CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 4 Part 2 – Love Talk with an Introvert is Difficult

And so the question was resolved… somehow? With that, Ayaka moved on to the next question.

“Alright, let’s move on to the next one! This one is… oh, it’s from a ReiBoy! It’s from SourGrapes-kun!” (Rei)

“That’s an interesting name.” (Rui)

“[Rei-san, guest Lily-san, and Ramen Man-san, hello!]” (Rei)

“Oi.” (Rui)

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Uhihi, Ramen Man…! Ramen Man…!!” (Lily)

Lily, perhaps reminded of that distinctive visual, continued laughing. Caught up in her laughter, Ayaka temporarily paused reading the letter…

“…Sorry, you can go on, Rei.” (Lily)

“Yeah, okay. [I’m in middle school, and on this year’s Valentine’s Day, I received handmade cookies from a girl I haven’t talked much to. Since then, I can’t stop thinking about her. Does this mean she likes me back? If so, should I confess…?]” (Rei)

“…” (Rui)

Here it is, that question… It pains me to give serious advice to this middle schooler, but it’s probably tougher for them to continue misunderstanding…

“Well, I think she might like you. So I think you should confess soon… What do you think, Rui?” (Rei)

“Are you serious, Rei… I think it’s a no-go. Like, a high chance.” (Rui)

“Huh, why!?” (Rei)

Comment:『Well, that makes sense.』

Comment:『Isn’t it just an obligation kind of gift?』

Comment:『No, if it’s handmade, some thought must have been put into it.』

Comment:『I’m with Rei on this.』

The comments are divided into two camps, with supporters for both Rui and Rei… Wow, it’s getting intense. Almost like a debate show now.

“Since the letter doesn’t provide much detail, I’m speculating from my perspective… First, receiving cookies on Valentine’s Day is a key point. When you think of Valentine’s, what’s the typical gift?” (Rui)

“I know, Rui! It’s chocolate!” (Lily)

“Lily’s correct. Yes, Valentine’s is traditionally about giving chocolate.” (Rui)

Comment:『But can’t you give other things besides chocolate?』

Comment:『Muffins or cookies could work too, right?』

Comment:『Some people don’t like chocolate, you know!』

“I get everyone’s points, but we’re discussing the norm here… So, instead of focusing on chocolate, we should think about why cookies were chosen.” (Rui)

“Then, Rui, why do you think she chose cookies?” (Rei)

“I think she’s probably good at baking. It’s different from just melting and molding store-bought chocolate into something that passes as homemade, which some classmates might do.” (Rui)

“Rui… Aren’t you making enemies with all the middle school girls nationwide? Are you okay?” (Rei)

I felt like I might have gone too far, but I don’t really have female fans anymore anyways… More importantly, I thought it was important to show him the reality! So I stepped up my game here and passionately appealed to everyone.

“…So she made cookies! But for those who’ve done it before, you know you can actually make a lot of cookies! Of course, it takes time and effort because you have to bake multiple batches!” (Rui)

Comment:『Huh?』

Comment:『Oh?』

Comment:『The topic suddenly changed.』

Comment:『Could it be…』

“By making a lot of cookies, naturally, she can give them to more people… In other words! Even to classmates you haven’t talked much to, you now have extra to give them as well!” (Rui)

Comment:『Nooooooo!』

Comment:『Stop ittttttt!』

Comment:『So that’s what you meant!!』

The comments were in an uproar, but I pressed on.

“Furthermore, even though it just says ‘cookies’ here, they might have been chocolate cookies for someone special, or perhaps they were shaped into cute designs!” (Rui)

Comment:『Aaaaaaaah!!』

Comment:『Please stop!』

Comment:『Stop it already!』

Comment:『Stop it, Rui! The questioner’s life is already at zero!』

“…That’s all. Rei, are you convinced?” (Rui)

“Uh… yeah, well, I guess I’m convinced, but… I think I might understand a bit why Rui doesn’t have many friends.” (Rei)

“Eh?” (Rui)

Ayaka’s words made his heart tighten. Not with a flutter, but with a tight squeeze… Am I really that tactless?

“Well then, based on Rui’s answer… what did Lily-chan think?” (Rei)

Here, Ayaka turned the conversation to Lily. I think her response to my statement must have been quite challenging… After a brief hesitation, Lily spoke up.

“Well… it’s true that Rui’s thoughts might not be entirely wrong… but! At the very least, I don’t think anyone dislikes you! No one would give cookies to someone they hate, no matter how many they baked!” (Lily)

With that, she encouraged the questioner. And Lily continued on…

“So you should be confident! I don’t know if that girl likes you or not, but relationships can change in any way! So why don’t you start by asking her how to make the cookies?” (Lily)

She even gave advice to the questioner. Ah, Lily is such a good girl…!

Comment:『Perfect answer』

Comment:『Lily-chan is so kind…』

Comment:『I wish Lily would hold a consultation session』

Comment:『I’ll become a fan of Lily-chan!』

Compared to Lily’s perfect answer… I… I…!

“…Somehow, I feel embarrassed about myself now.” (Rui)

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『It’s good that you can reflect on it』

Comment:『Isn’t it good though?』

Comment:『But I think Rui’s realistic advice is necessary too』

Comment:『Lily-chan is the one who empathized with the questioner the most, though…』

👻👻👻

──After that, we answered several more questions. Well, some of them were questionable whether we actually solved them, but the comments were lively, so let’s call it a win…

Fuu we read quite a lot. I guess it’s about time to wrap up?” (Rei)

“Eeeh? It’s already over!?” (Lily)

“Well, it’s been over two hours.” (Rui)

The clock under the monitor showed ’22:24′. According to the schedule, the stream should have ended a long time ago.

“Is that so…” (Lily)

But Lily’s voice clearly sounded sad. Honestly, ending this fun time made me feel a bit lonely too…

“Then, let’s read one last simple one! We’ll answer it and end the stream?” (Rei)

Reading the mood, Ayaka made that suggestion to us.

“Ah, sounds good to me.” (Rui)

“Yeah, got it!” (Lily)

Lily agreed with the proposal energetically… Ayaka, hearing this, smiled and started reading the letter.

“Alright, this will be the last one! A letter from Sudeire-chan! [Hello, Rei-chan, Rui-kun, and Lily-chan]!” (Rei)

“Oh, someone actually read our names properly…” (Rui)

It should be normal, but why does this make me so happy…?

“[Tell us about situations that make you feel flustered!] … it says!” (Rei)

“… Is that it?” (Rui)

“That’s it!” (Rei)

Is that really something people want to know…? Well, we didn’t discuss this question during the prep meeting, and Ayaka probably chose it because it seemed quick to answer. But being asked about situations that make you feel flustered… Is that something you can come up with on the spot?

“So… who wants to go first?” (Rei)

“Me, me! I’ll go first!” (Lily)

“Ohh!” (Rei)

It’s not something you’d usually volunteer for so eagerly… And then, Lily, perhaps lost in her imagination, started speaking with a giggle.

“Hehe. For me, I’d like it if someone pressed a cold can of juice against my cheek and said something like, ‘Lily, you seem a bit down lately. Are you okay?’ …or something like that!” (Lily)

Comment:『Classic』

Comment:『So cliché』

Comment:『Is this an old shoujo manga?』

Comment:『Isn’t that something a girl manager would do?』

Comment:『Does Lily even have times when she’s not cheerful?』

“Yeah, that’s pretty cliché…” (Rui)

“Hey, it’s nice, right!? It would make your heart flustered, wouldn’t it!?” (Lily)

Well, I’ve only ever seen something like that in fiction. And more importantly…

“If someone did that to me suddenly, I’d probably just get mad and say, ‘Whoa, that’s cold!'” (Rui)

“…Rui, how can you know if you’ve never experienced it?” (Lily)

“Stop saying things I can’t argue with.” (Rui)

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『Strong comeback』

Comment:『That’s a forbidden move』

“Hmm. So, what kind of things make you flustered, Rui?” (Lily)

And then Lily asked me. Hmm… Even if you say ‘flustered’, there are various types of it. Well, for example…

“Well… maybe if a kouhai (junior) made a bento and said, ‘I made this for you, Rui-senpai! I’m not confident, but I’d be happy if you ate it…’ and handed it over shyly, that might get to me…” (Rui)

Comment:『Whoa』

Comment:『Oh wow…』

Comment:『Cringe voice acting』

Comment:『Why does it have to be a kouhai?』

Comment:『But honestly, I get it』

Comment:『Rui didn’t get to have that kind of youth…』

The comments were quite off-putting… but the two of them remained silent.

“…Say something, Lily.” (Rui)

“Well, I think it’s not good to interfere with someone’s ideals…” (Lily)

“I don’t need that kind of kindness!” (Rui)

Nono, if you think it’s cringy, just say so! I find it tougher to endure the looks of pity in silence.

Haa… Well then, since we both said embarrassing things, how about hearing Rei’s answer?” (Rui)

Finally, I asked Ayaka… and as if she had prepared it beforehand, Ayaka smoothly gave her answer.

“Yeah, for me… I think I’d be happy if someone came to help me when I’m in trouble or feeling down. And if they gently patted my head… I think I’d be even happier!” (Rei)

Comment:『Nice』

Comment:『Cute』

Comment:『Sensible』

Comment:『The first two were too intense』

Comment:『Rui and Lily are just too into anime』

Ayaka’s answer was relatively praised, but for me, even the act of patting someone’s head is purely fictional. And besides…

“…Rei, you say that, but only if he’s handsome, right?” (Rui)

“Huh? Ahaha! Well, yeah, I guess so. It would probably take a reliable prince charming type for it to make me flustered!” (Rei)

“I thought so. Ahh, I shouldn’t have asked…” (Rui)

“…Rui, why do you sound so sad?” (Lily)

“W-What!? What are you talking about, Lily?! I’m definitely not sad at all!?” (Rui)

Taken aback by Lily’s unexpected remark, I retorted in a strange voice. No way! Why should I feel sad just because I asked about Ayaka’s ideal situation…!?

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『Cute』

Comment:『Are you in elementary school?』

“Ahaha! Well then, let’s wrap it up here today! Thanks everyone for sticking around for so long! Rei, signing off!” (Rei)

Ayaka, not missing a beat to end on a good note, began to end the stream. Following that, Lily and I also said our farewells.

“Bye, everyone~!” (Lily)

“Yeah… good work.” (Rui)

Comment:『Good job, Rei!』

Comment:『Good job~』

Comment:『That was fun!』

Comment:『It was entertaining!』

Comment:『Looking forward to another collaboration from the three of you!』

Comment:『You had an excellent balance.』

After catching our breath, Ayaka ended the stream.

“Man, today was really fun!” (Lily)

“Haha, great job to both of you! …Hey, Rui. How about I make you a bento next time?” (Rei)

“Why would you do that?” (Rui)

👻👻👻

After the stream ended like that, we chatted a bit and then disbanded the voice call. At one point, Ayaka asked me various things about bento ingredients, which caught my attention… Could she really be planning to make me a bento? Well, it could be a joke too, so I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much… Ayaka must have her own busy schedule too, after all…


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

For the Valentine’s cookie one, I can totally understand where MC’s coming from. I think it’s normal for a man to be cautious and not want to misunderstand, which, in turn, leads to thoughts similar to what MC said. 

If she’s asking for ingredients, she’s 100% gonna make it. Now, I wonder if she’ll call him senpai too.


Footnote:

  1. None

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 4 Part 1 – Love Talk with an Introvert is Difficult

A few days later, it was the day of the collab stream that Ayaka and I had promised. Coming back from work, I immediately joined the voice chat room Ayaka had set up without taking any rest… It seemed like both of them were already there.

“Oh, Rui’s here. Welcome back from work!” (Ayaka)

Ayaka noticed me entering and greeted me casually as usual.

“Thanks. Sorry I’m late.” (Rui)

“It’s okay, it’s okay! I asked you to come 30 minutes early, so it was a bit of a demanding request, right?” (Ayaka)

Yeah, Ayaka had messaged me to join this voice chat room 30 minutes before the stream. She probably sent the same message to Lily as well… I didn’t ask for the details, but I guess they’re planning some kind of briefing or something.

I didn’t mind doing it live without preparation, but everyone has their own way of streaming. If Ayaka thought it was necessary, I’ll just go along with it.

“Good morning, Rui~! It’s been a while~!” (Lily)

Suddenly, a surprisingly energetic voice came through my earphones. Ayaka is generally lively, but Lily’s personality surpasses even that… Of course, it’s meant as a compliment.

“Oh, Lily. How have you been?” (Rui)

“Ahh! I’ve been great! Recently, I’ve been looking forward to your streams!” (Lily)

“Huh? What do you mean?” (Rui)

“Rui’s streams are always interesting to watch! Watching them always cheers me up! So, be proud of yourself!” (Lily)

“Oh, uh, yeah… thanks.” (Rui)

Receiving direct praise like this after a while makes me feel a bit embarrassed… 

It’s a bit late to realize, but during streams, there’s always the possibility that other VTubers might be watching. Realizing that made me nervous, almost to the point of being unable to speak…

“Hehe, but Lily-chan, you’re not lacking in that department yourself.” (Ayaka)

“Really? My streams are just me talking the whole time.” (Lily)

“But the content of your talk is what’s interesting! Like yesterday, when you joined those elementary school kids playing baseball in the park?” (Ayaka)

“Right, right! They let me be the pitcher! Oh, and I managed to score two points even though we lost!” (Lily)

“That’s what makes it interesting.” (Ayaka)

Lily’s enthusiasm made me want to watch her streams even more. Her energy is something I can’t match. But since she finds my streams entertaining too… I guess we should each focus on what we’re good at.

“Haha! So, shall we start the meeting, you two?” (Ayaka)

“Sure!” (Lily)

“Yeah, let’s go.” (Rui)

Ayaka then explained the flow of the stream and the questions we had received from the viewers. According to her, she wanted to give us time to think about our answers beforehand. It’s true that if we spent too much time thinking during the actual stream, it wouldn’t be much of a stream at all.

Well, taking more time doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll come up with good answers… and love advice? Asking me for that is really pushing it…

“Ah, of course, we might change or cut some questions depending on time, so please adjust accordingly!” (Ayaka)

“Got it~” (Lily)

“Okay!” (Rui)

…Well, I’m sure these two will manage somehow. For now, I’ll just do my best with what I can.

“Hehe, I’m looking forward to this, Rui!” (Lily)

“Huh? Oh, yeah, me too.” (Rui)

Come to think of it, this is Lily’s first collab stream. I’ve only done it once before, so I’m in a similar boat… Though, can you really call a stream where I just played games with a childhood friend a collaboration?

“Alright, so that’s all I wanted to say. Now, we just wait until it’s time for the stream!” (Ayaka)

“Roger. I’m going to change into something more comfortable.” (Rui)

“I’m going to get a drink!” (Lily)

I was about to stand up when Ayaka stopped me just in time.

“Oh, wait a sec! I forgot to mention something!” (Ayaka)

“Hmm?” (Lily)

“What is it?” (Rui)

“Let’s have fun during the stream! Both of you!” (Ayaka)

…Ayaka’s sudden words left me momentarily speechless.

“Haha… What’s up? Is that something you have to go out of your way to say?” (Rui)

“No, Rui! This is the most important thing! If you look bored, the viewers will notice right away!” (Ayaka)

“Even though we’re VTubers?” (Rui)

“Even though we’re VTubers!” (Ayaka)

Well… it’s true that the accuracy of eye-tracking has improved recently, making it easier to read VTuber expressions… but no, Ayaka didn’t say that for such technical reasons. She simply wanted to improve our atmosphere and genuinely wanted us to have fun.

Thinking this, I decided not to overthink it and said, “Yeah, let’s enjoy ourselves.” Then the other two followed with “Yeah!” and “Yay!”

With such a good vibe, the briefing ended, and I went to get changed and grab a drink. The stream was about to start.

👻👻👻

──The time for the stream to start was drawing near. I opened Rei’s stream page and pulled up the comment section on my screen. Maybe it was because it was a collab stream, but the momentum was incredible… The ‘waiting’ comments were flowing in such large numbers that it reminded me of my first stream.

“Wow… There are already ten thousand people here…” (Rui)

“This doesn’t usually happen, so it’s definitely thanks to you two!” (Ayaka)

“No, it’s because Rei came up with such an interesting idea!” (Lily)

It was probably the combined effort of both… That synergistic effect in action.

“Hehe, thanks, Lily-chan! Well, it’s time, so let’s get started!” (Ayaka)

“Yeah!” (Lily)

“Got it.” (Rui)

And with that, Ayaka transitioned away from the waiting screen of her stream, displaying our three models on the screen.

👻👻👻

“Hihi, good afternoon everyone! It’s Rei Azuril, the dark magician!” (Rei)

As soon as the stream began, Ayaka took the lead and greeted the audience. Since this was Rei’s stream, the greetings from the ReiGirls & ReiBoys were everywhere.

Comments:『KonRei!』

Comments:『Good evening!』

Comments:『KonRei!』

Comments:『KonRei!』

Comments:『We’ve been waiting!』

“Today is a love talk stream, so we have some very special guests! Let’s start with Lily-chan for the introduction!” (Rei)

“Okay~! I’m Yunagi Lily from [Sky Sunriver]! You can just call me Lily! I was so excited about today that I couldn’t sleep at all last night… So, I’m really looking forward to it!” (Lily)

With Lily’s introduction, the comments surged again… The viewers sure are busy.

Comments:『Likewise!』

Comments:『Lily-chan is too excited lol』

Comments:『Please sleep properly~』

“And lastly!” (Rei)

“…Hi, I’m Rui Astica. Nice to meet you.” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『Yo』

Comments:『Here he comes』

Comments:『Oh, it’s the ramen guy』

Comments:『Just hearing him talk is funny』

Comments:『KonReiLily!』

…Why am I the only one getting weird reactions in the comments? Sure, I might feel out of place here, but couldn’t they be a bit kinder? Seriously!

“Today, it’s the three of us! It’s my first time doing a love talk stream with multiple people… But I’m sure we’ll manage somehow, so don’t worry!” (Rei)

“To be honest, I’m nervous though…” (Rui)

“Hehe! It’ll be okay, Rui! You know what they say, ‘three heads are better than one,’ right?” (Lily)

“Well, yeah… By the way, Lily, do you have any experience with love advice?” (Rui)

“Absolutely none!” (Lily)

…Yeah. That’s pretty much what I expected. I mean, if I were to tell Lily about someone I like, the whole class would probably know by the next day…

“Well, well, you’ll understand once we try it out! Anyways, shall we read the first letter?” (Rei)

“Yeah, go ahead!” (Lily)

With the opening wrapped up, Ayaka smoothly transitioned the stream background to… the love advice corner.

“Alrighty. This letter is from Montblanc-chan, a ReiGirl! Let’s read it… [Rei-chan, Lily-chan, Rui-chan, hello!]” (Rei)

“Wait, do they think I’m a girl?” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『Rui-chan!?』

Comments:『Wait, when did you…』

That was a close call. It was almost too natural that I almost missed it and just let it slide… Ayaka continued reading the letter without acknowledging my comment.

“[I’m a high school student, and there’s someone I like in the same class. I’m struggling with how to confess my feelings. I’d be grateful if you could teach me a method with a high chance of success!] …That’s it!” (Rei)

“I see. It’s simple yet challenging…” (Rui)

I had heard about it beforehand, but I didn’t expect this question to come up first. A method for confessing with a high success rate… Honestly, I’d like to know that myself…

“Confessing methods are a timeless theme!” (Lily)

“Yeah, it sure is. How about we list some methods for confessing?” (Rei)

“Sounds good.” (Rui)

I went along with Ayaka’s suggestion and started listing out various ways to confess.

“Let’s see… Tell them in person, convey it over the phone, send a message…” (Rui)

“Don’t forget about love letters!” (Lily)

“There’s also the option of having a friend deliver the message for you! And… the place and situation is pretty important too, right?” (Rei)

“Hmm.” (Rui)

Comments:『Like, what about saying it during a date?』

Comments:『A ferris wheel is perfect because there’s no escape!』

Comments:『Definitely call them up to the rooftop!』

Comments:『Leaving a love letter on their desk is a surefire move!』

The comments were offering various suggestions, but… aren’t these ideas a bit outdated? Maybe I shouldn’t say that aloud… I’ll just stay quiet on that.

“So, let’s go through each suggestion and see which one you think is best! Rui, which method do you think is good?” (Rei)

Ayaka directed the question to me. Hmm… It’s tough, but if I had to choose one…

“Well… it’s more of a process of elimination for me, but I think telling them directly in person is probably the best way.” (Rui)

“Oh, that’s surprising! Why do you think so?” (Rei)

“Because… the others seem risky. Sending a love letter could lead to it being shown off, messages might get screenshot and shared around, phone calls leave call logs… and asking a friend is just out of the question.” (Rui)

“Hmm?” (Rei)

Comments:『Oh!』

Comments:『The conversation took a turn.』

Comments:『Here comes the inner shy side of Rui.』

Comments:『Shy Rui.』

“Rui… Aren’t you overthinking it a bit?” (Lily)

“No, no, confessing as a student is a life-or-death situation! So, it’s crucial to confess in a way that others won’t find out! If rumors like ‘Hey, I heard they confessed to so-and-so and got rejected’ spread…!” (Rui)

Comments:『He’s really into it, LOL』

Comments:『Based on personal experience?』

Comments:『But I totally get the sentiment』

Comments:『It’s so like Rui to not think about success at all…』

“Hmm… So, Rei, which method do you think is best?” (Lily)

Whether she wanted to stop me from talking further or not, Lily turned the conversation back to Ayaka. Then Ayaka hummed thoughtfully for a moment.

