It was then, the door opened with a small creaking sound, as Koneko and Basara strolled into the club room. Koneko then proceeded to awkwardly walk away from Basara’s side before sitting down next to Kiba on the sofa.
“Arara! Ufufu~! Welcome, Basara-kun.”
“Sorry for intruding.”
Basara quickly stepped into the room while releasing a sigh of relief. The earlier walk with Koneko had been pretty taxing mentally since she was fully silent no matter what he said to her.
He wanted to socialize and familiarize himself with her a bit more but she had been indifferent, cold even, just nodding every now and then when he tried to converse with her. This condition persisted all throughout the walk, unfortunately, and Basara wasn’t able to break the ice between them, making himself feel pretty awkward.
In the end, the last part of their short walk had rolled into pin-drop silence as Basara didn’t know what more to say to her. Nothing he said seemed to work, so he surmised that staying silent would be the better choice.
“Oh!? Toujou-kun is here already!? Give me some time to change and I will be there shortly!”
‘How bold. Or should I say, as expected of a devil?’
He was mildly surprised that Rias seemed to feel no shame about bathing while a boy she didn’t know much about was in the same room as her, but then again it shouldn’t be much of a big deal for a devil like her, he speculated.
It wasn’t as if he saw her fully naked, so there was no need to feel guilty about anything.
Though he could see her shadow projected on the curtain, that was the only stratum between the club room and her makeshift shower, and damn, she had a really nice figure.
‘She doesn’t seem inferior to Hasegawa-sensei.’
Basara coughed a little to hide the embarrassment that was bubbling inside him as he remembered the earlier events with Hasegawa sensei in the infirmary.
He didn’t think of himself as shy, since his mother was also quite shameless in the way she acted and it made him somewhat immune to physical intimacy and embarrassment. But, what he had gone through today was totally different and on a different level altogether.
In the end, his mother was his mother, after all, she could never compare with a mature alluring lady that was unrelated to him in any way, so his shyness was a plausible happenstance.
Akeno laughed delightfully as she guided Basara towards the other sofa for him to sit and relax in.
“Tea? Or Coffee?”
“Tea, please. I’m not much into coffee. “
Akeno nodded and went to make some fresh tea, leaving Basara alone with silent Koneko and enigmatic Kiba.
He could feel a faint trace of hostility coming from Kiba, but it seemed that it was not directed at him in particular.
As for Koneko, he could see that she wanted to tell him something, but would always end up hesitating as she fidgeted restlessly in her seat.
Since he didn’t know why either of them was acting this way, there was nothing he could really do at this point, other than to stay quiet and wait for Rias to come.
“By the way, Basara, you have been in this town for quite some time now, right? What do you think of it?”
Basara shrugged at Akeno’s question as a response, “Honestly, I thought that I would simply have a normal high school then leave as quietly as I came. So you can imagine my surprise when I sensed so many devils residing here.”
“Fufufu~! Indeed, I can imagine. Though, I am still quite perplexed about how you do not seem to discriminate against devils in general, reincarnated devils like us in particular.”
Basara fell silent at her probing words. He could understand what she tried to mean with her words. After all, from the perspective of humans, reincarnated devils were basically traitors of their race.
Though not all reincarnated devils were humans in general, most of them were as it was easier to turn a human into a devil compared to the other races.
However, in Akeno and Tsubaki’s case, since they were part of the Shinto Faction, who were some of the main opposers of the Devil Faction, in the past, they were indeed traitors of their clans. But, that didn’t mean much to Basara.
“Everyone has their own circumstances, their own stories that lead them to a certain path; be it good or bad. I’m not someone important nor am I worthy enough to really judge you guys, at least that’s what I genuinely think.”
Just like how he was exiled from the church.
Like how his father fell in love with a devil despite being an exorcist sworn to be against their very kind.
Like how Akeno and Tsubaki were shunned by their own families for embracing their last resort to life.
This wasn’t about right or wrong. This was just a sad reality. The reality wasn’t simply black and white. Everything had a reason and there was nothing that was absolute.
Because of what he was, both as an individual and by genetics, Basara never judged people by their races— but by their actions.
“You guys aren’t evil devils who enjoy tormenting weak humans. Why should I be hostile towards you?”
Silence fell as all the people present in the room looked at him with dazed expressions and complex emotions.
“As I thought. You are definitely suitable to be a part of us.”
Rias, who had just ended her shower, walked out in a hurry, simply clad in an unbuttoned white school shirt and her pink-colored panties.
Her youthful alabaster skin shone under the mellow light cast by the candles and her still wet hair gave her a more vulnerable look on top of her already vulnerable and desperate-esque appearance.
But what really caught his eyes, more so than her desperate aura, was her incredible bust size that was too big for a woman her age.
