Evil Leader Next Door! Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 5

As Banshoku Green, I had fought and protected people, including students at school, friends, acquaintances, and even relatives.
 
And these people believed in me.
 
” ………… Well, Mr. Green is very shy. I’ll let him know next time I see him.”
 
Rather than sulking about being unnoticed, I needed to be more self-aware. With a self-deprecating smile, I conveyed that to her.
 
“I appreciate it. Well, you see, that incident was one of the reasons for my transfer. It’s dangerous to be involved in battles.”
 
She chuckled with a cheeky smile.
 
“So, I appreciate your help. Well, since we’re still in the same prefecture, and if everything settles down, I plan to come back. Take care of yourself too, Kusama-sensei..”
 
“Sure thing. If you ever feel safe enough to come back, we’ll be waiting for you.”
 
With a cheerful farewell, I watched Tanaka leave the faculty room.
 
“It’s going to be lonely.”
 
The voice that came from behind me was from Fujiki-sensei, the figure enthusiast.
 
“I’m sure you’ll be back soon. I’m sure of it.”
 
To an outsider, it might sound like a baseless statement, but I said it with determination. And, seizing the opportunity, I asked.
 
“By the way, Fujiki-sensei, what’s your favorite color among the Banshokuger?”
 
“I guess I like both red and black. Fist! Sword! Handsome voices and dandy voices! They’re so cool, right?”
 
“Yeah, they are.” she smiled with a depth of flavor that even I found quite profound. Then she continued.
 
“Well, I have all the colors in the 1/12 movable series. Lately, I’ve dabbled a bit in the combining robots Milliocolor . In the final battle, taking off the main cannon and having all the Banshokuger shoot together, right? It’s so emotional! I kinda want to recreate that with figures. But, you know, the 1/12 Milliocolor and such are just too big. Even if they were released, the price would be astronomical, and I probably couldn’t afford it.”
 
She began an incredibly enthusiastic talk. Although I understood the gist, my understanding was at its limits.
 
In short, a 30-meter Milicolor, when scaled to match the action figures of Banshokuger, would exceed two meters. It wasn’t a size suitable for a toy release, and the price would be exorbitant.
 
“Haha. I’d love it if Banshokuger could grow giant like Cleared’s monsters.”
 
“Then you wouldn’t need Milicolor. Oh, but I might want a Banshokuger-sized Milirocket. It has so many transformations!”
 
I was surprised by that statement. The Milirocket was my designated mecha.
 
(… Maybe I should ask the product development department or something.)
 
Such thoughts crossed my mind quietly on that peaceful afternoon, along with my determination for peace.
 


 
However, the incident occurred that night.
 
“Oh, I might be late. You can go ahead and have dinner without me.”
 
The call to Ashella was cut. Right after finishing work, I headed straight to the hospital in the city where I collaborate with Banshokuger.
 
“Akashi…!”
 
As I opened the door to the private room, multiple eyes stared back at me. Banshokuger comrades were all gathered.
 
On the bed lay Akashi, the leader of Banshokuger with his fiery red flames, one arm suspended and wrapped in bandages. Various bandages were scattered all over.
 
“Midori-san, sorry, I let my guard down,”
 
he replied energetically. I glanced at the comrades surrounding the bed.
 
“His arm is broken, but there are no injuries that threaten his life or leave any aftereffects.”
 
“For now, the initial treatment is complete, so he’ll be entering the main base’s treatment acceleration pod starting tomorrow.”
 
Karasu and Nadeshiko succinctly explain Akashi’s condition.
 
“I see… That’s good… No, it’s not good.”
 
“Because I screwed up the finishing blow to the monster. Protecting me…! I’m sorry, Akashi…! I’m so sorry…!”
 
Sitting on the chair next to the bed, Ao, with swollen eyes, apologizes with a tearful voice. Akashi shakes his head.
 
“No, it’s fine. Even I thought it was over with that. The enemy was just skilled, that’s all.”
 
This time, I was accompanying an off-campus observational class from the afternoon, so I couldn’t make it in time. Since the other four were together, I thought it would be okay despite feeling anxious.
 
“It was chilling. I thought for a moment that I was done for.”
 
“The enemy’s toughness is as strong as ever, if not more so. I guess I misjudged them.”
 
It seems that Akashi shielded Ao from the enemy’s final blow, which struck when Ao let guard down after thinking she had defeated the enemy.
 
“I’m sorry…”
 
Apologizing with tears, Nadeshiko-san pats Aoi gently on the back.
 
“Sorry… I couldn’t make it in time.”
 
“It’s not your fault. Midori-san has been on continuous missions recently.”
 
Homura Akashi laughs and expresses concern for me. He’s a good guy. I wish my school students would grow up like this.
 
“Yeah, yeah. You need to take a break for a bit.”
 
