Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v6 Chapter 1 Part 5

After all that happened, lunch break still wasn’t over yet.

I stepped away from the rooftop, leaving Ryuuga and the rest behind. I needed to make a phone call to see how Yukimiya’s doing.

(Should I go to the infirmary? It seems that Jyuri’s not here today, so it’s probably empty.)

It’s not proper to use the school nurse’s room for skipping school, but there shouldn’t be anybody there to make a big deal out of it. Everyone at school’s been given a subconscious suggestion to “not think anything of Hebizuka’s absence.”

I told Ryuuga and the others that “I’m going to the restroom since my stomach hurts.”

Since yesterday, I ended up becoming someone who makes constant trips to the restroom. Ryuuga even sent me a worried look. Though honestly, my digestive organs are tougher than most people’s…

(I need to think of a different reason other than the restroom soon. What about constipation? No, that’s still related to the restroom, isn’t it?)

While grieving over my lack of creative power, I soon arrived at the school infirmary.

As I thought, nobody was there. The entire room was clean, down to every last corner. There wasn’t even a wrinkle on any of the bedsheets. However, the school nurse was absent…that is, the large-breasted staff member who may or may not take her job seriously.

I immediately took out my mobile phone and called Yukimiya’s number.

I didn’t have to wait long, as the call connected in a matter of seconds. However…

‘Howdy, Shiori ‘ere.’

The one who picked up was obviously not Shiori. She was far too inelegant.

There was no question who it was. One of the “Evil Spirits,” Taowu──also known as Tao.

“Seriously Tao, don’t decide to answer the phone on your own.”

‘Oh, you’re Ichirou, ain’t ya? I knew you’d recognize me in an instant.’

“I could tell the moment you said ‘Howdy.’ Anything strange happening on your end?”

‘Just peace and quiet. Until a bit ago, Shiori and I were exchangin’ messages in our diary, but…it seems she got tired and went to hit the hay.’

Since Yukimiya didn’t “convert” Tao, they can’t speak to each other in the same way Agito and his “Evil Spirit” can. She loses her consciousness when Tao’s out.

Due to that, they decided to use a diary as a way to communicate.

When I asked about it, it seemed that they exchanged messages until late at night yesterday. Anyone would be tired if they continued to exchange notes until now. Aren’t they becoming a little too close?

‘By the way, Ichirou. Sorry ’bout last night. I lost my marbles…’

“No, you’re amazing for not fighting back. If you took action against Ryuga and the others back then, things would have gotten messy.”

‘I’m an ‘Evil Spirit’ filled to the brim with philanthropy.’

“That might be a problem…”

‘That’s why I’m really mad at Renie. Workin’ with Qiong without my permission, that bad apostle ain’t no child of mine anymore.’

Bad apostle. Isn’t that kind of redundant? The “Apostles of Hell” are already humanity’s enemies. They’re inherently bad.

It’s the same as saying, for example, “women’s bloomers,” right? There’s no need to attach “women’s” to bloomers. There’s no such thing as men’s bloomers. Actually, bloomers don’t really exist these days.

While I was pondering about my meaningless thoughts, Tao continued speaking through the phone.

‘Jyuri came to stop by. Didya know this, Ichirou? Shiori and Jyuri ain’t very close friends. If it weren’t for me, they woulda gotten into a fight.’

“If she’s not at school, I figured that she would be guarding you…listen Tao, you need to prevent them from fighting. If Yukimiya comes to school with bruises, everyone will think you did it.”

‘I gotcha. Leave it to Tao! Oh, it seems Jyuri wants to speak, so I’m handin’ the phone to her.’

Thereupon, the person on the other end changed.

I heard the voice of the king cobra apostle who was supposed to be in the school infirmary.

‘Ichirou, thanks for the hard work. There’s no trouble at this time. That is, other than a catfight with that small-chested girl.’

“That’s plenty of trouble. More importantly Jyuri, beware of Renie. He’s the butler of that mansion, so sneaking in should be simple for him.”

‘I know. As long as I, Jyuri, am here, I will not let him put a single finger in Yukimiya Shiori.’

