By Narita Ryohgo

Nicococo!! Chapter 2

Nicococo!! Chapter 2

This is a twisted story.
A story about twisted comments.
“We’re going to make a video!”
“We’re aiming for #1 in the daily rankings!” Yumasaki Walker and Karisawa Erika
abruptly proclaimed, as they held a video camera and a laptop in their hands.
For these two, such speech and actions probably weren’t too unusual but——
Celty Sturluson, who had just returned home and had no idea what was going on,
stood in front of Walker and Erika and her head tilted in confusion.
To be more accurate, what she tilted was not, in fact, her head, but the helmet resting
on top of her body.
Because, for her——
Nothing exists above her neck.
Celty Sturluson is not human.
Commonly called a “Dullahan”, she’s a type of faerie from Scotland and Ireland——it
is said that if their existence revolves around stopping near the houses of mortals, and
warning them of their impending death.
They hold their own head under their arm, and are commonly seen riding a twowheeled
wagon drawn by a headless horse called a cóiste-bodhar, visiting the houses of
those who are soon to die. If someone is foolish enough to open their door, they’ll get a
bucket full of blood tossed in their face——as a messenger of ill-omens, their stories
have been handed down in tradition in Europe, just like that of the banshee.
But that is an old story.
Now, she is living an ordinary life, loving a man named Kishitani Shinra, both as a
living urban legend and as a woman.
It was on this peaceful day that these two suddenly barged in.
“A video…of what?”
“Nooo~ Nowadays, if you’re talking about videos it’s for Niconico, a nico-video!” As
if to match Erika’s words, Walker gave a huge smile as she talked.*

* Niconico literally means “smile”
“That’s right! Karisawa-san has been a regular on the site ever since it first went live!”
“Ah, no…I know what Niconico is but…wait, what? Since the original version?
But then, Karisawa how old are you…”
“OK, OK! Let’s save that annoying topic for some time in the future!” Clapping her
hands together forcibly, Erika quickly changed the subject.
“So, Cel-chan, what kind of video do you want to make? Do you want to make some
sort of live reaction Let’s Play of a free game?”
“No, uh, live reaction…There’s no way I could do that.”
“If we use one of those fancy text-to-speech software it should be fine. If it comes
down to it, I can also make a really nice silent video too. Just as long as the contents are
“Wait, wait, first of all, why do you suddenly want to make a video? And why
doesn’t it have to involve me?” At Celty’s rather sensible questions, Erika shook her
head sadly.
“Ah crap, you noticed…as I should have expected of Celcchi.”
“I didn’t really notice anything…”
“No it’s just…y’know? Honestly I was just being selfish, I’m sorry, I just thought……”
At Erika’s hesitation, Walker turned to explain to Celty.
“What she means to say is, Karisawa-san has a Niconico rival.”
“First of all, take a look at this video.”
“Wait, stop that Yamacchi! It’s too embarrassing for me to watch!”
Deaf to Erika’s pleas, Walker opened up his laptop and connected to the wireless
router, before opening up the Niconico homepage. There, in a video titled “Singing Opera
while de Charmant,” Erika, with the top half of her face hidden by a
mask and in some sort of anime character cosplay, began to sing opera.
“No, stop it–! I don’t want to hear it~~!” Before Erika locked Walker in a full nelson
hold in an effort to make him stop, Celty could hear Erika’s singing voice echoing out of
the computer speakers.
Although she does not have ears, Celty is clad in a ‘shadow,’ more sensitive than
human ears, which allowed her to feel the music. Shaking with deep emotion, she swung
her smartphone screen around to face Erika.
“Karisawa…you…you’re that good at singing!?”
“Right~ Isn’t it amazing~. Among our fellow anime friends, Karisawa-san is a legend
“Aaaaagh no, it’s not like that. Ah I’m so embarrassed…” Erika’s face was bright red
as she shyly glanced away. It was definitely unusual behavior for her.
“Nevertheless…This ‘Eternal de Charmant’, is that your stage name…?”
“Yup, yup! That’s right! It’s so cool isn’t it!” Seeing Erika’s suddenly brightened face
struck a chord of fear into Celty’s heart as she typed out her response.
