BTOG 246 – BATTLER Final: Path of the Reaper

Tl Note:

Tenjou Tenge: I’m the number one below heaven and above the earth. Believe me, you will need this lol.

===*

Suupaa never exchanged a word after the second match. She didn’t even log out of the virtual space throughout the transition from the second game to the third game.

I opened my eyes because I felt someone’s presence, and I saw Touka-chan and Rin-chan had come back. They must have logged out after the second match was over.

It seems that the second game was a big mess after that.

First, Suu-chan positioned herself in a bad position and died right after me. After that, Touka-chan and Rin-chan did everything they could to run away around the field by themselves.

That was because Even if they hid and held their breath at all costs, they would not be able to escape from a team that used a character with search ability.

That’s why they avoid combat altogether and hide at the very edge of the safe zone and run around. That way, they may survive and earn survival points.

The reason we can take that kind of gun-and-run strategy because we were able to get a decent number of kills in the second game.

If our team is running around without enough points, the measly amount of survival points only will not enough to guarantee our position as the top bracket, anyway I’m glad the 13 kill points I raised has helped HEROES’ strategy.

By the way, Touka-chan died with 6 teams remaining, while Rin-chan managed to escape until there were only 3 teams left. With additional 4 points for survival, we had earned total 17 points in this game.

The final ranking will be announced later, but I doubt we will be at the top for this round. Because the 10 survival points awarded for first place are such a significant bonus, even if we count the point we got in the first match, we would only end up with a total of 24 points, making it unlikely that we are in the first place. Still, I believe we will finish second or third at worst.

However, it was definitely good news that the first place in the first game and the second game were different teams. If one team gets 20 points for survival alone, it will be hard to catch up with them.

“Is Nana-nee-sama going to be okay?”

“I’d like to say that I have plenty of stamina to spare, bit seems I’m still too tired; the truth is, my vision is still cloudy because I overexerted myself.”

“eh? Then your current composed attitude is forced?”

“Well, I could perhaps recover if you give me another half hour. But considering the time we had, it means I would only recover nearing the end of the final game; I had decided that I don’t want to be too reckless even in VR space.”

“Please do so. It was a great spectacle, but please don’t be reckless and push yourself too hard. Everyone will be worried.”

“I’ll be careful. Anyway, what happened to Rin-chan……?”

Rin-chan hasn’t spoken in a while and has laid her face down on the sofa, possibly because she didn’t want Touka and others to see how tired she looked.

I passed my spot on the sofa to Rin-chan and poked her on the side while Touka-chan stared at Rin-chan as if she was looking at something obvious.

“She was running around like she never before, so she must have gotten terrible VR sickness.”

“Oh, so that’s why… as usual, Rin-chan isn’t good at that kind of thing.”

Although it’s a well-known fact that Rin-chan has unexplainably poor motor skills in the real world, the same was also true in the virtual world.

What she can do in the real world, such as walk normally or use her hands dexterously, she can also do in virtual space, but that also means she cannot do an intense physical activity.

Only she knows the details, but it seems that she has a special way that allows her to run, fly, and jump for a short time only in virtual space.

On the other hand, if she ever forces herself to do intense exercise for about 10 minutes, she will deplete all her fuel completely.

Thinking back, the only time I remember seeing Rin-chan running in WLO was during the battle to destroy the apostles. Even then, she was mostly a fixed gunner, and when things looked bad, she evacuated early, so I think the only time I saw her running was when she saved me at the end.

Although she did some running when moving around in this tournament, she did as little as possible. She would only run when there was no cover or support on the front line, where she could only reach the destination on foot.

I don’t want to put it this way, but in terms of overall combat strength, we are just a group of mismatching players.

This match took more than 15 minutes, if she had been on the run the whole time, it must be very tiring for Rin-chan.

And Rin-chan should have known exactly how much to push herself to the limit. The fact that she pushed herself means that she had a reason to, and it was definitely not because she wanted a mere additional four points.

If she had wanted to do that, she would not have let me take the stages alone, and at least she would have thought of a way to prevent Suu-chan’s death in the early stages.

That solved the mystery; this was most likely some kind of encouragement Rin-chan had prepared for Suu-chan.

“Are you going to be able to attend the next game?”

“Somehow… I’ll manage…”

A hoarse voice like a squashed frog came from Rin-chan and I patted her back after she replied to Touka-chan.

“There there, well, sorry about this Touka-chan, but I will leave the rest to you.”

“Geez, you two are really similar, no matter, I’ll do my best if my help is necessary, but I don’t think it will be necessary, though.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. She had clear eyes and didn’t seem to have any doubt right now. I think that’s also why she didn’t log out.”

