A/N: Since it’s a sudden return to the real world, those who don’t have any interest are recommended to skip forward
Because of my sleeping hours getting cut considerably, there were two or three times more hallucination and depression I experienced while heading for school but, since it’s about time Eriko arrives at the front gate, I should change out my mood and wake up.
「Goood morning―! Good work last night, guhehee~ 」
Eriko was letting out a perverted laugh while being very energetic but, I am still very much concerned with my performance last night.
「Good morning. Let me be straight forward but, were you watching me yesterday? 」
I went into the main subject while removing the hands that were trying to relentlessly squeeze myself with the glue known as skin ship.
「Unn! I was there till the very end. And I saw a new face of Rio that I didn’t know. Also……」
Mumu, Eriko turned her face down a little.
As expected, even with Eriko who is always on my side, it’s unavoidable to foster some bad feelings with me going against the adventurer guild that she belongs to.
「It’s soooooo good! I want to keep a immortalized version of RIO-sama! 」
It seems like my expectancy was completely overturned. However, there’s something I have to retort immediately.
「Please don’t call me with honorifics with this many people around. 」
「Rio……sama is who? 」
「Isn’t it Tozawa? 」
「Oh it’s those two, are they playing master and servant now? 」
Mumumuu, another bad rumor will spread because of this. However, being called RIO-sama by Eriko to the face makes me embarrassed.
Since I only saw them as comment before, this is the first time I heard it through a voice, or maybe it’s from Eriko……, I want to think that’s not all of the reasons but, I can’t stop my blushing cheeks even if I tell myself that.
「I mean, you’re my Rio. Since you kept your promise, I’ll be happy with anything you do in the stream. 」
「Uhmmm? Right, I do remember making such a promise. 」
「Remember what? Don’t tell me you forgot what it is? 」
It’s hateful how my concentration with my memory is working against me because of my lacking sleep.
I was faced with an upwards gaze the day before my stream, 「I want to see the real Rio」, but it seems like I was able to satisfy her promise, it was a reliever.
While yawning, I made my way to the classroom, turning around to Eriko who pulled my arm that was rubbing my sleepy eyes, her cheeks were swelled like a hamster.
「Muuu――. You must never forget a promise with someone you like, so let me make sure you never do it again. 」
While saying so, Eriko suddenly hugged me from behind.
「What is it so suddenly!? We will be misunderstood if we aren’t in the school right now.」
「I’m dyeing my color in the forgetful Rio’s mind. Guhehe~ 」
Blowing into my earlobe while laughing pervertedly, the smell of peach and lavender flavored shampoo poked my nasal cavity, her heartbeat could be told through my skin. Despite homeroom is starting soon, I’m feeling almost dizzy for Eriko.
This feeling…… it must be the sleepiness gnawing at me.
「Oi, that idiot couple over there. Get to your seats. 」
「Sorry. Eriko please. 」
「Let me attend like this~」
「This is a serious illness. Come to think of it, Eriko stayed up late for the night to watch too……」
While smiling wryly and feeling a little sad being separated from my warmth, I got to my seat.
Finishing my agenda after class, together with Eriko, we entered a sweets store, and were discussing about the future of my streams.
「……But still, I’m sorry that I didn’t let you know in advance. I didn’t think Rio would dislike the adventurers this much. 」
「Ye-yes. But I know Eriko is different from them. 」
「Different or not, I’m still an accomplice. I often get cut off from other adventurers and got monitored. Even the compilation video that I showed to you had many edits. 」
Should I say I’ve expected it? The adventurer community in BWO is really delicate.
Leaving aside myself who isn’t associated with them, for Eriko who is an adventurer in the game, she had to constantly lookout for other adventurer’s complexion to not lose their trust that will result in a straight line to ostracism.
Only a minority makes enemies out of everyone because they think that it’s just a game, living harmoniously exactly because it’s a game is the norm.
「……Say Rio, hasn’t that girl outside been wandering around the same place for a while already? 」
In response to the mundane voice, my eyes squinted at Eriko’s line of sight and looked at the pedestrian road. There was a little girl with a hairpin about the age of six looking left and right continuously.
「Come to think of it, you’re right. 」
「I bet she’s a lost child for sure. Let’s go! 」
「Of course. I will pay the bill first. 」
Following Eriko who sprinted out, I exited the shop after paying at the counter, and crouched beside the little girl likely to be lost to meet her eyes on the same level.
