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Chapter 86 Act 10: Unification

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 5618 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 3450 words
Editor(s): Silva

What do you think the crowning jewel of the summer beach is? Though it was highly unlikely that every single person thought the same way, most people, especially men, would all shout out the same answer1.

‘Bikini!’

You may be wondering why I was speaking such absolute nonsense at the moment. I was just indicating that the clothing right in front of my eyes was the thing in question.

“Now then, I’ve asked my acquaintances to create designs that fit various preferences. There’re well over thirty different types, so choose the one that you like.”

Though I did ask Jasmine to make swimsuits for me, I didn’t think she would make them with such enthusiasm. When I saw the corner of Jasmine’s room in her mansion filled with numerous underwear that were designed to look like bikinis, I deeply wondered what the difference between underwear and bikinis could be.

“Wow! There are so many beautiful ones.”

Katalina who previously didn’t look too happy about the situation was now going around picking up different swimsuits and holding them against her body to see if they fit her so she could choose the ones she liked. It made me think that she was still a woman after all.

“The bikinis don’t cost much, plus all these underwear are just simple day-to-day clothing, so you can wear them without feeling any pressure. I’ve prepared these for both of you to wear.”

When you wore a normal clothing item, the longer you wore it, the more durability it lost. And even if you were to repair it, the durability would never be up to 100%.

That was why there was such a huge difference in price between new items and pre-owned items, which was why Katalina was hesitant about putting on the clothing and just held it close to her body instead2.

So on hearing what Jasmine said, she smiled brightly.

“Ah, is that so? Can I go ahead then?”
“Of course. I felt that I haven’t been of much help since I joined the alliance guild, so this is the least I could do.”

Though she hadn’t participated in any battles, the things she did for us were a lot.

Not only did she repair equipment of unique and higher tiers, but she also created siege equipment as well as superior consumable items so that we could have a great advantage in the war.

“What do you mean not been of much help, Jasm…”
“Now now, let’s move on from this talk and try this on, Miss Artoria. This will look great on you.”

Before I could even say anything, she cut me off and brought a pink-colored bikini, and held it against my body.

The silver-colored metal chain that connected the two pieces of fabric made the design of this bikini quite eye-catching. It was something that went perfectly with my chest which wasn’t too large but wasn’t too small either.

“How is it, great isn’t it?”
“It… it’s pretty great.”

I didn’t think for a moment in my whole life that I would ever wear a bikini and make such comments about myself.

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I’d only thought about looking at them, so wearing them personally still came as a huge shock to me.

“Ellie, how do I look?”

It seemed like she had chosen the bikini she liked in the meantime, as Katalina was wearing a bikini with a white background and yellow stripes on it, while striking a model-like pose.

The main distinguishing part of her bikini was the strings that were tied up like ribbons on the sides of her waist, which made it look very cute and fresh. Though what made it hard for me to take my eyes off her was her voluminous western body which I had completely forgotten about and her revealing clothing.

On top of that, her beautiful facial features were exquisite. So in my eyes, she was close to being perfect.

“Beautiful. It’s the best.”

I complimented her, with my eyes still glued to her body. Katalina must have liked that since she beamed at me.

“You really do look wonderful in it.”

Jasmine also complimented her, looking at her admiringly.

“Thank you.”

Though Katalina responded to her with a smile as usual, I had a feeling that there was a strange light in her eyes towards Jasmine. Was it just my imagination?

I quickly overlooked the thought, taking it as something trivial.

I didn’t particularly want it of course, but I wore the bikini that Jasmine offered and unequipped my armor.

“Oooh…?”
“Woow!”

As soon as my appearance changed, the two of them exclaimed loudly in surprise. It seemed like I didn’t really need to ask them if it looked good on me since their expressions told me everything I needed to know.

“And that’s enough, right?”
“Ah… please wear this one as well!”
“Ellie, this one too!”

I was about to change into my original equipment when Jasmine and Katalina each grabbed my arms and held them tightly.

Then their eyes gleamed with excitement as they handed over the bikinis they had picked to me.

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I started to get worried that they might be looking at me like I was a doll that they could dress up, and that hunch became a reality right away.

In the end, I wasn’t able to escape the two until I had worn every single bikini that was in the room.

“This really is the most beautiful one for her.”
“I agree.”

Having unintentionally done a fashion show for them, I saw them finally coming to an agreement with each other and let out a sigh of relief as I took off the bikini I had on.

