By the time Elmira finished speaking, I had recovered enough energy to get up from my seat.
At any rate, I understand the truth behind her message about “allying with the apostles due to certain circumstances”.
It seems that she couldn’t abandon a baby, even if that baby was an apostle. It looks like Shizuma is only around three months old. Neither of the parents are there to take care of the child.
(If Qiongqi were to get his hands on Shizuma, he would definitely raise the child as a brutal apostle. Reida probably wouldn’t want Shizuma to become a delinquent.)
I recall something said by Balon, one of “Hell’s Top Eight” and the one who Aogasaki defeated.
The apostle general, who worked under Qiongqi, had proudly made a certain claim. “Apostles can have children…that’s not a lie. I already know an example of it,” is what he said.
Now that I think about it, he was probably referring to Reida.
That’s why Balon wanted to do the same for himself. Then of all people, he chose Aogasaki as a partner. He formed a scheme to disguise himself as Yamanashi Asao and tried to get into bed with her.
(I understand Elmira’s circumstances up to this point.)
However, there’s now another concern of mine.
In order to check it, I asked Elmira a question.
“Elmira. If that’s the case, then couldn’t you have consulted with everyone about this?”
“Since the apostle’s a child, Ryuga and the others wouldn’t do anything heartless, right? You should already know that, Elmira.”
Ryuuga is currently in the process of negotiating and reconciling with Hundun and Taotie.
Aogasaki and Mion’s relationship is also shifting away from the violent one it once was.
Jyuri is earnestly working as a school nurse and is being adored by the students. I have some doubts about this one though.
…The path towards humans and the “Apostles of Hell” coexisting is steadily opening up. I don’t think there’s much of a problem revealing Shizuma’s existence anymore.
“…I can’t do that.”
However, Elmira shook her head and looked downwards.
“This is not an issue of humans and apostles, but an issue of us ‘Blood-kins of Eternal Darkness.'”
“Shizuma is a vampire first, and an apostle second. That is to say, Shizuma is one of my kin.”
While saying that, Elmira began to slowly fan Shizuma. The air conditioner probably isn’t on since the baby can’t get too cold.
“As the head of the McCartney household, and as the one who attended to Reida, I am obligated to protect Shizuma. Furthermore, it is my duty to educate this child and prevent any tensions with humans.”
“I cannot trouble Ryuuga and the others with the quarrels of my family. As the family head, it is my sole duty to handle this problem.”
“Wait a minute, Elmira. As long as the child is an apostle, this is not just an issue concerning the McCartney family…Qiongqi’s faction is also aiming for Shizuma.”
“Please understand, Kobayashi Ichirou. A mother’s heart is a complex thing.”
“No, you’re not a mother. You’re going to face assaults like the one today, right? The apostles will eventually figure out that you’ve been hiding here, right? If Ryuga and the others won’t do, then at least cooperate with the three princesses so that──”
I tried to persuade the vampire girl, but she stubbornly refused.
“Indeed, the three princesses might be different from other apostles. However, I still don’t trust them completely. If they find out about Shizuma, they might just see the child as war potential.”
“No they won’t! Mion has the super-mother attribute!”
“How do you know that?”
“Well, um…oh right! During the battle against Getsushiyoukan, Jyuri and Kiki helped out, didn’t they? They fought against the mass of apostles, right?”
“That’s exactly my point! I don’t want this child to get dragged into fights with the apostles! A peaceful, healthy life is all that’s needed! That is my wish as a mother!”
“Like I said, you’re not a mother!”
“I am not the biological parent, but I am the foster parent!”
This isn’t good. I already had a hunch about it, but…it seems she has grown quite attached to Shizuma. To think that this is what happened to Elmira while we couldn’t find her for half a month.
“I know that I’m acting unreasonable. However…please give me some time. Keep Shizuma a secret between us.”
“Getting attacked is no easy matter. It’s good that I have you to rely on now, Kobayashi Ichirou.”
──Afterwards, I promised to meet again with her after school tomorrow and returned home.
Along the way, I stopped by a convenience store to buy some cup ramen, potato chips, and ice cream. Since I was returning later than I planned, I also got some green tea pudding for the “Evil Spirit”.
(Some strange things have unfolded ever since part three started. Furthermore, I got involved with the story once again…)
Since Elmira’s keeping my lips sealed, I can’t tell Ryuuga and the others about this. If I want to tell them, I need to convince Elmira first.
(I’ve played the role of many friend characters thus far, but I obviously have no experience in raising a child…there is a small girl living in my home, but a baby requires a whole other level of time and effort.)
My worry is that Elmira won’t be much of a maternal person. According to what I’ve heard before, she can hardly do any housework. She always does poorly during home economics class.
Knowing that, can she really take care of Shizuma? I don’t think she has knowhow on raising a child. Qiongqi’s faction is also aiming for Shizuma….so what are we supposed to do?
I should only behave as a “story sub-character” or a “friend character”, right? Rather, wouldn’t it have been better if I didn’t come to know about Shizuma?
(No, that won’t do. Things would get serious if Elmira flees to Eastern Europe with Shizuma.)
It would cause trouble is Elmira were to leave the story.
It would also cause trouble if I was the only one who knew about this information.
(In any case, Ryuga and the others need to get involved as soon as possible…and for that to happen, I need to persuade Elmira soon.)
While telling myself that, I returned home.
I opened the door to my room, ready to apologize for dumping everything onto Taotie.
──And there he was, playing a video game. Rather than doing homework, he was facing a dark dragon.
“Oh, Boss. You’re late, aren’t you? You said you would come back soon.”
To think that I was going to hand over some green tea pudding to this idiotic, noisy “Evil Spirit”.
“The handouts are already done. Those last four, all of them.”
I leapt towards the desk, confused by those words coming from Taotie of all people.
…They’re definitely complete. Furthermore, it seems that the answers are fine.
This can’t be true. This isn’t what Taotie would do. I thought that he would definitely fill in some joke answers! I was kind of expecting him to!
(No, wait. This handwriting…)
The characters were too clean and well-ordered for Taotie’s handwriting. He writes messy characters like they’re squirming earthworms. I’m not really in a position to criticize others about handwriting though.
I noticed there was a note at the edge of the desk. There were a few words written on it.
‘Ichirou. Just this once.’
Taotie spoke while focusing on his controller.
“Jyuri did it when she snuck into the room, wanting to do nightly activities. She said something like ‘I can’t really let the ‘Evil Spirit’ do school homework…’ to me. Well, that’s a subordinate for you.”
According to what he said, it was the work of Hebizuka.
Actually, was she always this knowledgeable? I thought she would only know about matters related to sex education.
“Oh right, I actually did one problem, you know? That problem was ‘name the black man who served under Oda Nobunaga.'”
Thanks to a long-running TV series, I know the answer to that problem as well. That person was definitely “Yasuke”. Yasuke was a favorite of Nobunaga, and they were very familiar with each other.
“Tsk, the nerve that history teacher Saito has to put in this obscure question.”
While making that comment, I checked the handouts.
In the answer column was the word “Taotie” in sloppy handwriting.
“You really think it’s you?!”
“Yeah. It’s me. It’s not like I was serving under Nobu though.”
…I recalled Taotie’s battle mode during part two. At that time, he had a jet black form like he was a shadow. With that form, perhaps Nobunaga thought he was a black man.
Was he Yasuke?
Even if that was true, the answer to the problem is incorrect.