Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v4 Chapter 1 Part 3

I focused my willpower and determination into continuing my battle with the handouts, and finally managed to make it to the last four. My energy had reached its limit.

(I can’t go on…I’m not even aware of what subject I was doing…)

Looking at the time, it was already one o’clock.

The three princesses are likely asleep by now. Mion came at around eleven o’clock to hand me a late-night rice ball snack, but I didn’t hear any noises after that.

(I need to take a breather. Perhaps I’ll go to the convenience store and buy some ice cream…)

If I get a frozen treat, I feel that I can keep going on for another hour…actually, another twenty minutes. That being said, I’m worried that if I leave my desk, I’ll be taken out of my study mode.

Should I go, or should I stay…? After pondering for some time, I ultimately decided to head to the convenience store. It was a fortunate time for Taotie to wake up.

“Oh, Boss. You’re not asleep yet?”

With a prolonged yawn, the careless, nocturnal “Taotie” asked me that question.

As usual, we had the exact same appearance, but he had a pair of sheep-like horns growing from his temples. I think that he also looks a bit stupider than me. Ryuuga and the three princesses have said “No, don’t you two look the same?” to me though.

“Hey Tie, you woke up at the perfect moment. I’m heading to the convenience store for a bit, so do this handout for me.”

I immediately grabbed Taotie’s shoulders and had him take my place on the desk seat.

I’m not expecting much from him. It would be great if he got even one sheet done.

“Um…could this possibly be the usual supplemental homework?”

“Yeah. Even with your tiny brain, nothing’s impossible for you. After all, you’re an ‘Evil Spirit” for some reason.”

“W, wait! I’m not proud of this, but even a fifth grade math problem is all gibberish to a guy like me!”

“You’ll be fine! You’re doing Japanese history. Didn’t you tell me that you were together with Oda Nobunaga before?!”

“I’ve forgotten what I did with Nobu! I only remember something about athlete’s foot! Besides, I was going to play my game…I need to save a village under the threat of a dark dragon…”

“Save your host from his crisis first! I’ll buy you some cup ramen! I’ll even add some potato chips to that!”

“Tohoho….I suppose I have no choice, well…make it quick, okay?”

With that, I was able to successfully leave my home.

While enjoying the sense of freedom, I walked along a nightly road. Because of the time, I didn’t pass by any other pedestrians at all.

(Should I head to a convenience store a little farther away? If I come back home immediately, Tie probably won’t have even a single question done. In that case, perhaps I should.)

While wishing Taotie good luck, I turned a corner until──

I felt something faint across my entire body. I knew what that feeling was.

(Are these…ill wills?)

There’s no doubt about it. Although it isn’t as strong as the three princesses, there are several ill wills ahead. In other words──the “Apostles of Hell” are nearby.

(There’s a cemetery ahead, I believe. Come to think of it, there was an apostle there before.)

There was definitely a buffalo-type apostle named Goburu. He was apparently Jyuri’s subordinate, but he was sadly done in by Kurogame. Furthermore, it only took a minute.

(What to do…? If possible, I’d like to avoid making contact with the apostles while alone…)

However, I’d feel bad forcing Ryuuga and the others to come here in the middle of the night. I believe staying up late can be bad for the skin.

It seems that I’ll have to do something. Judging from the ill wills, they seem like soldier class apostles. It should be alright to stealthily knock them down and never bring it up again. It probably won’t have an effect on the main story.

(Perhaps they’ll be subordinates of the ‘Evil Spirit’ Qiongqi. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get information on Qiongqi, or maybe even Elmira.)

I thought about calling Taotie over just in case, but I decided not to. He’s currently on a mission more important than the apostles, the handouts. I’d like to give priority on that.

“Good grief…I planned on taking a breather, but trouble keeps coming my way.”

Realizing that my complaint made me sound like a protagonist, I withdrew my statement in a hurry.

“T, this isn’t good, my legs are trembling, but…when Ryuga’s not available…I must do what I can. I will be helpful.”

Saying a line that would come from a friend character, thus correcting myself, I headed towards the graveyard.

 

While hiding my presence, I slowly proceeded through a narrow path lined up with tombstones.

Before long, I found an apostle. Or more accurately, the body of an apostle.

Its body was laying on the ground, half of it already vanishing. It was in a state that made it unclear what kind of peculiarity it was.

(It’s been brought down…? Now that I think about it, the number of ill wills has diminished…)

In the beginning, I felt five or six ill wills, but now there are only one or two of them. Given the situation, rather than it being the apostles leaving…it’s more likely that someone’s exterminating them.

