The season has arrived in May.
About two weeks have passed since I changed schools.
The only thing that happened during that time was Golden Week.
During the Golden Week, I spent most of the time lounging around at home. Partly because I’m a reluctant traveler, but also because I was told that I needed to spend time with my family, so I spent the time getting to know them better.
After the golden vacations dawned, the days passed peacefully.
As a transfer student, I was immediately noticed, and for some reason I was considered a hero for repairing the relationship between Akazawa and Nekoda. Thanks to that, I was able to blend in with the class. Since then, the atmosphere in the classroom has been good.
I almost forgot the reality that these demons existed in the same school.
Akazawa seemed to be hiding her true colors and was in an idle mood. There is no movement behind the scenes at the moment, and it seems that Akazawa has washed her hands of the harassment she inflicted on Mukawa-kun in the past. If that’s the case, there’s nothing more I can say to her.
On that day—-
I was talking with Mahiro as usual.
It wasn’t about my future goals or anything lofty like that, it was about the latest idols and manga, in short, just small talk.
“Do you play games, Shota?”
” Once in a while, I suppose. Not that much now.”
“Neither do I, but I’ve recently started playing GPEX.”
GPEX is a FPS that has been very popular for a few years now. It is so-called “Battle royal” type, and you fight to be the last pair.
It’s a title I have a bit of a history with.
I haven’t played it since I moved to the countryside, but I used to play it every day after school. The game can be enjoyed on a variety of hardware, but at the time I was playing it on a computer my uncle gave me.
“I used to play it too.”
“I was in junior high school, though, and I only played for about six months.”
Right after the launch of the game, I started playing it. It was the first FPS I had ever touched in my life, so I was terrible at first. But after playing every day for six months, I was able to fight a little.
“Can you teach me sometime?”
“Unfortunately, I’m not good enough to teach you.”
“I’m sure you’re better than me, a beginner.”
“I think we’re about the same. My skills are probably not as good as they used to be, and I’m not very good at teaching. There’s a lot of dead skill.”
At that time, I was into GPEX, but I wasn’t very good at it. I didn’t have a punchline that said I was actually a professional gamer. I was able to win a few times on a whim, but only when I was on a roll.
Now, I have two years of gap in my skill. I don’t think I’m good enough to teach others.
Besides, when I hear the word “GPEX,” I can’t help but think of something certain.
The reason why I started this game, and the reason why I was able to continue playing it, was because of the existence of the Blue Devil. And it was because of that demon that I decided to never play this game again.
“But why all the sudden?”
“It all began with a streamer.”
“That’s strange. That’s how I got my start.”
“That’s really strange.”
Although my favorite streamer had already retired.
It was with a sense of nostalgia that Mahiro and I began to talk about GPEX.
I heard that weapons and maps have changed between now and then, and many characters have been added. I hadn’t been following the information, so it felt fresh.
Back then, another title was popular and GPEX didn’t attract that much attention at first. Gradually, it attracted professionals and streamers became popular.
It was common knowledge at the time, but Mahiro, who didn’t know about it, was surprised.
I, on the other hand, was surprised by the new information.
“That weapon got nerfed?”
“A while ago. It had a huge impact.”
“Really? It used to be my must-have gun when I picked it up.”
“Now I only carry it when I’m playing for fun. A pro used to play with that weapon and was in despair.”
“…… Sounds like another tough job.”
“A Vtuber with a lady’s character still does that crazy stuff sometimes.”
“That doesn’t sound like something a lady would do.”
When we were talking about GPEX.
“Hey, do you guys play GPEX too?”
I looked up and saw her presence in my field of vision.
As soon as I did, an unpleasant sweat flowed down my back.
“I’m sorry for entering the conversation without permission. I’m in the next class, my name is Umi Aoyama.”
The girl who is called the blue goddess.
I’ll never forget her face. There was no way I was going to forget her face. She was my ex-best friend, the girl who betrayed me and then pushed me down the stairs and hurt me severely.
Aoyama, who had entered the conversation, seemed eager to talk and sat down on Nekoda’s seat.
The others in the class were flustered by the sudden arrival of the blue goddess.
“It’s been a while. You’re Natsuka-kun from the same junior high school, right?”
Mahiro and Aoyama were in the same junior high school.
From the looks of it, it looks like they’ve never been in the same class before.
……Mahiro is strangely nervous.
We hadn’t been getting to know each other that long yet, but I had a vague idea of his personality. I thought he was the type of person who wouldn’t get nervous with anyone. In fact, he interacted with Akazawa, the other goddess, no differently than the rest of us.
