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Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? Volume 2 Chapter 3

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Yes, I had just finished editing chapter three by going through it once. And also yes, I will just be delaying the release of chapter four’s parts instead (I know full well I’m making excuses here, but just look at how long this chapter is). I had a lot of fun translating this chapter as I was going through all the references so I hope you have fun reading what the author had written as well. I was also pretty lazy with editing the translator notes to a footnote in HTML, so please bear with the sudden breaks in the story instead.

All in all, it was just such a fun chapter that it would be a shame to not put it out right away (even though it felt like forever to translate because no segmented parts). I’m also kind of sad that the anime decided this volume to be the one to only have 2 episodes allotted for it (most of the other ones had 3 each). I would’ve loved seeing them play all these games and for the thing with Sette to make more sense (people keep referring to Netoge as a harem because of things like that in the anime, but in fact, it’s just the Rusian and Ako romcom at this point in the novel).

As usual, I’m still looking for help in the graphics editing department. The chapters might also feel a bit rigid not having an editor working on it, but I’ll try to keep it as fluent as I can (English is my second language, and j.a.panese is the third so please excuse the inconsistencies).

All that aside, here’s the whole chapter three. And if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off procrastinating by playing some games myself as well.

Chapter 3 Another Game Collection

Translation: Yamaking

TL note: Chapter t.i.tle reference is Kantai Collection

"…What should we do about this?"

I was sitting in front of the PC with a complicated look on my face. While I was looking at everyone around me, I absentmindedly said this out loud.

"'What's the matter?', is not something I'm going to ask you. You gonna play LA or not?"

"I will but…"

But, me aside, n.o.body else was also starting up LA.

It's only been a few days since Sette-san has appeared, but the mood around the guild has turned pretty sour.

In the end, our little excursion to find a new hangout spot ended without us finding a solution to this deadlock.

"What? Do you not feel good unless you're getting fawned over?

"What's with you? Why are you suddenly so hostile?"

"As if I'm being like that."

You're not Ako after all, so I'm not going to give you attention like that. And stop being in a bad mood already.

For now, Ako has been going along with me but… I don't know if it's because she's stressed out that everyone's been at odds with each other, but recently, she seems to look a bit unstable.

Master is just like she always is but— that's no reason for her to just go along with me. For better or for worse, she still adopts this calm demeanor.

"When we login, she's going to be there again, no?"

To answer the words that were just muttered, Segawa muttered in reply as well.

"That's not the case here. You're just going to lure her over again."

She deliberately picked those choice of detestable words.

"…Everyone wants to play together, right?"

"I guess."

Those feelings were our response to Ako's honest opinion.

We were relatively doing pretty well with our group of four playing this game, so there were not many chances on having an outsider join in.

Sometimes, we would group up with people who were close to our level and gear, but we generally have not played with something like a beginner yet.

As expected, not having playstyles, level tiers and gear match, and yet still trying to play together is complicated. We're not able to fit with the hardcore players, but fitting in with someone who just started playing is not an easy task either. Putting aside people playing games for the first time, there's not much newbies in LA right now so ignoring them is kind of…

"Hmm…"

"Uu—"

I kept staring at my screen during this delicate situation. What should I do.

"Ah…, Hey."

I just suddenly thought of something.

I said that in a slightly cheerful tone as everyone absentmindedly turn their gaze at me.

"I've said this before, but it's not like this is the LA Club right? We're a Net Game Club. So there's no problem if we go and play another net game right?"

"…That's, exactly as you have put it. As long as it's an online game, anything should be fine."

"Are we going to play another game?"

In response to my words, my fellow guild members who were slacking began to regain their footing.

"I see. A different game huh?"

"Yeah. Isn't this fine sometimes too?"

Previously, this idea was shot down right away, but everyone right now seems to be delighted at what I've just said.

"I think it's okay."

"That's true. I guess sometimes is okay."

"Splendid. Then, shall we get to selecting that game?"

Y, yeah. That pa.s.sed in one go. So there you have it. Today's club activities will not be composed of LA.

It's not like I hated doing anything with Sette-san but… Ah, that doesn't matter now. We're just going to play another game. It's not like we're intentionally avoiding her in LA.

And if we're talking about how playing a different game is going to help Ako differentiate games from reality, it's actually pretty significant. If we switch games, our status ingame would also change. Her view of me that's inseparable from 'Rusian' might change as well.

—I'm currently aware that all of that is actually just an excuse. When I think that I can run away from something unpleasant, I can't help but be enthusiastic about it.

"What game are we gonna play?"

"Let's see. There's various categories for net games. If you include those console games with coop functionality, then their number is as numerous as there are stars in the sky."

"But those don't really feel like net games do they?"

"For the time being, I think the common course of action right now is to try out a well-known game. I would like to adopt that as one of the ideas in the Net Game Club's basic education."

"What's with that obligatory sounding thing?"

That's an obligation you know. An obligation.

"For me, I'd like to try out this farming simulation game!"

"Just what do you intend to do in a sandbox farming game with a lot of players!"

We just really got fired up all of a sudden. This is quite convenient for me though, honestly.

"Then how about… This!"

Ako said this as she pulled on my sleeve.

"I want to play a game where you use guns to shoot people to death!"

"Okay Ako, that's a yellow card."

"Eeh!?"

In reaction to her dangerous statement, Segawa presented Ako with the yellow card.

TL note: In American soccer, a yellow card is used to caution players, while a red card results in the player’s dismissal from the field of play. Thus, yellow cards are used to punish milder forms of misconduct than red cards. – Google

Yeah. Even I think that is reasonable. What you said just now was a proclamation of war to a large portion of gamers everywhere.

"By the way, what happens when you get a red card?"

"You'll have to go to school, but partic.i.p.ating in club activities will be forbidden."

"That's too mean…"

That's why you should watch what you say from now on.

"Then, are we going to try out the FPS or TPS shooting games? I was aware this might happen, so I've looked into them beforehand. For the time being, what do you say we try out something free-to-play until we judge it to be a good one? Doing it this way would not be unfavorable to us."

"Sure."

The game that Master picked was an FPS game called Ultra Force. It's not exactly as Ako meant, but for what it's worth, I think it's unmistakably a game where you shoot people with guns. It's just that saying that out loud is banned.

TL note: This is a reference to the Online FPS Special Force.

I began installing the game from the official site, which seems to give off a slight feeling of nostalgia.

"Rusian, Rusian, where do I go to register?"

"You can see 'New Player Registration' written over there can't you? Look. You click on here and then you enter your name and address here."

"Tag! You're it Rusian!"

"You should do it yourself… geez. So, what's your address?"

The client size wasn't that big so the installation finished pretty quickly.

"Alright, let's go do this. How about we just go enter some beginner room and start fighting?"

"Yeah. I don't really understand the controls yet after all."

"I see. My rank is still not high enough for me to use my premium weapons."

"Why are you buying premiums right off the bat Master?"

With my doubtful gaze, no, actually, with my curious gaze, I said that to Master.

"Is there anything strange about it? This is what you would call something like an offering. When a game you had fun playing in Open Beta starts with their official release, that is, when a game you have high hopes for is released, wouldn't you put in a bit of money right away?"

"I won't do that."

I've heard of people doing that but I didn't expect it to be someone I knew. As I expected, the greed of net gamers run deep.

It's in this manner that games, where it looks like the users were the ones who presented the idea of 'please milk us dry' premium system just because they were presented with good management, are made.

"For the time being, let's do this. Is everyone present in the room?"

'Yeah—', and with that, the match started.

The rule is Team Deathmatch. To put it simply, it's a team versus team shootout.

"Teeemu Dessmaachu!"

"Ako, you don't have to repeat the signal for the start of the round."

I'm irritated that I thought her weird p.r.o.nunciation of it was pretty good.

"Does everyone have a grasp of the basic controls? This room has friendly fire on, so watch your fire."

Friendly Fire, that is, the ability to hit your allies with your own attacks. In this room, hitting and killing your allies is possible. If you keep doing it too much, there are instances where you'll also be kicked. Of course, if you don't mean to do it, the chances of it happening are pretty low.

"Then for now, I'm going to go dive in and shoot someone."

"That's just like you. Well, shall we go then?"

The sound of Schew's weapons rattling could be heard as she kept changing them to check. And then, Ako was muttering to herself,

"Uhm, this b.u.t.ton is…"

Something like that.

Right after that, 'Fire in the hole!' could be heard from all four of our speakers at the time.

Boom! With a thunderous roar, our field of vision was covered in white.

"…eh?"

"Oh?"

After the light and smoke have disappeared, my health was cleanly reduced to zero, and reflected in the screen was the sight of fallen soldiers lying face down on the ground.

"…Ako, you're incredible. Getting a triple kill right off the bat like that."

"It was all allies though."

"So, sorry—!"

"I see. You sent a hand grenade rolling at our feet."

I did not expect my first death to come from Ako blowing herself up.

"I've thought about it but, don't you think Ako would be more suited for sniping?"

"Sniping, is it?"

Ako as a sniper huh. She looks like she would just be camping though.

Camping, to be more specific, a camping sniper, is a sniper who stays as far as they can from the front lines while they keep taking calculated shots. In this case, no one but the sniper benefits from this kind of gameplay. As a result, they are shunned by both friend and foe alike.

But even with that said, it's much better than blowing up your allies with a hand grenade.

"Would I be able to use something like a rifle…?"

"I have a nice plan for that. Listen closely Ako, just think of all the enemies as normies."

"Normies… The enemies are all normies…"

She kept muttering that. It's kind of scary.

"Hey, we're going already. So all I have to do is get two kills in to turn my K/D ratio around!"

"Ah, yeah."

We once again ran out to battle— However, we suddenly stopped in our tracks.

In the area around what was considered the front line, sporadic explosions were occuring. It didn't look like we could advance.

Uwa, just what is this, this rain of hand grenades.

On their side, it was shouts of "Konbora!", while on our side, shouts of "Fire in the Hole!" whenever someone threw a grenade.

TL note: コンボラ is simply the Arabic word for grenade that could be heard in CoD when middle eastern soldiers throw grenades.

"Gyaaah, I was trying to run away from a grenade when another one showed up where I ran to."

"Schew… We just lost a precious ally."

I have to do enough for her part as well. I weaved my way past the barrage of hand grenades and moved forward.

As I was avoiding the explosions, I hid in the shadow of a container that looked like it was purposely placed there. That mountain load of grenades kept coming but the enemy was nowhere to be found.

Shortly after I was feeling relieved from that, an enemy soldier in a black faceguard suddenly jumped out in front of me.

"Ah, c.r.a.p."

I let my guard down. In that moment, I couldn't move my fingers. The enemy reflexes were pretty good however as they already aimed their sight at me. I'm going to get shot.

In that moment, blood came spurting out of the enemy's head and they fell face down.

"I did it Rusian. You d.a.m.ned normie. Know your place."

"Was that you just now Ako? You saved me."

I did not expect Ako to show me such a skillful headshot. That was surprising.

"Leave it to me. I won't let them lay a hand on Rusian."

"Ah, yeah."

Ako is being so dependable. Just what is this uncomfortable feeling? It feels kind of pleasant but also rather vexing.

"Fufufu, I'll cleanly blow that head off your shoulders."

"Wait, you're scaring me a bit here."

"Aaaaah darn! Another hand grenade!"

