『News from Eriko side, this abnormal situation was not in the plans! 』
『Yeah. The one rampaging there is not Eriko. She’s probably spectating in a ghost state』
『I can’t bear to watch anymore……. The SSS mentality Eriko kept screaming 「Stop please! 」 at herself, but then it gradually died down, and she’s now sobbing……』
『Anyways, the culprit must be within Eriko’s party! 』
『Might be all of them. Maybe the guild had them do it』
『But one thing’s for certain, RIO is the only hope left for all of us spectating. 』
「Would a person with so much of my respect like you hope for a battle like this? 」
If you did this deliberately, no matter what reason you had, there’s no way I can forgive you.
The Eriko I know must still exist somewhere in there. She will definitely return.
「Erikoo! Aren’t you tired of rampaging around yet! 」
「My voice still can’t reach……」
There are no signs of her rampaging dying down.
With that stupendous attack power, I’m getting overpowered even when using the magic hammer.
An infamous monster and Eriko who became a monster after losing her reasoning. Who would have thought the mirror match between two monsters would come today, moreover, the opponent is you, there must be a limit to how playful fate can be.
「O-oo-ooonee, Onee-san. That person, what person does she want to do」
As for Elma-san, her logical circuits were so fried that she didn’t even try to run or hide.
「Calm down, it’s dangerous here, get back, I will take care of Eriko. 」
That’s right. It’s no longer a fight just for Elma-san, it’s now also a fight for Eriko, just like when I first started playing this game.
I won’t let Eriko kill anyone other than me.
If it meant you’ll be punished, I would rather give up and kill Elma-san first. I will be the only one to carry the sin of betrayal.
But you said you won’t give up until you die.
Then there’s no choice but for me to continue until I die.
「If giving up means killing Elma-san, then I will never. 」
It feels painful being hit like this continuously, but I’m sure the pain you’re experiencing being forced to do this is much more.
Even though what she’s feeling is likely anger, each and every exchange I could hear the pleading cries through her sword.
「Fufu…… being tricked by someone, forced to continue regardless of your feelings. It painfully resonates with me. After all, I’m a nuisance, and before I’m a streamer, I’m your friend. 」
If Eriko is suffering right now, I will release her from that suffering.
After all, Eriko was the one that cleared my mind when I first arrived in this arena.
『Oh my RIO-sama, suddenly awakening to such a beautiful human’s heart』
『Huh, could this be, precious Eririo birth moment?』
『Were you such a pretentious girl again? 』
『I meaaan, Eriko was tricked into that rampaging state riiight』
Fumu, it looked quite bad but, I found a new clue.
Eriko’s transformation is of an 《Abnormal status》 that makes the avatar uncontrollable.
Even though I don’t have any healing magic, it’s natural to assume that any abnormal status will expire.
There’s a solution that doesn’t involve killing her, I can almost feel a smile showing on my face.
It’s unclear how many seconds, minutes, hours or even days it will take but, just knowing that I have the option for an endurance fight is good enough.
「Eriko……-san is Onee-san’s friend!? 」
Umumu, Elma-san, that’s where you jab?
「You heard it right, but this Eriko is a killing machine that I don’t know. Gofuh! 」
Eriko crashed the shield as a blunt weapon into me, the air in my lungs was forced out and my vision narrowed for a moment.
Even though one-on-one fights without any trickeries is my forte, with Elma-san here, my choice is to only drag it out.
「Uuugh, this feels like it will take forever……」
It’s basically a straight line to victory, if ignoring the harsh conditions.
However, Elma-san whom I’m protecting is only a shackle in fighting, and it was me that brought her here.
Is it because I’m evil?
Is it my karma for bringing Elma-san hoping that she can be the cheap trickeries I play?
As I faced forward again, a chipped bare blade was already near my face.
With the situation like this, I’m feeling like crunching on a chunk of metal anyways.
