After getting a short break of about an hour, I left home again to head towards my next errand.
My schedule for today isn’t over yet. The ones who sent messages weren’t just Ryuuga and Yukimiya.
(I still have a slight headache and nausea going on, but I can’t be late.)
──Next is Aogasaki Rei. She’s a person that’s strict on time.
She’s also one of Ryuuga’s “companion characters” and is an unusual ability wielder that has the “Azure Dragon” dwelling within her. Her tall and gallant figure makes her a swordswoman that’s like a samurai.
She’s the only key figure that’s a third year student, and her proportions are outstanding. Of particular note are her huge, ripe, magnificent breasts. Each time she swings her sword, her chest jiggles as well, it’s incredible to say the least.
(If Yukimiya is admired by the boys, then Aogasaki is admired by the girls…by all rights, she’s not a character that I’m supposed to get involved with.)
However, our relationship really changed once the common link between us, Hinomori Ryuuga, turned out to be a woman.
After this and that occurred, my current status is as it is now.
I very unwillingly became Aogasaki Rei’s “exclusive coordinator.”
“──So you’ve come, Kobayashi.”
I arrived at a giant estate that would rival the Hinomori residence.
Waiting in front of the gate, Aogasaki had told me so. She seemed grateful for my visit, but held a daunting pose like that of a fierce guardian god statue at a temple.
Even though it was summer vacation, she had punctually worn her uniform. Her narrow eyes that were looking my way were as sharp as ever.
“I commend your late arrival. However, what’s with that expression, as if you’re about to die? Did you eat something harmful?”
“Some sludge of jewelry…”
“Sludge? Well whatever, follow me, Kobayashi.”
Not investigating the matter any further, Aogasaki turned her heel. Her long ponytail soon swept across in accordance.
Following her, we went through the yard and entered the estate. It was not her private room that we continued into, but we instead took a turn into a spacious dojo.
Aogasaki’s house holds a three-hundred year old history as a swordsmanship dojo. She’s gone under harsh training since she was a child in order to be its successor, and now she possess a full mastery of sword skills as a high school student.
The swiftness of her swordsmanship is breathtaking. Since she can bisect anything by cladding her sword in void, she’s also gained the title of “The Swordswoman of the Beheading Dance,”──though, it’s possible that her exquisite skill comes from the “Azure Dragon” that’s been handed down within the Aogasaki house since ancient times.
“Today’s a day where none of the disciples will be coming. Since all the people in the house are out as well, there’s no need for me to be so stiff.”
Aogasaki smiled while giving me some cold barley-tea.
…In other words, if I read between the lines, she’s saying “Mama and papa aren’t here. It’s just the two of us, Kobayashi.”
By all means, I’m not supposed to stay steady, and perhaps a certain detestable part of me would turn stiff…but unfortunately, no such feelings like that arise at all.
I’ve gotten accustomed to situations where I’m alone in a room with a girl due to Ryuuga. Above all though, there’s something I know.
I know what’s going to happen. I know why I was called here.
“Now then, wait a little. I’ll make preparations.”
While saying so, Aogasaki cheerfully left the room.
While watching her back, I immediately drank the barely tea in one gulp.
I drank a liter of water at home, but that still couldn’t get rid of the stinging in my mouth. As expected…even the aftertaste of Yukimiya’s cooking is terrible.
(*sigh* I want to go home and stay in bed already.)
I took a deep sigh while complaining as such in my mind.
No wait──I don’t even have the spare time to stay in bed. I have to “get rid of Taotie” today, which is more important than my summer vacation homework.
I won’t be able to sleep at night for as long as the “Evil Spirit” dwells within me. I won’t even be able to to view the late-night broadcasts I want to watch.
Come to think of it, Taotie has been silent since this morning. It seems “Evil Spirits” take up more than half of a day sleeping when dwelling within a host. It’s like they’re cats.
