[GGOV3] SECT.15 - It's a Game After All

With the SHINC bought off with candies to provide a distraction, LLENN finally gets her chance at aiming for Pito's life. Also, the universe might be on the verge of imploding, because this chapter apparently doesn't have ANY notes... like zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing... it just feels so weird... Disclaimer: I don't know if the German term means what Japanese think it means.

Full-width text (Like this) is emphasising that the original text is written using the Latin alphabet. Note that most abbreviations that are not in italics are written using the Latin alphabet as well. Italic text is Engrish (English written in katakana). Abbreviations in italics means that the Japanese version used some shorter form of an English word, but in katakana. In cases when I needed to emphasise that the word is Japanese (or when the text specifically commented about it being Japanese), I added the Japanese version as furigana.

Any feedback is appreciated.


Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Pryun, ZeHaffen

SECT.15 - It's a Game After All

It was not shown on the broadcast at all, but──

Starting at about 14:05, when SHINC and PM4 were engaged in a grand battle, and till 14:09:20, two characters had been crawling the entire time.

The first was LLENN.

Wearing a brown camouflaged poncho atop her pink combat uniform, she was crawling at full throttle along the ground, which was practically of an identical colour.

LLENN had high Agility, but how fast would she be if she crawled with all she had?

It would be so ultra-fast that it would look like someone had put the video on fast-forward.

She was crawling along the ground at the speed of a regular man's half-run. She seemed like some flat insect.

The other was Fukaziroh.

Her camouflage was effective in a place like this, thus she did not put on a poncho. Dragging her 2 MGL-140s along,

"Oof. Oof. Umph."

She was crawling slowly, like a regular human being. She was more like a caterpillar.

Just how difficult this type of crawling was could only be known by those who had tried it. Constantly moving using one's elbows and legs, as if licking the ground; just how taxing was it on the body and mind?

In GGO, physical strength would not be expended. However, mental strength was a different matter. The feeling of fatigue coming from the mind should be assaulting the player.

However, LLENN pushed forward nonetheless.

'Defeat Pito-san. Defeat Pito-san. Defeat Pito-san.'

Reciting these words in her mind, she used them for rhythm. Upon 〝Pito-san〟, she moved her right elbow and knee forward; upon 〝defeat〟, she moved her left elbow and knee forward.

Slightly raising her head from time to time to look forward, she used the scenery in the distance to check her trajectory.

The brown, low horizon; above it a small land of greenery could be seen.

Her target──

The place where Pitohui was during the 14:00 scan.

And the place where SHINC was currently fighting desperately for her.

*     *     *

Turning the clocks back slightly,

At 13:50 in the dome.

When Boss requested a sportsmanlike fight with LLENN after seeing the scan, LLENN could not respond to her request.

When she hesitated to explain herself due to not wanting to expose her reasons, Fukaziroh disclosed them with ease.

And she tactfully explained the situation.

That LLENN had only entered SJ2 to save Pitohui IRL. She spilled all the beans unconcernedly.


Boss moaned.

Just when it seemed that a bitter expression would appear on her face, she spent a few seconds contemplating, and then asked.

"So…… is there anything we could do? Karen-san."

In a truly short period of time, LLENN and Boss formed a plan.

A plan to form a pincer attack with two teams.

Boss's group would exit the dome to the south and LLENN's group to the east, then both would wait for the scan at 14:00.

At that moment, the first to attack would be SHINC from the south. While they drew attention with their fight, LLENN's group would attack from the rear.

LLENN would be the one to defeat Pitohui in the end, but as support, SHINC would thin down PM4's manpower as much as possible.

"It's gonna work! We've come up with an anti-shield plan for M this time, you see! For this duration, we can divert PM4! Oh come now, we don't mind being wiped out because of that!"

LLENN, knowing better than anyone that Boss and the others were truly aiming for victory,


Was about to say something, but stopped.

She just bowed her small head deeply and said,

"This time, I'll treat you to more sweets than you can eat! I promise!"

And then, before the 14:00 scan.

Having rushed out of the dome, LLENN dashed practically northward, towards a place far away from the area where she presumed PM4 would be.