“Well…It’s nothing to be embarrassed about…” While Celty was lost in her
thoughts about Erika, Walker decided to continue his story from before.
“So there’s this rival of Charmant-san called Blizzard la Blizzadia. Of course, she’s
also very good at singing, and she cosplays too, so one way or another they’re going to
end up being compared…”
“Well, one day they got into a nasty tit-for-tat on a Skype chat, and she said “Well I’m
really good friends with the famous Let’s Play gamer ●●-san. You don’t have any
important friends though do you.” So of course Karisawa-san replied with “I have a lot of
super amazing friends!” and then…”
“…And then?” Celty couldn’t quite tie the two things together, so she prompted him
to continue.
“Well, after their nasty tit-for-tat, the two of them decided to get their friends to submit
movie to Niconico, and have a contest to see which one gets the most mylist bookmarks
and likes on their video!”
“I see. Well. That was an extremely stupid story compared to the earlier one
about Karisawa’s opera singing.”
Then, a second later, Celty furiously punched something into her smartphone in large,
capital letters.
Then she quickly typed out another message, before shoving it in Erika and Walker’s
“How on earth did the conversation become a video competition!? Are you
some sort of mah-jongg video game NPC? Isn’t that the equivalent of “Oh if that’s
the case let’s settle this with a game of mah-jongg”? Do today’s youth go
rampaging around so recklessly!? Are you going to become one of those people
who illegally uploads DVD bonus footage and the like and then says “Oh well
we were just giving it publicity so we’re innocent” or something like that!?” Her
shoulders shaking with anger, she furiously typed out another message.
“Anyway, you’ve already decided that your followers will pose as her
followers and spread hate, and when their sockpuppet comments are exposed
there will be a firestorm of comments on your video, which it will unfairly drive up
the number and people will be arguing over the chat or via Niconama and then
people who see this will upload their own videos and it will start all over again!
Isn’t that what you’re planning! Niconico is a site that’s meant to make people
“Not at all—, we’re all proper adults, we wouldn’t do that sort of thing.”
“If you were proper adults you wouldn’t torture people in the back of your
friend’s van!”
“Now, now, let’s put that aside for a moment…I just thought I could make a cool
video if I could videotape Celtcchi doing something and came to talk to you about it. I
don’t want to cause any trouble.” Karisawa easily dismissed the troubling points Celty
made, but rather than going on, Celty just typed out a new message as she regained her
“I didn’t want to say it but, the motorcycle police are still hunting me…In the
worst case, they’ll be able to identify where I live by the background or something
from the video and I’ll get arrested, and then the headlines all over the social
networks would be 【Headless Rider Uploads Her Own Video and Gets
Arrested!】. I’d be a laughingstock.”
“Well the motorcycle police looking for you is just a case of you reaping what you
sow, so it should be fine right.”
“That’s right. You have done some illegal things, Celcchi—”
“I, I hate hearing that from you but I can’t say anything against it…” Knowing
they found her weakness, Celty wondered nervously what she should do but then——
“I heard the whole thing.”
The door opened wide, and there stood the owner of the apartment, a back alley doctor
named Kishitani Shinra.
“Guess there’s no choice. In order to prove that Celty is a great friend of Karisawa-kun,
I guess I’ll have to help.”
“Shinra. Can you even make a movie?”
—Surely he’s not planning on making a movie like “【Surgical Scene】Inside a Back
Alley Doctor’s Medical Treatment”.
As if sensing Celty’s uneasiness, Shinra gave a broad grin as he spoke.
“I’ll just release a small part of the videos I’ve sneakily taken and saved of Celty over
the course of ten years! Of course, I naturally have the desire to keep it to myself, but I
can’t keep them all…And with Celty’s charm, you’ll easily be able to break one million
Several minutes later—
After throwing Shinra down and tying him up with her own ‘shadows,’ Celty tiredly
wrote another message out for Erika and Walker.
“I got it…I’ll cooperate to the best of my abilities, on the condition you forget
everything Shinra just said.”
Several hours later
——Or something like that.
After Erika and Walker had gone home, Celty booted up her own laptop.
