It was only ten minutes ago.
I was on the top floor of a luxury apartment, which was Tenryouin Agito’s home and Qiongqi’s hideout.
It was a large room with a glass wall, similar to a president’s office. Since it was the fifteenth floor, the view was quite superb. With a view that high up, humans below would probably seem like ants.
“Yo, Kobayashi boy. It’s been a while since we’ve talked on the phone. Did you enjoy yourself last night? I was trying to have Hinomori Ryuuga and Tao meet each other.”
Agito, sitting on the desk, spoke those words to me. However, they were not spoken in his voice.
The one speaking was the “Evil Spirit” dwelling inside him…the ringleader who invited me here, Qiongqi.
“Why would I enjoy myself? You didn’t need to do that…I have my own plans.”
While answering in irritation, I sipped some coffee.
Contrary to my expectations, it tasted fine. That wild kuro gyaru did a good job making it.
Her name’s Banshou Shima. She’s the guitarist in Agito’s band and a cheetah apostle general. It turned out that she was a resident of this apartment building as well.
“Ahaha. You’ll have to adopt some of my plans then. Let’s liven up this story together.”
Despite Qiongqi’s talkativeness, Agito looked downwards while expressionless. On closer inspection, he was reading. Despite being an “Evil Spirit’s” vessel, he had little motivation.
Not minding his host’s behavior, Qiongqi continued chatting with a high-pitched, child-like voice.
“With this, Hinomori’s faction and the three princesses have returned to being hostile. I wish one of them had died back at the cemetery though.”
“So you really did anticipate the three princesses intervening? Is that what you’re up to? Are you trying to weaken our fighting strength?”
“Yep. Anyways, I’m glad that the estrangement tactic worked. The one who proposed it was Renie, not me though.”
So Sebastian really did plan this. Quite bold of him to rebel as both Tao’s subordinate and Yukimiya’s butler.
However, Elmira should be able to mediate between Ryuuga’s faction and the three princesses. There’s no reason for me to say that to the enemy though.
“Hey, Qiongqi. Was Renie also the one who told you about Tao’s revival?”
“Well I must admit, I once saw Renie driving a car. Since then, I had Saihiru search for him. After all, Renie used to be Tao’s representative. We offered an alliance with Tao. Something to oppose the ‘Tie and Dun alliance.'”
That spider butler agreed?
But we established a good relationship between Yukimiya and Tao…they even began to exchange a diary…he’s gone too far.
“Surprisingly, Renie was quick to comply, albeit anticlimactically. We agreed that once we destroy the human world, we would give half of it to Tao.”
That kind of proposal from the final boss would almost certainly lead to betrayal…I once got a similar proposal in a game, selected “yes,” and had a terrible playthrough.
“Well actually, I’m confident that I can win without needing an alliance. However, it would be much easier with Renie as a companion.”
“How would that make it easier?”
“Stop trying to act cute. Don’t go around thinking that you’ll get fans from doing that.”
I felt a bit irritated at this easygoing “Shota Evil Spirit.”
I’m definitely not good with this guy. This brat’s currently second place in my “list of people I want to punch if I got the chance to.” Kurogame still takes first place.
Despite our conversation, Agito continued silently reading.
At least have some interest in us. This is a serious conversation about the storyline.
“You’re too cruel, Kobayashi boy. I’m sure I’ll be a final boss who performs beyond your expectations, you know? I’m the only ‘Evil Spirit’ who can enliven this story to the maximum degree.”
“Then do you plan on losing at the end? The final boss loses to the protagonist.”
“I wonder about that. Aren’t there episodes where the protagonist loses? Of course, the protagonist I’m referring to──is you.”
Qiongqi’s tone of voice sounded slightly provocative.
…In the past, this guy brashly told me that I can’t “play the supporting role” and that I’ve “taken the position of the protagonist away. Away from Hinomori Ryuuga.”
Like me, he sees this world as a “story.” It seems that he also has his own peculiar idea for how the story should go.
This is a good opportunity. I should make myself clear here.
“The protagonist of this story is Hinomori Ryuuga. I do not want to be on the front stage at all.”
“Say, Kobayashi boy. Do you really think that you can be a ‘friend character’ at this rate? No matter how you look at it, you’re the protagonist of this battle story. Much more than Hinomori Ryuuga.”