To make them think 〝This girl is running away. She probably won't make contact with us within the next 10 minutes〟.

And, at 14:00, having run to no end, LLENN arrived at the foot of the snowy mountain. There, she witnessed the scan, confirming that PM4's position was just as she had predicted.

And then, right after the scan ended,


She began an oni-like full-speed dash towards them, at a place about 3 km away from her position.

At the same time, Fukaziroh, who had separated from LLENN and hid within the dome, also began slowly advancing towards that location.

LLENN, who was running at superhuman speed, and Fukaziroh, who was close to the target from the start, quickly closed the distance to PM4.

However, if they continued running as is, they would naturally be spotted in places with clear line-of-sight. M's PM4 were unlikely to be negligent about their surroundings, no matter the situation.

Thus, both LLENN and Fukaziroh dropped to the ground as soon as they had advanced to some extent, and began crawling.

In just under 3 minutes, LLENN ran a little under 2 km, then put on her camouflage poncho and began crawling on the ground to close the remaining 1 km as much as possible. The same applied to Fukaziroh.

The fact that SHINC and PM4 had engaged in battle as planned reached LLENN's ears. In the form of gunshots in the distance.

And then,

"Alright! Our target is PM4! 〝Plan Sweets〟, begin!"

In the form of Boss's voice.

This was made possible by the comm item that Boss had stolen from a team they defeated in the early stages of SJ2.

Weapons and equipment stolen from other characters could be used until the end of the tournament. Up till now, Boss had been giving instructions to her comrades 〝plus one〟.

That is how LLENN was able to know as she crawled forward.

That Anna had been sniped by M's ultra-long-range sniper rifle and died. Or that Sophie had died as planned, and became a pedestal.


"We defeated M's shield! The time is ripe! ──Attack!"

That the four from Boss's group had magnificently smashed that shield and began a diversionary assault.

The gunshots she heard belonged to SHINC's machine gun and M's M14 EBR. A merciless gunfight was probably going down.

LLENN could not see as she had been constantly crawling, but── she should have crossed the 500 metre mark to PM4.

Her hard work would now be rewarded.

*     *     *

LLENN's wristwatch vibrated, informing her that it was 14:09:30.

"It's time!"

At Boss's words that reached her ears,


LLENN responded.

Until the 14:10 scan, close in as much as possible and attack PM4 just before they notice── that was the final stage of the plan.

"Fuka! If you please!"

The moment the clock hit 14:09:40, LLENN shouted.

"Okie dokie!"

Fukaziroh responded immediately and readied her MGL-140 while prone,

"Sorya soryaa!"

From the 45th to the 50th second, she fired 6 grenades in rapid succession.

Her target was the area between where PM4 appeared to be and LLENN's current position. Dying that space pink to hide LLENN's ultra-fast assault was Fukaziroh's role.

The 6 smoke grenades reserved for that flew right where she aimed, creating a smokescreen. LLENN saw how the area in front of her was dyed the same colour as her clothes.

"Alright! I'm charging in!"

"I wish you luck!" "Do your best!"

Hearing Fukaziroh's and Boss's voices and taking off her poncho, LLENN stood up.

With the determination that the feet supporting her body would no longer stop until she assaulted Pitohui's windpipe.

'Come now!'

Having stood up and raised her gaze higher than usual, LLENN saw.

A small black mass at the left edge of her view.

At first, she thought that it was a black, wet bulge of dirt, like an anthill.

The next moment, she saw a short, black line extending to the side.

And she realised that it was a barrel.

Just after she noticed the existence of the gun, the figure of a person holding it came into sight.

The black mass was a person sitting with their legs stretched out forward. A person holding a long and narrow rifle and aiming. The figure was approximately 200 metres away from her.

The muzzle was aiming in the exact same direction that she was about to strike.

The place where PM4 was.

The probability was only one in five.

But… a bad premonition ran through LLENN's spine.

LLENN stopped her attempt to go into a dash,


Shouted just as she aimed her P90.

And fired.

*     *     *

The strategy that Shirley took was practically the same as LLENN's.

To snipe Pitohui to death.

Having decided thus, she forcibly halted her burning desire for revenge and calmly thought out a plan to achieve it.

