Chapter 166: Qualifying
A vacant lot in a back alley in Amaterasu City .
When Oga and the others arrived at their destination, they found that the stuffed animal that has become an urban legend was indeed there.
About the size of a grown man.
It looks like a stuffed animal, a dark blue oval shape almost black, with white arms and legs that seem to have been spliced together.
The whole thing is covered with patchwork-like jagged edges, giving it the appearance of a stuffed toy with a somewhat horror-like quality.
But what’s odd is that the stuffed animal has no face. The arms and legs give us an approximate location of the face.
However, since there is nothing resembling a face, the figure strangely arouses the viewer’s fear.
“I’m not a mule.”
The occasional sound of his voice, which sounded like a buggy digital voice, also added to the eeriness.
There were a few more spectators besides Ogre and the others. Probably players who’d heard the urban legends Cross had overheard. They were probably just curious to see something scary. None of them, however, had the heart to talk to the stuffed animals.
I guess it’s understandable, May thought.
“Uh, player name [repair]. What, you’re not a normal player.”
As long as you can see the player’s name above his head, he is a player controlled by a human, no matter how strange or odd it is.
Of course, there are plenty of elements that scare you even if you’re a player, such as the faceless, haggling stuffed animals, and the sound that sounds like a bug. In fact, other players who gathered here just for the fun of it are usually scared to death when they see Repair.
But May and Auger are trained differently when it comes to horror. By being with players who embodied such fear and despair that they were banned, they developed a strong resistance to horror without even realizing it.
I’ve got the mentality that I wouldn’t be affected even if I met a real ghost.
I’m not so sure… but if I saw the real thing… I’m not really afraid of it.
Why don’t you talk to him?
With a gesture as if to say after you, Cross motioned for Oga and Mei to join him.
Oga and Mei look at each other. Then he shrugs and walks over to the stuffed animal. and approaches the stuffed animal.
Um, what are you doing?
“Ha-ha-ha… I see?”
After a short exchange of words, Auger came back to Cross and the others a little faster.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
“I thought we were having an understanding conversation!”
It seems that I’ve been playing along with the situation in a way that I don’t understand.
But although the sound coming from his mouth is eerie, the gestures of the talking Repair did not seem to indicate that he would do any harm to us.
I was about to approach the repairman to do it myself when…
“… What are you doing?”
He called out to me from behind.
When the four of them turned around, they saw Lemma, the original costumed player, standing there. Of course, he was wearing his usual gorilla costume. Behind him stood Smoke Strike P, who was not dressed as an idol but in his normal spearman’s gear.
Lemma, dressed as a gorilla, looks at the four of them quizzically.
May explained the situation to him. Renma puts her hand on her chin and says, “I can’t believe we’re talking about this. I can’t believe we’re talking about this…” She muttered.
Um, do you know her by any chance?
“… Yeah. Yeah. It’s a long story. Just give me a second. Smokejaw P.”
Rengma says as he pulls something out of storage and Smokejou P approaches Repair.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
The following day, the two of them are going to be in the same room.
“Thank you for your patience. This is the newly rebuilt equipment based on the 3D model you gave me.
Smokejou P hands some items to Repair.
“I’m not going to let you go!”
Repair received it and made a gesture as if he was impressed.
“Oh! This is great!”
Then a cute little girl’s voice came from Repair, who was still in his creepy-looking costume.
From the sound of his voice, he seems to be about the same age as Renma. His Japanese pronunciation is a little doubtful, but he seems to have lost the strange voice he had been emitting earlier.
“… Yeah, yeah. I guess I have some explaining to do.”
Lemma began to explain to the stunned schoolchildren.
“… That was, I think, about two weeks ago.
The first time Ranma had seen this creepy-looking stuffed animal was when he was searching for a less popular spot in Amaterasu City.
He seemed to be in trouble, so he gathered up his courage and talked to her as a fellow stuffed animal.
Lemma couldn’t understand what she was saying when she spoke to me, but I realized that she was speaking English. Listening carefully, I managed to sort out her predicament.
“… She’s a returnee from America. That’s why her Japanese isn’t very good.”
“Yeah. When they changed the skins on the equipment, they installed a translation program…”
It seems that the translation program she used had a bug, and the words uttered by the costumed Repair were not only not translated but also made a terrible noise.
“Hmm. Cheap tools are no good.”
Feeling that there was nothing he could do, Rengma consulted with Smokejaw P. He gladly helped him create new equipment. Smokejaw P. was willing to help him make new equipment. He also reported the bug to me.
And we’ve agreed that it’s best not to log in or even move from this square until we have new gear. It’s dangerous to move around in a buggy state.
“Well, I’ve been logging in because VR is fun…”
That must have been hard for you.
“It’s been hard work. But! Repair loves Japanese anime and games! No problem!”
It seems that he has a fascination for Japanese anime contents. Mei and Oga quit asking questions, thinking that it would be bad manners to ask for more personal information.
And look back at Cross.
Well, that’s what urban legends are really like.
He chuckled and shrugged.
(Though many mysteries and questions remain… But for now. I’ll just have to accept it for the sake of appearances.)
There were a few things she said that didn’t make sense. But Cross swallows it down and asks her a different question than he had.
“By the way, what’s your obsession with those creepy costumes?”
Cross asked about the design of the costume. It sounded like he was about to step on a landmine, but Repair didn’t seem bothered by it and answered.
“Oh, this is Death, isn’t it? I designed it myself. I don’t care what it looks like! As long as it looks hidden, that’s all that matters.”
“Hi. My dad told me. Japanese are 80% hentai, so be careful. That’s why beautiful teenage girls need to cover up to protect themselves!”
Oga, Pancho, and May are a little confused by what she’s saying.
“… That’s a really bad misunderstanding.”
“Yes. But this misunderstanding will be cleared up as long as you play GOO.
But the schoolchildren can’t refute anything when they see Lemma and Smoke Strike P on the side.
“Well, a lot has happened, but this is where Repair’s GOO life begins!”
“… Yeah, let’s go for it!”
“Yes, Lemma. First up is the tag team duel tournament. Repair and Renma will be the strongest tag team and will beat up all the other tag teams!”
Auga shouted in surprise at Repair’s sudden declaration.
“Are you two going to be in the tournament?”
“… Yeah, that’s right. I turned down your sister’s offer and teamed up with her. I’ll make sure we win.”
The ever-so-bold words of Lemma.
“Pfft. That’s amazing. Maybe Ogre Boy’s in the tag team duel tournament?”
“… I was just thinking about that. But are you sure, oga? The qualifiers start right after Obon. You can afford it.
“The Repairs will now begin their secret training!”
Repair says happily while sticking to the stuffed gorilla.
“Oh, that’s no problem.”
“Ha-ha-ha. What’s more, we’re also going to start training tonight!”
Yeah. Oga has a lot of opponents he wants to win this tag team duel tournament. Renma and Repair have been added to that list.
“… Zecca and Kon are serious about this, so I’m looking forward to it.”
I won’t go easy on you if you hit me. This is serious business!”
Auga replied emphatically while urging Repair to shadowbox him.
Mei was watching them from a little distance.
“The… Haunted house…”
Now that Cross’s proposal had failed, Mei was seriously worried about what to do.