Schew dove in again and died. What are you? A wild boar?

TL note: The word used here was actually イノシシ(Wild boar). This is a reference to wild boar plays which mean careless plays that just charge straight on so I could have decided to use Leeroy for it (english equivalent), but decided not to, as it would dismiss the other joke (Schwein being a pig and all).

"By the way, what are you doing Master?"

"I'm clearing the map. I'm setting up claymore mines on places that look like the enemy will absolutely have to pa.s.s through to blow them up."

"What an evil tactic!"

"Heddoshoootto! I did it Rusian!"

She's all fired up for a game she's playing for the first time.

Schew, who doesn't like losing, looks like she wont stop until she turns around that K/D ratio. Ako is unexpectedly doing a lot for the team. And Master, who kept setting up underhanded traps, would look happy whenever she caught one in any of them.

Ah, me? I'm the one with the worst score. Leave me alone.

FPS is not my specialty after all. Even if I play it, my level won't rise and my character won't get any stronger right. Sure, improving your player skill is nice, but I'd like a special privilege for playing for a long time. If there isn't, I just lose my motivation to play. There's people like that too right?

That aside, on the next day…

Unusually, I spotted Ako that morning on my way to school.

For some reason, she looked frightened as she restlessly looked around while walking. She was so restless that if I were a suspicious character, she would notice me immediately.

I approached her from the back and tapped her shoulder.

"Yo Ako, good morning."

"Hiiiuuu!?"

Ako completely froze up but then limply loosened up as soon as she recognized it was me.

"Aah, Rusian. I thought you were an enemy."

"Just where in the world would something like an enemy even appear."

"But, don't you feel like an enemy soldier would come out of that corner?"

"I hate myself for kind of getting that."

A short while after playing FPS games, even though you're just walking, you'd find yourself intuitively clearing out areas you're pa.s.sing through.

"In short, it's scary so how about we go to school while holding hands together?"

"That's not allowed."

"Uuu, Rusian is mean."

It's embarra.s.sing, and we would be standing out, so it's no good after all. But I can't deny that I'm a bit attracted to the idea. Just like this, I could already imagine having our fingers entwined together.

"Well, I could at least carry your bag for you. Give it here."

"Ah, this feels just like how normies do it!"

"I know right? I know right?"

It really gives off that feeling like it's the springtime of your youth that I just feel happy about it.

No, I'm not treating Ako like that. I'm not doing this as the actions of a online hookup predator. This is safe, safe.

TL note: I really don't know what to use for 直結厨 here. I just opted to go with something like an online hookup predator here. This was previous translated as E-flirt in the previous volume by taptap but it feels like that is taking it too lightly as the aim of such a person here is to get in someone's pants in real life that's why Rusian is so vehement against being labeled as one.

In comparison to those people walking in front of us with their hands held together, we look pretty normal.

"But I guess holding hands while walking to school is… something I'm really jealous of."

"Don't look at me. Doing something like that here looks like we're just showing off as a challenge to others and I really don't want us getting involved in something like that."

"So you say Rusian, but I still have a bit of murderous impulse left over."

Don't have something like a murderous impulse in the first place.

"Ah, Rusian. I think I'm suited for FPS after all."

"What's the matter? Suddenly saying that."

"If I had a rifle in my hands right now, I could definitely shoot their heads off!"

"Stop that!"

"Fufufufu, beautiful—"

TL note: Reference to Cpt. Macmillan from COD4 Modern Warfare.

No good. This is no good.

At the sight of Ako, delivering headshots to those normies in her head, I trembled with fear.

"I thought she was getting better too…"

I was so worn out from preventing Ako on her rampage that before I knew it, it was already lunch break.

Here I thought Ako's habit of not being able to differentiate between games and reality was kind of fixing itself already, but in reality this was not the case.

Ah well. I should just hurry up and eat my lunch.

With a heave-ho, I moved my desk towards the guys near me and just kind of put my desk together with theirs. Since I clearly do not hang out with these guys after school, to me, this lunch break is an important time of communication with them. I suppose I'll go fulfill my role as the open otaku then. If I don't know the topic, then I'll just keep quiet.

"By the way Nishimura, I'd like your advice on something."

"What is it?"

One of my cla.s.smates had this pointlessly serious look on his face as he said this.

"You're good with computers right?"

"Even if you ask me, I wouldn't say that I'm actually good with them myself but, I'm probably at least more informed about it than you are."

I can't really compare with even just the soles of people who are actually well-versed in this kind of thing, but compared to the highschool students around me, I'd say I'm more informed than them. It's generally that.

He nodded to my vague answer and said,

"That's good enough. If you know about it, please teach me."

"Teach you what?"

"A way on how to avoid other people finding pictures and videos I've saved on the computer."

……Uhh.

"Is the PC at your home for family use?"

"…Yeah."

"That's…"

A, a very pressing matter!

I myself went through severe hardships just so I could get my hands on my own PC, so I completely understand how he feels.

So, I will intentionally not ask what those pictures were about. Take it as a show of my warrior's compa.s.sion.

"Let's see. Right now, I could only think of five ways you could go about this."

"Seriously? As expected of Nishimura, you're really dependable!"

"Eh, there's ways to do that?"

My cla.s.smates who heard this listened even more closely. As expected, this is really a pressing matter for guys who use a PC that's for communal use.

"The ways to go about it would be to one, change your settings to not show hidden files and then just set them to hidden. Two, you could encrypt the folder with a pa.s.sword. Three, you could use specialized software to hide it. And four, saving them to a USB memory card and making sure you don't leave any traces in the PC is something you could also do. And if possible, for that last bit, having a separate device that you can store away would give the most sense of security."

"I see, I see."

He kept nodding as he listened earnestly.

"However, not having that device on hand is not just the problem here. There's also cases where people would grow suspicious of you inserting something on to the PC everytime. And past that, if you still honestly want to hide the data in your PC, there's my recommended method, the 'Unlimited Fade Works'."

TL note: I just made this up from 隠蔽波状攻撃. If you have better ideas for this (or if this is actually a reference) please let me know.

"What's with that cool sounding strategy!"

It's not cool at all. The way to go about it is very simple and straightforward.

"To put it simply, just make a folder with any letters from the alphabet. Inside that folder, create an innumerable amount of said folders with random letters. And from this very complicated structure, there would be one folder that would be the correct one. 'No matter how hard one looks it would be just a bunch of folders, and no matter how much they struggle to venture inside, they won't be able to find the correct route to your files.' is the whole idea behind this. That is the 'Unlimited Fade Works'. What's more, if you change the file extensions of the goods from jpg and avi to something else, there would be no counterattack for this strategy—"

Suddenly, a ringing tone going 'pin pon pon pooon' could be heard from the cla.s.sroom speaker.

["This is your president Goshouin speaking. Cla.s.s 1-2's Nishimurkun, Please promptly proceed to the student council's office. —I repeat, Cla.s.s 1-2's Rusi… Ni, Nishimurkun. Come to the student council office quick. That is all."]

'Pin pon pon pooon'. And then, the broadcast ended.

As I thought, that was the voice of Master. But her character was off after that part that she almost said Rusian. Just what was with that 'Come to the student council quick'? 'Come here quick' she says.

"The one being called just now was Nishimura right? But you're not in the student council right? Just what did you do that the president had to personally call for you?"

"By the way, when you say the president, she's that right? The one who's the daughter of a bigshot in our school and someone with top marks."

"But she keeps her distance from other students, just like that of an empress."

"And from that person you just received an order to come quickly."

"That's how it looks like—"

Being called out during lunch break is pretty rare, but I'm sure it's nothing big. We're talking about Master here after all. As I was being carefree thinking that, just directly opposite me was everyone who gave me a faraway look while they all distanced themselves from me.

"Goodbye Rusian, and be well…"

"When you get back, let's continue this topic."

"Why are you all raising a death flag for me?"

With a tap, someone just hit my shoulder. When I went to look, it was Takasaki looking at me with a huge smile giving me a thumbs up.

"Entrust Ako-chan to me!"

"Takasaki, Ako told me that she just really instinctively cannot accept you."

"Guhaaaaa!"

"Takasaki!"

"Takasaki! Takasaki—!"

I just left Takasaki who just splendidly rejected and stood up from my seat. I also took the bread that I was having for lunch with me. As I was about to leave the room, the girls who have joined their desks together that were making a fuss turned their gaze on to me. 'You just heard that sudden broadcast right?', is what I tried to ask Segawa with my gaze while she was looking at me.

("Hey, did you hear anything about this?")

("Nope. This is pretty rare, calling you at this time.")

("I know right… I wonder what she needs me for.")

In response to me tilting my head, Segawa just gave me a small shrug.

("There's just no knowing what Master is scheming.")

("Well of course right.")

You're not wrong there.

I at least have faith that it wasn't done out of ill will.

("Well, I'll just try and go over there for now.")

("Yeah, yeah. Good luck.")

What's with that att.i.tude as if it were somebody else's problem— well, it's not like I know that for certain yet, but there's an 80% chance I'm sure it isn't. With just a little bit of gestures, we were able to tell each other what we wanted to say.

But since Segawa and I are capable of communicating without words like this, why is it that my wife, Ako, is that out of sync with me? Maybe the truth is she really gets it but just pretends not to?

"Akane, you really get along with Nishimurkun huh."

"Hii?"

Akiyamsan was grinning while she was looking at us.

Segawa worryingly pulled on one of hair twintails.

"After all, just now, you were talking to Rusian while just looking at him right? It feel like that 'communicating without words' sort of thing right?"

"Wh, what are you…"

Oh, Segawa is about to blow her fuse. Calm down, calm down, calm down. Getting shaken up here is just going to add more trouble after all.

"Akiyamsan, how about you leave it at that? I'm the one going to be on the receiving end of the retaliation to that sarcasm you know."

'You see?', I said that as I forced out a smile. Normally, this would be over with her just apologizing and then laughing it off.

But Akiyamsan doesn't seem convinced as she was nodding.

"I just thought of putting that out there as a joke so you can laugh at me—, but Nishimurkun properly covered for Akane here huh—. You're really good at taking care of others huh, Nishimurkun."

"Ha…?"

"Why do I have to be covered for by something like that. Seriously, stop that. It really feels gross."

"I'm telling you, that face that looks like you hate it is already kind of, you know—?"

It looks like she still had something to say, but Segawa's gaze was already telling me to hurry up and get out of here so I obediently left the cla.s.sroom. 'I'll do something about it afterwards.', is what she probably thought.

Though recently, Akiyamsan has been trying to draw a connection between me and Segawa. It would be good to stop her before she goes and reveals the other's secret but— as I was thinking that, I've arrived at the student council office. It was a room I've already visited before.

Just in case, I went and knocked on the door.

"Uhm—, it's Nishimura."

"Well done coming here. You may enter."

The arrogant voice that could be heard coming from the inside was Master's. This manner of speaking really suits her that it's amazing.

"Then, excuse me…"

I opened the door without reservation and peeked inside. Right there was,

"Welcome back, Rusian."

A smile that went from ear to ear appeared on Ako's face. It was the kind of smile that a newlywed wife would have.

Bang! I reactively shut the door.

"Err… T, that just now was…"

Creeeeeeeeeeeeak. A grating noise could be heard as the door started to open.

"Ru—si—a—n—?"

"Hiii!?"

