Volume 8 Chapter 13 Shirogane Aqua, Remember to Pull Back!
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
On October 15th, the postponed CR Cup finally arrived. In the CR Cup finals, a total of 5 matches were played. Points were awarded based on the ranking in each match and the number of enemies defeated, with the final winner being the team with the highest combined points.
The ideal strategy was to improve your ranking while defeating enemies, but things didn’t always go smoothly. Some matches started with two of your teammates down within the first few minutes, and if you couldn’t pick up the banners needed to respawn them, you had to fight alone for the rest of the match. In such situations, you had to resort to hiding and sneaking around to improve your ranking and collect points.
During the CR Cup finals, in the first match, we found ourselves in just that situation.
”Ah, I’m sorry~!”
”No, you did great, Euris.”
”Euris, it’s okay. There’s another one!”
In the chaotic early game, Euris and Hakuryuu-sensei were knocked down. Although I managed to survive alone, the opponents soon figured out that I was the only one left and cornered me. As a result, I was defeated, ending up in 13th place with 2 enemy kills.
The points system was as follows: 1st place earned 12 points, 2nd place 9 points, 3rd place 7 points, 4th place 5 points, 5th place 4 points, 6th-7th place 3 points, 8th-10th place 2 points, 11th-15th place 1 point, and 16th-20th place 0 points. So, we earned a total of 3 points in this match, 1 point for our ranking and 2 points for enemy kills. The match was won by the team led by Sayamu Inko-san, senior Vtuber, of “Beryl SAY Hi!”
’Just so you know, don’t go spamming the chat of the team you lost to just because Shiro-kun lost.’
’It’s not time to panic yet.’
’Well, this is probably normal for starters.’
’All teams were cautious of Shiro-kun after the late-game triple champion yesterday, so it can’t be helped.’
’The 1 point Shiro-kun earned will come in handy later.’
’He’s quietly earning kill points in the chaos, and I think that’s important.’
’It’s only just begun. Let’s do our best!’
With four matches remaining, I thought the next match was crucial to win the championship. So, I spoke to Euris.
”Euris, Let’s just have fun playing the game!”
I spoke to her in her native language (english) to help her relax. Let’s enjoy the game. I wanted to convey that to Euris, who had been a bit tense.
”Chill out, stay calm, and take it slow.”
”Okay… Thanks, Shiro-san!”
Yeah, Euris is young but a pro, so I think she can bounce back in the next match. What worries me next is Hakuryuu-sensei.
”Aiko-chan, cover for Euris when she’s up front. I’ll cover the other directions.”
”Okay, got it.”
”Also, from the next match until the endgame, I’ll have a sniper weapon. It’s good to have some long-range firepower for suppression.”
”Yeah, sounds good.”
In the following second match, after picking up sniper weapons early, we headed to the building deep in the safe area displayed on the map. In battle royale-type games where you fight until only one team remains, the map area gradually shrinks, and being outside the narrowed safe area results in taking damage. Players are forced to move toward the safe area, and they fight until only one team remains.
”We’ll hold this position!”
”Okay! I’ll seal it off quickly.”
My character, Uncle Gas, could place cylindrical objects called Gas Canisters, creating walls or blocking doors. When enemies approached, gas would automatically leak out, dealing damage and slowing them down. So, when fighting from inside a building, Uncle Gas was formidable.
With the sniper weapon I had, I intended to make the most of it by dealing damage to teams approaching us and showcasing that my character was Uncle Gas. No one wanted to engage a Uncle Gas team holed up in a building because it was a hassle to defeat them.
”Euris! One team just entered the building in front!”
”We’re pushing forward!”
A team that descended from the sky entered the building in front, so the three of us quickly rushed into the building the enemy team had just entered, before they could fortify themselves. This decision was made because there was also a Uncle Gas on the enemy team, and it was easier to defeat them before they could fortify.
”We got one! He’s taking gas damage!”
”I took down another one!”
”Both of them are behind me! The Fisherman is here!”
