My impatience was rising over how part two didn’t seem to be starting any time soon.
During these busy days, I had received an unexpected blessing.
Ryuuga had sent me a message. Sensing that I was shouldering a mountain of distress, she said ‘If you’re not in the mood, then I won’t force you to meet with me,’ and held back on my meeting with her.
It seemed that the rest took notice as well, and the other heroines didn’t call me over. They probably thought that if Ryuuga was holding back, then they shouldn’t be calling me over either. At present, Aogasaki just occasionally sends me messages with strange poems.
(How unexpected of the protagonist’s side to show some sympathy for me. With this, I can advance the story!)
That being the case, I suppose I should gradually show some glimpses of maleficence.
I’ll slowly act like my mind is in the process of being controlled by the “Evil Spirit”.
As an initial test, I decided to see what would happen if I do something wicked…or at least that’s what I thought, but I didn’t know what exactly to do.
Whether it be jaywalking or urinating outside, whatever I came up with all seemed like shabby ideas. At this point, I should just enter a biker delinquent gang. 一I only have a unicycle, though.
(Hey, Tie. What do you think I should do? What kind of evil deeds have you done in the past?)
While strolling around the neighborhood, I asked him a question in my head.
Upon which, Taotie immediately replied. It seemed that he woke up.
(Let’s see. Back in my day, I’d flatten mountains, make the sea run wild…along with destroying and burning castles or temples.)
(You’re pretty evil…)
(Then I’d steal pumpkins from fields and scrawl the word ‘poop’ on walls.)
(That difference in severity is a bit off-putting…)
(In short, I lived by acting on impulse. Can’t you do that as well, Boss?)
…According to what I heard from the three princesses, it seems that among the four fiends, Taotie is an especially wild, whimsy “Evil Spirit”.
I was told he would even mercilessly beat up any subordinates he didn’t like, then no sooner would gallantly treat their wounds.
However, Taotie admitted that his personality is strongly influenced by his vessel, meaning that his character is completely different each time he revives. He’s like a mirror that reflects his host.
──So now comes the present. Taotie’s strongly influenced by me, leading to his current personality.
An idea suddenly sprung up in my head…that perhaps his affection towards Ryuuga is a reflection of my subconsciousness…and perhaps his awakening of love is my awakening of love.
(No no! I have to think about how to advance part two! I need to appeal to the world not as the usual Kobayashi Ichirou, but as the evil Kobayashi Ichirou!)
With enthusiasm, I arrived at a business district near a train station.
I found a small girl crying while sitting down on the side of the road.
According to what she said, it seems that she lost sight of her mother and doesn’t know the way home. I couldn’t ignore her, so I had no choice but to lift up the girl by the hand and look for her mother, who we found shortly after.
“Thank you so much. I wonder how I should thank you…”
“No. Don’t worry about it.”
“Thank you, Mister!”
“It’s good that things worked out, Sayo.”
After waving my hand towards the two and leaving, I slapped myself with that same hand.
(What am I doing by performing a good deed?! I’m supposed to show my evil side!)
…Whatever. I’ll start over.
I’m under the influence of the “Evil Spirit”, not the usual Kobayashi Ichirou. I’ll do it right next time!
I walked with a renewed determination. I then found another lost child.
She was a little girl with bobbed hair and rubber boots, restlessly looking around while carrying a red pouch. It was the Kiki, one of the “Three Princesses of Hell”.
“Ah, Baron Ichirou!”
Noticing me, Kiki rushed over. She then jumped vigorously.
Despite her behavior, she’s an apostle. Furthermore, she’s a general.
“What are you doing, Kiki? Are you alone?”
“Yes. I came here to find a toy store. A figure of the underground monster Berberon is on sale today.”
To repeat myself, this person is a general.
“But I couldn’t find the store, and I forget which way I came from…I was about to cry.”
“What kind of apostle are you…? Actually, do you even have money?”
“None. I just wanted to look at Berberon.”
I couldn’t help but go to the toy store while leading Kiki by the hand and buy the Berberon figure for her. I had a soft spot for children.
“I’ll treasure it! I love you, Baron Ichirou!”