——I wonder if I was really able to help out with the making of that movie.
She opened up the Niconico homepage and signed in under the username “Setton.”
After all, at one time in the past she had taken her own video and uploaded it. The video
was called “【This is pretty】12 Selections of Great Scenery from a Rooftop!【Rooftop
She had shot a video of the scenery from her favorite rooftop and edited it.
——It’s been several years since I looked at this…I can’t even laugh at Karisawa’s
username since I used at title like that.
——I wonder if there are any flames like “What a boring movie!” on it now.
Filled with anxiety, she carefully opened up the video page and——
『Views: 12 Comments: 0 Mylist: 2』
“What are you looking at, Celty?” A voice came from behind her and made her jump
in shock. Looking over her shoulder, Shinra peered at the video screen.
“Eeeh, Celty, did you post that video! If you had told me I would have paid 50,000yen
to promote it on Niconico.”
Shinra’s eyes shone as he looked at the screen.
“Wow! Look at all the comments!” Shinra stared at the large number of comments
scrolling from right to left across the screen, saying things like “Extremely pretty” “What
a divine view” and “Rooftops are the best, aren’t they.” Shinra smiled and laughed as he
spoke, while Celty trembled slightly.
“I guess so, well, it’s really not a big deal.”
“But hey, Celty. All these people who commented, why are they all in black letters?”
“I…I wonder.”
“Also, these black lettered comments, they seem a little different from the ones I’m
familiar with.”
“I think it’s just your imagination.” If she were human, Celty would have been covered
in a cold sweat by now. Seeing straight through her, Shinra nodded his smiling face
“You know, Celty, even if you did use your ‘shadows’ to make text run across the
screen and make me think you had a lot of comments, I’d still love your video anyway.”
Shinra comforted her, as Celty took a solid form again.
“Because I think that strangely timid part of you is actually very cute.”
The black letters on the screen crumpled and warped, as Celty thrust her smartphone
out to Shinra.
“On the contrary, you’re actually making me sad so stop saying stuff like that–!”
And thus, Celty got caught up in Erika’s video rivalry. The Dollars have vanished, and
now, the curtain quietly rises on the story of an Ikebukuro that’s been repainted a new
color. This is the ordinary story of the Headless Rider leaving her mark on the world
while existing as an urban legend.
To be continued in Nicococo!!x2

* On Niconico, you can pay to support/promote your favorite video
Kawagoe-kaido Road - A Certain Apartment
Ikebukuro’s Headless Rider, Celty Sturluson, was irritated.
“We’re making a video, and we’re aiming for the daily rankings!”
Due to such absurd behaviour by her friends Karisawa Erika and Yamasaki Walker,
she was being forced to undertake the task of making a video. Celty still had some time
before the deadline, and considering the only video she made in the past was a colossal
failure with only 12 views and 0 comments, she was currently trying to figure out how to
make a really good video.
——Hmm…I guess I should look at the ones that are popular.
Having decided to look at other people’s popular videos to get some ideas, Celty
opened up her laptop and started to check those that were in Niconico’s ranking lists.
——Let’s see, the top spot is…a Let’s Play gaming video…
——Actually, those two mentioned doing a Let’s Play video too…but there’s no way I
could do live reactions.
——In the first place, there’s the problem with copyright restrictions…I also don’t
know what would be a good game to make a video of would be.
——Also, recently, game makers have started adding conditions to their games about
uploading videos…
——Aaah just thinking about this is annoying.
Looking at all the popular videos made her even more aware of all her previous
failings, and Celty again realized how rash she had been to agree to this.
——Well, for now, why don’t I try out a free game.
——This one is popular in the horror genre… “Blue Kappa.” OK, I’ll try this one.
She had seen horror game titles occasionally in the rankings over the years, so Celty
downloaded the trial version.
——It seems really scary, but if it’s just ghosts and monsters I’ll be fine.
——Hahaha, the kappa’s really cute.
Even though there seemed to be some really scary scenes, Celty figured she could pick
it up quickly and not be too frightened, so she started the game with a little bit of
One hour later
“Celty, Celty~~. Your favorite television program is starting~?” Kishitani Shinra, who
lives with the Headless Rider, called out as he poked his head in.
