Data.165 – Old Bowman, Feeling of Trouble

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“Hey, everyone! Here we are! The party that ended as number 1 in the ranking!”

Some of the other players began to shout and cheer.
So these were the Gaming Crocks…
I didn’t feel the same sense of awe that I got from Macoco or Nord.
However, it was true that they were number 1 in that fight.
There was a saying about how wise eagles hide their claws.
So we would have to be careful with them…

“Since we’ve returned to this place last, that means the final tournament bracket should be displayed soon! All of you! Keep your eyes peeled!”

‘Aye!’ some of the players answered.
Even though they were rivals, it was nice that they were enthusiastic.

“Now… You were supposed to have some advantage if you did well.
And since we are 1st, that means our first opponent is 64! So, where is the sad party who barely slid in at the last moment?”

“It’s us, Murasai.”

The man called Murasai was the leader of the Gaming Crocks.
And the person who appeared in front of him was…Nord!
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed, androgynous, beautiful prince with the gun!
The guild master of VRHAR, the strongest guild, and our nemesis…!

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Well, that was just my view.
It was possible that they didn’t even see us as much of a threat…

“What kind of joke is this, Nord? How did you end up as 64th?”

It was deliberate on our part.
Not only is it announced when there are only 64 parties left, but friendly fire is allowed in this game…”

Murasai’s eyes widened.
So did mine.
Nord had deliberately ended at 64th…!
And the reason was…

“You’re all players who survived for the finals.
And so you seem to understand our motive.
It’s true.
We wanted to crush whoever came in at number 1.”

In this event, you could watch the battles as they happen.
In other words, after every battle, information about you spreads all over the world.
The more battles you fight, the more others will know, and your opponents will find ways of dealing with you.
And so they had chosen the strongest enemy for the first fight, when there was the least amount of information available!

You always like to play tricks, Nord.
However, that just means you have to fight us blind? It’s not very advantageous!”

But I like to get the annoying stuff out of the way early on.
Like finishing your homework first and if there is something I don’t like for dinner, I’ll eat it before anything else.”

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“I see.
So you must be very scared of us then!”

“…If I’m being honest, we made this move because we thought a different party would be 1st.”

Nord turned to look at Macoco.

“I did not expect you to be 2nd.”

“It’s no surprise.
You all overestimate me.
I’m just some lady who likes to play games.”

“And that is what is frightening.
Besides, we’re playing a game right now.”

“Well, I didn’t want to fight you right away, so I’m glad that it was avoided.”

“You really got us.
2nd is the farthest from us now.”

As they were talking, the bracket for the final tournament appeared!
Indeed, Nord and Macoco would not face each other until the end!
As for us…it was possible that we could face Nord during the final battle, and Macoco at the semi-final battle.

“In other words, we might have to defeat both of them if we want to win…”

It was a frightful thought, but on the other hand, we had gotten into a spot where we didn’t have to fight them until the end.

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So perhaps this was actually very lucky!

“Ahh… The parties I want to defeat the most are so far away.
We have the worst luck.

For a second, Nord and my eyes met.
Did that mean we were amongst the parties that he wanted to defeat…?

“Stop thinking about the future as if you’ve discounted us already! There will be no future for you! I will declare it now! We will knock VRHAR out in the first round!”

Many players muttered in surprise at this.
Even I raised my voice.

“You’ll be seeing the pathetic headlines on the internet by noon.
‘VRHAR, out in the first round.’ Be ready for that!”

“Well, that would get more attention than if we won.
However, I think the writers will be forced to write a more boring and predictable article.”

“Hmph! You’ll see! The first battle of this tournament will cause quite a stir!”

After a 30 minute break, the battle between Gaming Crocks, who were 1st in the battle royale, and VRHAR, who were 64th, began.
And then one by one, the other battles would follow until there was a winner.
As our turn would not come for a while, we could take it easy for now.

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“I suppose I should find out who we’re going to fight.”

Uh, we’ll be going up against 59…Mad Slime CORE!?
That was a familiar name, only it looked a little different now.
And Slime Man’s name was not in there.
In other words…

“It’s a different unit within the same guild!”

There were no rules that said only one party could participate from a guild.
So unless they were some kind of unofficial fan club, these were players of Mad Slime as well!
Damn it.
They really stuck to you and would not get away, just like a slime…

“But CORE does make them sound like the stronger version.
But in anime and manga, it was usually the one with the unmarked name that came first.
It was the same with artist groups.
So I guess they were the original?”

“Actually, the CORE group is the main one.”


Satomi always seemed to know what I was wondering.
But there was something odd about his voice this time.
But before I could ask him…the answer became clear.

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