Is it Tough Being a Friend?

Is it Tough Being a Friend? v7 Chapter 1 Part 4

“F, father? Mother? And you all are here too…!”

Shortly thereafter, The trio of commanding officers led us and a belated Elmira to Shizuma.

We arrived at an audience room meant for meeting a king. A large golden throne stood at the end of a long red carpet. It seemed that it was meant for an “Evil Spirit” to sit on. How ostentatious.

Behind the throne, in a small room that seemed like a waiting room, was Shizuma.

I was relieved that my beloved son was safe, but that relief soon dissipated.

As for the reason why…Shizuma was lying on a blanket. He looked exhausted and pale. His eyes were devoid of vigor, his lips were dry, and he seemed worn out.

Even so, the two-year old boy managed to raise his upper body and sit up straight. Actually, he seemed to have visibly grown again. He looks to be around three years old now.

“S, Shizuma! What happened?!”

“Oh, good lord…!”

“Shizuma is…Shizuma’s in danger!”

I immediately rushed over to embrace his tiny body, followed shortly by Elmira and Kiki.

Mion and Jyuri also showed looks of concern. Beside us, the trio of commanding officers once again kneeled down.

“Father…were you perhaps worried after I didn’t show up at the arranged time and place…?”

“Of course. More importantly, what in the world happened to you? For you to be in this state…did the food of this world upset your stomach?”

“No, actually…I used too much of my flames in combat. I ended up exhausting a lot of my energy…”

So he ran out of fuel?

Shizuma, a “Blood-kin of Eternal Darkness” like Elmira, has the supernatural ability to operate flames. That ability uses up blood, and overuse can lead to anemia.

“Kobayashi Ichirou! Let Shizuma suck your blood right now!”

“Give him all you have!”

The vampire girl and Hokkaido wolf girl forcibly took off my jacket, unbuttoned my shirt, and exposed my upper body.

They restrained my arms, grabbed my head, and pushed my neck towards Shizuma. It looked like I was about to be beheaded, but there’s no point in complaining.

“Shizuma, you can suck my blood for the time being. You need to replenish your energy.”

“I, is that okay, Father?”

We convinced him that it was fine. According to Elmira, my blood tastes pretty good. If it means that Shizuma will get better, I’ll offer all I have.

…Some time had passed. After reluctantly sinking his teeth into the nape of my neck, Shizuma’s complexion miraculously got better.

The vigor in his eyes returned and his skin became glossy for some reason. It’s a good thing we decided to cross into the spirit world…

However, now I’m the one who’s deathly pale. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Elmira also sunk her teeth into my neck. It was a bad idea to bring her along.

“Father, thank you. Thanks to you, I feel completely energized.”

“Y, yeah…that’s great…”

Seeing that Shizuma was able to stand up now, I made a fatherly smile. Unable to stand up, I swapped places with him and rested on the blanket.

“Mother, Sister, I wanted to see you.”

“As did I, Shizuma. Come now, how about another hug?”

“And I wanted to see you too, Shizuma. Videos and letters aren’t enough.”

Shizuma happily reunited with his mother and sister. Seeing that it was the right moment to, Mion and Jyuri finally approached Shizuma and stroked his head.

“Shizuma, you’ve gotten bigger. You’re already taller than Kiki now, aren’t you?”

“Heh, as I thought, you really are growing to my liking. Once you grow a bit more, I can teach you a few things.”

“Mion, Jyuri, I haven’t heard from you two in a while. Sorry for leaving without telling you…Also, Zelva, Gaigo, and Yagujya, sorry for making you worry. Everything’s alright now.”

The commander trio responded with smiles. It seemed that at some point, they transformed into their human forms.

“It’s alright, boy. After all, we’re your subordinates now.”

Zelva, a college student-like guy with his hair tied up in a bandana, replied. When he tried to light a pipe in his mouth, Mion took the match away.

“If we had more power, you wouldn’t have had to go through this…”

Gaigo, a middle-aged man with many scars on his face, spoke with regret. The armor he wore over his giant body made him look like the kind of heavyweight soldier you’d see in a game.

“It’s great that you recovered, Shizu~. Shizuma’s papa, thank you for the blood donation~.”

Yagujya, who wore excessive eyeshadow and had pronounced lips, turned towards me and winked. Though he wore heavy makeup, I think he pulled it off better than Tao.

“So Shizuma, did something happen? You mentioned that you were in combat, but…are there apostles in here that can give you trouble?”

Shizuma’s face suddenly became gloomy upon Elmira’s question.

The words he responded with shocked us. It was a worst-case scenario.

“The one I fought against──was Qiongqi. It seems that he found out I was in the spirit world and appeared in front of me. That was just two days ago.”

