Is It Tough Being A Friend? is a Webnovel produced by Yasushi Date.
This webnovel is right now Ongoing.
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Twenty minutes then pa.s.sed.
Once Kyouka returned home, I then left the Hinomori residence.
Ryuuga said “You’re leaving early,” in dissatisfaction, but I managed to appease her by promising to come tomorrow. Anyways, there’s a reason why I had to leave by noon.
(I stayed longer than I thought…maybe she’s already here to meet me…)
──Last evening, Ryuuga wasn’t the only one who sent me a mail for an invitation.
There’s someone I have to meet as well today. I’m pressed for time with this schedule.
Perhaps this is my retribution for getting too involved during part one.
Apart from the matters of Ryuuga and Taotie, Kobayashi Ichirou has several more troubles he’s carrying.
I returned to the front of my house with a dash, and there was a foreign car parked there.
It was one of those Rolls-Royce Phantoms, a luxury car that’s rarely seen across an entire town. Its solid, black-painted body was so dignified that even its blinking hazard lights look self-imposing.
…I appreciate this get-together, but I’d prefer if you showed up with a more ordinary car.
This is not an upper-cla.s.s building like the Hinomori residence, this is the normal residential area for ordinary people. People with light vehicles go here.
(Well, I thought that she was going to send over a helicopter at first…this is better than that, at least.)
While thinking so, I approached the car and quickly jumped into the back seat.
“Mr. Kobayashi. We’ve been waiting for you.”
Upon which, a middle-aged man from the driver’s seat gave an exaggerated salute.
His hair had streaks of grey, and was stylized with pomade. He had a tidy, well-ordered mustache. He also had what seemed to be a custom-made, expensive tailcoat…he was obviously a foreigner judging from his looks, but he spoke fluently.
“Sorry, Sebastian. I was a bit late.”
“No worries. Now, let’s proceed. Young lady Shiori is waiting.”
With a respectful bow, he soon started the car.
The driver here, whose name is Sebastian, is a butler. He’s a hardcore butler character who has been servicing the world-famous corporation, Yukimiya Group, for over twenty years, and can effortlessly speak ten languages.
The chairman trusts him deeply, and has currently entrusted him with caring for the daughter. This is the second time I’ve met him, but no matter how many times I see him, he’s a grandiose person.
(I’d like to try hiring a butler, even just once. He’d make tea for me, ma.s.sage my shoulders…actually, I feel like I already experienced such things recently.)
Before long, the car halts in front of a red light.
I didn’t feel any vibrations at all, it seems this really is a luxury car. Or perhaps that’s the result of his driving skills?
“Mr. Kobayashi. Is your schedule open today? It seems you went out somewhere earlier.”
Sebastian spoke again. I want to have a refined, deep voice like his as well.
“It’s fine. I’m already done with that order of business.”
“Apologies for the sudden invitation. And once again, I truly thank you for treating the young lady with kindness.”
“It’s probably better for her to not get too close with a commoner like me, I…”
“Nonsense. After entering Oumei High School, the young lady has become quite lively. This is thanks to you, Mr. Hinomori, and the others, Mr. Kobayashi.”
Yukimiya Shiori──that’s the second person who sent me a message, right after Ryuuga.
Not only is she a pure daughter, she’s an idol-like person for the school, with excellent grades and superior looks. According to my investigations, one in five boys within the whole school actually have a crush on her. She’s exactly like a n.o.ble kingdom’s heroine from an orthodox school.
…At the same time, Yukimiya fights the “Apostles of h.e.l.l” with her unusual abilities.
That is to say, she’s a “companion character” of Ryuuga. With her supernatural recovery ability, she’s the healer named “The Shrine Maiden of Life.”
(By all rights, I’m a character that’s not supposed to get involved with her, and I mean that in various ways…)
Yukimiya Shiori, a candidate for being the protagonist’s lover and someone who partic.i.p.ates in the battles, can certainly be called one of the main figures in this story.
In contrast, I, someone who’s crazed about investigating a girl’s three sizes, am the protagonist’s pervert friend…the difference between us should be like day and night, oil and water.
However, our relationship changed drastically once the common link between us, Hinomori Ryuuga, turned out to be a woman.
After this and that occurred, my current status is as it is now.
I very unwillingly became someone Yukimiya Shiori consults about her life, her “exclusive advisor.”
After about thirty minutes, the car arrived at its destination.
