Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v7 Prologue



Hinomori Ryuuga’s “Story of Supernatural Battles” is finally reaching its climax.

The army of peculiarities, the “Apostles of Hell,” have been threatening the human world since ancient times. Controlling them at the top are the final bosses, the four fiends. Hundun, Taotie, Qiongqi, and Tao.

Among the four dreadful leaders, only the conflict against the “Evil Spirit” Qiongqi remains unresolved.

His defeat will mark the end of the tale. The world will then regain peace, and Ryuuga’s team will be freed from their fate of battle.

(Though, it would have been so great if things went as planned…)

This was originally supposed to be a four-part series.

Each of the four fiends should’ve been the final boss for each part.

That ended up failing once Qiongqi and Tao made a double booking. Moreover, Tao immediately surrendered.

Now that Tao’s arc isn’t happening, this is going to end up being a three-part story.

I, Kobayashi Ichirou, find it extremely disappointing that the situation has come to this. As the protagonist’s friend, and as the story planner, I’d like to apologize to everyone.

(Could it be that the story’s being rushed? Could it be that God is saying ‘I’m tired of this already, so let’s just end this,’ to us? Though, this decision could be from the sponsors or the editor, the ‘Higher Gods’…)

No, that can’t be right. The story should’ve been fairly exciting. Haven’t the main characters been doing their best as well?

If God really is displeased, then surely that’s my fault. After all, a plain friend character like me has been needlessly standing out.

(No! I didn’t choose to stand out! I didn’t choose to live with two of the ‘Evil Spirits,’ raise flags with the main characters, be a father, and have a serious battle with Qiongqi’s vessel!)

…It’s no use. Considering all of the problems, I can’t help but feel like something went wrong on my end.

I probably wouldn’t even get a stay of execution. “The defendant has exhibited self-centered and immoral behavior. There is no room for excuses…” is likely what the judge would say.

Now that the story has rushed itself to the final chapter, I can’t afford to make any more mistakes.

I will not get involved with the main story anymore. I will not tout my presence.

(The friend character shouldn’t have a role in the crux of the story’s climax. It’s already odd that I’m appearing so frequently.)

Normally, I’m supposed to be phased out by now, and if I’m really unlucky, never to appear again. After that, I should only be in one scene of the ending, at best.

That is the fate of a friend character…even now, this is the hill that I choose to die on. I know my place.

(That said, there are still some issues that need to be addressed…)

──First, Renie needs to be rescued from Qiongqi’s apostle amalgamation, Shiyuu.

Yukimiya’s butler, Sebastian, is currently fused with Shiyuu. If we don’t save him, we won’t truly reach a happy ending.

──Furthermore, we need to introduce the “Evil Spirit” Tao to Ryuuga and the others.

Due to all of the overlapping events, Tao’s character ended up being revealed prematurely. There’s no point trying to make her the “neutral ‘Evil Spirit’ who could either be a friend or a foe” anymore.

(Though, Tao isn’t really fit for being the final boss, so perhaps this is better than dragging the plot on. This way, I can focus on livening up Qiongqi’s arc in the best way possible…so perhaps this is a silver lining.)

I’d like Ryuuga, and of course the heroines under the four gods, to face the final chapter with all of their might.

I’d like to have a scene that highlights each of them as they unleash their secret techniques, and perhaps some fan service with their clothes getting torn too. Of course, they shouldn’t overshadow the protagonist Ryuuga. I’m talking to you, Kurogame.

…It was Monday, the day after the school festival, that I was thinking about such matters.

I left home in the morning and took a train towards “a certain location.”

There’s no school today. So, I decided to use this day to investigate Tenryouin Agito’s situation.

(Agito’s likely going to transfer schools again. Well, he had no choice since Ryuuga’s team found about him being ‘Qiongqi’s vessel.’)

I need to know his whereabouts in order to adjust the script. Of course, this reconnaissance will be kept secret from the main characters. As a story planner, this is a top secret investigation.

(It’s unlikely that he’s already moved out. That high-class mansion is Agito’s property, after all. That reminds me, there were 150 apostles living there…I wonder if they already became Shiyuu’s food.)

