Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 47: Conversation with the Producer
“One cappuccino and an order of pancakes. Do you want anything Fudou-san?”
“No thanks, I have no appetite.”
Niito came to the company, then switched locations to a nearby cafe.
The person who ordered a cappuccino and pancake was Ijuuin Haruto, the person who accepted the interview.
He was the Project Leader of ‘Kuon no Sanka,’ the person who could be called God of that game.
He looked young, but it seemed like he was in his thirties.
He had short, neat black hair and black eyes. He wore sharp glasses, which gave the impression that he was an intellectual.
It was established since forever that anyone would have a wiser image when wearing glasses, but it was unknown if he really was wise.
In the current generation where smartphones and computers were widespread, people’s sight had gone down considerably, making people with glasses or contact lenses a dime a dozen.
“Well then… sorry to go straight to the point, but could you answer me? …What was the meaning of ‘Elrise, 102’?”
“That number was the original weight of the character named Elrise.”
Niito answered Ijuuin’s question without hiding anything.
Then Ijuuin snorted.
“Now that’s a weird thing to say. Elrise’s weight is officially stated as 44 kg. Did you even play the game?”
“If you truly think so, you wouldn’t have accepted this interview… Since you have some idea of it, you accepted this freelance web writer’s interview even at the cost of your precious time. Am I wrong?”
Niito said so with a decisive tone toward Ijuuin who played dumb.
Because if it was truly as Ijuuin said, then this meeting wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
He would have been refused with “We’re busy so we are unable to accept,” and it would end there.
Because Niito wasn’t a reporter of a famous magazine or anything.
He was just a freelance Web Writer… There wouldn’t be much merit for the other party to set aside time for someone like him. Just a waste of time.
Even so, the producer still accepted the interview.
At that point, it’s the same as saying he already had some idea about the bait.
Toward Ijuuin who stayed silent, Niito continued to talk.
“The role of the original Elrise is… not like the current one. She was more of an annoying person that blatantly hated and ostracized Eterna to raise her. Regardless of the route, in the second semester… she would become the villain from the period after summer break and until winter break, doing all acts of tyranny as she pleased, and eventually being ejected from the stage… That was her role.”
“…I see. Indeed, you know about it.”
Listening to Niito’s words, Ijuuin nodded slightly.
When his coffee and pancakes were served, he added two spoons of milk to his coffee and stirred it.
“Fudou-san… it is as you said. Elrise’s character was originally the troublemaker who took center stage… the villain that brought chaos. Yet for some reason, the current Elrise is more Saint-like than the original Saint and became a character that did a one-eighty from her original characterization. Also… everyone in the world recognized this as fact from the very beginning… The creator team of the game and everyone in the company. Actually, I even began to doubt if I was the one who’s wrong.”
“Regarding these changes, you guys weren’t involved?”
“There’s no way we could… get involved in such a thing, you know? Indeed, we’re capable of changing Elrise’s personality and releasing the game as a remake. But to change the reception of an already released game into “it was like that originally,” it’s only possible if you could twist the truth and the past.”
Ijuuin poured syrup on his pancakes and cut it with a knife.
Then, he used a fork to take a bite, and he drank a bit of coffee.
“I expected you’d know about it instead, which is why I agreed to this interview.”
“I knew… I guess you could say that. But it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe it completely.”
“I’ll decide myself whether to believe it or not after hearing about it.”
Now this was getting weird, Niito thought.
I came seeking information, but here I was, giving the other person information instead.
But if I talked, a path could open.
As expected, if I were to say “I am Elrise!” he definitely wouldn’t believe it, so he might not talk without reservations.
“Elrise herself, while she became something that’s similar to a ghost, would sometimes come here. The in-game changes are according to her actions, and the world would change according to that. As for events that could not be seen yet, it hasn’t reached this place yet because it’s still happening on her side of the world… because it’s not yet a confirmed future, thus it is not possible to see it for now, is my opinion”
“…That is indeed absurd. Is there any proof for this?”
“It would be faster if you saw her directly, but… I don’t know when she will appear. It’s just that she usually appears wherever I currently happen to be. It’s due to this connection that I could remember the content of the game previously.”
Ijuuin rubbed the area in between his eyes while thinking about something deeply.
Afterward, he ate the bite-sized pancake and chewed on it to refresh the sugar content of his brain.
“Where do you live right now, Fudou-san?”
“At an timeless apartment at Sunetori1.”
“Fumu. Is there an available room?”
“Yes. My neighbor’s room is still open, it seems.”
“That’s convenient then.”
At Niito’s answer, Ijuuin nodded as if he felt something.
He drank his coffee then, as if he’d already decided, he said—
“I will stay in that apartment for a while. If Elrise comes, never mind the time, just call me.”
“Eh? But is… is that okay? Do you have the time for it?”
“I indeed don’t have that much free time. But more than that, if I don’t solve this mystery, I won’t be able to calm down. My own creation slowly changed outside my control. It’s too creepy to leave it alone.”
I see, Niito thought.
From Ijuuin’s POV that was indeed creepy.
It was like a portrait you drew suddenly started moving by itself.
Iijun’s understanding of the truth might be even stronger than Niito’s.
And the day to show Ijuuin “proof” came earlier than they expected.
Some days passed after successfully making peace (?) with Vernell.
A day before winter vacation, I returned to my previous world’s apartment before I knew it.
As he noticed my existence, Fudou Niito (I on the other side) slowly woke up from his futon.
“Ouh, you came.”
“Yes. I came again.”
But it was such a horrible face, even if I say it myself.
How do I say it, it was like he was already a zombie.
His skin was close to the earth’s color, his cheeks sank deeply and the area around his eyes were hollow.
