Ch 20: Flame War and the Kitten
When I tweeted about rescuing a stray cat, it caused a huge uproar. …As expected, I was completely taken aback by this unexpected turn of events. What is happening in this industry?
Well, once I understood the situation, I was able to accept it to some extent, but it was still quite a ridiculous situation.
“I can’t believe it was Uta-chan…”
Virtual idol [Irohane Uta]. She belongs to the agency LiveLa, which is considered the largest in the industry and established the idol selling of VTubers. Her channel has over 1 million subscribers.
This number is not something that can be achieved easily. She is not only the pioneer of idol selling but also the flagship of LiveLa, which is an immovable emperor. Moreover, she has gained a large number of fans through her own talent. Only when the three elements of talent, effort, and environment are aligned can one reach such a milestone.
In short, Irohane Uta is a popular VTuber, and that is why the misfortune that befell her caused a great shock to LiveLa fans and even the industry.
“Sad news. Is the popular virtual idol in a critical condition? Despair of recovery”
With a thumbnail that grabs attention and a title that is quite ominous, the video was quite shocking, and many summary videos like this could be found on various video sites. The incident was so shocking.
Gathering information, it seems that she fell down the stairs while out and was in a coma in critical condition. There has been no further official update since then.
A natural sigh escaped. Seriously, while people were preparing for their streams in the dungeon, a huge incident like this happened. What’s going on?
It’s quite shocking to take this seriously. Although Utachan isn’t my favorite, and her recognition is only up to occasionally watching her highlights, I froze when I realized the situation. That’s how well-known she was as a streamer.
Above all, what I really want to be spared is the fact that the fire was sparked in an incomprehensible way. Why am I being caught up in this huge uproar? As the Night Sakura Boar King, I only have a superficial recognition of the live streamers, and as the Mountain Lord Button, I don’t even have any interaction with them.
I understand, though. If my favorite were in a situation where their life was hanging in the balance, I’d be angry if another streamer was using a potion on a stray cat.
But what can I do? I didn’t know about it. If I had known, I wouldn’t have tweeted about it. Because of the rare event of a dying kitten falling from the sky, my usual information gathering after returning completely slipped my mind. The cause was probably a crow.
So, I just found out about the whole situation a little while ago. I decided to take responsibility since I helped, and went to a nearby animal hospital to buy pet supplies, then returned home. After cleaning and washing the blood and fleas and ticks off, I finally managed to brush and wash them before putting them in the cage, and that’s when I received an emergency call from Mane-san.
“Okay, okay, calm down.”
Due to being scalded with hot water, while soothing a terribly moody kitten, I wrote down my schedule in my planner.
Unexpectedly, I had to visit the office soon due to the massive uproar that occurred. Because of the highly unusual circumstances, I needed to have a discussion not only with my manager but also with executives.
The reason being that my uproar is different from the usual ones. Generally, an uproar is caused by one’s own words or actions, or by an anti-fan’s malicious attacks or defamation, or by an accident involving multiple factors.
However, my uproar is none of those. Well, technically speaking, it is an accident, but the background is too exceptional.
First of all, the ones who are burning me have no ill intentions. I won’t say it’s nonexistent, but it’s a very small part. Most of them are on a rampage out of good intentions and a sense of justice towards their favorite Utachu and LiveLa. To them, I am one of the few chances to save their beloved character from the brink of death. Moreover, I am a good person who uses expensive medicine on stray cats, or so they think.
That’s why they cling to me. They ask me to help save Utachan and provide the medicine that I have. …Well, in the end, as their numbers grew, they became more aggressive, and their demands turned into threats like “give it to me now!” It seems like some mischief-makers are also instigating them.
“…Ah, I see. Are you hungry? Wait a moment. I’ll make some milk for you. Let’s see, the instructions are…”
And the biggest problem is that they have mentioned the name of LiveLa. On top of that, they have been exerting criminal pressure, which has escalated the situation to a problem between the agencies.
Some idiots who have made remarks crossing the line have been dealt with through criminal charges from disclosure requests, but for the rest, it’s extremely difficult to handle. Denjilas would not want to get involved with LiveLa, the industry leader. Well, even if we end up fighting, the situation is such that we have an advantage here, probably.
Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid unnecessary disturbances. Above all, Utachan is pitiable. Because she became seriously ill, her fans went wild, causing other unrelated agencies and liver to be burned, and causing trouble for her affiliated agency.
Ordinarily, this would be a matter to settle, and even the toughest people could end up feeling depressed with guilt. If her health were to recover, it would be counterproductive to be thrown into a different kind of hell.
“I told you to calm down! I’m making milk now, so don’t go crazy, okay!?”
…I stopped. I couldn’t focus on the serious matters because of the kitten endlessly rampaging in the cage. Calming down the hungry child in front of me was more urgent than anything else for now.
Well, we can’t do anything until tomorrow’s meeting, so there’s no problem prioritizing the kitten. We’ve also decided to completely stop tweeting and broadcasting to avoid making things worse.
So I switched my focus completely. I lured the kitten out of the cage with the scent of milk, put it on my lap, and started feeding it with a bottle…
“Don’t push away the bottle! Be quiet and suck on it! Don’t struggle like that, stop it!”
Hey, hey, the towel, the towel! Why is this kitten spilling so much milk? Isn’t it too clumsy with eating just because it’s a kitten!?
Seriously, this kitten is really wild. Maybe it’s because it went from being on the brink of death to being healthy in one go and now it’s really hungry? Even if the body has recovered to the level where it can move around with potions, the feeling of hunger accumulated until now does not disappear.