Near the foot of a mountain was a lushly green estate, quite like a park…ahead of the vast “yard” was Yukimiya’s house. Rather than a mansion, it was more like a palace.
(So this is the kind of house and land you can get with a boat-load of money…)
I thought the Hinomori residence was grand, but this is much more bourgeois than that. Does this belong to a multi-millionaire? And I thought that a house of this scale was something you’d only when playing with cards.
“Kobayashi! I was waiting for you!”
Led by Sebastian, I set foot into the building.
Accompanied by a lively voices was a young girl running towards me.
She had long hair that reached to her back, and wore an elegant, tidy summer dress. It had no sleeves, so her shoulders to her fingertips were open and exposed. Her legs were visible beneath the knees, and were long, slender, and white like snow.
Instead of her usual uniform, she had upped to a “n.o.ble-daughter-like” special dress. Her chest isn’t her strong suit, which is regrettable, but there’s no mistaking that she’s a top-ranking beauty even with those points deducted.
“Hey, Yukimiya. So why did you invite me tod──”
“Let’s set that aside. For now, come this way.”
Yukimiya pulled me away right after finishing her greetings. It seems that she’s in a hurry for some reason.
…Within Yukimiya Shiori dwells a guardian deity called the “White Tiger.” It’s one of the divine, sacred beasts that rule over the four directions. Ryuuga’s follower, the “Yellow Dragon”, holds a position in the center.
It seems the lineage within the Yukimiya house has always been inheriting that guardian deity. It also appears that only women can inherit the role of being “The Shrine Maiden of Life.”
“H, hey, Yukimiya. What the heck’s going on?”
“Never mind that, just follow me! I need your advice, Kobayashi!”
Yukimiya keeps moving forward without letting me raise any questions.
I feel that something’s a little off here. Yukimiya would normally be the one that would get led away by a boy. Then, she’d be bewildered at how pushy the guy would be, and would get gracefully dragged along while blushing…that’s the kind of character she would be.
Please, I just want to protect my theory. I just want it to be some handsome guy that would say “Never mind that, just follow me!”
“What needs taking care of? Is it something that urgent?”
“It’s something I did just now!”
“I want you to eat it before it gets cold!”
I was able to instantly guess the topic of consultation from those words. I then trembled with fear.
(Don’t tell me she made something, and that she wants me to eat it!)
Many of the boys are captivated by Yukimiya Shiori, but there’s one flaw about her. She’s a girl that holds the “meal disaster attribute.”
Her cuisine is unmatched in its atrocity, to the point that it’d make even a non-human vampire go pale. However, she never doubts her own skill. It seems she never goes “Maybe I’ll try this myself first,” somehow. She just a.s.sumes that it’s delicious and appetizing.
“I’ve been laboriously working on the preparations since last night. It’s my prized work! I think it’s even good enough to make a top-cla.s.s chef run away naked!”
“Why did this turn into chefs being nude?! S, Sebastian, help me! If it’s you, then you’ll be able to tell her how bad her──
With a shrieking voice, I sought help from the butler in the back. However,
──He was gone.
Before I knew it, he vanished like a puff of smoke.
(That Sebas guy ran away! That brute was making me his human sacrifice from the beginning…!) [TLN: Ichirou shortened his name here]
Yukimiya calmly forced me along as I frantically planted my feet to the floor. What strength she has.
Come to think of it, she is able to strengthen her physical strength using her “power.” The nature of her healing ability is to “bestow the vitality of life”…so it can also be applied in this way.
“Hehe. I can just imagine you eating it with relish.”
“Wait! Actually, I’ve already eaten lunch! I didn’t know that we were gonna do this! Sorry but, I’ve got a full stomach!”
“It’s fine. I’m sure you can still eat.”
“You’re not the judge of that!”
“You can still eat. You’re in your growth period, after all.”
“I’m going to die before I grow up!”
…Trying to plea for my life was futile, and I was dragged onto the dining hall.
This is a common room in a Western-style house, and there was a large rectangular table in the center. Surrounding the dining table were sixteen chairs.
“Kobayashi, here you are! It’s Borscht!”
There was already an object put in front of me as I was placed onto a chair.
With a single glance, I could see that it was on an expensive platter, and with a single glance, I could see that it was full of some poisonous broth.
(Borscht is supposed to be red, right? It’s a soup boiled with beets…)
However, the soup in front of me took on seven colors. To put it nicely, it was like a rainbow. To put it otherwise, it was like factory waste.
──Is this edible? Is this something that goes inside your body?