The black marks below his eyes were thick and looked as hard as bone.
It seemed like he didn’t have much time left.
Niito (I) slowly took his smartphone, then called someone.
“Elrise, I’ll call another person here. It’s troublesome to tell our relationship because he might think we’re like a disgusting transvestite, so we must hide our connection. Don’t say anything unnecessary.”
“Eeh… is it okay to bring an outsider in?”
“He’s not an outsider. He’s one of the leading creators of ‘Kuon no Sanka’“
It seems Niito (I) would have to contact the game maker at some point.
You sure are aggressive despite being me.
If it was the game creator, then… as expected, it was to find out the connection between this side and the other side.
If you actually thought about it, being reincarnated into the game world was weird.
‘Kuon no Sanka’ was just a collection of pictures and illustrations, as well as sounds and programs mixed in as data. There were also battle scene effects and other stuff.
Anyway, that was not enough to form a world.
So what was the world I currently lived in?
Was it a world similar to a game?
Or was it that the other side existed first, then the game was made according to that?
…Considering how the game content changed according to my actions, I was leaning toward the latter.
“Oh, he came.”
From the other side of the door, someone’s footsteps echoed.
Niito (I) heard this and went closer. He looked outside through the peephole before opening the door.
Then, a glasses-wearing black-haired guy in his thirties (…no, forties?) came in.
Ho~ Ho~ So that’s the game creator.
When he saw me, his eyes turned wide and he froze on the spot.
“…I can’t believe it. She really is here…”
“Err… Hello, I’m Elrise.”
Let’s exchange greetings for now.
Since he was the game creator, he could be considered as a god from my world.
Perhaps he could destroy the world according to his mood, so it wouldn’t be good to incite his anger.
So it was better to be friendly now.
“A-aah… nice to meet you. I’m Ijuuin Haruto. For now, I’m a project leader of ‘Kuon no Sanka.’”
Fumu fumu, Ijuuin-san.
OK, I remember it.
“Then what do we talk about now?”
“It’s obvious. About the connection between that side of the world and this side of the world, and the connection to the game as well. Whenever you took action there, this world treated those changes as if it was like that in the first place… we want to know about that mystery.”
My question was answered by Niito (I) as if it was the most obvious thing to say.
“This mystery, would Ijuuin-san over there know about it?”
“N-No… I don’t know about it. Every member of the creator team except for me didn’t even notice that the content had changed. Everyone recognized the changes as if that was the case from the very beginning.”
I expected Ijuuin-san to know something about that, but the answer we got was nothing reliable.
It seemed that he, too, didn’t know anything about this mysterious change.
If the person who could be called the other side’s god also didn’t know, I actually had no other clue.
“Yes. But as expected, the key to solving this mystery lies in ‘Kuon no Sanka,’ I think. That’s why, while it might be late, let’s reanalyze the game from the very beginning. Maybe we can find hints there.”
Niito’s (I) words prompted Ijuuin-san to nod, and I went with the flow and nodded as well.
Since Ijuuin-san was here, we might be able to hear about the behind the scenes production, so the possibility of hints being uncovered was not zero.
At Niito’s (I) urging, Ijuuin-san began to explain
“‘Kuon no Sanka’ …its official name was ‘Kuon no Sanka ~Fiore caduto eterna~.’ It was produced 4 years ago, and has sold around 420,000 copies by now. The production company is Attimo Game Production Project. The creator team consisted of 6 people, and it became our company’s number one hit product. The sequel and spin-off where the popular character, Mary, would star as the main character is being planned, but it’s currently not progressing.”
“Why is it not progressing?”
“The writer who’s responsible for the script is very slow. Really… that person didn’t send the script no matter how long it took. This is why net writers who lack professionalism are just…”
The sequel of ‘Kuon no Sanka’ had been rumored to come out for a while now, yet a few years passed already and nothing came out of it.
The reason was the scenario writer, it seemed.
Well, there’s nothing to work on if there’s no script.
But… Net Writer?
“What kind of person was responsible for the script?”
“I actually also don’t know much about them. I never met the person directly after all… it’s the so-called masked writer. We did talk through the internet, but I don’t even know what the person looks like.”
“You didn’t meet directly? Even though both of you are fellow producers?”
“‘Kuon no Sanka’ was originally a popular novel that won in a contest. This contest awarded a guarantee to serialize on top of a big cash prize. And for those that won the game category award, they also turned that into a game… and the novel that won that category was ‘Kuon no Sanka.’ The writer… had the pen name of “Fiori’s turtle” put up with the condition of never meeting face to face and only talking online… Well it’s not rare for that to happen in the world. I did try to invite the person to a meal, but the answer was always NO. That’s why the scenario writer isn’t a member of our company.”
I feel like I understand what Ijuuin-san was saying.
In other words, the writer was a novice writer who managed to grab a chance to rise up.
“In a way, he… or she was the real creator. We merely added pictures and music to the sentences that person wrote. The one who drew the characters is another illustrator, but the one who decided their aesthetics was that person.”
“Then, let’s ask that person. Where does that person live and what’s that person’s name? You must know their real name, right?”
“Yes. When sending samples of the completed game, we needed to know their address and real name after all. There’s no problem there. I know that properly. Their real name should be… be…”
Ijuuin-san talked only until that point, then held his own head.
He tried to remember it for some time, then he rose from his seat with a troubled expression on his face.
“…Sorry, I forgot.”
…Oi oi, is this person okay?
Well, it might not be necessary to remember the real name of the person who wasn’t even an employee (and talked online exclusively using a handle), but he couldn’t even remember that properly.
This got me worried now.
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