“I see, it means that my and Rin-chan’s efforts were not in vain.”

There may come a time when we will come together as a team, but it won’t be today.

“It’s a shame that I cannot witness this moment with my own eyes.”

“If Suupaa managed to splendidly play her part, I’m sure there will be some footage by the official stream.”

“That’s true.”

There’s this gentle atmosphere flowing in the HEROES waiting room, an atmosphere where it felt like the game had already been over.

Remaining alone in the virtual space, Suupaa was reexamining herself with her eyes closed, floating in a sea of thoughts.

The existence of Suupaa is fundamentally [complete].

Therefore, the more impurities that are introduced by her allies, the more her play becomes lackluster. Conversely, when all these impurities are removed, the demon known as the worst of the worst regains its original strength.

Each of her teammates gave new [awareness] to Suupaa.

Nana’s divine work. Rinne’s fiery spirit. And Touka’s ability to mirror.

All of them are now resting in Suupaa’s hand as if they were a key to unlock her next stage.

(Right, if it were that easy to nurture this ability, I would never be troubled in the first place.)

Her way to a higher level is certainly open, but that doesn’t mean that it is possible to grow in this one moment.

Suupaa is a hard-working person, she is indeed a genius, but she still needs to puts in more effort than anyone else, that’s her essence.

Whether she feels that her effort is hard or not is another matter, but in the end, Suupaa is an ordinary person whose ability is based on accumulation, and she cannot imitate Nana who grows up just by living.

And thus why, she now understood. The newly gained awareness has taught her the value of her true weapon that she has misjudged.

The essence of Suupaa’s ability is her effectiveness in killing.

The techniques she has honed and the sixth sense she has developed are, in the end, nothing more than tools born for that purpose.

Suupaa is not at the top of this world because she has better ability than anyone else, but she could stand on the top because she was able to kill more effectively than anyone else.

Even she does not know when and where her insane nature started cultivating.

Or perhaps she had it from the beginning and was just unaware of it, which is why she was able to achieve top-class results at the facility or why she caught Rinne’s eye.

“Let’s go back to ONE.”

She doesn’t need anything special, and one awakening does not make her power become stronger all of a sudden.

But one thing is certain, Suupaa is the strongest only when she’s true to herself.

The third match began, and there seemed to be nothing special about it.

Yes, it was started at a slow pace as in the first game, without the sudden kill across the field, nor rain of bullets like in the second match.

That’s right, this is normal.

The pace might be a little faster than average, but overall, the game progressed steadily.

However.

Like any other match, there was one presence that caused the players the most fear and pressure.

45 seconds into the match. The first kill occurred, killer name: Suupaa.

51 seconds from the start. The second kill occurred, killer name: Suupaa.

63 seconds, and then 71 seconds, two kills again were made by Suupaa.

The kill log showed that a team was destroyed by a single player in a span of 30 seconds.

It was clear that this did not come from The Judgment Tower’s MHKS.

The situation was different from the second game; to begin with, an average of 7 seconds was a realistic kill time that could have been possible even in the early stages of the game. And yet it was too clean and efficient. It was beautiful destruction without any flaw.

The few top players who had seen the kill feed could not suppress their fear, the text displayed had awakened the undying trauma that had been planted in their minds.

Looking back, that one was beaten relatively easily in the first game.

In the second game, that one also died at the very beginning.

Although there were few people who doubted the existence of Suupaa based on the performance she had shown the day before, there were many people who thought that Suupaa might be in bad shape. And it was the common opinion not only among the participants but also on the social media.

This theory was supported with evidence that in the first game Master V had great success in defeating Suupaa. And above all, the second game was dominated by Nana.

The combination of these exciting factors has lowered the threat of Suupaa in this third match.

This is a story of the last match of this tournament.

It all starts with a simple kill, a humble beginning without any flashy play like Nana had displayed.

If you are better than Suupaa, you will be saved, and you will die if you not.

All there’s into it.

The one who judged the situation faster than anyone else was Photon of [Toshu Kashun], and he immediately switched his team tactic to aim only for second place, and the man himself considered his decision to be a bit slow because they were placed in the first place in the overall standings, which thankfully only turned out to be a minor mistake.

Differences in experience, differences in circumstances, there are endless reasons for this decision, but in the end, there’s one ultimate reason as to why he decided to deviate from his original strategy just after one minute after the match started; that reason is [luck].

Photon realized faster than anyone else that the force of nature called Suupaa was going to be the MVP in this match and immediately switched to aiming for second place as quickly as possible.

