When There’s a Tortoise, There’s Also a Princess
It was just past noon of the next day. I immediately commenced the mobilization towards being the final boss.
I actually wanted to make a move starting from this morning, but I had to attend to Ryuuga in the morning as usual. I had to meet her on the pretense of doing a training skit, as she calls it.
However, there wasn’t anyone else who called for me today. From here on is my true summer vacation.
(I never thought this summer vacation would turn out this way…well, now’s not the time to start complaining. Since I’ve decided on this, I’ll have to properly act as a final boss.)
For the time being, I decided to head out onto the streets wearing a black coat and sunglasses, looking like a delinquent.
…However, it turned to be rather hot, as expected. It’d be all for naught if I got a heatstroke.
“Boss. Are you going somewhere outside?”
As I was putting on my shoes at the entrance, Taotie manifested and called out to me.
Unlike me, who was wearing a T-shirt, the “Evil Spirit” was wearing a uniform for today as well. I told him to always take that appearance so that a distinction could be made between us.
“I’m going to go around outside for a bit. Don’t just keep popping out from me.”
“*sigh* So, what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to search for the ‘Apostles of Hell.'”
“Let me remind you that there’s an ‘Evil Spirit’ here. The survivors are gathering together and are eager to strike back.”
As a final boss, I believe that’s my first order of business. Since Taotie can’t open gates to the spirit world, I can only rely on the remaining apostles.
Taotie said before that he “doesn’t need any subordinates,” but it seems he actually does need some underlings. If possible, I’d like to get some from the upper echelons, like Mion.
“Stop this. Let’s be on good terms with Ryuuga.”
“Don’t be a coward, you low-key ‘Evil Spirit!'”
The “Evil Spirit,” who still isn’t willing to be a final boss, had barked at me like he’s my superior.
“Just you wait and see, Tie! Let me show you what ‘evil’ is! I’ll make the foolish humans realize the dreadfulness of the four fiends!”
“Doesn’t it kind of seem like our roles have reversed?”
“And who do you think is to blame for that!”
“More importantly, Ryuuga’s cop cosplay was supreme, wasn’t it? I’d love to be interrogated by her.”
“All that comes out of your mouth is ‘Ryuga this, Ryuga that’…”
For the time being, I shoved Taotie back into me and headed towards the station first. Since there’s a lot of people there, it’s possible that an apostle slipped into the crowd.
Along the way, I continued preaching Taotie and said “This is the proper way of a final boss.” Why is it that the vessel, and thus the victim, has to be lecturing him like this?
(Whatever. I’ll push all the necessary evil deeds onto this guy.)
This is all done with the intent of an “Evil Spirit,” meaning that I’ll be settling Taotie’s evil-deed commitment for him. This is what’s called the “a flunky did it against my will tactic.”
Let’s just suppose that I had my consciousness taken over and was manipulated.
Let’s just suppose that I had feverently continued shouting “Stop this ‘Evil Spirit!’ I, I didn’t want anything like this!” in my mind.
I’ll go with that setting.
However, the search for apostles was rougher than I had thought.
No matter where I searched, I couldn’t find anyone that fit the bill. Just to make sure, I tried looking in empty places, like the abandoned factory, but the results were the same.
(If even a small amount of ill will were to leak out, I’d be able to sense it, but…it seems that the apostles are even being cautious.)
Beforehand, more than a hundred of them had entered, but most of them were defeated during the final battle in part one. Furthermore, all of the gates to the spirit world that Hundun opened are now sealed. There’s no chance that any new apostles can arrive.
(I also knocked down quite a few of them as well. That was a mistake…)
I wonder how many survivors there are. If I’m too slow, it’s possible that Ryuuga and the others might hunt down these valuable guys down. I wanted to avoid that situation.
(I’m not really in the position to ask for the luxury of getting someone from the upper echelons. Even a mob character will do, so someone just come out here…!)
As two or three days passed by with no results, I was starting to really get impatient.
Then finally──I was able to come across an opportunity by chance.
Not making any results on that day either, I gave up and returned home in the evening of the forth day. When I was near the vicinity of my home, I sensed a faint ill will in the air.