In hunting, the most important thing was to shoot one's gun skillfully, was it not?

How to act in order to bring about a situation where a shot would be guaranteed to hit.

This was the same as the question 'how close can you get to your prey?' The more capable the hunter, the closer they can get to their prey to shoot and bring them down.

At 13:59, Shirley began climbing the snowy mountain. In order to mask her intentions with her position during the scan that soon took place.

For that reason, she materialised another item from her storage.

It was a tool that she made use of during her hunting sessions IRL and an item she obtained for activities in snowy GGO fields as well - skis.

Additionally, they were not ordinary skis for casual sliding. They were special skis designed for hunters and the like to work on snowy mountains. 《Mountain skis》 was probably the most popular name, but, among the hunters in Japan, they were known as 《Sommerski》.

Their length was about 1.5 metres. The foot-fastening heels were not fixed, allowing the user to move their feet forward and back, just like when cross-country skiing.

Its biggest feature was the anti-skidding device known as a 〝seal〟 attached to the back of the skis.

It was the pelt of a seal or sea lion, whose fur grows facing the same direction. Hence, 〝it allowed sliding forward, but not backwards, as it would get stuck in the snow, preventing it from sliding〟. By simply moving their feet back and forth, the skier could quickly climb any slope.

Mai had mastered the use of these Sommerski. Because they were the ultimate tool for running around snowy mountains freely. Shirley as well.

Carrying the R93 Tactical 2 on her shoulders with the stock in her hands and climbing the snowy slope smoothly, Shirley looked just like a foot soldier from the mountains.

Once the clock struck 14:00, a slow scan began.

While looking at her terminal screen in one hand, Shirley climbed the snowy mountain. She took note of PM4's position and drilled it into her head.

Until the scan ended, Shirley continued climbing the snowy mountain. In order to make the other players think 〝she's running away〟.

Before long, 1 minute had passed and the scan ended,


The woman with mud on her face stopped and turned around.

She had climbed considerably high. What she could see below the gentle, snowy slope was a huge dome on her right. On her left - a valley, a long bridge, and a rocky mountain beyond it.

And in front, a space abundant in greenery stretched out. And there, a small log house.


Expelling air with a smile──

She quickly repositioned her feet and began sliding down straight forward. Towards the target she wanted to kill.

The speed of her descent was more than twice that of her ascent.

With her bullet-like schuss, Shirley slid down the mountain in no time. She did not have the Skiing skill, but she was able to accomplish this due being an expert at skiing IRL.

The distance to her target was about 1.5 km.

And then Shirley used the exact same trick as LLENN. Crawling forward. In order to ensure that her target, or the enemies in the area, would not notice her closing in, this was the only way.

Though, unlike LLENN, she crawled forward for a longer time and her position was awfully muddy due to the water from the snow thaw.

In order to prevent mud from entering the muzzle of her R93 Tactical 2, she put two layers of her gloves onto the tip of the barrel. Then, she turned the gun sideways and, holding it on her elbows, she began swimming through the muddy dirt.

Naturally, her body was completely covered in mud in no time. Both the upper and lower half of her body, as well as her lovely green hair, were almost entirely dyed black.

While crawling forward, she learnt from the gunshots that a battle between PM4 and another team had begun. Probably a battle against the team that came from the south. The awfully loud gunshots sounded like distant thunder. It was as if someone were firing cannons.

Their battle was just what she needed. Shirley snickered. White teeth appeared at her muddy cheeks.

She continued forward and forward with determination──

When the wristwatch on her left arm informed her that it was past 14:09, Shirley stopped.

In another 50 seconds, it would be easy for her position to be given away by the scan. She did not know how close she got to that woman, but she had no choice other than to wield her beloved gun on the spot.

To avoid being noticed, Shirley moved slowly. First, she rolled from a face-down position to a face-up one. Then, she turned 180 degrees, with her feet towards the enemy.

Readying her R93 Tactical 2 after taking the gloves off the muzzle, she raised her upper body using only her abdominal muscles. Raising and slightly opening up her knees, she pressed against the medial side of her thighs with the lateral sides of her elbows, stabilising her firing posture.