As the door opened with a creaking noise, right there was Ako, who had a reproachful look on her face. Uwah, scary. I feel like I'm going to get cursed. Actually, I think I might already have been.

"Why did you close the dooooor?"

"Sorry, it was on reflex."

"That kind of conditioned reflex is weird! If it was me in Rusian's place, even if it was the boy's locker room, I would have dove in without thinking about it!"

"For the sake of your school life from now on, we should really fix that sickness of yours."

If you really did that, it would be big trouble you know.

"Well, there's no need to stand around while talking. Come on in."

Master said that from inside the room. Though Ako still looked a bit reproachful, she straightened out her back and intruded on the student council office.

Among the desks that seemed like it was arranged in the shape of a circle for use in meetings, I sat on the one directly across Master.

"So then, was the two of you coming together like this another one of Ako's schemes?"

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but Ako has nothing to do with this."

What, is that so? I figured it was just Ako scheming something again.

"I'm seriously doing my best you know. I keep quiet during cla.s.s and breaks. I also wanted to throw a Konbora on the people gathered at the school store but I held myself back."

"Though you weren't doing your best when you were thinking about it."

Also, it's okay to make a bit of noise during breaks. You don't have to keep quiet during that time.

"So, if that's the case, what were the two of you doing here?"

"Is that not obvious!"

With an 'Ehem', Master puffed out her chest.

"I'm playing out the role of a 'Student Council President gives consultation to her juniors who are anxious about their school life'."

"And I'm playing out the role of the 'First Year Student anxious about her school life who seeks consultation from the Student Council President'."

Ako went 'How was that?', when she finished her sentence.

"You would monopolize use of the student council office for that kind of excuse…"

"I am upset that you would think it as an excuse. That is a single fact that I've simply taken from the current situation."

"As unfortunate as that may seem too."

If they were properly doing a consultation then that would be true. Ako has anxieties about her school life after all, so consulting someone is an option. As I was looking at Ako, a sweet smile showed on her face as she said,

"I was surprised you know? This is the first time that the unreliable Master did something like this."

"Although even if you come to me for advice, I have no idea on what to say."

'Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!'. The two of them laughed as they happily got along.

"What the heck is that…"

I let out a sigh as I proceeded to take a bite of out my lunch. I don't really hate the taste of a cold croquette sandwich that much.

Coincidentally, my lunch consists of 80% food from the school store and 20% food made by Ako. Originally, I would have brought a boxed lunch from home, but since Ako would sometimes make me lunch, this soon changed to bread from the school store.

That's not just it though. Ako herself said that she would be making me lunch everyday, but she would often have excuses like she was sleepy, or she didn't get enough sleep and wasn't feeling well so she didn't get to make it that often. I wouldn't want to seem ent.i.tled complaining about it though, so I just gratefully received her offer whenever she felt like making it.

"Couldn't you actually just watch the cla.s.s in a screen while staying here alone? —Ah! If I could just watch the cla.s.s in a screen from home, I wouldn't have to set a single step outside my room right!? Isn't that just perfect!?"

"What would you do about PE then?"

"I'll exercise in LA!"

"That's just plainly going out to hunt mobs isn't it?"

If you could consider hunting physical education then I'd be getting full marks.

Since I'm eating just bread, it wouldn't take up a lot of time. As I nonchalantly offered up that bread to my stomach, Master had also cleaned up her boxed lunch.

"For what was it that you called me for again president?"

"I told you you did not need to be so formal. Rusian, I just have a bit of an errand to ask of you."

"Wouldn't someone you know in the student council be okay for that kind of thing?"

"Rusian, try to think if I have such acquaintances that I can freely ask for such a thing and then try asking me that question again, would you?"

She sweetly smiled at me. 'If you say the same thing again, I will expel you where you stand' was the kind of fearsome pressure that I felt. I'm sorry. I'm so very sorry.

"…Ah no, it's nothing."

"Very well. Then let us go."

In response to us standing up, Ako hurriedly raised her hand.

"Are you going somewhere? Then I'll go with—"

"Our destination is the faculty room."

"Have a safe trip!"

And with that, she immediately put her hand down.

Her change in att.i.tude was pretty quick. This girl, really.

"You don't have to worry about it. It's nothing big really. Come follow me."

"Good luck—!"

Ako's flutteringly waved her hand as she saw us off.

d.a.m.n it, I wanted to leisurely spend the break with Ako too.

"Sorry for making you come all the way here."

Waiting in the faculty room was someone who had her hands slapped together, Nekohime-san— Saitou-sensei.

"It's no problem at all. Please leave it to us, the Modern Electronics Communication Game Club."

Master proudly puffed out her chest as she just a.s.sumed responsibility for something we don't even know yet. Just what were we called here for?

"Err… What should I be doing?"

"Well you see, I'd like you to take a look at this PC. It's Kashiwagi-sensei's though."

Sensei uninterestedly tapped the case of a desktop PC.

"'You computer's security is at risk! Our support for your OS is ending soon!' was the kind of news that Kashiwagi-sensei saw so he forcibly updated his OS. He had a bad feeling about it somewhere along the way so he interrupted that update and it's been acting strange ever since."

"Well of course that's going to happen."

Interrupting an update like that is one of the prime examples of dangerous things you could do to a PC. It would be even stranger for something to not happen to it in that case.

"It seems to have been interrupted before any critical components were affected so he was able to get majority of it back to how it was. But the system seems to be unstable at some bits, particularly, Excel doesn't seem to work…"

"So we're here to fix that?"

"That's how it is."

In short, it's similar to what just happened in the cla.s.sroom earlier. If you were going to ask something of us, of course it would be about this huh—. But well, this is much better than having someone ask what's a PC made of or if I could build them a spec for one.

"So then, when I checked with him, it seems the system was set to automatically create a restore point three days ago. Here's the Excel installation CD. In the worst case scenario, here's also the OS installation disk. Please, please, only use this as a last resort. Since if you do that, lunch break would end before the backup finishes restoring."

"……Haa."

Just now, our client presented us with all the methods we could use to resolve this issue. Is there even a need for me here?

When you play something like net games, you'd end up learning more about computers on your own accord. Well of course, Nekohime-san would be able to do something like this herself.

"Uhm, Neko— Saitou-sensei, you can fix it on your own right?"

"No way, it's impossible. I don't know much about something like computers."

She said that while showing a friendly smile, free of malice.

"Why is something like Segawa's situation also… Ah well, I'll do it. It's not that big of a deal after all."

"Thanks. For what it's worth, that's school property, so I'll be supervising you just to make sure you don't see anything you shouldn't be."

I don't think I'll have room to do anything like that though. To start, let's restore the system to that restore point, and if it works, we can reinstall Excel. In the worst case scenario, we can do a full backup and do a clean install. That's what Nekohime-san said.

The first thing we did, the restoration, took a couple of minutes. The computer let out a whirr as we watched over it.

"How is it Nishimura? Do you think you can fix it?"

"Hmm, I can't say that yet."

"Oh is that so."

Kashiwagi-sensei, a j.a.panese history teacher in his late forties, called out to me as he let out a wry smile. I'm also taking a cla.s.s under him, but I've never seen him hand out any sort of intricately made printout even once. He's not good at dealing with computers, probably.

"For now, we're going to see if it starts. If it runs here then it should be easy… Oh."

Displayed in the screen was the startup window of Excel.

"Ah it worked. Haa—, You fixed it just like that. When your ol' sensei here tried to mess with it, I couldn't even get it to start."

"This is just a matter of knowing or not knowing it after all."

The internet is a huge place, so it's certain that you'll find someone else who encountered a problem you've faced. If you learn from their experience, solving ordinary problems like this should be a piece of cake.

"I almost didn't get the tests prepared in time. Thanks a lot, Nishimura."

Kashiwagi-sensei happily said that from the bottom of his heart.

And in the bottom of my heart, I was regretting what I had just done.

"…I shouldn't have fixed it."

"That won't change anything. Just go and study."

'Hahaha', our teacher laughed as he said that. Darn it, you're the only one that got his problem solved that's why you're able to laugh like that.

"But, this Modern Electronic something Club of yours is unexpectedly doing a good job isn't it, Goshouin?"

"To put the skills of our highly motivated members to use, I believe an occasion to practice the craft is needed. We're always looking to help if you need it."

"Hahaha, then I will leave things like this to your care."

"Understood, we will be waiting."

Master puffed out her chest. Even if you say that, it's just, you know? Ours is a Net Game Club not a Computer Repair Club.

"Thanks a lot, you two. If it was just me, I just couldn't do it."

"Haa…"

No, you can definitely do it. As I was holding back on giving out that retort, Saitou-sensei smiled and gave me a wink as if to dodge the issue. W, well, it's fine. It's nothing big after all. That just made my heart skip a beat, is NOT what happened at all okay?

"Well then, please excuse us."

"Excuse us."

Staying in the faculty room for that long was pretty uncomfortable so we hurried up and escaped. In the hallway br.i.m.m.i.n.g with people, just outside the faculty room, I turned to ask Master who had a look of satisfaction on her face.

"So, what was with that request Master? There wasn't really a need for us to be there, was there?"

"That's not true at all."

Master slyly smiled.

"Nishimurkun, this school has no computer club. Did you know about this?"

"There weren't any during the introduction of clubs so I figured there wasn't any."

If there was, I probably would've joined it. I'm a bit interested in it after all.

But I'm sure that club wouldn't have cute girls like we do in the Net Game Club.

"The reason for it is that, in our school, there is not a single teacher who is knowledgeable about modern electronics engineering."

"Not a single one? Really?"

"Undoubtedly. If it was bare minimum knowledge about it we're talking about, then there should be a number of them here, but that's all there is. On that matter, there is no one who could respond to emergencies related to electronic devices like this."

Isn't that troubling then? If you keep bringing it to the shop when you run into a little trouble like this, there'd be no end to it.

"And then here lies our time to shine. Originally, they would have had to pay money for this to get fixed, but having the students fix it for free must be a pretty pleasant feeling for the teachers. The feeling of using premium items may be extremely wonderful, but in the same sense, being able to use something for free also gives a suitable feeling of elation."

"What's with that example?"

Rather, is it okay for you to proclaim yourself the representative of the teachers like that when you're making it look like they're treating students poorly? We're still in front of the faculty room after all, won't they get mad?

"In any case, by displaying the value of our club's existence, we will be able to bring our club closer to its survival. After all, it is our proper daily activities which are important. In relation to that, this job was necessary."

When you put it that way, I kind of get it now. 'The Net Game Club is pretty useful, isn't it?' is what you'd what them to think so that they won't think of disbanding it.

"But, for what happened today, wouldn't it have been fine if Nekohime-san fixed it?"

"There's also another problem with that."

Master opened the door again and looked inside the faculty room. Nekohime-san is working on a printout.

"That Mr. Kashiwagi is one who has pretty old-fashioned way of thinking. He's not exactly knowledgeable about electronics, but having a male lose to a female when it comes to handling machines is not something he would be pleased at since that is his understanding. Consequently, if a young woman like Ms. Saitou were to suddenly fix his problem, it would hurt his pride."

"But wouldn't you rather be glad that it's a younger girl doing it for you?"

"Putting your perverted s.e.xual inclinations aside Rusian, I told you that he has that kind of thinking after all."

"Just what s.e.xual inclinations are you talking about—!"

Am I weird!?