「Here here. Big sisters are here for you――」
「It’s dangerous for you to be alone. 」
「Uuu…… but I got separated from mom……」
As expected, Eriko’s prediction was right on the mark. However, there’s already a considerable time before Eriko realized her there, but why hasn’t any pedestrians reached out to her?
Well, in this age where kindness tends to be a facade, it’s unreasonable to blame them for not reaching out.
Well, for us too, even if the little girl had a smartphone with her mother’s contact details in hand, it might risk a police report that she was being blackmailed if others seen it out of context, so let’s rethink our strategy here.
「That appliqué you got there, isn’t it a character from Pri-heal? 」
「Wait, I felt like Rio just said something unbelievable. 」
「Onee-san knows about it? 」
「Yes. Albeit a little unfamiliar. 」
After all, I recalled watching one episode of an anime called Pri-heal thanks to tagging along with Eriko’s little sister.
By talking about things that interests her, I’m sure it will help alleviate her loneliness naturally. Rather than finding her mother that we have no idea who she is, it’s better to wait for her mother to find us here as we kept her entertained.
「I can even sing the opening song well. 」
「Really! I want to listen! 」
With such sparkling eyes asking for a song, it was difficult for me to reject her. And so, I dug hard to find the song that I wasn’t very familiar with from my memory, and started singing in a capella fashion with a full smile.
「Amazing, such a pretty voice……」
「Unn. Even myself is totally captivated. 」
Thanks to excavating even the lyrics from the depths of my memory and concentrating with my eyes shut, my singing was evaluated highly.
Being an average high school girl I am, I’m happy that I could help even if a little. As we started enjoying ourselves while spending time together, the girl’s mother eventually arrived while looking very panic, and bowed repeatedly to have reuniting with her daughter.
「I’m so sorry if my child caused any trouble……」
「There wasn’t any. Rio did most of the work after all. 」
「No. Eriko discovered her first, I wouldn’t have realized at all. 」
「Thank you! Onee-san who is good at singing! Take this. 」
Saying so energetically, the girl took out a thin piece of paper with an illustration on it from a bag that looked like a pochette.
Because it was an illustration for kids, at first glance, it looked like a horse with a mesh pattern, but what could it be.
In the first place, I didn’t expect to receive something from the girl……
「Here. A sticker of giraffe-san. 」
「Kirin ……!? 」
T/L: Rio was not spooked by giraffe, but rather the pronunciation of giraffe (kirin), which I assume has something to do with her past?
It’s only a herbivore giraffe, it’s only the pronunciation that is the same. What am I doing, I can’t be scaring a little girl with my moody expression.
I must quickly get out of my past trauma.
「Sorry, sorry. This Onee-san here actually has an allergy to giraffe-san. Guhehe~」
「What allergy has that kind of specificity. 」
Thanks to Eriko’s follow up to defuse the situation, I was able to get back on my feet.
After that, bidding farewell to the mother and daughter pair while the mother kept thanking us, we were on the road back home as Eriko whispered to me.
「So Rio is the type to hold on to what’s passed. 」
「I can’t deny it. But it’s really something insignificant now that I thought about it, please forget it. 」
「Unn. But don’t always put up a strong front okay? 」
She was rubbing my back without condemning or scolding me. Eriko, your benevolence and kindness is what always saves me. I’m only able to maintain my current mediocre self thanks you taking care of my heart.
「Then, remember to be careful on the stream tonight. 」
「Yes. See you later tonight. 」
「I volunteer to be your hugging pillow if it’s going to be a late night show again~. Guhehe~ 」
「Isn’t that just a reward for you? 」
Eriko is the usual as expected. For the time being, the aim for today’s stream is the journey to the next town, and fight off any adventurers I meet on the way.
As the adventurers have the grand cause of subduing me, naturally, my villainous image that go against my principles will be enhanced, albeit undesirable.
Well, no matter how dirty my name become, I have no intentions on giving up streaming. Not getting hung up over small things, I booted up the game once again.
A/N: This is the end of the first volume. The next will be prologue of the second volume.
A/N: Also, the connection between the real life and game will be kept to minimum.
A/N: I will be waiting for any ratings or thoughts about it.