45 – Guess who’s back? Back again?
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"And I keep telling you that I'm not going to replace you, Cici. Though if you keep at it, I might."

Cici stared up at me with watery eyes, hugging my left arm.

On my right, Celes gave me a blank stare before shifting her gaze to Cici. After that, she sighed and laced her left hand with my right, saying, "It appears that I must improve my abilities in fending off women around you, Sen."

Meanwhile, Yui gave me a weird look from her place to the right of Celes and said, "Honestly... You are way too comfortable handling women, Sena- I mean, Sen."

I shooed Cici off and said, "Part and parcel of growing up like this. I've had to deal with a lot of weird people."

Ever since I was reborn in this world... Well, ever since I was reincarnated here and had my memories mashed together with Sen's... Still wasn't sure if I had become him, or he had become me by the way. Or if we were some new person...

But anyway, ever since I could remember, I'd always been wrapped up in weird incidents.

I was hoping that things could be a little bit more normal when I went back to school... although the fact that I was an undercover VTuber idol and agency manager was a bit weird.

Still, it wasn't *that* out there. These days, there were plenty of kids who had struck it rich doing online business and stuff but kept it low-key by going to school, right?

Cici pouted and said, "I am not weird! I'm just special!"

"...I'll resist the obvious joke there." I sighed and then took a look around.

It was Monday. A hectic weekend involving details I'd rather not repeat had passed and now it was time to head back to school.

We were on our usual walk back to school. Well, usual for me and Celes. It was unusual in the fact that Cici and Yui were walking with us.

The sky was a beautiful blue color. The roads were empty, and the winding sidewalk path didn't have anyone else on it except us.

Just a guy and three gals walking down the road towards school... though to people passing by it would probably just look like four girls.

Dammit.

*Really* wanted to fix that, but at this point...

'We can pull the gacha!'

No. And you're pretty shameless using telepathy when you're right there. Aren't you scared Celes is going to get jealous and stab you?

'OMG. You think Celes is a yandere?!'

...Have you... not seen how she acts?

'Like, I *know* but she wouldn't do that to me. Right?'

Crazy beautiful girl who appears out of the blue and gets super clingy with me while making lewd and unseiso suggestions all the time... I dunno. You tell me.

'I'm too young to dieeeee!'

I rolled my eyes.

Celes noticed and leaned on me, frowning. "Is something wrong, Sen?"

"No." I looked at Cici and said, "I'm just surprised at how shameless my friend here is."

"Uuu." Cici pouted and said, "Do you really have to friendzone me like that? I'm happy with just being a fu-"

"Finish that sentence and I'll get on my knees to have Dad send you to schools overseas."

Cici let out a creepy laugh and said, "Hehe... Sennie-poo on his knees in front of his dad..."

I gave Cici a blank stare and then said, "Celes. Smack her for me."

An instantaneous reaction. The moment I finished talking, Celes spun around in a vicious roundhouse kick as if waiting for that moment.

A strong breeze whipped up as Celes' kick swept through the air. A force strong enough to send anybody flying.

But...

"Ow!" Cici shook her hands, red from blocking Celes' kick. "That hurt, Celes!"

"Tch." Celes clicked her tongue and said, "Crazy woman."

'Sennie-poo! Do you really hate me that much?'

Hey, Help-chan... Helpie? Hehe?

...Hehe.

[Help: T_T My name is not Hehe! Just call me Help!]

'I thought you said you wouldn't replace me! T_T T_T T_T T_T'

Ignore Miss Drama Queen over here. I was wondering though... are all system AIs like Cici here? Super overdramatic and definitely waaay too otaku?

[Help: Nope! The system is usually objective and impartial! Miss Cici is just weird.]

'I am not! I'm special!'

Riiight. So... tl;dr, my life is going to stay hectic and headache-inducing?

[Help: Um. I'll do my best to help?]

'I can help too! Talk to me more, Sennie-poo! Stop ignoring meeee!'

...