(Maybe this guy came from mudskippers? No scratch that, I can only visualize him as myself…)
While think over such thoughts, I soon sensed Aogasaki returning.
“I’ve kept you waiting, Kobayashi.”
Making her re-entry, she took light steps towards this way. She was doing the so-called “model walk.”
Eventually, she walked in front of me, and her footsteps stopped there. Next, she turned around on that spot and decided to put on a display by making a pose, with a hand on her hips.
(Just what is this person doing in this serious dojo…)
Aogasaki changed her outfit and dressed like a completely different person.
She wore a snow white blouse and a pink flared skirt. A blue striped scarf surrounded her neck, and she also put on an ornate hairpin. Looking closely, she not only had a manicure, but pedicure done as well.
“How is it, Kobayashi? Stylish, right?”
Aogasaki triumphantly declared so while having a self-satisfied expression.
Naturally, it was stylish.
Those clothes are something I coordinated. Despite it being in the midst of finals, we had met and went around shops for a whole day.
“It’s cool! It’s pretty! It would make someone’s heart pound!”
“It’s good that I bought this hairpin. You really do have a superb sense of fashion, Kobayashi!”
“Actually, it’s recently become a little-known fad.”
I had the confidence to give her advice. I chose an outfit that capitalized on her character by incorporating Japanese-style items…and it seems my selection was indeed right.
“It even was cheaper than my planned budget of 3000 yen, and since I was able to shop this frugally…I can purchase new training clothes too.”
“I think you should’ve given priority to that instead…”
──The old-fashioned, stoic swordswoman, Aogasaki Rei, actually had another side to her.
She’s a typical faddist that’s sensitive to trends. In a different sense from Ryuuga, she’s a person that likes “outfit shows.”
This is something I came to know by chance, and yet, she held a high opinion towards my sense of fashion for some reason. Each heroine has their own secret that I’m holding confidential meetings about.
“I’m still too naive about fashion compared to you, Kobayashi. I need to study more diligently.”
I’m begging you, study the sword diligently.
“Please keep opening new doors for me.”
Please close those doors if you can.
…A short while after that, we proceeded to discuss about fashion.
“By the way Kobayashi, there’s something I’d like to once again confirm.”
Suddenly, Aogasaki made a serious face towards me as she corrected her sitting posture.
Her expression returned to that of a swordswoman’s. It was like that time during the last battle, where she had silenced fifty peculiarities.
“This confirmation is something I want to ask. It’s about that time before when we were fighting the “Evil Spirit” Hundun. Perhaps it’s meaningless to ask you about that moment, since you’ve lost your memory, but…”
“W, what is it?”
“Just before the decisive battle with Hundun, there was a female apostle I fought with. She was called ‘Mion,’ and there she was a frighteningly strong enemy.”
Mion──she introduced herself as one of the “Three Princesses of Hell,” and was one of the upper echelons of the apostles.
Previously, I wanted to know what kind of person I was, and secretly made contact with the opponent. As a result, I became acquaintances with a girl apostle. That was Mion.
During the final battle, Aogasaki had a one-on-one fight with Mion. However, the victor and loser couldn’t be determined. It turned into a draw once I intervened.
I took that course of action so Aogasaki wouldn’t die. At the same time, it was also so that Mion wouldn’t die.
“What about it, Kobayashi? Do you really not remember anything?”
While I was avoiding her gaze, Aogasaki leaned forward immediately. With her being a beauty, it was even more impacting.
(Well, I feel uneasy since I got acquainted with an apostle…)
Naturally, I feigned ignorance.
Though I said I got acquainted with her, we don’t actually have a close relationship. At best, it’s just at the level where I can rest my head on her lap or get my ears cleaned from her. Also, I could see her panties.
“S, sorry, Aogasaki. I’ve tried to remember what happened on that day many times, but…my memories from that morning onward are gone.”
Aogasaki folded her arms and grunted “Hmm…”
I suppose she’s been concerned about letting Mion slip by and not settling things with her. It seems her true nature really is that of a swordswoman’s.