It was a strategy that focused on surviving to the end rather than going for the kill, a strategy that prioritized the defensive formation intact at all times.

By keeping team members as close to each other as possible, the team moves a little slower, but this makes them more responsive and has a higher chance of survival.

Focus on survivability. And if they did get a kill, they could count it as a result beyond the best they could hope for.

The strength of [Toshu Kashun] lies in their very high overall strength as a team, and this is a strategy that emphasized that strength, which is unusual, because normally, this was a strategy they would employ after they attain the absolute position in point count.

But why did they choose to do so?

The reason is that they wanted to prioritize getting the survival points, based on the rule of thumb that the majority of the kills would be taken by Suupaa if she went on her usual rampage.

In addition, even if they should encounter Suupaa, they would have a chance if the four of them fought together. If even one of them were missing at that time, the already slim chance of winning would become even slimmer.

If one asks them, ‘is it okay to abandon the goal to reach the first place?’, they would answer with ‘no problem’; it’s not like the sponsors could disapprove of the result of this match.

That’s because the ticket to WGCS is open to runned-up as well. And while first place in the tournament would certainly enhance the brand of [Toshu Kashun] and, by extension, of Photon, it would still pale in comparison to the right to compete in the WGCS.

Because winning the BATTLER doesn’t mean you are hailed as the best in the country for Zero Wars VR, because that position was something that had already been taken by [Tenchi Shinmei].

At this point, their priority is to participate in the WGCS. The reason Photon was able to make that decision quickly and without being blinded by greed was probably because his experience as an esports player who has been active on the front lines since the days of Zero Wars 2.

*

It is not that Yuta made a bad decision; his team too had adopted a survival-first policy early on.

However, [Tenjo Tenge] ‘s the main style is [individual play] where everyone acts individually.

They could not break that rule to win the game, so they stick to strategy where everyone was playing solo.

But Suupaa works with many factors which will end up to efficient kill, and as a matter of course, it is easier and safer for her to kill an isolated player than to kill a group of four players.

Although she did not consciously target them, they are considered to be easier prey compared to [Toshu Kashun], which always moves as a group of 4 players.

So as unfortunate as it is, heaven did not bless [Tenjou Tenge] ‘s battle strategy and it eventually led them to defeat, but it is more correct to say that it was an unavoidable case since they can’t risk it further by adapting to an untested battle strategy.

And above all, the bad luck that they were landing closer to Suupaa’s than [Toshu Kashun] this bad luck was a more significant reason for their loss than anything else.

{tln: so much for the number one below of heaven and above land lol, and yes, it’s a deliberate pun from the author.}

Every two minutes, a team would be eliminated over a period of 30 seconds, and the kill log keep gave a really vivid picture of how grave the situation is.

And after eight minutes, three teams were eliminated by Suupaaa.

There were other battles going on, so in reality, about five teams were actually eliminated. The pace of kills was quite ordinary, maybe a bit fast for a competition, but the fact that 12 of them were killed by the same player did not help to change the bizarre situation.

Who’s next? With such fear in their hearts, all the players were tense to their limit.

Fifteen minutes into the game.

More than half of the safe zone was already gone, and Suupaa had increased her kill count to 16.

The remaining teams were 4. It seemed that the non-HEROES teams were also putting up a good fight, with 3 teams’ worth of players killed by players other than Suupaa.

 (un~, I’m doing well. My mind is incredibly clear.)

Suupaa is walking slowly, moderately dodging the enemy’s gaze by trusting her sixth sense.

Once she’s playing seriously to win, Suupaa has a tendency to get a certain amount of tension. It’s a kind of adrenaline release that heightened her fighting spirit.

When she gets a kill, her brain is flooded with adrenaline, and she becomes drunk on the sensation; this is not a physical state, but rather a psychological one.

As the cycle continues, she will become increasingly intoxicated, and the world’s worst killing machine will be born.

Somehow, perhaps thanks to something she had finally recognized, Suupaa was able to enjoy the carnage with an unprecedented sense of calmness.

She strode around the field with a very carefree feeling, without paying the slightest attention to where her teammate’s well-being.

That said, she still could tell that the member of her party was alive by looking at their status in the corner of her vision.

They all know what their priorities should be right now. Just as they entrusted the second game to Nana, currently, HEROES has entrusted everything to Suupaa.

In order to avoid any and all impurities, they even blocked the means to communicate.

(Ah, it’s really easy if I only need to cover for myself.)

Suupaa knows the approximate position of the enemy by her sixth sense, and she always knows from which direction and at which angle the bullets will fly.

