Afterwards, Jyuri and I rode Renie’s car once more to get home.
The spider butler asked “Is it alright not going to school?”, but I already decided on being absent today. Even if I went now, I wouldn’t make it in time for second period PE.
“You must be quite perplexed about my lord. I’m also at a bit of a loss as well…”
While carefully driving, Renie complained as such. He didn’t seem to glare at Jyuri anymore, perhaps because Tao reprimanded him for it.
“I’d like to motivate Taowu by any means…I agree with you in that she should try fighting Hinomori Ryuuga at least once.”
“Do you oppose coexisting with humans?”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve come to the human world. From my experience, it’s not impossible for humans and apostles to coexist. However…this may sound a bit vague, but I wonder if ‘that’s really okay.'”
That’s natural. Given the ancient history of them fighting against humans, it probably won’t be easy coming to a settlement.
Unlike Jyuri and the other princesses who’ve been in the spirit world the entire time, Renie has been in the forefront of battles. That is, battles against Ryuuga’s ancestor or Yukimiya’s ancestor.
(In that case, perhaps he should join Qiongqi’s faction since that team’s still eager to fight…)
Though, that’s likely impossible.
Rikushou Renie is Tao’s trusted associate. He probably won’t ever serve any “Evil Spirit” other than her. His pride as an apostle won’t allow him to be disloyal and switch lords.
I sighed while thinking about how this has become quite the troublesome story.
Suddenly, Hundun’s head appeared from my shoulder. Perhaps he had to do that since the car was cramped, but it still felt unpleasant.
“Hey, Renie. I’ll just ask, is there anyone else in Tao’s faction other than you? Since you’re a general, you should have around five hundred soldiers, right?”
In response, Renie said “I’m in the middle of driving, so do forgive me for responding while facing away from you.” What a well-mannered apostle.
“I’m afraid to say this, but I shouldn’t reveal my war potential. Well, that’s what I would like to say, but…as of now, I’m alone.”
“So, you’re alone? What happened to your subordinates?”
“Pretty much all of them died in the battle three hundred years ago. They’ve probably revived in the spirit world by now, but I don’t plan on calling them yet. After all, I have no means to do so.”
“When I revived, I opened some doors though. Even before then, there were tears in space-time as well.”
“My soldiers are Taowu’s soldiers. They cannot move without the permission of their lord.”
“You’re serious to a fault…unfortunately, I can’t open doors anymore. Not without this sonny’s orders.”
Once again, it seems that I’m being treated like an important person…
If I can mobilize a large number of apostles at my command, doesn’t that make me a big leader of the enemy side? Let me say this, having the same person be the final boss twice is out of the question. That would be the pinnacle of reusing material.
“Hey, Renie. Despite your initial hesitance, aren’t you revealing a lot of information? What’s going on?”
“If I must say, then take it as a sign of sincerity. My lord wishes to reconcile with Hinomori Ryuuga and relies on Kobayashi as the middleman. That being the case, hiding information would be an act of faithlessness, right?”
“Well, I’ll believe you for now. As long as Tie and I are together, we don’t even have a one in a million chance of losing.”
That’s a big problem.
Since I have two “Evil Spirits,” the power balance in this story has obviously collapsed. There’s Taotie, Hundun, the three princesses, and Shizuma…the Kobayashi side is too powerful.
Furthermore, if Tao and the strongest of the top eight, Renie, become our allies, then Qiongqi won’t have a fighting chance anymore.
It would clearly be a losing battle for him. That “Shota Evil Spirit” would be in a pitiful state.
(Being a host of two is really lamenting…if I’m doing double duty, it should be on being Ryuga’s and Agito’s ‘friend character.’)
…Better yet, how about having Tao and Qiongqi form an alliance?
If that happens, it’ll be two on two for “Evil Spirits.” As long as I’m not caught in the act, there will be a struggle for supremacy. There would be a feeling of tension once more.
(Apart from figuring how to implement this idea…there are at least two issues that I need to solve right now.)
First of all, how do I make Tao’s character work?
She’s not fit for being the final boss at all. Or rather, not anymore. I wonder what Ryuuga’s ancestor thought of her…
Second, I need to have Tao move out from Yukimiya.
Having the third “Evil Spirit” vessel in a row be someone close to the protagonist is a problem. Ryuuga probably won’t react much to it. She probably won’t be that surprised anymore.