(It’s here! This is definitely a sign of an apostle!)
I immediately broke into a sprint and headed towards the direction of the ill will.
The surroundings were completely shrouded in darkness, and there weren’t any pedestrians passing by either. It shouldn’t be that far away. I never thought there’d be one lurking so near…what a small world this is.
(I wonder what kind of apostle it is? If possible, a lion or puma type would be nice.)
The “Apostles of Hell” that dwell within the spirit world are all based on some kind of living creature. They normally disguise as a human, but their true identities are peculiarities that take on beast, fish, or insect motifs.
(I beg of you, please be a cool apostle!)
I sincerely hope that it isn’t something like a centipede type, a chihuahua type, or a moss ball type. I’m not in a position to make demands, but now that I’ve found someone, I do realize what I’d like. I’d like a mercenary.
…I arrived at a cemetery located a few hundred meters from my house.
It was reasonably spacious, the tombstones were arranged in sectors and were lined up in an orderly fashion. On the other hand, the occasional tree that catches the eye serves to remind that this place was once a forest.
(Huh, the ill will is gone…don’t tell me it left?)
I quickly set foot onto the cemetery and plunged forward along the dark path.
The breezing wind was lukewarm, the rustling branches and leaves swayed while resembling people. I can say that I’m quite the type that remains calm even if facing evil phantoms, but…that still doesn’t change how eerie this place is.
(Boss, let’s return. I can tell that a monster could appear.)
Taotie’s voice suddenly spoke inside my head. It’s seems that we have an internal communication structure.
(Let’s leave the apostle alone. For me, the evil phantom types are a bit much…)
“Aren’t you similar to them?”
While astonished at the cowardly “Evil Spirit,” I continued moving forward.
Before long, I arrived at the “scene of the crime.”
Basically, there was an apostle. However, I was a bit too late.
It was apparently a buffalo type peculiarity that had a large build, but it was lying down on the ground. It was also steadily continuing to vanish.
When an apostle is defeated, its corpse will melt and disappear like this. In other words, someone had already defeated this guy.
(Y, you’ve gotta be kidding me…)
Furthermore, the one who defeated it was still there.
With her back facing me, she had both of her hands on her hips, and looked down at the apostle with an air of superiority.
She was a small girl who wore a kenpo uniform on top, tights bellow, and whose appearance didn’t match the graveyard. To make matters worse, there was a giant character for “tortoise” written on her back…the uniform bears a strong resemblance to a certain manga.
“*huff* I was one step ahead of…huh?”
Only then did she turn to face towards my direction.
She had rounded eyes, a flat chest, and appearance that looked quite like a junior high school student. She wore a headband over her short hair, and was quite the lively, boyish girl with a childlike face.
She was──Kurogame Rina.
She’s Ryuuga’s childhood friend, they live next to each other, they’re acquainted on a family-wide scale, and she’s in the second year E Class. That Rina.
“If I remember correctly, you’re Ryu’s boyfriend…”
While looking straight at me, Kurogame approached me. Who are you calling a boyfriend?
Judging from appearances, she didn’t have any weaponry. Which means…she beat the apostle bare handed?
(It’s likely that she practices kenpo. Furthermore, she’s considerably skilled. Despite the battle having only just ended, she hasn’t broken a sweat, and her breathing isn’t any different either…it seems I’ve underestimated the tortoise.)
──Kurogame Rina is a girl who has a one of the four gods, the “Black Tortoise,” as a guardian deity.
Also, she’s the one that sealed all of the doors that the “Evil Spirit” Hundun opened. Her ability grants her the title “The Star-Wall Guardian,” and she’s one of the keystones to the protection of this world…her raw defense power far surpasses that of the “Yellow Dragon’s,” so she serves as Ryuuga’s shield.
(I really thought that the one with the position of the “Black Tortoise” was me, though…if I didn’t jump to the wrong conclusion so hastily, I wouldn’t have had to participate in the final battle.)
In addition, Kurogame Rina is one of the few that knows about Hinomori Ryuuga being a girl. It could be said that this grants her a bit of a special status compared to the other heroines/candidates.