In the end, after all that passionate back and forth argument about which bikini was the best for me, the one they came to an agreement on was the very first bikini I had tried. I really had no idea why they needed to do all that when it still ended up like this.

In any case, I thought my troubles were finally over as I unequipped the swimsuit and re-equipped my original armor.

“Aw~”

Katalina let out a short sound as if she felt it was too bad I changed to original armor.

But when she realized that she was also wearing a bikini, she returned to her original armor as well.

“But Miss Jasmine, why aren’t you picking one as well?”
“Ah, it doesn’t fit someone my age and I don’t particularly want to wear one. I have no intention to participate in the contest either. There would be numerous young and beautiful women in the contest, so it would be amusing to see an old-timer like me participating.”
“I don’t think that’s the case though…”

Though they said that Western people who reached the age of 30 suddenly aged quite a lot, Jasmine still had the beauty of someone in their 20s. Even though it could be Blue Sky helping her out with her looks.

However, considering that if you originally looked plain, the game couldn’t help you out in looking any better than that so in reality she was quite beautiful. Honestly, her body had the unique sexiness and beauty that belonged only to people of age thirty and over anyway.

Beauty and sexiness have completely different meanings from each other. I was sure that if she were to participate, she would definitely not get a bad score at all. Of course, this was definitely not only because I wanted to see Jasmine in a bikini.

“Fufu. But in any case, I’ve earned quite a lot of money through this, so I don’t feel the need to participate. There’s nothing that I want from the number of prizes prepared, and I have a lot of money so I don’t feel like entering.”
“I see.”

Hearing Jasmine’s definite answer in deciding not to enter the contest, I was a little disappointed but I couldn’t bring myself to pressure her.

“Excuse me, Miss Jasmine?”
“Yes, Miss Katalina. Is there something you need to say?”

Hearing Katalina’s sudden question, Jasmine replied.

“Those bikinis over there, I want to purchase every one of them.”
“Oh? The ones that Miss Artoria wore?”
“Yes.”
“I was planning to give you all of them anyway, so just take them.”
“Really?”

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I wasn’t sure if it was because she said it was all free or something else, but Katalina’s face lit up as shoved all of the bikinis into her inventory.

[Lina, why the bikini?] 
[Well, I can’t let other people take the bikinis that you’ve worn.] 

Katalina, that’s a bit too… weird, but it’s a game world anyway. Having such a mindset in this game where it was normal to throw away your old equipment as soon as you found a better one was kind of dangerous.

[Stop thinking weird thoughts. I was just planning to give them to you later.] 

If that’s the case…

[… Did you really think I was being weird there?] 
[No of course not.] 

“From what I can see, it seems to me that you two aren’t simply close friends.”

I wasn’t sure whether she noticed from the constant whispers we were sending to each other or from another instance, but Jasmine curiously asked the question.

When I think about it, I did tell her that I had a fiancée, but didn’t tell her that my fiancée was Katalina.

“Ah! Let me introduce you to her then. This is my fiancée.”
“Just as I thought…”

The way she reacted as if she expected was a bit refreshing. People were usually shocked or surprised.

“Then I hope we get along well, Miss Merlin.”
“Same as well.”

As the two of them shared a light handshake, their eyes definitely didn’t look friendly. Or perhaps I was being too sensitive about them…

Due to the explosive number of viewers, we brought the date of the originally planned schedule forward and began the preliminary match. The judging venue was located in Liverpool City. Though it was the capital city of the Camelot alliance, it was also the most developed city. So for numerous reasons, it had been chosen as the venue for the event.

Thanks to that, the Liverpool castle doors that would have usually been shut tight had been opened wide, with numerous male and female participants wearing swimsuits, swarming around and making a lot of noise.

“Now now, everyone please walk in an orderly fashion.”

Because of this, the Camelot marshals were really busy, but their faces showed exuberance. The majority of the participants in the event were all handsome men and beautiful ladies showing off their best looks for the event. So it was great eye candy for both men and women alike.

The positions for being the judge of the event were heavily competed for amongst the management officers and resulted in ten judges in total. The gender ratio was 1:1 for males and females and since that was the fairest balance, no one had any complaints about it.

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Of course, as Katalina, Esther and I were registered as general participants, we were excluded from being judges.

