Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v5 Chapter 2 Part 1

New Protagonist, New Evil Spirit

The entry of transfer student Tenryouin Agito greatly rustled my “friend character spirit.”

Can’t I get to know him somehow? Can I get us to exchange email addresses? Could I call him by Agito…? Day by day, such thoughts grew stronger.

Despite knowing about Yukimiya’s poor condition, it was very hard to control my excitement.

(Though, if I get too absorbed in Tenryouin, my protagonist will flip out again…I feel like I’m caught in a play of Romeo and Juliet…)

On the first day and the next, I couldn’t even speak to him because of the fangirls.

However, things turned around on the third day. A chance appeared during PE class. The PE teacher, Higaki, ordered us to group into pairs and do stretches.

“Tenryouin! Work with me! Let’s stretch those muscles together!”

Fortunately, I was the only one trying to pair up with Tenryouin. Due to his pretentious attitude and popularity with the girls, the boys kept a distance from him. That was extremely convenient for me.

“You are…Kobayashi Ichirou, I believe.”

Tenryouin muttered that while inspecting me.

Surprisingly, he knew my name. He knew I existed.

“Y, yeah! I don’t think I introduced myself to you, but I’m glad you know me! Let’s get along, Tenryouin! On that note, can I call you Agito?”

After saying “Do as you please,” in a monotone voice, Agito formed a pair with me.

Now that I’ve seized the chance, he is mine. There aren’t any annoying girls to get in our way either. As usual, Ryuuga didn’t participate and was studying by herself in a classroom.

(No obstacle stands between Agito and me…I’ll shorten the distance between us at once!)

While doing stretches, I spoke with Agito.

I was the one talking ninety percent of the time, but he did respond with short replies like “Yeah,” “I guess,” and “Are you an idiot?” to me.

…I can do it. I see a glimmer of hope. Agito said it himself. He claimed that he “values having one friend rather than many acquaintances.” I will take that position for myself! I won’t let anyone else have it!

“Say, Agito. You’re not even going to take that glove off during PE? Is there a reason why?”

Agito was still wearing the jet black glove over his left hand. He’s never taken it off, not even during classes or lunch.

Is it there to seal a power of darkness? Is there an emblem with an engraving on it?

Perhaps Agito is also a “supernatural battle protagonist”…though a different genre would have been fine. Maybe like a sports or mystery story.

Agito bluntly responded to my question while doing stretches by himself.

“Don’t worry about it. I tell people that I play the bass guitar as just a hobby, but that’s just to maintain my dignity. As of now, I can’t calm down if I don’t play it.”

I see, so his hobby is the bass.

“Is that so? Then why don’t you try performing at the upcoming school festival?”

“I don’t plan on entering the school’s music club. That being said, I already have people to call my group members. I only want to play with ‘Apostle.'”

I see, so his band name is Apostle.TLNApostle here is not the same word used for the Apostles of Hell, so a connection between the two is not as obvious. The band name is in Gairaigo AKA Japanified-English (アポストロ = Aposutoro) while the actual apostles themselves are referred to using the regular Japanese noun (使徒 = Shito).

In other words, he’s the protagonist of a band story? If that’s the case, I would have preferred him being the vocalist. Though I’m biased in saying this, I believe the bass is plain. That would be the kind of instrument I would play.

(No, it’s not final yet. I can’t jump to conclusions on my first meeting.)

…Afterwards, there was a game of mini soccer, but Agito and I barely participated and spent most of the time chatting. Though, I was the one doing most of the talking.

By the time the bell rang, my throat was dry. However, I got better results than I expected. I reached a superb outcome for my first contact with him.

(If there’s anything I’m concerned about, it’s that Agito never smiled. Though I played the role of the fool quite well, he kept a straight face…it seems he has a particular sense of humor.)

While analyzing my interactions with him, I returned to the main school building.

“──Kobayashi. Are you close with Hinomori Ryuuga?”

Agito called out to me for some reason. Surprisingly, he brought up Ryuuga’s name.

“Yeah. We only met in high school, but we hang out everyday. Why do you ask, Agito? Are you interested in Ryuga?”