「Don’t be a bully! Wake up Eriko-onee-san! 」
Oh my, unexpected support fire.
Elma-san is throwing rocks at Eriko. As usual, unlike how she usually acts, she really has a scary side.
「Elma-san, since my hands are tied up now, I can’t praise nor scold you」
Even though it wouldn’t be any damage, probably provoked by the rocks hitting her, she looked at Elma-san.
「IGHHR, GGYYAAAAA! 」
At the tiniest opening when she looked away, I smashed Eriko’s left foot so hard that she won’t stand up straight anymore.
『Cool! One out of four limbs getto! 』
『Since Eriko’s not flying, and naturally she can’t regenerate, super effective! 』
『She can’t run no more! Sounds stupid but all there’s left is to run around! 』
『It’s too early to celebrate~, humans have two pairs of legs~』
For a human, just one leg crushed would mean the entire pair is dysfunctional.
Winning by running the clock down isn’t impossible.
「A big step for me, and no more steps for you…… wha」
Oh, she isn’t a human.
I crushed that leg so bad that even the bones are coming out.
Even though just standing should be stupidly painful, she’s still taking steps while making gloopy sounds, and came with a headbutt, making me question whether she’s even feeling any pain.
I spaced out.
Realizing I was in the air only after being hit back halfway, looks like my focus is at its limits.
But that should mean Eriko is very much weakened too.
With her injured legs, even when considering Elma-san’s limited leg power, we can definitely outrun her without my assistance.
Or so I thought.
「FSSSH, FSSSSSH, FSSSH 」
Eriko’s posing is very weird.
She was facing towards Elma-san, gripping her sword tightly over the back of her head, it was too exaggerated for a slash.
And she’s out of range.
――She’s throwing it!
Even though her legs aren’t moving, her arms sure is!
「It’s over……I will die……」
「Aah…… if I give up, then Eriko……! 」
Quick, before the sword leaves her hand. No, there’s no time to think about being faster, I must move now. But if I don’t think of the fastest way, then it will be too late. Kuh, it’s the only idea no matter how much I think, screw it. To become even faster, I need to reduce my weight…… I won’t make it if I run with the magic hammer.
「Onee-san, onee-san? 」
Even though a hero-like move of self-sacrificing to protect someone is something you should do, when I do it, I just mess it up.
「What is it? 」
My decision was safe, it ended with only half my right arm sliced open.
Rather than going for the kill, she threw it in rage, so the damage isn’t significant.
Not going to pick her sword at all, she started jumping here while waving her fist.
「Eriko, Eriko, Eriko! 」
It’s fine already, right.
For a person like me who only knows to destroy, fighting while protecting something is quite tolling on the mind.
The information to process is flooding my brain, and the fatigue was already piling on the limit.
It feels like my violent inner self exploded.
After my cry, I threw a right straight towards Eriko’s chin.
「A person like you! Buh! 」
My chin was punched back.
But if I shrink, I will just be a sandbag. Raising my upper body back, I crashed my right fist with anger.
「A person like you, why! With that shallow resolve you have, why did you come here! 」
「GHYYAA! GAAAAA! 」
「Believing in people that only knows to plot in secret! Not realizing that you were cheated! 」
Punch back if I get punched, kick back if I get kicked, fight back violence with violence.
It’s helpful that Eriko’s defense is high. I can go all out without pulling any punches.
「Is your justice just being a friendly person!? Because of your blind belief, you don’t even start to doubt people! Because of that, Elma-san is facing this irrationality! 」
It’s still not enough.
The stuff that was bottled up to the extent of exploding won’t be dissipated with this much.
「I believed you! But this is because your irresponsibility! 」
An explosive high kick, and Eriko ended up with her face planted on the ground.
If I just saddle on her, I can pin her down and have my ways with her.
「AAAAAH! ERIKO IS SO STUPID! A DUMBASS! 」
Who cares if it’s Eriko, if being a streamer voids you from being punched, does that mean the world be a better place if the villains in power are left unchecked?
