Shortly after, I decided to return home for the time being.
I originally planned on spending more time searching for Yukimiya, but I got a call from the three princesses to return. They said “There’s a letter from Renie in the mailbox.”
‘Don’t worry about Miss Shiori. I, Renie, will responsibly return her to the residence.’
I put the letter back into the envelope and folded my arms in the living room.
Behind me, Taotie’s and Hundun’s upper bodies manifested and they similarly folded their arms. On the other end of the table, the three princesses sat together while sipping tea.
It was already ten pm. Tomorrow’s Monday, and it’s been a horrible weekend for me.
“I thought that Renie was taking Yukimiya to Qiongqi’s location, but…he took her back to the residence?”
What are his intentions? Was he really just there to rescue Yukimiya, like the three princesses?
When I scratched my head, Mion gave her opinion.
“I’ll say one thing, Renie will never betray Tao. His loyalty towards Tao is not ordinary.”
The “Evil Spirits” behind me nodded to the heron girl’s words.
“That’s right, Renie never became my subordinate whenever I revived.”
“Same here. He’s got some serious ‘Evil Spirit’ discrimination.”
The “Evil Spirits” complained while sipping their tea. It’s pretty sad that it’s only during times like these that they actually agree on something.
Ryuuga and the others each returned home for the night.
Over the phone, I said to them, “Yukimiya is under Sebastian’s care. He brought her back to the residence,” and “Let’s all visit her tomorrow morning.”
I don’t know if Renie will allow our visit, but we’ll give it a try.
“By the way, Mion, Jyuri, Kiki. You appeared in the cemetery at quite a time. Did someone call you guys over as well?”
In response to my question, Mion shook her head and said “That’s not it.” Her sidetail swung as well.
“We sensed ill wills. Kiki was the first one to notice though.”
“My nose is first-rate.”
“I, Jyuri, also noticed immediately. The cemetery isn’t that far from our home.”
…Perhaps Qiongqi anticipated the three princesses entering the scene.
Shima and Saihiru would start a fight in the cemetery and once the three princesses arrive, it would turn into a three-way struggle…perhaps those were his intentions.
In that case, everything is going according to Qiongqi’s plans. What a shrewd “Shota Evil Spirit.”
(No, wait. Perhaps Renie was the one who planned this. In the first place, Yukimiya came to my house because he told her everything.)
Of course, I would’ve been the first one Yukimiya would turn to in that situation. She would’ve gone to the Kobayashi household to consult me.
It’s possible that Shima and Saihiru were waiting to ambush her on the way back in order to craft tonight’s situation. When Renie revealed everything…did he intend for this to happen?
While pondering about it, I continued listening to the three princesses’ words.
They had matching teacups with the zodiac writings for “bird,” “snake,” and “dog” on them. I also had one, but for some reason “monkey” was on it.
“Looking at the situation, didn’t it seem like Hinomori Ryuuga’s team were attacking Tao? That’s why we assisted her. Though I didn’t expect Renie to appear in the end.”
“It’s alright, Baron Ichirou. As long as Renie is protecting Earl Tao, he won’t hurt Yukimiya. If he does, he will be fired as a subordinate.”
“I’m not sure about that. Knowing him…if he thinks it’s for Tao’s own good, he’ll be willing to make enemies or do some dirty work.”
In the end, Jyuri said that while seeming annoyed. As always, she was bitter about the orb-weaving spider apostle.
“Renie’s estrangement plan ended up working out…I didn’t think you guys would go against Ryuga’s team like that.”
However, I can’t blame the three princesses for rushing in.
They just wanted to protect Tao. Despite Tao’s wish to “reconcile with Ryuuga’s team,” they ended up having to go against that. Sad, isn’t it?
While feeling astonished about the situation, Kiki blew on her cup of tea while speaking with a nonchalant expression.
“I don’t know about estrangement. We can fix the misunderstanding quickly. By tonight.”
“Huh? W, what do you mean?”
“Renie made one mistake. We have a strong mediator with the four gods. A mediator we gained through Shizuma.”
I soon understood once the bobbed-haired girl said it.
Suddenly, we heard the sound of a key unlocking the front door. Then, with the sounds of fierce footsteps approaching, the scarlet, wavy-haired mediator herself stormed in.
“You guys! What were you thinking back there?!”
As soon as Elmira appeared, she furiously drew closer. Of course she would resent the three princesses for not only defending the “Evil Spirit,” but baring their fangs at Ryuuga.