However, her personality is one that completely takes things at her own pace, which means there’s the tendency for her to not get involved with the main story. Despite holding one of the four gods, there’s a clear distinction between her and Yukimiya, Aogasaki, and Elmira. What a disaster that was for me.
While I thinking of such things, Kurogame clapped her hands together.
“I remember! You’re Suzuki Tarou, right?”
“It’s Kobayashi Ichirou.”
“Darn! So that’s what it was! That’s hard to remember, so can I call you Ii?” (TLN: Pronounced like the first syllable in Ichirou’s name)
What a disrespectful tortoise. She’s also being an over-familiar tortoise.
“So what are you doing here in a place like this, Ii?”
“Huh? Oh, um, I was just walking around…”
“At a cemetery?”
“W, well. It’s refreshing since’s there’s no people.”
“You should probably stop wandering in this cemetery. Apostles will appear here, you know?”
Looking at the remains of the apostle, which had already lost its original form, I could only nod my head and say “…Looks like it.”
“One question, did you take that thing down alone?”
“Yep, by myself. Solo.”
…The genuine “Black Tortoise” is pretty strong.
I had finally found an apostle. Furthermore, it had a nice appearance with its buffalo form.
Well, even if I got there on time, I wouldn’t be able to assist the apostle on attacking Kurogame. I don’t plan on making people from Ryuuga’s side turn into victims or injured people for part two. I planned on having this be a fixed game.
“Ah, right! There’s one thing I have to tell you, Ii!”
Quickly ending the matter of the apostle, Kurogame switched topics. I’ve already said this before, but she has this style where she really sets things at her own pace. Her not showing up in time for the final battle during part one was not just for show.
“Is your schedule open for two days, starting from the day after tomorrow? Ryu, Kyou, and I were thinking about going to Chigayama together.”
Needless to say, “Ryu” corresponds to Ryuuga, and “Kyou” corresponds to Kyouka.
In addition, Chigayama is a mountain that’s about ten stations away by train. It’s popular for mountain climbing or camping, and its a famous leisure spot in the local area.
“It’s a little deep into the mountains, but there’s a vacation home inside. We were able to rent it out for only two days! There’s a mountain stream right in front of it, and you can swim there!”
While brandishing her fist, Kurogame stressed on that part in delight. She looks like an elementary school student right before a trip.
“Truthfully, I wanted to invite Shio, Rei, and Elle as well, but if that happened, Ryu wouldn’t be able to swim, right?”
It’s as she said. Those three don’t know about Ryuuga’s true identity, after all.
The real Ryuuga has breasts bigger than Yukimiya’s. If that fact came to light, Yukimiya might run away and leave behind a note about “a distrust in humans.”
“She even spent the time to buy a new swimsuit, it’s quite disappointing. But, it’s no problem if I ask you, Ii, her boyfriend.”
“It’s a pretty bold one, you know?”
Immediately, following was a surprisingly loud cry of joy that echoed into the night of the cemetery. It was Taotie.
Kurogame went “Huh?” in confusion, and looked over at my direction with a puzzled expression. I suppose she thought that I was the who yelled that.
“I, it’s nothing! Pay no mind to it!”
I immediately shook my head and forced out an explanation.
I can’t have Kurogame know that I’m a vessel for an “Evil Spirit.” It’s not the time for that yet.
“Was that your shout just now, Ii?”
“O, oh! That was me shouting! I was shouting with a serious look!”
“Are you looking that forward to Ryu in a swimsuit?”
“Right! Of course, the same goes for Kyouka’s swimsuit and yours, Kurogame!”
“I heard a lot of rumors about you at school, Ii…but it seems that you’re more lewd than what you’re known for.”
“Right! I’m a boy with lewdness in his eyes when he even sees Dokin! YAHOO!” (TLN: Dokin/Dokin-chan is an anthropomorphized-germ character in the popular children’s show Anpanman)
“Ryu, I wonder what good you see in Ii.”
“I wonder the same! YAHOO! WOW!”
In the end, Kurogame didn’t question the matter any further. I was saved by the fact that she’s a simple-minded person.
However──it was decided that I would go the mountains with them the day after tomorrow.
All thanks to my “stupid Evil Spirit.”