Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? Chapter 2 Part 6

I──Hinomori Ryuuga, have been raised as a male for as long as I remember.

As a child, I didn’t think that it would be hard. From the start, I had a lively nature, and I found it fun being in the role of a hero when playing.

“Ryuuga. As a child of the Hinomori household, you must sacrifice your current life to summon the ‘Dragon King.’ You have to toss away your life as an ordinary girl, please forgive me…”

My father always said that.

“It’s alright, father.”

Of course, I answered him with a smile.

There are enemies of this world, the “Apostles of Hell”──I have to protect this world from their invasion.

I thought that I had understood the weight of this mission. I didn’t want to push such a fate onto my younger sister, Kyouka.

However…as I grew older, I started to feel let down over how I couldn’t wear skirts or how I couldn’t get my personal belongings in the color pink, which I really liked.

(I have no choice but to be a boy…)

No matter how manly I acted, my heart and body couldn’t deceive me.

Unlike those around me, my voice didn’t change. My height wasn’t that tall either. Yet despite that, my chest swelled.

Even though I held such a sense of discomfort, I still continued to live my life training.

A little under five years ago, my family crossed over to China and I went under strict training from a renowned teacher. Even now my parents are still remaining there and are investigating the ruler of the apostles, the “Evil Spirit.”

…Then came that moment. At the time where I was about to turn into a high schooler, we received reports that “the ‘Apostles of Hell’ are making appearances in Japan.”

The place was a town that I had lived in before──a town protected by the Hinomori family, where several hundreds of years ago, the “Evil Spirit” was sealed away by one of my fabled ancestors.

(If I complete this mission, I wonder if I can return to being a girl…)

While keeping such a fleeting hope to myself, I soon returned back to Japan with Kyouka. Since my sister was also about to move on to junior high school, it was decided that we would both live in Japan.

We settled on attending Oumei High School since it was the closest to my home.

We made up an explanation to the school that I was born frail and that even now I have to regularly visit the hospital. It was convenient for frequently slipping out of class and being absent during PE and swimming.

(I don’t have the spare time to enjoy a high school life. The apostles are already lurking all over the town…as the successor of the ‘Dragon King,’ I have to exterminate them all!)

That day, I entered the school entrance ceremony with such a resolve in my heart.

Then──I came across one boy.

 

“Hey, are you a part of this class?”

I haven’t forgotten the start of it all. He came over and said those few words.

…To be honest, I was surprised at that time. The reason being that I hadn’t sensed any signs of his presence at all.

I really didn’t notice him until he approached and let out his voice.

(W, what kind of person…is this guy?)

I was wary since the “Apostles of Hell” could take on the form of a human, but I didn’t feel any ill-will from him. He introduced himself as “Kobayashi Ichirou” in a friendly manner, and seemed so defenseless that it felt amiss.

My first impression was that he felt like “that high school student you can find just about anywhere.”

He had a medium build, and his looks were average as well. It was hard to find any special characteristics in him…and yet, for some reason, he had a strange presence. He was a paradoxical boy that you wouldn’t remember, but wouldn’t forget.

I only just entered school and I had already met a strange person…that was all I was aware of at that time.

However, the situation was more troublesome than I thought. Starting from the next day, he persistently followed me however he pleased.

No matter how many times I said “I don’t want you to get involved with me,” he didn’t listen. He followed me around everywhere while saying “Ryuga this, Ryuga that.” I had planned on not making friends so that my identity as a girl wouldn’t get revealed…

“Hey, Kobayashi. I’m telling you, leave me alone.”

“Ah, I understand. Anyways, Yukimiya Shiori, having a C cup, is super cute and…”

“You don’t understand.”

“I do understand. Let’s see, her three sizes were…”

“Like I said, you don’t understand!”

“Never mind that, listen up! This is where you hand in the test!”

“What are you getting mad for! I didn’t even receive that test!”

Ichirou caused me headaches for a long time.

However, I didn’t hate him.

