Nearly thirty apostles were slain.
That rascal of a young girl had settled it in the blink of an eye,
I’ve seen Kiki’s combat power several times before. I’m not too surprised, but even so, I couldn’t help but shiver and feel discomforted.
I didn’t think that the girl who hated spinach, collected toy monsters, and wouldn’t enter a bathtub alone would be this strong of a character…I’ve been cheated.
“Kiki, weren’t you…watching TV?”
“It was a recording, so there’s no problem. I’m a general, so I have to do my job first.”
Boastfully puffing up with pride, Kiki began to walk forward.
In front of her was Hunshou Higaia, trembling with anger.
“Youuu! So you’ve come, Boushou Kiki!”
“I did. Actually, you’re being noisy, Higaia.”
The koi apostle’s anger heightened upon seeing the Hokkaido wolf apostle talk back without an ounce of fear. It seems that Kiki’s second name wasn’t Puchishou, but Boushou.
“What are you going to do?! Are you opposing Qiongqi?!”
“Lower your voice. You’re bothering the neighbors.”
“How petty! Apostles don’t care about the neighborhood citizens!”
“That’s why Jyuri rejected you.”
“D, don’t reopen old wounds! Don’t you have some mercy?!”
I wanted to retort to that, but I stopped myself from doing so.
This is not the first time in this story that the tension of battle was ruined. They can do whatever they want in these scenes since they have nothing to do with the main story.
The generals stared at each other in this tense situation, only several meters apart.
The scattered remains of the apostles had completely vanished at some point.
“Boushou Kiki! Why are you allying with the ‘Vermilion Bird’?!”
“I’m allying with Baron Ichirou. Not Eramil.”
The vampire girl corrected her by saying “It’s Elmira,” but Kiki ignored her and continued speaking.
“Baron Ichirou here is Baron Taotie’s vessel. He’s a very great baron.”
“T, Taotie’s vessel?! Then, could it be…could it beeee?!”
“Ah~, quiet down already.”
At that moment, I heard a tired voice from behind me, and then a young boy stood next to me.
He had the same look as me and wore a high school uniform…it was Taotie, of course. He can manifest without me knowing, meaning that he always goes somewhere without my permission.
“Nnngh! T, T, Taotie!”
Higaia’s discomposure was evident on his face. That would be natural. Though he’s currently working for Qiongqi, Taotie is also one of his rulers. He’s not someone an apostle should disobey.
The “Evil Spirits” Taotie, Hundun, and Qiongqi…have all resurrected at the same time. This is quite the rare situation.
“Hey Higaia, long time no see. I didn’t want to see you since the summer heat right now is so hot. The temperature has risen by around three degrees.”
Taotie passed by Kiki, taking large strides towards Higaia. The koi apostle was gradually stepping back under the pressure.
“Don’t worry. I don’t care who you serve. I’m just one ‘Evil Spirit’, and the three princesses alone have many minions.”
“So, what will you do? Are we going to throw-down? Oh?”
Higaia was sweating bullets, as if a delinquent was threatening him. It’s quite surreal seeing a koi fish sweat.
In the next moment, Higaia let out a scream and unleashed his massive ill will. The trees around him shook, causing a large number of leaves to fall.
Doing such things in a flashy manner, as expected of a general…what a terrifying ill will.
“I already swore allegiance to Qiongqi! I will face you, Taotie!”
“Bring it on then. Regardless of what Boss told me to do, I wanted to beat the lights out of you. Just some revenge.”
“R, revenge?! Revenge on whose behalf?!”
“The Hanshin Tigers!”
As he shouted that, Taotie’s form changed.
His entire body turned jet black, he grew a pair of bat-like wings, and though it irritates me to say this, he looked like a slender, tall, handsome guy. He grew a pair of horns near his temples, complete with a black luster as if they were made of onyx.
This is the “Evil Spirit” Taotie’s battle version. Also known as the more helpful version.
“Higaia…how dare they score three losses! It was like a funeral at the Koshien Stadium!”
“I, I don’t even know who Hanshin is!”
“Don’t play dumb! What kind of apostle are you? Tell me!”
“Ah! I’m a koi!”
“It’s the death penalty for you!”
“I don’t understand!”
“Shut up, Akaheru apostle! I’ll send you flying until you reach the batter’s eye!”
(TLN: Akaheru = Red Helmet. Taotie is referring to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team, associated with red helmets for both their attire and the name of a lineup that won them over 200 home runs in one season. Koi is their nickname.)
“Aaaaaah! Spare my life at least!”
Taotie and Higaia were both about to break into a sprint.