“Stop with the innuendos. It’s still noon.”

‘Also Ichirou, I want to speak with you about something important. I’d like to make a suggestion.’

Jyuri’s voice had suddenly shifted. She cleared her throat with a cough.

‘I’ve spoken with Tao about this, but…how about having Yukimiya Shiori temporarily stay at our home?’

“Huh? W, what?”

‘As you’ve said, this mansion is Renie’s home. Furthermore, it’s a long distance away from the Kobayashi household, taking thirty minutes to get here by car…so if an emergency occurs and we need help, you may not be able to make it in time.’

“Okay…”

‘There’s one more thing. Tao still hasn’t regained her full strength. I think that’s because she has just woken up and Yukimiya’s only been her vessel for six months.’

“Uh, okay…”

That’s why Shima and Saihiru attacked her last night. It takes around a year for an “Evil Spirit” to become fully accustomed to a new vessel. It might be dangerous to overestimate Tao’s capabilities.

‘If she’s in the Kobayashi house, she’ll be in our territory. We can allocate personnel to both guarding Yukimiya and searching for Renie. We could also respond quickly to attacks.’

That’s certainly true. She has a point, but…there’s one big problem.

Having Yukimiya stay over means that she’ll know about the three princesses living with me.

Isn’t that a disadvantage that far outweighs the advantages?

In the first place, us living together has already been revealed to a heroine, right? To Elmira, that is.

When I made a noncommittal response, Jyuri seemed to have read my mind.

‘I suppose you’re worried about Yukimiya discovering that us three princesses are living with you.’

“That’s right. If Yukimiya knows that, the shock might keep her in bed for a while.”

‘However, that problem’s already been solved by Tao.’

“…What?”

‘I peeked at the diary they used not too long ago…and Tao wrote a lot. She wrote about us living in the Kobayashi house. She even included a cute drawing.’

I nearly dropped my mobile phone.

She wrote that!? Furthermore, she drew it!? She told her about this top-secret matter!?

‘Yukimiya already knows, so don’t worry.’

“I’m definitely worried!”

‘Sure enough, it was a big shock and now she’s lying in her bed.’

“Then she’s not sleeping because of fatigue! This information’s the reason why she’s sleeping!”

‘Now she’s having a nightmare. Hahaha.’

“Why are you chuckling from that!?”

I made a mistake. I should have told Tao to keep quiet about this.

But now that it’s come to this, giving refuge to Yukimiya might be effective. I would’ve eventually told everyone about the three princesses living with me anyways.

──As of now, Aogasaki and Kurogame know about Ryuuga being a girl.

──Yukimiya and Elmira know that the three princesses live in the Kobayashi household.

Two of the four heroines know about one secret, and the other two know about the other. Actually, with this, perhaps it’ll be easier to keep track of things now.

I made up my mind, approved of Jyuri’s proposal, and hung up. Though, not before I heard Tao say “Hurray, sleepover,” without a hint of repentance.

(*sigh*, so now we have a new roommate? My home is starting to look like an illegal lodging-house.)

…When I returned to class with a dejected mood, I found that Ryuuga and Elmira were already there.

While the vampire was sleeping despite everything that happened, several girls surrounded Ryuuga, each putting a headband on her.

“No, it looks good on you! You’re cute, Hinomori!”

“Is this what they call a trap?”

“With those slim proportions, won’t guests really think you’re a woman?”

Ryuuga scratched her cheek with a strained smile while the girls giggled amongst themselves.

Hey, don’t toy with her for your own amusement. And Agito, don’t try to secretly take pictures of Ryuuga while she has a headband on.

There was still about a minute until the bell, so I forcefully broke through the circle of girls. At times like these, it’s my job to cover for Ryuuga.

“Put a headband on me. I’m going to have to be a maid as well.”

Once I said that, I snatched a headband on a desk on tried it on. Thereupon…

“Ew, gross!”

“You’re plain!”

“You stink!”

The girls simultaneously unleashed words of abuse. Why did they say I stink? This has nothing to do with smell.

…Hey Ryuuga, don’t try to secretly take pictures of me while I have a headband on.


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