A/N: Random chapter title
I haven’t talked with Rio once since the first period.
Or rather, Rio isn’t listening to what I say at all.
Going somewhere else when the class is over, even when I texted her about the stream or some guhehe stuff, she left me on read.
Even when I tried to invite her for lunch, it felt like she was avoiding me. Despite being in class, not having Rio with me felt unnatural.
But the reason was clear. It must be related with BWO.
「Eriri, what happened, you’re not making the guhe guhe today? 」
「Nope nothing. I’m feeling sluggish from not enough sleep after too much streaming yesterday. 」
「Sleep some more, not enough sleep is the enemy of diet, you know? 」
The other classmates are really enjoying their lunch. But if Rio isn’t here, then I feel my appetite is really going down.
Could it really be that Rio is planning to avoid me for the entire day?
Troubled over it till school ended, I saw Rio standing at the school entrance by herself waiting.
The moment I wanted to call out, Rio noticed me and headed my way.
「I have something important to talk about. 」
「Something important……? 」
Hearing her say that when the only thing I heard from her today was 「Good morning」 surprised me a little.
The orange sunset formed an artistic contrast, and the neat school uniform without any creases would’ve made me 「Guhehe~」 and go for a hug instinctively, but I was made to restraint myself unconsciously.
I was overwhelmed by her more dignified appearance than ever.
「I will be passing through the sixth town in today’s stream. If that happens, there’s a possibility that I will encounter you in the city. 」
「Unn, that’s definitely possible. I even got an order to stop you yesterday. 」
「Then that makes it easy. 」
Rio seemed like she some sort of conviction and moved to the important points.
「Eriko, I’m not being mean. But if you aren’t decided on fighting me, don’t log in tonight. 」
While staring into my eyes, she said.
「……Don’t say that, I already got my resolve a long time ago. 」
Rio’s words are the devil’s whisper, I bounced it back with my resolve.
The resolve to fight, the resolve to win. I even finished talks with the viewers, no matter the outcome, there won’t be repercussions.
「When Rio first started streaming the game, I was happy, but at the same time, I was worried for the eventual fight. But when the time came, it felt like it became 『I must stop her』. I will stop crying about it! 」
Unn, I felt super refreshed after declaring war from the front. This is for the best.
Defeating the Murder Demon that was an obstruction, after RIO became the greatest threat for the adventurer’s guild, there’s no longer any reason for me to be treated specially just because I know her in real life. If they are going all out in subjugating RIO, I will move as a pawn.
At that time, no matter if it’s maliciously or forcefully, I’m glad there were people pushing on a hesitating me from the back.
Thousands of my allies in the guild, the residents’ voices to protect. I won’t allow RIO herself to trample upon the weak or people that believes in me.
Villains should be hated!
「Is that so. Let’s leave it at that, we will meet again on that side. 」
The conversation ended, and Rio started heading back.
Wait what, won’t we have a friendly talk before it starts?
Because how Rio walked away only seemed like she was running away, I unintentionally chased after her.
「What about Rio, have you made your resolve? 」
It’s my turn to ask.
I feel it’s unfair that I was the only one saying.
Above all, I’m worried for Rio……. Was Rio someone this strong? A discomfort like that was on me.
「That’s a foolish question. If I haven’t made my resolve, I wouldn’t have asked. To not get that simple of a thing, it feels like I’m experiencing the decline of an honor student, disappointing. 」
It was rather offensive words for Rio.
I knew it, she’s really being strange.
「You don’t have to be like that, it’s just a game right? There’s no need draw the line on this side, let’s get along like usual! 」
「Even if it’s a game, I’m not just myself. We, I’m a streamer carrying a lot of expectations from the viewers. There’s nothing I can say to you. 」
「There’s something! Rio, streamer or not, you’re too mindful of your position! 」
「If you’re talking about positions, since you’ll be an obstruction, being on the adventurer’s side, get out of the way. If you’re still intending on stopping me here……」
Then Rio with her index finger, pointed between my eyebrows.
「Maybe I will kill you here. 」
The pressure is scary…… I felt like I would get hit as I shut my eyes.
The player skill that roots anyone by fear. The viewers talked about secrets behind RIO’s successful villain role play, but seeing it this close, I can’t help but be convinced.
The pressure from Rio just now was so much that it reminded me of the vampire monster.