Kiki moved before they could. With a jump, she landed on Taotie’s head, and then ferociously rushed towards Higaia.
Taotie and Higaia were both taken by surprise. Since they were focused on each other, they hadn’t paid attention to the Hokkaido wolf apostle.
Kiki’s short figure instantly approached Higaia.
In a panic, Higaia attempted to strengthen his guard, but it was too late.
“B, Boushou Kiki!”
Immediately following, the merciless Kiki sent a leaping knee strike to Higaia’s gut.
Taking the blow, the koi apostle’s large body flew through the air. He soared like a rocket, disappearing into the night sky.
“Nooooo! Remember thiiis! We will take Reida’s child!”
Shouting that parting remark, Higaia’s figure twinkled in the sky. To think that he would depart in such a classic way this time…the top eight sure are varied.
“I made a mistake. Higaia is sturdy. That’s his only worth.”
Kiki scratched her head while saying that, returning to her human form. She then turned around and walked towards us.
As the bobbed hair girl approached, Taotie rubbed his head and complained.
“Ouch…Kiki, I don’t like apostles who step on the head of an ‘Evil Spirit’.”
“Sorry, Baron Taotie. It was on impulse.”
“Even Mario would have been more gentle. What would you have done if you bent my horns?”
“Your horns were originally meant to spiral around…but more importantly…”
Ignoring Taotie’s objections, Kiki’s stopped moving before long.
In front of her was the vampire girl who had a baby holding onto her chest.
“W, what is it, Mutt?”
Kiki stared at Shizuma’s sleeping face without answering Elmira’s question. She sniffed him using her tiny nose.
“Is that Reida’s baby?”
“Huh? You know Reida…?”
“Of course. Reida’s my friend…actually, she’s my subordinate.”
Upon hearing her unexpectedly say that, Elmira exclaimed “Subordinate?”, as did I.
…I believe that the six thousand “Apostles of Hell” are ranked in a hierarchy, going from “General” to “Commanding Officer” to “Soldier”.
Around a hundred soldiers are led by a commanding officer.
Five or six commanding officers are led by a general.
That seems to be the basic structure. The vast majority of them are soldiers, and commanding officers have a pretty high position. When it comes to generals, it seems that they’re treated like presidents.
(To think that Reida was Kiki’s subordinate…)
While I was figuring out how to react, Kiki once again looked at Elmira. The kindergartener general then spoke with a serious face while reaching upwards with her short arms.
“Emirale, give me that baby.”
Elmira’s eyes widened upon hearing the blunt request. Mine did as well.
“That child has traces of Reida’s ill will. He is definitely Reida’s child.”
“That may be true, but why should I give Shizuma to you?”
“I thought I told you. Reida my subordinate. So that means Shizuma will be my subordinate. It is my duty to protect that child.”
…This has turned into a difficult situation.
Elmira and Kiki were both claiming parental authority over Shizuma.
I would never have expected this development. All I could think about…was that it would be hard to hide this from Mion and Jyuri now that Kiki knows.
As Shizuma’s (temporary) papa, I wonder what I should do…and as I was pondering about it, Elmira and Kiki continued bickering.
“It’s my duty to raise Shizuma. Kiki is an older sister starting today.”
“I won’t accept that! Shizuma is a vampire first and foremost! This is a matter of the ‘Blood-kins of Eternal Darkness’!”
“Shizuma is an apostle first and foremost. This is a matter of the ‘Apostles of Hell’.”
“In the first place, you’re still a kid! You’re the one who needs to be raised!”
“I am not a child anymore! Despite how I look, I am an adult!”
“A kid is a kid! Are you making light of what it takes to raise a child?!”
“I will be fine! I was able to make sunflowers bloom in a garden!”
Unwilling to surrender, both of them glared at each other.
As for Taotie, he already reverted back to being my lookalike, trying to crush a mosquito. It seems that’s the only battle the “Evil Spirit” would get tonight.
…Anyways, the situation has been settled.
If this quarrel prolongs, there’s a risk that it will eventually turn into a brawl. If that happens, Shizuma will probably wake up. It took a lot of effort to get him to sleep like an angel.
(We should go to my house. Hideo’s apartment is dangerous now.)
Elmira will find out about me living with the three princesses, but Shizuma will be safe.
I’ll decide my next steps after hearing Mion’s and Jyuri’s opinions. They were trying to figure out what was going on anyways.
──Thus, the protagonists didn’t yet know about “the matter of Shizuma”.
Instead, the apostles, or rather the Kobayashi household, would be involved first.