Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v3 Chapter 1 Part 1

An Unexpected Substory

As far as I know, the girl named Aogasaki Rei has “two faces.”

──One face is that of a stoic swordswoman who is the heir to an age-old swordsmanship dojo.

Like one who seeks their own path, she’s a strict, straight-laced warrior girl…and she’s immensely popular, even in Oumei High School. It makes sense that she would receive a lot of love letters from girls. She’s more charming than a boy.

──Her other face is that of a stereotypical fashionista who’s perceptive to what’s trendy.

In truth, she loves clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. Contrary to the old-fashioned character she is on the outside, beneath the surface, she listens to Western music, collects stuffed animals, and practices hot yoga.

However, I’m the only one who knows about her other side.

Not even Ryuuga or the other companion characters, just Kobayashi Ichirou.

To make matters worse, Aogasaki holds a high opinion of my tastes in fashion, and has appointed me as her “exclusive coordinator.” Though that’s all there is to it, recently she’s been approaching me rather openly.

(Come to think of it, she invited me to visit a pool for this summer vacation. Then, I was also invited to the dojo…I’m a bit unsure about how to respond to either of them, though.)

…When thinking about it, she’s been saying some strange things.

It’s obvious that Aogasaki’s being conscious about me. Before that, she was conscious about Ryuuga. Excluding Kurogame, the heroines don’t know about Ryuuga being a woman.

I wonder who the person she’s marrying is like. If there was a person that intimate with her, there should have been enough build-up towards his entrance, though.

(Sorry to say, but Aogasaki is by no means a good lover. Having to work with men outside of battle is probably a high hurdle to tackle.”

She said that I was the first one she walked while linking arms with.

She also said that I was the first boy she ate dinner with.

While I’m at it, she also said that I was the first one she beat half to death after having been peeped on. At that time, Ryuuga was there too, and yet I was the only one who got beaten.

(Now that I think about it, I have a feeling that I’m quite unique to Aogasaki in multiple ways. There’s no possible way that her marriage partner could be me, right…?)

While harboring such anxieties, I made my way to the park before long.

“Ah, Ichirou. I’ve been waiting.”

I was near the entrance. A boy was sitting on a bench just beneath the shade of a tree, waving a hand for me to come forward.

He had a somewhat petite build and slender, well-proportioned limbs. The glistening sunlight filtering through the trees shined upon his sleek, glossy hair. His long hair along his back was tied with a black string.

He looked like an attractive, androgynous boy who could soon debut as an idol…Of course, this person is the protagonist of this story, our Hinomori Ryuuga.

Though he’s just sitting there right now, he indeed is a beauty. There’s even a bird sitting on his right shoulder without any worries. He’s definitely someone who can become a star.

“Hey, Ryuga. You’re already here?”

“I suppose I am. Leaving that aside, how’s your left arm? Does it hurt?”

“It’s fine. A fracture won’t cause any pain.”

“I think it would.”

While we exchanged words, I sat down next to Ryuuga. The bird immediately flew away.

Yukimiya, Elmira, and Kurogame haven’t arrived yet.

In truth, the actual meeting time isn’t 10:00, but 10:30. However, Ryuuga said “I want the two of us to be there first,” so we met up early.

We’re pretending to pseudo-lovers for the sake of “lovers training.”

Ryuuga really wanted to spend just a little more time with her semi-boyfriend.

“Rei…what in the world is going on? To think that you would suddenly get married.”

After some chatting, Ryuuga began to mutter once more. In public locations, her tone of voice is that of her boy version. It’s very welcoming for me.

“That reminds me, I felt that Rei was acting a little odd recently. She’s been quite absorbed in her thoughts, perhaps shouldering something by herself…”

“Well, Aogasaki’s got a lot going on. Surely, there’s some side of her that even we don’t know.”

“Even so, it’s still too early to get married.”

…Is that something you’re in a position to talk about?

You even prepared documents for a marriage registration with me. You even handed me a list of potential destinations for a honeymoon. You even changed my name in your phone’s contacts list to “Hinomori Ichirou.”

Of course, I’m worried about Aogasaki, but I’ve got my own things I’m worried about as well. Before part three begins and if possible, before summer vacation ends, I have to somehow return to being a friend character…

“Oh right, Ichirou.”

Then, Ryuuga turned towards me, as if remembering something.

Today, she was wearing a casual attire, with a T-shirt and chino pants. She’s wearing a light jacket too despite the heat wave, probably to not reveal her sarashi.

(She even has an E-cup…Speaking of which, what kind of undergarments does Ryuga wear? Does she wear ones for boys or ones for girls?)

If she’s wearing trunks, I don’t really think I could get excited by them. I don’t think I would want her to wear them. Even so, that doesn’t change the fact that a beautiful girl would be wearing them. Perhaps it’s just a matter of shape, but I feel that I’m missing something.