“I don’t want Midori-ojisan to collapse either…”
 
“No, it’s fine.”
 
While grateful for the comforting words, Karasu-san interjects with a denial. All eyes turn towards him.
 
“Sorry, but the main issue here is Midori-san—Green’s absence.”
 
The expressions of everyone except Akashi and Aoi show a mix of surprise and anger. Aoi and Akashi are quick to react.
 
“Karasu-san, don’t blame Midori-san…! He’s the one who’s been out there fighting the most!”
 
“Yeah! Even with fewer numbers, Midori-ojisan has been fighting more than the four of us combined…!”
 
“Please, keep it down in the hospital.”
 

 
“Cough.”
 
Karasu-san clears his throat and shakes his head at the nurse’s warning.
 

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“It’s the opposite.”
 
“The opposite, you say?”
 
In response to Nadeshiko-san’s question, he continues.
 
“The current enemies, our attacks are becoming ineffective without Midori-san—Green’s boost.”
 
The three of them, excluding me and Karasu-san, show expressions of surprise. Karasu-san adds more to his explanation.
 
“Furthermore, Red’s injury this time would not have been severe if there was Green’s defensive boost. Well, it should have ended with Blue’s strike even before that.”
 
My companions, except for me, are left momentarily speechless by Karasu-san’s words. Each of them seems to have a realization.
 
As for me… I had a feeling he would say that. And surprisingly, I found myself agreeing with him.
 
Bitterly acknowledging my inner thoughts, I spoke up.
 
“It’s my fault. I should have realized that it would be bad for me to leave against the current enemy monster.”
 
Since I was the one who fought the most against the monster that appeared after Cleared was destroyed.
 
“But I couldn’t bring myself to think that I’m such an important person as much as my intuition tells me.”
 
I added with a wry smile.
 
“Well, I’m not that popular anyway.”
 
” ” ” ” ” …………………… ” ” ” ” ” ” “
 
Inserted as a self-deprecating joke, the room falls silent, and their sympathetic gazes reach me.
 
Now, a bit embarrassed, I continue,
 
“Anyway, I messed up. I underestimated the situation with my cowardly pride. Sorry.”
 
I bow my head. I was afraid of being denied, thinking it might be arrogance. That’s how I analyze myself.
 
(Ashella and the others understand, relying on them like this… It’s really pathetic.)
 
Suddenly sound of a “clap” break the heavy atmosphere. The source of the sound is Karasu-san’s hands, still together. While doing that, he speaks.
 
“You don’t need to apologize. There’s a saying: ‘Use the right person in the right place.’ We all understand that. Let’s move forward.”
 
Saying that, he smiles confidently.
 
(He’s cool…!)
 
I’m about to be captivated by Karasu-san’s rare and handsome smile. It seems this is why Nadeshiko-san is falling for him.
 
“Well done, Karasu-san. You say such nice things.”
 
“Nadeshiko-san, putting your chest against his arm is a bit…”
 
“Call me by my name if you want me to move.”
 
“Ah! No, you can’t! Cleavage is not allowed!”
 
Blushing and stumbling over his words, he averts his gaze from her. However, appreciating the compliment, Karasu-san lowers his glasses.
 
But still, the right person in the right place.
 
That’s true, but it brings up a problem.
 
“Being the main close-range attacker, Akashi won’t be able to go out for a while, and Uncle won’t be able to rest properly… That’s the situation, right?”
 
That’s the situation indeed. Each of us has an important role, and if someone is missing, things become difficult.
 
“Damn. We need to fix this as soon as possible!”
 
“Even if we request substitute Banshokuger from other regions, it will take time to coordinate. For a while, we’ll have to manage somehow…”
 
Nadeshiko-san sighs. Karasu-san, who has been freed, is panting in a corner of the room.
 
“In the end, it will become tough sooner or later. Unless we solve the mystery of the monsters’ defense.”
 
That’s right. Each person has a crucial role, and when someone is missing, the situation becomes challenging.
 
“For now, we have to endure. Unless we figure out the secret of the enemies’ new technology…”
 
And then, the hospital room door slides open once again. Perhaps we made too much noise, and we turn towards the entrance to see someone standing there.
 
“Dr. Palette?”
 
He’s in charge of the Banshokuger’s technical research. Wearing a white coat all the time, he looks confusingly similar to hospital staff.
 
“Yeah, you’re all here. I rushed to prepare the treatment acceleration pod. I came to pick up Red. Contact your home and university.”
 
It seems that the headquarters is taking the current situation seriously.
 
“But why is Dr. Palette himself here?”
 
“I heard you were all here. It’s convenient, so I came to tell you.”
 
We tilted our heads, but he continued.
 
“The investigation team at the Cleared headquarters made a new discovery. From what seems to be an underground lab, there are clear signs that something has been stolen.”


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