I decided to take Kiki, who was unprecedentedly expressing her emotions, and went home.
…Whatever. It’s a boss’ duty to support their subordinates.
I’m currently the evil Kobayashi Ichirou, under the influence of the “Evil Spirit”. Humans are my enemies.
(Wasn’t I just responding the same way as I did with that lost child…? Why am I playing this futile charade?)
It really is tough being the final boss.
It was about a week after August began.
Mion and I went to a large supermarket together. Not only did she want to buy ingredients for dinner, but she also wanted various daily necessities, so she asked me to carry her baggage.
I valued Mion’s housekeeping ability, and was now entrusting the home’s finances to her. Even so, she never neglected to report even minute expenses to me. She really is a steadfast person.
Kiki said “I want to go too,” so we brought her along as well. As for Jyuri, she’s watching a TV gossip show right now.
“Ichirou. What would you like to eat today?”
“Maybe a Hamburg steak.”
Nodding her head with a smile in response to my request, Mion briskly walked around the store’s interior. Following behind her was a trotting Kiki.
Since the three princesses were all considerable beauties, they attracted the attention of nearby people. Even now, male customers were sending passionate glances towards the girl with her hair to the side, who was closely examination the packs of ground meat.
“Hmm~, this one? Ah, that one has a better color…”
“I’m going to look at the candy.”
Mion immediately let out a voice towards Kiki, who was running off while saying that.
“Kiki, you’ll get lost if you go alone. Also, take only one.”
“Mion’s a cheapskate.”
Against my better judgement, I pampered the dejected Kiki by saying “Well, taking two should still be fine.” …It kind of looks like I’m her parent. I am by no means a lolicon.
“Baron Ichirou has a big heart.”
While seeing Kiki run off while seeming delighted, Mion glared at me.
“Ichirou, don’t make such a soft expression. That girl will end up eating them all on the way home.”
“Isn’t it fine? It’s just candy.”
“Did you buy that figure of the monster as well? She’s going to keep asking for new things. She’s definitely going to ask for the space monster Dragigo next week when it’s on sale.”
Nobody would imagine that this is what a conversation with an “Apostle of Hell” would be like, not even in their wildest dreams. I’m honestly wondering how this came to be as well.
“You’re entirely like a housewife…”
“There’s no helping it, right? You know how Jyuri and Kiki are.”
“I wanted to ask this earlier, but why are you wearing that uniform?”
“Males approach me when I take this form, giving me a meal. That’s how I’ve been living until we met, Ichirou.”
My facial expression stiffened when Mion said that without hesitation.
…Actually, there’s something I wanted to confirm about these girls for some time. I avoided asking it because I was afraid of the answer I would hear.
However, this was a good chance. I made up my mind and asked. It’s also the final boss’ duty to say this.
“Hey, Mion. About yourself.”
“What about me?”
“Up until now──have you killed any humans?”
Mion blinked in response to my serious gaze. However, after a bit of time, she answered without hesitation once more.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t.”
“Us three princesses have been in the spirit world the entire time. The day I first arrived here was the day we met at the abandoned factory.”
“I, is that so?”
In that case, it’s been only a little under a month since Mion arrived here.
It’s quite surprising that she had never been in the human world until then. It would be bad if she lost a battle despite holding the title of a general.
“Originally, the main duty of the ‘Three Princesses of Hell’ were to operate the spirit world. Invading the human world was the job of other generals. Oh, they’re called the ‘Eight from Hell.'”
So there were that many generals. Where in the world are they loafing around right now? Well, it’s possible that Ryuuga and the others have already beaten them.
“But look, there was a rift in spacetime about a year and a half ago, right? Thanks to that, subordinates other than the ‘Eight from Hell’ have been entering the human world without authorization…and I followed them.”
“You followed after them quite late, huh? You’ve only arrived here recently, right Mion?”
“H, how fussy…I wasn’t aware of it. I didn’t know about such a small rift!”
Come to think of it, I do recall something about the apostles returning to the present day because of a warp in spacetime.
Perhaps that was what lead to the “Evil Spirit” Hundun opening the “doors to the spirit world” so easily. Thee event may have been a precursor to Hundun’s revival.
