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:

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Dungeonanon

This series is cute so far. Thanks for translating it!

Ajax Von Evan

。:゚૮ ˶ˆ ﻌ ˆ˶ ა ゚:。 🗞️