Ignoring the 1,000 meters class sniper, there is almost no weapon that can KO an enemy with a single hit while considering the durability of helmets, and bulletproof vests, The weapons that can kill her with one hit are the MHKS, which has an instant-kill feature, and the [M-Gun], a rare weapon that only will appear in the final stages of the match.

That is why she was able to survive easily, and even if she was defeated in the middle of the match, she wouldn’t get a minus point in the overall score.

Although often hidden by her search-and-destroy tendency, her extremely high resistance to surprise attacks was one hidden strength of Suupaa’s.

One might argue, [but it didn’t work in the first match]; that’s because of the nature of Suupaa’s sixth sense. Even if she could grasp the location of the enemy, it doesn’t mean it could cover for her allies.

She may know when the muzzle of a gun is pointed at her, but she cannot know if the muzzle is pointed at her allies.

As a result of trying so hard to support her team, Suupaa neglected everything, and that was the main reason why Suupaa made a huge blunder, such as stepping into a trap of instant death in the first game.

This is the biggest reason why she had become weak, she was overly conscious of team battles.

Of course, with more time, training, or polish, there may be a way to use her sixth sense in team battles, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is not possible to do it now.

But HEROES don’t ever care about it.

Nana’s all-out showcase is a one-man play with such a strong [individual] nature that it’s simply too far from what can be called a co-op game, and Rinne is useless as an [individual] in the first place, while Touka doesn’t have an [individual] play in the first place, and the current Suupaa could understand why.

A team could only be called as such when four players of the same level get together to enhance their coordination and create synergy.

Each member of the HEROES team is extremely talented. There may be no need to rank it by high or low to their value, but at least she knows that such talent won’t show its true shine in Zero Wars VR.

That is why Suupaa will take care of everything for now and be done with it. Because it would not be too late to nurture some kind of bond as a team later on.

(I think I can destroy about two more teams.)

Suupaa already knows the positions of all enemy players thanks to her sixth sense.

Except for during combat, Suupaa strolls cheerfully around the field in a relaxed manner, as if she is a reaper searching for the next souls to hunt.

“Well, what can I say? …I didn’t think we could win at all.”

Photon of the [Toshu Kashun] later said in an interview.

Twenty-one minutes into the game, in a large warehouse in the center of the field, the final battle began.

The battle between HEROES and [Toshu Kashun]…… correction, it was the battle between Suupaa and [Toshu Kashun], and it ended more one-sidedly than expected.

“First, Heddaa got his vest broken, right? That really upset a lot of the members of our team.”

“Yes, there were screams in the hall when Hedda, who was only half peeking, had his bulletproof vest cracked instantly in 1.21 seconds.”

“Haha, yeah, I was like, no… I was literally screaming ‘UWAAA!’ because I was brought instantly to critical hp…”

Hedda scratched his head in embarrassment and blushed.

“I guess she saw through my agitation and quickly pushed it in from there, but AA tried to cut her path.”

“Yes, I asked Suupaa about that, and she said, [Oh, I was going in because I believe I could get a kill before his endurance was fully restored.]”

“Yeah, no doubt she is a great player… and well, that’s also why the hell broke loose from that point.”

Only 4.68 seconds after she had cut off Heddaa’s armor durability, Hedda, who had just barely earned the five seconds needed to use the item to restore his armor durability and expose his HP immediately suffered another 70 damage and was brought to a downed state.

“I wanted to save him because he was only down, but Suupaa just kept suppressing me. I was really distracted by the fact that I had only 30 hp left to play. Then, it just took a fraction of a second where I was momentarily unsure of my decision that she took advantage of the situation and split me open.”

“I see, so it wasn’t a matter of timing that I couldn’t cut her path, but perhaps Suupaa had calculated it all the way to that point.”

“As absurd as it is, that was most likely the case….; by the way, have you got the info about that?”

“Yes, still, there were too many things I wanted to ask when I interviewed Nana….”

“The girl who took the best part! The last bullet was hers, right?”

“That’s right, and I was also curious about the second game.”

“That was a natural disaster class event. I still can’t believe that it was something humans did.”

The incident at the second match was already etched in Photon’s mind as an unbelievable event.

It’s not like he claim that an official announcement is a lie. It’s just that it’s beyond his capacity to believe, that’s all.

“Umm, I’ll get back to the point. So, after you was damaged by Suupaa surprise attack you immediately run back to cover, right?”

“That’s right, but he was lucky enough to catch Nana’s bullet that just happened to ricochet off and landed on a headshot. As a result, it took Photon down.”

