A bit of time had passed.
I kept my eyes tightly closed while putting strength into my gut, preparing myself for any changes in my body.
...There are currently two "Evil Spirits" in my body. I'm hosting two beings who would kill an ordinary person upon possessing them. No doubt, I must be the first vessel in history to do such a rash thing.
I was prepared to suffer through hell, but...nothing happened. I'm supposed to get Taotie out of me as soon as possible, but I think I'll ask about this first.
(Hey Hundun, you middle-aged man. You're inside me, right? You've changed hosts, right?)
Though I tried to contact Hundun through remote communication, I received no response. That's strange. Is Taotie the only one I can talk to using my mind?
When I opened my eyes, I found that Ryuuga was looking at me with a worried face.
In front of me, the sleeping Kyouka's breathing had calmed down at some point. She seemed quiet, as if her painful expression before had never happened. It's clear that her condition has stabilized.
(Judging from Kyouka's condition, Hundun has definitely transferred, but...why am I fine?)
Confused, I tried pinching, slapping, and puffing my own cheeks.
Suddenly, I heard an extremely loud roar from Hundun inside my mind.
(Hey! W, what's going on?! I was 'converted' already!)
I let out a sound in response to his odd words.
(This is a first! What kind of vessel are you?!)
"W, what happened? D, did you go insane?"
Ryuuga stared blankly at me as I remained puzzled. Since she couldn't hear Hundun, she's probably more confused than I am.
(Sonny, It seems that I underestimated your qualities as a vessel. You likely have the ability to...host two 'Evil Spirits' within you.)
"As if I'd accept such a stupid spiel! There can't be a human who can have a combo set of 'Evil Spirits' possess them! Besides, you're supposed to be sucking my life force away right now!"
(Of course, I am absorbing your life force. However, I'm surprised. No matter how much I absorb, your vitality keeps gushing forth. You even cured the rheumatoid arthritis I had for a while.)
"I'm not a hot spring! Even if it's gushing, it must have its limits!"
(Sonny, are you──a monster?)
"Don't say something so rude! I'm just a small fry character! Go ask Sasaki!"
Thereupon, another scream forced its way in.
(Whoa! Someone invaded my space! Why are you here?! You're trespassing!)
Needless to say, it was Taotie.
(H, Hundun, it's you, isn't it?! Why are you here?!)
(Hey Tie, I'll be staying here for a bit.)
(Well, a few things had happened. Hey, back up a bit. It's kind of cramped here.)
(N, noooo! I don't want to share this room with a bandit-looking middle-aged man! Hey! That's my floor cushion! Give it back to me!)
It seems that the "Evil Spirits" were having a fight while confused. Or rather, what's going on inside of me right now...?
(Anyways, it's messy in here. Hey Tie, do some cleaning.)
(Leave me alone! Hey, don't drink that juice without my permission! Don't touch my plastic models without my consent! That's not the toilet! You're intruding!)
Seriously, what's going on inside of me...?
(Well, this changes things. Sorry Sonny, but there's a change of plans. I request that you indeed do 'double duty' instead of an 'exchange'.)
(This will make Kyouka over there recover quicker. Above all, it would honestly be revolting to have this 'Stupid Evil Spirit' posses Kyouka.)
──What the hell. To think that I would be able to take in Hundun this easily.
This is really bad. Someone who holds two "Evil Spirits" would definitely be a central character in the story. Far from being a weak character, they might be the strongest character.
"Wait, Hundun! Go through with the 'exchange', please!"
(Isn't this fine? I'll do my part. I still haven't recovered even half of my power, but I'll still be more useful than Tie.)
"That's not what I'm talking about!"
(A guy needs his private time! Now I have to do it with another guy here!)
"Don't talk like Elmira!"
I retorted to that while wanting to cry.
Suddenly, Ryuuga embraced me. She buried my face in her chest and spoke in tears. Even at a time like this, she smelled nice.
"Ichirou, nothing's wrong, right?! I don't understand what's going on, but you're okay, right?!"
"Y, yeah. I mean, something odd came up..."
"What a relief...I'm really glad that you're safe...!"
The fact that I'm safe is the problem here, but I couldn't tell her that. I had no choice but to let Ryuuga pat my head while seeming relieved.
(The Kobayashi house has an incredibly good affinity with 'Evil Spirits'...)
──I think you would be more interesting as the protagonist though.
Qiongqi's words came to mind once more.
This is bad. At this rate, things will go as he expects. Someone, anyone, please take this 'Evil Spirit' from me! Let us share this burden!
(Boss, what's going on? Why is this 'Lolicon Evil Spirit' here? Could it be that my monthly allowance will decrease with this guy here...?)
I listened to Taotie's trivial worries while exhausted.
Suddenly, my cell phone once again rang. Elmira was the caller.
Perhaps she's worried since I left without explaining the situation. I shouldn't ignore her, that's out of the question.
(I'll probably offend her if I come back home while acting like nothing happened.)
As soon as I reluctantly pushed the call button on my phone, the vampire girl's yell pierced my ears.
The contents of the call would surprisingly be──the second SOS signal today.
'Kobayashi Ichirou! There's an attack! Apostle troops are closing in on the house!'
I froze in place with the phone to my ear.
An attack? At this time? Even though they never made a move up until now?
Could it be that Qiongqi...saw the chance when Taotie and I left the house?!
"There are around twenty to thirty enemies! Thanks to the three princesses, Shizuma and I were able to escape the house! However, there's an apostle chasing after me...that general, Higaia!"
──What the hell. It's just one thing after another.
This can't be happening. I need to head over there at once. The three princesses won't be in any trouble, but Elmira will. The opponents are definitely...aiming for that vampire girl and child.
"Elmira! Where are you right now?! Can you head towards Ryuga's house?!"
"I can't! I'm running in the opposite direction! I'm about three blocks away right──"
Thereupon, the sound of a crash struck my eardrum. Perhaps Elmira dropped her phone.
I heard nothing after that. It seems that she decided not to retrieve it and focused on fleeing. This is getting worse and worse. Why is all of the bad news coming to me through phone calls?!
"...Ichirou, is Elmira in danger?"
It seems that Ryuuga had an idea about the situation based on what I said on the phone. She stared at me and asked that question.
Based on her tone of voice and facial expression, she had shifted to her protagonist mode. Since Kyouka's safe now, I can rely on her.
"Yeah. She's being chased by Hunshou Higaia, the one I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, I don't where Elmira is. Higaia has an oppressive ill will...so our only option is to find him through that."
"I see. Let's split up and search."
Ryuuga soon got up, glanced at her sister sleeping, and then rushed out of the room. She might be worried about her sister, but helping Elmira takes priority now.
In a panic, I followed suit, making sure to shout at her from behind.
"Ryuga! Don't bother going near my house! She's definitely not there! Please don't go there!"
If she goes to my house, she'll likely bump into the three princesses. I don't want their presence there to be revealed in such a way.
"I understand! Don't do anything rash, Ichirou! I'll defeat Hunshou Higaia!"
"I'm doing well now that my stiff shoulders are gone! If you find Elle first, buy some time until I can arrive!"
"I repeat, don't kill Higaia! I know you're capable of doing just that!"
In what world would a friend character receive that kind of warning? Just what is Kobayashi Ichirou becoming?
It's quite unfortunate that I'm going to show up in another battle part, but...I have no choice other than to make do. At least for tonight.
After all, Shizuma is in trouble.
As his guardian, it's my responsibility to protect him.
(Wait for me, Shizuma! I'm heading over right now! I'm a papa who has two 'Evil Spirits' with him!)