On the desolate riverbed after the sun had set, I stood still, waiting for Ryuuga to arrive.
It was 7:40. There was still a bit until the designated time, but just to make sure, I came early to be on standby. After all, the final boss should be the one waiting in a dignified manner.
…This day had finally come.
I thought many times about sending Ryuuga a “notice of postponing the battle accompanied by an apology,” but I need to get this over with already.
I’m going to fight against Ryuuga. As the vessel of the “Evil Spirit.” As the mastermind. As the co-star.
(What do you think, Tie? Does this black coat suit me?)
(You’re bringing this up again. I suppose you were always a person who focused on the superficial, Boss.)
I replied to Taotie’s comment with “Fine.” I then heard a ringtone coming from my cellphone.
The sender of the message was Kyouka. However, in truth, the one who sent it was actually Mion. Since the subordinates at my home didn’t have a cellphone, they borrowed one from Kyouka just for today.
‘To Ichirou. As planned, we have held back three of Hinomori Ryuuga’s companions. Is it really fine to leave the ‘Black Tortoise’ be?’
Seeing the contents of the message, I nodded my head while saying “Alright.” It’s all going according to the outline.
By delaying the three major heroines, the feeling of suspense within the final battle would increase greatly.
It’s fine to leave Kurogame Rina as is. Since she had missed out last time, I’ll let her be the key character for part two.
‘To Mion. Keep those three company for about forty minutes before withdrawing. I’ll leave the rest in your hands.’
After quickly replying as such, I soon got another message. As expected of a schoolgirl-like apostle, she had already mastered the cellphone.
‘Roger that. There’s one more thing. I will continue serving Taotie after this and not Hundun. After all, Taotie’s vessel is you, Ichirou.’
She added an animated heart icon at the end of it. She has definitely mastered it.
I had a feeling that I raised some unnecessary flags once more, but…unfortunately, I don’t have the qualifications to receive any affection from the three princesses.
After all, this final battle is rigged so that we would lose.
In the ended, I didn’t tell the three princesses about what’s going on behind the scenes. I felt strong feelings of guilt when I heard them saying “Wouldn’t it be nice to keep living like this?”
(I should at least support them until the next ‘Evil Spirit’ revives.)
It’s the least I can do to make up for them. I’m just operating based on my feelings.
(Well, they’ve only been talking about this final battle as if we would win.)
──Then something happened as I was thinking as such. I could see a very dim light ahead and noticed the figures of two people rushing over.
I could spot the faint silhouette of a uniform and of an outfit used for Chinese self-defense. Needless to say, they belonged to Ryuuga and Kurogame.
(They’ve come earlier than the designated eight o’clock. It seems that it was the right decision to be here on standby.)
The two stopped at about a five meter distance away from me.
Kurogame stared at me with motivation. In contrast, Ryuuga had an expression of bitterness.
After Ryuuga said my name, as if clinging onto a ray of hope, I made an evil grin and replied to her. This time, I used Angelina Jolie as a reference for being a villain.
“Hmph. Just you two? It seems the other gods are preoccupied with my subordinates. All according to plan. Mwahaha…wahaha──”
I let out the loud laughter that I had become accustomed to after some practicing.
Before I knew it, Kurogame was in front of me. She had rushed forward without a care in the world.
“Hey ‘Evil Spirit!’ Return Ii!”
With an angry voice, Kurogame raised a fist.
I guarded against the blow just in the nick of time. I caught the blow with my left arm, but it made an unpleasant sound.
“No way! Blocking my single-handed blow…!”
“Hmph. Does the power of the ‘Star-Wall Guardian’ amount to only this much? Perhaps…humans really are weak after all.”
I replied to the shocked Kurogame while sneering once more. That really made my heart race.
(Y, you idiot! Don’t attack without letting some dialogue happen! I mean, my arm hurts a lot! Don’t just suddenly deal major damage to the final boss!)
While holding back tears, I seized Kurogame’s wrist and flung her using all of my strength.
While going “Woah!” in surprise, she twisted around in the air like a cat and landed beside Ryuuga. I already knew that her skills in martial arts were dreadful.
“Rina, you can’t recklessly attack! Even if just temporarily, our opponent is the ‘Evil Spirit!'”
“Uh-huh, sorry Ryu…”
Right on, Ryuuga. Scold her some more. Tell her about the beauty that is pre-battle dialogue.
Pulling myself together, I once again addressed the two. I’ll move things forward before the tortoise strikes me again.
“Hmph. No need to be hasty, ‘Black Tortoise.’ First, let me introduce a guest. An interesting guest, appropriate for this battle.”
Ryuuga and Kurogame knitted their brows in suspicion.
…Now then. As per the cliche, I’ll have the protagonist’s side find themselves in a pinch. Showing off a cataclysmic surprise, I’ll have them get a taste of a dilemma never before seen.
I suddenly raised a hand and snapped my fingers. That was the cue.
From my side, a girl who had been hiding in the grass then stood up.
Seeing her figure, Ryuuga and Kurogame were speechless, as expected. It would be natural for them to be shocked.
After all, the girl was someone close to both Ryuuga and Kurogame.
While the two were stunned, the twintailed girl quietly turned towards them.
She wore black sunglasses. Since she wasn’t used to acting, I lent them to her so that she could hide her facial expression.
“Kyo, Kyouka…why are you here…?”
“──I’m not Kyouka.”
Kyouka arrogantly responded to Ryuuga, who couldn’t comprehend the situation. Perhaps nervous, her voice had shrilled a bit.
“I am the vessel of the ‘Evil Spirit’──Hundun’s host.”