Having opened the front and back cover of her scope, she peeked through the lens,

"There you are……"

And quickly grasped the whereabouts of PM4.

In the meadow about 500 metres away. The enemy several hundred metres beyond that were firing machine guns, thus tracer bullets revealed their position.

She searched for the woman who killed her comrades and, with fortune on her side, soon found her target. Lying in a hollow in the meadow.

However, she had not allowed her guard to drop at all as she lay, thus only her ponytail could be barely seen. With this, her sniping would only cut through her hair.

If she aimed at a slightly lower point over the grass, her face could be shot with a direct…── she considered this option, but stopped. Because Shirley thought that, knowing that woman, she would have obviously placed her gun there to guard her face.


Even though she succeeded at creeping up within her effective range and one-sidedly catching her in her scope──

Shirley cursed at how irritating it was for her to be unable to aim at the vitals and shoot. When she looked at her wristwatch, it was 14:09:45.

In another 15 seconds, the scan would begin.

The fact that she was here would be instantly exposed, thus she would undoubtedly be dealt with by PM4.

She did not know whether it would be by the merciless rapid-fire of the machine guns, or an attack from the enemy snipers, or a shot from that woman, but──

Entirely alone and only having a single bolt-action sniper rifle, there was no chance from the start that Shirley could win.

'Should I deem my approach a failure and run away while I can?'

'Or, should I charge in prepared to die in battle?'

As Shirley began thinking about her final decision, the faint sound of someone shooting reached her ears.

A sound that was different from the rapid-fire of the machine guns she had heard earlier.

*Pon* *pon* *pon* *pon* *pon*, such somewhat cute sounds.

It sounded louder in her right ear, thus it probably came from her right.

Before she could figure out what had emitted that sound upon discharge,


Her right eye peeking through her scope caught an unbelievable spectacle unfold to the right. One, two, three── in six spots, clouds of pink smoke rose in succession. Without any wind in the field, the smoke rose straight up.

'Why…… smoke?'

'No, why…… pink?'

Shirley was unable to comprehend it at all.

She had not even glimpsed the videos of the previous SJ, and thus she was unaware that an entirely pink chibi had won it. As such, she was unable to grasp the point of the pink smoke and wondered whether a festival or something had suddenly begun.

Then at the next moment, new visual data entered her confused mind from her right eye.

In her field of view, magnified by the lens, that woman, the one she loathed for deceiving and shooting all of her comrades, raised her head.

Atop her head was a headgear-like protector that she did not have before, but the brazen tattooed face was undoubtedly hers.

And her face had a joyful smile. Even baring her white teeth.

'Why, for what reason, for what──'

Shirley had no idea if that woman, who had been so alert and had not let her guard down for even a moment, raised her head solely due to having seen the pink smoke.

However, she did not let go of the unexpected chance she received.

Even without using the Bullet Circle, she did not believe she would miss a practically still target at this range.

Shirley instantly aligned the center, actually, a point slightly below the center of the scope's crosshair on the woman's right eye. This was done in anticipation of the bullet's fall due to the 400 metre distance.

The woman was looking a little to the left, thus if she hit her right eye, the bullet should instantly sink right into the middle of her brain.

The instant her heart, convinced of the impending kill, pounded unprecedentedly──


Shirley laughed in her heart.

And what a laugh it was.

She, who had so stubbornly believed that 〝it is wrong to aim a gun at a person even in a game〟──

Shaking with rage, had climbed and descended a snowy mountain, determinedly crawled through mud for minutes, and was now holding her beloved gun, about to fire the moment she saw her chance.

'How would her old self have reacted if she had seen herself now?'

But she did not care.

This was a game, and it was meant to be played.

Her face having instantly regained composure, Shirley concluded thus.

That just because she shot with guns IRL there was no point in getting angry at 〝aiming at a person!〟, even in a game.

That, just like her comrades had once said with frivolous smiles, there was no need to lump reality and games together.

That the woman deceiving and shooting her comrades was a game as well.

In this battle royale where anything goes, the ones who were tricked and had so easily turned their backs were the ones at fault.