“Hmm, yeah, I think being told directly would make me happy, but… I also think a love letter would be lovely!” (Rei)

“Why’s that?” (Rui)

“Because someone took the time and effort to write something specifically for you! There’s nothing quite like receiving something that’s been thoughtfully written!” (Rei)

Comments:『Yeah, I agree』

Comments:『That’s nice』

Comments:『That’s true!』

Comments:『Love letters still hold a lot of value in this day and age』

Comments:『It shows they put in effort』

The comments seem to be favorable, but… I think love letters have their pros and cons. You need literary skills, and above all…

“Isn’t it scary to receive one out of the blue?” (Rui)

“Really? Wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise?” (Rei)

Sure, receiving one from someone you like would be nice, but… I better not say more. I don’t want to make enemies unnecessarily.

“So, Lily, what do you think?” (Rui)

Finally, I turned to Lily. Then… an unexpected response came.

“I think… honestly, it doesn’t matter how you confess!” (Lily)

“Eh?” (Rui)

“This might not be the answer to the question, but… confessions will succeed when they succeed and fail when they fail! So, I think you should go with the method that feels right for you!” (Lily)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『But that’s true』

Comments:『Honestly, the confession method is just a minor detail』

Comments:『That’s so like Lily』

Comments:『In a way, this might be the best answer』

“But… you’re about to take a really brave action, so be confident! And when you find out the result, let me know! Even if it doesn’t work out… I’ll be here to cheer you up! So, come back to me if that happens!” (Lily)

Comments:『I’m crying』

Comments:『What a good person…』

Comments:『She’s really good at encouraging people』

Comments:『Lily-chan is really kind!』

Lily’s perfect response left us speechless… Perhaps noticing our silence, Lily called out to us.

“…Hey, why’d you both go quiet all of a sudden?” (Lily)

“You’re too dazzling, Lily-chan…!” (Rei)

“I-Is this what a true extrovert is like…?!” (Rui)

Comments:『They’re taking damage from her sunshine personality lol』

Comments:『Pull yourselves together, sorcerers』

Comments:『Looks like light really is super effective against darkness…』

Comments:『Maybe just having Lily-chan would have been enough?』


Illustration of Lily (Dazzling ver)

“You’re too dazzling, Lily-chan…!”


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

In a way, Lily isn’t wrong. If you’re getting rejected, then you’re getting rejected. 

Personally, I feel like if you think they are going to accept, then doing something special will at least make it memorable. Otherwise, a normal face-to-face confession would be fine. Well, I guess I have no right to say that considering that I chickened out of my confession.


Footnote:

  1. None

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 3 Part 2 – The Man Who Can Only Keeps Going Viral

──With that, the match progressed, and it was now the third round. We had taken over a house and were waiting there until the next safe zone was announced.

…Hmm. Just waiting like this was boring, so maybe I should chat a bit more…? Thinking that, I decided to use the chat function again to talk to Raimu-san.

In-game chat (Rui):『Why do you only use sniper weapons, Raimu-san?』

A response came back immediately.

In-game chat (Raimu):『roman!』

“Romantic, huh…” (Rui)

If the opponent had weak armor, you could knock them down with a single headshot, so I could see how a sniper rifle could be considered a romantic weapon…

In-game chat (Rui):『But isn’t close-range combat tough?』

In-game chat (Raimu):『gurededounikanaru (A grenade will take care of it)

“A grenade will take care of it… No, it can’t always save you!” (Rui)

Comments:『Raimu isn’t normal』

Comments:『But if she says so it’s probably true…』

Comments:『Hint: Raimu is also incredibly skilled with grenades』

Comments:『During a tournament, she was forced to use an assault rifle, and she looked really displeased lol』

A flood of comments about Raimu-san came in. This person was truly incredible…

“I see… So Raimu-san really is a hardcore weirdo…!” (Rui)

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『Why do you sound so happy about it lmao』

Comments:『Don’t call your sesnpai a weirdo』

Comments:『This is going to get clipped』

Comments:『Though she’s actually a bit of a weirdo…』

I felt like I might have chosen the wrong words, but decided not to dwell on it too much…

In-game chat (Raimu):『ikuyo! (I’m going in!)

“What, you’re going already… Wait a minute!” (Rui)

As soon as the next zone was announced, Raimu-san’s [Baz] left the residential building and deployed a zipline. Before I lost sight of her, I hurriedly got on it and tried to follow Raimu-san…

“You’re always moving too fast…!” (Rui)

<Enemy spotted>

“Where!?” (Rui)

<Enemy down>

“Seriously?!” (Rui)

Comments:『I feel like I just saw this happen.』

Comments:『A rerun?』

Comments:『The flow is the same lol』

Comments:『Her pace is too fast』

Comments:『Raimu’s sniper kills sound satisfying!』

Then, Raimu-san continued to run around the area, marking a large house.

<Let’s go this way>

“Eh, we’re going there? But aren’t there enemies inside…?” (Rui)

In-game chat (Raimu):『ubau (kill everyone)

“Kill?!” (Rui)

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『Such guts』

Comments:『You’re too loud lol』

Comments:『You don’t have to repeat it lol』

Comments:『Reaction is too funny』

Without waiting for my reply, Raimu-san used the wire to rush into the house.

“How can you charge in with just two sniper rifles…!?” (Rui)

From inside the house, I could hear gunfire. Amidst the sound of machine guns, the thunderous noise of Raimu’s massive sniper rifle was amusing… No, it’s not the time to find it amusing! I hurriedly joined them inside the house… and there, I saw it.

There was a huge pile of enemy corpses stacked up.

“…Aah. Amazing. So fast…” (Rui)

Comments:『(^q^)』

Comments:『Rui’s soul is leaving his body.』

Comments:『Your vocabulary is deteriorating.』

Comments:『Hey!! Pull yourself together!!』

From that mountain of corpses, I grabbed some high-level armor and magazines. It was naturally a good thing that I got some great loot out of that but…

“In the end, I didn’t do anything…” (Rui)

In-game chat (Raimu):『ryohukurukamo (Lü Bu is coming)

Lü Bu1 is coming!?” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『What’s up with that』

Comments:『No way lol』

Comments:『Probably a typo lmao』

Comments:『I guess she meant to say ‘gyofu’ instead of ‘ryohu’…』

Her message was probably a typo, but I read it as it was. By the way, “gyofu” refers to taking advantage of weakened enemies. In other words, it suggests that a squad might be coming to clean up the fight.

“What should we do…!? Wha—!?” (Rui)

A barrage of grenades was thrown into our house. Damn… they’re going to keep throwing grenades until they hit us! It’ll be bad if one hits Raimu-san while she’s healing…! If it’s going to hit Raimu-san, then…!!

“I’ll… I’ll be the shield!!” (Rui)

Saying that, I positioned myself as a wall, deliberately taking the brunt of the grenades thrown by the enemy. As a result, my character took massive damage and was sent flying through the air.

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『What are you doing lol』

Comments:『Dodge lol』

“I’m fine, I have a sliver of health left… What!?” (Rui)

However, the enemy had somehow managed to push into the house and mercilessly opened fire on me. Naturally, with my health hanging by a thread, I went down.

“Uwaaahhh!!” (Rui)

Comments:『Too realistic』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『Why are you taking damage irl』

Comments:『Did you get electrocuted or something lol』

Having gone down, I crawled on the ground and tried to find a cover to hide, hoping to block the enemy’s line of fire even a little… but…

“I’m sorry, Raimu-san! Hide behind me—ehh!?” (Rui)

Raimu-san leaped over me, firing shots at the enemy. Every shot hit its mark, and the enemy character went down…

“Amazing…! But isn’t there one more coming!?” (Rui)

Just as I predicted, another enemy entered through the door… but Raimu-san had anticipated this too. At that moment, Raimu-san threw a shuriken-shaped grenade towards the door. The grenade seemed to hit the enemy directly, as the sound of armor breaking rang out.

Comments:『It hit!?』

Comments:『Direct hit!』

Comments:『Too good lol』

The grenade then exploded. The explosion applied a slow effect on the enemy, but Raimu-san didn’t miss this chance. She calmly aimed her sniper rifle… and with a bang, it pierced the enemy’s head.

Comments:『So cool!!』

Comments:『Wow!』

Comments:『This is definitely getting clipped』

Comments:『Is this a promo video?』

Comments:『What a gamer!』

“…Am I… dreaming or something?” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LMAO』

Comments:『Rui, wake up!!』

👻👻👻

──And so, it was the final round. It had been a while since I survived this long, and I was nervous… No, this nervousness wasn’t about whether we could win the championship, but rather whether I could avoid dragging Raimu-san down…

Huh? You say I’ve already been dragging us down? Nobody knows that better than me… so shut up!!

“Alright… how many squads are left?” (Rui)

Comments:『3』

Comments:『3』

Comments:『It’s 3』

Comments:『You can see it in the top right corner』

As the comments pointed out, the remaining squad count was displayed in the top right corner. The number was 3… meaning…

“Three squads means… there are two squads left besides us!” (Rui)

Comments:『Genius』

Comments:『You figured it out!』

Comments:『As expected of the top student』

Comments:『The best in Japan』

“I don’t feel like I’m being complimented at all…” (Rui)

I muttered discontentedly… Then, a new message from Raimu-san appeared in the chat in the bottom left.

In-game chat (Raimu):『gyohurou…』

“Gyofu… Right, it’s our turn to clean the fight, understood!” (Rui)

Comments:『It’s Lü Bu』

Comments:『It’s Lü Bu』

Comments:『Or Liu Bei2

Comments:『Or maybe Cao Cao3?』

“Stop saying weird stuff…!” (Rui)

Just as Raimu-san predicted, the remaining two squads clashed and began shooting at each other. As soon as they finish fighting, we can swoop in and third-party them… Stay calm… Not yet… We still need to wait…!

<One squad remaining>

At this moment, [Baz] announced with a voice indicating that there was only one squad remaining. Alright, now’s our chance! I moved in to attack the enemy… but Raimu-san remained hidden behind cover. Huh? Isn’t it time to attack yet…?

…No, that’s not it! Raimu-san is trying to give me a chance to shine! The enemy’s health is already low, and they haven’t noticed us… Meaning, there’s a chance for me to get a kill! She’s giving me a chance to shine!

Understanding this immediately, I charged towards the enemy alone.

“Aaarghhh!!” (Rui)

And from behind, I unleashed my submachine gun on the enemy. My aim was still shaky as ever, but as expected, the enemy’s health was already depleted… and I emerged victorious.

“Shaa! We won!!” (Rui)

Comments:『It’s not over yet, you know?』

Comments:『There’s still one person left』

Comments:『It’s not over yet』

Comments:『Too early to be smiling and celebrating.』

Comments:『Nobody wants to see your gums!!』

“…Huh?! There’s still one more!?” (Rui)

…But it seemed that the enemy’s comrade, whom I had just defeated, was still alive and relentlessly firing at me. Damn it, I can’t lose here…!

“Grrr… I won’t lose! Don’t retreat, Rui!!” (Rui)

*Bang! Bang!*

<I’m down. I need help>

“Gahhhhhh!!” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『So close』

Comments:『Shut up lol』

Comments:『You did your best』

Unfortunately, I was defeated and had to rely on Raimu-san… But Raimu-san’s actions were completely unexpected.

“I’m sorry, Raimu-san! I’m counting on you… wait, why are you reviving me!?” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『They probably want to win together』

Comments:『You can still fight! Get up, Rui!!』

“No, there are enemies coming…! Wait, aren’t you getting shot!?” (Rui)

Raimu-san was being shot at by enemies… but they continued to revive me without stopping.

“Why are you going to such lengths for me…!?” (Rui)

And somehow, I managed to revive… but my health was still just a sliver. Raimu-san’s health was also decreasing from being shot, so I had to do something… Oh, right! I should use my ability!!

“S-Smoke!!” (Rui)

Remembering [Hanaka]’s ability at this moment, I fired the smoke launcher, blocking the enemy’s line of sight. Alright, this should buy us some time…!

“Should we fall back and heal…? No, I can’t chicken out here…!” (Rui)

I’ve been revived after all. I can’t afford to be any more lame. Plus, the enemy must be running low on ammo from shooting at me and Raimu-san, or if they do have some left, they’ll definitely need to reload… So, the right move here is to push forward!!

“…Let’s attack! Push forward!!” (Rui)

Comments:『Huh』

Comments:『No way』

Comments:『Seriously?』

Comments:『Let’s goooo!!』

With determination, I dashed through the smoke. Beyond the smoke, I found an enemy in the midst of healing. The enemy noticed me and tried to escape by using their void ability to disappear, but…

“Not so fast!” (Rui)

I relentlessly pursued the enemy and the moment their ability wore off…

“Take this shotgun to the face!!” (Rui)

I fired the shotgun of my soul. It seemed to hit the enemy because, on the screen, there was music playing alongside the word “Champion”. Ah… We did it. We won!!

“We did it… We won!!” (Rui)

Comments:『Woooooo!!』

Comments:『Nice!』

Comments:『Congratulations!!』

Comments:『It actually happened!!』

Comments:『GG』

Comments:『That’s awesome!!』

Comments:『You did it!』

Comments:『Victory! Victory! Victoryyyyy!!』

As if we’d won a major tournament, comments continued to flood in at lightning speed… And in the game chat, Raimu-san sent a message with “gg” meaning “Good Game”. I also thanked her in chat.

In-game chat (Rui):『Thank you so much, Raimu-san!』

Then I turned back to my stream, preparing to wrap things up.

“Well… Raimu-san really carried me, but somehow we managed to win! Thank you for joining us!” (Rui)

Comments:『Congratulations!』

Comments:『Rui did a great job too』

Comments:『That was fun!』

Comments:『You’ve got some skill』

“Well, since we’re all in high spirits… I think we’ll call it a day here! See you later, everyone!” (Rui)

Comments:『Good job!』

Comments:『Good job, Rui!』

Comments:『Good job, Rei!』

Comments:『Today’s stream was awesome as always』

Comments:『It was fun!』

Comments:『Can’t wait for the next stream, Rui!!』

After glancing through the comments, I clicked on the end stream button with a grin on my face.

“Heheh…” (Rui)

👻👻👻

After ending the stream, I tweeted a screenshot of the moment we became champions and a thank-you message to Raimu-san. Specifically, I tweeted “Thanks Raimu-san, because of you, we won! Nice game!”

… And it seems like Raimu-san herself received that tweet, as she replied with, “You did well too, Rui-kun.” In response, I sent a grateful emoji, and Raimu-san sent me a GIF of her doing a thumbs-up pose… Ah, so Raimu-san has her own 3D model.

Well, Raimu-san is a popular VTuber, so it’s only natural… By the way, this Twitter exchange seemed to have gotten a little buzz.

Furthermore, at a later date, Raimu-san uploaded a video of the match we played together. Additionally, there was a fan-made video where both her stream and mine were played simultaneously, which also garnered some attention. 

Thanks to that, my channel gained nearly five thousand new subscribers in one go. I really owe a lot to Raimu-san…!


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Cute lol, Raimu wants them to win together. If it were me, I would have just ended the game.

In chat, Raimu mostly typed out using English alphabets instead of Japanese alphabets, which is why I left the Japanese texts inside but gave the translation in brackets.


Footnote:

  1. A Chinese warlord from a long time ago. Sorry for the minimal info but I don’t study China history.
  2. A Chinese warlord from the same time as Lu Bu. Apparently, these 2 are enemies or something?
  3. Another Chinese warlord from the same time as Lu Bu.

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 3 Part 1 – The Man Who Can Only Keeps Going Viral

……Two days later. Today was the day for my solo stream, as I had announced during my first stream. The collab stream with Ayaka and Lily was still a bit further off, so please be patient… With that said, let’s start the stream.

I awkwardly prepared for the stream… and then spoke into the microphone.

“Hello, everyone. I’m Rui Astica from [Sky Sunriver].” (Rui)

As I said that, as usual, various greetings flew around in the comments section.

Comment:『KonRui~』

Comment:『KonReiRei』

Comment:『KonNoodles』

Comment:『Been waiting』

Comment:『Yo~ Ramen』

“Tease me if you want, but at least call me by my name… So, today is the second stream. I’m still pretty nervous… but I’ll do my best.” (Rui)

Comment:『Hmm?』

Comment:『?』

Comment:『Second time?』

Comment:『Don’t pretend the apology stream didn’t happen』

Comment:『Did you erase your memory or something lol』

Comment:『The apology stream is still up, you know…』

“So today, I thought I’d play the popular FPS game, Apecx. Everyone knows it, and the rules are easy to understand.” (Rui)

Comment:『Oh』

Comment:『Nice』

Comment:『Are you good at it?』

Comment:『What’s Rui’s rank?』

“You want to know my rank? Prepare to be amazed… It’s Bronze.” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『Don’t need to build up suspense』

Comment:『What’s with that pause』

Comment:『He’s so good…』

Comment:『Nowadays, being Bronze is rare』

Just to clarify, Bronze rank is the second lowest rank from the bottom. Well, below that, there’s the Rookie rank where rank points don’t decrease, so in reality, Bronze is like the true bottom layer…

“I’m still practicing, so I plan to climb the ranks once I get a bit better. Now, let’s start the game…” (Rui)

Then I clicked on Apecx on my desktop. However, instead of the title screen, an update check screen appeared…

“Ah, crap… I didn’t update.” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『Arara

Comment:『You really did it now』

Comment:『Make sure to check next time lol』

Comment:『It’s only your second stream, so it’s understandable』

“Y-Yeah, it’s only my second time, so I’m not used to this yet… Please forgive me.” (Rui)

Comment:『Unforgivable』

Comment:『Unforgivable』

Comment:『I forgive you!』

Comment:『But this guy──』

“Enough with that already!!” (Rui)

…But this is troublesome. This update seems like it’ll take a long time. Playing another game to kill time doesn’t feel right either. In that case…

“Hmm, then… how about we chat for a while until the update is done?” (Rui)

At my words, the comments section erupted in excitement.

Comment:『Yesssss!!』

Comment:『It’s hereeeeee』

Comment:『I’m so glad to be alive』

Comment:『Rui’s chatting session!』

Comment:『Alright! I’m getting my ramen ready!!』

…Is it really something to be this happy about?

“… I didn’t prepare any topics to discuss, and I’m not used to it either. So, does any RuiMins have anything they want to talk about?”

With that, I started scanning through the incoming comments. Let’s see…

Comment:『Even if you say that』

Comment:『Anything is fine』

Comment:『Just talk about whatever you want』

Comment:『How about a ramen talk?』

Comment:『By the way, I tried that ramen you mentioned before, and it was delicious』

“Oh, you tried the Uma Tonkotsu? That makes me happy.” (Rui)

Sharing my favorite food with my viewers, and having them acknowledge it, genuinely makes me happy… Although, this started because I slurped some ramen.

Comment:『Nice, I want to try it too』

Comment:『I had it too! Switched from Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen to Tonkotsu (pork bones) ramen!』

Comment:『I ordered some, but it hasn’t arrived yet』

Comment:『Got it shipped from my grandma’s place in Kyushu』

“But… isn’t everyone a bit too motivated by this?” (Rui)

Apparently, a lot of people are trying it. Are my viewers just easily influenced…? 

Well, there was a time when I imitated the actions of my favorite anime characters and ate melon bread for every meal… Maybe everyone is going through a similar phase in life.

Comment:『Well, they make it look so delicious』

Comment:『Now I’m craving it too』

Comment:『I want Rui to give food reviews』

Comment:『Hey Rui, search for ‘#RuiMinRamenClub’!』

“Indeed, doing food reviews sounds interesting but… huh, what? ‘#RuiFansRamenClub’…? I didn’t create such a tag though…?” (Rui)

Picking up on the intriguing comment, I quickly searched the hashtag, and… What popped up were numerous photos of delicious-looking ramen.

“Wow! They look so delicious!” (Rui)

There were pictures of ramen from restaurants and instant ramen. Along with the Uma Tonkotsu, there were also photos taken with Rei’s keychain placed next to them. 

It seemed like there weren’t any specific rules; as long as there was ramen in the photo, it was fine.

Of course, it makes me happy that they’re getting excited and creating their own tags for this… but there’s one thing that bothers me. While scrolling through Twitter, I muttered—

“But aren’t there too many photos…? Are all these really from RuiMins?” (Rui)

Even though it had only been a few days since my debut, there were over a hundred posts with that tag. I was puzzled by this abnormal number, but the comments seem to be certain…

Comment:『Yeah』

Comment:『That’s right』

Comment:『Exactly』

Comment:『My account is in there too!』

Comment:『Check the names properly』

“Check the names properly, but… everyone’s just using normal names…” (Rui)

Comment:『Next to that』

Comment:『The one on the far right』

Comment:『The one with the ramen』

Comment:『It has a fan mark, doesn’t it?』

“A fan mark…?” (Rui)

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that at the end of the usernames of those using the tag, there was a <🍜> mark… I hovered my mouse cursor over the emoji and asked everyone.

“…This?” (Rui)

Comment:『That』

Comment:『That』

Comment:『This』

Comment:『🍜』

“No way…” (Rui)

Indeed, I had studied about the culture of fan marks, but I never expected it would come to this… Just to explain for those who don’t know, a fan mark is a symbol or emoji attached to indicate that the person is a fan of the streamer.

Alongside 🍜, there were other fan marks in their names, probably belonging to other VTubers. Honestly, I hadn’t fully grasped all the marks used by everyone in [Sky Sunriver]. 

