Data.137 – Old Bowman, The Peak To Aim For

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“Phew! For a moment I didn’t know what was going to happen, but we finally completed our Grow Cards.”

“Yes! What a crazy adventure that was! But I had fun!”

After the encounter with Nord, we were able to arrive in the town safely without being attacked by any other enemies.
And so we immediately showed the fortune teller our Grow Cards, and the stamp rally of terror was ended.
Now we could fast travel to the Ghost Float town, Hollow Front, whenever we wanted to!

Still, that fortune teller had said something very suggestive when handing over the Grow cards.
But she didn’t say anything when they were completed.

–In the not distant future, in some place else, your experience and true ability will really be put to the test.
–Do not be afraid.
You are strong, and have allies.
However, your enemy…is not someone you can beat if you stay the same as you are now.

I still remembered the words clearly.
I somehow felt that they would come true…

“…Hmm? Seems like a friend sent me a message.”

And I only had two friends.
Out of those two, Necoco was the most likely.
Let’s see… An emergency guild gathering!?
She said that she wanted us to meet as soon as possible, so I should tell her what time was good for me.
As I had nothing to do, I sent, ‘I can go now.’

“Did something happen?”

Right, Anne was here.
Could I take her to the gathering with me…?
I had told Necoco about her in a message a little while ago.
And she said that she would look into it eventually.
But Necoco seemed quite busy on her own adventures.

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“An emergency guild gathering.
I might have to go right now.”

“Ah! In that case, I should probably take my leave!”

“Well, I’m just making sure right now.
But I have a feeling.”

After all, it was rather odd that she would call us together at this time.
If it was just about a new member, then she could send us messages.
And since the new event hadn’t been announced yet, there was no need to talk about that.
And so I had a feeling…what happened to us was somehow related…

It wasn’t a good feeling.
But I told Necoco that I was with Anne.
Her reply was rather surprising.

–Did she fight with VRHAR too?
–Then you should bring her as well.

So I was right.
I didn’t know why Necoco knew about the fight, but it was clear that this meeting had to do with VRHAR.
Shortly after, Satomi contacted her and said that he could meet up immediately, and so Anne and I fast traveled to the first town.

◆ ◆ ◆

“The VRHAR members that came to me were Einherjar Drei, Vier, Fünf, and Sechs… In other words, from number 3 to 6.”

“Four of them!?”

We gathered at the observation platform in the first town and listened to Necoco.
VRHAR had appeared in front of her.
Not only that, but it was also in a versus field, where players were allowed to fight each other…

“And so…what happened?”

Considering she was outnumbered, I could not ask if she had won.

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But it would also be awkward to ask if she lost, so I chose vague words.
Her answer was a little unexpected.

“I drove them back.”


“With my aunt.”

“Ah, of course! So that’s why the four of them had to attack you at once…”

“I was only saved because my aunt thought it would be nice to play together once in a while.
She almost never invites me.
She is a veteran gamer, and I could feel the will to kill!”

Will to kill…
I could feel it a little when facing a player during a fight.
But if you would make a player feel it while far away…that was like a special ability.
Well, I wasn’t going to ask about that.

“Two of them came to me.
Sieben and Acht.
So that’s 7 and 8.”

“So two went to Satomi… But I only got one…”

“And what was the number?”

He said that he was the guild master of VRHAR.”

“If he’s 1, then he must be the strongest.
Strong enough to not have to rely on the others… Or perhaps the others were hiding somewhere.
Considering what everyone has said, it seems that 2, Zwei alone was missing.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to escape if there was one other person there.
Were you okay, Satomi?”

I somehow managed.
Just look at how clean my equipment is.”

“Ah, that’s true.”

Yes, Satomi’s equipment wasn’t damaged at all.
Not only that, but while there were hints of the old set, it looked much fancier now.

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Clearly the others had been getting stronger on their adventures as well.

I had to start thinking about updating my own set.
The Windcloud set was no longer considered special compared to other players.
However, I had grown attached to it, and so I didn’t really like the idea of changing it to something else.
That left equipment evolution.
I would very much like to evolve the set.

Speaking of evolution, there was also Garbow.
But I didn’t have any leads for that…
I would ask Satomi about it later.
He was a Unison Trainer, and would surely know something.
In any case, there was a more important matter to discuss right now.

“So it looks like everyone met VRHAR, but managed to come out just fine.
Did you want us to gather here so we could talk about that?”

“It’s not just that.
The reason that I brought you all here was so that we could talk about the next event.”

Necoco glanced at her surroundings.
There weren’t many people on the observation platform, and no one was close to us.
They were all near the fountain plaza and watching the Charin fights.
As the difficulty was lowered, more people were taking her on, which meant more battle to watch.

“There was a player called ‘Talkative Edda’ from VRHAR.
Drei…as the one with the number 3, she was very capable.
But she also had a loose tongue… And because she told us so many interesting things, my aunt and I didn’t even feel like defeating her, and so we let her go in the end.
As for what she told us…it was about the next event!”

“Why does a mere player have information about an event that hasn’t been announced yet?”

“There are information networks for people in the know.
According to Edda, the event that will be announced after the zodiac trials end is the ‘1st NSO Strongest Party Tournament!’ And there is going to be a prize with real money!”

“Money… As it’s the great age of VR, they are going to do something crazy like give a million to each player, aren’t they?”

“25 million per player.
So a party of four will make 100 million.
And that’s real money.”

“Huh… 25 million yet, eh…? 25 million? …25 million! Do you really mean 25 million yen!?”

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“Yes! That’s how much money you will get if you win! Of course, the money is nice and all, but I care more about winning in a tournament that costs so much to host! It could be a defining moment in a pro gamer’s career! And so I have to win! Will you all…fight alongside me?”

“Of course! I don’t have an income now, so I’ll fight my hardest!”

Oh, I just said it…
I should have said that I was fighting for honor or something, but now it looked like I was just after money…
I had just meant to show that slacking off was not something that I would ever consider, but now I just looked lame…

Still, I was sure that in times like this, a gamer old man with no income was more reliable than a rich one.
There was more at stake.

“I too won’t settle for anything less than winning.
If I want to call myself a pro gamer, then I won’t pretend that the money doesn’t mean anything.
It’s both money and glory.
I will have both of them…!”

Satomi was usually very calm, but even he could not hide his excitement.
I didn’t even know when it was going to happen, but I was already feeling impatient for it to begin…!

“The direction of the Ghost Guild will not change! We will continue to adventure while pursuing our own ideas of strength, and only gather together when necessary! Even when a cash prize is on the line, we will not change our style! But, if there is something we must all aspire to be before the event, it is to become the strongest player! And so we must train ourselves in order to reach that goal!”


“Um…I was wondering if I could join you…”

Ah…I had completely forgotten that Anne was here…!
We were in our own world and getting all fired up.

“So you’re the promising candidate that the old man was talking about.
Hmm, I know! Why don’t you play with me for a while? I want to see what you’re capable of.
I’ve been having trouble finding the right player, so the chances are pretty high for you!”

“Yes! Thank you so much!”

And so it was decided that Anne would go with Necoco, and then the meeting ended.
Now, I would have time to talk to Satomi.
About a Unison’s 3rd evolution…!

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