It seemed like a similar situation as before, which made me worried. But Euris, as expected, fought back with overwhelming force.
”On the cliff, is this the end of it all?”
”Four teams left!”
”We can do this!”
The final area was displayed on the map. It seemed like we misjudged it a bit and ended up slightly outside the area. We managed to get into the area, but we eventually fell in the chaotic battle that followed. Our final ranking was 3rd place with 7 points, and we had defeated 10 enemies, earning 10 points, for a total of 17 points, propelling us to the upper ranks.
’You did great!’
’It was the right choice to carry a sniper.’
’Shiro-kun, managing everything from behind solo, that’s cool!’
’The team jumped all the way to 4th place!’
’I guess they can really do this?’
’The excitement is building!’
Alright, alright! That last one was perfect. The final moments were somewhat luck-based, and all the teams had their eyes on me, so there was nothing we could do about it.
”Let’s take it slow in the next one.”
”Yeah, got it!”
In the third match, the sniper I had continued to shine. The safe area was far away, so we advanced slowly along the edge of the area. Thanks to Euris’s instructions, we progressed smoothly without encountering enemies blocking our path. Every time I entered a building, I sealed it with gas and used my sniper from a distance to pick off enemies in fights with other teams. This move paid off, and we finally made it to the last two teams.
”What should we do now?”
The final situation became challenging. We were on top of a building, and the last team was below us. The team below didn’t have a character with the ability to come up, so it was up to us to decide whether to go down and settle it or let the match end with all three of us enduring the damage from the area shrinking.
”As streamers and commentators, the latter isn’t an option, right?”
”As expected of Shiro-san, you understand!”
”Of course! We have to make things clear!”
In that case, we had to descend from above, but the team below also had a Uncle Gas like me, so it would be a tough battle. The best option was for Hakuryuu-sensei and me to go down to fight the team below, while Euris, who had the ability to enter a subspace, stayed above. When in subspace, you didn’t take damage from being outside the area, so if Euris entered it at the right time, she could cut off the damage for a few seconds. However, even this method ultimately boiled down to an endurance battle.
”Just to confirm, we’re going with all three, right?”
”Naturally! We can’t afford to lose here as women!”
”That’s the spirit, Aiko!”
As the timer in the upper right corner reached zero, the alarm for the area shrinking sounded. Grenades flew up from the team below. Oops, we were a bit late in deciding to go down while healing from the grenade damage. The team below hadn’t given up fighting to win either.
We somehow healed and went down. At the same time, I threw a gas bomb. Following that, Hakuryuu-sensei, who was using Dive, and Euris, armed with a strong shotgun for close-quarters combat, joined the fight.
”We did it! Just one more!”
”Sorry, just a sliver more!”
We managed to defeat two of them, but we couldn’t finish off the last one. Damn it, so close!
’That final fight was so cool…’
’Aiko-chan, are you okay?’
’The last team was Tama-chan!’
’Tama-chan’s team, huh?’
’Szr-san, even when you were down, you became a meat shield to protect Tama-chan, LOL!’
’Congratulations, Tama-chan, the champion!’
’This is truly a knife fight!’
’Aqua-kun vs. Tama-chan, it’s intense!’
That White Bear Dive ability had come in handy after all. We wanted to become champions, but point-wise, it wasn’t bad. In second place, we had 9 points for placement and 7 points for kills, totaling 16 points. With our overall points so far, which were 36 points, we finally climbed to 3rd place in the overall rankings.
1st place was tied between Tama-chan’s “[Do You Want to Stick Eggplants?]” team and Inko-san’s “[Beryl SAY Hi!]” team, both with 43 points. Following them was our “[Aqua, Remember to Pull Back]” team. “Remember to Pull Back” was a famous saying that all FPS gamers held close to their hearts. Somehow, my name was combined with it. Huh? Did I really play that aggressively?
”Well, that’s the perfect team name!”
”Yeah, yeah, I seriously think so too.”