Because of that, I didn’t assign one during my debut stream. I figured I’d decide on one eventually, but it was also fine to leave it as it was…

“Is this really okay? It’s just ramen, you know!?” (Rui)

Comment:『Yeah』

Comment:『Yeah』

Comment:『🍜🍜🍜🍜』

Comment:『It fits perfectly』

Comment:『I’m going to add it now too』

“Nonono! It’s weird to say it myself, but don’t you know that I’m a pretty amazing sorcerer!? Did you guys forget!?” (Rui)

Comment:『Oh, really?』

Comment:『I didn’t know that』

Comment:『Come to think of it, you’re wearing some strange clothes』

Comment:『That’s a pretty pointed hat for a chef’s hat』

“You guys… aren’t going to consider other options?” (Rui)

Comment:『Can’t think of anything other than ramen』

Comment:『Well, the fan marks are already saturated lol』

Comment:『The cool hats and staffs have already been taken』

Comment:『Then let’s use the same mark as Rei-chan』

“Using the same mark as Rei, I don’t get the meaning behind that…” (Rui)

…It seems like everyone really wants it to be ramen. I can’t say I’m entirely convinced… but it seems like some people are already using it. If this is also a form of love, then I guess I have to go along with it…

“…Alright, I get it. If you all really want it to be ramen, then fine, I’ll accept it… But once we confirm this, everyone, including me, has to use it, okay?” (Rui)

Comment:『Hmm…』

Comment:『Hmm』

Comment:『That’s a little…』

“Why are there so many negative opinions now… But it’s too late…!!” (Rui)

Comment:『Ahh』

Comment:『Here we goooo』

Comment:『Rui-kun’s gone crazy』

Comment:『Rui… are you serious!?』

“I am serious, right here, right now…!” (Rui)

And then, I went ahead and transitioned to the profile editing screen. I placed the <🍜> emoji next to ‘Rui Astica’.

“Heheh… I did it! You know whose turn is next, right?” (Rui)

Comment:『?』

Comment:『I have no idea』

Comment:『Hmm?』

Comment:『Who could it be…?』

Comment:『I don’t think he mentioned anyone else, so everyone can relax』

“…Y-You cowardssss! Don’t run away! Don’t run away from ramen!!” (Rui)

👻👻👻

…And with that, the chat livened up, and about two hours passed.

Fuu~ We talked quite a bit, huh? Starting to feel a bit tired.” (Rui)

Comment:『Good job』

Comment:『Is the stream ending now?』

Comment:『Let’s talk a bit more』

Comment:『Rui’s chat was interesting』

Comment:『Oh yeah, Rui’s also going to do a love talk stream with Rei-chan. That’s unexpected』

“Oh, right. I’ll also be joining Rei’s love talk stream next week. It’ll most likely be on Rei’s channel. So, if anyone’s free, I’d appreciate it if you could come and watch.” (Rui)

Since someone already pointed it out, I might as well promote the collaboration. It seemed like everyone responded quite positively…

Comment:『Ohh』

Comment:『Yay, collab!』

Comment:『Rui doing love talk?』

Comment:『Wasn’t Rui one of us?』

Comment:『Rui’s popular, huh…』

“It’s not like that. I won’t be talking about my love life. We’ll just be hearing love problems from viewers, and we’ll just be nodding along to it. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from Rei.” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『What does ‘nodding along’ do?』

Comment:『So you won’t help resolve it…』

Comment:『Let’s hear about Rui’s love life too~』

Comment:『People who seriously need love advice wouldn’t go to Rei-chan…』

That’s true. I’ve never heard her give love advice, let alone have a boyfriend. It could just be that I don’t know much about her…

“Well… regardless of Rei or Lily, I’ve never actually been in a relationship, so don’t expect any decent advice from me, okay?” (Rui)

Comment:『Really?』

Comment:『No way. Rui must be popular』

Comment:『Even though you’re handsome?』

Comment:『Could he be dense?』

Comment:『You still have time to confess!』

“Confess to what? It’s true, so there’s nothing to confess… Well, I have read quite a bit of romance manga and light novels, though.” (Rui)

Comment:『Are you really one of us…?』

Comment:『Are you a comrade?』

Comment:『Can we trust you!?』

“Whether you believe it or not, I don’t think I’m that different from you guys… As everyone knows, I’m just a high school student who loves games.” (Rui)

Comment:『Just a high school student (top of the magic school)』

Comment:『We can’t use magic like you』

Comment:『Do I also have the ‘Magic Eye’…?』

“Well, don’t think too deeply about that…”

As I said that, my eyes stopped at one particular comment.

Comment:『Hey Rui, isn’t the update finished by now?』

“…………Oh. I totally forgot… You’re right! I was supposed to chat while waiting for the update! This wasn’t supposed to be a chat stream!” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『Finally remembered lol』

Comment:『I forgot too』

Comment:『Please check if it’s finished』

“Yeah, I’ll go and check…” (Rui)

I opened up Apecx again… It seemed like the update was indeed finished, as the usual title screen appeared.

“Yeah, looks like the update’s done properly. Um, so… what should I do?” (Rui)

Comment:『Let’s do it』

Comment:『Go ahead』

Comment:『Not doing it?』

Comment:『Show us your skills』

It seems like everyone’s expecting it. I was planning to end the stream soon, but I can’t just ignore their expectations. And well, I have to wake up early tomorrow…

“Okay… just one game, okay? Let’s do one game and call it a day.” (Rui)

Comment:『Sounds good』

Comment:『Yessss!』

Comment:『Alright』

Comment:『Here we gooo!』

And so, in the lobby screen of Apecx, I set up the match settings.

“Ranked matches are a bit scary… so let’s go with casual (does not affect rank points). Is duo (two-player team) okay with everyone?” (Rui)

Comment:『Oh?』

Comment:『Why duo though?』

“Well, because I’m not very good. I thought it would be better to have fewer teammates who would suffer…” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『Isn’t that too negative?』

Comment:『That doesn’t sound like you, Rui』

Comment:『Remember when you crushed Rei-chan?』

“Well… I’m just not good at FPS games…” (Rui)

While saying that, I clicked the ready button and started searching for a match… I’ll probably get taken out quickly, but it might be amusing to end it nonchalantly… or so I thought. That notion would be shattered just a few seconds later.

“Alright, we’re matched. Now, what character is my teammate going to use… huh?” (Rui)

Before I could finish speaking, the comments section erupted. There was no mistaking it, this was the flow that occurs when you match with someone famous…!

Sensing this, my heart rate quickened… Who could it be…!? I checked the player names displayed below…

Comment:『Ah』

Comment:『Oh』

Comment:『Ehh!?』

Comment:『Seriously!?』

Comment:『Is this real!?』

Comment:『It’s her!?』

Comment:『It’s happening again lol』

Comment:『Is it Raimu-chan!?』

“[Hasumi Raimu | Skysun]… No way…!?” (Rui)

…For those who might have forgotten, Hasumi Raimu-san is a highly skilled FPS gamer affiliated with [Sky Sunriver]. She specializes in using sniper weapons and is said to rival that of a pro in terms of skills. She’s also one of the VTubers I’ve been studying through clips.

Why would such an amazing player…?

“Why… Why is a beginner like me matched with her!?” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『That’s true』

Comment:『Is she the real one?』

Comment:『Well, Apecx does random matchmaking』

Comment:『It’s casual mode after all』

“No, I didn’t know that! If Apecx matches are so random… then does that mean I’ve been thrown into a high-ranking match!? That’s not fair!” (Rui)

<System activated, preparation complete.>

On the screen, an Apecx character’s voice can be heard. It seems that Raimu-san chose [Baz], a robot character known for its mobility. Oh, now it’s my turn…

“Uh, oh no, what should I do, what should I do… then, I’ll go with this one!” (Rui)

In a panic, I chose [Hanka], a combat-focused soldier character. There should have been characters more suitable for beginners, but I wasn’t thinking clearly at the moment.

<Amateurs, step aside. This is where the real battle begins.>

“Don’t you say that…! I’m the amateur here…!” (Rui)

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『LOL』

…And just before the match began, a banner introducing the squads appeared. On Raimu-san’s banner, there were three incredibly shiny rare badges attached. So, this was definitely “real.”

“Ah…” (Rui)

Comment:『lol』

Comment:『Oh, it’s definitely real!』

Comment:『It’s the real one!!』

Comment:『Too funny』

Comment:『I wonder if Rui is gonna go viral again today.』

Comment:『The man who can’t stop himself from trending.』

No, no, this isn’t the time to talk about such things…! If it’s the real one, then Raimu-san is most likely also streaming or recording for a video… which means Raimu’s viewers are also watching what I do… Even if it’s casual, I can’t afford to do something stupid…!

Comment:『Oi, watch the screen』

Comment:『Rui, you’re deciding the landing spot.』

Comment:『Fly Rui』

Comment:『To America!!』

It seems I’m designated as the jump master to decide the landing spot. This job should be handed over to the much more competent Raimu-san… 

No, I don’t know where to go! If I choose, I’ll definitely dive straight into the enemy’s location! I want to avoid going down immediately if possible…!

“Sorry everyone! Let’s play it safe!!” (Rui)

Comment:『Sure』

Comment:『If you’re going for the win, it’s the right call』

Comment:『Well, initial drops aren’t fun anyway』

Comment:『It’s time to play chicken!!』

Thinking so, I took my time and landed away from the center. There didn’t seem to be any enemy squads nearby… Phew. At least I can breathe a sigh of relief for now. With a bit of calm restored, I asked everyone this:

“We managed to land… Hey guys, do you think it’s okay if I say hi to Raimu-san?” (Rui)

Comment:『Huh?』

Comment:『Sure』

Comment:『That’s sudden』

Comment:『Go loot first』

Comment:『Do whatever you want』

Though there were mixed reactions, she’s still a senpai VTuber. Since opportunities like this are rare, I thought, why not? So, I sent a message in the in-game chat saying “Hello” And soon enough, a reply came back: “yoooooo!”

“…A rapper?” (Rui)

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『It’s rare for Raimu to respond in chat』

Comment:『She probably noticed you…?』

Comment:『She probably knows about you, right?』

Comment:『Your name is pretty straightforward』

By the way, my in-game name is [Rui Astica | VTuber]. It’s as straight as it gets.

“Alright. Now that we’ve exchanged greetings, let’s find some weapons… Oh, how about this sniper rifle? Maybe Raimu-san will use it?” (Rui)

I marked the sniper rifle I found inside the building. In response, Raimu-san quickly zipped over to us using her character’s grapple.

“Wha-!? You can fly like that!?” (Rui)

And with the sniper rifle in hand, [Baz] swiftly set up a zipline with his ultimate ability and zoomed off to the next safe area.

“Hey, wait up! I can’t keep up with you!” (Rui)

<Enemy spotted>

“Where!? Where are they!?” (Rui)

Raimu-san marked the enemy with a red pin, but I couldn’t see them at all. I figured I wouldn’t be able to see them until we got closer… but that thought didn’t last long. 

Soon, the sound of sniper rifle shots rang out from afar, and [Baz]’s voice line confirmed that an enemy was downed.

<Enemy down>

“Whoa! That’s impressive!” (Rui)

If one enemy was down, we should push to finish them off… I hurried in the direction of the pin… but then I heard several more shots from the sniper rifle. And then, [Baz]’s delighted voice.

<Squad eliminated, we did it!>

“…Does she even need me?” (Rui)

Comment:『LOL』

Comment:『Have confidence!』

Comment:『Pull yourself together, Rui!』

Comment:『You’re fine, you’re fine!』

Comment:『Just being alive is amazing, right?!』

Comment:『Maybe she could handle everything on her own.』


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

At times like this, the only thing you can do is to let yourself get carried and don’t die. Also, is he getting stream-sniped by Raimu lol. 

Isn’t it normal to have like some sort of elo system even in casual to prevent pubstomping? Or at least that is how I feel anyways.


Footnote:

  1. None

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 2 Part 3 – The Beginning of a Legend

Then I ended the call with my manager and started the stream. For the time being, I only posted the link to this stream on Twitter. Before I knew it, people started gathering… Even though it was a weekday afternoon, nearly five thousand people flocked to my stream.

Comments:『What’s going on?』

Comments:『A surprise stream!?』

Comments:『Thank goodness, you’re alive.』

Comments:『Someone made it out alive.』

Comments:『Waiting for RuiRui.』

Comments:『I’m watching from my work computer!』

Please, do your job properly. Well, I couldn’t really say that since I slept until noon… Alright, it’s about time to start talking.

“Testing… testing. Can everyone hear me? Hello, this is Rui Astica. First of all, I sincerely apologize for showing you all something very unpleasant because I forgot to turn off the stream yesterday… I am really sorry!!!!!!” (Rui)

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『Starting with an apology is hilarious』

Comments:『The first person to do an apology stream in [SkySun]』

Comments:『Apology stream Any% speedrun』

Comments:『His character broke down so fast…』

Comments:『He just slurped some ramen, give him a break』

Comments:『Rui didn’t even do anything wrong…』

“To ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future, I will… um, do my best to uh… like pointing and calling!” (Rui)

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『Are you Genba Neko?』

Comments:『Yoshi!1

Comments:『Think a bit more before streaming lol』

Comments:『You must’ve wanted to stream that badly』

Comments:『Could it be that Rui-kun just woke up?』

“So, the archive of the debut stream, which was previously set to private, is now public! You should be able to access it now!” (Rui)

Comments:『Thank you』

Comments:『I only saw part of it, so this helps』

Comments:『What about the ramen scene?』

Comments:『Please don’t cut the slurping scene!!!!!!』

Comments:『What kind of ramen were you eating?』

“Forget about the ramen already, you guys!!” (Rui)

Comments:『Well, I’m curious…』

Comments:『I want to eat the same ramen as Rui』

Comments:『I think I’ll have ramen for lunch today』

Comments:『If I choose Champon (type of ramen), will Rui-kun hate me?』

“I keep telling you, I’m not a ramen-themed VTuber!! Haa… If I tell you the name of the ramen I ate yesterday, will you all calm down?” (Rui)

Comments:『Yes』

Comments:『Okay』

Comments:『We want to know』

Comments:『We’ll be quiet if you tell us』

“Alright… It was ‘Umauma Tonkotsu Kai’. Is that good enough for you?” (Rui)

When I said that, most of the comments started showing confusion.

Comments:『??』

Comments:『Never heard of it.』

Comments:『Where do they sell that?』

But among those, one particularly shining comment caught my eye…!

Comments:『Ah~ I think that’s the ramen that you can only get on Kyushu island. I like Uma Tonkotsu (pork bone ramen) too.』

“Oh! You know your stuff! The richness of that ramen is unmatched! But even though it’s limited to Kyushu, you can order it online and eat it anywhere. Plus, they also sell it in instant noodle packets, so it’s more cost-effective this way!” (Rui)

Comments:『Someone’s excited lol』

Comments:『Typical fast-talking otaku』

Comments:『You really are a ramen VTuber』

Comments:『Too cool-looking for a ramen guy』

Comments:『Don’t make ramen in that outfit』

“I keep telling you, I’m a sorcerer!! If you keep underestimating me, I’ll burn you all to ashes!?” (Rui)

Comments:『Oh, someone’s getting fired up. All that heat could be useful for my ramen later!』

Comments:『Yes, extra firm noodles, please!』

Comments:『Here you go!』

“Don’t start a ramen shop in the comments section!!” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LMAO』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『Please give us fan art of Rui-kun working part-time at a ramen shop』

Comments:『And also a picture of Rei-chan smiling while eating Rui’s ramen』

Rei:『On it』

“Even the artist is getting involved?! Or rather, why are you here?” (Rui)

My eye caught a familiar artist’s name in the comments, and my gaze shifted in that direction. In the midst of that, another familiar name with a profile picture of a beautiful girl appeared from below…

Lily:『Rui! Make me some ramen too!』

Comments:『Lily!?』

Comments:『Is it really her!?』

Comments:『It’s really her!』

Comments:『Lily-chan is here!』

Comments:『Now both of his troublemaking colleagues are here!』

“…Why the heck are you here too!!” (Rui)

👻👻👻

With various events unfolding, the stream seemed to be getting lively…? Twenty minutes had passed. I had intended for this apology stream to be quick and straightforward, but somehow it had turned into this.

“Um, so… It seems that because of what happened yesterday, there were people asking Rei and Lily about me. I know that some of you are worried… but please don’t bother them, so I’d appreciate it if everyone could refrain from doing that in the future.” (Rui)

Comments:『I’m sorry』

Comments:『Forgive me~』

Comments:『Understood』

Comments:『But what should we do if Rui forgets again?』

Lily:『I’ll contact Rei and have her pay Rui a visit, so don’t worry!』

Comments:『Lily-chan’s still here lol』

“No need for that, Lily, next time I’ll make sure to pick up the call, so it’ll be fine. Well… I don’t have much left to lose anyway, so there’s no need to be that scared.” (Rui)

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『Please be scared properly.』

“Alright… Well then, let’s call it a day here. All of you Ruimins, do your best with your work or studies for the rest of the day, okay?” (Rui)

Comments:『No thanks.』

Comments:『But I’m jobless.』

Comments:『I don’t want to studyyyyyy!!』

Comments:『Why don’t you do a gaming stream instead?』

Comments:『Apology stream over… Why don’t we move on to the next section?』

“Don’t make me sound like the party pooper here. Besides, even I have a ba—” (Rui)

Comments:『Ba?』

Comments:『Part-time job (baito)?』

Comments:『You have a part-time job?』

Comments:『Vacation (Bakansu)?』

…Oops. I really need to stop being dumb!

“…No, I mean, I have supplementary lessons. So I can’t continue the stream anymore.” (Rui)

Comments:『Oh, I see.』

Comments:『That’s too bad.』

Comments:『Even though you’re a top sorcerer in your school, you have supplementary lessons?』

Comments:『Good luck with your part-time job at the family ramen shop!!』

“Well, even top students have their own struggles. Well then, everyone, good work. Let’s meet again in the next proper stream.” (Rui)

Comments:『See you』

Comments:『Bye』

Comments:『Good work, Rui』

Comments:『Good work, Rei』

Comments:『Good work, ramen』

Comments:『Good work, noodles』

Comments:『Ramen』

Comments:『Noodles』

“Maybe we should standardize this after all…?” (Rui)

With that thought in my mind, I ended the stream.

👻👻👻

Immediately after it ended, Nemo-san called me. She must have been watching the stream… I picked it up without delay.

“Hello, is this Manager Nemoto? How was the stream?” (Rui)

“(How was it…? Was Rui-kun alright with that?)” (Nemoto)

“Um, well… yes. I managed to apologize properly, so I think it went fairly well. The viewers didn’t seem too angry; they laughed along.” (Rui)

Then, after a few seconds of silence… Nemo-san spoke.

“(I see. In that case, I have nothing to say… Good job, Rui-kun.)” (Nemoto)

“Uh, huh…?” (Rui)

I didn’t expect to be praised, so I couldn’t reply back properly… Then Nemo-san continued.

“(Why do you sound surprised?)” (Nemoto)

“Well, because I forced myself to do the apology stream and caused trouble for you, Nemoto-san…” (Rui)

“(Ah, that’s fine desu yo. That’s just part of a manager’s job. Besides…)” (Nemoto)

“Besides…?”

“(Your stream was very entertaining, Rui-kun!)” (Nemoto)

“….!” (Rui)

I widened my eyes in surprise. While the viewers’ comments seem to suggest that they were having a good time, being directly praised like this was a first. I felt incredibly happy.

“T-Thank you! Um… I know it’s a bit late to say this, but I think it must be tough for a manager to deal with someone like me who doesn’t understand much… But I look forward to working with you from now on! Manager Nemoto!” (Rui)

“(Fufu… You can just call me Nemo desu yo.)” (Nemoto)

“Huh?” (Rui)

“(I’m saying it’s fine to call me Nemo. Well, it isn’t exactly my favorite nickname… but strangely, I feel like I can forgive you, Rui-kun. So, call me whatever you like.)” (Nemoto)

“Really?! Then I’ll call you Nemo-san… Oh no, it’s already this late! I really have to start leaving for my part-time job!” (Rui)

I realized the time and panicked.

While chatting with Nemo-san, I glanced at the clock hanging on the wall and saw that the hands were already past twelve. Since my shift started at one, I really needed to start getting ready to leave.

“Well then, Nemo-san! I have to start getting ready soon, so I’ll take my leave! Thank you for today!” (Rui)

“(Yeah. Good luck, Rui-kun!)” (Nemoto)

“Alright!” (Rui)

With a cheerful reply, I ended the call and began to prepare for work.

👻👻👻

…And so, eight hours later.

“Ugh… I’m exhausted…” (Rui)

After finishing my shift, I returned home. 

Ah, working after the apology stream was quite tough… Maybe I should ask for my work hours to be reduced a bit… Yeah, I’ll do that. Otherwise, my body won’t be able to handle it…

“…Hm?” (Rui)

As I pondered this, my phone started ringing as I received a call. When I looked at the screen, I saw the name “Ayaka”. Oh right, the last time I contacted Ayaka was before the debut stream… Well, it was just yesterday, but still.

I’m pretty tired, but since she called me, it’s a good opportunity to thank her. With that thought in mind, I slid the answer button on my phone and picked up the call.

“Hello?” (Rui)

Then I heard Ayaka’s usual voice.

“(Hey, Rui~ I figured it might be hard for you to contact me, so I decided to call you~)” (Ayaka)

“Huh? What do you mean?” (Rui)

As I asked, Ayaka hesitated for a moment…

“(Well… during the streaming incident, do you remember?)” (Ayaka)

“Oh.” (Rui)

The term “streaming incident” brought back unpleasant memories… Oh, right! Ayaka must have watched my debut stream too! Which means she knows what I did after the stream!

I was slurping ramen while watching weird clips of Rei…!!

“…Um, well, you see… It’s just that, I was trying to study about VTubers, so I was watching some clips… And, well, I accidentally clicked on it…” (Rui)

“(…)” (Ayaka)

As I rambled on, desperately searching for an excuse, Ayaka remained silent… Wait, could it be that she’s angry…?

…Well, that sounds about right. I mean, if someone saw embarrassing clips of themselves from a stream that thousands of people watched, anyone would be mad! I’d be mad too!!

Realizing that further excuses would only make things worse, I switched tactics and tried to apologize…

“I-I’m sorry, Ayaka! I swear I didn’t do it on purpose! Please believe me!!” (Rui)

…I don’t know if my desperate apology worked, but Ayaka gradually started laughing louder.

