That day, a few days after the tournament, I was at a family restaurant.
Tension was low. I felt a slight desire to kill Aoyama, who was smiling in front of me, and Mahiro, who was smiling right beside me.
“Calm down, you’ve got to get yourself in a better mood.”
“….You set me up”
“But Shota is pretty simple. You are not so much a good person as a gullible one.”
“You’re so noisy.”
I was called by Mahiro. He called me on my phone for a consultation. When I finally arrived at the family restaurant, Aoyama was there too.
The fact that he had something to discuss with me was a complete lie. Apparently, Mahiro and Aoyama were planning a party to celebrate the conclusion of the recent tournament, and in order to invite me, he asked me to consult with me. I’m not the type of person to be fooled, but when a friend says, “I need to talk to you about something,” I usually think it’s something pretty serious.
“It can’t be helped. Shota hasn’t even been connected to the discordo since that day.”
“I apologize for lying to you, but isn’t it terrible that I haven’t heard anything from my comrades-in-arms?”
I guess he has a point there.
I’ve been somewhat out of it since that tournament.
I haven’t played GPEX since then. I don’t mean to sound like a burnout, but I felt like I didn’t need to touch it for a while. That’s why I hadn’t connected to the discordo either.
“Now now, let’s just leave it at that.”
Aoyama interrupts forcefully.
“Well, now the players are all here. Thank you again for your hard work.”
“Thanks for all your hard work.”
“Good job, …….”
We toast with drinks. I join in the toast, since I’ve come all this way.
“The competition was a lot of fun, wasn’t it!”
Mahiro nodded at Aoyama’s words.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that we made it all happen,”
“I know, right? I was so proud of myself for pushing so hard.”
“The last game had my hands sweating.””
“There seemed to be a lot of people who felt the same way. Since then, more and more people have been coming to the site to watch the video. It kept my motivation high.”
She says that her success in the recent tournament has increased her viewership.
When I glanced at it last night, I saw that both ties and registrations had increased. It seems to have had quite an effect. In the comments, many viewers said that my play style, which has a habit of suicide attacks, was interesting. In particular, the last suicide attack was a new experience for viewers, as it was not Aoyama’s usual style of play.
“Eh, Aoyama-san, are you going to collaborate with someone next time?”
I was thinking of trying …… since someone invited me.”
“Is everything okay? I heard you don’t do collaborations or anything like that.”
Aoyama also mentioned that she had received invitations to collaborate with people she had fought in competitions with.
The streamer [Aomi] has never collaborated with other streamers before. What kind of winds are blowing?
“I’ve grown up. I’m not a closed party like I used to be, but I’m going to be more popular from now on. You know, networking is important.”
“By the way, who is your collaborator?”
“She’s from that Vtuber group. We’re going to the battlefield next time as a trio.”
It seems that a friendship has developed between rivals who have been competing against each other in competitions. I asked her about it, and she told me that they were already communicating via discordo. They are close in age and hit it off.
We talked for a while, reflecting on the match.
I was brought here by trickery, so I was not excited at first, but as we talked, the excitement and emotion of that time came back to me. Indeed, the tension of the last match was great. I remember that I was still very excited after the tournament, and my eyes were strangely clear that night.
“If there is a next time, I want to win the overall championship this time, you know?”
“Yeah. We need to improve our skills too. Right, Shota?”
“…… if there’s a next time.”
The talk of the tournament is over, and we move on to chatting over dinner.
The topic of conversation turned to summer vacation, as is typical for students.
I had already finished my homework, but the two of them apparently hadn’t gotten around to it yet. It seemed that both of them had been playing games all day until the convention.
“Speaking of which, what are your plans for the rest of the summer?”
“I don’t think my side will change. I do my homework, play games, and then sleep. That’s what I’ve been doing up until now, and I don’t think it will change until the summer vacation is over.”
“Nazuka must be living a lonely, non-real life.”
“What about you, …… Aoyama-san?”
“I guess I’ll do my homework, stream, and sleep the rest of the night.”
Aren’t you the same?
“I forgot. There was a summer festival.”
Mahiro mumbled as if remembering.
“Is the summer festival that fireworks show?”
“Yes, I’m supposed to go with some people from our class.”
“Heh,……the people in your class?”
“It’s like getting together with quite a few people.”
“…… does that mean, Akazawa is going too?”
“She is going. Or rather, she and Nekoda-san planned it.”
Immediately, Aoyama’s expression clouded.
Aoyama and Akazawa are apparently not getting along very well. Aoyama had been in a pretty good mood since the tournament, but to think that she was in this kind of mood just because her name was mentioned.
After looking down as if thinking, she turned her head toward me.
“You’re not going, are you Nijitani?”
“Shota’s going too.”
“Eh …… Really?”
What’s with that surprised look on your face?
Even I am cooperative. I don’t have the mentality to refuse an invitation from a few of my classmates in the classroom. I don’t know if they have plans near the summer festival before the summer break starts, and in that situation, I would have no choice but to answer that I would participate in the festival.
“There is such a thing as socializing.”
“….I see. It’s important to keep up with friends and classmates, right?”
That’s right. If anyone can refuse to go there, I’d love to see it.
“Aren’t you going, Aoyama-san?”
“I was invited, but there were too many people, so I decided to pass. Many people in my class weren’t interested, and I had to stream. Besides, many of my viewers don’t like summer festivals.”
It’s not easy being a popular streamer.
“But if you two are going, I want to be there too. When’s the date?”
Aoyama then looked up the date, but decided against it because it seemed that the collaboration was on that day.
The topic of conversation changed two or three times. We talked about such things as the discovery of a passionate love affair between an actor and a news report of an idol having an affair.
Time passed and we were about to split up.
“Hey, Nijitani bought a smartphone, right?”
“Can you give me your contact information, too?”
I had secretly told Mahiro when Aoyama was not around, so Aoyama did not know I had purchased a smartphone. Apparently, she found out when he called me up earlier.
There was no reason for me to refuse. In fact, if I refused under the circumstances, the atmosphere would be too bad. Incidentally, Mahiro, who is standing next to me, has already exchanged contact information with Aoyama.
So I exchanged contact information with Aoyama.
“……It’s basically discordo”
“I know. Then, let’s play games together again. I’m always logging in during summer vacation, so if you feel like playing, just give me a call.”
Then we split up.
I left the store and got on my bike. Just before I left, I remembered something.
…… come to think of it, wasn’t Nekoda in that restaurant?
I peeked inside the restaurant while straddling my bicycle and saw that Nekoda was working properly. However,her expression was clearly not cheerful and very clouded.