Evil Leader Next Door! Volume 1 Chapter 1 part 3

“Well, my daughter and I look like this.” 
Holding her silver hair, she conveys a hint of melancholy in her eyes. It’s not about the beauty or ugliness of appearance, but it becomes clear she’s referring to their kind. 
“Many people look at me strangely. So, I try to be friendly with my neighbors…” 
Looking closely at her while adjusting my glasses, I notice slight roughness and cuts on Ashella’s fingers, typical of kitchen work. 
” ……………… ” 
Regret wells up. Having bad thought about someone without looking at them. 
“Something wrong?” 
As I silently stare, Ashella asks. Certainly, Pink works in a beauty-related company. 
“I have a friend who knows about skin-care creams. I’ll bring some as a thank-you next time.” 
She seems slightly surprised, her long-lashed eyes looking at her own fingers a moment later. 
“You’re a kind person, Midori-san. I’m glad you’re our neighbor.” 
She smiles ever so slightly. 
This is not good, I thought. I look away. 
(I might be starting to like her a bit too much.) 
I’m too soft, aren’t I? 
In the end, nothing strange like crystals, pots, MLM introductions, or seminars came up. It ended amicably. Good. 
(I’ll have more energy in my life from now on…) 
Thinking about it, I left the Kuri family and was pondering leisurely in the hallway. I heard footsteps came down the stairs. 
“You are…” 
I was about to enter my house, I saw Taratat-chan, who was said to be out. 
“Good evening.” 
Did she come home alone at this time? I greet her with a question in my mind. 
The girl, who looks about ten, sways her straight-flowing golden hair and laughs. Then she says, 
“Come again sometime.” 
After catching my attention, she closes her eyes. From there, all color drains away. 
Like a god, like a Buddha. An expression of pure innocence floats on her face. 
As if it were an illusion, she quickly regains her mischievous smile. Leaving me standing still, she goes into her house. 
I have a memory. That day, in the final battle. 
Silently, I return to my house and enter the bathroom. 
I cool my head with the initial cold shower. 
From the moment I first saw them. 
Cleared. The organization that aimed for world domination. In it, the two that stood against Banshokuger in the end. 
The masked chief, Ailsherad, who fought fiercely with the ultimate battle machine Milliocolor. 
The great leader who disappeared into the vivid flames, shrouded in mystery until the end. 
Her (?) They are….. 
(This is just an idea. Considering human rights, confirmation is necessary.) 
The next night, I become a bit calmer. 
In the first place, the chief always wore a mask, so I never confirmed their facial features. The upper part of the ears was pointed. I never saw the great leader in a humanoid form. 
(Reporting to headquarters is premature, huh? [She looks kinda similar]… maybe…) 
And so… 
“For confirmation, let’s have a bit more interaction as neighbors.” 
I’ve decided on a policy with no guilty feelings involved. 
Heading out to work, I walk through the unchanging concrete corridors of the mundane apartment complex. 
A large, swaying mass covered in black greets me outside. 
For a moment, my brain glitches. But immediately, I spot two legs under the mass. I realize the mass is the lower half covered in jeans. 
It turns out to be the alluring buttocks of a woman leaning the upper half on the other side. 
What I see in front of me is a woman’s attractive buttocks with her upper half of her body turned over to the other side. 
As I stand there confused, Ashella san turns her face towards me with a smile from beyond the buttocks. 
“Oh, good morning, Midori-san.” 
“Uh, good morning.” Upon closer inspection, she holds a broom and dustpan in her hands. “Ah… sorry, for having you sweep up to my front.” 
“No problem. It’s on the way… Mm,”  
Ashella san says, lightly holding her lower back, accentuating her chest in place of the buttocks. 
“…? Why are you looking away?” 
“I’m just a small-minded person… Well, then, I’m off to work.” 
“? Yes. Take care, Midori-san.” 
With a smile on her sharp beauty, Ashella san waves her hand gently. 
Waving back, I head towards my workplace. As I walk the streets, ride the train, I chew on a single thought. 
“I get a send-off in the morning. Nice…” 
I had missed the perfect timing to ask about suspicions, but it is what it is. 