(What is…the value of undergarments determined by? Perhaps this is something to ask a philosopher…)

My distress was erased in the blink of an eye once Ryuuga spoke.

“I talked a bit with Hundun yesterday.”


I paid close attention to Ryuuga upon the mention of an “Evil Spirit’s” name.

Hundun──one of four rulers of the apostles, and the one who dwells within Kyouka, Ryuuga’s little sister. He’s the first final boss who Ryuuga and the others had defeated in part one.

However, he has currently lost all of his power, and now Kyouka has control over him. Having a stern middle-aged man follow a sweet middle school girl is just like a manager to an idol. Or perhaps a kidnapper.

“You spoke with Hundun?”

“Yep. It had something to do with Kyouka.”

To think that a meeting between Ryuuga and an “Evil Spirit” would happen before Taotie could get in.

I suppose Kyouka was trying to have Ryuuga be accustomed with “Evil Spirits.” I suppose this can work to help pave the way for conversing with Taotie.

──An “Evil Spirit” won’t die when defeated, and will eventually revive.

In order to stop the pointless fighting, Kyouka wants both sides to speak with each other. If the “Evil Spirits” reconcile with them, then their subordinates, the “Apostles of Hell,” would also have no choice but to ceasefire. A battle, which had been going on since ancient times, would finally come to an end.

“So, how did it go? Were you able to reconcile?”

I leaned forward while asking, but Ryuuga made a frown while folding her arms.

“Hmm…I still can’t trust him entirely. I feel that something’s still wrong.”

“B, but he can’t oppose Kyouka, right? He should be a good person, right?”

“I’m a bit worried about that as well. That guy is excessively sticking to Kyouka.”

I also have such suspicions. However, I’m afraid to know the truth, so I don’t want to touch on the subject, if possible. However,

“Hundun…wouldn’t take a liking to elementary and middle school girls, right?”

She went and said it. Ryuuga bluntly addressed it.

Please stop. That would make for a frightening “Evil Spirit” in its own way. It’s too pitiful for the “Apostles of Hell” if two of the four fiends are a lolicon and an idiot.

“T, that must be a misunderstanding. Hundun is just genuinely touched by Kyouka’s purity…”

“But do you know what he said to me? ‘You’re a second year high schooler? Doesn’t that make you a grandma?’ is what he said! It really shocked me once I became aware of it!”

The meeting had unexpectedly fallen into ruin. Another unforeseen circumstance to add to the list.

“That guy definitely looks at my sister in a strange way! Him choosing Kyouka as a vessel is definitely due to his tastes! I cannot forgive him!”

“Calm down, Ryuga. Your talking has reverted to that of a girl’s.”

“I’m not a grandma! I’m a schoolgirl bursting with youth and energy!”

Not listening to my warning, Ryuuga expressed her frustration. Hey, your setting is more or less that of a high school boy’s…

“I’m confident in my hipline! Even now, I’m wearing brand name short panties!”

Unexpectedly, Ryuuga revealed what undergarments she wore. Since that’s the case, I have a peace of mind. Not really, though.

…After having to deal with her nonstop complaints, it had become 10:30 before I knew it. The companions had joined, just as planned.

Seeing the three walk up, Ryuuga steeled herself and became her boy version. She gave one last complaint, saying “I took great pains to meet you early, Ichirou, and yet it ended with me just complaining…”

Being utterly ignorant of the situation, the girls, wearing plain outfits, all gave their greetings. They’re all of different types, but truthfully, they fit together as beauties…a splendid lineup as usual.

“Thank you for waiting. Hinomori, Kobayashi.”

The “Shrine Maiden of Life” Yukimiya Shiori, an idol-like existence within the school. Her guardian deity is the “White Tiger.”

“Oh, you’re here early. Were you two being lovey-dovey as fellow males?”

The “Blood-kin of Eternal Darkness” Elmira McCartney, a vampire with deep crimson hair. Her guardian deity is the “Vermilion Bird.”

“Ahem. I came here without being late this time!”

The “Star-Wall Guardian” Kurogame Rina, Ryuuga’s childhood friend who practices the Chinese art of self-defense. Her guardian deity is the “Black Tortoise.”

These three, along with Aogasaki and her “Azure Dragon,” make up four people who correspond to the four gods──and with the addition of the “Yellow Dragon,” they are the sacred beasts who protect the world together, being summonable. They are the main characters in this story.

…There really is no room for Aogasaki to get married and settle down.

I eagerly hope that she can continue to play an active role as part of the four gods and not be infatuated with a boy, nor have a spouse.

“The Story of Hinomori Ryuuga’s Supernatural Battles” is a drama happening in real life. Having someone else take her place instead, like in fiction, would not work. The “Swordswoman of the Beheading Dance,” Aogasaki Rei, is necessary.

“Alright then, how about we head off? Rei’s waiting for us at her home.”

With Ryuuga’s voice as the cue, we walked towards the exit of the park.

