Chapter 14:

That Was Unexpected

My Childhood Best Friend is a VTuber! (OsananaV)

Now it is I who feels that their aura is bursting from the seams.

My power level radiates off my body like a super whatchamacallit.

I gear up for my rematch with Koi, determined to make this my win.

With the help of the anime cutie on my chest and the shame of defeat on my sleeve, I know I have this game for sure.

“You seem awfully confident for someone who just lost miserably.”

“That one was just a warm-up, I haven’t played in a while – I’m still finding my groove.”

Koi pokes her head up in the air and looks down at me.

“Winners don’t need warm-ups.”

Tell that to any professional athlete!

Not that I know any, but it’s a pretty common thing in sports anime!

“Maybe this time we should go with a song that you’re good at, maybe that will help you, as you call it, get a “head start”.”

I cringe at the use of my own lines being blurted back at me.

“This one will be your downfall.”

“How melodramatic, now you’re starting to sound like a proper shut-in.”

Like you can talk! Almost every line that comes out of your mouth is sensationalist nonsense!

Let me get in on the fun every now and again, I feel like I’m in a shounen anime right now!

The game starts and I am off to a much better beginning – I know this song well, I know where my feet have to go at the right time. Even as I continue, I am moving to the rhythm of the music.

I finally feel as if it’s time for my revenge.

For a moment I glance over to Koi to revel in my mastery of the song.


Her footwork is immaculate, but the most astounding factor yet again is her speed.

As she moves I can’t even pinpoint where she is, just a hazy blur of where she once was.

I know this song inside and out and I couldn’t possibly reach that level of speed – even for an experienced player.

Keeping one eye on the game, constantly glancing over at how she’s playing, I come to one conclusion.

The mix of her footwork and speed is all due to one simple fact.

Not only does she know where to go each step of the way, just like I do, but she's positioning herself to make moves for notes that haven’t even emerged on the screen yet.

When she goes for a note, she’s not just thinking about getting that note, she’s thinking about if she's in the right position to get the next note, and the note after that!

Such immaculate planning is a beauty to watch, it looks like a proper professional has stepped up to the podium.


The movements are so fast, my eyes can’t even keep up with them – to think she’s using more than her athletic ability but also her mind to accomplish such a feat.

Why don’t you use that brain power for literally anything else?

Even our readers don’t think you’re the brightest tool in the shed!

The game ends in my overwhelming defeat.

I don’t even have the energy to go for another; even if my stamina could keep up (which it definitely can’t), my motivation is all but obliterated.


I take a pause mid-sentence to catch my breath.

“You’re really good at this.”

Koi winces, currently dumbstruck and staring at me with wide eyes.

“I can say nice things too sometimes!”

Besides, I don’t have the energy to quip anymore.

The look on her face tells me that she was planning some sort of retort to me, or waiting for me to say something mean, but got caught off guard by my compliment.

Her face goes red.

This is starting to become a very common occurrence.

She seems to get embarrassed a lot. Maybe she has a fever.

“Yeah well, uh.”

Koi seems to get worked up; this can only mean one thing - quip incoming.

“Thank you.”

Excuse me?

I feel as if I don’t hide the shock on my face even a little; if my jaw dropped any lower it would probably be on the floor.

Koi jumps down from the podium and back onto the floor of the dark room – reaching her hand over her hair and tucking it behind her ear.

“Even after we stopped coming together, I found a lot of peace in this place and came here a lot. I even worked my butt off trying to get better than you at the ones you were best at.”

There is a timid air around my childhood best friend, a solemn calmness in her disposition, all she does is look at the ground as she spills the secrets behind her magical formula for the rhythm game.

So. Freaking. Cute.

I step off from the podium as well, standing closer to Koi.

Why would she keep coming here without a dance partner? Why practice the songs I was good at, no less?

I’m not sure if those are things I’ll ever understand, but I can say that I feel really close to Koi right now. It’s as if she knew this moment would happen at some point or another and prepared for it.

I’m not sure if I should be doing this. I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do in this situation.

The muted sound of sobbing - dull but powerful - fill the room.

Inching closer to Koi, the sound gets slightly louder.

That settles it, I’m gonna do it.

In a single motion – probably an awkward one – I put my arm around the crying Koi. It’s sort of a hug, it’s sort of not – it’s hard to explain.

I don’t know how these things work, it just felt like the right thing to do.

She buries her face into my shoulder as the sobbing continues and my shirt gets wet.

For someone in distress, this is all I know how to do, maybe this is all you can do. I just want to be with her, right here, in this moment.

If she wants to talk about it, she will.

I think.

We exit the arcade, still attached, and walk down the street in complete silence.

Koi stops crying and lifts her head.

Her face is puffy and red, with slight mascara stains below her eyes.

I hadn’t even realized she was wearing makeup until now.

As she’s stopped crying, it becomes very obvious to me that I still have my arm wrapped around her.

Immediately I pull my arm back out of embarrassment!

Was that too rough? I don’t want her thinking I don’t want my arm around her.

I mean, it’s not like I want it around her or anything, but also not like I don’t want it.


She doesn’t react or really do anything when my arm comes off, she just stares down and continues walking sluggishly down the street.

I want to cheer her up, I don’t know what that was all about, but I’d like to make some sort of light conversation.

“I love that you worked so hard to master all those songs; that must’ve been pretty tough, huh?”

Okay, maybe my comforting and non-quippy dialogue still needs some work. I’m still a shut-in at heart.

Silence. No dice.

We walk further and further along the street; despite everything being so vibrant and lively around us, the mood feels cold and silent.

I try to think back to everything we talked about, trying to understand the cause.

Worked so hard for… Worked so hard…

“Worked so…”

Koi looks up at me; as we’re shoulder to shoulder, her face comes up awfully close to mine. Not that she seems to mind.

“What was that?”

Oh shit, I was thinking out loud again.

Deflect. Deflect.

“Where do you work?”

At the moment I say “work”, she instantly pulls back and halts.

She looks so afraid.

Maybe she’s got an embarrassing job she doesn’t want to tell me about – not that it really matters to me.

What’s more embarrassing for an adult to say than seldom taking shifts at the convenience store so they can be watching anime and vtubers instead?

Whatever she says, it’s better than me.

“Don’t stress, in comparison to me – nothing you could say I would think was embarrassing.”

Koi continues to stare at me in utter silence.

“Honestly, you could say you worked at a maid café and put on a weird persona for your customers every day and I wouldn’t care a single bit.”

I really wouldn’t. Also, that does sound kind of cool.

Despite the fact that it was just the first embarrassing job that came into my head to use as an example, it seemed to hit the nail on the head somehow.

“We’re close to my house now, thanks for today!”

She sprints off, without answering the question.

Within moments, Koi is just a fleeting image emanating from further and further away.

By some weird chance did I manage to get that right?

There’s no way!

Maid café huh, who would’ve thought?