However, the one he was looking for was nowhere to be found.
“Oh~? That’s weird. I wonder where Celty is.” Shinra tilted his head and surveyed the
room——Then rushed over to the closet and flung open the door.
“Celty, are you…oh here you are~!” Immediately, from inside the open door, a huge
first approximately 1 meter in diameter made of black shadow flew out and swatted
Shinra across the room.
After being sent tumbling across room, he slowly turned his attention back to the
closet, where inside, Celty was crouched down shaking violently, like a phone on vibrate.
“…Celty?” Shinra called out from where he had landed, and Celty finally turned to
look at him. She timidly emerged from the closet, checking to make sure there were no
suspicious shadows, before rushing up to Shinra and thrusting her smartphone at him.
“I, I’m sorry Shinra! Are you ok!?”
“Of course I’m fine!” In a flash, Shinra was on his feet giving her a thumbs up.
“I’m used to living with Celty so no matter what unreasonable force you use on me,
I’ll be fine! Even if all the people in the world called you a violent heroine and detested
you, I would still support you! I wouldn’t hand you over to anyone, I’d even become a
masochist! Here, I’ll even do a hindu squat so you can step on me to your heart’s content!”
“I got it already, I really am sorry so please calm down.” Pacified, Shinra threw
himself down on the floor again with his checks flushed, while Celty looked around
“Really, what’s wrong Celty? Why were you hiding in the closet?”
“I-it’s because of that game.”
“Game?” Shinra shifted his attention to the desk, where apparently a game was frozen
in the middle of play on the PC screen.
“What is that?”
“A-ah. It’s a game called Blue Kappa. I thought it obviously was a game where
you run around trying to get away from a kappa like in monster games but…”
Cowering behind Shinra, Celty continued her explanation.
“The Blue Kappa, which I thought was a monster, is actually an alien, and one
day, the people of the town one by one, little by little, are turned into aliens…!
And in the end, it’s not just the humans, but the town itself becomes an alien…the
walls, the floors, everything one by one ends up with the face of a Blue Kappa
type alien…!! Hyaaaaa!!”
“…Is it an adventure game? Or a sound novel
“No, it’s a farm management simulator.”
“Why is that scary. What was going on in the producer’s head?” Not finding any of it
really scary, Shinra still shut down the game Celty had become so frightened by.
“Look, see, it’s okay now. There are no aliens here.”
“Really. They’re not here. No aliens here. None at a..ack–!” Shinra had stealthily
attempted to embrace Celty but——Celty saw what he was going to do and easily dodged,
resulting in him falling into the still open closet with a shout.
“Ah ow ow ow...ah well, I guess you really hate aliens, huh, Celty.”

Similar to visual novels, sound novels focus more on sounds rather than visual effects. Also called audio games.
“Well it is space right? In the grand cosmos, if all the planets in the solar system
line up, it will cause a black hole and everything will break up into a photon belt
“Calm down, Celty. Even if all the planets in the cosmos line up, nothing is going to
“O-oh…” After finally calming down, Celty stopped trembling and put an arm around
Shinra’s shoulder.
“Thank you, Shinra. I’m really can’t do a Let’s Play of horror games after all I
“Ah, so this has to do with that video project huh.” The instant he realized it was all
about the Niconico video, he broke out in a new smile as he spoke to Celty.
“Hmm. Ok then, since you like games, rather than a horror game, why don’t we try a
really difficult game? How does that sound?”
“Difficult game…do you mean like a game where you die a bunch of times, or
have traps as soon as you start the stage, or with a lot of Kaizo’s Traps
“Yup, that kind of thing. Although, now, really famous games don’t have a lot of
impact. Do you want to try playing a super hard game no one knows about?”
“No one knows about it…is there such a game?” As Celty tilted her helmet in
confusion, Shinra lightly brought up the name of an acquaintance of theirs.
“There is. And it was made by Orihara-kun. I guarantee it’s really hard.”
Raira Era
“What are you doing?” Shinra cheerfully asked his classmate, an acquaintance named
Orihara Izaya, who had a laptop open in front of him.
