Evil Leader Next Door! Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 1

Chapter 3: The Human System
 

 
Having breakfast at the Kuri’s house, carrying Ashella’s packed lunch to work, sometimes fighting as a Banshokuger, and then returning home for dinner
 
– my days as Midori Kusama continued in this manner.
 
“I thought things would be a mess, but surprisingly, it’s going well.”
 
Surprisingly, things are going well.
 
Unexpectedly, Taratatt, the former leader of Cleared, and Ashella, the former high-ranking member, didn’t seem to be making any suspicious moves from Midori’s perspective.
 
Just the other day, Taratatt was playing kick-the-can with the kids in the housing complex during the day.
 

 
” Very eikisattein! “
 
“Wow!” “Tara-chan is awesome!”
 
“Stop calling me that.”
 

 
She was playing around with the children from the housing complex. Whatever. Since she weren’t using her abilities, I observed silently.
 
As for Ashella, she started working part-time at the supermarket I mentioned before. It seemed to be going reasonably well. The money taken from Cleared’s supposed inheritance of her deceased husband wasn’t as much as one might think, and she needed to eat daily to maintain her human form. According to Taratatt:
 
“If we don’t have these human bodies, we’ll weaken even faster.”
 
Of course, it was us banshokjars who did this and didn’t need to worry about such things, but I somehow felt a sense of responsibility.
 
With the surveillance being peaceful, my condition was improving too.
 
“My health is getting better with these meals… complicated as it may be thanks to Ashella.”
 
I couldn’t say it loudly, but my fridge was almost empty, except for beverages. Of course, I handed over the money for the meals she prepared.
 
Ashella’s cooking, designed with Taratatt in mind, seemed to have a good nutritional balance. I was also automatically managing my nutrition.
 
“Thanks to that, I can now open the figures I bought during my free time.”
 
I opened the cardboard box that had been lying around. After the downfall of Cleared, the appearance of monsters, and monitoring the Kuris, there had been a lot to do living alone. Finally, I had time and mental space.
 
“That’s complicated thanks to Ashella, but let’s put that aside.”
 
From the cardboard box emerged a colorful box. It was a 1/12 action figure of Mick-True, the female swordsman character from the series “Skeleton Hero AR.”
 
“Oh, it’s almost the same as the color sample. The face is well done too.”
 
I took out the figure and checked its various movements. Looking at the skin peeking out from the dress-like armor, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ashella (battle mode).
 
(Well, I understand. I get it.)
 
It’s a bit weird for an adult man to pose a nicely sculpted female character figure, considering the connection to Ashella.
 
Thinking about Ashella, I returned to reality for a moment.
 
Still, being able to decorate characters from manga, anime, or drama in three dimensions, pose them freely, and create situations not found in the original work – that’s the excellent thing about action figures.
 
(I like the figure to hold a Japanese sword shown in the toy. I don’t know anything about swordsmanship. ……)
 
In a way, action figures are [art appreciation with intervention], I think.
 
“Let’s see, where did I put the Skeleton Hero?”
 
I took out the protagonist of the same series released earlier and lined them up, recreating a pose from a famous scene in the original work.
 
“Hmm… Yeah, it looks good. Cool.”
 
I sniffle satisfactorily. Well, there’s nothing to be ashamed of enjoying it alone.
 
“Are you there, Kusama Midori?”
 
“Whoa!?”
 
But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with suddenly being seen by my neighbor!
 
“If there’s no response, I’ll assume you’re here.”
 
Seeing the figure that was only partially covered (not covered at all) with my arm, Ashella narrowed her eyebrows in a somewhat astonished manner.
 
“You’re quite something. Engaging in childish hobbies like playing with dolls. And who’s that woman? Exposing so much skin here and there.”
 
“Shut up… Besides, can you, of all people, complained on appearances?”
 
She snorted and dismissed the protest, pointing to the entrance.
 
“Anyway. Today, you’ll join us for lunch. I have something to discuss.”
 

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

 
“Midori Kusama. I command you… no, not command… request… no, it’s more like… ask for a favor.”
 
Interrupted and fragmented, that’s how the conversation began at the lunch invitation.
 
Today’s meal has a semi-Japanese style, with white rice, bacon and sunny-side-up eggs, and fried items on the table.
 
“Come on, talk formally. Ah, Taratat, pass me the soy sauce.”
 
“Hmm. Green, you’re a soy sauce person. Ketchup is good, you know, ketchup.”
 
“I’m the type to put it on rice. So, soy sauce.”
 
“Listen. And Midori Kusama, don’t use Taratat-sama…!”
 
Anger seeped into the voice. Since there’s no choice, I return my gaze and urge her to continue.
 