When we decided on the team name, both of them nodded in agreement, so today, I’m trying to play a bit more cautiously.
”It’s almost time. Euris, Aiko-chan, let’s have fun in the remaining two matches!”
”Of course! We can still turn things around in the next two matches!!”
”That’s right, Aiko!! Let’s take the championship together!”
The map for the next match would change. With that in mind, I also planned to switch to a character with the ability to scan enemy positions called Black Hound, instead of Uncle Gas, starting from the next match.
”Here we go!”
In the fourth match, perhaps our initial drop location and the movement of the shrinking area were favorable, as there were only a few minor skirmishes on our way to the final area. Seven teams remained. The top two teams had stumbled, so this was our chance to earn points. Euris seemed to understand that too, as she pushed ahead.
”Please scan ahead!”
”No need, I found enemies! Euris, let’s fall back a bit!”
In the final stage, a slight hiccup in our coordination allowed the enemies to take advantage. A team that charged in initiated a battle, and chaos broke out with more than a dozen people fighting in and around the large corridor of the building. Euris, who had been at the front, got caught up in it and fell first. With me hanging back with a long-range weapon in the fourth match as well, I called Aiko-chan back as Euris.
”Aiko, come back to Shiro-san’s position!”
While covering Aiko-chan as she returned with a dome-shaped defense wall called a Bubble, I used grenades to deter the enemies charging in. However, I couldn’t withstand the sheer number of foes, and I too was taken down.
”Aiko, you’ve got this!”
”Aiko-chan, fight on!”
”Well, I’ll leave it to you!”
Hakuryuu-sensei used my downed body as cover and put up an excellent fight with a shotgun, taking down two of the team members who charged in with just two shots each. However, despite hitting one of the remaining enemies once, as I was reloading, the timing was off, and I took shotgun damage to the head, fighting valiantly but ultimately falling.
”Aiko-chan, nice fight! That last battle was amazing!”
”Aiko, you were incredible! I’m the one who should be sorry!”
In this match, we placed 4th with 5 placement points and 3 kill points, totaling 8 points. Hakuryuu-sensei’s kills didn’t count towards the points since she only downed enemies, but by staying alive, she was able to increase our placement points.
’Hakuryuu-sensei is too cool…’
’She really showed her determination as a woman!’
’Of course, she’s been at the forefront in the gaming world for years.’
’That was a nice fight!’
’Even after Shiro-kun fell, seeing Hakuryuu-sensei protect him was thrilling.’
’Shiro-kun, you’re still cool even when you fall!’
’Hakuryuu-sensei is the best!’
’Wait, wait, what happened to the points!?’
I checked the match results and quickly calculated our points. Most likely, the top two teams were quite close in points.
’Shiro-kun’s team has a total of 44 points!’
’Tama-chan’s team is at 46 points with a +3!’
’Inko’s team is at 45 points with a +2!’
’Tama-chan’s team, 46 points; Inko’s team, 45 points; Shiro-kun’s team, 44 points!’
’The top three teams are in a close battle!!’
’They’re playing so well!’
’At the end of the fourth match, this is just too intense!’
’Even in real life, Beryl makes it dramatic. Beryl is truly something!’
’That’s why we can’t quit Beryl!’
’Is there really going to be such an intense match to the very end?’
’It’s so nerve-wracking!’
’Good luck in the second-to-last match!!’
’13th place, 4th place, 3rd place, 3rd place – finish strong by taking on the top players, Shiro-kun!’
’We want to see Shiro-kun, who takes the championship in the end! Euris, Aiko-chan, do your best!’
’Hakuryuu-sensei, Euris, Shiro-kun, enjoy the final match!!’
’Huh? Is it ending already?’
’Show us in the end. You’re the best!!’
Phew… whether in tears or laughter, the next match will be the last. Naturally, my hands gripping the mouse were sweaty.
”Hmm? What’s up, Euris?”
”In this match where Aiko gave her all to connect us, I’m going to make Shiro-san the champion in the end, Euris will!”
