The state of the situation shifted once more as Ryuuga entered the scene.
After several twists and turns unfolding, now that the leaders of both sides have appeared, the balance had evened out again.
The protagonist and final boss, each accompanied by three companions, stared each other down…creating an oppressive feeling of tension.
“Oh, so you’re the current vessel of the ‘Yellow Dragon?’ Pleased to meet you.”
“One of the four fiends, Taotie…To think that the next ‘Evil Spirit’ would resurrect so soon.”
Fiercely staring at one another, Ryuuga and Taotie exchanged greetings while being openly hostile.
This was a critical situation. The story development I planned for part two had been rejected, and now we’ve jumped straight to the final battle.
(I wanted to revise the plan once more, though…)
Or rather, when I was making the initial plans, I didn’t think that things would progress this speedily.
Well, I suppose it’s better off having part two end quickly. Even so, isn’t this too rushed? Would people be able to absorb all of this progression in one episode?
(Now that it has come to this, doesn’t it almost seem like we’re facing cancellation? There are still two ‘Evil Spirits!’)
While I was in confusion, both parties on the rooftop were still glaring at each other.
Suddenly, I could hear the distant noises of people from below. I suppose that would be natural considering all the racket we made.
“Hey, Hinomori Ryuuga. What happened to the ‘Black Tortoise?’ I’d like to crush you all at once, so bring her over here.”
“Rina isn’t in a state to fight right now.”
“Huh? Why is that?”
“She’s staying in bed over an upset stomach. She ate too much ice cream.”
“Tsk…I suppose it can’t be helped then. She’s resting.”
The heroines and three princesses seemed like they wanted to say something, but they kept silent.
I could understand their feelings quite well. Though, turning a blind eye to it was the proper choice in my opinion. Now wasn’t the time for retorts.
…All things considered, as a final boss, Taotie isn’t acting like his usual self. He’s completely dedicated to being an “Evil Spirit” in front of Ryuuga, the one he likes. Perhaps he’s even infatuated with her…
(No wait, perhaps Ryuga’s also putting up a front as well.)
Ryuuga’s playfulness from her girl mode is nowhere to be found. She’s quite different from her usual aloof boy mode as well.
Both the “protagonist” and the “final boss” were acting.
In truth, Ryuuga’s a girl who’s captivated by the idea of love, and Taotie’s a guy in love with her. However, those two were hiding away their true faces. They were earnestly carrying out the duty they have been given.
Even Jyuri tried to sacrifice herself through the role of an “enemy character.” Mion and Kiki were the same.
Yukimiya, Aogasaki, and Elmira worked faithfully as “companion characters.”
Everyone here faced each other with the positions they had. They were putting their lives on the line. What about the tortoise? I have no idea who you’re referring to.
(I wonder…if I should hide.)
Each person has their role. I knew that more than anyone else.
Wasn’t I the one who wanted part two to swiftly conclude? Do I really plan on concealing my position as a vessel, following after Taotie’s concerns? Am I willing to abandon that role?
Perhaps I’m a pro at being a co-star before a pro at being a friend?!
(I can’t let Tie’s spirit go to waste. Prepare yourself, Kobayashi Ichirou!)
As I encouraged myself, my legs were already moving forward.
Moving up the stairs, I headed straight towards the battlefield.
Everyone noticed my sudden appearance. While receiving looks of astonishment and bewilderment, I stood beside Taotie.
I stiffened my face as much as it could. The glint in my eyes were as sharp as a falcon’s. I brazenly stuffed my hands into my pockets.
After a moment of silence, Ryuuga muttered as such.
Not able to digest the situation, her reaction was weak. The heroines in the back were the same.
Seeing them like that, I ostentatiously raised the corner of my mouth. I spoke without any inflection and with a low voice, like that of Sebastian’s.
“Ichirou? Wrong. I am the vessel of the ‘Evil Spirit’──Taotie’s host.”
Finally, a clear agitation had spread amongst Ryuuga and the others. Everyone’s face turned pale at once.
“I, Ichirou, what are you saying…”
“I am now humanity’s enemy. My wish…is to destroy the world together with Taotie. Not even fragments remain of the one you once called Kobayashi Ichirou.”
“S, such a thing…!”
“Correction. There are some fragments left.”
That was close. I was about to seal away my chances of returning to their side. Since all of what I said was done on the spot, I wasn’t able to pay attention to what came out of my mouth.
“Ichirou’s the vessel of the ‘Evil Spirit’…I never thought that his recent troubles had amounted to this…”
Ryuuga’s lips trembled as she squeezed out a parched voice. The heroines continued the conversation.
“Well, I did feel something strange about Kobayashi on a few occasions…”
“So this is why Mion hadn’t attacked Kobayashi…”
“That must be why Kobayashi Ichirou had an awfully superhuman agility…”
Once they soon comprehended the situation, I looked at them through a smile filled with insanity. I used Jack Nicholson’s villains as a reference.
“Indeed! It’s all because the ‘Evil Spirit’ had dwelled within me! He granted me strength, and little by little, he took over my mind! Mwahaha….mwahahahahah!”
I finished it with a loud fit of laughter. I continued laughing until my lungs reached their limit. I almost had to cough by the end, but I somehow held it back at the last moment.
(Tie, step back.)
I secretly communicated with Taotie while beside him.
I soon received a reply. Despite having a haughty attitude on the outside, the voice I heard coming from Taotie was one of considerable shock.
(Boss, why did you appear all of a sudden…? You would’ve been just a bystander if you kept quiet…)
(It was selfish of me to tell you to play the role of the villain by yourself. The ‘Evil Spirit’ and vessel are one in body and soul…so with that being the case, I’ll be with you until the very end.)
Though I decided to carry out the role of the final boss, there’s one more modification to the script I’d like to make.
I’d like to prepare a suitable stage for the final battle.
Perhaps I could strike up a conversation gloomier than the one in part one. I’ll definitely liven things up towards the climax. Mobilizing the main characters of both sides, I’ll make a final battle that’ll have people’s palms turn sweaty!
“Hinomori Ryuuga. This goes for you too, Yukimiya Shiori, Aogasaki Rei, Elmira McCartney. While we’re at it, tell this to Kurogame Rina as well.”
I once again declared myself to Ryuuga and the others, who still haven’t recovered from their shock.
“I’ll be waiting on the riverbank at eight pm, three days from now. Until then, I’ll leave you to your lives.”
While saying that, I quickly turned around. At any rate, I decided to withdraw for today.
People will probably come to rooftop at any moment now. It’ll be troublesome if they spot us.
“There won’t be any nuisances over there. Once we’re at the place where you ruined my sworn friend Hundun, this time I’ll be the ones to crush you all.”
(He’s anything but a sworn friend, though.)
Once I started walking, Taotie followed me while saying those few words. The three princesses complied as well.
Fortunately, Ryuuga didn’t chase after us. While my back was turned towards her, she made a heartbreaking shriek.
I didn’t respond, though it pained me to do so. I hardened my heart and ignored it.
After all, I’m an enemy right now.
Not a friend, nor a semi-boyfriend──but the final boss.