‘Is she really only 18 years old?’
Her body was simply too glamorous to believe that it belonged to a girl in her teens. Of course, Akeno was equally attractive and fairly busty in her own right.
‘Now that I think about it, Suzaku-nee’s body was also incredibly voluptuous even at that time so many years ago.’
He smiled when he remembered the bath he took with her as a kid. It was a very awkward memory of his childhood.
“Please, join our peerage!”
His reminiscence was stopped by her abrupt outcry. Rias, clearly uncaring about her disheveled appearance made her proposal to Basara.
Her desperation was at an all-time high even before Basara’s arrival and after hearing his words full of compassion and wisdom she wasn’t able to control herself and immediately delivered her proposal, even though she already knew that it had high chances of backfiring.
She couldn’t really afford to care anymore. Basara was everything she needed and more. He was the perfect addition to her peerage and she needed him at any and all costs.
He was at a loss for words at the abruptness of her declaration but, more importantly, he didn’t know where to look.
“*Sigh* Firstly, please, wear your clothes properly. Secondly, this isn’t why you called me here, right? Let’s leave it for later.”
Rias was a little caught off guard by his words and soon blushed as she understood her blunder that stemmed from her agitated emotions. She eventually nodded as a response to his question.
“You are right, sorry. I got ahead of myself…”
Uttering those words, she quickly went back to the shower and began dressing in a hurry.
Once she was fully clothed, she returned and sat on the main chair and addressed Basara.
“Last time, you said that you wouldn’t join my peerage because I was too weak, right?”
“No. I said that I wouldn’t join your peerage, period. Then I added that even if I wanted to, which I don’t, it wouldn’t be possible because you are too weak.”
“You…are quite mindful of the details.”
Basara shrugged, “My mother said to always be careful with my words around devils. You never know when they will try pushing you in a contract by utilizing the loopholes of your words.”
“Your mother is indeed wise. But, do not worry. I will not try to convince you through treachery. I see all the members of my peerage as family and it would be stupid to force you to join us. That goes against my principles, I’m many things but I try to abide by the principles I set for myself.”
‘She isn’t lying.’
He knew from the rumors that the Gremories were the ones who treated their servants the best, but it was still interesting to see it in person.
“Still…I wish to convince you and I want to show you our power.”
Basara wanted to say that even if she would be stronger than his estimates, it wouldn’t change anything, but he held himself back.
“That’s why I wanted to invite you tonight. We are about to hunt a stray devil.”
His pupils immediately constricted at her words and looked at Rias as if she was crazy.
‘Does she not know that there’s also a stray ultimate class devil on the loose?’
“Our target is a low-class devil hovering towards the middle-class.”
‘*Sigh* It seems she isn’t that crazy. Thank God!’
“From the way you are talking, I guess you already have a complete plan? What kind of power does the devil have? Where will you fight it? Are you sure it doesn’t have teammates? What to do in case the mission fails and we need to retreat?”
This time it was Rias’ turn to look at Basara as if he was a crazy lunatic.
“I mean… It’s just a low to middle-class devil. Even at their best, she is barely mid-class. Why would we need a plan against someone so weak? We just have to blast them to oblivion.”
Basara closed his eyes at his blunder. He remembered the difference between humans and devils.
For ordinary exorcists who neither had true holy swords nor sacred gears, hunting a devil close to mid-class was a matter of life and death.
A full team would need to be assembled and everyone’s task would be clear to get the greatest result and the least casualties. Even then, finishing the mission without a few deaths would be nearly impossible.
Was Rias wrong in her way of doing things?
Not necessarily. When there existed an overwhelming difference of power, all the plans were just a waste of time and brain cells. It was the same as how his father would never make a plan just to hunt a small fry.
However, did Rias possess such overwhelming power?
The answer was no. At the very least, as long as there was an ultimate class devil in the vicinity, Rias was nothing more than a shrimp.
At this rate, one day they would face an enemy they had no chance to win against and then, they would die.
‘I promised Suzaku-nee to take care of Akeno if I ever meet her.’
As such, his choice was pretty evident. Basara knew that he didn’t really have any obligation to fulfill that promise and this made him seem like a pushover, but he didn’t really care. He was an individual who tried his best to fulfill his promises because he was mindful of the weight of a promise.
“I will follow you.”
He hoped that they would just have to fight the lower-level strays. Because, against an ultimate class, even someone at his level had no choice but to run as far away as he could to preserve his life.
(AN: It’s really a pain how the author of DxD uses the same name for power rank and Social Hierarchy. As such, I have decided to make a small difference.
High-class or High-level devil = Power rank
High-rank devil = Social Hierarchy.
Pretty simple, right?)