“I believe you’re the transfer student…….”
“Yes, that’s right. You must be Shota Nijitani. Nice to meet you.”
The first time I saw Aoyama in two years, she had become surprisingly feminine.
At that time, she was not only active but also a masculine woman. I thought she was becoming more feminine in middle school, but now she is a normal girl.
In addition, she is a beautiful girl.
A girl with a dazzling ponytail, which could be called her trademark. Her body, which has been toned from playing sports since she was a child, gives her a very refreshing impression. She is just as popular as Akazawa.
“So you were talking about GPEX, right?”
“I love GPEX too. Would you like to play it with me sometime?”
Mahiro looks at me, flustered.
“It’s really fun to play with a voicechat. If you don’t want to talk to me, you don’t have to join the voicechat. I’ll tell you what to do. But personally, I think it’s fun to play while talking about this and that. Playing with others is more fun, you know. So, what do you think?”
Aoyama approached Mahiro, who for some reason was in a panic.
“Whenever you can. Don’t wanna?”
“U-uhm you see”
Hey Mahiro, don’t give me that look.
I’ve been talking about GPEX, but I haven’t said I’m coming back.
Besides, playing with Aoyama again would be hell for me. I have no intention of playing with this girl.
“I’m actually a beginner. I’ve just started.”
“Oh, a beginner. Then I’ll give you a taste of your first win.”
“……Let’s add Shota, who has experience, to the trio.”
“Really!? Then it’s decided.”
Hey, wait a minute.
I didn’t say I’d do it.
“Thanks. It’s been a long time since I played with people from school, so I’m looking forward to it!”
The decision was made before I had a chance to express my dissatisfaction.
I stared at Mahiro, but he wasn’t looking at me. He only smiled awkwardly with his face dyed red.
“Now then, about the date and time…”
It was then. Akazawa approached me.
Wait, wait a minute.
Please don’t let the blue and red demons attack in coordination here.
As I watched Akazawa approaching, Aoyama seemed to notice and turned her gaze to Akazawa. And then she clicked her tongue with a simple “Tsk.”
Aoyama left with a smile and took off at a run.
Did she click her tongue?
Aoyama left, though I was not sure. I thought Akazawa was approaching us, but she reversed her course and went back. It was an incomprehensible behavior, but it was a relief.
“Looks like a storm to me.”
“By the way, Mahiro, about that time you took the liberty of including me in your group…”
Mahiro chuckled as he turned his gaze to me.
“Didn’t Shota also tell Akazawa-san about the fight they had?”
I forgot. There was the incident when I was talking to Akazawa and he stared at me because I said I heard about the fight from Mahiro.
“……We’re even right?”
“Roger. But I’m sorry for deciding on my own. It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.”
You’re excited about playing a game with a goddess.
After living here for two weeks, I understood the value of a goddess. When she walked, she attracted the gaze of men and women alike making people call out to her from everywhere. There was always a crowd of people around the goddess.
It helped that I knew exactly where they were.
“That’s right. Do you know much about the Blue Goddess, Shota?”
“Not at all.”
“I can explain it to you if you want.”
Mahiro opened his mouth, unable to contain his excitement.
“Aoyama-san’s following consists mainly of people who belong to athletic clubs and those who love games. She has a dazzling smile, is friendly to everyone, and has an innocent personality. She is a good communicator and has many friends of both genders. She’s in the homecoming club—-“
At that moment, I halted his speech and said, “Hold on a second.”
“Is the Blue Goddess a homecoming club member?”
“Yes, she is. Surprising isn’t?”
“Eh, no, I mean, she looks kind of spirited. I thought she was a member of the sports club. I totally thought she was an athlete.”
She used to be on the track team.
She even won an award at a tournament for it, and had a bright future ahead of her. I thought she would continue in high school. Rather, I thought that since she could not enter this school with her academic ability, she had entered as a special student for track and field.
“The only reason she’s supported by the athletic department is because she occasionally helps out with club activities.”
“She didn’t join the sports club herself?”
“No. …… Aoyama-san got injured.”
“I think I mentioned it before, but she’s the one who broke her arm during club activities.”
So the person who caused me to get hurt badly got hurt. It is said that if you curse someone, you will end up with two holes.
I wanted to say “Suck it up,” but I couldn’t bring myself to do so.
There were two reasons.
The first was that Aoyama seemed to be having a great time. I hadn’t had a direct conversation with her until today, but goddesses are very popular and I could always tell where they were. I had seen Aoyama a few times, and she always looked happy. There was no fake smile. She didn’t look like a pessimistic person.
And one more reason.
I simply loved the way she ran.