“I need an explanation right now! Or are you all actually planning on opposing humanity?! Are you just like the other apostles?! Are you like all apostles?!”
“Now now, calm down, Elmira. Would you like some tea?”
“You can’t fool me, Mion!”
“If I remember correctly, we still have some Asian pears remaining. Should I peel one?”
“You should explain yourselves first, Jyuri! I’ll take the Asian pear afterwards!”
“Elmira, you’re sweaty. Have a towel.”
“Give that to me now, Kiki! Hey, isn’t this just an ordinary rag?!”
…Afterwards, I had no choice but to tell Elmira everything.
I told her about Tao wanting to reconcile.
I told her that Yukimiya knew about Tao.
I told her about how I wanted Tao to lose strength and subsequently get “converted” by fighting Ryuuga.
I told her about the butler, Sebastian, being Rikushou Renie.
I also told her that Renie was acting a bit suspiciously.
I was a bit hesitant on revealing this all to Elmira, but it seemed that the three princesses intended to do so from the start. After the incident with Shizuma, she’s had a pretty good relationship with them.
(There’s no way Renie would think that the ‘Vermilion Bird’ would have this kind of relationship with the three princesses. So that must be why they fought Ryuga and the others without hesitation…they counted on Elmira to patch things up.)
These three sisters are quite good at outwitting the enemy.
Indeed, taking Elmira into account, we should be able to calm Ryuuga and the others. It’s much easier for us when we have a collaborator who’s also on the protagonist’s side.
Now that it’s come to this, let’s have Elmira involved in this case as well.
I may be relying on a main character, but at least she’s a non-human.
“…I understand the situation for now. In short, you all wanted to prove the ‘Evil Spirit’ Taowu’s harmlessness by having Shiori ‘convert’ her, right? To that end, you wanted Ryuuga to exhaust Taowu’s power through a fight.”
The vampire organized the information while sipping tea.
The teacup she used had the zodiac symbol for “sheep” on it. She often sleeps in class, so we went with sheep. It’s become her exclusive teacup.
“That’s right. So I want you keep this a secret. Renie doesn’t know that you’re a mediator.”
“Is Shiori herself really okay? That’s all I want to know.”
“It seems that Yukimiya will have Tao on her side and will regain her abilities soon. The three princesses plan to take turns monitoring the situation as well.”
Eventually, the vampire girl reluctantly decided to cooperate.
While being bribed with pears, we discussed our future actions. For the time being, we decided to have Elmira smooth things out by saying “There must be some reason for the three princesses’ actions. Leave their matter to me,” to Ryuuga and the others.
(For now, this should calm things down. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot to do…I guess I should start with contacting Renie. Or perhaps Qiongqi? No──I start with ‘him’ first.)
At that moment, the home phone rang.
I left everyone in the living room and headed towards the kitchen to pick up the handset. I had an idea of who it was. My parents wouldn’t call me during this time.
In that case, it’s potentially the one who called me before, the “Evil Spirit” Qiongqi. Or perhaps──
Right when his face came to mind, I got confirmation that it was “him.”
‘…Kobayashi. Do you recognize my voice?’
Just like I thought, once I placed the handset to my ear, I heard a familiar, lifeless voice.
“Hey, Agito. So you came home from the cemetery?”
So it really was him. Tenryouin Agito.
The superhuman ikemen transfer student who I once thought was the protagonist of another story. However, my perception of him has changed since.
“Come to think of it, I never did give you my mobile number or email address, did I? What you do know──is Ryuga’s email address.”
I’m already convinced. The sender of the mysterious message telling Ryuuga about “a battle taking place in the cemetery” was probably Agito.
In other words, he knew about tonight’s attack led by Shima and Saihiru.
Furthermore, that cheetah apostle is a member of Agito’s band named “Apostle”…I looked that word up in a dictionary recently and it turns out that it means “apostle” in languages like Italian or Portuguese.TLNA reminder that the band name “Apostle” is not the same word used for the Apostles of Hell. The band name is in Gairaigo (loan words) while the actual apostles themselves are referred to using the regular Japanese noun.
“Agito, did you have an ulterior motive in getting close to Ryuga? Transferring schools must have been a hassle.”
In response, I heard a sneering scoff come from the handset.
‘If you’ve already noticed, than that makes this easier to explain. Eight in the morning, I’ll be waiting for you at the square in front of the station, just like today. It’s about time that I let you know about──what will happen from now on.’
Bring it on, bonehead.
You’re now a character in this story. You’re not the protagonist of another story.
I don’t need to win your favor as a friend character anymore.