It seemed that Hakuryuu-sensei’s intense fight had ignited a fire in Euris’s passionate heart.
”Euris, Aiko-chan. It’s a shame, but the next match is the last one. So, let’s have fun and win together in the end!”
”Yeah! After coming this far, we want to win together till the end! Euris, Shiro-kun, we’ll win!”
”Let’s just have fun playing the game! Now, let’s go win!!”
After several delays and changes, the fate of the CR Cup’s final game was about to begin. When the countdown to the start of the match reached zero, teams scattered and descended from flying ships into the battlefield. After landing in the same area as before, we soon saw the final Antic displayed on the map.
”This is it, the final Antic is here!”
”Got it, let’s loot quickly! Aiko-chan, stay by either me or Euris in case enemies push in!”
”Got it! I’ll craft items quickly!”
Of all times, our chosen landmark turned out to be the final area. While it was convenient not to move if the initial drop location became the final area, we had to fend off incoming teams while keeping our position. This often made the game challenging due to the scarcity of supplies.
”Aiko, Shiro-san, let’s go here!”
We deliberately chose to keep a position with less hostility, away from the final area on a hill where we thought we wouldn’t receive much hate. We deterred teams that entered one after another and sniped them from a distance when a melee broke out. In the final match, Euris seemed to know that things would turn out this way and had brought her trusty sniper weapon called Sentinel. It paid off, with Euris finishing off the enemies I damaged and Aiko-chan securing the points for our team. While I occasionally glanced at the mini-map in the upper right corner to check the log, Tama-chan’s team and Inko-san’s team had yet to fall. Not only that, they had downed many enemies and earned points.
”What should we do about the next zone shrink?”
”We have no choice but to go! Let’s defeat the enemies below in a fight and move forward! Aiko, request a bombardment, please!”
”Okay! After requesting the bombardment, I’ll use the bubble as soon as we land.”
The area started shrinking with a buzzer sound. In sync with that, Hakuryuu-sensei requested the ultimate skill, a bulletproof bombardment.
”Euris, Aiko-chan, let’s go!”
When Hakuryuu-sensei threw the bubble down below, we jumped off. We fought off the enemies who entered our bubble from the area where the bombardment had fallen. However, the fight dragged on, and as the final area approached, Hakuryuu-sensei, whose health gauge was already low, fell.
”Shiro-kun, Euris, just leave me and go!”
Euris entered a subspace, nullifying area damage, and charged through. Using Black Hound’s ultimate skill, which made my legs faster, I slid away from the shrinking area and barely escaped.
”I’m sorry! But in the end, I lost some people!”
”I’ll take care of it, Aiko-chan.”
”I got it, Aiko!”
Now, only three teams remained. In the kill log on the top right, Inko’s team and Tama-chan’s team had not yet made a move. In other words, these were the last three teams left. As we were aware, the other two teams probably knew too. We continued to deter each other, avoiding direct confrontation. This was because if two of the three teams started a battle, the last remaining team would have a significant advantage after the others had weakened each other.
”Shiro-san, let’s move with the final zone shrink.”
”Both of you, do your best!”
Honestly, our equipment was far from reassuring. I had brought plenty of sniper rounds, but I was a little short on ammo for my submachine gun. Even if I managed to down all enemies with one magazine each, I still didn’t have enough bullets. Nevertheless, once you’ve made up your mind to do something, there are times when you just have to do it. So… let’s do this! The alarm sounded, and the countdown announcement began.
[The ring is shrinking. The remaining participants, enjoy your final fight. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…]
The first to move when the countdown began was Inko’s team. They were probably tired of waiting in this rock-paper-scissors situation.
”Shiro-san, I’m opening the gate!”
While I hid behind a pillar and defended against the enemy’s attacks, Euris connected a short-range subspace gate with her ultimate skill. If I entered this gate, I could move to the connected gate without taking damage.
”Euris, I’m going in!”