If that’s the case, then that’s really being irrational.
The pain inflicted to those without power, the strong me must lay judgement in place of them.
「Pay for it! Know some shame! You! 」
More, returning all the irrationality that Elma-san experienced with irrationality, recklessly hitting, the chest, face, skin, flesh, bones, eyes, even each finger, crush it like a discarded furniture at the junkyard.
An Eriko like this, no matter how swollen the cheeks are, how the teeth are flying, how much foam she’s spitting, how much blood is spewing, how much tears she’s crying……?
At the moment when I can’t regret what I had done to Eriko, I realized.
Why when she’s not in control? No way, are these tears from your conscious self?
「No, it wasn’t your……」
Those tears were definitely from her own emotions…….
My anger cooled, realizing that my reasoning was self-centered, a sort of excuse to pin it on someone else to escape blame, then realizing who was to blame for this tragedy.
「Everything, it’s my fault. Because I…… lied……, nno, in the first place, because of me Eriko was……」
I remembered what I forgot at last.
The reason why I avoided meeting you, wasn’t because I didn’t want to hurt you, nor was it I don’t want you to hate me…….
I just didn’t want to see someone dear to me become sad because of me.
It was the only thing I can’t bear, and it’s the reason why I wanted to avoid using violence on you at all costs.
「Sorry…… forgive me…… Eriko……」
If you show me that sad face, then I can’t go on any more…….
「UAAH! YAAAR! 」
「No way, she’s still going? 」
She started flailing her arms forcefully like a child throwing tantrum.
Eriko was, even though dragging her left leg that can’t move any more, she aimed for Elma-san, unable to walk, she was like a meat ball that slowly crawled forward.
But her burst of tears because of me haven’t stopped at all.
As if desperately struggling against the one controlling her body, it wasn’t something I could continue watching at all.
「Please, just stop already……」
To stop her, but unable to put strength like I wanted, the best I can do is call to her while grabbing on her waist.
While Eriko’s sobbing voice continued, she tried to push me away.
「I will apologize for saying thoughtless things that hurt you……, no matter how many times you want…… so, …aah…… 」
I felt the tremble in my vision grew stronger, blocking what I can see.
But the sensation from my arm told me that you were slowly slipping out of my grasp.
I got a feeling that I will never see her again if I let go, so I tried restraining Eriko upper body with my right arm.
「Please come back to me…… I will do anything, please……」
I’m getting pulled apart……my knees scrapping against the ground was signaling me that the path to a tragic end was continuing one step by one step.
I can’t stop the tragedy……Eriko is…….
「……Don’t be surprised and listen, I love you so much that I yearn for you……. It’s probably several times worse than what you can imagine, and I always get jealous……」
What am I doing, starting to speak nonsense.
「Eh, is the person Onee-san like……」
「When my heart was pulverized into pieces, and my everyday became meaningless, your existence gave meaning to my life……. 」
Even though the live stream is ongoing, to confess in front of public, was there a reason?
If there’s one, it felt like my ideal Eriko that I love will disappear soon, so it was sort of my last words, spilling any secrets I had.
The truth is, I don’t want you to disappear.
Just spinning words was the best I could do with this fatigued heart.
「If, if giving up my goal for the top is what it takes for you to come back, I will gladly do so……. No matter what the sacrifice is…… even if you come to hate me, I want you to stay as the ideal you no matter what……」
The softness, comfort, kindness, cuteness, holiness, even the belief that I could never come to match, will your future streams I watch be void of all that?
That can never be the case.
A sun that is hidden by the clouds will just sink without ever showing its beauty, you should be the dazzling you without any clouding, able to charm humans or non-humans alike.
「A sad you is not the ideal you…… please, I’m always thinking for your sake, so please for my sake too……」
It was when I heard her voice, that Eriko’s knees finally dropped to the ground.