“It’s possible that the female apostle will appear in front of you again, Kobayashi. Leaving this alone is dangerous.”
“I already said I don’t remember anything, but…isn’t it alright to not be so fixated on this Mion apostle?”
“Well, that one called Mion…ran off when she saw me, right? I wasn’t particularly harmed by her, right? Perhaps she’s a little different from the other apostles? Or something of that sort…”
This is my true intention. I sense a sort of “humanity”-like thing in that female apostle.
If she had tried to kill me during our first encounter, I would have thought that she was a villain like the other villains, but instead, she was an awfully helpful fellow. She stayed with me while I was making idle complaints until late at night.
“Kobayashi. I honestly acknowledge your sense of insight. But still…”
“Of course, this is just mere speculation. Yet for some reason, wasn’t she someone you could hold a discussion with?”
“It seemed like she was fighting me in high spirits, though.”
“She’s an apostle, so battles are in her interests, I think. That’s surely the case.”
“I wonder if it’s even possible to comprehend an apostle…”
Aogasaki grunted again while scratching her cheek.
…Since I’m the final boss now, maybe I should look for Mion. Perhaps then, I can send out an official order as an “Evil Spirit” about holding back on the evil deeds.
The opponents in the upper echelons are the type that are focused on defeating the protagonists, rather than attacking ordinary people. I’d definitly like it if Mion took that kind of position. I hope that she can develop a “fated rival relationship” with Aogasaki.
Such side-dramas would add a layer of depth to this story. If done right, it can cook up a plot that would take up a whole volume, one that would help in evading this situation.
“A, as an aside, Kobayashi, there’s one more thing I’d like to confirm.”
While I was thinking over things, Aogasaki interrupted me with a few brief words.
“This is something I’m simply asking for reference. There isn’t a particularly deep meaning to it.”
I was being pressed on something, making me tremble with fear and put myself on guard.
For some reason, Aogasaki was the one avoiding eye contact this time. She constantly fidgeted, and would glance in my direction from time to time.
She continued this suspicious behavior for about ten seconds. She was being bashful, but soon got directly to the point.
“Do you──like older people?”
I could not grasp the meaning behind this question.
Looking at Aogasaki, her face turned oddly red. She was slightly sweating from the forehead. I wonder if she wrapped that scarf around her neck too much.
“Is this about dating someone?”
“R, right. Well, that would be correct.”
“I’m not that particular about age.”
“H, hmm. Is that so? Hmm.”
Aogasaki’s suspicious behavior was steadily ramping up. She was fiddling with a strand of hair near her ear, and awkwardly whistled. Almost no sound came out from it.
“Well, apologies for asking so abruptly. There really is no deep meaning to it. It’s just…”
“I’ve recently been thinking hard about something. Perhaps Ryuuga is more suited to someone like Shiori, Elmira, or Rin instead of me…”
“I think it’s better if someone with interests that align more with mine were…n, no, no! Not now!”
Suddenly saying that, Aogasaki suddenly stood up. She then put both of her hands on her cheeks and shook her head left and right.
“A, alright, let’s end things for today! I have to get back to training!”
“Huh? Um, Aogasaki.”
“I’ll contact you again soon! N, next time, we’ll meet not just for shopping, but lunch and dinner too! Sounds good!”
…With this and that, I was driven out of the estate in the blink of an eye.
I was left standing alone in front of the gate, and was at a loss for a moment. I already had a vague guess of her intentions from what is was she was saying.
(Could it be that she was trying to approach me? Is Aogasaki in the process of placing me as more special compared to Ryuga?)
I feel that this is a particularly alarming flag, especially amongst the heroines. In any case though, I’m grateful that I was let free. I planned to have ended things ten minutes later anyways.
There’s still someone I have to meet with today. There’s one person remaining that sent me a message of invitation.
In other words, last night, a total of four people called for me.
I was getting busy like I was some kind of popular star.