At any rate, the appearance of that irregular gate is what led to the curtains opening for Hinomori Ryuuga’s supernatural battle story.
“In the spirit world, orders from us three princesses are absolute. Isn’t it infuriating how despite that, they formed their own troops without permission? That’s why I’ve thought about purging them.”
While Mion was uttering that with an expression of anger, she calmly placed the package of ground meat into the shopping basket I was carrying. Her words denoted anger, but her actions showed a sense of composure.
“But them coming here meant that Hundun had been on the verge of reviving, right? Thinking of it like that, perhaps I’m the one acting strange. The biggest priority of us apostles is that we do things for the sake of the ‘Evil Spirit,’ after all.”
When the “Evil Spirit” Hundun had revived, Mion fought against Aogasaki in the final battle. However, she was forced to retreat due to my intervention, and perhaps after that she may have been surviving by snacking on wanton men….
“Mion. Is that rift in spacetime still there?”
“It has already been closed. The ‘Star-Wall Guardian’ sealed it.”
“So it was Kurogame…”
“There were also five doors that Hundun had opened, but they were all sealed by Kurogame Rina as well. Thanks to her, we can’t go home.”
Though she said that, Mion spoke indifferently. She’s only an apostle, so perhaps freedom is a virtue for her.
“Jyuri and Kiki were supposed to be entrusted with the spirit world, but…it seems that they had prior interest in the human world. When Hundun opened the doors, they came here.”
Not very befitting for generals. Aren’t they in a position to face criticism from their subordinates for taking unapproved actions?
“However, before the two could join Hundun, the battle seemed to have ended. Getting back to the spirit world was a problem too, but luckily I came across them.”
“Who would have thought that there were some irresponsible people on the apostles’ side who didn’t make it in time for the final battle…”
“Though, we’re lucky that the next ‘Evil Spirit’ had been resurrected soon.”
Thereupon, Mion clasped her hands behind her back and closed one of her eyes.
The wink coming from her almond-shaped eyes…was annoyingly cute. It’s natural that there would be guys who would want to go after her.
“I’m definitely worried that Taotie doesn’t seem to be motivated, but…I don’t think it’s anything to be pessimistic about. After all, you’re his vessel, Ichirou.”
“The ‘Evil Spirit’ and his vessel are one in body and soul…I’m glad that you’re Taotie’s vessel, Ichirou. You seem like a reliable person.”
Unfortunately, I’m not pleased by that at all. The position I want is that of the “protagonist’s friend.” I don’t really want to be the final boss.
“When we met at the abandoned factory, I never thought that we would be living together, but…I hope we can continue getting along well, Ichirou.”
“Oh, I see.”
When I reluctantly nodded my the head, Mion suddenly came closer.
A stunning beauty like her had suddenly approached in an instant. That gave me quite a shock, even though it shouldn’t.
“If you don’t mind, could I be your partner for this evening instead of Jyuri?”
“I’m talking about doing some frisky things.”
“Woooah! I’ve never done anything like that! I didn’t even lay a finger on her!”
Not paying attention to the other customers around us, I had unintentionally screamed.
No matter how much I warn Jyuri, she finds her way into my bed whenever I wake up. Reverse-strip rock, paper, scissors has already become a morning routine.
“Huh, you haven’t? Not at all? Aren’t you a fan of getting wild?”
“I don’t want to make this story rated R-18!”
“Hmm…so you haven’t done it.”
For some reason, Mion was in high spirits. She made a slight triumphant pose with her right hand.
“So that means I have a chance. I’m no match for Jyuri’s allure, but they say that the way to man’s heart is through his stomach…”
After muttering something to herself, Mion quickly turned around and stepped back. With an awfully passionate spirit, she headed towards the vegetable section.
“Alright, I’ll make today’s Hamburg steak my best work. The next item on the list are onions──”
Then, there was an announcement made inside the store.
“We’re here to inform of a lost child. She’s a girl carrying a red pouch and claims to be Kobayashi Kiki, who comes from hell──”
Mion and I both screamed “Aaaah!” in unison as we rushed towards the information center.
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