Maybe it feels even hungrier because it’s healthier now. …That’s why it’s so frustrating that it got so wild and still couldn’t drink the milk properly.
“Please be quiet…hmm, what’s that?”
“Meow, meow, meow!”
Struggling with the bottle in one hand, my phone, which I had left beside me, started to ring.
I thought it might be another message from Mane-san, but when I looked at the screen, I saw the name of Raika-san. I wonder if he has something to talk about.
「Yes, this is Yamakami speaking.」
『Ah, is this a bad time?』
「No, it’s okay. …Oh, I told you not to cause a ruckus.」
『…Ruckus? Are you busy with something?』
「No, it’s not that. I’m giving milk to the kitten I mentioned in the tweet. It’s my first time, so I’m having a bit of a hard time.」
In reality, it’s not just a struggle, this little monster is a whole different level. It keeps clawing and trying to snatch the bottle, if I hadn’t used my hardening ability, my hand would have been a mess, wouldn’t it? It was just a stray cat until a little while ago, so if an infection occurred… But since it can recover on its own, there shouldn’t be any major issues.
『Hmm, I was worried because it sounded like something really difficult, but it seems like you’re doing fine.』
「Well, yeah, as long as it’s not a verbal slip-up, there’s no point in worrying about a flame war. The monster’s attacks are a billion times scarier than cyberbullying.」
『You’re too much of a martial arts enthusiast, you know? Well, if it’s just my unfounded fears, then it’s okay… After that incident, things have been tough.』
「Oh, so it was like that?」
『Yeah. Not just the listeners, but also the streamers, especially those in the corporate world, were impacted. In fact, Ichika-senpai was in bad shape. She didn’t show it on the surface, but behind the scenes, she was pretty shaken up. She might still be struggling with it even now.』
Why is that person, known as Denjilas’ mother, here? Well, she certainly has a caring personality, but it’s still someone else’s accident.
I can understand if it’s a live streamer with whom she has an ongoing relationship, but there is no connection between Denjilas and LiveLa.
「Do you have any connection with her? As far as I can remember, there was no collaboration between you guys and the LiveLa’s live streamers.」
LiveLa, which has been around since the dawn of the VTuber era, has gone through twists and turns and become a Galapagos in the VTuber world. Since entering the idol route, collaborations with male Livers have been almost nonexistent, and they rarely collaborate even with other boxes.
The only exception is super large-scale projects that go beyond the boxes and are held at the end of the year or the like. Other than that, LiveLa’s activities are mainly confined within the box.
Therefore, there is no exchange between Denjilas and LiveLa. By the time Denjilas was created, LiveLa was already being operated under its current policy, so there should have been no room for them to interact.
『Well, you see… It’s not something to talk about in a loud voice, but it seems that we were friends in a past life…』
Past life, huh… I forgot about that. So there was a connection there.
Here, the term “past life” refers to the industry term that refers to a person’s appearance before they started working as a VTuber. This is also sometimes referred to as the “person behind the character” or “soul.”
Becoming a streamer is quite a difficult task. Particularly for companies that are in the business of streaming, hiring complete amateurs can be quite risky, so it’s common to hire people who have prior streaming experience. …Actually, the fact that both me and Raika were hired as complete amateurs is quite an exception.
As such, there are quite a few streamers who have a “past life.” In this case, it seems like there was a connection between the two people’s past lives.
I wasn’t interested in that kind of information, so I didn’t know about it, but their debut periods were in the same fiscal year, so their past lives may have overlapped more than I thought.
「I see, I see. If your friend became like that, you might feel depressed.」
『Yeah. To be honest, you can tell even through chat that she’s putting up a front, so it’s really unfortunate. And on top of that, with all the commotion this time…』
That’s, umm, yeah. It’s kind of, I’m sorry about that. Well, it’s not really my fault though.
『I think Ichika-senpai is in a tight spot. She wants to help her friend, but she doesn’t want to burden her kouhai. That’s why I thought I would ask about Button’s safety as well. …Is this my own initiative?』
「I see. Understood. Raika-san, you’re so kind.」
『Right? Be proud to have a colleague like me?』
「I feel like it’s not quite right to be proud of that…」
Personally, I don’t dislike it. I mean, the meddling. You’re being a good junior, you know.
「That’s right. Then, please tell Tenmoku-senpai this. Got it?」
『Will it be okay?』
「We’ll make it work… Ah, hey! Don’t try to hang from the feeding bottle! The contents will spill, won’t they!?」
Hey, little kitten! Can you please be quiet and behave yourself, people are trying to be cool here and you’re not reading the mood!
Listen, the bottle is not designed to support you, so don’t try to hang onto it, and stop with the cat punches!
『…Heheh. That’s not working, huh? If you’re having trouble feeding the milk, I think it might be easier to wrap the area below the neck with a towel or something. I saw it in a cat video.』
「T-Thank you, Raika-san!」
I see, that’s a good idea! Um, I bought towels together with pet supplies, so…!!
『Okay. I confirmed that everything seems to be okay and I asked what I wanted to ask. So I’m going to hang up now. You seem busy too, so take care of the kitten. And give me a photo or video later.』
「Ah, understood! Thank you so much for worrying about me. And for the advice too! Well then, bye-bye.」
The call ended. At the same time, they succeeded in stuffing the bottle into the mouth of the kitten, which had become wrapped up like a sushi roll.
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