Thanks to Euris’s quick thinking, we pushed Inko’s team towards Tama-chan’s team, which was nearby, while securing a flank. This way, Tama-chan’s team had no choice but to fight as well, turning the battle into a three-way melee.
”Last one team!”
”Sorry, Euris, I’m out of submachine gun ammo!”
I said so, and naturally, Euris moved forward. There was no other option. There was no time to pick up items or change weapons from the enemy’s death boxes.
”I got one!”
Euris took down one enemy with our coordination and then engaged in a stand-off with szr, a pro gamer from Tama-chan’s team. By chance, only Tama-chan and I remained at the end. The winner would get the final placement points and the points for the remaining members of each other’s teams. Given the points we had accumulated so far, I had no choice but to win.
Tama-chan rushed in with a shotgun in hand. She probably realized I was only using a sniper, so she came charging in. But she underestimated me. This sniper rifle I had was difficult to use without a scope, but it could still be adapted as a close-range weapon.
In that moment, it felt like Tama-chan’s movements had suddenly slowed down, like slow motion. She had less than half her health remaining, meaning that even one hit from the shotgun would mean defeat. In that situation, I briefly looked through the scope. I pulled the trigger a split second before Tama-chan, hitting her with a headshot, the most damaging shot. The next moment, the long-awaited message appeared before my eyes.
[YOU ARE THE CHAMPION]
It seemed that I wasn’t the only one whose health had been whittled away. So Tama-chan must have realized that now was her only chance and charged toward me. I stood up from my seat and raised both fists high.
’Shiro-kun, you’re the best after all!!’
’Shooting down Toa-chan with a sniper at the end, that was insane!’
’Isn’t it amazing that the top three teams made it to the end?’
’The final Beryl showdown, it’s seriously too intense!’
’This is Beryl Entertainment for you!’
’Could you believe something like this would happen?’
’Thank you, Shiro-kun!’
’Sensei-chan, you did your best!!’
’Shiro-kun, even if you were Shiro-kun, thank you for being so cool.’
’Euris, thanks for leading everyone!’
’Toa-chan did his best too. Good job.’
’So, what happened to the final points?’
’They won, but didn’t Inko’s team and Tama-chan’s team also take down a significant number of enemies?’
’Shiro-kun, you’re out of sight!’
Oops… that’s right. I hastily took my seat. I had forgotten that if I stood up, I would be out of the frame and only my torso would be visible on the webcam.
”We did ittttt! Shiro-san, you’re the best!! I love you!!”
”Thank you, Euris. I love you too!!”
If I could high-five Euris and hug her right now, I’d want to do it. Unlike the high-energy Euris, I could hear Hakuryuu-sensei sobbing softly through my headphones for some reason.
”Ugh… I’m sorry. I kind of held you back at the end…”
”What are you talking about? It’s thanks to Aiko-chan’s perseverance in the previous match, and the points we earned in that fight were crucial for the final match.”
”Aiko, don’t get down, okay? It’s the final one, so let’s smile!!”
”Yeah… yeah…! Thank you, both of you.”
While comforting Hakuryuu-sensei with Euris, I waited for the official broadcast’s results announcement.
’Ahhhhh, my heart’s racing…’
’This is crazy. I didn’t even fight, but I’m nervous.’
’What happened in the end!?’
’Please, please, please!’
’Once they’ve come this far, the result doesn’t matter. But I hope they win!’
’Thank you, Shiro-kun, Euris, and Hakuryuu-sensei, for giving us such an enjoyable time.’
’We’re grateful for everything!’
I muted the team’s voice chat for a moment and addressed everyone in the comments.
”Everyone, thank you for your support. It’s almost time for the official broadcast’s results announcement, so let’s watch it together.”
With that said, I turned the team chat back on and watched the official broadcast on my secondary computer. They first announced the teams from 20th to 4th place, leaving only the last three teams.
”In third place, with 57 points, it’s the team ‘Beryl SAY hi!’ led by Sayamu Inko, Icebox44, and Kato Iria! Congratulations!!”