“Oh, just killing time. I’m making a small game.”
“Game?” Donning on a smile that was blacker than the black gakuran he was wearing,
Izaya held out a CD to Shinra.
“Here, I’ll give you a copy.”
“Are you sure? But, what kind of game is it?”
“A game to test the patience of humans. Well, it’s not very good so I don’t plan on
releasing it online or anything.”
Present Time – Shinra’s Apartment

Known as Koumei Traps in Japan – where you die while celebrating a victory cutscene and have to do it all again.
“Oooh, it’s working even on the newest OS.” Compared to Shinra’s cheerful words,
Celty was a little more apprehensive.
“Are you sure it’s OK? I mean, a game made by that guy is…”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. When he made it, he didn’t yet know how to make viruses and
“Are you sure? Have you played it before?” At Celty’s question, Shinra flashed a
bright grin and nodded in assent.
“Yup. But I stopped about 10 seconds after starting.”
“What on earth. I don’t know what kind of awful game this is, but I’m sure I’ll last
more than 10 seconds.” As she said that, Celty turned her attention to the start screen.
【Super Hard! Izaya Castle! AKA Izaya’s Challenge!】
“Sorry, Shinra. I’m already extremely irritated.” After looking at the title screen,
Celty responded to Shinra by pulling up a text file and punching in those words.
“Yeah. If you know Orihara-kun, this is a way to test how well you know him by how
angry it makes you. And he can make sure no one but people who know him get these.”
“What a terrible person.”
“It’s a small mercy that Shizuo-kun doesn’t own a computer. He’d probably destroy
every computer within a 5 kilometer radius if he ever played this game.”
Recalling her violent, bartender-outfit-wearing friend, Celty felt a shudder go down
her spine, and instead chose to start the game.
After clicking the start button, a male character, apparently the protagonist, appeared
in the middle of the screen. It seemed the arrow keys could move right and left, and the
space bar made the character jump.
——Huh. It’s just like an orthodox action game.
“You would think so, right?”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this since it’s meant to read the hearts of normal
——Ah whatever. It’s a game made by Izaya, I should be able to understand most of it.
——Anyhow, it doesn’t matter if turns into a difficult quiz game or a racing game or a
mah-jongg game, or an RPG, or a mystery adventure game, or even an action game. In
the end it’s all just a roundabout way of pissing people off right?
——If I know that from the beginning, then there’s really nothing to be afraid of.
Thinking nothing of it, Celty began to move the character but––
——Oh, an unexpected trap?
On screen, a hole opened up on the bottom and the character fell through. However,
there was no Game Over screen, it just turned completely black and the afterimage of the
character continued falling in the middle of the screen forever.
——Huh. Is it going to change to another screen? Is this another route to the depths of
the earth?
――……………How long is he going to keep falling!?
After 30 seconds had passed, the screen finally changed. Next to the falling character,
words slowly rose up from the bottom.
【The character you controlled continues to fall into the darkness. He will continue
to fall without end due to impact or pain, but this means he will taste the fear of
endlessly falling into the dark. That fear changes to uneasiness before long. Will it ever
end? If there is no end, and he cannot die, does this mean he’s stuck falling forever?
Then, uneasiness changes to loss. Both fear and uneasiness fade away, and he is
seized with the sense that his own past and feelings are lost. No, perhaps he was
already thinking this? From the time he first fell in the hole, his life was over. Above
the hole, in the bright aboveground, didn’t his feelings and memories give him a
reason for being? If that’s so, then what kind of person is he. But as he continues to
fall, he tries to think about the meaning of his life and his spirit fails; still, still, falling,
wondering if this was all he was born to do――. As he continues to think about those
things, he becomes a pathetic character whose identity is fused with the fall itself. If
he only has one emotion left, it would be hatred for you, the player. Why did you
advance so carelessly? Knowing that this was a game made by Orihara Izaya, why
were you under the illusion that the floor you stepped onto would be a normal floor?
