, unfastening the first few buttons of the shirt of her male school uniform to reveal a modest cleavage that secured her identity as a girl. Her chest seemed to have grown to such a conspicuous size that it lifted her small shirt slightly; although her breasts were still not as large as Mio’s, Zest’s, or Hasegawa’s, they were comparable to that of Yuki’s, whose own breast size had increased significantly through the countless lustful sessions she shared with him.
And it appeared that…
Nanao’s cup size shared the same label as the class they shared together in school.
She would not be able to hide it without wearing an additional shirt inside given her current size, evident through the slight traces of white lace that could be seen through her blouse.
“I-Is that why you didn’t come to school today?” Basara asked, averting his gaze.
“Mhm. I planned to have my uniform adjusted accordingly, but I discovered this problem a bit too late, so I couldn’t wear it to school this morning. I was picking it up earlier after getting a call saying that they’ve already finished adjusting my uniform…but if I were to say that I was the one who was going to wear it, it’d invite a lot of unwanted misunderstandings, so I came here to test it and see if there were any problems. From the looks of it, it can now cover the curves of my body, so as long as I get myself a shirt that can cover my underwear, everything should be fine.” She said, happily.
“I-I see…” Even if she could conceal the curves of her body, however, Basara thought that it might not be possible for her to hide her true gender any longer, and pondered upon whether or not he should be honest with her regarding that fact. “But Nanao, why are so adamant on portraying yourself as a guy? You could just use your magic eyes to alter memories and let others think that you were a girl from the very beginning, no?”
“It’s not that I don’t have that option…I do prefer to avoid using my magic eyes to manipulate others for my own convenience, though. And by dressing as a boy, I can be with you during gym class or events outside of classes, right? That way we can make and leave memories that you wouldn’t even have with Naruse-san and the others.” Nanao said, “The truth is, I really wanted to go the the school opening ceremony today…I thought of just covering my chest with a cloth and just go to school like that. But you said that I was a girl, Toujou-kun, and you did end up making me a girl, didn’t you? I don’t want to hide it or lie about it anymore…this is what I want, after all.”
“If I’m going to become more and more feminine…I hope to let you see the real me, Toujou-kun.”
After hearing Nanao’s true thoughts, Basara’s heart thumped wildly; even after already doing it so many times earlier that morning, he couldn’t help but feel excited again. Perhaps because of his continuous lustful sessions with Mio and the others, it was getting harder and harder for him to control his own sexual urges, and he would respond easily to even the slightest trace of arousal.
Nanao suddenly realized the erection Basara was having on his crotch, and swallowed hard.
“Uh, this is…” As Basara stuttered in realization of his current state, Nanao’s expression suddenly took on a coquettish hue.
It was the gaze of a woman.
“I’m sorry. It’s all my fault, isn’t it?” Although she was apologizing, she sounded really happy as she did so. “Toujou-kun…if it’s alright with you, can I show you how much more feminine I’ve grown to be throughout spring break?” She said teasingly, slowly unfastening the buttons on her shirt. As the shirt of her uniform fell onto the floor of the individual toilet they were in, she then undid her belt, the button on her pants and her zipper, causing her pants to fall off and glide down to her ankles.
The provocative aura and expression she was letting out as she took off her clothing was quite extreme, and as Basara swallowed hard at the sight before him, Nanao had already taken off her bra. Her breasts, free from the lace, appeared as though they were bigger than usual, likely due to the smaller size of her bra.
“Don’t worry…I’ll have my uniform cleaned up, and I did bring a spare change of clothes for when I would go home.” With how seductive Nanao was as she smiled at him and took off her panties, coupled with how wrong the situation he was now in—he was with a near-naked girl in the individual toilet of a supermarket—there was no excuse for how increasingly big Basara’s erection was getting.
At that moment, another person had entered the bathroom.
Basara suddenly swallowed hard at the realization, but Nanao didn’t seem to mind, knowing that she was the one who had triggered Basara’s sexual arousal. She then hugged Basara and whispered:
“Don’t worry…he’ll be out soon enough.”
And as Nanao had predicted, the person who had just entered left very soon after; despite being startled by their sudden appearance, however, his excitement toward Nanao caused Basara’s crotch to continue bulging out nonetheless.
“Now you won’t be able to get out….please sit over here.” As Nanao smiled seductively, she asked Basara to sit on the shut toilet seat, before squatting in front of him, completely naked as she slowly pulled down the zipper of Basara’s pants.
And then she reached into the opening of Basara’s zipper with her fair hand.
The length of Basara’s erection caused Nanao to gasp in surprise and excitement—and then she slowly withdrew it from Basara’s pants.
Her ten fingers gently wrapped around Basara’s member, now exposed to the air.
“I hope you can thoroughly feel that…I’m really a girl right now.”
And as Tachibana Nanao said so, she used her fangs and her mouth to lovingly caress Basara’s member.
After thoroughly enjoying Nanao’s service and having let everything out in her mouth, Basara had returned the favour by indulging her pleasure that only a woman would be able to experience.
Thereafter, Basara had left the toilet they were in earlier, before he then said something to Nanao, who remained inside to change her clothes.
“Ah, right. Listen, Nanao…about that invitation from Kajiura for me to join the student council…I’ve decided to take her up on her offer.”
