A few days after playing GPEX with Aoyama.
I remembered the events of that day for the first time in a while. Immediately after the incident, I felt resentment, anger, and fear toward Aoyama.
But time is a panacea, it seems. I won’t say that my resentment has disappeared over the past two years, but I no longer feel anger or the urge to commit murder when I come in contact with Aoyama. Besides, she and I seem to be on the same wavelength. It was fun to play games with her.
The only thing that puzzles me is that apology chat on discordo. I don’t understand why she apologized to me after I changed school.
……Well, it is useless to think about it.
I’ve been playing GEPX at home a lot since then. Basically solo, but sometimes I fight in a duo with Mahiro. It’s been a while since I’ve played and my passion has returned.
“Well, it was very close yesterday.”
“We almost won the championship. Mahiro’s getting pretty good.”
“I think I’m growing up a little myself.”
Mahiro’s skill has definitely improved. He has always had good instincts, and if he continues at this rate, he will definitely become better than me.
After talking for a while about last night’s fierce battle.
“……Remember when I told you that I had a favorite streamer?”
“After all that forceful argument.”
“This is a secret, but that person is actually Aoyama-san.”
I knew it, though.
Just the way you talk about it.
“I noticed it on the way too. That [Aomi] is Aoyama. I was surprised when I saw the account. Did you know from the beginning?”
“Yes. She’s a streamer because she’s well known as a member of the Blue faction.”
“Heeh…… the blue faction?”
“Oh, I didn’t explain the factions. Each goddess has her own faction. Factions are created by fans of each goddess. They exchange information.”
In short, it’s a fan club.
“…..I’m grateful to Shota.”
“What’s up with you all of a sudden?”
“It’s thanks to Shota that Aoyama-san and I were able to play GPEX.”
“What do you mean?”
I don’t recall doing anything special.
Aoyama just talked to me on her own. I would have never wanted to get close to her, but she approached me on her own.
But even thinking back on it now, it was very forceful. We were just talking in the classroom, and suddenly she started talking to us. If we were in the same class, it would have been fine, but she came to us from another class. She had always been pushy, but never this pushy.
“I told you about last year’s Contest, remember?”
“Goddess tied for first place, right?”
“The goddesses are looking to become the sole goddesses next time around.”
“That’s usually what you’d expect ……So that’s how it is.”
I finally understood.
Akazawa and Aoyama will be on the lookout for me. From their point of view, they want my vote as a transfer student. They may be trying to improve their image by showing that they are nice to transfer students.
The current sophomores and juniors have probably already decided to some extent where they will vote. They have lived with the goddess for the last year, so they should know her personality. There may be some guesswork, but not that many.
So the focus here will be on the first-year students and me, the transfer student.
“Wouldn’t it be faster to talk to the first-year students than to me?”
“I’ve been doing it for a long time. To begin with, quite a few of this year’s first-year students know about [the four colored goddess] even before they enter the school. Tenkain’s “god system” is well-known around here. I think all the students in the neighboring junior high schools know about it.”
I didn’t know that when I was in middle school.
No, come to think of it, maybe some of the guys around me were talking about the Goddess. I guess I just didn’t know because I hadn’t talked to anyone since the middle of my sophomore year.
The freshmen already know who they are going to vote for to a certain extent.
“I think they actually did a survey of the freshmen in secret.”
“They went there before Shota transferred to this school. I found out who they would vote for at this stage, and it looks like it was nicely dispersed. Well, that survey was only for the current goddesses, so it’s just for reference.”
“……So there could be a new goddess from first year till third year?”
“It’s possible. Especially since there seem to be so many pretty and talented first-years.”
Is it because of a sense of crisis that these demons greedily want my vote?
If that’s the case, Aoyama’s forceful invitation is understandable. I don’t want to get close to her, so it’s a big nuisance for me.
“So I feel bad for taking advantage of Shota.”
“You’re not taking advantage of me. She just interrupted the conversation on her own.”
“So, Mahiro is in the Blue faction?”
“……. Always have been.”
“Let me ask you why you are pushing for blue when there is a red goddess in our class.”
There is a red goddess in this class. I assume that most of my classmates are in favor of Akazawa, but I was curious as to why they are in favor of Aoyama in such a situation.
To the question, Mahiro looks at the classroom and then brings his face close to mine.
“Aoyama-san used to be on the track team before she got injured.”
“Heh, just as I imagined.”
“I found the sight of her running very attractive. I guess you could say I’ve been somewhat attracted to her since then. It’s hard to say, but I think it was a kind of admiration. When I saw her, I instantly fell in love with her.”
I understand the feeling. The way that girl ran was beautiful. I couldn’t help but admire it. What I especially liked was her smile, which was filled with a sense of fulfillment after she finished running.
If it weren’t for her shitty personality, I would be cheering for Mahiro’s love, but knowing her true nature, it is difficult to decide whether I should stop him.
“You’re not going to confess?”
“Heh? No, …… I’m not good enough for her.”
“You mean you’re too low-class?”
“No, it’s not. If it’s me and Aoyama-san it’s–“
Mahiro stared at the classroom door and stopped speaking.
It was Aoyama. She came into the classroom waving her hand at us, and after taking one look at Akazawa, who was chatting with a group of students, she came toward us.
“Good morning. Nijitani, Nazuka.”
“Good morning, Aoyama-san.”
As I returned the greeting, Aoyama showed me the screen of her smartphone.
On the screen was information about a new weapon being implemented in GPEX. It looks like some summary site or strategy site.
“It seems to be some kind of summary site or strategy site. So we’ll do it again with the trio after the update. I’m free this Saturday and Sunday.”
“No, I’d rather not–“
“Nijitani said you’d play with me once in a while, right?”
I was just having fun playing GPEX at the time and made a random promise. As usual, I am an opportunistic idiot who never thinks about the future.
“I can’t answer your question until I check my agenda……. If I can’t, then you and Mahiro can duo.”
“No duo. We have prior agreements.”
A prior agreements huh.
I didn’t ask further.
“I mean, from now on, let’s form a trio team and have fun. I think we can have a lot of fun if we work together. I’d like to participate in competitions. What do you think?”
I glance at Mahiro.
He was fidgeting. It was like he wanted to take me up on the offer, but he couldn’t nod his head without my approval.
I want to reject the offer. I want to break the promise I’d made the other day when I got carried away or something.
But I also want to bring my friend closer to my guess. I am indebted to Mahiro. At first I thought it would be good if I could get some information out of him from junior high school, but now he is an important friend.
Besides. Playing GPEX with Aoyama was nostalgic and …… wasn’t so bad when I thought back on it again.
“I’m all for it, but what about you, Shota?”
I had no choice. Mahiro is my friend. I had no choice but to fulfill my friend’s desire to be friends with Aoyama.
I made excuses to myself.
“….. I said it would depend on Mahiro’s reply. But I can’t do it every day.”
Aoyama’s bouncy smile was as full and content as the post-run smile she once fawned over–a smile that was so much more than a smile after a run.
It was as if she was a real goddess.