“(…Hehe, hahaha! Don’t worry, I know! Rui wouldn’t voluntarily watch those kinds of videos! I was just teasing you a bit!)” (Ayaka)

“Oh, I see… Well, that’s a relief…” (Rui)

Well, it’s not great to be teased, but if she’s not mad, then I guess I can relax for now…

“…By the way. Were you intentionally aiming for that kind of thing in the ‘Fit x Fit’ video?” (Rui)

“(What thing…?)” (Ayaka)

“Well, I mean… Like, you thought the viewers would get excited if you made those sounds, or you thought it would become a topic if it got clipped and spread around…” (Rui)

“(…That’s a secret.)” (Ayaka)

“Oh, I see…” (Rui)

Well, if it’s a secret, then it must be something like that… Ayaka is surprisingly cunning. She must be trying various things to grow her channel… Come to think of it, how many years has her channel been around…?

“(…Well, despite the mishap with forgetting to end the stream and all, you became quite the hot topic. So, in the end, wasn’t it a big success?)” (Ayaka)

“Maybe… But I’m not really satisfied with it. I got some weird label slapped on me. Though, it’s all my fault for forgetting to end the stream in the first place.” (Rui)

“(Are you talking about the ramen thing?)” (Ayaka)

“Yeah.” (Rui)

There were also comments about me being a fan of Rei or something… But a sorcerer who loves ramen? Doesn’t it mess with the worldbuilding? Or am I just making it a bigger deal than it is… Sensing my dilemma, Ayaka laughed again.

“(Hehe, you don’t need to worry so much! I think a VTuber’s character and personality gradually shapes itself over time!)” (Ayaka)

“Hmm…? I still don’t quite get it…” (Rui)

“(You’ll understand it soon, Rui! Anyway… good job for today, Rui!)” (Ayaka)

Ayaka also offered me words of encouragement. After everything, Ayaka was the one who worried the most about my debut stream… I need to thank her properly.

“Yeah, thanks, Ayaka. You really helped me out.” (Rui)

“(Hehe… Oh, that’s right! There’s another reason I called you, Rui!)” (Ayaka)

“What is it?” (Rui)

(“I was thinking of inviting you to a collaboration! How about it, Rui? You, Lily-chan, and me doing a love talk stream?)” (Ayaka)

“Love talk…?” (Rui)

Inviting me to such a stream, what’s gotten into her? I’ve never had a proper romantic relationship in my life… Despite my confusion, Ayaka continued with her energetic voice.

“Yeah! You see, I regularly gather love advice questions from the ReiGirls. So, I thought it would be great to have you two newbies as guests this time. Who knows, a collab might make people notice how interesting you both are!” (Ayaka)

“Oh, I see.” (Rui)

I was relieved that Ayaka wasn’t expecting any romantic stories from me. But I think her viewers already know about me… Well, Lily might be different.

“By the way, what did Lily say? Did she respond?” (Rui)

“(Yep! She happily said ‘I’ll do it!’ So now it’s just you, Rui.)” (Ayaka)

“I see…” (Rui)

Lily seems enthusiastic about it, so what should I do… It feels a bit out of place for me…

“(Come on, Rui! It’ll be so much fun!)” (Ayaka)

…Well. So far, Ayaka and Lily are the ones I feel least nervous around. If my first collaboration is with these two, I’ll feel more at ease. Maybe trying it out won’t be so bad after all.

“…Alright. But don’t expect too much, okay?” (Rui)

“(Hehe, Rui, just having you there will be fun enough!)” (Ayaka)

“What do you mean by that…?” (Rui)

As usual, Ayaka seems to have high expectations or rather, she’s overly optimistic about me… Well, it’s not a bad feeling, so it’s fine, I guess.

“(Anyways, thanks for joining. I’ll tweet out the announcement right away!)” (Ayaka)

“Wait, when are we doing this stream?” (Rui)

“(Um, exactly one week from now! We’re planning to start at 8 PM!)” (Ayaka)

Next week, huh? My shift is… until the evening, so it should be fine. After confirming my schedule on my phone, I replied to Ayaka.

“Ah, that’s fine then. By the way, will we be doing this over our computers?” (Rui)

“(Eh? That’s the plan from the start… Oh, do you want to do an offcollab2? If Lily-chan is okay with it, we can do that too.)” (Ayaka)

“No, it’s fine. It might cause some controversy.” (Rui)

It might be a bit late for me to worry about that since I’ve already joined Ayaka for her stream before but now that I’m officially a VTuber, I have to be more careful… Ayaka, however, was nonchalant about it.

“(Don’t worry about that! Your goal is to have fun, right? If you get too caught up in those worries, you won’t be able to enjoy yourself.)” (Ayaka)

“Haha… Yeah, you might be right.” (Rui)

Hearing my goal stated out loud felt a bit embarrassing… Well, Ayaka’s words did have some truth to them.

“But online is fine for this time. I don’t want to inconvenience Lily too much.” (Rui)

“(Got it! We’ll keep it online then!)” (Ayaka)

“Alright. Looking forward to it.” (Rui)

“(Yeah! Can’t wait!)” (Ayaka)

Hearing Ayaka’s cheerful voice made me smile a bit. I ended the call with a lighter heart.


Illustration of Ayaka

“(…Hehe, hahaha! Don’t worry, I know! Rui wouldn’t voluntarily watch those kinds of videos! I was just teasing you a bit!)”


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Oh, this should be fun. A stream with Rei and Lily. I can see it being chaotic if it was an off-collab, especially with Lily around. Nvm, it’s probably gonna be chaotic even if was done online.

I’m not sure if the name of the ramen is referencing something that exists irl or not. I know Tonkotsu Ramen is a thing at least.


Footnote:

  1. To refresh your memory, Genba Neko is a meme involving a cat with a construction helmet pointing and saying “Alright! (Yoshi!)”. So this comment was imitating that.
  2. Off-collab (or offline collab) is when they meet irl and stream from the same place.

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 2 Part 2 – The Beginning of a Legend

Unaware that the stream was still live… I had returned to using my natural voice.

“Ugh… it’s over.” (Rui)

Released from the pressure, I let out a big yawn… Now then. What should I do next? Maybe I should check the response online…? Actually, no, it’s scary, so I’ll pass. I don’t think I can handle the criticism. But even if I do, I should do it when I’m more mentally stable.

Should I call Ayaka…? She did cheer me up, but if I call her before and after the stream, wouldn’t it seem a bit weird? You know… like I’m reporting to her or something. So, well… I’ll thank her when we meet next time. I’m sure Ayaka will forgive me.

But sleeping… feels a bit early though. It’s not even 9 PM yet, and I think my part-time shift is in the afternoon tomorrow. Well, even so, I don’t have the energy left to play ranked Apecx anyway… So, for now…

“Maybe I’ll grab something to eat…” (Rui)

Remembering that I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, I headed to the kitchen. Of course, I didn’t have the energy to cook for myself, and there were no bento boxes either… So, as always, it would be this. I grabbed one of the cup noodles stacked in the cardboard box.

“I guess I’ll go with this again~ Tonkotsu ramen.” (Rui)

While muttering to myself, I opened the lid of the cup noodles and started boiling water in the electric kettle… While waiting for the water to boil, I went back to the living room and decided to watch some videos on my computer.

Humming a tune, I clicked away and opened YooTube. For the past few days, I’ve been watching videos related to VTubers to gain knowledge about them, so my recommendation feed was filled with VTuber streams and highlights. Well, since I’m already here, might as well…

“Let’s study for a bit.” (Rui)

But when it comes to studying, all my senpai VTubers are such interesting people, and I actually quite enjoy their content in general. Well, I still don’t really feel like I’m a part of this world… 

Oh, [Genius Sniper Hasumi Raimu demonstrates overwhelming skill with 20 kills]… now this is intriguing.

I remember this Hasumi Raimu girl is supposed to be one of the VTubers affiliated with [SkySun]. I knew of her existence from my research, but I didn’t realize she was also good at games. I have to check this out… I clicked on the video.

After an ad, the video started playing… It seems like the game is similar to Apecx, and on the screen, there’s a VTuber girl with purple hair and red eyes wearing headphones around her neck, moving left and right…

“…Eh?” (Rui)

I couldn’t help but raise my voice. In Apecx, the weapon you’re holding is displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen… but both weapons she’s holding are sniper rifles, which are said to be long-range weapons. No way, she just couldn’t find a good weapon, right…?

“(Ohh~ Look at what we have here.)” (Raimu)

The girl on the screen said in a laid-back voice as she pinged to her teammates a certain submachine gun, known as a powerful weapon… Wait, why?

“Aren’t you gonna pick it up?” (Rui)

I couldn’t help but comment on the screen… And it seemed like she had landed in a highly contested area where many players were landing, with battles unfolding between multiple squads.

“(Hehe, with such good equipment like this, there’s no way I’m gonna lose, right?)” (Raimu)

Good equipment… but isn’t starting with a sniper rifle kind of a miss…? Well, there was a submachine gun lying there… Despite my doubts, she moved. Taking cover in a house, she shot down enemies from another squad… without a scope.

“Wow, she’s good!” (Rui)

Once again, I couldn’t help but exclaim… and Raimu-san laughed as if it were only natural.

“(Hehe. Can’t afford to lose focus, you know.)” (Raimu)

Saying that, Raimu-san reloaded. The enemy noticed her because of the gunfire, but… she calmly aimed at them, hit them with one shot, then another, knocking down the opponent.

“Wow… she’s strong…” (Rui)

I was left speechless by her display of skill… and she seemed proud.

“(Well, standing in front of someone with a sniper rifle is practically asking to be taken down, you know…)” (Raimu)

Meanwhile, it seemed that while she was distracted, another enemy had used their movement skills to flank her… Suddenly, we could hear gunshots from behind and the sound of armor being depleted.

“(Fugya!? Wait, help me…!)” (Raimu)

At that moment, her teammates noticed she was being shot at and rushed to her aid, focusing on the enemy and swiftly taking them down.

“(…Fuu. Thank god I have good teammates. Thanks.)” (Raimu)

And as if nothing had happened, Raimu-san calmly returned to her composed voice, healing herself… and once again, she shot down enemies who had come to scavenge for supplies. Ah, seeing her human-like cuteness made me feel relieved… Well, her skill is still monstrous, though.

So… I got completely engrossed in watching the rest of the video… and finally, by the time it ended, I remembered that I had been boiling water in the kettle.

“…Oh. Oops, I forgot.” (Rui)

Realizing this, I got up and walked over to the kettle…

👻👻👻

After pouring hot water into the ramen, I held it in one hand and continued to search for more clipped videos. Hmmm… maybe I should go check out Raimu-san’s other clips… oh, there’s one with Ibuki-san playing [Tetroid]. This is gonna be tough.

(Tetroid is… an action-adventure game where the story changes based on the choices made, and it’s known for reflecting the streamer’s personality well.)1

“Nehehe~ which one should I watch…” (Rui)

With a creepy chuckle, I browsed through various thumbnails… Hmmm. I think I’ll go with Ibuki-san’s [Tetroid] game while slurping on my ramen.

Susuru~!” (Rui)

I mimicked the slurp of a ramen-themed YooTuber that was popular a while ago… Maybe it’s because of all the practice, but I’m finding it easier to talk to myself without feeling awkward. Is this what they call *growth*…?

Clicking on Ibuki-san’s video, I settled comfortably into my chair and watched… Oh, it’s about time the ramen should be ready. I opened all the lids of the ramen cups… Hmm, it has a rich and delicious aroma.

“(Good evening, Kiyama Ibuki desu. Today, I’ll be playing this game called [Tedroid].)” (Ibuki)

As expected of Ibuki-san, such a simple and polite greeting. I’d like to mimic this kind of greeting too, but I wonder if people would tease me for it… I pondered while splitting apart my chopsticks.

“(Ah, is the volume too low? Let me adjust it.)” (Ibuki)

Ibuki-san on the screen politely adjusted the volume. I should learn to show this kind of consideration too… I thought as I slurped my ramen. Then… I noticed a video in the related videos sidebar titled [Rei-chan’s Sensitive Voice Compilation].

“…Sensitive Voice?” (Rui)

I paused with my chopsticks… What does “sensitive” mean again? It’s a word I hear often, but what does it actually mean? I’m not sure with my English skills… Well, Ibuki-san did mention something about Rei’s streams. Maybe I should check out some clips of hers just to be sure.

With that in mind, I added Ibuki-san’s [Tedroid] video to my “Watch Later” playlist, and I clicked on the clip compilation of Rei.

Then, what appeared on the screen was a stretching screen from Nyantendo’s fitness game [Fit × Fit], along with Rei, a VTuber, in summer clothes…? 

“(…Ah, it’s tough… Ah, haa…! Mmm…! Fuuuh…!)” (Rei)

“GOBAHA!!!!???” (Rui)

Upon hearing Ayaka’s seductive voice, I reflexively spewed ramen from my mouth and nose. Wait, what is this!?

“Why are you making those sounds!?” (Rui)

I exclaimed at the screen… Regardless of whether my reaction was appropriate or not, the broth from the ramen I spewed out ended up splattering all over the monitor, keyboard, and my phone next to it.

“Ahh… so this is what ‘sensitive’ means. Anyway, tissues, tissues…” (Rui)

I grabbed a box of tissues and hurriedly started wiping down the equipment…

“Wow… my phone is soaked… no, it’s drenched. I wonder if it’ll even turn on…” (Rui)

But modern smartphones usually have waterproof features, so it should be okay… I thought as I picked up the dripping phone with my shiny hands and turned it on. Then, the lock screen appeared with the sleep icon… Oh right, I had turned off all notifications and calls during the stream to avoid interruptions.

When I turned off sleep mode, notifications started pouring in endlessly. The messages were from Ayaka, of course, as well as my manager and other VTuber senpais I hadn’t interacted with before. I also received numerous tweets from viewers.

The messages all uniformly said, “You forgot to end the stream!”… Huh? Wha-what? Wait, no, really, wait, wait, no way, no way!

“…Eh, wait, no no no, that can’t be, did I really…?” (Rui)

My fingers, drenched in broth, grabbed the mouse, and I navigated to the streaming page… There it was…

Comments:『Finally noticed!!』

Comments:『Yahoo~! Rui-kun, you there?』

Comments:『You messed up right from the start lol』

Comments:『It’s okay! I haven’t seen anything! I didn’t know you were watching Rei-chan’s *ahem* video!』

Comments:『I’m disappointed. *Liked and subscribed*

Comments:『Say ‘Susuru~’ one more time!』

The comment section was buzzing like crazy… isn’t this quite bad?!

“…Um, everyone. Was I streaming the whole time?” (Rui)

Comments:『Yeah』

Comments:『Yep』

Comments:『Well…』

Comments:『Nah, you weren’t streaming!』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『I don’t know if I should be laughing or not』

…Oh. It’s over. My VTuber career… it was incredibly short-lived, wasn’t it…

“…I’ll temporarily archive the video. I’ll edit it and re-upload it later…” (Rui)

Comments:『Sure thing』

Comments:『Understood』

Comments:『I won’t clip this for Rui’s sake』

Comments:『But it’s already all over Twitter…』

Comments:『#RuiRuiLive is already trending at number one lol』

“…Um. So. I apologize sincerely for inconveniencing and worrying so many people with my forgetfulness… I’m really, really sorry!!” (Rui)

Comments:『It’s all good』

Comments:『Don’t worry about it』

Comments:『I forgive you』

Comments:『But will she (Rei) forgive you?』

Comments:『It was funny, so it’s all good.』

“Sorry for worrying all of you!! See you for real this time!!” (Rui)

Comments:『Good job』

Comments:『Well done, Rui』

Comments:『Well done, Rei』

Comments:『Well done, Rei~』

Comments:『The man who went succeeded in his first stream appearance twice.』

Comments:『Seriously, is this guy a legend or what?』

Comments:『Did Rui just went viral again?』

Comments:『What are the chances LOL』

Comments:『I’ll support Rui forever』

…And I cut off the stream as if running away.

“…Ugh. Uwaaaahhhhh!!!!” (Rui)

—I hardly remember anything after that. When I woke up, there were several empty cans of chu-hai (low alcohol drink) by my pillow, which I don’t usually drink.

👻👻👻

So, the next day…

“…Ugh. Auu… Aaahhh… My head hurts…” (Rui)

I groaned as I struggled to sit up… My body felt incredibly heavy. What… What did I do…? I grabbed my phone from where it was lying on the ground while grumbling about how unfair the world was… And there…

“…Ugh.” (Rui)

There was a list of missed calls and messages, enough to sober me up. They were mainly from Ayaka, the manager, and… surprisingly, Lily too. But for now, the priority was… probably the manager. I opened the messages from her.

“(You didn’t end your stream!)” (Manager)

“(Oi!)” (Manager)

*Missed call*” (Manager)

“(Why are you casually watching clips!)” (Manager)

“(You slurped!?)” (Manager)

“(That’s not good!!)” (Manager)

“(I’m glad you noticed!)” (Manager)

*Missed call*” (Manager)

…Why were they surprised at the slurping? I scrolled down further…

“(Please answer your phone!)” (Manager)

“(Did you fall asleep?)” (Manager)

*Missed Call*” (Manager)

“(When you wake up, call me back right away!)” (Manager)

“(Right away means right away)” (Manager)

“(Got it!?)” (Manager)

Why did the tone suddenly change to something like a Stand user2 towards the end…? Well, anyway… since it said to call back, I dialed my manager’s number. A few calls later, there was a response.

“(Hello, is this Rui-kun!? Did you finally wake up!?)” (Manager)

I heard a somewhat stern but still oddly cute voice that almost made me laugh. By the way, in case it’s not clear, the manager who’s assigned to me is a woman named Nemoto-san. We haven’t met in person, so I don’t have any more information about her, like her face or age.

“Ah, yes, I’m awake… Good morning.” (Rui)

“(Now’s not the time for good morning desu yo! Mattaku…)” (Nemoto)

Upon hearing that voice, in my mind, I pictured a little girl crossing her arms and pouting… The extent of an otaku’s imagination can be quite amusing, huh?

“Um, what time is it now?” (Rui)

“(It’s 11:30 in the morning! It’s the time when everyone is working hard despite feeling sleepy desu yo!)” (Nemoto)

But aren’t there people who work hard in the afternoon too? Well, I’ll refrain from making such arguments… “Good morning” should still be acceptable, right? Well, talking back might get me scolded again, so I’ll just keep quiet…

“(And also, Rui-kun! You caused quite a terrible streaming incident yesterday!!)” (Nemoto)

“U-Uwaaaahhhh…! I don’t even want to think about it…!” (Rui)

The word “streaming incident” made my headache worsen. I knew I had done something bad yesterday, but… Oh, no. No matter how much I try to romanticize the past, the bad memories come back…!

“(That won’t do! First of all, Rui-kun, you need to make the video you set to private yesterday public again! Of course, you need to edit out the incident part desu yo!)” (Nemoto)

“Ah, yes… Right now?” (Rui)

“(Of course! There are many people who were planning to watch the archive desu yo!)” (Nemoto)

“Y-Yeah, that’s true…” (Rui)

Not everyone can watch it live, after all… Keeping the call connected, I turned on my computer. Uh, how do I edit again…?

“(Also, Rui-kun! After that, please update your Twitter! Everyone is worried because there’s been no updates since then desu yo!)” (Nemoto)

“Huh? Ah, I see…” (Rui)

“(That’s right! The pigeons are even flying to Rei-chan and Lily-chan. It’s troubling everyone desu yo!)” (Nemoto)

The pigeons are flying…? Is that some sort of expression?

“…So, I just need to update my Twitter?” (Rui)

“(Yes! Apologize in your own words!)” (Nemoto)

“Understood…” (Rui)

With clumsy hands, I somehow managed to edit out the accident and make the archive of my debut stream public… Well, I’m sure the clips of the incident are already circulating so much that it’s pointless to hide…

“(…Did you make it public? Next is Twitter!)” (Nemoto)

The manager kept checking in to ensure I didn’t stop working… But after drinking last night, my brain wasn’t functioning, and I felt like I was reaching my limit.

“…I can’t do it. No matter how I phrase it, I can only see a future where all my fans mock me!” (Rui)

“(…Rui-kun, I don’t like deciding your direction or character for you, but… Rui Astica can’t continue as the cool character anymore! It’s impossible!)” (Nemoto)

“Yeah, you’re right…” (Rui)

If it were just the content of my debut stream, I might have been able to keep it together… but after everyone saw my behavior outside of stream, there’s no way I can call myself the elite sorcerer anymore. Watching those nuaghty clips of Rei and slurping ramen like some pervert…

Haa. Am I doomed to be a comedic character for the rest of my life? I was given such a cool character…! I could have been popular with women…! Urghhh…!!

Not wanting to think about it anymore, I made a suggestion to my manager.

“Um, Nemo-san?” (Rui)

“(Why are you suddenly calling me that… Please call me Manager properly.)” (Nemoto)

“Manager Nemoto. Can I start streaming right now?” (Rui)

“(Wait… Huh!? Why would you want to do that!? You can just apologize on Twitter! Why go and reopen old wounds like that…!?)” (Nemoto)

“I understand that. But… with just a hundred-something characters, with just my hands, I can’t fully convey my words properly!” (Rui)

I delivered what sounded like a passionate line I’d heard somewhere before… but Manager Nemoto’s reaction was less than enthusiastic.

“(Um… You’re saying something cool, but you do realize you’ll be doing an apology stream desu yo? And that means Rui will just end up becoming a joke again, or getting turned into a MAD3 video. Is that really okay with you?)” (Nemoto)

Don’t say scary things so casually… but my character’s already fallen apart, so worrying about that now won’t change anything…!

“……It’s fine. I have nothing left to lose anyway…!” (Rui)

“(Well, when you put it like that, it’s actually kind of scary… But… Haa, alright, I understand. Then do as you please. If anything happens, I’ll lower my head with you…)” (Nemoto)

“Really…!? Thank you so much, Nemo-san! I’ll follow you forever!” (Rui)

I was so happy that she trusted me that I unintentionally raised my voice… Hearing that, Nemo-san seemed slightly bewildered.