But really, I think losing to something like handling machines is fine. At least, that's what I think. I wonder if there's an old man who would think as such too.

"For that reason, if Ms. Saitou completed that repair by herself, it will have a negative influence between the two in the future. And that is not fine at all. For this type of person, you only need to prepare an excuse that they will find easy to understand."

An excuse, huh. In other words, an explanation that would convince them that it's okay.

"And that was…"

"A gathering of students who are seemingly otaku, the Modern Electronics Communications Game Club, was the answer. 'It is these students' forte after all, that's why they can do it. When I was young, I was more knowledgeable about machines than the adults around me as well'— was the explanation they needed. And once this type of person recognizes that, they are likely to use that as a support to their reasoning. And this would prove to be favorable to us."

"Huh—, I understand."

But asking a single person to do it when it was a request for the Net Game Club is pretty weird.

That weird favoritism is going to be pretty troublesome. Won't it be a problem if it's not going to be credited to our group?

"Ms. Saitou is still just new at her job. There is not much leeway for her to manage PC-related ch.o.r.es. It's also not good for her to be thought as someone who has a preference for things like games and computers. That's where we come in and take on this task for her benefit. This is give-and-take, that sort of thing."

"You've really thought a lot about this."

I haven't thought this much before about an errand a teacher entrusted me with. Among the major guilds in LA, it seems they're also practicing diplomacy. I wonder if their guildmasters also think and act like this.

"Just what was it? Were you taught on the art of how to become a good emperor or something like that?"

"I think it would be more proper to refer to it as the art controlling the human heart. It's being able to grasp the other party's mental state while normally talking with them, and then using that knowledge to lead them to the outcome most beneficial to yourself. Doing it certainly does not elicit a good feeling, but it can be pretty convenient at times. For example, like this—"

"Ooh!?"

Just then, Master suddenly hugged my shoulders.

As I was being enveloped from behind by that slender body, I could feel something soft and bouncy being crushed behind my shoulders. Oh, this is, pretty grea… No wait. That's wrong, that's wrong. This is no good!

As I was about to be swallowed up by those improper emotions, I shook my head off and immediately distanced myself from Master.

"Y, you surprised me. What's with you suddenly?"

"I thought I would give you a little reward. If Ako-kun were the one who did that, you wouldn't have that kind of reaction, would you Rusian?"

"Well, she's my wife after all."

In LA, and if I had to add another thing, in my mind as well. But I was really a bit surprised there. My heart is pounding with such tremendous vigor. I mean, look, it's those things, just look at those things.

As I was desperately trying to avert my gaze from being drawn in to that chest in front of me, Master said.

"'That just now was me measuring the distance between you and me and making Rusian aware that he is indeed faithful to Ako-kun. Doing that, Rusian's att.i.tude towards Ako-kun should soften up, which should relieve some of her stress. And just like this I would be a bit lonely while thinking, 'Ah, it wasn't bad up until now'. And that, is the intended effect of my actions."

"That's why I'm telling you I'm sorry for shaking you off."

It's not that I hated it you know. I was just really surprised.

But Ako's stress relief huh. Was it also for that reason that she opened the student council office for Ako during lunch break, I wonder. Was making me do this ch.o.r.e today also something so that I can feel like I'm really in a club? If you just tell me 'Ako's in the student council office during lunch break', I wouldn't really get much meaning from that. I'd just think that she sometimes shows up there.

While she nodded as if she understood something, Master seemed to be laughing at herself.

"Does Rusian think of me as an ill-natured woman as well? To be honest, I myself am convinced that I won't be able to make friends with this personality of mine."

"Nope, not really. Even better— I am a bird your argument is invalid!"

I said this while in crane stance with both my hands raised up in a V pose.

TL note: This is a reference to the ASCII art used in 2ch. It is often paired with the phrase 「わりとどうでもいい」 which literally means I don't care about that one bit. I just took my liberties here and replaced it with something from 4chan instead (Your argument is invalid). It felt like it just matched up, since the aim here was to cheer Master up. Also, the ASCII art looks like this:

"The foundation of a net gamer is the use of their hands after all, so for the complicated stuff, we'll just leave it to Master. If you ever need us to lend a hand, then feel free to use ours as you see fit."

Even in the game, it was like this. 'If we abuse this quest, we can get a lot of EXP!' is something Master would say to gradually pull us into doing it. Such is our everyday routine.

"…Is that how it is?"

"Rather, we don't really ponder about it too much like Master seems to think. Even Nekohime-san probably thought that you made us do that because were trying to push the load on us."

"Ms. Saitou is not as carefree as you think. Any full-fledged member of society would put their workplace on top of their list of priorities—"

"Saitou-sensei—"

As we were talking in front of the faculty room, a single student, calling for Nekohime-san, suddenly appeared before eyes.

We were somehow able to stop our conversation before Nekohime-san came out of the faculty room. She then looked at the student as a bitter smile appeared on her face.

"You're late aren't you? Here, the phone that I confiscated."

"It came back— My phone—!"

The student who just nonchalantly got her phone returned to her began rubbing it on her cheeks.

"Teach—, it's not really cool confiscating phones so I think you really should just stop doing that."

"Look here, if you play around with your phone during your break, then I can just pretend that I didn't see it. But if you play something like a mobile game in cla.s.s, even I'll have no choice but to confiscate it you know?"

As Nekohime-san was lecturing the student, Master, looking as if she had proven her point, said.

"Behold! Ms. Saitou is properly carrying out her duty, is she not!"

"I guess so."

Heee—, Nekohime-san is really doing something teacher-like. I know she's unexpectedly got her act together, but that 'Meow~ ☆' image of hers is just too strong that I can't help but feel this is out of place.

But now that I've seen her like this, I guess she really thinks about a lot of things through when guiding us and also when doing her job.

"But teach—, there was a sudden limited time event. If I don't do it during cla.s.s then it would be a waste missing out on it."

"What are you even saying? It's just a non-premium event, so isn't it fine to just try again some other time? Just finish it during your break."

What's this? It's seems the current turn of affairs are not looking too good?

"You're wrong teach. My party is weak so doing it during the break just doesn't cut it."

"Being weak or strong in event dungeons doesn't really matter does it? Let me see that for a bit… Ah geez, what's with this composition? Of course you're going to run out of time doing it. Here, open this box."

"Kaay."

Eh, why is she scolding that person about their party composition with the same ferocity she does as when someone gets a wrong answer in j.a.panese language cla.s.s?

Isn't this strange? Wait, am I the strange one here?

"You see! In the meantime, doing it like this should make it much faster. Once you're used to it, the break should be enough time for you already to finish it."

"Heee—! You're pretty good at this aren't you teach? How high is your rank? I'm 130 by the way."

"It's 380."

"…Eh?"

"My rank is 380."

"……I, is that so."

As the student was clearly taken aback, Nekohime-san repeated that while showing a s.h.i.t-eating grin.

"Hey Master, that student over was just weirded out at how much that teacher was into the game. Is she really considering her position at school?"

"…I'm sorry, I was wrong."

Wherever a net gamer goes, they're still a net gamer…

"Well, putting Ms. Saitou aside for now. For you and Ako-kun's sake, and for my sake as well, my club shall keep doing what we can to the scope of our abilities, for our own interest. Rusian, I'll be counting on your collaboration as well."

"If it's something I can do, sure."

"You can definitely do it. If you can just become Ako's support, then that would be fine."

"Even without you saying that, I'd still be her support."

"…That's right. Isn't that just right."

What's with that grin on your face Master. Stop it. I told you to stop. Ako is already there as my support, so it's just natural for me to be her support as well.

And well, I know what you mean. She doesn't have any close friends in her own cla.s.s, but at least she has friends in another cla.s.s that she comes to visit during the break, and us going home from school together, are things that really make us really feel at ease.

"Well, I suppose I should get back soon and fawn over my wife."

"That would be a great idea."

When we went back to the student council office, Ako was silently looking out the window.

"We're back Ako. What's up? Why are you looking outside?"

"Ah no…it's that."

Ako was pointing outside the window, towards the couples sitting in the courtyard.

"If it's from here, I can easily shoot their heads off, was just what I was thinking…"

"That's banned!"

"And so there you have it, FPS is banned."

During the club activities on that day, I gave out the order on the ban on shooting games.

"This is tyranny! That was a game that even I was useful at!"

"Indeed. I was just at the point that I could start using my premium items as well."

"But it can't be helped."

Ako and Master seem dissatisfied, but it looks like Segawa's Wild Boar Plays from yesterday have burned her out.

"If Ako's sickness just gets worse then there would be no point to the club activities."

"Right? Schew really gets it."

"Muuu… It can't be helped. Then how about we choose something more along the lines of fantasy?"

As she kept operating her mouse with clattering sounds, Master then displayed another game's official site.

"I have a recommendation. The t.i.tle is 'Honey Story'. As you can see, it seems like a peaceful-looking game."

TL note: This in a reference to MapleStory.

"This looks good. It seems like the best game to calm you down with."

"My normie ma.s.sacre plan…"

I told you to stop it already.

True to its name, Honey Story is a side-scrolling game that portrays a warm fantasy feeling.

You can move your character left and right using the arrows keys. In the early parts of the game, the important keys to remember are the attack and jump keys. It looks like you can get used to the controls pretty easily.

"Hmm, 2D huh?"

"Indeed. You can only move from side to side. Also, you can jump."

"This doesn't look too hard for me as well."

It being a game easy to pick up for beginners was wonderful. Ako seemed hesitant about it at first, but when she herself said that it was easy enough to operate and saw the cute characters, her expression began to soften.

That monsters that appeared were all mushrooms and slimes, which had designs that you just couldn't hate. Playing this game would definitely calm you down. That's right, we're going to go play this game and soothe Ako's disturbed psyche.

"First of all, I've gathered some information prior to us playing. For now, let us go to the Honey Park next to town. There, we can find the most optimal hunting grounds for beginners."

TL note: Reference to Mushroom Park in MapleStory.

Master guided us as we moved along the map. Waiting for us over there were a lot mushrooms, slimes, and players.

"Err, Master? Don't you think it's full of people here?"

"It's also full of enemies so there's no problem. We're going to hunt here."

"Okaaay."

Just as we were told, we hunted mushrooms. And we hunted slimes. And we hunted mushrooms. And we hunted mushrooms. At times, a player would scowl at us and then we'd hunt mushrooms. At times, I would experience Gestaltzerfall while staring at the mushrooms and then we'd hunt mushrooms. Hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt.

TL note: Gestaltzerfall (German for “shape decomposition”) refers to a type of visual agnosia and is a psychological phenomenon where delays in recognition are observed when a complex shape is stared at for a while as the shape seems to decompose into its const.i.tuting parts. With regards to kanji, a study has shown that delays are most significant when the characters are of the same size. When characters to recognize are of different sizes, delays are observed only when they are of different patterns. Taken straight from Wikipedia so you won't have to.

Err, uhh, is this all we can do in this game?

"Master, how long are we going to stay here?"

Ako, finally bored and dessicated from the anguish of what we were doing, spoke up first.

"Yeah, I'm getting a bit fed up too."

"I've already gotten to level 5 as well. Isn't it about time to switch to a different place?"

Me and Schew were mimicking what Ako just said. However, Master curiously looked at us and said,

"What are you saying? We're staying here until level 15."

"Haaa!?"