It’s your fault. It is all your fault that he has lost himself and has been condemned to
be a program that simply falls for all eternity. I’ll never forgive you, I’ll never forgive
you, I’ll never forgive you , I’ll never forgive you , I’ll never forgive you , I’ll never
forgive you , I’ll never forgive you , I’ll never forgive you ……surely that is what he is
thinking. Ah, but it is not necessary to start feeling guilty. Because you are the same
way, aren’t you. Yes, by just a mere afterimage effect continuing to do nothing but fall,
this character surely becomes an expression of the player’s own life, your own life.
How much time have you wasted on this game already? On this game with no
meaning, have you found some sort of meaning for your life? Or is it just a waste of
time? Then, are you simply wasting your spare time? After all, if only penance piles up
in your spare time, in the end, life becomes far too burdensome doesn’t it? If in the 
first place, this cannot relieve the agony of boredom, then in that case, the character
which continues to fall without change――】
The sentences were endless, truly endless, and each line took about 5 seconds to
progress, so they slowly, slowly rose from the bottom of the screen. Celty had patiently
read each sentence at the beginning, but finally fed up with it, she asked Shinra a question.
“……Hey, does this mean there’s nothing else to do anymore?”
“I think so. I gave up playing after falling for 10 seconds.”
“Just how long are these artificial, teasing, and juvenile like sentences going to
go on?”
“When I played it, I left for an hour and came back and it was still going. I really have
to take my hat off to Izaya’s determination.” Upon hearing those words, Celty moved her
mouse to the top right of the screen and clicked the X button. And then––
【Oh my, are you giving up already? Escape doesn’t really solve anything though,
right? But by all means, if you want to avert your eyes from reality, its fine if you start
the task manager and force close the program. But, you realize that if you do that,
you’ll accepted being defeated by me.】
After reading the pop-up that appeared when the program didn’t close, Celty
desperately fought the urge to smash the screen.
“Uwaah!! What the hell is that!”
“Right? It’s hard isn’t it? If you want to finish it you have to have a strong spirit.”
“I didn’t want something difficult like this!”
“Well, well, you could have expected it would turn out like this.” In an attempt to calm
Celty, who was quickly growing violent, Shinra mused on his memories.
“Which reminds me, only a guy named Tsukumoya was able to finish the game, and I
think he sent Izaya his thoughts on it…Izaya also thought it was weird. He didn’t know
that person, so I don’t know how he got a hold of the game.”
“What on earth. How scary…don’t tell me he was an alien…” A chill went down
her spine, and Celty quickly changed the subject in an effort to shake off the feeling.
“In the first place, how am I supposed to make a good Let’s Play off of this?”
“It’s OK! Your anguish and the way you tried to hold on to your anger and not
explode while watching the screen, I got it all on video tape!” Shinra gave an ecstatic
smile and a thumbs up. Grasped in his other hand was an HD video camera.
“If we upload this to Niconico, Celty’s charm will make everyone smile!”
A few minutes later, after leaving Shinra tied up in the corner of the room, Celty again
reconsidered her options for a Niconico video submission.
――Hmmm. As I thought, I really can’t do any live reaction Let’s Play videos…
――I wonder if there’s some sort of video I could use as reference…
As Celty stared at her computer screen, she suddenly thought of something.
――Oh, shit. My Niconico point expiration date is coming up soon.
――I still have 2800 points left, so there’s no way I can use them up in time…
Celty thought this was a good opportunity and she needed a change of pace anyway, so
she decided to use her Niconico points to watch a movie.
――Uuum…let’s look at something with ghosts.
――Ooh, the movie Dark Skies has its own Niconico channel now.
――I saw a poster for it on Sunshine 60 Dori before and wanted to see it.
――It seems like it’s made by the same people who made Paranormal Activity…
――Well I’m fine with ghosts and stuff. Looks fun.
――I can’t discount Dreamcatcher either. It looks like a horror film too.
――The Fourth Kind also looks interesting.
――OK then, which one should I watch…
Then, two hours later――
After finishing the movie, Celty was once again cowering in the closet shaking like a
What on earth did she watch in the movie?
All the answers are on––NicoNico Douga.
“…Celty. Hey, can you untie me from your shadows soon? Celty? Ceeelty?”
To be continued in Nicococo!!x3

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