“(Maybe those words should be coming from my side, you know… And I’ve told you several times not to give me weird nicknames.)” (Nemoto)

“Oh, sorry… But isn’t it easier to call you Nemo-san?” (Rui)

“(Those two letters (ネモ) are already taken by Gyundam and Hogemon4 desu yo.)” (Nemoto)

“……Heh~ Is that so?” (Rui)

“(It’s definitely not getting through to you… Haa. Well then, Rui-kun, please don’t forget to stop the stream this time, okay?)” (Nemoto)

“Haha, don’t worry, I got it!” (Rui)

“(I’m still worried about this kid…)” (Nemoto)


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

That Rei part was a big oof, right there. Can’t wait to see what kind of things Lily and Ayaka have to say about the stream.

These references are killing me. Idk if I even got the right references.

Idk if I should have left it in, but Nemoto uses desu yo a lot, so I added it inside her lines. 

Btw, Raimu’s VTuber model can also be seen in the same illustration as the one Lily was in. She’s the violet-colored hair girl with cat ears as headphones.


Footnote:

  1. This is also in the raw. I think this is referencing Detroit?
  2. Idk what’s a stand user, when I did a search, got some results from Jojo but I never watched it so I’m not sure what it’s referencing.
  3. MAD refers to video and/or audio created by editing and rearranging existing video or audio, to give it new meaning. Copy-pasted definition btw.
  4. Idk about Gundam, but in Pokemon, I think she’s referring to Nemona from Scarlet/Violet.

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 2 Part 1 – The Beginning of a Legend

After returning home, I contacted my part-time job to change shifts and spent the rest of my time learning about VTubers and the basics of streaming. I also practiced streaming to myself.

As someone who doesn’t usually talk to themselves much, I finally realized how difficult it is to keep talking into a microphone alone. Seriously, streamers are amazing…

Then, I meticulously prepared the self-introduction slides and script for my debut stream. Of course, it was quite a struggle to write it all out. I cursed myself for not taking writing seriously until now.

…And the next day. I had a call with my manager who was supporting me, and while learning how to use Twitter, I posted my first greetings and gathered questions under the account “Rui”.

Then, within a few minutes, I gained thousands of followers and hundreds of responses filled with questions. The abnormal pace at which the numbers increased scared me immensely… but somehow, I managed to persevere and pick out the questions by the end of the day.

👻👻👻

───And so, the day of my debut stream arrived.

“…I can’t stop shaking.” (Rui)

In front of my computer, I was extremely nervous. The current time was just past 7 PM… which was also the time that Yunagi Lily, the VTuber before me, started her debut stream.

I peeked a little at Lily’s stream… but seeing her passionately singing an acapella to an audience of fifty thousand viewers, I quickly closed the page. It’s not that I saw Lily as a rival… I was just overwhelmed by her confidence and how passionate she was.

“……Haa.” (Rui)

But doing nothing made me feel so nervous I might throw up… What should I do while waiting… Maybe I should read through the script one more time. Yeah, let’s do that. Just as I reached for the crumpled script on my desk…

“…Hm?” (Rui)

I heard the sound of a notification arriving on my phone. When I checked it…

“(Good luck on your first stream! I’m rooting for you!)” (Ayaka)

…a message with stamps attached, sent from Ayaka. Reflexively, I… called Ayaka. And she answered right away.

“(Hello, Rui? Is there something you don’t understand?)” (Ayaka)

“No, it’s not that…” (Rui)

“(Then why? …Oh, maybe you just wanted to hear my voice?)” (Ayaka)

“…” (Rui)

“(…Um, it’s kind of scary when you go silent like that. Just give me a usual retort.)”

Ayaka was bewildered. But, since she was right on the mark, I couldn’t deny it.

“…Sorry. I’m nervous. But I don’t have any VTuber friends yet, the only other person I know is streaming and I’ve only talked to my manager once…” (Rui)

“(So, you called me?)” (Ayaka)

“…Yeah.” (Rui)

Then, a “Nfufu~!” could be heard, and Ayaka responded with genuine delight.

“(I see, I see! So, Rui has finally decided to rely on me! …But I guess this isn’t the time to say that. You seem really troubled.)” (Ayaka)

“Yeah, I’m in a bind right now.” (Rui)

I said, almost clinging to her words. Ayaka found it amusing and laughed again.

“(Hehe. Alright, as your senpai, I’ll give you some advice… First, you need to act confidently! It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it show! Because for an hour, you will become the sorcerer, Rui Astica!)” (Ayaka)

“I see… I need to fully become the character.” (Rui)

“(Not just become the character, you are the character!)” (Ayaka)

Ayaka said that, but didn’t her real self come out quite a bit during our stream together?

“Well… I get it. Anything else?” (Rui)

“(Let’s see… Since it’s your first stream, people will be expecting a lot, so it might be good to have something to show off. You’re good at voice imitations, right, Rui?)” (Ayaka)

“I’m not at a level where it’s good enough to show the world… Besides, if I did that, wouldn’t it ruin Rui’s cool character?” (Rui)

“(Oh… Right. Rui was supposed to be the strongest sorcerer in school… Oh wow, this might be popular with female fans…)” (Ayaka)

“Why do you sound displeased?” (Rui)

When I asked that, Ayaka loudly denied it.

“(I-It’s not like I’m displeased or anything! …Well, anyways, I think everyone would be more captivated if your cool character showed some dere or cute sides gradually.)” (Ayaka)

“Your advice is surprisingly serious…” (Rui)

I was slightly surprised that Ayaka had put so much thought into this. Maybe Ayaka is unexpectedly good at strategizing…?

“(…Oh, looks like Yunagi Lily’s stream is about to end.)” (Ayaka)

Ayaka had apparently been watching Lily’s stream in the background and informed me that it was about to finish. If Lily’s stream was ending… that meant we couldn’t continue our call any longer.

“…Thanks, Ayaka.” (Rui)

“(No problem. I was happy you relied on me after a long time!)” (Ayaka)

“I see. Well, see you.” (Rui)

“(Yeah, I’m rooting for you, Rui!)” (Ayaka)

Ayaka’s words felt like they were directed at both versions of “Rui”.

…And then, somehow managing to calm my nerves, I ended the call and began preparing for the stream—setting up the model, BGM, and other elements. After reading through the script for a while and waiting… the moment the time arrived, I turned on the microphone. In a voice befitting Rui, I spoke.

“…Fuu. Nice to meet all of you. I’m Rui Astica, a sorcerer affiliated with [Sky Sunriver]. Pleased to meet you.” (Rui)

👻👻👻

As I spoke, the comments, which had been leisurely filled with phrases like “waiting” and “looking forward to it”, suddenly changed to more excited messages like “Oh!” “No way!” and “It’s hereee!”

“I never expected so many people to be here for my first stream… I’m really grateful.” (Rui)

Comments:『Nice voice』

Comments:『Great voice』

Comments:『Good luck』

Comments:『Your welcome!』

“And… actually, I think there are some people here who aren’t meeting me for the first time.” (Rui)

Comments:『Huh?』

Comments:『What do you mean?』

Comments:『Could it be that Rui…』

Comments:『Isn’t he the guy who appeared on Rei-chan’s stream?』

Comments:『I thought they sounded similar, but is it really true!?』

My words stirred up excitement in the comments. Some people had already seen my name and illustration announced before the stream, so they had been speculating about my true identity. However, since my voice hadn’t been revealed, they hadn’t been entirely certain.

“Yes, it was about three months ago, I think. Apparently, I appeared on my friend Rei’s stream. I don’t know much about it, though.” (Rui)

Comments:『What do you mean, ‘apparently’?』

Comments:『You don’t remember?』

Comments:『Isn’t your voice and personality different?』

“My voice and personality are different…? Well, at that time, Rei seemed to have used some kind of black magic to manipulate my spirit and create a replica of me for her stream.” (Rui)

At this point, I decided to use Rei’s setup as a sorcerer to explain that the me who appeared in the initial stream wasn’t the real me. I think this might help dispel some of the impressions people had about me back then…

Comments:『I see.』

Comments:『That’s an interesting setup lol』

Comments:『So, you’re friends with Rei-chan?』

Comments:『Speaking of which, Rei is a dark mage, right?』

Comments:『I haven’t forgotten about that instant death combo!!』

“Well… on a separate note, Rei got in trouble because she streamed with someone who wasn’t affiliated with [SkySun] without permission. She didn’t even tell me about it.” (Rui)

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『That makes sense.』

Comments:『She didn’t say anything to management?』

Comments:『That stream was hilarious, though…!』

“But thanks to that, or at least, I’m not sure if that’s the right way to put it… because of that stream, I was noticed by someone important at [SkySun], scouted, and now I’m here. So, I guess I’m grateful to Rei… even though I don’t really know what exactly happened.”

Comments:『Thank you, Rei-chan!』

Comments:『Rei is the best!』

Comments:『A saint for being able to thank someone after being cursed by black magic!』

Comments:『So [SkySun] had more open slots, huh?』

“Well, let’s leave the Rei talk at that. I want to introduce myself. I’m Rui Astica, sixteen years old. Just a student attending [Owen’s Magic School]. I’m proficient in almost all types of magic.” (Rui)

Comments:『All of them!?』

Comments:『We got a cheat character hereeeee!』

Comments:『If you had to choose one, what magic would you say you’re best at?』

“Hmm… if I had to pick one, it would be dark magic… but if I say that, I might steal someone’s identity.” (Rui)

Comments:『Oh!』

Comments:『I wonder who they’re talking about…?』

Comments:『Hey, don’t talk smack about Azuril-chan!』

Comments:『This guy is just too obsessed with Rei-chan.』

…Well, it’s not so much that I’m obsessed with Rei, but more that the management kind of aligned my character background with hers.

“So, my gender is male, and my height is 163 centimeters. Probably a bit short… but I’m still growing so I’ll be fine.” (Rui)

Comments:『You’re just trying to act tough.』

Comments:『Cute.』

Comments:『Cute.』

“I’m not cute. Anyway, next, I’d like to introduce my outfit.” (Rui)

Then, I displayed the documents containing information about my outfit that I had received beforehand on the screen.

“This is my outfit. The big pointy hat on my head is a distinctive feature. I also like this black coat. I won’t take it off unless something really special happens… I don’t really like to show too much skin.” (Rui)

Comments:『Hmm, sounds sexy…』

Comments:『That’s so cool!』

Comments:『Whoa!』

“Also, I’m proud of these orange eyes. My right eye is actually a sealed demonic eye… maybe.” (Rui)

Comments:『Which one is it?』

Comments:『Demonic eye!』

Comments:『That’s cool…』

Comments:『I’m starting to feel embarrassed…』

What a coincidence. I’m starting to feel a bit embarrassed too… But I’m Rui Astica. I shouldn’t be embarrassed about something like this.

“…Alright. So, moving on, let’s talk about my backstory. As I mentioned earlier, I’m just a regular student attending a magic school. The reason I started streaming is because a friend encouraged me… Alright, next.” (Rui)

Comments:『Wow, you skipped through that fast.』

Comments:『Are you blushing?』

Comments:『Is the friend you mentioned Rei-chan!?』

Deciding that I couldn’t handle these comments well, I decided to just ignore them for now… and advanced to the next slide.

“And ta-da! It’s time to reveal the tags. Actually, I had no idea about the culture of deciding tags at all. I just came up with them myself.” (Rui)

Comments:『Cute.』

Comments:『Cute.』

Comments:『Your way of saying things is so calculated.』

Comments:『Hey, why don’t we decide on them together?』

“Deciding them together seemed like it would take too long, so I decided on my own. Sorry about that. I’ll keep going… The tag for streams is ‘#RuiRuiLive’.” (Rui)

Comments:『Huh?』

Comments:『LOL』

Comments:『Cute.』

Comments:『Did I mishear something?』

Comments:『Why is it repeated?』

Comments:『Is that the kind of character Rui is1?』

Comments:『Why is ‘live (らいぶ)’ written in hiragana?』

“I repeated ‘Rui’ twice to differentiate from other people with the same name. And ‘live’ is written in hiragana to make it look less formal since everything else is in katakana.” (Rui)

Comments:『At least there was some thought put into it.』

Comments:『But it still seems kinda girly.』

Comments:『Maybe he was mistaken for a boy.』

Comments:『Switch appearances with Lily.』

“The tag for fan art is ‘#RuiRuiArt’. I’m thinking of calling fans ‘RuiMin’. What do you think, RuiMins?” (Rui)

Comments:『Well, um…』

Comments:『We don’t have a veto power, do we?』

Comments:『Change it to RuiBoy.』

Comments:『I think it’s cool!!』

“Hmm, I thought it was pretty good… Well, some comments are supportive, so I guess it’s okay. Alright, moving on!” (Rui)

With that, I went to the next slide.

“Ta-da! These are the things I want to do during streams. I think live game commentary will be the main focus, but once I get used to it, I’d like to do some ‘just chatting’ streams too. Well… I’m not confident in talking at all, though.” (Rui)

The slide titled ‘Things I Want to Do During the Streams’ listed several titles of games that I’m good at. At the bottom, ‘Just Chatting’ was written in small letters… Looking at it now, it’s really embarrassing. Is this even funny?

Comments:『Seems like it’s gonna be game-oriented.』

Comments:『Gaming sounds good. You know some good ones, so I’m already looking forward to it.』

Comments:『Why is ‘Just Chatting’ so small lol』

Comments:『Please collab with Rei-chan again!』

…Well, it seems like some people are laughing, so I guess it’s okay.

“…Alright. Lastly, I’ll answer some of the questions that have been asked. I picked them randomly, so I don’t think my answers will be that interesting, but please forgive me.” (Rui)

Comments:『I won’t forgive you.』

Comments:『I’ll forgive you…』

Comments:『Sorry, if you got mine lol』

“…Alright, first one: ‘What kind of games will you play?’ As I mentioned earlier, I often play games like [SmashFy] and [Mari-Ka], as well as games from the Nyantendo. I’m also interested in a game they recently released called [Splatune].” (Rui)

Comments:『Oh, nice!』

Comments:『Play against the viewers!』

Comments:『Please beat Rei-chan again!』

Comments:『Aren’t you going to play Apecx?』

(Apecx refers to… a free battle royale game that has exploded in popularity in recent years.)2

“Oh, of course I play Apecx too, but I’m not as good at it compared to other games. I’ve always played games alone, so I’m not very good at team-based games… Of course, I want to practice and get better.” (Rui)

Comments:『Playing solo, huh…』

Comments:『I get it, playing alone is more casual.』

Comments:『Splatune is a team-based game too, you know.』

Comments:『Play with Rei.』

“How much do you guys want me to play with Rei… Alright, next. ‘When is your birthday?’ Mine is on June 1st. It’s easy to remember because it’s Rui’s Day3.” (Rui)

Comments:『Wordplay?』

Comments:『Never heard of that day.』

Comments:『This is the first time I’ve heard of it.』

“Why can’t you guys just accept it straightforwardly… Alright, next. ‘Please tell us your impression of Lily-chan’. There sure are a lot of people asking this. Well, Lily is… incredibly eccentric. Isn’t that enough of a description?” (Rui)

Comments:『lol』

Comments:『Indeed, that’s true.』

Comments:『It’s surprising that the one with more common sense is over here.』

Comments:『To be honest, I feel soothed by Rui.』

From the comments, it seems like Lily went all out during her first stream. Well, if Lily keeps up her comedian role, I won’t have to try so hard to make people laugh, which would be a huge relief for me.

“So, next is ‘What kind of greetings do we use for the start and end of stream?’… Do we really need to decide on that?” (Rui)

Comments:『Yes』

Comments:『Definitely』

Comments:『It’s a necessity』

Comments:『Make it “KonRui”』

Comments:『How about “KonRei”?』

“Well, um… This feels like something that’ll naturally come about, so I won’t be the one to decide on it. Just throw out various greetings, and I’ll pick up from there.” (Rui)

Comments:『Seriously!?』

Comments:『Alright! Time to make ‘KonRui’ a thing!』

Comments:『Let’s make it ‘KonRuiNyanNyan’』

Comments:『How about ‘I won’t let anyone take Rei-chan!’』 

The comments are quickly turning into a comedy show… I won’t be picking one from this bunch, though.

“Well… And this is the last question. ‘Do you have any goals?’… I did think about this, but I couldn’t really come up with anything. Honestly, I don’t know much about being a VTuber, and I’m not that interested in channel subscribers either… Of course, having them is better than not having any, but you know.” (Rui)

Comments:『Oh…』

Comments:『Isn’t that too honest?』

Comments:『Lily said she aims for 100 million subscribers』

“So, after thinking a while… the answer I came up with was ‘to enjoy’. Since I’ve come to this strange and new world, I want to do streams that make both myself and everyone watching smile… That’s what I’m aiming for. I still don’t have much confidence, but… it would make me happy if you could support someone like me, you know?” (Rui)

Comments:『That’s great』

Comments:『I cried』

Comments:『Is it okay to cry…?』

Comments:『Hey! Let me support you!! Hurry up and take my money!!』

“Looks like there are some nice guys with foul mouths here… Well then, that’s it. It might have been a bit boring compared to Lily’s stream, but thank you for watching this far. I really appreciate it.” (Rui)

Comments:『Thank you so much!』

Comments:『Is it over?』

Comments:『I love you, Rui』

Comments:『When is the next stream?』

“Well, the next stream… might be in three days or so. I’m thinking of playing some games, but the details and schedule might change, so I’ll tweet about it when the time comes… Well, thanks a lot, and goodbye!” (Rui)

Comments:『It was fun!』

Comments:『Good job!』

Comments:『Good job, Rei!』

Comments:『I’ve become a fan』

Comments:『Good job, Rui!』

Comments:『Did someone mix Rei in there lol』

And so, I thought I had successfully finished the stream…

…Before the stream, I practiced various things, but there was one thing I didn’t practice. That was ending the stream. Well, it’s not like you need to practice pressing the “End live stream” button, but… As expected, being inexperienced with streaming, I made such a basic mistake.

“…Oh, that was nerve-wrecking!” (Rui)

Comments:『Huh?』

Comments:『What’s that?』

Comments:『I hear something』

Comments:『Could it be…』

Comments:『Forgot to end it aaaaaaahhhhhhh』

Comments:『Help, Rei-chan!!』


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

As it turns out, you do need to practice hitting the “End live stream” button. Now that MC did the thing… Rei-chan, help!! You’re our only hope!

Although, I’m curious how much of his audience is male and how much of them is female.

Also, I 100% advocate for Nintendo to change their company name to Nyantendo.

P.S. I’m gonna use that square bracket for stream chat from now on. I think it looks neater. I used it in one of my previous series for a similar purpose but forgot about it until now.


Footnote:

  1.  I think the comment is referring to how girly it sounds and that Rui is into that.
  2. This was in the raw, I didn’t add this.
  3. I cannot for the life figure out what this means. Here’s the raw for someone who can: 『誕生日はいつですか』これは六月一日だよ。ルイの日だから覚えやすいな

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 1 Part 3 – My Childhood Friend Is a VTuber

And so, having decided to become a VTuber, I got in contact with the agency through Ayaka… and a few months later, I was scheduled to meet with someone important.

Ayaka had casually told me, “They’re not scary at all, so don’t worry! If you’re that worried, why don’t I come with you?” 

Since she said it so lightheartedly, maybe I was being overly concerned… Incidentally, I declined Ayaka’s offer. It would have been too embarrassing to go for a formal meeting with my childhood friend.

──And so, the appointed day arrived. I found myself in front of the [Sky Sunriver] office. Apparently, this place was not known on the internet, and Ayaka had also warned me to “Don’t tell anyone about the location of the agency!” Well, there was no way I would do such a thing anyways.

“Alright… let’s go.” (Rui)

Steeling myself, I entered the incredibly large building. According to what I was told, the agency was located within this building… I got on the elevator that had just arrived and went up to the floor where the agency was located.

…As I stepped out of the elevator, there was a single white door in front of me. Next to it, on a small sofa, was a man sitting and wearing a T-shirt with something that looked like an employee ID around his neck. He seemed quite young and radiated a sort of genius aura… Could this be the person…?

“…Oh, hello there.” (?)

The man noticed me, lifted his gaze from his smartphone, and greeted me. I awkwardly returned the greeting.

“Uh, hello. Um, I…” (Rui)

“I’ve heard about you. You’re Rui-kun, right?” (?)

“Oh… Yes, that’s right.” (Rui)

It seemed he knew about me. Recognizing who I was, the man smiled warmly.

“By the way, that stream that you were in with Rei-chan was the best. I hadn’t laughed so hard in a while.” (?)

“Thank you… You watched it, huh…?” (Rui)

“Yeah, of course. I watched the whole thing. I have a lot of thoughts to share, but this isn’t the right place to talk… Let’s change location. Follow me.” (?)

“Y-Yes!” (Rui)

The man stood up, used what looked like a card key to open the door, and let me inside.

👻👻👻

Following behind him, I was led to a small conference room.

“Please take a seat.” (?)

“Oh, okay!” (Rui)

Prompted, I took a seat on the office chair. The man sat across from me and politely introduced himself.

“Well, let me formally introduce myself… I’m Shiozawa Youjirou. I’m essentially the head of this VTuber company. You can think of me as the president.” (Youjirou)

“The p-president…!? Such a big person…!?” (Rui)

I was taken aback. Even though Ayaka referred to him as an “important person”, I never imagined that he was going to be the most important person. Shiozawa-san smiled and shook his head.

“Oh, you don’t need to be so formal. Some of the VTubers even make collages with my face and use them as thumbnails for their videos.” (Youjirou)

“T-that’s… quite disrespectful…” (Rui)

Even though he’s the head of the agency, allowing such things seemed overly lenient… Or maybe the VTubers themselves were the ones a bit out there? Is that kind of behavior normal? Have I stepped into a place where my common sense doesn’t apply anymore?

“Haha. So, since we scouted you, Rui-kun, you’ve already been accepted… But what made you suddenly change your mind? I heard from Rei-chan that you didn’t seem interested in becoming a VTuber at all.” (Youjirou)

“Oh, well, that might be because I talked to Ibuki-san…?” (Rui)

When I mentioned Ibuki-san’s name, Shiozawa-san nodded with keen interest.