(Sebastian’s dependable and one of ‘Hell’s Top Eight’…perhaps he will be enough to form the basis of Yukimiya’s episode. Though, who else is suitable for being the vessel of an ‘Evil Spirit’…?)
While looking out the window, I sighed once more.
…Actually, a certain individual popped up in my head.
That person would definitely look nice as an enemy and be popular among the ladies──the mysterious transfer student.
Tenryouin Agito. I feel that he could be an “Evil Spirit’s” vessel. Perhaps even ‘convert’ them. With a name like that, it must be the case. Even Kobayashi Ichirou can do it.
(No no, that’s not good. Agito is probably the protagonist of another story. I can’t drag him into this one. Furthermore, it would be insanely impolite to have him be the bad guy.)
Agito has his own story to deal with.
Unlike a friend character, the protagonist shouldn’t do double duty. If Ryuuga tries to get involved in his story, I would definitely stop her. That is, unless we’re doing a movie.
(I need to find a different vessel than Agito. What about the homeroom teacher, Minegishi? No, he wouldn’t be a good choice…Then, how about the office worker who lives behind our house, Hirano? He wouldn’t cut it either…In that case, how about going with King Arthur again? No, we would just be reusing material.)
While I was thinking about it, the car arrived at my house.
“Kobayashi, thank you for today. I hope you’ll continue to work with my lord in the future.”
When Renie said that and bowed his head once more, Jyuri and I got off the car.
Just before we closed the car door, I asked something that was on my mind the whole time.
“Say, Renie. I know you’re a very loyal apostle, but…now that Tao has revived, what do you think of Yukimiya?”
“…Don’t worry. Young Lady Shiori is Taowu’s vessel. Just as the three princesses serve you, I will continue to serve her like before.”
“Because Yukimiya is Tao’s vessel?”
The spider butler indifferently replied with “Of course,” which is something I didn’t expect.
Given that Sebastian has been with Yukimiya Shiori this whole time, his words seemed──too cruel.
“T, Taowu resurrected with Yukimiya Shiori as the vessel?”
That evening, at the dinner table, I told Mion and Kiki what happened today.
The sidetailed girl stared while picking up her udon noodles with chopsticks. The bobbed haired girl also froze in place while a fork full of noodles was in her mouth.
Before I could say my next words, the blonde woman nodded in anger.
“That’s right. Furthermore, her butler was Renie. I was trying to take care of him since he was picking a fight, but Ichirou stopped me.”
I’m pretty sure they were both provoking each other, but I decided not to comment on it and regained control over the conversation.
“It seems that Tao has no intention of fighting Ryuga and the others. So for the time being, you all should watchfully wait. Don’t fight Renie.”
“Alright, I understand.”
“Also, you’re doing a girls-only gathering with Tao at some point. It’s something she wishes for.”
“I, I see. I’m not sure if I understand though.”
“This kind of friendliness has never happened before.”
While the second and third daughters gave their consent, the eldest daughter was still in a bad mood. She continued to recklessly slurp her piping hot udon without blowing on it to cool it down.
She’s probably still irritated from when Renie told her that she was a prideless apostle.
She does have a larger sense of duty than most apostles…but, is there some other reason as well?
“Hey, Kiki…did Jyuri and Renie get on bad terms in the past?”
I whispered into the ear of the Hokkaido wolf apostle next to me.
While blowing on her scalding udon, Kiki responded with a whisper.
“Those two had a big fight in the spirit world at some point. A skirmish between their soldiers escalated into a big dispute between classes.”
The top eight and three princesses are generals who have their own army.
Each army has around five hundred people. An army is split into five squads of a hundred soldiers, each led by a commanding officer.
The general then oversees all commanding officers…Kiki compared that organizational structure to “classes.” Though, knowing her, perhaps she meant it in a “sunflower class” sense.1This seems to be a reference to Crayon Shin-chan. The sunflower class is a Kindergarten class that the main character in the series attends, I think.
“If we didn’t stop them, people would have died. Killing is forbidden in the spirit world. You cannot revive. That’s why I was strongly against Shizuma going to the spirit world.”
“I, is that so…?”
In the human world, the “Apostles of Hell” don’t truly die when they’re taken down. They transform in souls, return to the spirit world, and revive in around two hundred years.
However, it seems that isn’t the case in their base, the spirit world. Death is final.
“Renie is a seasoned veteran. At that time, Jyuri was more like a neophyte. By the end, it turned into a mortal combat between the head honchos.”