And even this current attempt to snipe her was a game.

The one who nonchalantly raised her head was the one at fault.

This was a game.

'It's not like you yourself die if your avatar does.'

'Likewise, it's not like someone else dies if their avatar does.'

Shirley finally felt that she could enjoy the Squad Jam from the bottom of her heart.

'I am now going snipe and kill that woman, but──'

'This only applies to SJ2 itself. Once the tournament is over, I could even meet up with her at the bar and, as fellow female players, we could have a conversation, saying 'Gotcha', 'Ya got me.''

Thinking thus, without any grudge or hatred, Shirley──

Squeezed the trigger of her R93 Tactical 2 solely to enjoy herself.

As if venting its anger for being kept waiting for over an hour, her beloved gun let out a high-pitched roar.

She let her guard down for a mere moment.

"Aha! That's LLENN-chan!"

Seeing the pink smoke, Pitohui understood everything.

That LLENN would take advantage of that to charge forward.

That's why she raised her head. With a smile.

The bullet with neither hatred nor grudge flew──

And sank into Pitohui's right eye.

"Aww yeah!"

Having seen through her scope that a hit effect appeared on the woman's eye, Shirley gave a shout as loud as her gunshot.

Just like her comrades in the preliminaries and the battle in the fields when they slaughtered the enemy team.

Her white teeth glittered on her muddy face.

At that moment, a hail of 5.7 mm bullets soared through her surroundings, raising a clutter of columns of mud unlike columns of water in the area──


And 1 of the bullets hit her right temple.


At the attack to her vitals, Shirley's hit points instantly diminished.

Looking at the upper-right corner of her vision, Shirley,

"Ah. I was shot. Crap. So there was an enemy nearby. I let my guard down, huh."

Saying this cheerfully, she collapsed face-up.

Treated as instant death, her hit points turned zero──

And a 【Dead】 marker lit up above the mud-covered woman's body.

Looking up at the sky with an awfully satisfied smile, Shirley was killed in action in SJ2.

"Hah…… Hah……"

Having unleashed all 50 bullets in her magazine in full-auto at a target 200 metres ahead, LLENN,


Saw a small red marker appear after about 3 seconds.

She had no idea who that was, but at any rate, she defeated them.

They were barely within the P90's effective range and not at a distance that LLENN could accurately hit with her skill, thus it was totally a lucky shot, a fluke at the end of her scatter of bullets.

"W-what happened?"

Fukaziroh's surprised voice reached her ears.

That was natural. Because, despite creating a smokescreen by firing the last of their smoke grenades, LLENN did not charge and instead suddenly unleashed a full-power barrage to the left. Her shots probably alerted their opponents of LLENN's whereabouts.

Crouching and reloading her magazine, LLENN answered Fukaziroh and Boss.

"There was another team's sniper right nearby! They were aiming at Pito-san's group! So, I fired at them first and somehow managed to bring them down!"

A reply came from Fukaziroh.

"What! Nice work! ──But, did the guy shoot anyone?"

"I-I don't know! The sounds blended together!"

LLENN answered honestly. She had been completely unable to tell whether or not the sniper was able to fire even a single bullet during her full-power barrage.

If she had fired…… And if her target was Pitohui…… And if she hit……

The moment LLENN's face turned pale, the needles of her wristwatch passed 14:10:00.

It was the starting time for the scan, but neither Boss's group nor LLENN's group had any time to take out their terminals and look at the scan results.

This applied to M's group as well.

Having landed a hit on Tanya and now looking for his next target, M,

"Rear! Smoke grenades! New enemy!"

Received a report from the short shotgun user.

He had not been told the colour, thus M temporarily stopped aiming with his beloved gun and turned around while lowering his stance a bit.

And saw pink smoke that would have normally been impossible.

M understood just about everything in an instant.

The reason why SHINC had been pushing their way through this was because they were cooperating with LLENN, trying to whittle down their forces and serve as a distraction. Though he did not know when and where they had held a conversation.

And that pink smoke was meant to conceal LLENN's assault.

Shooting LLENN, who was short and could move at high speed, was quite difficult even if she could be seen, but if she were hidden in smoke of a similar colour it would be a pain in the ass.

