ãI'm out of the virtual world, breathing a sigh of relief. It wasn't tiring, but it was a busy day.
ãIt was already past eight o'clock and I headed for the living room, wondering if I had kept Rin waiting.
'Sorry, Rin, I'm late.
ãI opened the door to the living room and said this first, but there was no response from Rin-chan.
ãOr rather, I looked around and couldn't see Rin. If I listened carefully, I could only hear her breathing, which was unusual because she seemed to be taking a nap until this time.
'Rin-chan, ...... mmm, it's a little hot.
ãWhen I put my hand on Rin's sleeping cheek, I could see that her temperature was much higher than normal.
ãHer face was also red and she looked a little pained. He probably caught a cold.
ãShe seems to be taking her medicine, so it's better not to wake her up now.
ãShe probably hasn't eaten anything since she's Rin, so I'll prepare some sick food for her. With that in mind, I was about to leave the sofa when I was suddenly grabbed by the hand.
'Hmm, yes. Did I wake you up?'
'No. ...... I've been slumbering, that's all.'
ãI gently support Rin-chan as she tries to force herself up and sit next to her on the sofa with her back to me.
ãIt's a good idea to have a good idea of what's going on in your life. ã
'Is it hard?'
'...... for a little while, yeah. It's been a long time since I've been home, and I feel so relieved. ......'
ãRin said and smiled softly.
ãThis is usually what happens to Rin once she runs out of energy.
ãShe wasn't a very strong person to begin with, and she must have pushed herself very hard to keep running for ten days during the event.
ãThe sudden decision to go back to her parents' house must have made her tired, and that tiredness must have been relieved when she met Ron and Toki, and spilled over. Well, it's a common thing to say.
ãBut it's been a long time since I've been able to be there for Rin, who's fallen ill like this.
'Since long ago,......, I've been the only one who's been nursed back to health.
ãI'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to do it.
'Hmmm, I never get sick.
ãI've never been sick in my entire life.
ãAfter all, my body is incredibly strong. I've just been sleeping too much lately for some reason, but I'm still in good shape even after staying up all night for ten days or so.
ãWhen I was working part-time, I used to have trouble sleeping.
ãAnd perhaps because Rin knows this, her lips twitched a little.
'...... Really, that's not fair. You should at least share a little.'
'Really, I wish I could share my wasted energy.
ãWhile smiling at her face as she buried her face in my thigh and squealed, I slowly ran my fingers through her softly hanging hair.
ãRin, who had turned her body slightly from a prone position to make it easier to comb her hair, opened her mouth with a vague look in her eyes.
'Hey, Nana ......, I was dreaming.
ãThen Rin's eyes wavered.
ãI'm not sure if it's because I'm sick and weak, but it's because I'm anxious.
'The dream I had three years ago when I won the ......WGCS. I wasn't in the All-Stars at the time, but I dreamed of standing on top of the world in the individual division of ...... Zero Wars 3.'
'Yeah ...... I looked it up yesterday too.'
ãYesterday, Rin and Toka were talking about 'those days'.
ãI wanted to know more about the time when Rin was crazy about games, so I looked up her biography on the Internet.
ãI wanted to know what I didn't know about her.
ãPro Gamer Rinne. The only 'female' professional gamer in history to stand at the top of the WGCS. She is one of the top ten professional gamers in the history of the WGCS in terms of pure prize money, and is the object of every gamer's desire.
ãThis was a title that was too big for Rin to bear.
ãThe world of eSports is supposed to be a place where men and women can compete equally, regardless of gender differences in physique and strength. The world of eSports is supposed to be equal for men and women, but even today, far more prosperous than in its early days, professional gamers are still an overwhelmingly male society.
ãThere are only a handful of female professional gamers who have been able to achieve success in top-tier tournaments. There was a time when Lynne was ridiculed as a crowd-pleaser and underestimated because she was a woman.
ãThen she overcame all of that with her power and silenced them with a trophy. At that point, Rin-chan gained an unassailable position.