“Good morning! Everyone!” 
With a cheerful greeting, the students widen their eyes. 
“Hey, Sensei, why are you so energetic today?” “Your glasses are shining.” “You usually look a bit sleepy.” 
“Ashina san! I’ve prepared materials for next week’s class!” 
I slam a thick stack of prints for two hundred students onto the desk. 
“Oh, uh, thank you, Kusama sensei.” 
“Wow, Kusama sensei is quick with work.” “Usually, he’s more laid back.” 
It’s not unreasonable. There’s something I want to finish a bit quickly. 
When I return home, Ashella san greets me at the front of my room. 
“Welcome home, Midori-san.” 
“Ashella san?” 
Thinking it might be another cleaning session or something, this time she is empty-handed. 
“While I was bringing in the laundry, I saw Midori-san coming home.” 
Slightly tilting her head, she says with her usual smile. 
(She came out to greet me… I see.) 
Peeking playfully from behind her, her daughter appears from the entrance. She stares at me with a mischievous grin. Ashella san doesn’t seem to notice. 
Waving smilingly behind me, I return to my home. After eating, taking a bath, and going to bed, I chew on a single thought. 
“Being welcomed home in the evening. Nice…” 
Once again, I missed the timing to inquire about my suspicions. But it is what it is. 
The next morning. Today is a day without classes. I thought to investigate a bit from the morning. Even if the suspicion is based on thin evidence, I can’t just let it slide. 
“Good morning, Midori-san.” 
“Oh, good morning, Ashella san.” 
First thing in the morning, the smiling face in front of my door almost makes me forget my previous determination. 
(I can’t let that happen.) 
Shaking my head lightly, I bring up the topic. 
“Have you gotten used to this neighborhood a bit?” 
“Thanks to you, I have. I went to the supermarket you told me about yesterday.” 
Summoning a bit of courage, I decide to go further. 
“If you’d like, I can show you around nearby shops. There might be things you can’t find just at the supermarket.” 
“Oh, that would be wonderful… um, but, if it’s not too much trouble…” 
Believing that the initial reaction wasn’t fake, I push a bit more. 
“I’m off today. But, Taratatt-chan—” 
“Sure thing!” 
Even though I didn’t think I spoke very loudly, A voice from inside the Kuri house immediately then responds, and a face peeks out from the door with a mischievous look. 
“Go ahead Mom, I’ll stay home. taking care of things. In return, bring back some pudding.” 
Taratat chan smiles and laughs. Ashella-san responds with a slightly troubled smile. 
“Well, I guess… Just one a day, okay?” 
“Sure thing!” 
Taratatchan bounces into the house with a pat, pat, pat. Is she using Kansai dialect? 
As I shift my gaze to Ashella-san, she returns a shy smile. 
“So, um, please take care of it.” 
She gave me a beaming smile. 
Furniture store, discount clothing store, 100-yen shop, bookstore, children’s center, electronics store. 
I introduce Ashella-san to the essential shops within walking distance of the apartment complex. I also try to suggest places like the home improvement store and library that are reachable by bike, but she mentions she can’t ride a bike. We promise to practice later and continue walking. 
(Is this… could this be a date rather than just confirming suspicions?) 
I realize this when we finally take a break at a Japanese tea café to rest our tired feet. 
It’s late. I’m slow, even by my standards. 
Unaware of my inner thoughts, Ashella-san takes a sip of Yame, a type of green tea. 
“It’s delicious… I never knew Japanese tea could have such a gentle flavor.” 
“It varies depending on the type. For someone with a childish palate like mine, it’s just a vague impression. How about trying another tea?” 
I’m having Fujieda, a slightly stronger tea. 
“That would be wonderful. Yes, please. Hehe, it’s nice that we came together.” 
I unintentionally blush at her words, and she lets out a soft sigh. 
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a relaxing time… thanks to you, Midori-san.” 
Her words catch me off guard. I don’t know the reason, but she and her daughter recently moved here. Must have been a dizzying experience. 
(I’m curious about the “reason,” though…) 
I manage to steer the conversation back to the main topic. I subtly show her a newspaper article from the shop. 
“Places like the furniture store we visited today were affected too. Imports were disrupted until Cleared was annihilated. Now, things have finally settled down in terms of prices and availability.” 
After saying that, I observe her, testing her reaction with a slight feeling of guilt. She maintains a neutral expression. It seems she doesn’t have any particular emotions about Cleared. 
“Yes, after those people were gone, I feel a bit more freedom in my surroundings.” 
Her expression remains unchanged. She continues,  
“I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not that I can come to that house now, but…” 
However, Ashella-san softly smiles and adds,  
“Meeting Midori-san is undoubtedly a good thing.” 
I manage to hold back the urge to lean forward. 
Perhaps this is the consequence of trying to test someone. I received an unexpected counterattack. 
“I─I, too, am glad…” 
I stammer with a scattered and foolish response, feeling the impact. 
(Oh no, my face must be red.) 
What a disaster. What kind of investigator am I, Midori Kusama? What good is it for me to be the one tested? 

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