He was a difficult guy, but he was never a bad person. I saw him carrying an old woman on his back over a crosswalk one time. I also saw him put a 1000 yen bill in a donation box after the people were struggling to get any results for more than ten minutes.

It’s not like he only caused me trouble either.

For example, Ichirou often followed me when I was being isolated within the class.

There were several friend groups in the class. Ichirou was able to socialize with them all skillfully, and served as a middleman between them and me. I was very grateful for that.

“You have pretty high communication skills, Kobayashi…”

“Of course. I’m a maestro at being a friend after all.”

“Don’t you think it would be more enjoyable to be with everyone else rather than me?”

“No. I’m only interested in you.”

It seemed that he just casually said that, but it startled me

That was the first time a boy told me such a thing.

I’ve come across many cool boys up until this point. Those kinds of people tend to be around me for some reason.

Kobayashi Ichirou was not an ikemen by any means. He only talks about perverted things and he often forgets to do his homework. He’s someone that you’d nonchalantly gloss over.

…However, that left a rather good impression.

At our age, one tends to get particularly aware of the opposite sex. So I believe that “someone’s true face” only shows up when they’re with the same sex.

And I felt that Ichirou’s true face was──quite wonderful.

I though of him as more fascinating than any of the boys I had come across.

In the first place, I’m weak to they pushy type. When someone approaches in a bold manner, I inadvertently just nod along. For that reason, I haven’t been able to turn down Yukimiya, Aogasaki, and Elle’s approaches.

(If Ichirou knew my true identity, I wonder what he would think…)

Before I knew it, I came to worry about such a thing at around the time when I started calling him by his first name.

The battle against the “Apostles of Hell” was gradually intensifying. In that time, I had obtained some companions who held a similar fate as me, but the opponents were also getting tougher in proportion.

(Perhaps if Ichirou held some kind of ‘power,’ then we could fight alongside each other…)

I had wanted him to be with me not just in the daily side of life, but also in the supernatural side of it. I wanted to rely on him…I had realized that my dependence on him was sprouting.

I began to suspect that Ichirou did indeed hold “certain qualities.”

He has insane reflexes. When he has the motivation, he can also study pretty well. He’s good at drawing too, can soon master any kind of instrument, and has good communication skills. While I’m at it, I also get suddenly poked by him because of some mysterious stealth ability he holds.

Those qualities he holds are──as one would call them, “the qualities of a protagonist.”

Undoubtedly, if Ichirou put his mind to it, he could take the leading role in any field.

Perhaps if he held some kind of “power,” the apostles wouldn’t even be a threat to him. I’m being a bit partial towards him, but that is my evaluation of Ichirou.

(Ichirou, being such a person, sees me as special. He said that he was only interested in me.)

Of course, he thinks that I’m a man. Because of that, we can only have a “friendship.” It’s impossible for our relationship to deviate from that rail.

When thinking about that, I felt a stinging pain in my heart.

At that moment…I had come to realize these feelings that I seemed to have held for a while now.

 

One day, I was pleased to realize that Ichirou and I were in the same class still during our second-year. Then one major event occurred.

Ichirou had seen my battle with the apostles.

There, I resolved myself to reveal to him about my circumstances.

From the beginning, I had felt guilty about keeping these things a secret from Ichirou. Day by day, my guilt grew stronger as I kept deceiving him…if Ichirou started avoiding me, then our relationship as friends would end. He would go back to being unrelated to me.

However, it turned out that Ichirou would still be my best friend.

He told me that he would be my friend no matter what.

That made me so joyful that I wanted to cry. However, at the same time, I felt a pressure in my heart.

The matter of “being friends” was once again thrust at me. It had triggered a great turmoil within me.

With our current relationship, he only sees me as a friend. If can make Ichirou my lover one day…such a blessing would make me smile.

I would be joyful if he was my lover.

I want to hold hands with Ichirou while walking.

I want to get angry at him for peeking at me while I’m changing clothes.

I want to go to his home every morning and wake him up.

I want him to open his mouth while I feed him my boxed lunch.