Just how long is this going to take!?

I'm seriously fed up with this. Isn't it time to stop this mushroom h.e.l.l?

"There's other hunting spots as well, but our efficiency will drop there. This is a simple game in the first place, so even with the starter gear and level, you could just go anywhere. Well then the lot of you, stop complaining and get to hunting those mushrooms. Hunt. Hunt. Go hunt some more!"

"I don't want mushrooms anymore—!"

Seriously… Are we not able to escape these mushrooms…

Our mushroom h.e.l.l had just begun.

"The sun looks like a mushroom… Huh?"

It was the day after our neverending mushroom hunt.

As I was walking in the hallways toward the cla.s.sroom, I spotted a familiar figure of a girl cowering in the corner. I don't even have to say it, but it was Ako.

"…What are you doing?"

"Ru, Rusian…"

Ako was staring at the students going back and forth the hallway with a frightened look.

What is it? Don't tell me they were bullying you? Even I won't let that slide.

"What's the matter? If something's bothering you, I'll help. If I'm no good, I could go get Segawa as well."

"N, no. It's not that, it's…"

She directed her shaking finger toward the hallway.

"Those people loitering around move like they're enemies from a 2D scrolling game."

"……Ah, is that so."

What was that, I was worried for nothing.

"Please don't give me that disappointed look. It's scary, you know? Don't you think that if I don't defeat them all, I won't be able to return to the cla.s.sroom!?"

I'm not going to think that. Even if I did, I wouldn't defeat them.

"Calm down Ako. Even if they were enemies, they're pa.s.sive ones. They're the kind of monsters that leave you alone if you don't attack them. If you just walk along the sides, nothing will happen."

"Pa.s.sive… Th, that's right."

She looks convinced by my words as she gathered up the courage to step her foot out, but a voice suddenly came from the side.

"Ah, Tamaki-san, good morning—"

"Eeeep!? G, go, goo—"

That girl who called out to Ako seemed to be her cla.s.smate. Without waiting for a reply, that cla.s.smate of hers just went on past.

"Go…od…mor…ning."

"They're not here anymore."

After Ako's repeated mumbles, she turned around and faced me.

"T, they were aggressive after all!"

"Calm down Ako. That wasn't an attack just now. That was just a greeting."

"Just what is the difference between the two!? What is!?"

More like just how are they even remotely similar is what I'd like to know.

Aren't you just glad that she remembered your name?

"Uuu, mushrooms are scary, mushrooms are scary."

"She's pretty much driven to the wall."

Just like that, Ako remained in her frightened state in the hallway until right before the bell rang.

"But you know, being at your wit's end just because someone called out to her… Is she going to be okay?"

As I was worrying about Ako's habits, the day pa.s.sed by as usual and it's now after cla.s.s.

Just like Ako, I was thinking that 'Now that I've finished with cleaning duty, here comes the real thing', as I opened the door.

"Yo—"

"I was waiting for you, Rusian!"

It was Ako's energetic voice, which took a 180 degree turn from earlier. She was waiting inside the room.

"…What's with that outfit?"

This is, a pretty amazing sight to behold.

On the upper half of her body, she wore a top, only scantily covering her body, which showed her navel. To go with that, there's also the slightly problematic short skirt with knee high socks. There's also furball-like things attached here and there, but that does not style up with this kind of exposure. Is this a swimsuit or something?

"How is it Rusian?"

As Ako happily posed, she brought out a bow that looked like no thought went into its functionality. She then swayed that fluffy tail of hers.

I heard a weird sound effect that sounded like, 'Jajajaja—n jajaja—n'.

TL note: This sound is the first part in Quest Complete fanfare in Monster Hunter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdIxy2L456g) for reference.

"Err…Just what are you doing? In a s.e.xy outfit like that even."

"Does it make you excited after all?"

Rather, how about you show me a male that wouldn't be excited if a cla.s.smate suddenly comes out and decides to show you her swimsuit (?).

"Aren't you a bit late?"

"Hey Segawa, hurry and tell Ako that—"

I turned my gaze and Segawa was there. It looked like she was wearing some kind of scale armor with a sword at her side as she was donning a s.h.i.t-eating grin. It was such a good expression. It was so good that it was irritating.

"Just what are you doing as well…?"

"How's this? Cool isn't it?"

"Well, I guess it's kinda cool."

"Right!"

Compared to Ako, this didn't have too much exposure. More than aiming to be cute, this aimed to look cool. I kind of understand what she's going for here.

Segawa lifted the sword in high spirits and proceeded to grandly set it up above her. At the same time she was about to complete her pose, the greatsword hit the ceiling and broke with a snap, giving off a dull sound.

"Ah."

"Oh."

The sword snapped right in the middle. It seemed like the ceiling didn't have any scratches. Thankfully, it wasn't that well-made. That was close, that was close.

"M, my brilliant blade the Hanagatsuo!"

That name kind of sounds delicious. It even smells delicious too.

TL note: Hanagatsuo sounds like Hanakatsuo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsuobushi)

"And so there you have it. This is what we will be doing today."

Master came up from behind the PC. With those white fluffy things on her skirt, she was also holding a sword with both of her hands. Even if you tell me it's 'this', I'm not going to have any idea. Cosplaying like that as if it were normal, just what the heck is this?

"Due to yesterday's Honey Story, I thought that everyone might have had a trauma of hunting instilled in their minds. So, for us to have fun in hunting today, I have come up with this plan."

"Why do you show such concern for such useless things… Just who is going to benefit from this?"

"Rusian, who gets to see Ako in that, benefits from this."

"Ugh."

"…?"

Ako, who was playing around with her bow, noticed my gaze and went to shake around her bow even more. That chest, those hips, those armpits, that bellyb.u.t.ton— Man, I'm going to see everything that's why you shouldn't be moving around so much like that!

"What are you looking at with those pervy eyes?"

"It's not my fault!"

I'm going to stick with my guns for this one! That's really not my fault after all!

"Here, there's something for Rusian too."

Master said that as she brought out a set of cat-ears with a matching outfit.

"I'm definitely not going to wear that."

"Eeh, dress up with us too Rusian! Even if Rusian wears cat-ears, I'm confident that I can still love you!"

I could go without you telling me that you'll still love me with cat-ears on though.

"That's fine. Well then, let's get started on today's club activities. —Let's get going on one hunt!"

"Yeah!"

"I told you I'm not fine with it…"

It looks like we're going hunting today.

"This game, Dragon Hunter Frontier Online, is what you would consider a MOACT. It's a Multiplayer Online ACTion game with a small amount of players in each instance. It's a popular game where you can have fun hunting dragons."

TL note: Reference to Monster Hunter Frontier Online.

"Mmm, so tasty!"

TL note: MMM SO TASTY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVHigvYeoYw)

Ako couldn't contain herself as she suddenly blurted that out.

"Oh I've heard about that but I haven't really tried it yet."

I turned my gaze away from Ako's excessively voluptuous skin. I really wish you would stop sitting beside me with those kind of clothes on.

"To start with, we should each pick our own weapon. There are weapons inside of that box so just take whichever one you'd like."

Rustling sounds could be heard as we were rummaging through the weapon box. It looks like there's all kinds of beginner weapons in it.

"I'd like to go with something with a big shield after all. I'm going with this lance."

"I'd like something that can attack from far away quickly and easily."

"If there's a huge sword then that's good enough for me… Ah, what's with this extra long sword! It's neat!"

We've decided on each of our weapons.

I picked the large lance. Ako got the bow, Segawa the large longsword, and Master picked what seems to be a large instrument.

—Just what is this sensation? I have a really bad feeling about this.

"Well then, let's accept the quest and depart!"

"Yeah!"

Everyone got on the boat and set sail for the hunt location. The boat swayed and shook as it moved further into the sea.

Are we going to be okay with this setup?

"A large dragon won't appear from the start so relax. Only moderately sized ones appear in the beginning."

"I guess that's fine…"

As we arrived at the jungle, we were greeted with beautiful graphics laid out before us. Even while just walking around, there's a lot of great scenery here and there. However, somewhere over there were animals walking around, so we were walking cautiously.

"It's pretty isn't it—"

"If you actually go here in reality, it's full of bugs."

Schwein shrugged at Ako, who was in delight.

"What's with that skeptical view…"

"Reality aside, this game is actually full of those insects."

Master matter-of-factly said that.

"Eh, there are bugs even though it's a game? —Hyaaaa!?"

"Schew just got stung by a large bee!"

"I, I'm paralyzed!"

The large bee buzzed as it flew around, aiming for us. If you get stung by it, you get paralyzed and become unable to move.

"Ako, shoot down that bee!"

"I can't hit it!"

Even though she was an excellent sniper, it looks like she didn't know how to handle a bow. The arrows whizzed as they pa.s.sed by the bee. And then, it hits me. And it keeps. .h.i.tting, and hitting, and hitting me. I can't move. I can't move!

"It's heading this way, it's coming!"

"Hey, wait, stop firing your bow repeatedly! My Rusian keeps going 'oh, oh, oh' and keeps flinching because of that!"

"Come on, you can do it. You can do it."

"Stop playing your instrument and help us out Master—!"

"I can't remove the paralysis—!"

As we we're moving about in our confusion, the four of us progressed through the jungle. The screen then changed to that of a beach and a movie began to play. A giant chicken let out a high-pitched shrill as it appeared.

"Uwa, that's huge."

"This is our prey today. It's the practice monster for beginners, nicknamed 'Kokko-sensei'."

TL note: This is a reference to Kukku-sensei in the Monster Hunter series which is a nickname for Yian-Kut ku. It earned its nickname in j.a.pan for being the first monster that taught people that they needed to learn how to actually play the game properly (stocking up properly on items, actually evading and watching out for mechanics), to which clearing it would be the rite of pa.s.sage for those people aiming to do harder content. Needless to say, this is not actually a monster to be hunted by beginners. It is supposed to ease you into higher level gameplay after you've actually learned basic controls.

"My belly is getting hungry just looking at it."

"Should we go we fry it and eat it up?"

"Alright, leave the preparation of the meat to me!"

Schwein dove right in. Following her from behind, I catched up while carrying around my shield with me.

"Take that! And that! Haha! What's with this thing? It's so slow! I can cut all I want!"

"Alright, then me too—"

The moment I drew my lance, Schwein's longsword hit Rusian's— my back and energetically cut it up. There's no friendly fire in this game so it didn't do any damage, but you would still be shaken by the attack and flinch. Just like that, Schwein kept going with the flow, and kept slicing both me and Kokko-sensei up.

"Wait Schwein, you're hitting me too! I can't move!"

"I'm going to defeat it so just leave it to me!"

"Hey, that's dangerous! Wait, why am I desperately guarding my ally's attacks instead of the enemies!"

TL note: This is a staple occurrence when people bunch up together at a single part of a monster in Monster Hunter. Since the longsword reach is really long, anyone near that radius ends up getting stunlocked by their own teammates. This is especially awful for weapons with shields as you consume stamina guarding your own ally's attacks. This was also the case with Ako's arrows earlier.

"Take that! And this!"

Ako was repeatedly firing limp arrows from far away. Are those even doing damage?

But it looks like Kokko-sensei found those attacks annoying, as it turned around and swung its tail at us, blowing us away. It then vigorously made a break towards Ako's direction.

"Ako, dodge!"