'I see, that is a nice plan. LLENN is probably charging in through that smoke at the time of the scan.'

"LLENN's coming! Guard the rear!"

Rousing caution from his comrades, M looked at Pitohui, about 10 metres ahead of him to the right.

"Aha! That's LLENN-chan!"

Pitohui, too, arrived at the same conclusion as M and raised her head slightly as she said this in joy──

3 seconds later.

As red hit effect spread gaudily, she fell prostrate onto the grass.

"That woman was shot!"

One of the cameras showed the woman as a bright red effect light spouted from her right eye,


"Uwah! You serious!"


And the bar instantly heated up.

The #strongest#(saikyou) and #craziest#(saikyou) female player, who half of the spectators thought would undoubtedly win, had actually been sniped. And in the face no less.

"From where? Who?"

As if answering someone's question, one of the screens changed to a woman covered entirely in mud and sitting with her R93 Tactical 2 at the ready,

"So it was her! Well done!"

And the next moment, it showed how she was assailed by a storm of bullets and died.


"She got done in!"

The screen hectically changed to display LLENN, who had fired her P90 until it was dry.

"LLENN-chan! Nice!"

The time was 14:10.

The scan had begun, thus one of the screens changed to the map, but no one was looking at it.


Screaming, M rushed over to Pitohui, grasped her upside-down body, turned her over, and embraced her to have his large figure be a shield from the sniper.

There was a bright red hit effect on her right eye and, instead of blood, polygon fragments flickered,

"Haha, ahahahaaha ahahahahaahahahaha!"

Her left eye opened up as if bursting, tears flowing like a waterfall from it, she smirked,


And unleashed a grand laugh.

M took out a first-aid kit from his pouch and applied it to Pitohui's nape. Then, he gazed at the top-left corner of his vision, at his team's hit point bar.


Pitohui's was decreasing speedily and went past yellow──

"Ahahahaha! So this is itttttt! This is my 〝death〟, huuuuuuh!"

Then turned red──

"I'm dying! I'm finally dying! Ahahahahahahaahahahahahaha!"

And with that shout──

It stopped.

Her remaining hit points were so measly that they could not even be seen on the bar.


Embracing Pitohui, M gave a loud sigh.

At that moment, his rough face was flooded with tears, just like in SJ.

"Hyahaaaaah! What are you crying for, Goushi-kun!"

The woman without her right eye slithered out of his embrace like a serpent and turned towards him.

"I haven't died yet! Uhihihihihi! I haven't died yeeet!"

Lying face-up on the grass, Pitohui continued shouting.

"This is fuuuuun! Right! It's fuuuuuun!"

Wriggling with her slender body like a dying cicada,

"Ahahahahahahaha! Uaahahahahahaha!"

She continued shouting very joyfully.

"Director! Let's end this already! You should have realised already! That you really are scared of death! So, let's end this already!"

At M's words, shouted in-between tears,

"What are you blabbering about, Goushi-kun. Are you really telling me to stop something so scary and fun?"

Pitohui answered with these words and immediately threw a punch with her right hand.


M's face, supported by his firm neck, was easily turned.

"I sure as heck can still go on, and on, and on, and on, and on──"

Pitohui's shouting abruptly ended and the upper half of her body collapsed backwards.

A 【Dead】 marker──

Did not appear.

The UTS-15 shotgun-wielding short man, who was closest to Pitohui,


Watched over the unfolding events since she had been shot, unaware of the proper way to react.

Pitohui was shot in the right eye; since it was from long-range, it had to have been by a rifle; however, she avoided instant death by a hair's breadth.

In the end, GGO was just a game, thus a very simple calculation between the 〝character's numbers〟 and the 〝attack's numbers〟 was performed when she was shot.

If one had trained as much as Pitohui and the bullet went from the right eye to the right side of the brain, it would not be strange for this to happen.

As a matter of fact, Pitohui's luck in battle was highly admirable.

The man also observed their dialogue afterwards.

And he was slightly envious of Pitohui and M being so excited about 〝life and death〟 in the game.

No matter how realistic the sensations were, a virtual world was still virtual. Even though one could die, it did not mean that they would actually die.