“All things considered, that surprised me quite a bit. To think that Rei would be getting married…”

“I heard that she was quite popular, but I never would have thought that she would have a boyfriend on the side.”

“I wonder if breasts really do make a woman…What do you think, Shio?”

“Rina. Why are you asking me?”

While the heroines were having such conversations…

“I wanted to have some sweet lovers talk with Ichirou…”

Our protagonist here whispered yet another complaint.

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41 thoughts on “Is it Tough Being a Friend? v3 Chapter 1 Part 1”

  1. Ichouro… You sure have it hard… I kinda feel sorry for this guy.

    Thank you for the update ~

  2. Wow to be honest is kinda extreme to change ichirou surname even thought they not married yet lol

    1. Yeah, but what else is new? Lol. Ryuuga’s lowkey a yandere, I swear. The second she gets a clue about his harem, she’s gonna morph into some Yuno Gasai….no….Ayano Aishi-type figure (good ol’ Yandere-chan), and murder EVERYBODY. Its gonna happen, I just know it. The author’s trying to fool us with this cutesy slice of life shit, and then its all gonna take a turn……………….

      1. Yeah that’s unhealthy obsesion just because only ichirou talk to her first when that first high school day and care about her first rather than the heroine

        1. And the only reason he cared was because his Protagonist Radar went off like gangbusters and he thought that Ryuuga could give him the sidekick role of a lifetime (which led him to make statements to her which sounded like he was her destined prince, so long as you took them out of context of Ichirou’s side character kink)……………

          I honestly feel bad for Ryuuga…………or would, if she wasn’t lowkey as crazy as Ichirou is, with his weird “The world is a story!” bit………..even though Ichirou is technically right…………………………….whatever………….

          1. Yeah when ichirou see ryuuga he thought ‘him” as a super ideal protagonist he found after numerous protagonist material ichirou help and ichirou objective becoming a good supporting role.
            He start it really smooth i think so ryuuga misunderstood that

            But what i don’t expect is how aggresive she really is
            I know that she raised to become a man but to be aggresive like that.

            I start thinking how ryuuga really is when she raised as a female not male from her childhood

            But other way
            How ichirou stated a life as a story in the light novel is kinda disturb me as well
            Maybe from past chapter that we knew ichirou thinking outside what how see life as story
            But don’t forget that see life as a story LN is like basic thinking ichirou has now

  3. Thanks for the chapter.
    His long hair along his back was tired with a black string.(tired=>tied)

  4. Please stop. That would make for a frightening “Evil Spirit” in its own way. It’s too pitiful for the “Apostles of Hell” if two of the four friends are a lolicon and an idiot.


  5. Thanks for the translation!
    Should be concerned about Hundun. After all look how wild Tie is about Ryuuga. Can’t do much other than knocking him out though. As for Ryuuga don’t think she’s yandere just releasing YEARS of repressed feelings and emotions. After all, Ichirou is not only the only person outside her family other than Rina to know the real her but a boy she likes as well. Not even her companions she’s in life or death fights with know. With him she can be a cute girl who likes to dress up and go on dates with.

    1. Hundun is more of a perv than Taotie, since Hundun referred to Ryuuga as a granny, making him come off as a pedo.

    1. I’d agree if he was oblivious or enjoying it but since he’s aware that he doesn’t deserve them and suffering for it then he’s not a riajuu.

          1. He’s not just a sidekick idiot, but the male lead as well. Heck other than the evil spirits he’s the only male cast member since Ryuuga turned out to be the female lead.

  6. Thanks for the chapter, a really fun one, I see so Hundu is a true fiend, the more dangerous type, a LOLICON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Otome v3 isn’t out yet. He said he’d translate it when it came out but wouldn’t drop everything to do so. Most likely will do it after finishing whatever volume for Friend was working on when V3 of Otome comes out. Assuming there aren’t any delays due to IRL complications.

  7. Haha, I see hundun is a man of culture as well. Although he’s kinda extreme. I’m personally more of an omnivore with lolibabas/ancient monster lolis being my absolute favorite. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love big boobs as well. Kinda like with how you wouldn’t eat the same dish all the time, I also frequently enjoy different stuff, from loli to housewife. Anything younger than the loli category or older than the housewife/mature category is too extreme for me. Wrinkly 40+ or 9- just ain’t my cup of tea. At the end of the day, when it comes to doujinshis, the only difference between the more mature and less mature tends to be outward appearance, kinda funny how lolis often have the personality and mental maturity of adults while physically mature women often act like young teenagers. But that’s why it’s enjoyable, wouldn’t be interesting if lolis actually acted like children(perish the thought, gives me shivers just thinking about it, lolis are good exactly because they have a tiny frame with a more adult mind, otherwise it’d just be creepy, too bad that some people are too stupid to understand that 2d lolis and real children aren’t even remotely the same thing) or older people acted their age.

  8. I really hate the fact about him being set in stone with the so called “friend” role…

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