"Do, dodge… It's going in the direction I dodged to!"

With a large 'Bam!', Ako was. .h.i.t by its strong charge and fell flat on the ground. That body of hers was carried off by a group of cats, purring as they did.

"We've just lost a precious ally… I'm going to fight for Ako's share too!"

"Agreed, leave this to me. I'll use my instrument to buff us up with a song that should make up for the lost member!"

Master hit Kokko-sensei with her instrument as she kept blowing into the horn, making 'doot, doot' sounds.

"What's with that? Playing your instrument while fighting!"

"So the instrument was that kind of weapon…"

"Nothing is impossible for the horn! …Hm, it looks like Kokko-sensei is mad."

It seems that it got angrier from those severe attacks, as Kokko-sensei's comb ignited up and turned red.

With a 'Gyoon!', it roared. With flames spewing out from Kokko-sensei's mouth, it suddenly charged at us.

"c.r.a.p, dodge!"

Schew deftly evaded as she swung her longsword down. That swing then proceeded to perfectly hit me.

"He, hey!"

I was flinched right as Kokko-sensei was about to get into my face. There wasn't even any time to hold up my shield. My screen was now covered with the image of a large chicken.

The cats then carried me off, meowing as they went.

And after a few battles, we've yet to come up with a solution on how to defeat Kokko-sensei.

If we surround it, it's going to blow us away with its spinning tail attack. If we stay at a distance, it's going to charge at us and breathe fire. If we fight it carefully, we'll barely deal any damage and it would just run off to recover. Just how do we even beat this thing?

"There's really no winning this one."

"Kokko-sensei is just too strong."

"I'm finally getting used to the game!"

Having two deaths in one run is not what you'd call someone who's used to the game, Ako.

TL note: The quests in Monster Hunter automatically fail after a total of 3 party members fainting (you can faint twice and that would count as two).

'Mumumu', Master muttered this as she nodded in agreement to our plight.

"Was is too hard for beginners I wonder… Now then, I suppose it's time to bring out my main character."

"Master, have you played this game before?"

"I played it solo for a bit. I wasn't able to make any friends so I stopped playing, but I should have some decent weapons here and there."

Her reason for quitting aside, that's something we could count on.

Master disappeared for a bit. And when she came back, she was all dressed up in excessively tough-looking equipment while carrying a neat-looking gun. This is Master's main character.

"Then, let us go. I'll show you how to really hunt this time."

"Yeah!"

We accepted the quest for Kokko-sensei again.

Going through the swaying of the boat, we arrived again at the jungle. We picked up our supplies, and got ourselves ready— Somehow it looks like a fifth hunter who wasn't supposed to be here suddenly appeared, and in really tough-looking equipment too.

"Huh, who's this?"

"Don't mind it. That's my a.s.sistant."

"A, a.s.sistant…?"

'What the heck is that?', Schew tilted her head in confusion.

"This is a really wonderful game. If you pay premium, a very powerful legendary hunter would come to a.s.sist you."

"How strong is it?"

"Using the one we just fought, Kokko-sensei, as basis, he could probably deal with ten of them at the same time."

Just what the heck is that. Are you denying all that effort we made with just that one sentence?

"There's an NPC that can do a task that four people would have difficulty in dealing with…?"

"That's definitely weird isn't it?"

"We'll speak of this later. Kokko-sensei is coming."

With the sound of its wings flapping, Kokko-sensei descended from the sky. 'Since it's just a chicken, would it be able to fly?', was one of my doubts that was blown away when I saw it flying magnificently.

"Alright, I'm definitely going to make fried chicken out of you this time!"

"Yeah!"

"Well then… Commence the attack!"

Right after saying that, a bright light came flying out of her weapon as it let out a thunderous roar. An intense amount of bullets engulfed Kokko-sensei with a 'Zudododo!'.

The excessive impact staggered Kokko-sensei and it got knocked down. Its resounding cries could be heard as it cried out 'koke—'.

"Fire! Fire! Fire—!"

"Err, uhh… Eh?"

She was continuously dishing out those attacks that Schwein could not figure out when it would be safe to get close.

As we stood bewildered by this spectacle, Master did not let up on her attack. It keeps continuing and just won't stop. Now is Master's turn, next is also Master's turn, it's forever Master's turn.

TL note: A reference to a joke used in 2ch which in itself is a reference to YuGiOh in Yugi's fight versus Weevil on the train where he used Berserker's Soul to keep attacking endlessly. Just see video for reference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=321wCzRSySw). It also references Kaiba from the same source in volume 4 where he kept summoning monsters even though it was obviously Yugi's grandpa's turn. See the ASCII Art below as well:

Just when it looks like Kokko-sensei was about to get up, it is knocked down again right away.

'Zudododo!', 'Koke—!', 'Zudododo!', 'Koke—!', 'Zudododo!', 'Koke—!', 'Zudododo!', 'Koke—!', 'Zudododo!', 'Ko, koke…'.

'Jajajaja—n, jajaja—n', that fanfare resounded as Kokko-sensei slowly fell to the ground. Its comb broke off and its wings were tattered. Just like that, no traces were left of the king of the jungle that we had a hard time fighting against.

"It's a Quest Clear."

Strange. There's something strange about this. Something like this shouldn't happen.

"I want that weapon too—!"

Wait, wait. I just can't buy this. I didn't think we would be winning over Kokko-sensei like this.

That was like something supernatural at work. And as the effect of that something, Kokko-sensei just kind of died. That's what it looked like.

"Master, that weapon is banned."

"Muu… I suppose it cannot be helped."

I guess even she found it unpleasant, as Master nodded her head in agreement.

TL note: What Master just did was cl.u.s.ter spam Kokko-sensei. If you're familiar with the recent Monster Hunter World, this is pretty much the meta for any encounter. It's cheap but very effective.

And then, we went out into the jungle again. The NPC this time was nowhere to be seen, so we can finally start fighting in earnest.

As we waited in that area where we fought it previously, we could hear the sound of its wings flapping yet again.

"Okay then, I'll be getting in one attack at the start. You can continue attacking after I'm done with that."

Master said this as it looks like this time, she picked a greatsword which was quite different from the one she had before.

"OK, I'll show you my magnificent swordplay this time."

"Don't go hitting me again ok?"

"I'm going to do my best and shoot from far away!"

Ako, you should come a little bit closer. You should really stop spamming that single b.u.t.ton to attack from far away.

And then, in front of our eager selves, Kokko-sensei was descending. I could hear someone gulping down their saliva as this happened.

"Here we go."

Master calmly said this as she hoisted her sword overhead. 'Ki—n', 'Ki—n', just like that, I understood that she was gathering up power in her swing. And just when Kokko-sensei reached the ground— In that moment, Master swung down her greatsword. After that, were supposed to follow up on her attack and—.

'Squash!', a thunderous noise reverberated.

'Ko, koke…'.

'Jajajaja—n, jajaja—n', that fanfare resounded as Kokko-sensei slowly fell to the ground. Its comb broke off and its wings were tattered. Just like that, no traces were left of the king of the jungle that we had a hard time fighting against.

"It's a Quest Clear."

"Wait a bit."

"Just how did the battle end 0 seconds after it just started?"

In response to my protest, Master laughed with a 'fufufu'.

TL note: What Master did was a Charged Strike for the greatsword, it's an attack that when fully charged, can actually destroy monsters in one hit with a good enough setup.

"This game is wonderful. There's so much you can do by spending money on it. You can pay to have a legendary a.s.sistant go with you, you can pay to increase your attack power, you can pay to increase your defensive power, you can pay so that you won't be killed instantly. you can pay to increase the number of your skills. you can pay to increase your quest rewards, you can pay to increase the number of carves, and you can even pay to increase the chance of a rare item appearing!"

"Isn't that what you'd call a s.h.i.tty game!"

"No matter how you look at it, it's a G.o.dly game! As long as I use this weapon, I could probably defeat three Kokko-senseis in one strike!"

"I want that weapon too—!"

"Stop wanting every single thing!"

"Hauu… I'm sorry…"

I hit Ako on the head. And then Ako, losing her balance, pulled me down with her and was now looking up at me with teary eyes. I could feel that exposed smooth skin of hers was. .h.i.tting me here and there— No, I mustn't look at it. I mustn’t.

"Hey now, stop being all over each other like that. If you do that with that kind of outfit on, it would definitely look improper."

"That's not what I was—"

And, completely unrelated to what just happened, the door to the room just suddenly opened.

"Just what is all this fuss about? I could hear you all the way from out…side?"

"Ah, Sensei."

For what it's worth, she's our advisor, so dropping in from time to time to check up on us was something Saitou-sensei would do. Sensei looked around the room, and turned her attention to the risque cosplay outfit.

Ah— I completely forgot. That's right. Sensei seeing this outfit would definitely be a bad thing.

As she looked at the pale me with an icy gaze, Sensei took a deep breath and let out a big sigh. She closed the door as she said this.

"Just what are you guys wearing here in school!"

"We, we're sorry!"

"Hurry up and change this instant!"

"Eeeh?"

"It's not 'Eeeh?'! Come on! Nishimurkun hurry up and get out!"

"Ye, yes!"

I ran out the room as if I were kicked out, and went to sit on the floor in the hallway.

I'm never going to hunt ever again.

"Uuu, it was so cute though…"

It took a good amount of time before Nekohime-san finished lecturing us, so just like that, our club activities ended.

As I saw Ako barefoot while changing to her shoes in the entranceway, I started to remember her outfit earlier which caused my face to get hot all of a sudden. Don't remember it, don't remember it. The game and reality are different— But still, why did you wear something like that in real life? I mean seriously.

"More than cute, that outfit's what you flat out call s.e.xy."

"The difference between s.e.xy and cute is paper thin, you know?"

"You've already ripped through that paper though."

Don't you wear that outfit in front of anyone but me. I'd want to keep that outfit under my secure safekeeping. It's a waste to do so, so don't you ever throw it away.

Just then, I noticed that my right arm was unusually light.

"…Ah, c.r.a.p. That's right, I left my bag in the clubroom."

"Isn't it fine? There's always tomorrow."

"That's not going to fly. It's just right over there so I'll go get it. Wait for me a bit."

"Okaay."

Ako lightly waved her hand as she saw me off while I ran towards the clubroom. This feels something like she planned to wait for me to go home together, so it felt kind of good. As I was thinking that, I opened the door to the clubroom.

What I saw then was a pair of cat-ears swaying.

"……Ha?"

"Ni, Nishimurkun!?"

In a room with supposedly no one there was one person, Saitou-sensei— Nekohime-san, was there.

She was there, wearing the cat-ears and frilly dress that Master had brought, and was posing like a cat with both her hands upfront.

"……Excuse me Nekohime-san, I'm sorry for disturbing you."

"Wai…You, you got it wrong, I was just a bit interested in it, this is just studying up on the matter, trying to understand a student's feeling, you know?"

"It's fine, I understand. I won't tell anyone. I'm Nekohime-san's ally after all."

I cast my eyes downward as I looked away. That was all about I could take.

"That kind of consideration is…Ah, wait, listen to what— Rusian, meow got it wroooooooong!"

A sorrowful voice resounded throughout the school building, after cla.s.s.

"Oh, Rusian? Was your bag not there?"

"It's fine. That matter is already fine."

"…?"

It was a sorrowful incident.

"So there you have it, I'm done with hunting."

