Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v4 Prologue

Prologue

Part three of the “Story of Supernatural Battles,” starring Hinomori Ryuuga, is approaching.

An army of peculiarities, the “Apostles of Hell” that threaten the human world, total to six thousand. Only two of the four fiends who control them remain.

In part one, the “Evil Spirit” Hundun was resurrected by using Ryuuga’s younger sister, Hinomori Kyouka, as a vessel.

In part two, the “Evil Spirit” Taotie was resurrected by using Ryuuga’s close friend, Kobayashi Ichirou, as a vessel.

After slaying them through fierce battles, Ryuuga’s team will face their next opponent, the “Evil Spirit” Qiongqi. Who exactly the vessel is still remains unknown, and the identity of such a person remains hidden behind a veil.

Though summer vacation had ended, Hinomori Ryuuga’s battle hasn’t. Through the power of a guardian deity, the “Yellow Dragon,” humanity continues being kept safe on a day-to-day basis.

Hang in there, Ryuuga. You can’t lose, Ryuuga. Not until the day peace comes to this world.

While flirting around with companions who happen to be beautiful girls, a heated battle unfolds. To tell the truth, the person in question is a beautiful girl herself though. That fact has already been revealed to half of her companions.

I, Kobayashi Ichirou, serve to support such a person as a friend character.

I make an effort to add humor to the story, mainly during the daily life portion of it. I’m the “Evil Spirit” Taotie’s host though. I’m also Ryuuga’s “semi-boyfriend.” Along with that, I’m also living with the big wigs of the enemy side.

Hang in there, me. You can’t lose, me. Not until the day you go back to being a carefree pervert.

…Those are just some words of encouragement for Ryuuga and myself.

The beginnings of part three have brought the rise of one problem.

It has to do with one of the main characters, the “Blood-kin of Eternal Darkness” Elmira McCartney.

She’s a heroine who’s Ryuuga’s companion, and also holds a guardian deity belonging to one of the four gods. She has the “Vermilion Bird.” She’s a scarlet-haired vampire who acts as a mysterious, devilish character.

And at this very moment, she has disappeared. She left behind a message saying that she will be “allying with the apostles due to certain circumstances.”

 

Elmira’s sudden disappearance was naturally a big shock to Ryuuga and the others.

We immediately rushed towards her apartment, but it was already vacant. It seems that she also turned off her cell phone, leaving us with no means to contact her.

Ryuuga and the crew kept searching for her on a nearly daily basis, but even after a week, we still had no clue about Elmira’s whereabouts. Furthermore, the second semester of school had unfortunately begun, meaning that we couldn’t do much during the daytime.

(Elmira, what happened…? What’s going on with the apostles?)

Of course, I’m just as concerned as Ryuuga and the others are. I’m very worried.

Indeed, a “betrayal” or having someone “succumb to the darkness” would make for a dramatic episode. If that’s the case, then Elmira, the nonhuman, would indeed fit the bill.

However, there’s normally a method to these kinds of things.

If a main character were to switch to the enemy side, that should only be temporary. In the end, they must come back. It would also be troubling if they commit a crime too heinous.

(This will probably have a big effect on Elmira’s popularity. So now the issue is…those ‘circumstances’ she spoke of.)

I sincerely hope that this double-crossing is against her will. Or perhaps she’s acting as a spy or was just brainwashed. If possible, I’d also like her to come back by the end of the month.

As long as one of the four gods are missing, the team’s ultimate technique is rendered unusable.

Hinomori Ryuuga holds the “Yellow Dragon,” Yukimiya Shiori the “White Tiger,” Aogasaki Rei the “Azure Dragon,” Kurogame Rina the “Black Tortoise,” and lastly, Elmira McCartney has the “Vermilion Bird.”

When the five unite, they release the “Everyone’s Kaboom (I really hope that name gets changed)”.

(At any rate, I wonder if she’ll make an appearance soon…and if possible, looking the part of an enemy character, complete with a risque costume…)

As I was thinking of such things, homeroom had ended before I knew it, and school was over.

As my classmates each left the room, I stuffed my notebook and notes into my bag with a gloomy expression.

…Perhaps Ryuuga and the others will head to town in order to “search for Elmira” or “patrol” once again. I’ve also been trying to participate whenever I can, but unfortunately, I can’t offer help on a daily basis.

(*sigh*…do I have supplementary lessons today?)

That’s right. I pretty much neglected my homework for summer vacation, so I’m stuck with a total of seven supplementary lessons. In addition, I’ve also got twenty six additional handouts of homework.

Those handouts are due in five days. I asked for help from the “Three Princesses of Hell” I’ve been living with, Mion, Jyuri, and Kiki, but they refused.