Of course, I know that this is “forbidden” for me to do as a child of the Hinomori household. That’s why I’ve been stubbornly keeping this a secret since the beginning.

I wanted to message him saying “I’m a girl. I like you.” many times. However, I end up erasing them without sending. I’ve been putting up with it by secretly taking pictures of Ichirou on my cell phone.

(I wonder if there’s something I can do…even with this important mission I have…)

I decided to be cautious and put some distance between Ichirou and myself. However, another incident happened.

Ichirou found out that I was a girl.

I had decided to take a nap at the school infirmary because during the night before, I was pondering what to do and didn’t get any sleep. I took off the painful sarashi and carelessly slept like that.

Ichirou saw me in that state.

I felt that this meant our relationship had collapsed.

(What do I do? What do I do? What do I do…!)

I had never lost my composure like that before, even during my fights with the apostles. I told Shiori and the others that “I caught a cold,” to drive them away. I didn’t want to see anybody.

I hadn’t contacted Ichirou at all though. I felt too uneasy to. I was too frightened and nervous to.

(I have to properly talk with Ichirou. It’s impossible for me to deceive him anymore.)

…Perhaps deep down in my heart, I had hoped this would happen.

I was at my limit anyways. My feelings for Ichirou had already reached a point where I couldn’t control them. It was like an inflating balloon that was about to burst.

After two days of being in turmoil, I resolved myself.

For the first and last time in my life, I decided to be self-indulgent and reveal my feelings.

──I want to do some ‘lovers training’ with you, Ichirou──

It was a bit pathetic that at the last moment, I backed out by making this request. However,

Ichirou was flabbergasted and only said “O, oh…” if I remember correctly. He had also said that he vaguely knew about me being a girl and that he was taking my needs into consideration.

So perhaps──he gave me his OK.

Though it was just “pretending” right now, I became Ichirou’s lover, which I had dreamed about!

I’m glad I summoned up my courage…

I don’t have to control myself any longer. It’s okay to be a girl in front of Ichirou.

Does it matter that doing this goes against the rules? I’ll do this even with those stupid rules.

(My love and my mission can co-exist. I can also check if “the power of love” can make someone stronger! Then one day, I will genuinely be Ichirou’s girlfriend!)

…I held such an overwhelming spirit. Since then, the “Dragon King” hasn’t been going wild.

I somehow managed to take complete control of it, it’s entirely like an obedient child now. This is a private, but I’ve been secretly calling the “Dragon God” by the name of “Ron.”

There’s nothing Hinomori Ryuuga fears anymore. I’ll completely crush the “Apostles of Hell.”

There’s just one concern I have right now──

(Ichirou is the eldest son, but I wonder if it’s okay for him to be taken into the family.)

If the Hinomori lineage, which is protecting this world, ends, that would be bad, as one would expect.


TLN: This ends chapter 2. Just a heads up that I’m going to take a short break before starting chapter 3.


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26 thoughts on “Is it Tough Being a Friend? Chapter 2 Part 6”

  1. This was a nice POV change, and even the “protagonist” recognized Ichirou as the true protagonist lol.

  2. I wanted to see things from Ryuuga’s POV. It was definitely good that such a thing was included. There have been many good series, but the one thing they lacked was the point of view from other characters. Ryuuga is an interesting character. I hope we see more from her perspective in the future as well. (Since it shows as 4 volumes, I hope there are other chapters like this, and some from the perspectives of other characters as well).

  3. The only “protagonist” role Ichirou should be taking is the “protagonist” of a “Support” role as he has been doing until now. However, it seems as though a “protagonist” of higher caliber hasn’t appeared.

  4. “He was a paradoxical boy that you wouldn’t remember, but wouldn’t forget.”
    Because he was a NPC support-type with support power over 9000

    Well even the Ryuuga(former protagonist) recognize Ichirou as true protagonist, after this what we need is make Ichriou find a sword stuck in rock with “Exca…” as start of the name and told him to pull it out and let him gain some “hero” power.