When I reopened my eyes, Rio was already nowhere there.
「Uuu……Rioo…… did your heart become totally black ……」
It was so scary that my legs are not moving even if I wanted to chase after her, I was frozen in place.
It feels like she became strange, not the Rio I know, rather than change, it felt like a morph…….
The Rio I know would always be polite no matter what she does, always listening to boring topics with a smile, but always seemed to have a hole in her heart……a kind of feeling like an abandoned cat in the rain, a sort of weak feeling that she tries to hide.
I wonder if Rio realize her own change, maybe she does.
「Uuun, it’s nothing. I will…… my ambition, is to earn the trust from Rio! 」
That was just because Rio was being stoic, behind her trust, she’s saying she will kill me (post-processed by self-justification). The finger she pointed out had the weight of her love behind it.
Alright, I’m getting more and more motivated.
If she acted so offensively for my sake, then I’d have to retort that it was unnecessary.
For today’s sake, like how I worked hard on dieting day and day, recall back on how much I worked to maintain the same weight as Rio.
I will have Yoshiko do a haircutting ceremony on me when I get back, then revise on the defeat RIO strategy book I wrote after days and nights of research.
I will definitely defeat her, no matter how many times, in the laws of jungle that RIO specializes at, I will continue respawn killing at the Prison Island, and totally crush her without a chance of revival.
I feel like my thoughts dived a wrong direction from the middle but, if turning evil is all it takes to regain peace, then it’s a cheap price to pay.
If RIO goes cry cry and give up aiming for the top with that, then I will immediately quit adventurer or even being a streamer and be together with Rio. Fall to the same hell.
It feels a little unfair for me to lose the most even though I tried the most but, it’s not like upholding justice for money and praise is a good thing either.
To live with a business like this didn’t need me to pick a clear side between justice or evil.
Justice! In other words, an amateurish position that doesn’t overstep the boundary of interest, yet a professional spirit that never yields! With both does one finally stands at the starting point, was what I was taught from long ago.
But you see, condemn the sin, but not the sinner, even if Rio comes to hate me, I will continue to love her.
If Rio gets abandoned by her fans, if there’s only one person that’s still around to watch her, I can say that the one person is definitely me.
The depth of my love far surpasses any perverts, be ready for a punishment if you underestimate it.
Aah, if I become a vampire on this side too, then I will be burned to ash by the sun that is you.
I’m really the worst.
To hide my true feelings, I said cruel words to Eriko who is more important than my life, what a vicious woman I am.
Even though I love you this much……. It’s heart wrenching to think that what I will be doing is depriving your place. All while I’m not brave enough to take you for myself.
What Eriko carries have much more meaning than me, why is it that villains in the world are so shameless. Naturally, the only villain in the story is me.
On the road back, even when I arrived back at my home, the tears never stopped falling.
「Why…… why did it become like this……」
If it was the me from a month ago, I would have persisted with the law of jungle no matter how Eriko condemned me.
Where has it all gone wrong?
I should’ve aimed for the top in the most efficient route, but because I took my time, I came to know first love before encountering Eriko.
Hoping for love was where it all went wrong.
Blaming everything no matter evil or not on myself will be fine, it was naive of me to think like that.
If I were to ever be hated from humiliating you in that world, and if there was ever a time when you decide to cut me off, my reason to live will be lost.
「No……Eriko……don’t leave me alone………」
Even though today might be the last day we can talk, it ended in a quarrel.
After running back hurriedly after leaving Eriko there, the only choice I have now is to call or text her.
When I opened the messaging app, the screen was filled with worrying messages since I didn’t reply or pick up her calls at all.
As I scrolled up the history, I saw the words 『Waiting for you at the sixth town』 received this morning.
「It’s the place where we will fight. 」
For a place that will decide the outcome between justice and evil, even if it’s an advantageous location for justice where no residents will be harmed, I won’t hesitate to respond.
I was afraid of being rejected if I replied to her messages earlier, albeit late now, I responded with a 『Understood』.
「Stagnation is declination, hesitation is a mistake. Yes, it’s not time to be depressed. There’s no other way but to advance anyways. 」
Telling so to myself, thinking that I should fulfill my responsibility, I will dive into BWO early. What comes next comes.
A/N: Stomachache reappearing…….
A/N: A bit early but next up we return to the forums again.