“…No. Don’t worry about it.”

While saying that, Agito turned his back to me. Due to his long bangs, I couldn’t quite see what facial expression he was making. He’s like the type of protagonist you would see in a dating sim.

(Could it actually be resonance? It seems this really is about Hinomori Ryuuga…this is definitely the first time I’ve ever seen equally protagonist-like people encounter each other.)

At any rate, I managed to establish a foothold. What’s left is for him to gradually open up.

Now I regret throwing away my “list of cute girls in the school.”

That thing had detailed profiles of the girls’ three sizes and even the color of their underwear. It might have been useful here.

…Perhaps I’ll start another one.

 

Since then, I’ve had a relatively easy time developing a connection with Agito.

By the middle of the week, the girls swarming him threw up their hands and stopped approaching him. As a result, Agito was more free.

Though, I still didn’t have many opportunities to talk with him.

Agito still hasn’t opened his heart to me yet. When I walk up to him, he’ll basically make an annoyed expression. Ryuuga’s mood would worsen as well.

(Yukimiya is still absent from school. If I can’t get Agito to open up now…I’ll have to focus on Yukimiya’s episode once that eventually starts.)

With that worry in mind, I continued making contact with Agito. Of course, I did so while Ryuuga wasn’t looking.

My chance to take off would appear whenever Ryuuga went to the restroom and Aogasaki or Elmira kept her busy. During that interval, I would nonchalantly approach Agito and start a causal conversation.

“Hey, Agito. Are you getting used to school?”

“I have no qualms.”

“Aren’t the classes easier and less thorough compared to Hakubou Private?”

“For me, it’s the same everywhere. I already know the course content.”

“Let me tell you something nice. I’ve got the color of school nurse Hebizuka’s panties for today!”

“I have no interest in such things. Grow up, Kobayashi.”

The way he referred to himself made him sound like a Showa-era Kamen Rider.TLNKobayashi is specifically referring to the fact that Agito used the “watashi” pronoun to refer to himself. This is actually the first time Agito used a pronoun (you can get away with not using pronouns in Japanese when you wouldn’t in English). Also, Kamen Rider is a series featuring motorcycle-riding superheroes named Kamen Riders. “Showa-era Kamen Rider” typically refers to the Kamen Rider series/characters from the 1970s-1990s.

(This guy definitely has the aura of a protagonist. After observing him for this long, I’ve come to realize that Agito is a greater gem than I expected. It’ll be dangerous for me to get deeply involved with him…)

──Since Agito is a talented student, he often skips classes.

When I asked where he would go, he responded with “Up at the rooftop to take a nap.” That’s quite suspicious, but I couldn’t sneak out to confirm it. Ryuuga would scold me.

──He usually reads somewhat difficult books during break time.

He had been reading a book as thick as a dictionary, labeled “Lemegeton.” Was that a book about X-rays? Perhaps he wants to be a doctor.

──Furthermore, he speaks to himself in rare cases.

Just once, I caught him apparently speaking to someone, saying things like “I know what you want to say,” and “However, I want you to wait.” Perhaps there’s something dwelling within his left hand.

(The homeroom teacher Minegishi doesn’t seem to know why he transferred schools either…it’s clear that Agito is no ordinary guy. Yesterday, I saw him jump over a fence four meters tall and walk home.)

That was a big shock. Seeing it confirmed that he was no ordinary high schooler.

Only Ryuuga and the other main characters could do such feats. Even I couldn’t do that. My feet got caught by the fence.

Not discouraged, I stalked Agito as he returned to his home. Thereupon, I witnessed an even more shocking scene.

When he passed by the construction site for a multi-floor building, a steel beam fell above his head.

Right when I gasped──I couldn’t believe it, but Agito caught the steel beam. He caught it easily with one hand. Just like a Showa-era Kamen Rider.

(After seeing that, I can only think of him as a battle story protagonist. So…is Agito a supernatural ability user?)

It definitely seems that way. Like Ryuuga, perhaps he’s another hero who secretly protects the world. Though his genre overlaps with Ryuuga’s, I have no choice but to accept that.