Meanwhile, they were so pumped up that they even shed tears of excitement.

Both of them were probably too addicted to the world, but they truly looked happy.

He felt that real names kinda came up during their dance of joy, but kindly ignoring that bit was a part of being an excellent gamer. An ignoring skill was important.

Finally, the man──

Thought of a single question.

Pitohui became so excited that she had even fainted.

And yet, why did the AmuSphere not shut down?

They had seen VR game newbies who had, overwhelmed by the fear of exceedingly realistic battles, mistakenly believed 〝I'm actually going to be killed!〟 and panicked.

Having their bodies cut, shot, burnt, or blown away── despite all these being virtual experiences and not hurting like IRL, the FullDive experience was still really scary.

However, they did not need to feel so scared.

That was because one would be forced out of the VR game world before their fear reached its peak.

An abnormal state of mind usually caused abnormalities in the body. A remarkable increase in heart and breathing rate, sudden perspiration, violent fluctuations of blood pressure, et cetera, et cetera.

Sensing these, the AmuSphere would trigger the kind, kind safeties and forcibly pull the panicking person from the 〝dream world〟 back into reality.

Awakening suddenly after having a nightmare,

"Oh, it was a dream…… Ah, thank goodness……"

Followed by this; that is what it would feel like.

So, based on Pitohui and M's strange excitement just now, it would not have been strange for the AmuSphere to enter its meddling mode.

'Don't tell me… could they have……'

The sole possibility came to the man's mind, but──

'No no. Whatever the circumstances may be, they couldn't have used that, no, they couldn't have gone 〝that far〟.'

The possibility was so awfully low that it was even unthinkable.

That Pitohui could be using the first generation home-use VR machine that was able to arbitrarily cancel the bodily perception safety 《health monitor》, that is, the NerveGear.

Having easily denied this possibility, the man looked at the upper-left corner of his vision, where he saw that the fainted Pitohui's hit points were increasing awfully slowly, at the speed of a slug's movement.

What he should be worrying about now──

Was that Pitohui, who, along with M, could be called the team's main force, had suffered a lot of damage and that considerable time would be needed for her to heal.

The tall man who had not let his guard down the entire time continued peeking through his binoculars while kneeling,

"The sniper is north-northwest, approximately 500 metres. It was that woman from the hunter team who survived. She's dead now. The odds are high that there is another team nearby who killed her. Probably in the back of the pink smoke."

And reported without concern.

Immediately, M, the leader who was no longer crying,

"That's LLENN. She planned to take advantage of the smoke to break through, but she noticed a sniper before that and shot her. The other one from LF is using a powerful grenade launcher, capable of rapidly firing 6 grenades, as her weapon. Don't let your guard down."

Sent precise instructions.

Next, suppressed shots from the MG3 machine gun resounded, and the shooter who fired 20 rounds in full-auto,

"Still fine here! The amazons are currently all lying on the ground!"

Reported with full confidence. And then,

"Though! I can't say if I'll hold out if they all come at once, resolved for a suicide attack!"

Complained faint-heartedly.

M made a prompt decision,

"Pull back."

And sent an order to the three men.

"I'm carrying Pito. Abandon the Barrett. In its stead, I'm leaving the M14 and Savage in your care."

The tall man who had put the M107A1 into storage and was now carrying it replied with a short 'Roger'.

"Our retreat point is the log house. We're confining ourselves in a high place till Pito recovers. Everyone, we'll be running at full speed. Prepare!"

At the bar,

"Did that woman…… die……?"

"But the 【Dead】 marker didn't appear……"

Pitohui, who had collapsed backwards and was no longer moving, had become the central topic.

Before the woman collapsed, she seemed to have shouted something joyfully, but luckily or unluckily, the cameras did not pick up voices unless they went in awfully close.

If her emotions got the better of her and forced a shutdown, according to the SJ-original rules, the avatar should have disappeared, but that did not seem to have been the case.

'Then, what happened?'

In the end, with no one understanding this, M's group began to move.

The tall man crawled through the grass and got his hands on M's M14 EBR and the Savage 110BA beside the fat sniper's corpse. He then began manipulating his left arm to immediately put them into storage.