I couldn’t enter the apartments due to an automatic locking system, so I loitered.

“…Kobayashi, what are you doing?”

Unexpectedly, the man himself stood in front of me.

“Oh, Agito!”

Sure enough, it was Tenryouin Agito. The good-looking, perverted gentleman who had a one-sided admiration for Ryuuga.

Unlike me, the roaming transfer student had the same poker face as always. As usual, he wore the white school uniform for his previous school, Hakubou Private High School.

“Kobayashi, you hindered my session with Hinomori yesterday. What a sour taste you left behind.”

He was referring to “the musical performance by Ryuuga’s team” at the end of the school festival. I firmly intercepted Agito as he tried to forcefully crash the performance.

That was the obvious course of action to take. In a band, someone affiliated with the final boss shouldn’t be standing next to the main characters. Though, the heron apostle also joined.

“So, what business do you have, Kobayashi? I thought I had nothing else to speak with you about.”

“Oh, um…what school are planning on transferring to this time?”

Since I happened to come across him, I wanted to know.

Right now, Ryuuga and the others are searching for his whereabouts…he’s a wanted criminal, so to speak. It’s likely that the final battle will begin once they find him.

“I’m transferring back to Hakubou Private.”

Surprisingly, Agito quickly answered. To think he would be going back.

“From the start, I planned on going back after mingling with Hinomori. That’s why I never changed my school uniform. I still have some business with Hakubou Private.”

“Business? Come to think of it, there was an incident in the past where a group of Hakubou Private students were sent to the hospital…was that your doing?”

If I recall correctly, Aogasaki was the one who mentioned that. Around ten students affiliated with the “Occult Research Society” fell ill for unknown reasons.

I glared at Agito…convinced that he and Qiongqi were responsible.

“Oh, so you knew about that incident? That has no connection with your ‘Tale of Hinomori Ryuuga’ though. For now, at least.”

Confessing to his involvement, Agito spoke in an ominous manner.

“What do you meaning by that?”

“I have no obligation to answer. Not to someone who hindered my session with Hinomori.”

Refusing to answer my question, Agito began to walk. He headed towards his residence, the “Hell House.”

“Leaving that aside, there’s something else you should be focusing your attention on. Remain so carefree and you may just be swept off your feet.”

“W, what does that mean?”

“I have no obligation to answer. Not to someone who hindered my session with Hinomori.”

With those parting words, Agito left. It seems that he was really peeved about not being able to have a bass duet with Ryuuga.

(Oh right, there’s one other issue to deal with. Now that Shima has defected from Qiongqi, we have to find her before she ends up becoming food for Shiyuu, causing even more trouble.)

Shiyuu, the apostle amalgamation and Qiongqi’s trump card.

Qiongqi has been gathering the souls of generals in order to strengthen that monster.

(He said that once Shiyuu absorbs the top eight and three princesses, it will become the fifth ‘Evil Spirit,’ right? If that occurs, I’ll definitely be dragged into the battle…and I can’t let that happen.)

According to Qiongqi, this story is about “the battle between Kobayashi Ichirou and Tenryouin Agito.”

How would that even work? As if I’d let it come to that.

I will definitely foil his scheme. I will limit my appearances and reduce my presence until people say “Come to think of it, happened to Kobayashi?” “He suddenly disappeared,” and “Did he transfer?”

That is Kobayashi Ichirou’s proper position. A true friend character.

As I renewed my resolution──

“Hey you, what business do you have at our hotel? You’ve been staring this whole time.”

An old man, who seemed to be an administrator, drove me away.

I recall hearing that he’s Zamosu, a swordfish apostle.

Zamosu, you’re working as an administrator? If you don’t flee, you’ll become food for Shiyuu, you know?

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12 thoughts on “Is it Tough Being a Friend? v7 Prologue”

  1. Apologies for the long hiatus. A mixture of school, a global pandemic, and burnout resulted in a lack of updates.

    1. Bro…I miss u so much, I check this site every now and then to see if ur ok, but now that you’re back, welcome back and thanks for the chappy.

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