Yui glanced over at me, Cici, and Celes and then said, "Um, Sena- I mean, Sen. Can we..."

"If you're asking me out, no."

"I'm not!" Yui blushed and then said, "I mean... Um, I don't really like guys, so..."

DON'T YOU DARE-

'OMG! LESBO HIGH SCHOOL PREZ! KYAAAAAAAA!'

@#$@#$@! ARE YOU THE INCARNATION OF ANIME TWITTER OR SOMETHING?! STOP!

[Help: Do you want me to bonk her?]

YES! Wait, wha-

Cici suddenly tripped over her own feet and smacked her head against the ground. "Ow!" She rubbed her head and looked around, confused. "What just happened?"

"...Karma."

Cici stood up, rubbing her red forehead, and then sent me a watery frown. "Sennie... You meanie."

Celes let out a deep sigh and muttered, "How Sen can tolerate this inane woman is beyond me..."

Yui cleared her throat and said, "A-Anyway!" She looked at me and said, "Can we still be friends and hang out at school?" She poked her fingers together and said, "It's been fun and I don't really have any friends, so..."

[Urgent Quest <Loveless no more> has begun!]

[Spend time with Yui Lovelace and invite her to join you in your VTube career!]

[Reward: New talent, Talent Grade increase, Probability of random events while in school decreased]

Say less!

I gave Yui a bright smile and said, "Don't worry, Yui! We're already besties!" After that, I held out my left hand for a hi-five.

Yui blinked and then let out a bright smile. "O-Okay!" She reached out to hi-five me and said, "Then... L-Let's keep having fun, Bestie!"

"Yeah!"

'...You're really good at being a high school girl, you know?'

S-Shut up! I-I just watched a lot of shows on Nickelodeon when I was a kid, okay?

'Ooh! Like Hannah Montana and iCarly?'

...Oh my god. Is the reason why I like VTubers...?

"Yo!" Ren's voice echoed from the distance before he dashed over to join us. "What'd I miss?"

...Let's think about this later. For now...

"About time you showed up, Ren. Do you know how awkward it is to be the only guy surrounded by three girls?"

Ren walked up beside Celes and said, "Do you know how awkward it is to be the only guy surrounded by *four* girls? People are already calling me a harem master or whatever back at school now."

"...Go Minecraft yourself in a ditch."

Ren laughed and then lifted his bag to hold behind his shoulder, just like an anime protagonist. "Sure, sure. Anyway... Did you guys study for the test today? Because if you did, I would love to have some help. Nee-chan kept smacking me around saying that my muscles were just for show and I didn't have time..."

xxx

Back at the building formerly known as <Happy Days Cram School>, currently now just an ordinary home, Ayumi flipped through a manual while eyeing her new computer and phone setup.

"Um... This should be correct." Ayumi stepped back and took a look at everything.

She was in her room, recently cleaned up after Mister Zenki scolded her.

Early that morning, a moving person arrived with a big package addressed to her and helped carry it up to her room before leaving. And that package turned out to be a lot of fancy looking electronics along with a letter from Mister Zenki on how to set things up and how to start streaming.

And because of that, Ayumi had spent the time unpacking and neatly organizing everything.

Moving a table over to the side of the wall to put the monitor on. Placing the surprisingly small and sleek desktop off to the side and connecting it to the monitor. Attaching the cellphone mount to the desk and going through the setup for her MIRAIZ branded smartphone that was sent over. Then testing out the VR headset and peripherals...

Ayumi looked at everything and said, "Mister Zenki really trusts me that much...?"

It was a lot. Ayumi didn't know much about computers, but she could tell that everything there cost more than she could make tutoring for an entire year. Probably more.

And it was all hers.

"...Well." Ayumi lightly slapped her cheeks before putting on a determined expression. "It's time for me to start then."

The equipment was here. She finished reading through the training materials. Everything was connected and working. All that was left was...

"...Okay." Ayumi adjusted her blouse, subconsciously causing a bit more cleavage to show, and then she smiled and said, "Let the lessons begin."

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