Tenga-senpai, who had suddenly joined the commentary, announced the third-place team’s name.
”Whaaat? Why again!! We got third place again!!”
”Inko, Inko, calm down. Lots of people are watching, you know?”
”Hahaha, thank you very much.”
Oh, right, Inko-san got third place last time too, and before that, it was second place. She’s strong, but she can’t seem to win, and everyone teased her about it.
”So, what does ‘Beryl SAY hi…’ mean?”
”It means exactly that.”
”I think most people are probably thinking the same thing.”
”Haha… yeah, I think so too.”
”I see… so that means it’s Shirogane’s fault as the underclassman, right?”
What? Why me? Did I do something wrong?
”Well, I can kind of understand that. Anyway, let’s move on to announcing the next team.”
Wait, wait, wait, Tenga-senpai! You should ask for more details there! Tenga-senpai handed the microphone over to Shintaro.
”I’ll announce the second-place team. With 64 points… Oumi Tama, szr, and Captain A. It’s the team ‘Do You Want to Stick Eggplants?’ Congratulations!!”
So that means…? Well, right now, I should be praising the teams that fought to the end.
”Aww, that was close! But everyone did their best. Thank you!!”
”Ou… I wanted to make sure Toa-sama, I mean, Tama-sama won. Sorry!”
”No need to apologize. Everyone did great, and it was fun!!”
”Shintaro, comfort everyone!”
Tama-chan playfully teased Shintaro, who had become downcast, and everyone joined in on the fun. By the way, what’s up with that mysterious team name?
”Shintaro, send the final team’s points. I’ll announce it!”
Tama-chan kept the voice chat open and announced the final results on the official broadcast.
”Well, everyone, are you ready? Let’s announce the final team!! The CreamRAW Cup, and the prestigious first place with 65 points go to Hoshimiya Shiro, Euris, and Hakuryuu Aiko, for ‘Aqua, Remember to Pull Back!!!’ Congratulations, everyone!!”
”Tama-chan, thank you!”
”We did it!!!”
”*Sniff*… *sniff*… I’m so glad. I felt like I was just holding you back, but I’m really glad I could help you two win.”
Euris, Tama-chan, Tenga-senpai, Shintaro, and I all comforted Hakuryuu-sensei, who had burst into tears.
[Congratulationssssss!!!] 50,000 yen from Your Mom.
[You did it!!!] 50,000 yen from HyperPerformanceServer.
[You won!!!] 10,000 yen from the message board folks.
[You came back from behind in the last game to become the champion!!!] 10,000 yen from Summer King.
[Even as Shiro-kun, you’re still Shiro-kun.] 50,000 yen from Servant.
[I like you for not disappointing us, Shiro-kun.] 50,000 yen from 92.
[Is there such a handsome boy anywhere?] 50,000 yen from Sommelière.
[You’re too cool no matter what you do…] 50,000 yen from Maiden’s Hobbies.
[Could you show us some uncool side sometimes?] 50,000 yen from Oil Queen.
[I’m glad I took a bath before the game started…] 10,000 yen from the bathhouse sister.
[Thanks to everyone at Beryl!] 50,000 yen from Hongou Hiroko.
[Thanks to everyone who made the game exciting!] 300 yen from Ramen Hagetoru (broke).
Finally, everyone, including members from other teams, joined the official broadcast chat to congratulate each other on their performance. I briefly left the general chat and called Euris and Hakuryuu-sensei.
”Thank you both. Euris, Aiko-chan, it was great teaming up with you three.”
”Same here, thanks, Shiro-san, Aiko. Let’s play together again sometime!”
”Shiro-kun, Euris, thank you. I’m really glad we could win with this team!”
We have a promise to meet up with everyone tomorrow night, but for now, the three of us basked in the afterglow of our victory and congratulated each other. By the way, there’s a plan for a second round after we disband, but I’m tired, so what should I do?
While contemplating that, I thanked all the listeners and temporarily ended the broadcast.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.