“Come now, give it a taste! Give me your thoughts!”
Yukimiya urged me on with a sparkle in her eyes. She gave the angelic smile of a devil.
(It’s already impossible to escape. All I can do is brace myself.)
I take the spoon with quivering hands, and scoop out the Borscht, actually, the fatal violent death fastener. As I slowly did so, I smelled a pungent and sharp odor. (TLN: Play on words in the original. The kanji characters making up “fatal violent death fastener” end up being p.r.o.nounced the same way Borscht is p.r.o.nounced.)
(If I actually die from this, Yukimiya will be the MVP of part two. She’d be the one who took down the final boss…)
While thinking of such things, I plunged the spoon into my mouth on the count of three.
…It’s nasty, it’s bitter, and most of all, it hurts.
My mouth turned numb, my tongue twisted around. While I’m at it, the bean-like ingredients were stiff, and no matter how much I chewed, they maintained their structure. They were clearly harder than my teeth.
“Kobayashi, how is it?”
Yukimiya asked me so with her hands together in front of her chest.
“Actually, you made an error with the amount of salt by about one spoon.”
The problem is on a whole different level than that, but I can’t give her my honest thoughts. I can’t just say “This isn’t food, this is chemical sludge.”
Yukimiya is a heroine/candidate, a main character of this story. That position has already collapsed, but that doesn’t the fact that she’s close to Ryuuga.
It’d be very troubling if my relationship with Yukimiya turned stiff. I’m going to leave this prime evil be for the sake of returning to a “friend character.”
“Does that mean…it’s not tasty?”
I shook my head in a panic after her eyebrows drooped with unease.
“N, no, it’s not unappetizing. Right, it’ll be complete with one more spoon of salt.”
“Aah, as expected.”
While thinking about how it was not “as expected,” I desperately drink many more spoons. Fortunately, my mouth’s ability to sense is gone.
Also, I still can’t chew up the beans. I literally cannot make a dent in them with my teeth.
“Right, but it’s not bad. You’re making progress, Yukimiya.”
“Alright. If it’s good, then please help yourself to seconds!”
Not good. Not good at all.
Anyways, to not make her sad, I have to at least eat all of this platter, so I’ll dish out my guts and move the spoon. I’ve given up on chewing the beans and had no choice but to swallow them.
…Upon which, a new a.s.sa.s.sin emerged from the platter.
It was a thin, squared ingredient that was like a fish cake. Upon scooping it up with the spoon, it turned out to be another rigid object. Furthermore, it was quite heavy.
As expected, I can’t chew on this. There, I decided to boldly ask what the true nature of the beans and fishcake were.
“Hey, Yukimiya. Can I ask a question?”
“Sure, what is it?”
“These stiff beans…what ingredient are they? Fruit seeds or something?”
“I tried putting in pearls.”
“Are you stupid?!”
I thought that I could finish things calmly, but I lost my patience and reprimanded her.
“It seems you’re adding anything as an ingredient! It’s not okay to eat ten of these, is it?!”
“I added diamonds, rubies, and sapphires too.”
“Stop kidding me! That’s definitely going to make the most glamorous number two in the world by tomorrow!”
“Kobayashi. You can’t talk about that, not while eating.”
“So, what’s this square then?! This hard fishcake!”
“That’s my smartphone.”
“I can’t comprehend your thinking anymore!”
“No wonder why I couldn’t find it yesterday…perhaps it got in there while I was cooking.”
After saying that, Yukimiya stuck her tongue out.
I know it’s bad to whack her. She’s a former heroine/candidate, and a main character.
“Don’t worry though. It’s heat-resistant.”
“Don’t worry about the smartphone!”
“Let’s call it a secret ingredient.”
“It’s not a secret at all! Hey, wait, you’ve got a call incoming!”
The smartphone suddenly started vibrating on top of the spoon. The ringtone was Beethoven’s “For Elise.”
It was boiled for a whole night…what an amazing heat-resistance it has.
“This ringtone is for my father’s friend. This is someone we know on a family-wide scale, but I wonder who he was again.”
“Whatever, just hurry and pick it up.”
“Umm…oh right, Mr. Gates from America. Let’s ignore it.”
“Don’t disregard Mr. Gates!”
…In the end, I had to eat up two platters of the fatal violent death fastener and was then sent off by Sebastian.
I laid limp in the backseat, and he looked over many times at the rearview mirror.
He had a very apologetic expression.
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