Data.155 – Old Bowman, Road to being the Strongest

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Two weeks after Charin’s livestream…
We members of the Ghost Guild had gathered at the first town.
The final members were me, Necoco, Satomi, and…Anne Marie!
After much consideration, Necoco had made the decision to accept Anne Marie Gothnoir, the Armored Nun, into the Ghost Guild.

“Once again, thank you.
I look forward to working with you all!”

I had heard about it a short while ago, but hadn’t actually seen her like this for some time.
Every member had been playing solo and focusing on strengthening themselves.
Of course, that included me…!
I’m sure that it would be revealed little by little, just how much stronger they were, and what powers they had acquired…!

“That being said, this town…is too crowded!”

I understood why Necoco said that.
There were more people gathered here in the first town than ever before.
Participants really just needed to register as a party of four, and then wait in some town or village until the date of the event.
In other words, there was no reason to choose the first town…other than feeling attached to it.
If I was alone, I might have gone to the hidden Windcloud Settlement, but this place was easier since it was the four of us.

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I suppose it was the same with other players as well.

Also, just like during the boss battles against Charin, you could watch the event from the fountain plaza.
And so a lot of players who weren’t going to participate but still wanted to watch would come here.

Speaking of watching, apparently, for this event, you didn’t have to come to the first town.
You could watch it on your computer or mobile devices.
It did require signing up to a paid channel, but you could switch camera angles, follow specific players, and rewatch archived videos as much as you wanted.
Clearly, management was putting a lot of effort into that area.
Well, they were letting go of 100 million in actual money, after all.

Yes, yes.
There was also one big piece of information related to the Charin fight.
Just like with that fight, the rules allowed you to hit your allies.
This was not just to make the combat more realistic, but to restrict charge attacks that were powerful and affected a wide area.
Charin did not announce this rule herself, but it was added to the help page later on.

Last time, Charin had forgotten to mention this rule as well.
Perhaps she could be forgettable.
She was an AI, but had a personality, and so such things could happen.
In my case, I was constantly forgetting things.
…Maybe it was because I was getting old?

No, never mind.

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I shouldn’t think about such things right before a fight that would determine who was the strongest…!
I had to think more positively and wait…!

“…Do you think we can win?”

Satomi muttered.

“I think that we can do it.”

I muttered back.
I wasn’t really thinking, and said it calmly.
It was the casual remark of someone who believed that victory was in arms reach.
Still, it was enough to encourage the others.

“Yes, yes.
We can do it!”

“We just have to keep knocking down anyone in our path until we win!”

Necoco and Anne said excitedly.
As the two had been adventuring together, they were now quite close.

I shouldn’t have asked that in the first place.”

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“No, it’s fine.
It’s no surprise that you would wonder.
And it’s good that we can reconfirm our goal.”

While I hadn’t been thinking when I said it, I would pretend that there was a deep meaning to it.
The others all seemed more relaxed.
But I was worried that maybe I looked tense now.

“Now that we are participating as the Ghost Guild, we have no choice but to try and win! And so we will keep fighting until the very end!”

Shouted Necoco, and everyone shouted ‘Yes!’ and raised their fists into the air.

Sometimes I wondered what I was doing, getting mixed up with all of these youngsters.
But I was Kyuji.
And I didn’t really feel embarrassed about fighting shoulder to shoulder with young people who were chasing their dreams.
During the upcoming battle, I would be fighting as ‘Kyuji,’ one of the top players.
Thinking like that didn’t actually change anything, but it felt necessary to me.

‘Ding-dong! As it is now time to start the preliminaries for the 1st NSO Strongest Party Tournament, participating players will be warped away-nyon!’

Charin’s voice echoed around the first town.
In the next instant, we were warped to an area I had never seen before.

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It was a strange place where constellations shone in the sky, and mist covered the ground.

‘Welcome! All of you players who want to be the strongest! I am Charin, the hired host, announcer and AI Idol-nyon! That’s enough introduction for now.
Let’s go over the rules once more-nyon!’

And then Charin began to read the rules.
Going over the rules again was a kindness towards the players, and would prevent people from complaining later on.
This time, she even explained about friendly fire.
But there was no new information, so it really was just a review.

In the first place, they had yet to explain how they decided which players would go to the finals… It was just as I thought this, that Charin finished her explanation.

“Now, I will take you all to the battlefield-nyon! Your last question…should be answered once you see it-nyon!’

We warped again and the scenery changed.
At first, I didn’t know where we were.
However, once I saw a certain building…it came to me like lightning.

“It’s the field where we had the battle royale…!”

The stone tower that stood on top of the mountain…!
The vast grass fields…! There was no mistaking it!
This was the field of the first event that I participated in.
The Under X Battle Royale!

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