“I see. So, you talked to Kiyama Ibuki-chan. How was she? Like a princess from the Ice Kingdom, right?” (Youjirou)

“Yes, she really… gave off that vibe.” (Rui)

When I spoke earnestly, Shiozawa-san laughed.

“Haha! Right? So, what did Ibuki-chan say to you?” (Youjirou)

“She told me outright not to join if I wasn’t serious about it.” (Rui)

“Hahaha! That’s so like Ibuki-chan!” (Youjirou)

Shiozawa-san clapped his hands and laughed even more. He could probably imagine the scene perfectly.

“…But she told me that Rei brags about me on her streams. She then said to think about why Rei would go so far as to invite me to become a VTuber.” (Rui)

“Oh, I see. And what was Rei-chan’s reaction?” (Youjirou)

“She said that I have talent and asked if I’d give it a try with her support. After that… well, I guess she kind of talked me into it.” (Youjirou)

I answered with a laugh, feeling embarrassed to admit it myself.

“I see… That’s impressive. It’s not easy to change your mind once you’ve decided something. The fact that you did might mean you really might have talent.” (Youjirou)

“No, no, it’s not like that…! I just gave in.” (Rui)

“Haha. Well, once you start, I’m sure you’ll understand what Rei-chan was getting at.” (Youjirou)

“Yeah… maybe so.” (Rui)

Shiozawa-san nodded with a smile and placed several sheets of paper on the desk.

“Alright. Let’s get straight to the point… Rui-kun. Actually, the date for your debut stream has already been decided.” (Youjirou)

“Huh, really? When is it…?” (Rui)

Then Shiozawa-san showed me three fingers. Oh, three weeks from now… No, there’s also the possibility of three months from now… 

“It’s in three days.” (Youjirou)

“T-Three days…!? Wait, isn’t that too soon!?” (Rui)

“Yeah, I really think so too. Sorry about that.” (Youjirou)

As I spoke, Shiozawa-san apologized with clasped hands. Well, I don’t really know what to do even if he apologizes… Is there any way to delay it…?

“W-Why does it have to be soon?” (Rui)

“Well, you see… There’s actually another person who was supposed to debut this week, but we found you while they were still preparing. So, we decided to debut both of you at the same time and rushed to create your model. That’s why the other person is currently waiting for their debut.” (Youjirou)

“I see…” (Rui)

If I’m making someone who was supposed to debut wait, I can’t really complain… I’ll just have to accept it. But wait, do I have work scheduled in three days…?

“Speaking of which, Rui-kun, are you a student?” (Youjirou)

“No, I’m a part-timer. I work at a karaoke place.” (Rui)

It’s a bit late to mention it now, but I work at a karaoke joint. It’s not an easy job, but… I’ve completely lost track of when to quit.

“I see. Well, we don’t have any quotas for streaming, so it’s fine to continue your part-time job… But there are quite a few full-timers too, you know?” (Youjirou)

“Oh, really…?” (Rui)

…Though I don’t think I can make a living as a VTuber. I can’t quit my part-time job right away.

“Well, don’t worry, we won’t force you. So… Do you have any questions so far?” (Youjirou)

“Ah, well… Um, what kind of person will be debuting around the same time as me?” (Rui)

For now, I decided to ask about my fellow debutant. Shiozawa-san responded with a quick “Ah.”

“That’s something you’re curious about, huh? I was planning to introduce you later… Just wait a moment.” (Youjirou)

Then he took out a laptop from his bag and showed me what looked like design documents. There… was an illustration of a girl with long blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes, and on the next page, there were variations in expressions and outfits.

“This girl is Yunagi Lily. She’s a half-Japanese girl who’s good at playing the guitar. Her setting might seem quite typical, but we chose her because she’s really interesting. So, look forward to it.” (Youjirou)

“Uh, yeah…” (Rui)

Even if he says to look forward to it… a girl, huh? I thought if it were someone of the same gender, we could talk about various things…

“Oh, and since the two of you will be debuting at the same time, you’ll be forming a group with Lily-chan, so make sure to get along with her, okay?” (Youjirou)

“Yes, of course.” (Rui)

“And… um, while we’re at it, would you like to see your character illustration? Since we’re in a hurry, it’s already done.” (Youjirou)

Ah, I’m sure someone must have stayed up all night just to make this for me… Sorry, to whoever made the illustration and model… (I don’t really know who’s involved in making VTuber content since I lack knowledge about it).

Then, Shiozawa-san fiddled with his laptop again and showed me the screen. On it… was a standing illustration of a boy dressed as a mage, wearing a long hat and a black robe. The orange eyes hidden beneath his black hair were seriously… incredibly cool. I couldn’t help but let out a gasp.

“W-Wow…!” (Rui)

“Hehe. This character’s name is ‘Rui Astica’. It’s based on the drawing Rei-chan did for her stream. Rui-kun’s background is an elite boy attending the same magic school as Rei-chan.” (Youjirou)

“E-Elite…?” (Rui)

Ayaka would probably laugh at this elite setting. Being elite is definitely in the top 10 words that don’t suit me… but maybe it’s just in terms of looks?

“Well, he’s not the serious type. More of a bad boy, you could say. A genius who skips classes but scores perfectly on practical magic exams… something like that.” (Youjirou)

“Oh… I kind of get it now.” (Rui)

Isn’t that the kind of setting otaku guys love? Cool, super strong, and carefree. What an amazing character… if it weren’t for the fact that I’m the one playing him!

“Well, I’ll give you the detailed setting later, so make sure to read it. Also… since he’s a student at the magic school, he’ll be part of the [Owen Group], which Rei-chan also belongs to.” (Youjirou)

“Wow… There are a lot of groups, huh?” (Rui)

“Yeah, everyone loves different combinations…” (Youjirou)

…And just as Shiozawa-san said that, the door of the conference room opened. Both Shiozawa-san and I turned our attention to the door… and there appeared…

“Hey~! I came to visit, Youjirou!” (?)

A cheerful blonde girl with a large ribbon on top of her head stood there with a smile.

👻👻👻

Who is this girl…? While I was confused, Shiozawa-san gestured towards her and introduced her to me.

“Oh, you came at the perfect time. This is the person who is playing as Yunagi Lily.” (Youjirou)

“Ehh, Youjirou!? Is it okay to just tell that to someone!?” (Lily)

The girl pointed at me as she spoke… and then Shiozawa-san gently reassured her.

“It’s okay because this person is Rui-kun.” (Youjirou)

“Rui…?” (Lily)

Hearing that, the girl looked at me closely again… and then, as if she remembered something, a loud “Ah!” could be heard.

“So that’s it! I watched the stream you did with Rei! It was super funny! I laughed so hard I thought I was going to explode!” (Lily)

“S-Sorry about that…?” (Rui)

This girl seems to have a unique way of expressing herself… Laughing until you explode?

“So, why is Lily-chan here? I don’t think we had any meetings scheduled for today…” (Youjirou)

“Oh, that’s right! Earlier, I went to this place where they let you break things! Then I remembered the office was nearby, so I decided to drop by!” (Lily)

Wow, she can just drop by so nonchalantly like this… I mean, she’s a newcomer like me who hasn’t streamed even once yet, right? How bold is she…? As I stood there confused, Shiozawa-san praised her.

“Oh, you’re already gathering experience for your character. Impressive.” (Youjirou)

“Experience? No, I just went to have fun.” (Lily)

“By yourself?” (Youjirou)

“Yeah! If I went with a group, there would be fewer things to break!” (Lily)

“…” (Rui & Youjirou)

…Her personality is really something else. I think I’m starting to understand a bit of what Shiozawa-san meant by “she’s really interesting”.

“…Alright then. Since the two of you are here, let’s talk about your debut streams.” (Youjirou)

“Shiozawa-san, for the debut stream… what exactly are we supposed to do?” (Rui)

I asked Shiozawa-san. I suppose I should come up with the content for the stream myself, but unfortunately, I have absolutely no knowledge about VTubers. So, I hope he’ll cut me some slack for asking. Then Shiozawa-san replied casually.

“Well, an introduction, of course. In the early days, everyone did it with a simple few-minute video, but nowadays, most people go all out and stream for about an hour. I’m planning to have you two do the same.” (Youjirou)

“An hour… that long…?” (Rui)

I can’t imagine talking for an hour straight unless it’s a gaming stream or something… Will it be okay…?

“Well, if you can’t come up with anything, you can prepare some questions in advance. Just take it easy. But remember, some people decide whether to follow you based on your debut stream… So, I think it’s best to put some effort into it, you know?” (Youjirou)

“I see… got it.” (Rui)

As I said this, Lily raised her hand, cutting in.

“Oh, oh! I want to sing for my debut stream!” (Lily)

“Oh, that’s interesting. Are you going to pre-record it?” (Youjirou)

“No, I’ll sing live, of course! Otherwise, I can’t capture everyone’s hearts!” (Lily)

What’s with that rock ‘n’ roll attitude… But maybe having that kind of passion would make the viewers happy… No, I really don’t know.

“Well, that’s fine, but you’ll need to prepare some backing tracks or something, right? Can you prepare it in time?” (Youjirou)

“…Then I’ll go with acapella!” (Lily)

She’s so resilient. I wish I could borrow some of her positivity.

“Ahaha, okay. And… Rui-kun, I’ll give you the accounts for your Twitter and YooTube channel. You’ll be managing them yourselves, but be mindful of what you post. You should be able to find more details in the documents.” (Youjirou)

“Oh, yes, understood.” (Rui)

I began to look through the documents placed before me… Meanwhile.

“Hey, hey, who’s going first for the debut stream? Are we both doing it on the same day?” (Lily)

“You can decide that between the two of you. We’re planning to announce the information about your debuts on the official [SkySun] Twitter later tonight… So, shall we decide now?” (Youjirou)

“In that case, I want to go first!” (Lily)

Once again, Lily raised her hand and said so… And then Shiozawa-san’s gaze turned to me. Ah, does that mean it’s up to me…?

“Well, I don’t mind, but… Why do you want to go first? Aren’t you nervous?” (Rui)

“Not at all! There’s only one reason why I want to go first! I want to take my time to enjoy Rui’s stream!” (Lily)

“Oh, is that so…” (Rui)

That’s the reason, huh… Well, if the eccentric Yunagi Lily goes first, it might get the viewers excited. And then, they might carry that excitement over to my stream. So… I think it’s probably better to let her go first.

“Then, Rui-kun, you’re okay with going after her?” (Youjirou)

“Yes, I’m fine with that.” (Rui)

“Hehe, Rui, I’m looking forward to it!” (Lily)

…After that, I received detailed explanations about the terms and conditions and other matters from Shiozawa-san (Lily, who probably received the same explanation the day before, oddly listened attentively). He taught me the basics of being a VTuber, such as streaming methods and the role of a manager.

👻👻👻

The next day, I went to a nearby electronics store to buy the equipment I needed for streaming.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been here, but it’s changed a lot, hasn’t it? They even have a gaming section now!” (Ayaka)

…I brought Ayaka along. As for why she came too… When I messaged and asked her about the equipment needed for streaming, she suggested, “I’ll teach you directly!” and proposed to go shopping together.

Of course, it’s extremely helpful to have an active popular VTuber teach me various things but… 

“Was it really necessary to come here? We could have just ordered everything online.” (Rui)

“Nono, it’s important to see the thing in person to make sure! Besides… even if we ordered now, it might not arrive by the day of the first stream, right?” (Ayaka)

“Well, that’s true… and we’re short on time.” (Rui)

It seems that Ayaka also knows the schedule for my debut stream. Just two more days… I have to gather the equipment and finish preparing the self-introduction slides and script by then.

“After this, I also need to get my shift changed… I’ll contact them later.” (Rui)

I muttered as we walked through the store. Hearing that, Ayaka threw an odd question at me.

“…Hey, Rui. Why are you still working part-time?” (Ayaka)

“Eh? To make a living, obviously.” (Rui)

“Not that! I mean, why didn’t you go for higher education?” (Ayaka)

“Oh… that.” (Rui)

Ah, so that’s what she meant. Come to think of it, I hadn’t told Ayaka about it… Well, it’s not like I’m hiding it or anything.

“I guess… I was just apathetic. I didn’t have any particular ambitions or dreams, no friends, and I’m not particularly smart either. So, I couldn’t muster up the motivation to go… But if I did nothing and stayed as a neet, I’d just get kicked out of the house. So, I started working part-time at the karaoke place nearby.” 

I replied with a wry smile. But Ayaka, upon hearing this, looked slightly more serious…

“I see… But why didn’t you talk to me about it?” (Ayaka)

“Eh? Um…” (Rui)

I found myself at a loss for words. Ever since Ayaka and I went to different high schools, I became even more of a loner… I just couldn’t bring myself up to meet Ayaka. 

It was like a sense of guilt, or maybe… I didn’t want to show her how much I had changed since then. Saying I wanted to keep our memories untainted might sound nice, but in reality, it was just an excuse and I just didn’t have the courage to meet her.

So, this time, even accepting Ayaka’s invitation to play with her after so long took quite a bit of courage on my part…

Well, I couldn’t really say that I felt pathetic. Seeing my troubled expression, Ayaka seemed to want to encourage me.

“…You don’t have to say it if you don’t want to. Besides… Rui, you’ve already found a new dream, haven’t you?” (Ayaka)

“Huh?” (Rui)

“Your dream of enjoying being a VTuber!” (Ayaka)

In the end, she said it with a smile. I couldn’t help but laugh back, a little bewildered.

“Haha… Can we really call something like that a dream?” (Rui)

“Of course we can! I’m doing it because it’s fun, you know?” (Ayaka)

As she spoke, Ayaka crouched down in front of a shelf lined with cameras and microphones. Picking them up, she turned to me.

“You’ve got a gaming PC, right, Rui? So, you’ll probably need a microphone and a webcam.” (Ayaka)

“A webcam?” (Rui)

“Yeah, you need it to move your model.” (Ayaka)

“I see… So, that’s how it works.” (Rui)

I nodded at Ayaka’s words. My knowledge about VTubers was seriously limited to that extent. If I were going to be active as a streamer, I needed to at least have some basic knowledge… With that in mind, I made a request to Ayaka.

“Then, could you pick out the ones you recommend? I’ll buy those.” (Rui)

“Huh? Can I really decide everything?” (Ayaka)

“Yeah. If you choose them, they’ll definitely be good. I trust your judgment.” (Rui)

As an active VTuber, she’d be more knowledgeable about devices than me. That’s why I used the word “trust”, but Ayaka showed a visibly delighted expression.

Fufu… Got it! Then, how about these?” (Ayaka)

She picked out what looked like an expensive camera and microphone from the shelf.

Well, since I said that, I can’t really complain now, can I?

“…I wonder if the agency will provide funds for this?” (Rui)

“I don’t know. I can tell you for certain that they didn’t for me!” (Ayaka)

“Oh, I see…” (Rui)

Well, that’s disappointing. But maybe I should ask my manager anyways… I got their contact from Shiozawa-san yesterday, so I should at least say hello.

With these thoughts in mind, I grit my teeth and headed towards the checkout with the microphone and camera Ayaka had chosen. Along the way, Ayaka asked me something.

“Have you thought about what you’ll do for your debut stream, Rui?” (Ayaka)

“Well… I’ll probably start with an introduction like the others. Maybe I’ll also do a Q&A session based on the questions I got from Twitter.” (Rui)

“Nice! Need help selecting questions?” (Ayaka)

“…Nah, I’m good. I want to do everything on my own this time.” (Rui)

Ayaka’s kindness is appreciated, but I don’t think I’ll grow if I rely on her all the time… When she heard that, Ayaka showed a momentary surprised expression but then said,

“I see. It’s great that you have that professional attitude, Rui. It makes me happy too!” (Ayaka)

Once again, she smiled. Yeah, that smile suits her the best.

👻👻👻

As I walked home carrying the bags of equipment I purchased, I glanced at Ayaka beside me.

“Thanks for coming along today.” (Rui)

“No problem. I had fun, so it’s all good!” (Ayaka)

“I see. Well, that’s good then.” (Rui)

While speaking, I glanced at her. It had been a long time since we walked side by side like this, and I was a bit surprised that our pacing matched. Perhaps childhood memories are deeply ingrained inside us after all?

“…Hey, Rui. When was the last time we walked home like this together?” (Ayaka)

“Huh? Um… probably back in elementary school… It’s been around ten years, I guess.” (Rui)

Ayaka laughed at my response.

“Ahaha~ Has it really been that long? But Rui never walked home with me in middle school, so that might actually be true?” (Ayaka)

“…” (Rui)

I found myself unable to say anything… It’s true that in middle school, amidst puberty and all, I stopped walking home with Ayaka. 

It was around the time when I was teased for being with her by classmates whose names I couldn’t even remember. Maybe that’s when we started to drift apart…

“…Sorry about that.” (Rui)

Before I knew it, I was apologizing. I didn’t think much about it back then, but looking back, I might have been pretty mean to Ayaka. …But she shook her head as if flustered.

“Oh, it’s okay! I didn’t mean it that way… Besides, I’m really looking forward to your stream, Rui.” (Ayaka)

She said that to reassure me, then changed the subject, probably not wanting me to feel uncomfortable.

“Yeah. Thanks.” (Rui)

“And… let’s go shopping together again sometime!” (Ayaka)

“Hm? Yeah, sure. If any of my devices break, I’ll definitely ask for your help again.” (Rui)

“…Yeah!” (Ayaka)

With that, I escorted Ayaka home. The walk back alone was quiet, and I found myself feeling a bit lonely… I was surprised at myself for thinking like that.


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Oh boy, just from the prologue, we already know what’s gonna happen at the end of the stream.

Lily could have technically just played her guitar live inside of going for an acapella, but I guess that kind of stuff still requires preparation.

Also, with how big the agency is, they should totally just sponsor the equipment for him. I mean, they forced him to debut within 3 days, so that’s the least they could do, right? Maybe for Ayaka, she joined pretty early when the agency wasn’t that big yet, so they couldn’t sponsor the equipment, but now they definitely have the resources to.


Footnote:

  1.  None

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 1 Part 2 – My Childhood Friend Is a VTuber

After the stream ended, we were each fiddling with our smartphones. While I was casually playing a social game, it seemed like Ayaka was doing some ego searching.

“Hey, Rui! The response to the stream is amazing! We’re even trending! And there are tons of comments asking when the next collaboration will be! This is unbelievable!” (Ayaka)

“Eeh…?” (Rui)

I raised my face from my phone, voicing my confusion. I mean, I don’t really care about how well the stream did… but is it really okay for me to keep collaborating with someone like her? Isn’t that kind of unpleasant?

“Um, Rei… I mean, Ayaka. You seem happy about that.” (Rui)

“Huh? Well, of course, I am! Because so many people watched it! Oh, according to the data, this stream had the second-highest number of viewers, right behind my debut stream!” (Ayaka)

“Eeh…?” (Rui)

I know that a VTuber’s debut stream would usually attract the most attention, resulting in a high number of concurrent viewers… but for the next highest to be a collaboration with me? Won’t the fans be upset about that?

“Stop saying ‘eeh’ all the time and look at the response we got, Rui! Everyone is saying it was fun!” (Ayaka)

Haa, fine…” (Rui)

Reluctantly, I got the hashtag for the stream from Ayaka and searched for it on ‘Twitter’. Let’s see…?

“[It was an amazing stream], [I want to see another collaboration with Rui-kun], [It was super fun!], [I don’t want Rei-chan to collaborate with unknown guys]… and so on.” (Rui)

“Well, there are some people like that occasionally… but most of the response is positive, right?” (Ayaka)

“Yeah, I guess so.” (Rui)

Dedicated fans who went as far as to add a hashtag and write their impressions are probably mostly kind people… But I’m sure there are also viewers who didn’t tweet but weren’t happy about the collaboration with me. There has to be…

“…So, Rui, how was it for you? Did you have fun during the stream?” (Ayaka)

“Fun… Well, streaming or not, getting to hang out with you after a long time was fun.” (Rui)

“…Fufu, I see, that’s good to hear!” (Ayaka)

Hearing my words, Ayaka showed the same innocent smile she had always had since we were kids. I used to teach Ayaka various things just to see this smile… Ah, no, no. What am I getting nostalgic for?

“So, Rui! When should we do the next collaboration? How about tomorrow?” (Ayaka)

“Hey, did you already forget what I said? This stream was a one-time thing… Besides, I have work starting tomorrow, so I can’t.” (Rui)

Ayaka might be on summer vacation now, but as a part-timer, I didn’t have that luxury… Hearing my words, Ayaka looked sad for a moment but quickly returned to her usual self.

“I see… Well, let’s hang out again sometime! Okay?” (Ayaka)

“Yeah, that’s fine… but don’t you have other people to hang out with? You could collaborate with other VTubers instead of someone like me…” (Rui)

“Rui, you’re so dense.” (Ayaka)

“Eh?” (Rui)

“…Nothing. See you later, Rui.” (Ayaka)

“Yeah, see you.” (Rui)

There was a slightly weird remark, but I decided not to touch on it… I picked up my things and left Ayaka’s house.

👻👻👻

A few days passed since I appeared on Ayaka’s stream. During that time, I went about my days without incident…

“…Hmm?” (Rui)

One day after work, I saw a missed call and a message from Ayaka on my phone. When I opened the message, it simply said, “Something big happened, call me back ASAP!!”

Ayaka’s vague explanation gave me a bit of a bad feeling… but I couldn’t just ignore it. I decided to call Ayaka back… and she answered immediately.

“(Hello, Rui!?)” (Ayaka)

I heard Ayaka’s anxious voice.

“Ayaka, did something happen?” (Rui)

“(Yes! Something amazing happened!)” (Ayaka)

“Something amazing?” (Rui)

“(Yes! Rui, remember when you appeared on my stream?)” (Ayaka)

“Yeah…” (Rui)

That memory had already been pushed to the far corners of my mind… Did I make a mistake somewhere?

