Is it Tough Being a Friend? Volume 3 prologue / Chapters List

Prologue

Do you know about a certain group of beings?

I'm referring to the menacing peculiarities called the "Apostles of Hell," who threaten this world.

They can take the form of humans and cleverly slip into human society. Even today, they cause mysterious phenomena that modern science can't even explain.

So if there's someone like a strange old man around you...be careful. He could be an apostle. It's also possible that he may be Ken Shimura, but in any case, be careful.

However, not all hope is lost.

There is a hero in this world. Hinomori Ryuuga is the reliable protagonist who the giant "Yellow Dragon" dwells within.

Ryuuga, along with some companions, continue to fight the unseen "Apostles of Hell" Within the shadows of a high school life, Ryuuga has already defeated two "Evil Spirit" rulers.

Ryuuga's pretty much humanity's hope──but is actually a girl dressed as a man, something which is kept secret.

In part one, the "Evil Spirit" Hundun had revived using Ryuuga's younger sister, Hinomori Kyouka, as a vessel.

In part two, the "Evil Spirit" Taotie had revived using Ryuuga's close friend, Kobayashi Ichirou, as a vessel.

After a grand fight, he was utterly slain. The "Evil Spirits" are called the four fiends, with Qiongqi and Taowu being the two remaining ones. An "Evil Spirit" reforms when defeated, assisting Ryuuga and the others thereafter. That likely how it works.

At last, the story was back on track...heading straight towards part three. However,

Unfortunately, there's an interval at this time. The main story had been suspended, and a substory had begun.

──The "Swordswoman of the Beheading Dance," Aogasaki Rei, was one of the main characters.

The heroines are Ryuuga's companions who wield the four gods. Among them, she is responsible for the "Azure Dragon."

She's a swordswoman character, a character with huge breasts, and a Yamato Nadeshiko character.

And for whatever reason, she was getting married──

That's why I think that the tale this time is just a side story.

Naturally, Ryuuga and the others were confused by such sudden circumstances. Of course, for me, Kobayashi Ichirou, it was also a surprising event.

(Well, it's already begun. I had been thinking about what would happen if the "Evil Spirits" resurrected successively. At that rate, we'd reach the ending in the blink of an eye...)

In my current position, it would be very bad if the story were to end. Though I've been released from my role as the "final boss of part two," I still haven't freed myself from my position as "Ryuuga's semi-boyfriend."

I can't let things end before I can return to being "the protagonist's friend character." Otherwise, I'm in danger of getting married to Ryuuga.

(Think positively. This substory is a chance. I can take this opportunity to go back to being Ryuga's bland friend!)

Aogasaki is the main focus of this episode.

There probably won't be much screentime for me. Being a friend of the protagonist, Ryuuga, I'll probably get no more than five minutes on stage.

(I stood out too much during part two...so for the time being, I should avoid making an appearance and focus on returning to being a friend character. That being the case, I'll make Aogasaki stand out this time.)

It's definitely not a bad thing for a side story to delve further into one of the companion characters.

If possible, it would also be nice if there could be ones for the others, Yukimiya, Elmira, and Kurogame. I'd also like it if the enemy characters, Mion, Jyuri, and Kiki, could get some spotlight as well someday.

...Thinking about it, the number of characters who have appeared in this story has increased quite a bit.

It would be difficult for everyone to play an active role without doing too much or too little. If I were the author, I would probably regret having done this.

(I do have some worries for this episode...What exactly does the marriage entail?)

Aogasaki Rei is the leader of the four gods. She's also one of the important heroines.

It would pose a bit of a problem if she suddenly got married. Even if we'll be delving deeper into her character, there would be no point if she belonged to someone else. I'm sure that being "another person's wife" is a pretty risky attribute to have.

(Well, I believe that I had raised a fair amount of flags with Aogasaki. Though I'd be glad to have them withdrawn, having her being taken away by an unknown person is a bit too much...)

That being said, I can't just throw a fit and say "My Rei!" while flipping a table. Being someone with a mere minor role (at least that's what I hope), I don't have the authority to do such a thing.

At any rate, I should hear the entire story from her first...so I decided to immediately head towards Aogasaki's residence the day after I received the news about the marriage. Of course, I would be with Ryuuga and the others as well.

The time was currently 9:45 am. We're supposed to meet in a park at 10.

"...Huh? Ichirou, you're going outside?"

While I was putting on my shoes at the front entrance, I suddenly heard a voice from behind.

Once I turned around, there stood the figure of a high school girl who wore an apron while carrying a ladle. Impressively, her almond-shaped eyes denoted a sense of strong will, and she was a beauty whose hair was tied to the side.

She's a girl named Mion, who I've been living with for a while. Her true character was that of a higher-up "Apostle of Hell"──that is, one of Ryuuga and the others' enemy characters.

Apostles could transform into humans, like her, and blend into society. Take caution.

"You've only just been discharged from the hospital yesterday, right? How about taking it easy for now?"

"It doesn't hurt anymore. An anti-inflammatory patch is enough."

During the final battle in part two, I got a crack in my left arm.

However, it's not at the level where it disturbs my normal life. Since there are still about two weeks left in the summer vacation, it'll likely recover by the time the second school term starts.

"Is it fine to not do something about your homework? It seems that you haven't even started on it."

"I'll do it during the evening."

"Will you be back by dinner? It's hot, so be careful of getting a heatstroke."

...She's quite like a mother. She's the most reliable person among the freeloading "Three Princesses of Hell" inside my home. As of present, Mion has control over all of the home's finances.

"I'm heading off to Aogasaki's place. It seems that she's getting married or something..."

"M, married? Aogasaki Rei?"

My words caused Mion's eyes to blink rapidly. Since she was closely linked with Aogasaki, it's understandable that she would be surprised.

"What do you mean by that? Aogasaki is still a third year student, right? Isn't that too early?"

"I know. That's why I want to hear about it."

"I wonder, can she focus on protecting the human world when she's infatuated with a boy?"

The opponent criticized her.

Don't be infatuated with a boy...I definitely want Hinomori Ryuuga to be hearing these words of advice.

"Oh right, you're more or less Aogasaki's rival. Could it be that you're worried about her?"

"That's not it! Such matters don't concern me! I only lose to her in terms of breasts, after all!"

While Mion raised her almond-shaped eyes and roughed her tone of voice, I opened the front door.

As soon as that happened, a wave of hot air instantly coiled around my entire body. If it's this hot during the morning, I could only imagine what the heat will be like during the afternoon.

"You don't need to reserve a portion of dinner for Tie. He probably won't wake up for a while."

"So Taotie's still resting...ah, wait a minute, Ichirou."

Mion suddenly called towards me when I was about to head out. She cheerfully put on a pair of sandals and approached me awfully closely.

Seeing her up-close, she was a very beautiful woman. She deserves more than to be an apostle.

"W, what are you doing?"

"I've decided. I'll give you a good...bye...kiss."

"Don't be infatuated with a boy."

After criticizing the girl apostle, who wasn't exactly human, I immediately left the house.