“Eh…really?” A surprised voice resounded behind the door.
“Yeah…although a lot of stuff happened when we were preparing for the sports festival, I still had a lot of fun. At any rate, me, Mio, Yuki and Kurumi have agreed to join.”
Maria was still uncertain about it, but he assumed that she would join given her personality. At this rate, they also needed to give Zest a reason to stay back after school.
…Mmm, we’re going to make it work out somehow.
Staying behind after school as a part-time teacher was not particularly against the rules of the school, though she would not receive any added salary for that, as well; if there were really any problems concerning that in particular, though, they could always ask Hasegawa to settle it.
Regardless, it would be best for them to discuss this in particular when they got home tonight.
However, no matter how much Kajiura asked, Basara did not intend to assume any significant duties or posts within the council; after all, Basara could not deny that the possibility that he would need to be absent from school without a proper reason someday was not zero.
Nevertheless, he had decided that he would not distance himself from his surroundings and restrict his everyday life over the fear of negative possibilities or risks; such was why he had secretly asked Hasegawa to put Aikawa and Sasaki in the same class Basara would be studying in.
When Basara had to choose between distancing himself from others and keeping them close for the sake of protecting them, Basara had opted for the more positive option of the two.
Only loneliness awaited at the end of the path to protecting others out of the fear of exposing them to potential danger—and the most effective way for him to reduce such a risk to a minimum would be death.
—Of course, that was what Basara was thinking right now, at least.
Given the circumstances, it might be inevitable that Basara would have to give up on school one day.
Sacrificing oneself out of the mere fear of a worst-case scenario would be wrong, though.
Toujou Basara would not give up the daily life he had struggled so hard to maintain that easily.
“I’ll go talk to Kajiura-senpai when I go to school next week.” The door of the toilet suddenly opened to reveal Nanao wearing the sailor uniform of Hijirigasaka Academy, portraying her fully as a girl.
“I think you’re better suited to dressing up like that, after all…” Basara smiled, still feeling somewhat embarrassed.
“Thank you…but it’s alright, really. As long as you’re the only one that knows about it, that is.” Nanao gave off her sweetest smile. “That aside, it’s great that you and the others will be joining the student council, Basara-kun. I’m sure Kajiura-senpai and the others will be really glad to hear about it.”
“Is that so? We’re glad to be able to help out, I guess.”
“Let’s make more memories with everyone from now on, okay?”
“Yeah.” Basara nodded in response to the girl smiling before him.
After bading farewell to Nanao in front of the toilet, Toujou Basara returned to Mio and the others; Basara presumed that they had just finished their shopping, having detected their presence at the parking lot outside.
“It seems I’ve kept them waiting, have I…”
And as Basara hurried toward them, passing through the wave of people buying ingredients for dinner and stepping outside the gate of the mall—
“Get lost. If you so much as lay a finger on me, I’ll kill you a hundred times over.”
Startled, Basara hurried toward them. And then—
“Whoah, are you serious right now…?” The first sight that came into view dumbfounded Basara.
Mio and the others were surrounded by a group of shady people—there appeared to be around more than ten of them, and Basara could vaguely remember some of their faces among them.
Those are the guys from back then, right?
He wasn’t mistaken—they were the same guys that had harassed Mio back when they first moved here and were trying to familiarize themselves with their new vicinity. He didn’t expect to meet them here again, of all places; then again, it would be even more surprising if they hadn’t even crossed each other even once up until now, given that both groups lived in the same neighbourhood.
The current situation was growing to be very dangerous, though.
Mio and Kurumi in particular looked quite displeased and appeared as if they would explode at any second.
The fact that Yuki and Zest’s gazes were now cold with murderous intent didn’t make the situation any better, either.
Things weren’t looking good—the group of guys would probably really die a hundred deaths at this rate, but there was also the fact that the large number of people grouping together was attracting the attention of other customers that were passing by.
What should I do? And as Basara scrambled for a solution to resolve the situation without fuss—
A certain perverted loli succubus, apparently the only one that was enjoying the scene that was unfolding, called out Basara’s name in a moderately loud voice as she noticed him.
All eyes then suddenly gathered on Basara.
“…It appears we didn’t manage to get ourselves some pepper today.” Basara said with resignation as he approached the group of girls that were waiting for him.
—One way or another, Mio and the others could deal with such a group easily; however, he wasn’t about to let anyone else handle the situation.
It didn’t matter if he was dealing with random punks on the street or the strongest of the Demon Lords and the most supreme of the Gods.
The role of protecting his family—protecting Mio and the others—belonged to Toujou Basara alone and no one else.
“Excuse me…do you guys happen to have a problem with my companions?”
And so they were to continue on with their lives day by day, where an ordinary everyday life would intertwine with the unbelievable and for the cycle to unendingly repeat itself.
Unable to face his past directly, he could only continue to shoulder the weight of his sins if only because he was to live on because there was something worth protecting.
Such thoughts had since become as old as the time that had passed since he had first acquainted with Mio.
Even if he was to carry an irreversible past and every single ounce of sin that he had committed, Toujou Basara would only continue to move forward.
—He would do so with the family he had exchanged his vows with.
And he would do so for the sake of that which he cannot yield to anyone—to protect everything he loves.