(Perhaps it’s Kurogame again? I’m grateful that she’s taking care of them in my place, but would someone who maintains their health be awake right now?)

As I rushed ahead, the remains of three bodies were scattered around.

I don’t know who did this, but it seems that they’re considerably powerful…and as I was thinking about such things…

A giant flame suddenly arose in the darkness head.

Next, an apostle screamed “Gyaaaaah!” as it died.

(Fire? That supernatural ability…could it be…?!)

I immediately broke into a sprint, rushing towards the scene. As I turned around a corner, I arrived at a somewhat large intersection.

──There stood a scarlet-haired girl.

The high school student, who wore her uniform loosely, had her back to me. Tiny will-o’-the-wisps surrounded her.

Of course, she wasn’t a ghost. She was a girl I very much recognized. I had been searching for her during these past few days.

Sure enough…it was the troublemaker vampire who had vanished.

“E, Elmira?”

She suddenly turned around when I let out my voice. Near her feet was a jellyfish-type apostle that was melting and evaporating.

“Oh, Kobayashi Ichirou. What are you doing here?”

The will-o’-the-wisps disappeared, and Elmira asked that question in her usual demeanor. I should be the one asking that question. If you’re siding with the apostles, you shouldn’t be killing your companions.

“Elmira! Where have you been this whole time?! Ryuga and the others are worried!”

“There’s a weekly apartment near here. The apostles had gotten wind of my home.”

Elmira lightly shrugged her shoulders while her wavy hair rustled in the night wind.

“Is having the apostles find out…a bad thing? Wouldn’t it be fine to let them stay there?”

“Why should the ‘Apostles of Hell’ lodge with me?”

“I mean, they’re your companions and all…”

“Huh? They’re the subordinates of the ‘Evil Spirit’ Qiongqi, right? Do you have any idea how many times they’ve been attacking me?”

I have no clue what’s going on. In short, she was on the run from apostles? Then, what did she mean in that message where she said that she was ‘siding with the apostles’?”

I was confused, unable to figure out the situation.

Suddenly, there was a vigorous cry that interrupted the silence of the cemetery. Surprisingly, it was the cry of a baby.

“What?”

Furthermore, the cry was coming from Elmira’s direction for some reason.

“Hmm?”

As I strained my eyes, relying on the moonlight…I saw a baby near the vampire girl’s chest. The baby was fastened onto a baby sling, as if hanging from a hammock.

“……”

While I was dumbfounded, Elmira began to comfort the child.

“Oh~, there there. Don’t cry, Shizuma.”

“……”

“It’s alright now. That was scary, wasn’t it? Mama finished off the bad guys.”

“……”

i-0039_01

In a cemetery during the middle of the night, a vampire was tenderly cradling a baby.

Please, someone. I want an explanation. I need an episode summary.

“It seems your diapers aren’t soiled…I wonder if I shouldn’t carry you while running or fighting.”

While trying to sort out my thoughts, I came to one conclusion.

I don’t want to acknowledge it, but I need to comprehend the situation. Elmira McCartney became a mother. Her disappearance was a case of maternity leave.

“…Elmira, I’d like you to tell me something.”

“What is it?”

“Umm, who’s the father? This might be rude of me to say, but I need to send him flying.”

I’ve got some urgent business now. A ruffian who’s selfishly made children with a main character needs his retribution. I ought to catch him and castrate him.

(D, don’t kid around with me…! The demand for parent heroines is limited! I’ll tear out that chump’s privates! I’ll turn him into mother!)

My killing intent, however, quickly declined as the baby’s cries intensified. Seeing those tiny, flailing limbs calmed down my boiling rage.

…Right, this child isn’t guilty. There’s no point in lamenting over the birth. Since this child’s been born, they should have the chance to grow up, even if they end up becoming a mischievous person.

“Elmira. You should give the baby some breast milk…”

As soon as I made that suggestion, Elmira immediately turned red and snapped at me.

“I, I can’t do that! Stop your harassment!”

“But breastfeeding seems to help relieve a baby’s stress. Not only babies, but males will also find stress relief in sucking on breasts…”

“That’s not breastfeeding!”

“But it resembles breastfeeding! Besides, you probably have had them sucked on multiple times already!”

“By who?!”

“By that child’s father! That is to say, your husband!”

“It seems that you’re misunderstanding something. Shizuma isn’t my child, you know?”