In the case of the Savage, its owner had died, but it seemed it could still be used by the team. He also fished out the spare magazines from the corpse's pouch.

As for M, he crawled nimbly and picked up the two sheets that had not been shot from his now-broken shield.

"Oh! What's he planning to do?"

M answered a spectator's question with his actions.

M lifted the collapsed Pitohui, with all her equipment, in a so-called 〝princess carry〟 and placed the two sheets onto her stomach for defence.

"I get it…… He's taking great care of that woman……"

"Well, she is the team's attacker."

"No, to me, it looks like 〝love〟. Those two are in love!"

"〝Love〟, huh…… Where do I need to go to buy mine, I wonder?"

"Yeah. Don't ask me."

The large machine gunner stood up after loading a new ammunition box and propping his MG3 against his shoulder. He then began his suppressing fire, several bullets at a time, towards the lurking amazons.

Using it as a signal, M's group began running.

Anyone watching that realised what they were doing. They were retreating from that place.

"So they really are running away……"

"Well, it's understandable."

Everyone in the bar understood that that was the best option.

And then,

"PM4 has one casualty and one heavily injured, huh…… Now it's no longer possible to tell which team is gonna win……"

Looking through her lens at the fleeing M and his group was Tohma.

While the Bullet Lines fired by the MG3 machine gun still scattered about the area──

As if to say 〝because of the Lines, I can just dodge〟, she had boldly stood up and was peeking through large binoculars with her eyes set on a high place.

"M's group has begun moving to the log house. Current distance - 900. From here to the log house - 1100."

Tohma reported to Boss. Boss repeated the same thing to impart it to LLENN. And LLENN to Fukaziroh.

"M is carrying a woman. There's a hit effect on her face. Shot by a sniper. I can't see the marker, so she hasn't died, but she's not moving.

This was passed down to LLENN through the telephone game,

"Ugyaaaaa! That really was Pito-saaaaaan! She was shooooot!"

"Calm down. She's not dead. Probably, she was shot and her hit points are nearly gone. Though I don't know why she's being carried."

Boss said in a calm tone.

And then, she asked LLENN a question.

"What do we do? Are we pursuing them right away? Of course, we probably won't be able to catch them before they hole up in the log house, but we can commence a pincer attack before M's guys set up camp and prep for defence. If LLENN could get inside, she could probably assault them before Pitohui's hit points recover."


Squatting with her P90 in hand, LLENN was unable to answer right away.

In the grasslands, the smoke had mostly cleared away. In the end, the 6 grenades they saved for their special move went to waste meaninglessly.

She had a good understanding of what Boss was trying to say.

Right now, M's group was retreating. If her team surrounded the log house right now and she broke into the building to fight while Boss's group provided a diversion, the plan would be the same as before.

However, currently, Pitohui should have just suffered considerable damage. It would take at least 6 minutes, or even more, for her hit points to fully recover.

If she attacked her before she recovered──

"If I deal the finishing blow after she has suffered great damage, would that count as me bringing down Pito-san……?"

LLENN's mutter,

"I dunno about that." "I don't know."

Prompted Fukaziroh's and Boss's answers, which reached her right and left ears simultaneously.

And then,

"The one to decide that." "The one to decide that."

This time, their voices were completely in-sync.

"Is you, LLENN."

LLENN closed her eyes for a bit.

Feeling the weight of P-chan in her right hand, she contemplated for 4 seconds──

Then suddenly raised her head.

In her eyes,

"We're going in for a pincer attack right now! We're massacring all of PM4! Pito-san alone will be mine to bring down! Damage? It's the fault of the one who let her guard down during a tournament! This is GGO! We're bringing down Pito-san no matter what! That is the reason I am here right now!

An intent to kill shined through.


  1. I love how these characters are constantly doing the unexpected.

    Just one small issue though:

    In order to prevent mud from entering the muzzle of her R93 Tactical 2, she put two layers her gloves onto the tip of the barrel.

    I think the second half of this sentence is missing a word or two.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. It was missing an "of" before "her".

  2. As always I got Goosebumps !!!