Data.164 – Old Bowman, Strongest 64

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“Old Man! Hurry up and run into the tower!”

It took me a few seconds to understand what Necoco’s words meant.
Clearly my fatigue was showing…
My body felt heavier as I moved and tried to slide through the door that led into the tower.
However, I was too late.

The boomerang drew an arc as it flew through the air.
And then it suddenly transformed into a woman.
I had no idea what was going on.
What was the effect? Did it make player and boomerang swap places, or was that a dummy?
However, I knew who the woman was.

“Macoco Strange…!”

“Ah, this party…”

The red-haired boomerang wielder and veteran pro gamer.
She was Necoco’s aunt and her hero.
A freak who had fought solo against Charin, who was using all of her weapons, and still won…
And now she was within striking distance!
I had no choice but to run!
People moved the fastest when there was no reason to hesitate!

“Unfortunately, I cannot let you go! Chain Boomer-…!”

I heard the clash of metal hitting against metal.
Necoco had launched an attack on Macoco.

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Claws clashed furiously against the boomerang…!
While I wanted to join the fight, it would be best to run!
I needed to reunite with Satomi and the others first…!
I prayed for Necoco’s safety and then dashed down the steps.

“Satomi! Anne! To the roof…”

But they were not there.
Of course, the Unison, Gochu was not there as well.
But why…

“The distance between the top and bottom of the tower was too big.
And you could not cooperate smoothly with each other.
It’s surprising you even made it this far.”

At the same time, I heard a cutting sound at my neck.
Ah, this feeling…I remembered it.
Someone had severed my head.
While my head wouldn’t fall off of my body and hit the ground, there was still a vague sensation.
It was a mortal wound.
I had been killed.
And once again, it was by a player with ‘Strange’ in their name…!

“It’s a good party.
I hope that we’ll be able to fight again in the finals.
Perhaps things will end differently…”

Her voice cut off then.
My body had turned into light and disappeared.

 ◆ ◆ ◆

“Huh!? We’re 6th place!?”

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“I’m pretty sure that it was announced… You must have been really concentrated!”

“Ah, uh… I guess!”

The shocking truth was revealed to me by Anne after we returned to the mysterious space.
I had just been feeling very disappointed, thinking that we had been defeated in the preliminaries.
I see.
So there had only been six parties left on the field at the time…
And among them was Macoco.
The others must have been very strong as well.
Now that I knew the truth, I really felt alive again.
Yes, I was starting to feel very happy…!

“Now, let’s all celebrate being able to go to the finals! Right!? Don’t look so serious, Necoco!”


Necoco looked so defeated that it was like there was a great weight on her shoulders.
The fact that Macoco had caught up with me meant that Necoco hadn’t been able to stop her.
Of course, I had no intention of blaming her, but I suppose it didn’t matter to her.

“This is no good at all… I have no chance of winning if I can’t even beat my aunt….”

“I don’t know about that.
It’s a tournament.
So you might win without even fighting her.”

“Even if that’s the case, I can’t win unless I defeat the person who beats her…”

“With fighting, it’s all about compatibility.
It’s not just about raw strength.
And so the person who beats your aunt won’t necessarily be unbeatable for us.
Besides, we’ve only lost to you aunt once.
So we might win next time.
We’re just getting started! It’s too early to get depressed about it!”

“…You’re right.
I’m sorry.
I just lost a little of my confidence.
But I’m fine now.”

She didn’t really look fine.
But that couldn’t be helped.

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I had said that it was still possible for us to win, but I had no idea how we would do it.
It was too bad we couldn’t last longer in order to get more information.
I had let my guard down just because I was shocked that Satomi and the others were gone.
From now on, even if my comrades fell, I would have to continue to fight for their sake…!

“Ah, it seems like the preliminaries are finished now.”

The live feed that was displayed in the air disappeared, and the final rankings came up.
1st was… Gaming Crocks?
I had never heard of them before, but I could hear other players muttering things like, ‘The Gaming Crocks!?’ ‘So they lasted after all…’ ‘Tsk.
It’s going to be a tough fight.’ So they seemed to have a good reputation.

…Huh? So someone already beat her aunt?
That did give me hope…!

“See, Necoco.
It’s too early to give up…”

“Wh-why is my aunt 2nd place!? She shouldn’t have lost to a guild that relies on superior numbers…”

I suppose she was rather shocked…
Perhaps she felt conflicted to see her hero get beaten.
However, I was indeed curious about how they had beaten her…

“I became solo near the beginning.”


She was right here!
Ignoring the fact that she had once again taken me by surprise, I listened to what she had to say.

“Battle royales really are difficult, aren’t they? You have to be aware of everything, and manage your items.
And I usually don’t think much when using items, so I run out very quickly.”

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“But! Surely you could have made up for all of that with the way you play!”

“No, no.
It was pretty severe.
There were four people left, and they targeted me after I had defeated another party and wasn’t on my guard.
Well, I don’t really care about the rankings during the preliminaries anyway.
It just means that I can’t lose after this.”

She really was an easy-going person.
While I wouldn’t call her indifferent, she showed no signs of nervousness at all.
She didn’t even seem to be happy about going to the finals.
It was more about the excitement about being able to fight… A strange person.

So…the preliminary rankings didn’t matter.
I suppose she was right.
While it was supposed to give you some advantage in terms of how you were paired up in the tournament, it wasn’t really a reflection of the party’s actual strength.
In the end, it was all about luck!

That being said, I was curious about which parties were in the top.
And so I would look at the rankings from 1 to 64.
…There were several players that I recognized.
While part of me was happy, I was also nervous at the possibility of having to fight them.
Also, 64 parties wasn’t much at all.
They had cut off so many players.

“Now, who is the 64th that barely made it in… Huh!?”

The party that was at the bottom of the ranking was…VRHAR!?
As Nord’s name was there, this should be the real party with the best members…
Why was such a strong guild there…?

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