"I agree!"

"I'll have to agree on that too."

We all expressed our rejection for yesterday's club activity, DragHun, in unison.

Rather, aren't the premiums for that game way too strong?

"The overwhelming power of money is going to cause us great mental damage so our vote on the ban for that game won't waver. This decision is made using the majority rule, which is the most well-known and undeniably correct way to go about it."

"This is coercion by numbers… But well, it can't be helped. Let's pick a game that's more easygoing, something that doesn't have any battles."

As she said that, Master showed yet another game on her screen.

"Our Golf, Soiya?"

TL note: This is a reference to Pangya Exhilarating Golf.

"Indeed. It's a sports game with golf as its theme. It has a well-known reputation for its cutesy avatars. If you time hitting the ball right, a lively and pleasant voice saying 'Soiya!' could be heard from your character."

TL note: As the namesake goes, hitting a perfectly aligned shot in PangYa, makes your character say Pangya! (or in the JP version, Kooh says Nice Pangya!) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp5ksMk6jik)

"Ah well, anything is fine."

It looks like she wasn't interested in the contents of the game at all, as Segawa started installing the game.

I'm not too familiar with sports games either, but for now, let's give it a try.

"Excuse me but…"

Then, Ako boldly raised her hand.

"Isn't this already kind of 'out'?"

"STFU."

TL note: This is a reference to a 2ch ASCII Art, with the original being a guide post on how to use Urusai, Damare. It was about someone saying what seems to be facts about the new corned beef packaging while the person they're talking to is on the bed. The person then proceeds to tell the other guy to STFU. I couldn't figure out any local references that may suit this part so I just left it as is. See ASCII Art below:

I don't know what the heck you're talking about.

Well, if it's this game, there shouldn't be any problems arising from this. It's about sports so it might actually arouse Ako to develop a fancy for outdoors to help with her condition.

"Since it's the four of us, we can choose to do team battles or single battles. What would you like to do?"

"Well it's a rare chance, so how about we do team battles?"

"Alright, then I'll pair up with Ako. Schwein and Rusian, you're on the same team."

That was an unusual way to pair us up, but okay.

"Alright, I'm going to give it my all and win this."

"It's my first time seeing this game, but with Ako on the other team, I don't feel like I'll lose."

We each created our accounts and proceeded to gather in the lobby. Arriving in avatars just wearing a standard shirt with the completely standard non-premium look were me, Schew, Ako, and— a fashionably dressed Master.

Though we did expect this to happen, Schew cried out at the sight of Master.

"I keep telling you! Why the heck! Do you! Keep buying premium! Right at the start!? It's about time you stop wasting money on useless avatars like that!"

"What are you saying! This game's avatar and equipment mean the same thing! If you would just spend money, you could start out using a character with nearly maxed stats! It's that kind of an excellent game!"

"Uwa, she's right. We're all the same rank but her stats are way different."

The way you look at it, it's clear that Master is the only strong one here.

If you spend money, you'll get stronger. It's definitely a game tailored for Master.

"And that's not all! If you roll in the Card Gacha you can get stronger! If you also roll in the Rare Gacha you can get even stronger! Paying for the a.s.sist characters will also make you stronger! And if you add paying for the consumables, you can be perfectly strong!"

"So this was that type of game too!?"

Doesn't this game have way too many P2W elements!? That's just not fair!

"Kuh, I wondered why you went out of your way to pick Ako in your team, but that was actually you looking to balance the fighting strength of each side huh."

"Master, my character is barefoot so I'd like to at least have some shoes."

"Hm, is that so. Wait a minute, I'll buy it for you."

"That's about enough of your begging as well!"

TL note: The phrase used here was クレクレ厨 which is a player that annoyingly keeps begging for stuff (in net games at least). This also extends to other mediums where people beg for sauce, and that's actually the closest we have, but just doesn't fit in this context.

Are you planning on wrecking the power balance even further!?

"In the meantime, I'll explain the rules simply. This game has the feel of a rhythm game, where you time your b.u.t.ton presses right to swing your club to play golf. It's a normal sports game. It's a game about golf, so it uses the official rules of actual golf. You hit the ball with the club, and the person who gets the ball in the cup with the lesser amount of swings taken wins. That's about it."

"I kind of knew that already."

"So basically all you have to do is get the ball in the hole right?"

'Umu', Master nodded. Master then continued.

"There are different types of clubs available, each designed for a particular course. There's the fairway, where the gra.s.s is cut low so that you can hit the ball easily. There's also the rough, where the area is gra.s.sier, thus, making it harder to hit the ball. When you get to the sand pits, it's extremely hard to hit the ball. This is also called the bunker. Then there's the area around the cup, which is called the green. Those are the different parts of it— but, you don't really have to mind them all that much. Aside from the green, you can generally use any club you want in the other parts of the course. To put it in an extreme way, you won't need any club other than the 1W, 6I and Putter. It's a game that lets you hit the ball with a baseball bat when it gets buried so deep in the sand that you can't see it at all anymore."

TL note: 1W, 6I refer to a specific denotation of wood and iron clubs respectively.

What kind of game is that? At the very least, that's not the game of golf that I know. What I had in mind was more like the image of gentlemen earnestly playing somewhere in the mountains.

"Ah, make sure you watch out for the volcano and the battleship's main cannon. You can't hit a ball that's been annihilated after all."

TL note: Reference to the Deep Inferno and Silvia Cannon stages in Pangya. The volcano is self explanatory, but you had to watch out for the main cannon in Silvia Cannon because it's actually a wind-altering cannon.

"Err, this is a sports game right?"

"That's what I suppose."

Is what Master said as it looked like she believed it to a certain extent.

Anyway, let's get started with the match.

Me & Schwein VS Master & Ako's 'Our Golf, Soiya' match has begun.

"Well then, the first shot goes to me!"

"Go get 'em Schew! Show that wallet warrior what we're capable of!"

"Leave it to me! To start with, err… what the heck is this. This is an awful course."

Schew said that with a sour look. Yeah, it's definitely an awful course.

Using the starter set of clubs, if you're able to perfectly hit it at full power, it would land in a place that would make it easy to hit it again. But just be a slight bit off, and you'll land in either the sandy or gra.s.sy areas. If you hit it with a weaker shot, it would be less risky, but that would be a disadvantage for the next shot.

"I'll leave the decision on how to tackle this to you. Just do it however you want."

In response to my words, Schew gave me a strong nod.

"To put it simply, I just have to match the timing right. I'll show you my rhythm game sense that's been honed by the item crafting mini-games in LA! Soiyaaaaaaaaaaa!"

The gauge that was used to determine the power of the shot started moving as it gave off a 'Piko—n, Piko—n' sound. Though the gauge was moving at a fairly high speed, Schew magnificently matched the timing of when to press it. Schew's character hit the ball with perfect form.

"Alright!"

'Soiya—!'

A cute sounding voice calling out Soiya just came out from the game.

"Nice Soiya, Schew!"

"Nice Soiya!"

"That was a nice Soiya~!"

"…This sounds like some kind of shady ritual."

It seems Schew was weirded out from overflowing Soiya calls.

The ball then beautifully landed in its intended spot. Looking ahead, this would be the most ideal spot.

"What should I do? This game feels kind of fun."

"This might be unexpectedly suited for Schew."

"Next is my turn."

While giving a sidelong glance at us, who were all fired up, Master was extremely composed as she took hold of her club.

Wait a minute. That club is clearly different from the rest of ours. That thing was definitely in the shape of something you could use to kill someone. More than a club, isn't that thing a weapon? That's a large sword isn't it? Can you even hit it with that? You won't cut it up but just hit it instead?

TL note: The Blessed Mithril Swords Club Set in PangYa. It really had sword clubs.

"Here I go then. Where would you like me to hit it to, Ako?"

"For now, somewhere near the goal would be fine."

"Affirmative. Well then, here goes."

As she said that, Master aimed at the same direction as our ball. What was then shown on the screen was that the batted ball dropped at a point much farther than ours.

"Well, even though I've failed, at least it wouldn't go into the bunker. It would fly right over it after all."

"What the heck is that? That's cheating!"

"This is unfair!"

"But of course. There's no way it would be fair after I've already spent on it, no?"

That reasoning is sound but I'm not going to buy it.

Are all the people playing this game still continuing on despite these circ.u.mstances?

"I didn't get a Soiya. However, I've gone past Schew's ball and am now close to the green."

"You dare make light of my Soiya… Hey Rusian, don't you dare lose, you hear?"

"The next one up is Ako right? This is going to be easy."

Adjust the direction of the shot, pick the club that can net the most distance, and do a full power shot. This should make it.

"Here I go, here comes the Soiya— not."

"It even fell pretty far off, to add."

"Ah, that's true."

The ball fell considerably far from the cup I was aiming for. I wonder why. I even aimed for it properly.

"This is not a game where the ball would go in a set direction just because you aim it there. The slope of where you're hitting it at, and the current wind conditions are both factors that greatly affect this. It's a golf game that requires a lot of knowledge."

"Kuh, so it wasn't just about the premium after all…"

"Ha! Ha! Ha! You took this game too lightly Rusian. Well then Ako, hit the ball exactly as I command you. Let's show Rusian your cool side."

"Yep!"

Ako aim directly toward the cup. The place she was aiming for was just right over there, but strangely enough, she picked a club that's used for long distances. And then with a 'Gyui—n' sound effect, Ako was surrounded with a strange red aura.

"Do it, it's time for the Finishing Shot!"

"Yes!"

To add, the power gauge was moving much slower than it was for us. Just what item did Master use!?

"Soiya—!"

Going along with her fighting spirit, Ako fired off a magnificent shot.

The ball flew off with an amazing force.

"But isn't that just going to make the ball fly all the way out of bounds?"

"Fu, fu, fu. Do you think so?"

Right after Master's unfitting laughter at the situation, the ball pa.s.sed directly over the cup— and with a 'Suton!', it fell directly downwards.

"Haa!?"

"And here comes the backspin! Alright, and then the chip in!"

"I did it—!"

Master and Ako both yelled out 'Yay!' as they gave each other a high five.

TL note: Pangya has special shots you can perform by pressing arrow keys after you've selected your shot's power. What Ako probably did here was a Spike + Back Power Spin. You can also use items to help with adding stats to your shot, which was probably what the red aura was for. I'm not sure about the vacuum beam though, it's been over a decade since I last played PangYa and I couldn't find any info on this. It could just be made up as well.

Wait, wait. What was that just now? Strange. That was definitely strange! That sort of thing is just not going to fly with me!

"A beam just hit it. A beam came out from the cup which sucked the ball right into the hole. Even getting a hole in one with this would be easy."

"What the heck is that? Just where did the laws of physics go off to?"

"This game is Soiya!"

Is the explanation over with just that one statement!? Darn it! I'm not going to buy that!

Me and Schew still challenged them against all odds, but in the end, Ako missing her Soiya a few times and us winning just did not happen.

"Sleepy… I think I'll sleep in the clubroom."

It was the next day, after cla.s.s. I rubbed my sleepy eyes and sluggishly headed toward the clubroom.

Just then, I ran into Ako, who was also heading to the clubroom.

"Oh, Ako. You look lively."

"Rusian… looks kind of sleepy. What happened?"

"I'm going to pulverize you in today's Soiya."

"So you were doing self-training!?"