“That [Lucky] shot is one thing I’d like to complain about, but I’m starting to think she might have been aiming for that as well. Have you ever heard the story of the [Witch of the Magic Bullet]?”

“No, I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of it…”

“No, I’m sorry too, that was natural that you don’t know. It is the name of the legendary player of the first Zero Wars. Not many people have been playing Zero Wars back then. On the contrary, people who had been playing from back then will never forget her… it was the name of a divine sniper who manipulates ricochets at will, which also was said to be a close friend of Rinne. You see what I mean?”

There are many players, including the [Kaiser], who boasted legendary strength throughout the Zero Wars series, but as expected, the interviewer did not know the event that took place in the first Zero Wars.

However, when the interviewer compared the information provided by Photon with that of Nana from HEROES, whom he had just interviewed, he was surprised at how well it fit.

“Are you saying that… Nana is fitting that profile?”

“I mean… she’s a childhood friend and her best friend. Anyway, you should check out the video next time; you might also appreciate the younger Rinne appearance.”

“I’m sorry; please understand that he has been a hardcore Rinne fan since her early days.”

“You idiot, it’s natural for a man to like a pretty girl.”

“I’ll tell your wife.”

“It won’t work. She’s a fan of Rinne too.”

Photon and Heddaa are now engaged in banter.

The interviewer, while smiling amiably back at them, decided to return to the main topic of the conversation.

“ahaha …… Now now, may I ask you about the rest of the story?”

“The rest was just as you can see. The sniper’s line of fire was so open, and the situation was turning into four against two. To put think it calmly, in that kind of setup, we were bound to lose.”

“But when I saw Taka broke Suupaa’s vest in the exchange of blows, I was really excited inside.”

“Indeed, I was too. But then again, we forgot to compare our remaining HP.”

“Considering Suupaa’s ability, I think it’s fair to say that was still considered a good trade-off.”

With both players equipped with the highest-level bulletproof vests, one only cracked the vest, while the other already cracked the vest and shave some of the HP.

Because of the difference in evasive ability and accuracy, the damage dealt and deal was effectively doubled.

“I don’t think I could do any better too, I was dying, and Taka was full down. Crevasse managed to try to revive me, but here we are, beaten by HEROES together.”

“If you think about it calmly, it’s only natural for all four of us to rush in together considering that Suupaa is a one-man army; that’s also why we let our guard down.”

“Well, I was sent to death by the cooperation of Nana and Suupaa. Personally, I think that was a very graceful way to die.”

“Though Crevasse did defeat Suupaa in the end.”

“I know it doesn’t mean anything, but I guess I could take this as a medal of honor.”

“In fact, in all three matches, Suupaa was either down or dead. The result was contrary to the pre-event prediction of the Internet, which had many people thinking that it would be a one-sided game.”

Yes. In fact, just before the end of the match, Crevasse had risked his life to cut down Suupaa’s HP without expecting that he would defeat Suupaa or even send her to the lobby. Of course, Suupaa didn’t make it easy, but as expected it’s still a four-man rush after all.

And in the end, the match ended without a hitch after a normal headshot by Nana.

But the surprising fact remains, Suupaa died in all three matches. In fact, Suupaa’s death was so unexpected that it became a hot topic in the social networking trends.

“She had 22 solo kills in the finals, and it was no doubt that she is the best. Oh, but Nana also had a total of 17 kills, 2 in the first match, 13 in the second match, and 2 in the last. Touka-chan also had 5 kills in the first match, so 44 kills in total in three matches?”

“That’s a whole field worth of kills done by one team….”

“Ha-ha-ha. I can’t help but laugh.”

“We had about 18 kills….”

Hedda and Photon look far away at the hopeless difference.

“We still managed to finish in second place; that’s good enough for now.”

“That’s right! [Toshu Kashun] has grabbed the ticket to the WGCS All-Stars with their refined teamwork. So! Please tell us about your ambitions for the WGCS in about two months!”

“I’m going to challenge the best in the world this time as a challenger. And I will show [Tenchi Shinmei] and [HEROES] my revenge!”

“I will do my best without losing heart, so please support me.”

“Thank you very much! And with that, please give the runners-up of BATTLER, the leader of [Toshu Kashun], Photon, and the vice-leader, Hedda, big applause!”

===*

The finals are now over.

The main story of the fifth arc is almost complete, and there is only a detailed later story and a bulletin board episode left to tell.

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2 Responses

  1. Kensei Seraph says:

    Thanks for the chapters.

    Toshu Kashun did an excellent job all in all.

  2. Zane says:

    good job~~~
    I am really enjoying your translation of this series.
    please continue but don’t push yourself too hard.

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