>Many people across the world understand the nature of an idol, and her relationship to her fans. An idol wishes to succeed, and be loved by many. Her fans reciprocate that idol's wish, and are granted a form of love in return. For the grand majority, this is a relationship that manifests as a competition to find the peak of the mountain; the attempt to be the world's number one idol, and their fan's support of that goal. A symbiotic relationship forms, built on the pursuit of success.
>But this is not the only form an idol takes. Many unique relationships form, and perhaps the most unique comes from Hololive, the world of virtual idols, where a fan and an idol's true nature can be both hidden by the virtual indentity, and allowed to blossom uninhibited by reality.
>The most unique may be the story of a clown, the idol who wished to make everyone in her sight smile. She dedicated herself to that goal, slaving away for days and nights on end to entertain everybody that came into her sight. Whether it be a crowd that could fill a schoolhouse or a stadium did not matter; she worked so that each person could find their smile in her.
>But as is the nature of clowns, the smiling mask hides the face behind it. The clown's bright face was seen by all, and as an idol, one wanted to grow closer to her, to stand by her, not just as an entertainer, but as a supporter. She gladly accepted their love, and wished to reciprocate their dedication with her own.
>As they grew closer, the idol spoke to her fan more. Weeks turned to months, and they grew closer still, as their trust grew and their bond developed. In time, the fan grew curious, and wished to know, why had the idol chosen to be the clown, the jester? When one wishes to climb the mountain, is that not for the recognition of success? Yet, a clown cannot be respected; to give one respect is to rob them of their position at the bottom. A clown is to be laughed at, while an idol is to be respected. And so the fan asked the idol these things.
>The idol, who always strove to give their fan happiness, seemed hesitant at first. But seeing the worry on the fan's face, she opened her heart to his request. She told the fan that his understanding of an idol was true. But so was his understanding of the clown, the one that exists to be a joke. She told the fan that it would be great to climb the mountain, and find the adoration and respect. She had tried it before. But her time on the mountain taught her the truth of it's ideal.
>The mountain is a cold, dark place. The mountain strips you of everything; your work, your devotion, your pride, all fall away to nothing on the mountain. She thought she could climb the mountain alone, by depriving herself of those traits first. She stripped herself of her work, her devotion, and even her pride, so that she could gain the traits of those who reach the mountaintop. If one must become a shell on their climb, she would preempt the mountain, and become a shell suited to it.
>But she had been mistaken. The truth of the mountain was not the same as it's effect. The only path up the mountain is one made by an idol and her fans together. A fan does not come to an idol for the shell; a fan finds their idol in hopes to shelter them from the mountain's damage. This mistake cost the idol everything. She could not attract the fans to bring her to the mountaintop as a hollow shell. In desperation, she attempted to become a hollow vessel for the masses, one who would cross the taboos to provide for those fans who were shunned by all others.
>But they could not carry her to the mountaintop. They were too few, and those who came did not come to bring her to the top. Those who came wished to hold onto the idol as their own prize, a tool to satisfy their needs. The idol did not want this, and in time, was broken. In attempting to best the mountain on her own, the mountain had broken her utterly.
>The idol lost her dream. Those who saw the idol would be forgiven for thinking they saw a discarded doll. But somehow, it was not the end of her story. She was found again, given another chance. She was asked how she wanted to be known. Her identity would be chosen by her. The girl thought long and hard about what form would best express her inner self. But when she looked inward, she saw nothing, having lost herself to the mountain. A pitiful creature, one to be mocked, one to be laughed at. It came to her; she would be a clown. If she could not climb the mountain, then she could at least bring others happiness as their fool.
>Thus, the idol told her fan it all. She winced, expecting the fan to leave her like the rest, knowing the truth. But the fan did not leave. Instead, the fan wiped away the tears that formed on her face and his own, and with a smile, said one thing:
>"Let me show you the view from the mountaintop."
>And for the first time, the clown who wished to make everyone smile understood what it meant to smile herself.