Data.181 – Old Bowman, Awakening

After returning to the waiting area, we were greeted by the sounds of applause.

There would usually be scattered clapping when a party returned, but it was louder this time.

But why…?

“Now thats a party led by an MVP! You listened to the ridiculous demands of the enemy and still achieved total victory!”

“What? Core!? Youre still here!?”

“Still here… Now what do you mean by that, old man! Dont you know that you can stay here even after losing!?”

“I-I see…”

“Its the right of those who make it to the finals! We get to watch in these special seats, and can view the archive as much as we want! So why wouldnt we stay here? Why would we want to watch amidst the chaos in the first town?”

“I would think that it would be more exciting where there are a lot of people watching.”

“That is true! Its more fun to watch baseball in a packed stadium than an empty one. Though, I do hate the waiting lines for the stores and bathrooms! Okay, I misspoke! Going out in public after a fight will attract too much attention. And not the right kind if you lost!”

“Ah, thats true.”

“But back to the subject at hand. Uhum… But this really is a party led by an MVP! You listened to the ridiculous demands of the enemy and still achieved total victory!”

“Ridiculous demands? Well, it was certainly a surprise, but I wouldnt go that far…”

“Thats because things went well for you. But normally, you would never just jump onto the enemys platform like that. Its ridiculous.”

“Well, if you say so. But…”

“Wait, wait, Im not saying you are wrong. Just that it isnt done in the world of competing. But as a pro gamer, I would definitely accept such a laughable challenge. It makes things more interesting!”

“I suppose thats true. If I was a spectator, I would want to see someone accept their terms and then beat them.”

“What? Isnt that why you did it!? The 25 million prize and the will to take this first step as a pro gamer!”

“…Ah, thats right. If we win the prize, we would be making money and be defined as pro gamers by default!”

“So you werent thinking about that!? Hey, now. An unemployed person like you who plays games all day but doesnt even think about making money off of it…”

“Tsk. Thats quite a low blow… Wait, why do you think Im unemployed? I do play for long hours, but thats not enough to…”

“Why? Because you told Gela.”

“That was a bluff…”

“According to Gela-tin, you are good at bluffing, but not good at telling lies about yourself on the fly! And you seemed oddly fired up. So you were probably telling the truth, thinking that she wouldnt notice.”

That was very perceptive of her…!

I just couldnt beat a womans intuition.

“Well, while you may have not been conscious of it, I think you are starting to realize it. That you are a pro. TheKyuji in your heart made you accept the challenge naturally. Am I right? The Kyuji that worked miracles during the turf war and Charin fight. I cant imagine that guy crushing, one by one, the grandfathers who just started playing the games.”

“So, youre saying…that without realizing it, Im starting toact as Kyuji?”

“Acting, or doing what people expect. Maybe they are expectations that you yourself have, or your friends. Dont you think so? You care about looking your best and making it an entertaining battle.”

“Ah, I do think that.”

“Youre waking up as a pro. You are starting to see yourself from the outside. Its only natural, as a human. When you go up in a company and have subordinates, you have to be sure that youre not embarrassing yourself as their superior. Its the same with a pro sports team. You have to act like a veteran when someone young comes in. Its the same in games. You change when you become stronger. You cant help it.”

An awakening…huh.

It was true that I cared more about what people thought.

Who wouldnt, once they became famous?

No one wanted to be a disappointment to others.

You would rather receive praise and applause.

Thats all it was.

The reason that we accepted the terms of the Gz…was because it would look cool.

Ah, I suppose I really was acting as the idealKyuji.

He wasnt the kind of character that would reject the old men and then annihilate them.

Someone who fights head-on and wins…!

I…Kyujis actions were not wrong.

And so I would fight in the same way if it happened again.

“Let me give you some advice as an old pro. Dont overthink it! You are Kyuji. Not someone else. What you think is what Kyuji is. And I am Core! I would have done the same as you if I was in your place.”

“A punk like you would listen to the demands of some grandpa?”

“No, no. This is a fight. If the enemy is asking for a duel, and I bring all of my goons, then I would be a bad punk! But I am all about justice! Besides, they werent strong enough to beat us, even if our party was split up. If that wasnt the case, then I may reconsider…”

So much for justice… Still, listening to Core had made me learn a little about myself.

My conclusion was,All is well because we won while looking cool!

Now, I better turn my mind towards the next fight!

“And the next opponent is…someone I know.”

I was the MVP during the turf war.

But it wasnt because of my power alone. I was helped by the actions of a certain player.

Someone who would inconvenience you without realizing it, but was still popular and hard to hate.

It was tiring being with him, but when I was, I would remember what his appeal was…

“The Paradise Parade party, led by Flag Magician Hatake…!”

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