In the first place, I don’t plan on getting involved with Agito other than during the daily life part. It doesn’t matter to me whether he’s a rider, a saint, or a super-robot lifeform.

I’m just doing this for rehabilitation. After all, my heart is with Hinomori Ryuuga.

My worry is that the stories will clash with each other. If that happens, things would get very complicated.

If Ryuuga and Agito appear together at some point, it would be material for a movie…or perhaps a special spin-off volume. Perhaps yet more protagonists will gather.

(If I met Agito before Ryuga…and became his exclusive friend character instead…what would happen to me?)

I pondered about such a hypothetical question.

However, I think it’ll be the same either way. As long as Taotie dwells within me, I will stay involved in Ryuuga’s story.

(I should stop prying into Agito’s secrets. I should only be involved with him at school. I’m a character in Ryuga’s story…I don’t need to bring ‘Evil Spirits’ into Agito’s story.)

──By the time I cooled my head down, it was already Friday morning.

Since I have PE later today, I should be able to speak with Agito without worrying about Ryuuga. However, I think I’ll keep it to small talk. That is, as a pervert who gets easily carried away.

(If I can make Agito smile, that’ll be enough. If I handle this poorly and get involved in his story, that’ll be a problem.)

I was thinking about such things while biting into my breakfast toast.

Mion, who was sitting at the other end of the table, glanced at the clock and spoke.

“Ichirou, don’t you have to go to school soon? It’s already eight.”

“Whoops, it’s already time?”

Quickly wolfing down my toast, I reached for a fried egg with my chopsticks. Thereupon…

I found that the fried egg had no yolk. It was a hollowed out egg white.

“Carelessness is your greatest enemy, Baron Ichirou.”

Kiki smirked next to me. In her mouth was the egg yolk.

She got me. I was so lost in my thoughts, I didn’t notice at all.


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18 thoughts on “Is it Tough Being a Friend? v5 Chapter 2 Part 1”

  1. Hmm… Yesterday, I thought he probably not Qiongqi’s vessel. But I forgot that only Taotie that copy host’s appearance… So, there is possibility that he is… Thanks for the translation!

    1. It’s less obvious in the original since the band name is in Gairaigo AKA Japanified-English (アポストロ = Aposutoro) while the actual apostles themselves are referred to using the regular Japanese noun (使徒 = Shito). I suppose I could add a TLN pointing this out.

  2. Thank for the chapter!

    Waiting for that new girl from the illustrations to show up, maybe it’s that person Agito talks to…

  3. Thanks for the translation!
    Ichirou is certainly an idiot. Granted band name more obvious in English than Japanese, but considering Agito’s abilities he should consider the possibility of him being an apostle. Also, is Ichirou deliberately being dense as Yukimiya’s symptoms should match Kyouka’s from when Hundun was draining her too much. Also, being so into templates he should’ve considered one of the heroines becoming possessed by an evil spirit. In any case, Agito is acting a lot like Ryuuga did in beginning and his feminine build makes me think he’s female too.

  4. “Only Ryuuga and the other main characters could do such feats. Even I couldn’t do that. My feet got caught by the fence.”

    …Doesn’t that mean Ichirou can still jump higher than three and a half meters? BTW the highest recorded high jump in the olympics is just shy of three meters.

  5. Our MC is shit. At this point, he cares more about his stupid “friend Position” than his ACTUAL friends. Yukimiya is sick. Visit her with your group ffs. When bad shit start to happen, only then he would go “aaaa why didn’t I do that, why didn’t I do this, I regret everythiiiiing”. For fuck sake man.

  6. Wow, no one. Absolutely no one in the comment section noticed Lemegeton? That’s the grimoire! If yoy search it up, it translates to “The Lesser Key of Solomon”. Elmira(i think) once talked about their being King Solomon and how he sealed 72 demons. I believe he has Solomon in him as solomon is part of many LN’ too! Maybe just maybe this time the MC’ character can finally grow.

    1. Many people here are dense I noticed this point too but people here like too talk more about how the mc is dense.

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