“I have finished the trial period, and starting from this week, I’ll be working part-time regularly. On days with shifts during the busy hours from afternoon to evening, I’ll be returning a bit late.”
 
(Being told about a part-time job schedule by the former executive of an evil organization…)
 
Anyway, I nod in agreement. From around four to six in the evening is the rush time for people buying groceries. Indeed, with that shift, she might not be home until after seven.
 
“If you happen to return earlier than me, it’s fine. Only in that case. Take care of Taratat-sama until I get back.”
 
“Do you even know who you’re asking…?”
 
I was the one who tried to kill (or at least thought I did) her before.
 
Ashella, seemingly humiliated, closes her eyes and turns her face away from me.
 
“Hmph…! Well, I don’t want to rely on the likes of you! But there’s no one else, so it can’t be helped.”
 
“It’s not a big deal. By the way, am I the oldest among us? mother?”
 
Although I retort, I understand their feelings. Taratat’s current societal status is “[Ten-Year-Old Girl Studying at Home].” And she is currently nothing more than her appearance in terms of pure power.
 
(I know it’s not right for a Banshokuger to be concerned about their situation. ……)
 
While my rational side says that, there’s no helping it. Personally, a significant part of my life,
 
both in terms of living and emotionally, has become intertwined with these two.
 
“Alright, understood. Even on days when I finish late, it’s still around five. If the timing is right and there’s no mission, I’ll come back and keep Taratat company. Including surveillance.”
 
It would be good for Ashella as well, or at least, that’s what I think as I reluctantly agree.
 


 
The actual request came the next day.
 
In the early afternoon, after finishing classes for the day, I entered the supermarket “Daikokuya” where Ashella had started working.
 
(Well, it’s not that I’m worried or anything.)
 
While replenishing daily necessities, I casually wandered through the store, subtly observing the employees. That appearance. If she’s here, I should find her soon—
 
“Ah, there she is.”
 
She was at the sausage tasting corner.
 
Tall, around 170 cm, with shimmering silver hair and tanned skin. Undoubtedly, it was Ashella.
 
She was receiving instructions from the shop owner, a lady I had seen a few times, while raising her voice.
 
“Yeah, that’s right. Try to make your voice reach even if it’s forced. Especially during busy hours, the surrounding noise is intense.”
 
“Yes, yes.”
 
“Okay, give it a try.”
 
“Um… Today’s special! Mardex Sausages on sale. How about a taste, huh!”
 
“………………”
 
I involuntarily hid behind a shelf. Keeping calm.
 
The former high-ranking executive of the once world-dominating evil organization was now loudly announcing sausage tastings at a locally beloved supermarket.
 
(Life is… even though she’s not human…)
 
Suppressing the urge to burst into laughter, I rubbed my cheek and approached her.
 
“Excuse me, I’ll take one.”
 
“Oh, yes, please. Here you go.”
 
I accepted the cut sausage on a toothpick. Ashella’s smile froze.
 
“Can I also get a bag?”
 
While eating, I casually said with a smile. She remained frozen, her cheeks turning red.
 
“Oh? What happened, Kuri san? Do you know each other?”
 
“Eh… um, y-yes. He’s a neighbor.”
 
Grimacing. Tin-faced. While somehow maintaining composure, Ashella answered the shop owner.
 
“Oh, is that so? Well, I’ve taught you the job here, so leave it to the time. Until then, please take care of it.”
 
Seeing off the departing shopkeeper, the silver-haired clerk trembled, enduring the humiliation with eyes that held a hint of resilience.
 
“…Just kill me already…”
 
“I’m not laughing, it’s a job. You’re supporting Taratatt, right?”
 
At my words, Ashella blinked in surprise. Then, she slapped both cheeks sharply.
 
“Yeah, you’re right. I need to handle it perfectly… Sometimes, Kusama Midori you…”
 
“What?”
 
“I have the evening to night shift tomorrow. Can I rely you on Taratatt?”
 
“Tomorrow?”
 
I check the schedule on my smartphone. It’s only until noon tomorrow. I nod.
 
“Got it. What about dinner?”
 
“I’ll buy some side dishes on my way back. Just cook the rice.”
 
But, even with such an agreement, the timing of the appearance of monsters isn’t something they choose.
 

 
“Ugh, he escaped into the mountains…”
 
“He’s a beast-type, so if someone drives him toward the mountaintop, three of us can finish him off. Red, what do you think?”
 
“Okay. I’ll go. Everyone, keep your powers ready.”
 
Bear-type monster Grizzlybar appeared in the suburban area during the day. It took until evening to defeat it with a joint effort, driving it toward the mountaintop.


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