“Where did you learn those words…?”
Probably from TV. This girl is turning into a couch potato.
“Miraculously, nobody died. Higaia helped me stop them, but he got minor injuries that took two years to heal.”
Those aren’t minor injuries then. It sounds like he got involved in the mortal combat.
Before we knew it, we ended up speaking at our normal volumes. Jyuri noticed us and glared in our direction.
In a panic, Kiki and I shut our mouths and looked downwards. Taotie and Hundun also looked away. The king cobra lady managed to even scare the “Evil Spirits.”
“Those days don’t matter anymore. I just can’t accept Renie’s version of ‘pride.’ Even though Taowu has revived, he has served Yukimiya Shiori up until now, right? Isn’t that the same thing as switching lords?”
Mion furrowed her brow and said “Well, I get what you’re saying…” while slowly nodding her head, causing Jyuri to learn forward and go on a rant.
“Right? When I pointed that out, he immediately went into battle mode, you know?! He said ‘Are you insulting me?’ out loud. Don’t you think he acted childishly because I hit the mark?!”
Though Jyuri had an unusual gaze of resentment, I was actually a bit relieved.
Renie getting angry at that and seeing it as an insult means that he didn’t throw away his identity as Sebastian.
Perhaps he didn’t “switch” lords, but just “added” another.
(Renie has been serving Yukimiya this whole time, probably since she was a baby. He did it all while knowing that she was the successor of the ‘White Tiger.’)
There’s no way he wouldn’t feel anything towards Yukimiya. Her being Tao’s vessel isn’t everything.
He probably had countless opportunities to kill Yukimiya. Renie probably didn’t do that because “he didn’t want to.”
Mion shrugged her shoulders while making a bitter smile, trying to change the tense mood.
“A, at any rate, I didn’t expect Taowu to revive as well. I wonder why all the ‘Evil Spirits’ have come together.”
Kiki decided to join in, using her fork as a microphone to point at Taotie.
“Baron Taotie, what are your thoughts on this? Any deep emotions?”
“Oh, I feel like the player-of-the-game being interviewed. Um~, let’s see here. I guess everyone’s a rival, so I can’t have them stealing my members…ow, ow, ow! You’re pricking my mouth with your fork!”
“Next, Baron Hundun, who do you want to share this joy with?”
“Let me see. That would be my fiance I’m in a long-distance relationship with, Kyouka…ow, ow, ow! You’re pricking my mouth with your fork!”
“Baron Ichirou, got something you want to say to anyone?”
“I’m not one of the four fiends. I’m a human. More importantly Kiki, don’t stab me with your fork, okay? I’ve already seen you do it twice so…hot, hot, hot! The udon! When did you stick your fork in it?!”
Seeing our banter, Jyuri suddenly burst into laughter. That’s a relief. It seems her mood has improved.
Kiki gave Mion a thumbs up. Mion responded with a thumbs up of her own. Is this kind of communication popular among apostles?
Now that the mood had lightened, I asked Hebizuka a question while cooling my lips with a glass cup.
“By the way, Jyuri. Is it okay for you to be skipping school? You’re still a faculty member.”
“That’s not a problem. I gave all the teachers and students a suggestion that if I’m absent, they’re not to think anything of it. Doing such a thing is no trouble for me, Genshou Jyuri.”
That reminds me, her second name is “Genshou,” isn’t it?
While I was thinking about how it wasn’t Inshou or Chishou…my phone suddenly vibrated inside my pocket. I received a message.2The “Gen” (幻) in Genshou means illusion. The “In” (淫) in “Inshou” can mean “lewdness” while the “Chi” (痴) in “Chishou” can mean “pervert,” both of which seem more appropriate for Jyuri’s second name in Kobayashi’s opinion.
Upon checking it, the sender was Ryuuga. I’m pretty sure I know what it’s about. She’s probably wondering why I was absent.
‘To Ichirou. Why were you absent today? Knowing you, it’s not a cold, right?’
It was a rather impolite message. She didn’t even know what I had to suffer through.
‘You made the homeroom teacher Minegishi mad, you know? For your unexcused absence, he’s going to call on you for all of his questions next class.’
My eyes widened upon reading that sentence. Jyuri gave me a sweet smile.
“By the way, that suggestion only applies to me. You still have to pay for skipping school.”
Follow 2Slow2Late MTL on WordPress.com