'Hmm, my spiky self from back then is still funny to me now. ...... I was really strong back then. I was a monster three years ago, to the point where I could say that I could definitely win even against Nana.
'Yes. At that time, I was so strong that I was given a lot of terrible nicknames.''
ãShe seems to have eased up a little, and her speech has become much smoother.
ãAccording to the Rinne Wiki by a volunteer, Rin-chan back then was like a rabid dog that would bite anyone and everyone.
ãHer style of play was not the smart and charming one we see today, but a diabolical one that trampled her opponents to the ground. And he was a tyrant who didn't care as long as he won. He is an omnivore, appearing in all kinds of genres, as if he wants to crush all gamers except himself.
ãWhoever called her that gave her the name "Evil" Rinne.
ãIf you look up other names for Rinne at the time, you'll find that she was called "Monstrous," "Devil," "Locust," and many other names that sound like they should be given to a young maiden.
ãSo, I don't think it's wrong to say that I was given a lot of terrible names.
'It's been a while since I've been to a big tournament. ...... I had a very nostalgic dream.
'Did you have fun?
'Hmm, yes. It was a lot of fun. It's like my roots as a professional gamer.
ãI'm sure you're not the only one.
'It might be nice to fight like we did back then. ......'
'When you and I used to play together, you were the cutthroat captain, right?ãI'd rather play a smart mage like now, it's more uncomfortable for me.
ãYes. I'm particularly impressed by a video I made with Rin called "Zero Wars Pairs Match," where you can't finish until you lose.
ãOf the nearly 150 consecutive wins we had, about 120 of them were won by Rin's constant suicide attacks to get kills. The rest were won by me when Rin died in a suicide mission.
ãIn the end, when Rin fell asleep, she accidentally shot my character in the head, which stopped her winning streak. ...... Ever since she was little, Rin has always had a push-and-pull playing style.
'That's what I thought. ............'
ãIn response to my words, Rin-chan made a hmm ...... carefree voice. Her tone of voice, which had been fluent until a moment ago, became slightly squishy.
ãHe seemed to have become sleepy again while we were talking. It was cute that he was fighting sleepiness with his eyes fluttering, but it was not a good idea for a sick person to try so hard to get up.
'Are you sleepy?
'No, I'm not sleepy.
'I'm not sleepy.
ãI pull Rin away from me, burying her face in my stomach, get up from the sofa and roll her onto her back.
ãI put my hands around her back and behind her knees and gave her a princess hug, and she put her hands around my neck without any hesitation at all.
'Mmmm ...... this is so nostalgic ...... I used to be carried like this once upon a time.
'Rin-chan was not very strong, you know.
ãAs we headed for the bedroom, we talked about such nostalgic stories.
ãRin was so happy to be held as a princess for the first time in a long time, and her expression was so relaxed that it was hard to believe how dignified she usually was.
ãWhen I rolled Rin-chan onto the bed in my bedroom, she rolled around on the king-size bed, saying, "Oh my God!
ãHmm, I really feel like I'm back in my childhood.
ãIn the past, she used to jump up and down on the bed and then run out of energy and get short of breath.
ãToki-san says that she couldn't get angry with him because he was always in my care by the time I came to warn him of his noisy behavior.
'......She fell asleep. It's so cute.
ãPerhaps it was because she was sick to begin with, but after a while she suddenly stopped moving and started breathing in her sleep.
ãTo prevent her cold from worsening, I put a futon on top of her, and crawled into the same futon.
ãIf I hadn't been sleeping with her when she woke up, there was a high probability that she would be unhappy. I'm sure of it because she always does that when she's sick.
'Oh, ...... I haven't eaten... ......'
ãI've missed a meal. ......' I thought, but I was surprisingly tired and surrendered to the oncoming sleepiness.
ãI hope that Rin-chan's cold will be gone by tomorrow.
ãI let go of my consciousness, sincerely hoping so.