School had ended. On the way home, I was together with Ryuuga and Elmira until we parted ways like usual.
I didn’t feel like going home and so I decided to sit around on the park’s bench and distract myself.
It was only four o’clock, so there was some time until dinner. Dinner at the Kobayashi household basically takes place at seven o’clock.
Normally, I would take a bath after that, and then spend time in the living room, but…I wouldn’t do that today. I have a guest coming.
(I think Jyuri said that she would bring Yukimiya with her home at around eight.)
That’s right. Starting from today, there will be another resident of the Kobayashi house. No wait, that would actually be two residents. There’s also Tao.
According to Jyuri, Yukimiya already agreed to it. She’s apparently making a lot of preparations since she still needs to attend school while living at my house.
Jyuri also seems to have given a subconscious suggestion to the employees of the Yukimiya mansion. She used her usual brainwashing technique to give them a suggestion that stated “don’t think anything of Shiori’s absence.” What a convenient ability.
(At this rate, it’s possible that Aogasaki and Kurogame will begin living at my house as well…what kind of friend character has that happen to them? Seriously, who?)
While watching the sun set, I felt uneasy.
(Boss, shouldn’t you head home? I want to continue my game.)
Suddenly, a voice called out to me in my head. It was Taotie.
Did he just get out of bed? He didn’t even wake up at all when I was at Agito’s apartment…
“Hey Tie, what happened to Uncle Hundun?”
(He’s still sleeping. His snoring was so loud, he woke me up.)
Listening carefully, I could definitely hear some snoring. If that’s the case, then dinner’s going to be over by the time he’s up.
As part of our house rules, those who don’t come to the dining table by seven shouldn’t expect to have dinner. It’s a rule that everyone starts eating together.
(That reminds me, you met Qiongqi, right Boss? How did it go?)
“We have a week-long cease-fire until the school festival ends. Also, Yukimiya and Tao will be staying at our place for a while.”
(More roommates? Even though we just got rid of Elmira and Shizuma?)
“Now that I think about it, this means that three ‘Evil Spirits’ will be living together…perhaps my home is more wicked than Agito’s apartment.”
What’s worse is that one of the heroines of the four gods will be there too. Friend and foe will live together under one roof.
(It seems a lot happened while I was asleep. As usual, you love working behind the scenes, Boss.)
“Behind the scenes…? Hey Tie, do you actually think that I’m an egotist?”
(That’s not important. What’s for dinner today?)
“Don’t change topics that quickly! We’re having Hamburg steak!”
(Alright! I love Hamburg steak!)
“Is that something an ‘Evil Spirit’ would say?! Once in a while, you should at least listen to your host’s worries or show some compassion!”
I was directing my anger at Taotie while he jumped for joy.
“──Kobayashi, what are you doing here?”
A familiar voice came from beside me and a tall, ponytailed girl approached while wearing her school uniform.
Sure enough, it was the successor of the “Azure Dragon,” the “Swordswoman of the Beheading Dance.”
As usual, she carried her wooden sword and walked towards me with a gallant stride. My eyes unintentionally glanced at her well-proportioned legs, covered by black stockings that went up to her skirt.
“You’re making a lot of noise for someone who’s alone. Well, I don’t dislike cheerful guys though…this seat’s free, right?”
Aogasaki sat down beside me without even waiting for my response.
…I feel like she’s awfully close. Similar to that time Ryuuga sat on the bench with me, the distance between us was like the distance between a hostess and company president. I’ve never been to those kinds of establishments though.
“Kobayashi, sorry about what happened on the school rooftop. I let my emotions get the better of me. I didn’t want you to see that part of me.”
“N, no. I understand your worries about Yukimiya.”
“I’m still inexperienced. I need to follow Ryu’s example and remain calm.”
Ryuu──that’s what Aogasaki calls Ryuuga privately.
After finding out that Ryuuga’s a girl and subsequently revealing her fashion hobby, the two quickly grew close. To the point that they stay over at each other’s homes and take baths together.
(Oh right. I can talk to Aogasaki about Ryuga’s issue.)
She’s probably realized it yesterday at the bowling alley. Agito was blatantly hitting on Ryuuga, fully confident about her identity as a girl. However…
“Yeah, I heard about Tenryouin Agito from Ryuu.”
Ryuuga already told Aogasaki about the matter.
It seems Ryuuga had the same idea. She turned towards the one she calls “Rei” in private.
“He’s considerably perceptive if he found out about Ryuu being a woman, but I’m appalled at him using that as leverage to demand a date. I will not let that scoundrel be with Ryuu.”
“You really think so?”
“Yeah. Though when I first heard about it…I thought that if Ryuu had a boyfriend, perhaps I could have you all to myself. It’s quite unfortunate.”
That thought of yours is quite unfortunate as well.
“Actually, there’s another thing about Tenryouin that concerns me. I happened to hear something from a classmate familiar with the Hakubou Private high school.”
Aogasaki folded her arms while placing her hand on her chin. She often makes that pose. It’s probably by force of habit, but it sure looks cool.
“What’s this concern?”
“Well, it seems that two months ago…ten students at the Hakubou Private high school fell ill at once and were transported to the hospital.”
“To the hospital?”
“They were extremely exhausted and even when they woke up, they were in a state of confusion. Even now, they’re still absent from school…and they were all members of the dubious ‘Occult Research Society’ club.”
Something definitely smells strange here. Perhaps the incident didn’t appear in the newspapers for fear of creating a scandal surrounding the prestigious Hakubou Private.
“Could it be that Agito’s somehow connected to that incident?”