“I thought I told you, do your homework gradually each day. I don’t know myself.”

“Ichirou. I, Jyuri, am more or a less the school nurse of Oumei High School. I shouldn’t really be lending a hand…”

“I’m busy watching a recording of ‘Spectacle Man.'”

…Abandoned by the cold-hearted apostles, my second semester’s off to a rocky start.

(It’s not like I could do anything. I was caught up in a major incident this summer! I had to play the role of the final boss in part two and then got immediately involved in a sub-story!)

I made such excuses inside my mind.

“──一Ichirou. Do you also have supplementary lessons today?”

A student approached me and stood beside my seat.

He was a handsome guy who was petite and thin for a second year schoolboy, having an androgynous look. He was a beautiful yet reserved classmate who wore a school-designed vest over his summer uniform.

Of course, that person was Hinomori Ryuuga.

The protagonist of this tale, the “Successor of the Dragon King,” is actually a girl disguised as a guy, likes cosplay, and is my best friend…Right now, we’re in a pseudo-lover relationship though.

“Yeah, I have supplementary lessons. That makes it the fourth time…I’m half way there.”

“That reminds me, the same thing happened to you last year. It seems that in two ways, you can’t study, Ichirou.”

After giving that painfully true comment, Ryuuga’s expression immediately darkened. It didn’t take much thought to realize that it had to do with the vampire girl.

“Elle, where are you right now…?”

“It’s really worrying. Even more so when all she left behind was a note saying that she’s ‘allying with the apostles.'”

“Since this is about Elle, there must be some profound circumstance behind this. Why didn’t she consult us about it…? I suppose I have no right to say that though.”

Ryuuga is still hiding the fact that she’s a girl to both Elmira and Yukimiya.

Her childhood friend Kurogame knew it from the beginning while Aogasaki and I found out accidentally, so not much can be done about that. I suppose there’s some opposition to her disclosing the rule that “the successor of the ‘Yellow Dragon’ must be raised as a boy.”

“Anyways, I’m going to try searching for her on my own time. Ryuuga, don’t be too hard on yourself, okay? You don’t look so good.”

“Yeah…there’s the matter of Elle, but Kyouka’s condition has worsened recently as well…she’s had to stay at home since yesterday.”

“Kyouka?”

It seems that her sister’s and Elmira’s state have both dealt a double whammy to her.

I suppose I should support Ryuuga to the best of my ability. That’s my duty as a friend character…I’m a pseudo-lover right now though.

“I think Kyouka will be okay since Hundun is taking care of her, but…leaving her in his care makes me worried in a different sense.”

It’s suspicious that the “Evil Spirit” Hundun chose Kyouka as a vessel. To put it bluntly, there’s the sneaking suspicion that he’s a lolicon.

After some discussion, Ryuuga seems to trust Hundun to a certain extent, but…she’s still on alert. She’s probably worried about getting a triple whammy.

“You should come and visit Kyouka at some point. I’m sure she’ll feel a bit better after seeing you. While we’re at it, you can also stay for dinner.”

“Ah, I see.”

“If you’d like, I can show you how to make something. I can come to your house. Perhaps even today.”

“N, no thanks! There’s no need! Your sentiments are enough!”

I still haven’t told Ryuuga that the three princesses are living in my house.

Honestly speaking, I still haven’t figured out when would be a good time to reveal that fact. It’s clear that it would displease the main characters.

Rather than fussing about me “living with three of the enemy’s leaders,” perhaps they would see me “living with three girls” as a problem.

In particular, Aogasaki, who has a rivalry with Mion, might raid my home while carrying a wooden sword. I’ll have to tell them someday, but…now’s not the time.

“But Ichirou, you almost never cook for yourself, do you? You can’t just eat boxed lunches from the convenience store.”

“The Kobayashi house has some difficulties right now. It’s not in any condition to take in guests.”

“Is this about Taotie? Indeed, he might attack me again….and since he has the same appearance as you, I unintentionally lower my guard around him, don’t I?”

“Hey, we’re in the classroom.”

While warning Ryuuga about her pronouns, I quickly left my seat. I then dashed towards the door in order to escape, looking back while raising one hand. (TLN: Ryuuga accidentally switched from using the ‘ore’ pronoun to the more feminine ‘watashi’ pronoun that she normally only uses with people who know her true identity)

“Well, I’m heading off to supplementary lessons! I’ll patrol around while coming back home, so finish your search for Elmira a little earlier than usual and take care of Kyouka!”

…Just like I had said, I walked around the town and then returned home that day.

As expected, I couldn’t find Elmira.


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