“Huh? But you disappeared to give birth to…”

“You think that someone can get pregnant and give birth in such a short time──”

Unexpectedly, something occurred right when Elmira was denying that she was a mother.

In a spot a few meters away from us, the tree branches shook. At the same time, a black shadow leapt out, gliding in the air towards Elmira.

“Elmira McCartney! Hand over the baby!”

The true form of the swiftly approaching figure was a flying squirrel apostle. There was still one left? Did it cancel its ill will and hide in the trees, waiting for Elmira to drop her guard?

(Hand over the baby, it said? Could it be aiming for Shizuma?)

Though I was confused, I pulled out a nearby grave tablet and threw it at the assailant.

Managing to get a direct hit, the flying squirrel apostle went “Gah!” and fell down.

Thereupon, Elmira immediately conjured a storm of fire in her right hand. As she lifted her arm up, she spoke to the apostle.

“I refuse. Shizuma is a ‘Bloodkin of Eternal Darkness’ before being an apostle.”

Her words only furthered my confusion. I even forget to reprimand myself for intercepting the apostle by reflex, an act unbefitting of a friend character.

(Shizuma is an apostle? Furthermore, a ‘Blood-kin of Eternal Darkness’?)

While I was left befuddled, Elmira swung her right arm downwards.

“Burn with wild abandon! Flamework Waltz!”

Flames burst out, immediately coiling around the flying squirrel apostle’s body. In the blink of an eye, the flames heightened, engulfing the peculiarity in a bright red flower of fire.

“Gyaaaaah! ‘Evil Spirit’ Qiongqiiii!”

In its final moments, it shouted the name of its boss in a typical, cliche manner. Before long, the flying squirrel apostle disappeared.

As usual, her supernatural ability is terrifying. In terms of offense, it doesn’t reach the level of Aogasaki, but to compensate, Elmira holds a wider range and a multitude of attacks. Furthermore, she has physical abilities that exceed those of a human, a characteristic of vampires.

A flexible fighter who can take the vanguard or rear guard…that’s the kind of person Elmira McCartney is.

“*huff*…With this, it seems that today’s attack is over.”

Taking one large breath, Elmira turned towards me again. Before I knew it, Shizuma had stopped crying and fell asleep near her chest. What a bold baby.

“Kobayashi Ichirou, it must be luck that we came across each other. I was just about to get in touch with you.”

When I responded with “Huh?”, Elmira started to stagger left and right.

“I need…a resupply of blood…soon…”

As soon as she said that, she feebly crumbled down on the spot.

I rushed over in a panic and helped the vampire girl sit up. Looking closely at her, she had a beautiful face, similar to that of a doll’s. She had a mole under her right eye, adding to her beauty.

(She looks more exhausted than usual…I’m going to bet that she’ll absorb a lot.)

In order for Elmira to make use of her flames, she needs “human blood” as an energy source. That’s the all-purpose Elmira McCartney’s biggest weakness.

However, due to a promise with Ryuuga, it’s forbidden for her to suck other people’s blood. The only one she can absorb blood from is Ryuuga. The fact that I’m her “exclusive donor” is a secret to everybody.

“Kobayashi Ichirou…let’s head to my apartment for now…I’ll tell you the details there…”

“Alright, I understand.”

“Sorry, but…could you carry Shizuma…? I can’t carry too much right now…”

“Alright.”

The last time I gave her blood was nearly two weeks ago. If she had been engaging in many battles since then, she’s probably out of energy at this point.

Removing the baby sling from Elmira, I quickly fastened it onto myself. Fortunately, Shizuma didn’t wake up.

“Okay Elmira, let’s go.”

“By the way, can you give me a piggyback as well…?”

“……”

“I can’t stand up.”

Thus, I left the cemetery while forced to carry the mystery baby on my chest and the vampire on my back. I put the grave tablet I threw back in its proper place, so I hope I don’t get haunted.

(Geez…why do I keep getting tossed into trouble…?)

I once again complained in a protagonist-like manner, but it’s fine this time since I kept it contained in my thoughts.


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11 thoughts on “Is it Tough Being a Friend? v4 Chapter 1 Part 3”

  1. The normal friend character tosses a gravestone, that was presumably anchored in the cold hard packed dirt, then proceeds to carry a full sized person and a baby simultaneously with no issue.

    All normal friend character feats.

  2. Guess I forgot to comment this, but I felt as tho some part of Ichirou wishes to be like that grave tablet being useful to a protagonist even after death.

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