“That’s correct. Tenryouin Agito also──belonged to that ‘Occult Research Society.'”
So that means Qiongqi is connected to this?
I didn’t think that “Shota Evil Spirit” would use Agito to create an incident.
It’s unclear how much of that story is true, but if they plan on doing the same thing at Oumei High School, then we need to stop them. Though at the moment, they haven’t shown any suspicious behavior towards Ryuuga…
(Like Renie, I can’t keep Agito’s identity a secret forever. However, I need to do something about Tao’s case before I can officially reveal their true natures…)
While I was having trouble adjusting the story’s schedule, Aogasaki continued pondering beside me.
By the way, listening closely, I could hear two people snoring now. It seems Taotie went back to bed. He might miss out on eating that Hamburg steak.
“I hope this is just a needless fear, but it’s definitely fishy that he transferred schools at that exact time. Tenryouin Agito might be a man hiding some secrets.”
“I, I agree.”
“Though currently, it’s all just speculation. Everyone’s worried about Shiori right now. For the time being, I’ll hold back on telling this matter to anyone else. It probably won’t be too late to tell Ryuu and the others after we know about Shiori’s condition.”
When I replied with “I understand,” Aogasaki’s expression softened. For some reason, she continued staring at my face for a while before suddenly coughing in an unnatural manner.
“B, by the way, Kobayashi. There’s another thing on my mind.”
“What is it?”
“It’s not about Tenrouin…it’s about Rina.”
What did that tortoise do? Does she still want to beat up the three princesses?
“Rina calls you ‘Ii,’ right? I call Ryuuga ‘Ryuu,’ but I don’t have a nickname for you…it’s been on my mind for a while.”
“No, I don’t think there’s anything special about it, you know? That’s just Kurogame’s friendly nature…when we first spoke to each other, she already began calling me ‘Ii.'”
“I know that, of course. I’m not going to make a fuss over a small matter. However, I’m a little bit jealous…”
“I want to call you by a special name when we’re alone…”
The “Swordswoman of the Beheading Dance,” who was stern up until now, was strangely bashful.
This can’t be good. I’ve had someone else show me this strange behavior before on this very bench.
I heard that Aogasaki’s recently been studying cooking. Apparently, it’s not for a hobby, but for “bride training.”
Just thinking about where her desire for marriage came from…frightens me.
“For example, what about ‘Wan?’ Only for you.”
Please don’t do that. That makes me sound like a dog.1The “Ichi” in Ichirou means one. The English word for one sounds like “wan” when spoken using Japanese, hence the nickname. “Wan” also happens to be the onomatopoeic expression for dog barks in Japanese.
“Then what about ‘Chiro’? Only for you.”
Please don’t do that. That sounds like Cee-lo.2Cee-lo is a gambling game played with three six-sided dice.
“U, um, just calling me Kobayashi like always is fine…”
“That might get confusing. I might also have the name Kobayashi one day.”
She really does want to marry me! That makes me an adulterer for having Yukimiya live with me!
“W, wait a minute, Aogasaki! Talking about marriage is a death flag in battle stories──”
I desperately tried to restrain Aogasaki.
Suddenly, I heard the hoarse voice of a middle-aged man. It was Hundun’s booming voice.
“Hey Sonny, don’t drag this conversation out. Just pin her down and rub her chest. She’s waiting for you.”
Of course, Aogasaki heard that as well and immediately turned red. She hid her G-cup with her arms and quickly stepped away form me.
“Was, was…was that voice just now the ‘Evil Spirit’ Hundun’s!? That ‘Lolicon Evil Spirit’ infatuated with a middle schooler like Kyouka!?”
“Who are you calling a lolicon? Not a very polite greeting, is it, ‘Azure Dragon’?”
Come to think of it, this is the first time the two have spoken to each other, isn’t it? To think that it would end up like this…
“Come out, Hundun! I will beat your low-life attitude into shape!”
“The one you should be spending time with is this sonny, not me. C’mon, you can do it in the bushes there. Do you have proper protection?”
“D, don’t joke about that! Having my first time outdoors would be a disgrace to the Aogasaki way!”
I’d like to point out that’s not the problem, but now isn’t the time for retorts. Aogasaki’s in a complete frenzy. She’s losing her temper.
“Even if it’s with Kobayashi, do you really think I would go that far so easily?!”
“A sword wielder should always be ready for action at any time. An outdoors kendo match is not a strange thing, right?”
“You and your words…!”
Aogasaki stood up straight and pointed her wooden sword towards me.
In an attempt to resolve the situation somehow, I quickly scolded Hundun.
“Hey, Uncle! Shut up and go back! Just sleep until night!”
“Tie snored so loudly, he woke me up. More importantly, Sonny, what’s for dinner today?”
“This is the second time now! Hamburg steak!”
“Hamburg steak? That’s my favorite.”
“You too!? Anyways, stop harassing Aogasaki! I thought your notion of love was at the level of a grade schooler’s!”
“Only for Kyouka. This is what third-year high school grandmas get.”
In the next instant, I felt her wooden sword hit my head.
“Who are you calling a grandma?!”
I ran around the park, barely dodging her slash attacks. The tip of her wooden sword grazed the back of my head many times.
“Calm down, Aogasaki! Don’t attack me!”
“Come to the bushes! I’ll bury your corpse there!”
This time, I didn’t have Ryuuga to calm down the “Swordswoman of the Beheading Dance” like at the rooftop. Furthermore, nobody was around.
As a result, I had to pacify Aogasaki by myself.
I ended up with three bumps on my head.
…There are a lot of people who hate violent heroines.
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