“Did it cause a scandal or something?” (Rui)

“(Nono, that’s not it! The management watched that stream and said you were really interesting! They want you to join our agency…! So, they asked me to talk to you about it!)” (Ayaka)

“…………Haa?” (Rui)

Ayaka’s explanation didn’t make much sense on its own… but basically.

“So basically, Rui, you’ve been scouted by a VTuber agency! This rarely happens, so it’s really amazing!!” (Ayaka)

……Um? Me… a VTuber? Please tell me you’re joking.

“I refuse. I’m not going to do that.” (Rui)

Then Ayaka’s loud voice came flying into my ear again.

“Eh~!? Why not! Let’s be VTubers together! It’s fun!” (Ayaka)

“No, it’s not fun… I don’t have the talent to entertain people. Besides, I don’t really know much about being a VTuber. There’s no way I can do it, right?” (Rui)

“You can do it! If I can, then you can too!” (Ayaka)

“That’s because you’re funny and good at talking…” (Rui)

“Personally, I think you’re funnier than me! And you’re better at games too!” (Ayaka)

“Well, games huh…?” (Rui)

On the flip side, that’s pretty much the only area where I can surpass Ayaka… But come on, there are plenty of people better at games than me out there.

“Anyway! Come over to my place now! You’re done with work, right? You can make it, right?” (Ayaka)

“Why though? You’re probably just going to drag me into another stream or something, right?” (Rui)

“No, I won’t, so don’t worry! And… look! You can have dinner at my place! We used to do that all the time, didn’t we?” (Ayaka)

“That was ages ago… Isn’t that when we were like elementary school kids?” (Rui)

It’s a bit late to mention, but while Ayaka still lives with her parents, I live alone. So, despite being childhood friends, our houses are quite far apart now…

“It’s fine! I’ll tell my mom that Rui’s coming, so you better come!” (Ayaka)

“Ah…” (Rui)

With that one-sided declaration, the call ended. Haa… she’s so pushy, that Ayaka.

…Well, actually, I’m in quite a financial bind this month. So, going to Ayaka’s house means saving on dinner expenses… and maybe even getting some leftovers to last a few days…

Haa… desperate times call for desperate measures.” (Rui)

With that decision, I hopped on my bike and headed to Ayaka’s house from my part-time job.

👻👻👻

After arriving at Ayaka’s house, I got off my bike and rang the intercom. Then I heard the sound of the door unlocking and out came…

“Hehe. You really came after all, Rui!” (Ayaka)

Ayaka was grinning from ear to ear.

“Yeah yeah, I’m here.” (Rui)

I deliberately tried to act indifferent… but she probably saw right through me anyway.

Fufu, if you really didn’t want to come, you wouldn’t have, right?” (Ayaka)

“Shut up.” (Rui)

“Ahaha! Well then, come on in?” (Ayaka)

“Yeah.” (Rui)

After entering the house, Ayaka led me up the stairs… and into her room, which was filled with posters of “Rei”, once again.

Ayaka closed the door to her room and gestured for me to sit on the beanbag again… I didn’t have a reason to refuse, so I sat down.

“So… why did you call me over? Trying to convince me is pointless, you know?” (Rui)

“Well, well, calm down. For starters, how about checking out some of the talents from [Sky Sunriver]? They’re all unique and entertaining!” (Ayaka)

“Even if you tell me to take a look… there are nearly a hundred of them, right? I don’t have time to check them all out.” (Rui)

“Oh~ you know a lot! That’s why I want you to pick one that interests you! I’ll show you some funny clips of that person!” (Ayaka)

With that, Ayaka sat back in her gaming chair and opened the [Sky Sunriver] website, navigating to the page listing all the talents. I took the mouse and started browsing through the page…

“Well, even if you say to pick someone I’m interested in… Oh, there really are ones who are middle-aged men.” (Rui)

“Yeah! Middle-aged men are surprisingly popular!” (Ayaka)

“Hmm, I see.” (Rui)

I always thought VTubers were all about cute girls giggling and having fun… but it seems like that’s not always the case. The world sure is vast.

“So… which one catches your eye, Rui? It’d be great if it’s a girl!” (Ayaka)

“Why specifically?” (Rui)

“Because most of the talents I interact with are girls! So if it’s a girl, chances are I’ve talked to her before!” (Ayaka)

“Oh, I see…” (Rui)

Well, even if you say that… it’s hard to choose in front of Ayaka. Everyone here is a cute girl… and if Ayaka found out about my preferences, I’d be super embarrassed. But then again… I don’t have the courage to choose “Rei” either.

“…” (Rui)

For a moment, I paused my scrolling. Among the lineup of VTubers with colorful hair, the girl with black twin tails in a school uniform seemed to stand out.

“Oh, are you interested in that one?” (Ayaka)

“I haven’t said anything yet, though…?” (Rui)

But… Ayaka is sharp in moments like this. She quickly saw through my lie.

“Oh~ Rui, you totally like this girl, right? Maybe Rui is into the simple type?” (Ayaka)

“How do you even know that…?” (Rui)

…Well, it’s true, so it’s frustrating that I can’t strongly deny it. And Ayaka, getting excited, starts explaining about the girl.

“Hehe, this girl is Kiyama Ibuki-chan, she’s cool and really smart!” (Ayaka)

“Hmm. She’s wearing a school uniform, so is she a high school student?” (Rui)

“Yeah, that’s her setting!” (Ayaka)

“Setting, huh…” (Rui)

If I think about it calmly, yeah, that makes sense. It’s not easy to hire an actual high school student…

“Hmm! Alright, let’s watch some clips of Ibuki! Um… how about this one? ‘After flipping over a truck, Kiyama Ibuki fires a rocket launcher and bursts into laughter’.” (Ayaka)

“Wait, what is she even doing!?” (Rui)

“Oh, sorry Rui. That was part two.” (Ayaka)

“Part two!?” (Rui)

For a moment, I panicked, but when I looked closely at the thumbnail, it was a real game screen. Well, yeah, that makes sense… If she did something like that in the real world, she’d be in big trouble…

“Oh, there’s part one! Let’s watch this one!” (Ayaka)

“Yeah…” (Rui)

And there I was, watching clips of a girl named Ibuki next to Ayaka.

…The content of the video was about a seemingly quiet girl, whose voice was just as I imagined, causing havoc in an open-world game, committing all sorts of crimes. Well, indeed, this kind of contrast might be a bit amusing…

“Ahahaha! Ibuki, that’s too much!” (Ayaka)

Watching the video, Ayaka was laughing uncontrollably, clutching her stomach… I see. VTubers are more amazing than I thought. They can even make viewers smile to this extent.

“…Hmh.” (Rui)

“Oh! Rui, you laughed too!” (Ayaka)

“I-I didn’t laugh…” (Rui)

“Nono, there’s no need to pretend! It’s just us here!” (Ayaka)

Ayaka’s words caught me off guard. She’s right. Even in front of Ayaka, trying to hide my emotions… that’s not like me.

“…Yeah, you’re right.” (Rui)

Fufu, that’s the way it should be. Just be yourself, Rui!” (Ayaka)

“…Haha.” (Rui)

“Ahahaha!” (Ayaka)

…And so, we moved on to other videos, watching more clips of Ibuki. That time continued until Ayaka’s mother informed us that dinner was ready.

👻👻👻

After finishing dinner, we returned to Ayaka’s room. As I shared my thoughts on the meal, I settled back into the same beanbag as before.

“Ayaka’s mom is really good at cooking, huh? It was delicious. Well… she still has that intense personality though.” (Rui)

“Hahaha… Sorry about that. My mom thinks of you like her own child, so…” (Ayaka)

With a hint of apology, Ayaka smiled as she spoke. While eating, I was bombarded with questions about what I’d been up to lately and why I hadn’t visited for so long. Well, considering how often I used to visit in the past, it’s understandable that she’d ask that… 

By the way, I managed to deflect most of the questions skillfully. Being completely honest might have just made her worry even more.

“Well, that’s fine, but… why did we come back? I was planning on leaving.” (Rui)

…So, the reason why we returned to the room was because Ayaka stopped me from leaving, saying “You can’t go yet”. She probably won’t let me leave until I give her an answer about becoming a VTuber…

“Well, I felt like I hadn’t heard your answer about becoming a VTuber yet, you know?” (Ayaka)

“I’ve already told you… I have no intention of becoming one.” (Rui)

I’ve said countless times that I have no intention of becoming a VTuber. There’s no way I could become one. But it seems Ayaka doesn’t understand that. I’m at a loss for what to do… And just as I’m pondering over it, Ayaka seems to have moved on to her next plan.

“…Hmm. Well, if that’s the case, then I have an idea…!” (Ayaka)

Saying that Ayaka casually took out her smartphone. After tapping on the screen for a bit, she held it up to her ear…

“Eh, what are you—” (Rui)

“………Hello? Ibuki? Are you okay to talk right now?” (Ayaka)

…Wait, she’s not actually… She’s not actually calling the VTuber from the video we just watched, is she!?

“Oh, good! Um, I actually have something I wanted to talk to you about, is that okay?” (Ayaka)

“(Sure. It’s rare for Rei to say something like that. What is it?)” (Ibuki)

Midway through, Ayaka seemed to have switched her phone to speakerphone mode, and the voice on the other side reached me clearly. It was exactly the same voice I heard in the video just now.

“Yeah! So, it seems like [SkySun] is going to debut a new VTuber soon, and it happens to be my childhood friend!” (Ayaka)

“(Heh~ really? That sounds interesting… But how did you find out about this, Rei?)” (Ibuki)

“Well, my childhood friend appeared on my stream, and then the management saw it and scouted them! So…” (Ayaka)

“(Um, it’s a bit late, but is it okay for me to know this? This information hasn’t been made public yet, right?)” (Ibuki)

“…………Ah.” (Ayaka)

Ayaka had this ‘Oh shit’ look on her face and then she turned to me. I guess she wasn’t supposed to say that… Well, it’s not like I have any intention of becoming a VTuber or anything…

“(…Well, I don’t plan on telling anyone, so it should be okay)” (Ibuki)

“R-Really? Then, once the call ends, let’s just forget everything!” (Ayaka)

“(Understood.)” (Ibuki)

Seriously, is she going to keep going? And then, Ayaka spoke up again.

“So, he got scouted, but my childhood friend kept saying he didn’t want to become a VTuber! So I was thinking maybe Ibuki-chan could convince him somehow!” (Ayaka)

“(…I see)” (Ibuki)

“Ah, he’s right next to me now, so I’ll switch over!” (Ayaka)

“Eh, you…!?” (Rui)

And then, Ayaka somewhat forcefully handed me the phone. I felt the urge to just throw it away, but I managed to hold back. Still, staying silent wouldn’t be fair to the person on the other end. After thinking it over, I decided to calmly pick up the phone and respond.

“U-Um… Hello. So, uh… Rei mentioned me…” (Rui)

“(Nice to meet you. And your name is?)” (Ibuki)

“Uh, I’m Miyasaka Rui …” (Rui)

“(I see, Rui-san.)” (Ibuki)

The voice on the other end, Ibuki Kiyama, spoke in a calm and indifferent tone, much different from what I’d heard in her clips. Well, she sounded even cooler than she did in the clips!

And then… after a moment of me not saying anything, she started speaking again.

“(Well, Rei mentioned that, but I don’t think you need to force yourself to become a VTuber. There’s still a significant amount of prejudice against us. People still mock us just because we hide behind avatars.)” (Ibuki)

“I-I see…!” (Rui)

“(Yep. Not to mention, there are many who aspire to join groups like us but can’t. If someone who’s reluctant joins, it’ll demoralize everyone.)” (Ibuki)

Those words hit me hard. It was true… there must be people who aspire to join [Sky Sunriver] but can’t. I hadn’t considered that at all.

“(I apologize for my strong words. However, I felt compelled to speak up because I could see where things were headed… Rui-san. Please rest assured, I can help convince Rei.)” (Ibuki)

“O-Okay… I’m sorry about that…” (Rui)

Even though it was over the phone, I found myself bowing my head. Her strong conviction against becoming a VTuber half-heartedly made a deep impression on me.

…And then, after a few moments of silence, Ibuki-san spoke again.

“(…So, this is a personal question, but why don’t you want to become a VTuber, Rui-san?)” (Ibuki)

“Huh? W-Well… I guess… it’s because I lack confidence…” (Rui)

There are countless reasons why I’m unsuitable, but lack of confidence is probably the biggest factor. I just couldn’t imagine myself entertaining others, no matter how hard I tried.

Then, Ibuki-san murmured softly.

“(…Rui-san, have you never watched Rei’s streams?)” (Ibuki)

“Eh?” (Rui)

“(Rei often talks about you in her ‘just chatting’ streams. You’re mentioned quite frequently during those streams..)” (Ibuki)

“Eh, W-Wait a minute! Ibuki-chan!?” (Ayaka)

Beside me, Ayaka sounded flustered, but Ibuki-san continued, ignoring her.

“(She might have included some false information to avoid revealing your identity, but most likely, it’s all about you. Rei often praises this friend as “smart”, “skilled at games”, and “always ready to help in times of trouble.”)” (Ibuki)

“Ibuki-chan!?” (Ayaka)

“(If you watch her streams, you’ll understand, and there’s no need to hide it… So, perhaps, it might be worth considering why Rei is so persistent in inviting you, wouldn’t you agree?)” (Ibuki)

“The reason… huh…” (Rui)

“(Yep. That’s all from me. Well then, I have some video editing to do, so I’ll take my leave now.)” (Ibuki)

“…” (Rui)

With just those words, Ibuki-san ended the call abruptly.

After the call ended, an awkward silence hung between us. Why does Ayaka talk about me on her streams? I’m not angry or anything, but… I was just confused about the reason.

“Hey, Ayaka… Is what Ibuki-san said true?” (Rui)

Ayaka didn’t answer, instead averting her gaze from me. Ah, she’s been doing this since we were kids. Whenever Ayaka doesn’t want to talk about something, she won’t answer no matter how long you wait.

“If you won’t tell me, I’ll find out on my own. After all, there’s no shortage of clips featuring you” (Rui)

“…Fine, fine! I get it!” (Ayaka)

When I said that, Ayaka reluctantly spoke up. She probably didn’t want to talk about it, but she must have thought it would be worse to have me watch the videos right in front of her.

Blushing slightly, Ayaka began to speak in a soft voice.

“W-Well, you see… I sometimes talk about you in my streams.” (Ayaka)

“Why would you do that?” (Rui)

“Because… the memories I have with you are very interesting, and… and you’re someone I’m proud of and deeply respect as a childhood friend!” (Ayaka)

…I’ll give you that first point. But me being a childhood friend you’re proud of… you’re kidding, right?

“Yeah, that’s the look… Rui. You’re always so self-deprecating. Saying things like ‘There are plenty of people better than me’ or ‘I’m not a kind person’… even though it’s not true at all!” (Ayaka)

“…!” (Rui)

I widened my eyes. Ayaka’s words made me feel both happy and somehow troubled deep inside.

“Rui, you have an incredible talent. I wanted everyone to know that which is why I wanted to play with you on stream.” (Ayaka)

“Ayaka…” (Rui)

I had assumed Ayaka had just invited me to her stream for her own selfish reasons, so I suddenly felt embarrassed… But seeing me like that, Ayaka gradually regained her smile.

“…And then, the stream was more successful than I imagined! I was surprised when the agency reached out to me, but I started thinking that maybe it was fate!” (Ayaka)

“Fate?” (Rui)

“Yeah, fate! If you entered this world, Rui, I’m sure you could experience a lot of things… every day would be full of new and exciting experiences, and it would be so much fun!” (Ayaka)

…New experiences, huh? Come to think of it, those days when I played with Ayaka every day were always so much fun.

When we found a new park, I would’ve built the big secret base first. When she got a new game, I would’ve bought the same one and mastered it. Silly as it may seem, I acted solely on the belief that I wanted to surprise Ayaka, and it was more fulfilling than what I am now.

…Ever since I stopped playing with Ayaka, my life became nothing more than going back and forth between home and school. Nowadays, the only difference is that school has been replaced by a part-time job… I can’t say this life is enjoyable.

……Could I, perhaps, step out of this boring lifestyle into a different world?

“Of course, you might have a lot of uncertainties and anxieties, but… Rui, you know I’ll be there for you, right?” (Ayaka)

“Huh…?” (Rui)

“I’m a super popular VTuber, after all!” (Ayaka)

And then, Ayaka deliberately struck a pose straight out of a girls’ anime. That pose… seemed to perfectly overlap with the shadow of Ayaka from her childhood.

“Haha… Ahahaha! … Yeah, that’s right. I have you. Maybe that’s my greatest talent.” (Rui)

“Eh, ehhhh!? Uh… isn’t that a bit exaggerated…?” (Ayaka)

“No, it’s not exaggerated at all. I can say that with confidence.” (Rui)

Then… blushing even more than before, Ayaka turned her back to me and buried her face in the cushion beside her.

“~~~! Ah, mouu, Rui, that’s cheating!” (Ayaka)

“What do you mean?” (Rui)

As I spoke, I got smacked in the face with the other cushion that was lying beside her.

“Ow!” (Rui)

“Well, whatever! As long as you’re convinced to become a VTuber. It’s all good, right?” (Ayaka)

“Hmm… Well, I guess that’s one way to put it?” (Rui)

“Fufu~ Alright, that settles it! I’ll let my manager know!” (Ayaka)

“M-Manager…? Wait, you have someone like that too!?” (Rui)

“Yep! If there’s anything I need to know, I usually contact my manager!” (Ayaka)

Do VTubers normally have a manager? Isn’t that basically just like a real celebrity?

“It’s like being a celebrity…” (Rui)

Fufufu~ Rui, you’re almost there! You’ll soon be one of those celebrities, you know?” (Ayaka)

“I’m starting to feel nervous…” (Rui)

“Don’t worry! Even someone like me is managing somehow!” (Ayaka)

With that, Ayaka patted my back. At that moment, I genuinely felt reassured by Ayaka.

“Yeah, okay. I’ll trust Ayaka’s words a bit more.” (Rui)

“Yeah, that’s the spirit! Rui should try to live a little more optimistically!” (Ayaka)

“Yeah, you’re right.” (Rui)

Ayaka smiles at my words. It’s a completely different expression from a few minutes ago.

“Alright~! Since we have time, should we do a collab stream today?” (Ayaka)

“No, let’s not.” (Rui)

“Aww, why not?” (Ayaka)

“I want to talk to you a bit more.” (Rui)

M-Mouu, when did Rui become such a smooth guy!?” (Ayaka)

“Eh, I wasn’t trying to be like that…” (Rui)

Was it strange for me to say that? I just meant I wanted to chat with her normally and while she’s not in VTuber mode… Well, Ayaka seemed happy, so I guess it’s fine.

… After that, Ayaka told me a lot about being a VTuber. Then, when I left, Ayaka’s mother gave me some potato salad to take home.


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

I knew exactly what Ayaka was about to do the moment she picked up her phone. A part of me doubted it and was like, nahh, she’s not gonna call her, they can’t just so happen to be that close to each other but I was wrong. Maybe Ayaka’s VTuber contact list is really as big as she makes it out to be.

Also, Ibuki now knows MC’s real name when he debuts.

You can see Ibuki’s VTuber model in the image below. I know the quality is crap, but it’s crap on my end too. She’s the twin-tailed black hair one above Rei.


Footnote:

  1.  None

CFVT – Vol 1 Chapter 1 Part 1 – My Childhood Friend Is a VTuber

──Three months ago.

I, Miyasaka Rui, had been severely shocked when I went up to the room of my childhood friend for the first time in years. Posters of a blue-haired, droopy-eyed beautiful girl character dressed like a magician were plastered all over the walls, and in front of the numerous monitors lined up, there was an expensive-looking microphone.

Nene~ what do you think? Cute, right?” (Ayaka)

The one boasting proudly and showing off various things in this room was Haneishi Ayaka. Ayaka was my childhood friend. She’s a bright and earnest girl characterized by her large brown eyes and reddish bob hair… Though, I had serious doubts about calling this nineteen-year-old childhood friend a girl.

But she was one of the few friends who understood my otaku hobbies and twisted personality. We used to play together every day, but since around the time we graduated from middle school, our interactions had dwindled to just occasional exchanges.

So, it had been quite a while since we last met and hung out like this… There were so many things to comment on that I didn’t even know where to start.

“No, Ayaka. What’s all this? With the microphone and everything… Did you become a Let’s Player or something?” (Rui)

“Hehe, it’s a bit different, Rui. I became a VTuber!” (Ayaka)

“A VTuber?” (Rui)

I’ve heard of VTubers before, but I don’t know much about them. Every now and then, I hear people talking about how big their live streams are or how much money they get from donations.

“Is it easy to become a VTuber?” (Rui)

“Yeah, in my case, I got accepted through an audition, and the management provided the necessities like character designs and stuff.” (Ayaka)

“When did all this happen… Wait, don’t tell me…” (Rui)

I once again looked at the posters of the beautiful girl character on the wall. Ayaka, looking satisfied, nodded enthusiastically.

“That’s right, I’m the person behind this character, Rei Azuril!” (Ayaka)

“…Ahaha! Seriously? You look nothing alike!” (Rui)

“Th-That’s natural, isn’t it!? I’m a VTuber!” (Ayaka)

I couldn’t tell if Ayaka was embarrassed or angry, but she said that to me with a red face. I know that they’re supposed to be a separate entity, but it was amusing how different the character’s hair color and appearance were compared to Ayaka. Well, I guess that’s the charm of VTubers—being able to become anything. Then, Ayaka changed the subject and made a proposal to me.

“More importantly, Rui, let’s play some games! That’s why I invited you.” (Ayaka)

“Oh, sounds good. It’s always more fun to play next to each other than online.” (Rui)

“Right, right? I’ll get everything ready, so just wait a bit!” (Ayaka)

With that, Ayaka sat in her pink gaming chair in front of the monitor and powered on her computer… Huh? Is she planning to play PC games too? No way, could it be…?