  5. “If the Hinomori lineage, which is protecting this world, ends, that would be bad, as one would expect.”
    Wattt…. Ryuuga already want to have Ichirou babies….?!?!?

    1. To a high schooler, the idea that your relationship with your crush might not last forever is impossible.

  6. Thank you for the chapter.

    Ummmm. What’s so special about Kobayashi? Kobayashi not collapsing like all the ordinary people at the karaoke bar. Kobayashi not having a detectable presence from the POV of Ryuuga. Kobayashi being the only male in an all female heroine harem.

    Yes she said it alright, Ichirou has “the qualities of a protagonist.”

    1. There is also his relexes, stealth sneaking ability, intelligence and strength. We know he took down a tough delinquent by himself, even if he had someone else take credit for it. He is a skilled actor, playing a delinquent, too help a guy get with a girl he liked. He helped a student council president get perfect test scores. He also has charisma, leadership skills, and helped that soccer player, so he likely has other athletic skills outside of relexes and strength. I am impressed that Ryuuga is perceptive enough to notice all of it. Her perception skills are about on par with Ichirou’s own perception skills.

  7. I’m not really that surprise that Ichriou has a lot of skills because he mostly learn them for people he was going to support to help them and learn them along the way too from all the support he did. Even though he has those skills to become a protagonist, he doesn’t use them that way, so he’s still a support or should I say heroin support character.

  8. Ichirou is well balanced n can do anything he want huh.. also please dont take a break ugh..
    btw thanks for the chapters

  9. Thanks for the chapter.

    Ichirou… I’m gonna feel bad for him. His status as “MC’s Friend” will be changed to “MC” against his will.

  10. So she was surrounded by ikemen in the past She is a shojo protagonists! Come on male harem make an apperence.

  11. I have a feeling Ichirou was the “Evil Spirit.” That will be such a great twist. Anyway, thanks for the chapter.

  12. Is it me or was the last few sentences kina creepy. She was already planning marriage and having kids with him. And she was already in love with him before second year, that sounds crazy fast.

  13. Thanks for the chapter, even the protagonist recognize MC valeu!!!!!!!!!!! Now the story will trully begin. Ichirou migth as well go the shoujou route and disfarce himself as some mysterious gentleman and helps and protect the ‘Heroine’ from the shadows!!!!!!!

  14. He has insane reflexes. When he has the motivation, he can also study pretty well. He’s good at drawing too, can soon master any kind of instrument, and has good communication skills. While I’m at it, I also get suddenly poked by him because of some mysterious stealth ability he holds.

    this guy should have hid this right? if it was an anime like then everyone would be suspicious of him

  15. Thanks for the translation!
    Ryuuga should be careful what she wishes for, just might get it, just not the way she was expecting. Considering all the abilities he has that she mentioned I highly doubt he’s just another common, average highschooler, especially since she’s trained to detect enemies and fight yet can’t penetrate his untrained stealth. Wonder how long it’ll take Ichirou to realize that not only is he no longer a friend, but is the male lead, not to mention the only male the girls know their age who knows about their extracurricular activities yet still treats them like normal without fear.
    Btw, might want to put a footnote explaining Ryuuga’s comment about taking Ichirou into the family. Even seeing this in other LNs I was confused about what she was talking about for a few minutes. For those who still don’t understand Ryuuga is talking about marrying Ichirou and him joining HER family rather than her joining HIS family. So instead of her taking his surname and becoming Kobayashi Ryuuga he’d take her surname and become Hinomori Ichirou. Her comment about him being the elder son refers to the tradition of the eldest son carrying the family name and line into the next generation and becoming the next head of the family when the father steps down and first in line to inherit. Basically the heir of the family. Speaking of which, isn’t being referred to as the eldest son rather than the only son imply he has younger brothers or at least younger siblings and if so, where are they?

  16. It feels good to get the story from another person’s point of view and know that they are not stupid enough to not know Ichirou’s ability. Still, she’s trying to get ahead of her boundaries here, just try to know what Ichirou wants first!!
    Thanks for the chapter!

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