“Q, Qiongqi appeared in the spirit world?!”

“Yes. He said ‘Let’s work together,’ and ‘Shiyuu is waiting for you,’ to me…”

What the hell. The nerve that “Shota Evil Spirit” has to go after Shizuma!

I didn’t think he would figure out Shizuma’s spot this quickly. Of course, since Qiongqi’s an “Evil Spirit,” he can travel to the spirit world. Did he use that ability to to search for Shizuma?

“I refused, which led to a battle. Since the ‘Evil Spirit’ could only stay for ten minutes, I tried to focus on defending and managed to somehow survive, but…as a result, I couldn’t move.”

That’s quite a feat. To hold out against an “Evil Spirit” for ten minutes is something only the most talented can do. If he wasn’t my son, I would’ve wanted to become his friend character.

“I don’t know why, but Qiongqi definitely wasn’t giving it his all. Fortunately, he hasn’t attacked a second time yet, but…there’s another troubling matter.”

“W, what’s wrong?”

The older sister sat on her brother’s lap while frowning.

“Most apostles in the spirit world have now sworn allegiance to Qiongqi. Even those who had been with me before have switched sides, with the exception of these three here.”

That’s certainly a problem.

Despite Shizuma’s best efforts to unify the spirit world…it seems that the authority of an “Evil Spirit” is too strong.

“Unfortunately, the spirit world in under Qiongqi’s control now…and in fact, we’ve been cornered into hiding within the ‘Hell Castle.’ I’m sorry…”

The words Agito said to me the other day flashed into my mind.

──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.──

Is this what he meant? Did he have a part in this?

With a concerning look, Mion leaned forwards towards a dejected Shizuma.

“Wait, Shizuma. A majority of the two thousand apostles in the spirit world are supposed be our subordinates, right? Did you tell them that you’re backed by the ‘Three Princesses’?”

Upon hearing the heron general’s words, the king cobra general and Hokkaido wolf general chimed in as well.

“Right, We have armies of five hundred…so that means there should be a thousand five hundred on our side. Though, around three hundred people from those armies went to the human world to launch an unauthorized attack.”

“That’s still one thousand two hundred. How come my subordinates aren’t supporting you?”

…Originally, the three princesses were the ones tasked to “maintain order in the spirit world.” So, of course, their subordinates were tasked to be on standby in the spirit world.

That’s not all though. Renie’s subordinates, who were defeated three hundred years ago, should have revived in the spirit world by now. Did those people also defect to Qiongqi’s faction?

The commander trio answered that question for me.

“Miss, that’s not the problem. They all have no reason to go against an ‘Evil Spirit’ who orders them to obey, you see. A ruler’s orders preempts a general’s orders.”

“Of course, they know that other ‘Evil Spirits’ have awakened. However, allying with Qiongqi lets them revive one more time without any cooldown…”

“Furthermore, Qiongqi is forming a new unit named ‘Hell’s Ten Spears,’ it seems~. He’s accepting everyone and anyone into it~.”

As expected of “Qiongqi of Wisdom.” He’s good at luring in apostles.

It seems that apostles won’t band together under a call for freedom. It also seems that they’re easily swayed by temptations. He set up quite the effective campaign.

“Those guys…definitely need to be taught a painful lesson.”

“That’s quite a shame. Only one member of each army remains.”

“Why?! Should I not have made my five hundred people play a game of cards?!”

Shizuma turned towards the three grumbling princesses and further reported.

“Apostle troops are currently surrounding this ‘Hell Castle’ under Qiongqi’s orders. The leading them is Soushou Shakuhou…I believe you three know him well, right?”

Soushou Shakuhou.

I believe that’s the name of someone in “Hell’s Top Eight,” a mandrill apostle general.

It seems he lost to Ryuuga’s ancestors and fell asleep for a long time, but has recently revived. What unfortunate timing.

Hearing that name, the three princesses folded their arms and eventually clapped their hands at once. Apparently, it took some time for them to remember him.

“Shakuhou…I almost forgot about him. That guy made a love confession to me once.”

“That guy stole my panties. I think he wanted to wear them as a nightcap.”

“He accidentally stole my panties once. He said ‘This doesn’t feel right,’ and returned them.”

…Is Renie the only decent person in the top eight?

As an aside, since Shakuhou was defeated three hundred years ago, he seems to have overslept an extra hundred years.

Persimmons are his favorite food, and his hobby is visiting hot springs in the human world. Why can’t we get any useful information on him?

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8 thoughts on “Is it Tough Being a Friend? v7 Chapter 1 Part 4”

  1. At least a new chapter, i hope in this vol will go all out when figth qionqi next
    thanks for the chapter

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