“Are you planning to stream?” (Rui)

“…Is that not okay?” (Ayaka)

“Of course, it isn’t okay. I didn’t come here to be part of a stream.” (Rui)

I came here to hang out with Ayaka, not to play with someone called ‘Rei’ or whatever. Besides, I only just found out she was a VTuber today… But Ayaka clasped her hands together, pleading with me.

“No, please, Rui! I told my viewers yesterday that I’d be streaming with an interesting friend!” (Ayaka)

“There you go again, doing whatever you want… In the first place, why me? If you’re a VTuber, you should play with other VTubers.” (Rui)

“Because I already talked about you on the stream! I bragged about having a super-skilled gamer friend!” (Ayaka)

“Seriously…?” (Rui)

…I had forgotten, but that’s just how she was. She genuinely admired my gaming skills and would praise me with her shining eyes. Being someone not used to compliments, I found it oddly satisfying, so, I secretly practiced tricks behind her back to show off to her… Ugh, my embarrassing past is coming back to haunt me.

“So please, Ruiii~! I’ve already set up the waiting room1!” (Ayaka)

“You went that far already… Let me see your channel.” (Rui)

“Oh, sure!” (Ayaka)

I stood behind Ayaka and looked at the monitor screen. On the famous video distribution website ‘Yootube’, I searched for the channel, ‘Rei Azuril’, and the subscriber count displayed was…

“403,000…!? You’re that popular!?” (Rui)

“I know, right? But the agency’s support played a big part, too.” (Ayaka)

“Still, those numbers are impressive… By the way, what agency are you affiliated with?” (Rui)

“Ah, I’m not sure if you know, but they’re called, [Sky Sunriver]…” (Ayaka)

“Huh, I’ve heard of that agency before!” (Rui)

Even someone like me, who’s not very familiar with VTubers, has heard of that agency. If I recall correctly, it’s an unusual VTuber agency that has both male and female talents, with over a hundred talents in total… It’s amazing that Ayaka is part of such a prestigious group.

And then Ayaka showed me the waiting room.

“Look, look! There are already over five hundred people waiting!” (Ayaka)

“E-Eh…” (Rui)

Even though the stream hasn’t started yet, the comments were flowing non-stop. What caught my eye was…

“What’s with all these ‘Waiting for Rei 👻’ messages? They’re making me nervous.” (Rui)

“Oh, that’s because my name is Rei, so they came up with waiting comments that include my name to spam!” (Ayaka)

“What the heck…” (Rui)

I still don’t really get the VTuber scene…

“So… It’s almost time for the stream to start. Please, Rui! Won’t you play with me on stream?” (Ayaka)

Once again, Ayaka clasped her hands together and pleaded with me… Well, it seems like there are a lot of viewers looking forward to it, and Ayaka seems to trust me enough to tell me she’s a VTuber. It feels a bit awkward to refuse here. So… maybe I can help out just a little bit?

“…Alright. But just this once, okay?” (Rui)

“Really…!? Thank you, Rui! Childhood friends are the best!” (Ayaka)

“Yeah, yeah…” (Rui)

And so, I sat on the round chair that was prepared next to Ayaka, watching her do her final preparations for the stream. Well, even though it’s a stream, I’ll just be playing like usual. And since it’s only going to be once, messing up shouldn’t be that bad… At least, that’s what I thought at that moment.

Of course, I never imagined that I would become a VTuber myself.

👻👻👻

“So, what should I call you? Calling you Ayaka wouldn’t be appropriate, right?” (Rui)

“Yeah, that’s right. Just call me Rei!” (Ayaka)

“Got it, Rei… Ugh, feels weird…” (Rui)

This is the first time I changed how I address her… I’m afraid that I might accidentally blurt out her real name. Just one slip-up and her name could be immortalized on the internet forever… That’s a really scary thought.

“Speaking of which, is it really okay for a guy to appear on a VTuber stream? There must be various settings and stuff, right? I don’t really get the full picture, but that’s what I heard.” (Rui)

“Don’t worry about that! I’ve already told everyone beforehand, and I’ve said that you’re a friend I met at magic school!” (Ayaka)

“Isn’t that making things more complicated?” (Rui)

I’ve never been to a magic school, though?… No, wait. She’s like that too, isn’t she? Ayaka should be attending a local university, not a magic school.

Well… VTubers are like characters in a theme park, giving people dreams. Arguing about what’s inside would probably be tasteless.

“I’ve already drawn your character just in case, so don’t worry about anything! Just go with the flow!” (Ayaka)

“That’s so casual…” (Rui)

As I said that, I looked at the drawing Ayaka made, which resembled a handsome character similar to Rei. Oh, right, she’s good at drawing, too… Of course, it doesn’t resemble me at all.

“Well, your character is just a drawing and won’t move… Oh! And can I call you Rui?” (Ayaka)

“I don’t mind, but…” (Rui)

Since it’s just this once, using my real name shouldn’t be a problem. Besides, my name sounds a bit like it’s from an anime… Wait, why am I worrying about fitting into the setting?

“Alright, let’s start the stream!” (Ayaka)

With that, Ayaka pressed a button or something to start the stream, and she raised the tone of her voice and spoke into the microphone.

👻👻👻

“Hihi, good afternoon everyone! It’s Rei Azuril, the dark magician!” (Rei)

As Ayaka spoke, comments like “KonRei2~!” began to flood the chat. It’s a bit overwhelming… Is this how all VTubers are?

“So today is a special day…I finally invited my friend to join us! Let me introduce him… Rui! Come over here!” (Rei)

Seeing Ayaka beckoning me, I approached the microphone and, despite my confusion, managed to say something.

“H-Hello, I’m Rui. Uh, Rei… suddenly called me over, so I don’t really know what’s going on but nice to meet you.” (Rui)

The comments upon hearing my voice were filled with things like “The rumored person has finally arrived!” or “Newbie-san is here!” or even “Rei, you can go home now.” Well, I guess these are just compliments, but it’s somewhat reassuring to know that I’m somewhat welcomed.

…But isn’t Rei getting teased by the viewers quite a bit? With such a cute appearance, why is she being treated like a joke? Well, if they know the real Ayaka then, this won’t seem that weird…

“All right, let’s get into the game, Rui!” (Rei)

“Sure, but what are we playing?” (Rui)

“Ta-da! We’re playing [Marimo Kart]!” (Rei)

Ayaka’s words sparked excitement in the comments.

Comment: [Woahhhhh!!]

Comment: [Here it issss!!]

Comment: [Rei’s racing!]

Comment: [Aww, that’s -1 friend.]

Comment: [lol]

“…Why’s the chat so excited? What’s going on?” (Rui)

Fufufu, I guess there’s no point in hiding it anymore… That’s right! I’ve been practicing time attacks recently! I’ve been training with the Rei Boys to get better!” (Rei)

“Rei Boys?” (Rui)

“That’s what I call my viewers! And the girls are called Rei Girls!” (Rei)

“Huh…” (Rui)

I’m not particularly interested, but I guess that’s a streamer and viewer thing… I secretly find it a bit cringy.

Comment: [Looks like Rui-kun isn’t interested, lol.]

Seems like the viewers noticed.

And Ayaka launched the game, moving us to the character selection screen… I don’t think I need to explain, but [Marimo Kart] (hereafter referred to as [Mari-Ka]) is a racing game with relatively strong party game elements, where you can use items during the race.

Well, even though it’s considered a party game, it seems like there are regular tournaments held for it. If you get serious, it’s actually quite a deep game.

“All right, I’m going to use [Maripio]!” (Rei)

Ayaka selected a lightweight Marimo character and chose a vehicle with wings on both sides. Come to think of it, Ayaka has always liked this character, hasn’t she…?

“Then I’ll go with [Mariji].” (Rui)

On the other hand, I selected a heavyweight character with long legs. And of course, I picked a vehicle with flowers on it.

Comment: [Huh?]

Comment: [Oh!]

Comment: [Ah…]

Comment: [Ah… (I see.)]

Comment: [The mood changed.]

Comment: [Well, Rei’s probably going to win. I’m going to go take a bath.]

Seems like some of the perceptive viewers have noticed it.

“Oh, Rui, do you like that character too? When I play with the Rei Boys, a lot of people picked that character!” (Rei)

“Oh, is that so?” (Rui)

I casually responded, but… she doesn’t know, even though she’s so into the game…? As of right now, this character and vehicle combination is considered the strongest…

Comment: [I bet 30,000 Pelica on Rui-kun!]

Comment: [Idiot, Rei’s good at this! Betting on the Marimo is a sure win!]

Comment: [But Rei’s better than most people, so I’m looking forward to it.]

…Well, I guess it’s normal for her to not get it given the nature of this comment section…?

“Then let’s go! Of course, no CPUs, it’s just you and me!” (Rei)

“Yeah, got it…” (Rui)

…Wait, no! Her gaze has been fixed on the game screen the whole time, so she’s hardly reading the comments at all! Shouldn’t a streamer be reading the comments too!?

“What course should we choose?” (Rei)

“Ah… you can decide on everything, Rei.” (Rui)

“All right, you said it yourself~! Don’t regret it, okay~!” (Rei)

Comment: [Cute.]

Comment: [Cute.]

Comment: [Probably gonna lose immediately.]

I wonder if this side of her is what the viewers like…?

Then for the course, let’s go with… Mario’s MariMall3~!” (Rei)

“Are you sure about that?” (Rui)

Comment: [Clip saved.]

Comment: [Can someone make a durability meter for earlier?4]

Comment: [Cute.]

Comment: [Unexpectedly got moe.]

Well… if Ayaka is loved for all that, I guess I’m a little happy too. With those thoughts in mind, I started tapping away at the familiar controller.

👻👻👻

──And so we played several races. The result? All wins… for me.

“What—! I lost again?!” (Rei)

With a voice not much different from her usual self, Ayaka expresses her frustration. Thanks to Ayaka setting up these one-on-one matches, the difference in skill between us became quite evident.

Comment: [Rei’s getting bullied lol.]

Comment: [As expected, isn’t Rui too good? A pro?]

Comment: [To be honest, even those guys making fun of Rei probably couldn’t win by such a huge margin lol]

Reading the comments, I couldn’t help but feel good. Ah, so streaming could be this fun… Well, maybe it’s only fun cause I beat Ayaka.

Comment: [Why doesn’t Rui stream even though he’s good?]

While the next course was loading, I spotted a nice comment, so I decided to address it.

“Why don’t I stream? Well, simply put, I just don’t know how.” (Rui)

I think that’s mostly the reason why skilled gamers don’t upload videos. I mean, I have no clue about equipment or editing… Even if I knew how, I don’t have the money or time to gather all that stuff.

Comment: [Ehh, what a waste]

Comment: [We’d support you if you started]

Comment: [Why not learn from Rei?]

Well, I guess I could learn from Ayaka, but… it’s not like I’m aiming to become a streamer or anything.

“Eh? If you want to stream, I could teach you, but… Oh no, I can’t do that! Rui would end up stealing all the love from my dear Rei Girls…!!” (Rei)

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [Are the Rei Boys okay with that?]

Wow, that’s getting a pretty nice reaction from the viewers. Well, Ayaka can really say some funny stuff sometimes… With that in mind, I aimed my green shell (throwing item) at Ayaka’s Maripio, which was behind me.

“KYAAAA───────!!” (Rei)

“Noisy.” (Rui)

Comment: [Shut up!!]

Comment: [My eardrums are going to burst!]

Comment: [I think my computer sounds broke.]

Comment: [Volume warning!]

Comment: [lol]

After her scream, Ayaka rapidly pressed the home button on her controller to pause the game… and then started a different game.

“Fufufufu… That was just for fun, Rui…!! When I get serious, you’ll be no match for me, you know…!?” (Rei)

Comment: [Here it comes!!]

Comment: [Dark Rei’s here!!]

Comment: [First time seeing it live, amazing]

Comment: [This is definitely going to be clipped lol]

The comments are blowing up again, what happened this time…?

“Rei, why are the comments getting excited?” (Rui)

“Ah, well, that’s because I transformed into Dark Rei…” (Rei)

“Huh? But nothing changed…? Your appearance and everything still looks the same.” (Rui)

“No, t-that’s not what I meant…?” (Rei)

Comment: [She needs to explain LOL]

Comment: [I’m getting second-hand embarrassment.]

Comment: [Please stop it!]

Comment: [Somewhere along the way, it turned into SmashFy lol]

As I read through the comments and glanced back at the game screen, I saw the title screen of the popular fighting game, [Smash Fighters] (hereafter referred to as [SmashFy]) displayed there.

This game probably doesn’t need much explanation either, but [SmashFy] is a fun platform fighting game where various characters duke it out, and it’s incredibly popular. It’s loved not only by casual players but also by competitive gamers.

“Alright, this time it’s for real! I’ve practiced this like crazy, you know! I’m the strongest in [SmashFy] at magic school right now!!” (Rei)

“Oh, really…” (Rui)

No matter how much she’s getting thrashed by me, she hasn’t forgotten her persona. Surprisingly, she’s quite diligent about these things… And, once again, she selects the rules and we move to the character selection screen.

“Alright, let’s do this! The character I’m using is… [Atsuya]!!” (Rei)

Comment: [lol]

Comment: [Oh, here we go]

Comment: [No mercy, huh, Rei]

Comment: [You should use the mage character lmao]

Just by choosing her character, Ayaka gets the comments going wild… By the way, the character she selected, [Atsuya], is a hard-hitting fighter from a fighting game background, capable of pulling off instant death combos, making him a vicious character that gathers a lot of hate… But man, she’s not thinking about anything other than beating me.

Well, that’s fine, I guess. But as a VTuber character, shouldn’t she be using a cuter fighter? Is that just me meddling unnecessarily?

“Alright, then me too.” (Rui)

To match her, I also chose [Atsuya].

“Oh, same character choice… The advantage of picking last!” (Rei)

“Even if I were to go first, it’s not like you know how to use my main character anyways.” (Rui)

“…Alright, let’s go~! Ready~ Fighto~!!” (Rei)

“Don’t mess around.” (Rui)

And then Ayaka pressed the start button, initiating the battle. It seemed that Ayaka had already selected the stage beforehand, as a flat stage called [Omega] with no obstacles appeared.

Comment: [Omega fanboys are hereeeee]

Comment: [Isn’t this basically a different game now?]

Comment: [Just play the original]

Comment: [Mirror match in Omega is intense]

“Let’s go!” (Rei)

At the start of the match, Ayaka’s [Atsuya] began to approach me… but I already executed a special command, performing an invincible maneuver that nullified her attack.

“Ehhh!?” (Rei)

And I grabbed [Atsuya], executing a technique called [Fastest Freezing Fist], freezing the opponent. While they were frozen, I slammed them to the ground, then used a [Freeze] technique again to stop their movement.

“Ehh, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minuteee!!” (Rei)

I calmly repeated the combo, accumulating enough damage… 

“Take this!” (Rui)

With a powerful uppercut, my [Atsuya] struck the opponent, turning them into stars as they disappeared.

Comment: [Too good lol]

Comment: [This is perfect, I’m dying]

Comment: [You must have practiced a lot]

Comment: [Getting rekt lol]

“Hey, isn’t this a bit too much, Rei!?” (Rei)

“Ahahaha!” (Rui)

Seeing how smoothly the game went, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Comment: [That wicked laugh though]

Comment: [Looks like his tension’s easing up lol]

Comment: [Did Rui-kun fall into the dark side?]

Comment: [Rei’s being bullied again]

“Mrghh! Next time I’ll… wait, ah!?” (Rei)

“It’s too obvious.” (Rui)

“Ah… s-stop it!” (Rei)

And as [Atsuya] respawned, I grabbed him again, executing another flawless instant-death combo… Apparently, this was the moment when the comments were most excited.

👻👻👻

After that, we battled several times. Since the outcome was again all in my favor, I was handicapped.

“Haah… Next, no traps, no instant deaths, no [Atsuya], and all the items are mine, right…?” (Rei)

“How much do you want to win?” (Rui)

Comment: [Is this one of those times when it won’t end until Rei wins?]

Comment: [Seems like it’ll continue until morning.]

Comment: [Is this considered an endurance stream?]

While it’s fine to continue the stream like this indefinitely, it’s already been two hours… Considering the viewers, it’s probably a good time to wrap things up.

“Rei, let’s make this the last one. No crying, okay?” (Rui)

“Got it… I’ll definitely win and end it once and for all, you hear me…!?” (Rei)

Ayaka, who was apparently still in Dark Rei mode, chose her character while talking in a weird way. As usual, her character was [Atsuya]. With [Atsuya] banned for me, I selected the bird character, [Rumbal], known for its high jump ability… Well, since she can use items, Ayaka might have a chance to win.

The stage was still Omega. As soon as the signal for the match to start sounded, Ayaka’s [Atsuya] rushed towards my [Rumbal].

“Take this! Eat my dash attack!!” (Rei)

“It’s a bit too obvious.” (Rui)

I perfectly guarded the kick, grabbed [Atsuya], launched him into the air… and executed a juggling combo.

“Daah—! No combos!!” (Rei)

“That’s unreasonable.” (Rui)

Comment: [Didn’t want to see Rei like this.]

Comment: [Rui-kun is too calm, it’s hilarious.]

Comment: [No combos in a fighting game lol.]

During [Rumbal]’s combo, Ayaka saw a summoned item drop and shouted.

“The item is mine, right?” (Rei)

“…” (Rui)

“The item is mine, right!?” (Rei)

“I heard you the first time.” (Rui)

Laughing at this familiar exchange, I finished my combo, taking one of Ayaka’s life without taking any damage.

“Ugh… Next, no combos, okay…!?” (Rei)

Saying this, Ayaka’s [Atsuya] descended from the respawn platform and slowly went to pick up the summoning item… but, of course, this item had a flaw. It required a fixed period of time to summon a helper character, during which the player was defenseless and couldn’t cancel the action. This meant it could be exploited like this.

“…Now’s the time.” (Rui)

While [Atsuya] was holding up the summoning item, I fired a series of blaster shots from a distance. [Atsuya] flinched for a moment and then resumed the summoning motion. The next blaster hit again, making [Atsuya] flinch and unable to move. He tried to summon the item again… and so the loop continued.

“Wh-Wh-Wh-What!? Rui! You tricked mee!!” (Rei)

“If Rei hadn’t picked up the item, this wouldn’t have happened.” (Rui)

“H-H-How do I get out of this!?” (Rei)

“You could pray that my B button stops working.” (Rui)

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [This is hilarious]

Comment: [lmao]

Well, if I kept using the blaster, I could win by time-out… but I didn’t want to drag things out that much. Once [Atsuya] had taken a decent amount of damage, I decided to release him.

“Ah, I finally got out! I did it!” (Rei)

She seemed to think that she somehow escaped on her own… well, I’ll just keep quiet about it.

“Now then… time to start my counterattack. Summon!” (Rei)

With no more interruptions, [Atsuya] managed to summon successfully. The character that emerged from the summoning item was… the psychopathic chef, [Yamazaki].

“Go, [Yamazaki]!! Devour everything!” (Rei)

“Isn’t he supposed to be the one cooking?” (Rui)

While making a calm retort, I continued to dodge the plates [Yamazaki] threw.

“Ahahaha! With this barrage, you can’t get close to me, right?” (Rei)

Ayaka, attacking together with [Yamazaki], came at me, but her approach was still lacking. I used [Rumbal]’s special move, [Reflect].

As you can guess, this move bounces back the opponent’s projectiles, which means [Yamazaki]’s plates would reflect back with increased damage… you can imagine what happens next.

“…Eh, KYAAAAA──!!” (Rei)

Unable to react to the suddenly reflected plates, they hit Ayaka’s [Atsuya]. With the accumulated damage, [Atsuya] was launched off the stage with incredible force… then, the words “Game Set” appeared in the center of the screen.

Comment: [The transition was so smooth]

Comment: [lol]

Comment: [This is already art.]

Comment: [I laughed so hard I cried.]

Comment: [LOLOLOLOL]

Comment: [This stream is amazing.]

“…?” (Rei)

“…Rei?” (Rui)

With her body trembling all over, I cautiously called out to Ayaka… Then, Ayaka screamed at the top of her lungs like never before.

“……Uuaaahhhh────!! Ah, that’s it for today’s stream! I’ll read the Superchats5 next time! See you later, Rei Girls!!” (Rei)

Comment: [Nice]

Comment: [Good job, Rei]

Comment: [Good work, Rei]

Comment: [LOL]

Comment: [Don’t forget Rei Boys]

Comment: [Seriously, this stream was something else.]

Comment: [That was so much fun!]

After a short pause, Ayaka clicked the button to end the stream.

“Hey… is it over?” (Rui)

“……” (Ayaka)

Ayaka nodded silently… Uh-oh. Did I go too far after all? I thought she needed the content, so I overextended a bit. Maybe that was unnecessary… As I was reflecting on this internally, Ayaka firmly grabbed my shoulder. Then, with an innocent smile, she said:

“That was seriously… the best, Rui!” (Ayaka)

“……….Eh?” (Rui)


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

For the last half, I thought they were playing a fighting game like street fighter but apparently they were playing a platform fighting game like Super Smash Bros. It only clicked to me after it was mentioned that Ayaka’s character launched off the map. You can probably tell I don’t play either game.

Btw, chat is referred to as ‘comment’ in Japanese, so whenever you see that word during a streaming part of the story, it refers to live chat.


Footnote:

  1.  Place where viewers wait for the stream to start.
  2. I guess its “Konnichiwa (Good afternoon)” + “Rei”.
  3. Idk how to translate it, but imagine her saying this like how doraemon does.
  4. Too far out of my understanding to know what this is. Maybe it’s supposed to be endurance? But I have no idea what’s an endurance meter.
  5. Donation for paid messages during stream.
| ToC |
Character List (might contain spoilers)