“T, that’s only because you’ve been looking at the backstage. If you look at the main story, the protagonist is definitely Ryuga…”
“You have two ‘Evil Spirits’ inside your body, the ‘Three Princesses of Hell’ live with you, and on top of that, you’re the secret father of an apostle baby with the capacity to be a general…looking at the main story, you’re definitely at the center of the it.”
“Pay mind to people’s worries! Cushion the blow a bit!”
The “Shota Evil Spirit” crackled when I suddenly raised my voice.
“I want to make a ‘battle between Kobayashi Ichirou and Tenryouin Agito’ the main part of this story.”
“I mean, why not? It’s obvious that you and Agito are the strongest characters in this story. Imagine a great war of peculiarities between ‘Evil Spirits’…enticing, isn’t it?”
“What about Ryuga?!”
“Nope. She’s a girl. To put it bluntly, she’s not fit for being the protagonist.”
The moment I heard that, I felt my blood boil.
“She can at least serve as a prize in the battle between you and──”
Before Qiongqi could finish speaking, I smashed the table in front of me.
Agito finally looked up and quietly stared at us. While the “Evil Spirit” inside him stared back, I spoke in a voice filled with anger and bloodlust.
“You have no right to make that call, you small fry.”
Before long, I regained my senses, surprised by the voice that I didn’t think could come out of me.
…Not good. I lost my temper from Ryuuga being mistreated. I accidentally let out bloodlust as a friend character. I ended up blurting out a cool line.
“You surprised me. Is that your true self, Kobayashi?”
“I’m more surprised that you could smash a table bare-handed. This is marble, isn’t it?”
Agito’s and Qiongqi’s remarks of astonishment left me flustered. I immediately shook my head and swung my arms, attempting to laugh it off.
“I, I was just bluffing! I just wanted to try saying that! Really Agito, did you fall for that?”
“Bluff or not, you actually demolished the table. A table worth 800,000.”
“Please! Pretend that was styrofoam! I’ll take out a ten-year loan to reimburse you!”
“I don’t need reimbursement. It’s nothing to me. More importantly, your true nature just now──”
“Oh look at the time, I need to offer my prayers! Breasts! Breasts!”
Dodging Agito’s questions, I offered a dance to the god of breasts.
Agito pinched his forehead, watching me continue my desperate dance. From inside him, Qiongqi spoke in a surprised voice.
“I don’t think it’s possible to gloss over it anymore…or rather, will that really convince anyone?”
“Shut up! I didn’t do anything! The table breaking was a result of the breast god’s divine protection!”
“Even if we believe that, you still broke marble.”
“That’s enough. I get it.”
Fed up, Qiongqi returned to the conversation.
It seems I was able to dodge the question somehow. I hope he at least somewhat understood that I’m not fit for being the protagonist…
“Well then, Kobayashi boy. Let’s get down to business, shall we? Of course, I wanted to talk with you, but the main reason for calling you here is that I wanted to make an offer.”
What kind of offer? A date for our duel? A demand for Tao to withdraw? Or perhaps some sweet words to offer me a third of the world?
In any case, I’m not willing to accept an offer from him. Not from the guy who treated Ryuuga like a fool.
“Perhaps this is sudden, but how about a week-long ceasefire?”
His surprisingly peaceful offer left me bewildered.
The giant fan on the ceiling continued to slowly spin. Its shape was as incomprehensible as Qiongqi’s offer.
“A week-long ceasefire?”
“Yep. Agito insists on it. You see, I do occasionally have to listen to my faithful marionette’s requests.”
“Not that it matters, but what does that mean?”
When I tried to ask for his true motives, Qiongqi suddenly yawned.
“I’m getting sleepy for some reason. Well then, you know where to find me.”
“Hey, wait! Explain yourself! I’m supposed to be your guest!”
“You should know, right? An ‘Evil Spirit’ spends more than half of the day sleeping inside the host.”
Come to think of it, that sounds about right.
Even now, Taotie and Hundun aren’t waking up, likely because they’re sleeping. They were also playing a competitive game until dawn.
“Take care of yourself. Consider becoming the protagonist. See you later, Kobayashi boy──”
Not paying mind to me, Qiongqi fell asleep.
Despite trying to call out to him, shaking Agito’s shoulders, knocking on Agito’s forehead, and grabbing Agito’s neck, there was no response.
“Kobayashi, perhaps I should have you pay for the table.”
“…Please pardon me. We’re fellow ‘Evil Spirit’ vessel buddies.”
Thereafter, I left Agito’s apartment as if to flee.
Flee from the “Hell House” where around one hundred and fifty apostles lived.