It was harder than it looked, so I got a bit into it and before I noticed, it was already late. It was pretty fun after all, really.

As we were talking while walking toward the clubroom, there was a garbage bag rolling around in the nearby corridor.

"That's bad manners. The garbage can is just there you know."

"Ah, me! Me! I'll do it!"

"…Do what exactly?"

For some reason, Ako was energetically raising her hand. She ran up to the garbage bag and then took a large swing afterwards.

"Soiya—!"

"Eeeeeh."

The garbage she just threw at full force magnificently pa.s.sed over its intended destination and hit the wall which caused it to fall to the ground around it.

"…Eh? The beam is not sucking it in?"

"First of all, clean that up first."

"O, okay."

"The laws of physics in Ako's brain might turn into Soiya so it's banned."

"So even Soiya is no good huh."

I didn't think it would be no good either. But if we leave it like this, she might apply the idea of Soiya onto everything and that would be definitely trouble.

"Then what are we going to do today?"

"Let's see. How about a fighting game?"

"I can already see this one failing."

I'm already thankful to G.o.d that those normies are given a taste of a 'cancel into an ultra combo'.

TL note: Reference to Street Fighter's player, Umehara, or better known in the west as Daigo. In j.a.panese media, he's referred to as the G.o.d of 2D fighting games. Just look up Daigo and you'll see why (Evo Moment 37). According to nicopedia, the phrase 'Thank you G.o.d!' (referring to Daigo) originated from this video (). As you can see that throughout the whole thing, he finished every match with an ultra combo while the caster was going nuts and yelling out that phrase by the end.

"What about versus puzzle games? I'm pretty good at those."

"Don't you feel like she's going to linking up people like the puzzles to make them disappear?"

Having her start linking up those normies in fours and shouting 'Fire!' won't be funny even as a joke.

TL note: In the original Puyo Puyo, you link up four colors of a kind together to make them disappear. The protagonist of the original series, Arle, yells out 'Fire!' on the second chain you make ()

"Multiplayer Online games that have hunting as their main thing is dangerous. And the skill level required for RTS seems a bit too high… What do we do?"

"Alright, then we'll go with this!"

What Master displayed on the screen was 'Dokidoki Memoria Online'— It was a game that got well-known due to them performing an act of home delivery terrorism to the players who got accepted into their Closed Beta Testing.

TL note: Reference to Tokimeki Memorial Online, an online dating sim. Home delivery terrorism also refers to a situation where the receiver, who usually orders something related to anime but doesn't want anyone knowing the contents of his package, gets it delivered to him, usually with transparent packaging, in such a way that one would immediately know what it is just by looking at it. Additional damage occurs when the product itself has a casing that describes what it is. Do remember that the parcel has the receiver's name on it. This is probably what happened to those who got shipped with the real Tokimeki Memorial Online. See said shipped DVD below:

"Eh, we're going to play this?"

"This would be a good influence on Ako don't you think, Rusian? Since it's come to this, having her experience the springtime of her youth in the game would be the best. Am I wrong?"

"Springtime of my youth, in a game, with Rusian!"

Ah, it seems like this one tugged at Ako's heartstrings. This is not good. This is not a good turn of events.

"Come and make some heart-pounding memories with me!"

Please— Stop— It—!

"That was a harsh and painful game…"

As the date was about to change, I was finally released from the Ako's heart-pounding h.e.l.l.

The players are students in Dokidoki High, where the main thing in the game is having them experience heart-pounding events either as a pair or as a group. Players would take the role of the novel game's protagonist and heroine at the same time, as they make their own choices to which the contents of the scenario will change accordingly. To be able to obtain a high score, one must fully understand their partner's personality. That in itself is what makes up the game's system but—

"This game is way too embara.s.sing…"

I was made the subject of unbearable suffering as I watched the unending bittersweet youthful love story of 'Rusian', played out by me, and 'Ako', played out by Ako. When we were cleaning up the gym storeroom, we would suddenly get locked in. During the sports festival, we would both partic.i.p.ate as a pair in the three-legged race. And when Ako fell ill during the middle cla.s.s, I would go and look after her— Were some of the probable events that did not happen in reality, which caused me to take great mental damage. To tell the truth, I felt like crying.

"Why is a romance game that turned online only seems to hurt the player more? Isn't it normally the opposite? This is definitely weird."

At the very least, in my situation, my partner was undoubtedly a girl since it was Ako. But what would the normal player do when they don't know whether their partner is a male or a female? Are they just going to believe that 'my partner is definitely a girl!' and continue flirting with them in the events? When you think of just what percent of players playing Dokidoki Memoria Online are females, then isn't it there just no chance of that happening? Aren't these people being too brave?

"But the fact that it was actually quite interesting just makes it even more vexing."

Like when the time I was taking tests in cla.s.s, I had to make a hard decision and read into what Ako was thinking to arrive at a good scenario. That was pretty fun. Darn it, they really put their thought into making this game.

"We were definitely given a taste of what the springtime of our youth feels like. If this would help fix Ako, then all would be well…"

I held onto those feelings as I went to school.

"Good morning, Nishimurkun."

Uwa, it's already starting to show effect!

Ako, who dropped by in cla.s.s, said that in a refreshing manner.

Man, that really surprised me. Something has finally affected her in a good way.

If you live your life like that of a character in a game about the springtime of youth, wouldn't you be able to make a lot of friends?

"G, good morning, Tamaki-san."

"Yup, good morning."

As Ako showed a smile on her face, I lost my composure.

It was that Ako that, contrary to my thoughts, seemingly wanted me to see her put her hand on her forehead on purpose.

"Ah, aah… It seems I'm having a bit of a dizzy spell. What ever should I do, Rusian? *peek* "

"I'm not going to do anything."

Don't forcibly trigger an event by yourself. My choice here would be 'That aside, I'm hungry.'.

"Uuu, Rusian, you meanie."

"It's your way of thinking that's the problem here."

"I guess having my real springtime of youth is just impossible right…"

We were just getting in a good mood, but you just had to go out of your way to destroy that.

As we were talking about that, a single girl went in the cla.s.sroom and headed towards us.

"Good morning—, Nishimurkun, Tamaki-san. You're getting along well today too huh—"

"Good morning, Akiyamsan."

I got it right, right? Segawa's also there behind her.

And well, that Segawa just gave us a quick peek and proceeded to give out a sigh. Well, it's just her usual bad att.i.tude.

"Uu! G, go, go…"

Ako was trying to return the greeting, but she kept choking on her words. Rather, isn't she kind of frightened?

"…od, morning."

"Morning—"

She was still able to reply merrily to that Ako. Her interpersonal skill is incredible.

"Nishimurkun, Nishimurkun."

Akiyamsan casually drew closer as she looked at us, and then she tilted her head a bit.

"Hey, are you not doing your club activities recently?"

"No? We're doing it though?"

"Is that so?"

The contents of her question was a bit odd, but we're still doing our club activities everyday.

If you look at it from an outsider's point of view, we should have been doing nothing but our usual club activities.

"Yeah, that is so. But why would you ask that?"

"Cause recently, you're not at the usual place."

"Eh?"

"Ha?"

Mine and Segawa's voice piled on top of one another.

What's the meaning of this? Why would a cla.s.smate suddenly talk about LA?

"Na, Nanako?"

"Hey Akane, is that true?"

"Eh, wh, what are you saying?"

Segawa flashed her a vague smile in an attempt to throw her off. But to the expression, she said,

"You even told me 'My bad self will take care of you, you hear?'."

She suddenly froze up.

"Wai, that, you, just what?"

"I'm telling you, you told me 'This hunk will guide you.' but I told you Nishimura Rusian-kun was already okay."

'Right?', she said that as she turned to me.

I don't remember that at all.

No, I actually remember. To tell you the truth, I do remember.

It would be better for me to just agree with her, but the moment I do, Segawa, who was turning to ash right in front of me would…

"Sette, san."

"Yuuup."

Akiyamsan smiled and nodded at Ako's murmur.

TL note: It’s a bit late, but it had to be at this point to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen the anime. Sette was used by Akiyamsan as it literally means ‘setting’ as in, what she thinks they were all doing (playing out their different ‘character settings’).

"Huh, Akiyamsan…?"

"Yup. You told me right? That when I'm in trouble, remember?"

"I didn't think it was something I said in real life though! Normally it would have been some promise I made in the game!"

I would never have thought that a cla.s.smate would've suddenly invaded us in the game!

TL note: Nishimura uses the word 凸って here. This is net slang too as normally it just means a convex. It just a term used for people who b.u.t.t in in skype conversations, etc. I felt like invade was the only term fitting here (plus, it's unintentionally a Dark Souls reference).

"Wh, why, why are you…"

Segawa's face got paler as Akiyamsan happily said this.

"I mean, it looked like you were doing something fun secretly so I thought that was kind of unfair. You were really into it, weren't you Akane? Saying things like 'Leave it to my bad self!'. It was so funny that I was rolling on the floor laughing."

I could hear the sound of something withering up and snapping.

Segawa's body shook violently and suddenly sank to the floor.

Ah, she broke.

"It's over… My high school life is over…"

"Nishimurkun was really dependable and kind in the game too. It's really different from the impression that I get in the cla.s.sroom."

"…Well, thanks."

It doesn't feel like I'm being praised at all.

Just what is this strange feeling you get when a normie compliments you for your otaku trait, I wonder. 'They're definitely making fun of me in their thoughts', is what I end up thinking.

"Uhm, about Rusian, you shouldn't be getting too…"

In response to Akiyamsan, who was flashing a smile at me, Ako timidly called this out.

"Ah, yeah. I understand what's going on with you too now, Tamaki-san."

"Eh…"

"You keep saying you're a couple, but that's actually in the game right? It's not really like that at school, that's why Nishimurkun keeps saying 'she's not my girlfriend' right?"

Akiyamsan giggled as she laughed, and then she suddenly approached me.

Eh, wait, what!? I'd freeze up when a girl suddenly approaches me like that so could you please stop it!?

"You don't really have this kind of relationship, right?"

She grabbed my petrified arm and, as if tightly hugging it, she took control of my body.

"Please treat me well, okay Ako-chan?"

"……"

"Wait, stop that."

Ako's train of thought started up again as her eyes opened wide.

I forcibly shook off Akiyamsan and distanced myself from her.

"Kya… How violent."

"Shut up. Uhm Ako, calm down. That right now was just a joke, so don't go stabbing anyone okay?"

I don't think that anyone would suddenly kill someone because of cheating, but in Ako's case, I don't think you can just kid around like that.

That stiff figure of Ako began moving bit by bit, and her mouth began to open.

And then, a single sound was let loose.

"…Ru."

"Ru?"

"Rusian you— cheater—! I don't know you anymoreeeeeeeee!"

Ooooh!? She just screamed! Ako just screamed!

Ako, who had screamed louder than anything I had heard before, turned her heel and with great vigor, bolted out of the cla.s.sroom. 'Dodododo', I could hear her footstep getting farther away until I could hear them no more.

"…Hold on… But well, she already left."

'Eh? A lover's quarrel? A real catfight?', were the words that could be heard all around the cla.s.sroom.

"Ju, juuust kidding?"

"You're waaaaay too late!"

Akiyamsan said that as she stuck out her tongue, but at the moment, it was all too late.

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Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? Volume 2 Chapter 3 summary

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