Lucas also entered the event as a participant and not as a judge seemingly because he wanted to show his confidence of having great body shape wasn’t just by word of mouth. Though I say that we’re participants, we were still organizers of this event, so instead of waiting outside like the others, we sat inside of the castle waiting leisurely for our turn to line up for the show.

“Ellie, are you participating in every category?”

Katalina asked, and I shook my head in response.

“I’m planning to only participate in the beauty contest. The other competition categories will each take a bit of my fatigue after all.”

Katalina and Esther nodded on hearing my answer. Though having a small amount of fatigue expended wasn’t a big deal, for Esther who needed to keep watch at night, it was a very important factor and for Katalina and me, we needed to make sure that we were ready for any possible enemy ambush that could occur on the day of the contest.

There were plenty of festivities going on, but we were still in wartime after all. Of course, I actually wanted them to attack us.

Since if they did, we wouldn’t need to actually participate in the judging event, and also having my items stay with me would bring about mighty wrath from numerous onlookers who were looking forward to the show.

I made sure to keep the gates of the castle open, so that if someone just wanted to watch the show without being a member of the Camelot guild, they could do so without worry.

Of course, only the preliminary competition would be held within the castle walls and the actual finals of the show would be on the beach inside the game, but since the number of participants were in the hundreds, there were much more interesting things to look at in the preliminaries. Though of course, in terms of quality, most of them wouldn’t even be able to hold up a candle to the ones that would be at the finals.

“But sis, do I really have to participate in the event as well?”

Esther sighed and asked, knowing what was coming for her but our answer was the same every time.

“Yeah. We’re doing it so you have to come with us as well.”
“Sigh…”

Esther was powerless in stopping Katalina’s plan to drag everyone down with her for the competition. In the end, she let out a long sigh and gave up trying.

“Anyway, it seems like every single person with a good-looking face has shown up here.”

As Katalina surveyed the faces of the numerous participants outside the window, she spoke worriedly.

Though we call it a swimsuit competition it was honestly just a beauty contest, and since women had a particularly strong pride in their beauty, seeing so many competitors in a single spot would definitely scare them a bit.

But for me, I didn’t have a single bit of pride in wanting to look the most beautiful, and was happy to simply just watch all the beautiful users showing off their looks and the swimsuits that they were wearing.

‘Around 8 out of 10 scores.’

I was even giving them scores individually in my mind.

“But sis, is it true that the judges will favor competitors who are in ‘Real Mode’ over others?”
“That’s right. Though they could be a real beauty even when not in Real Mode, to lose to a user who customized the facial features of their character to look the best would hurt my pride severely so that’s why I strongly suggested it to the management.”

For female users, Real Mode was kind of like proof of their good looks. Because of the numerous users being tricked by artificially improved facial features in the early days of the Blue Sky, the Blue Sky company took action in trying to prevent it from happening by introducing general accessories that only Real Mode users could equip.

Earring accessories were the only ones not treated as general equipment for the character. For adult users, the earring would have a red jewel on it and for the underaged users, it would have a blue jewel on it. It was used in such a way that users would prove that they’re playing in ‘Real Mode’ to others.

Even so, just because they equipped the earring didn’t mean that they had never edited or customized their face. If the only things you changed were hair color, eye color and a slight amount of facial customization, then you were able to wear an earring only on one side. This was a kind of compromise that the developers gave to the users, and most of the users acknowledged that even users playing like this were still playing in Real Mode.

In truth, they could further change themselves by wearing make-up, but it seemed like most people were fine with such things. And this was probably why the majority of the participants in the event were wearing earrings only on one side. On the other hand, users that were wearing earrings on both ears were very rare.

“So I guess Perfect Real Mode users can expect to see more bonus scores in their judgment.”

Perfect Real Mode. That was the mode of users who were so confident in their real-life looks that they didn’t customize or change a single thing. Though there was an extremely small number of people that were wearing earrings on both ears, of course it didn’t mean that all users playing in Perfect Real Mode were handsome or beautiful.

It just meant that they were playing the game with their exact body and facial features in the real world, so the average person could simply enjoy playing in Real Mode without worrying about customizing or changing things.

“Yep.”

Then I realized that we three were all in Perfect Real Mode. By that fact alone, it meant that we were practically guaranteed a spot in the finals. Since there would be 100 users in the finals, which was definitely not a small number, but there was still something called ‘Home Advantage’, wasn’t there?

Honestly, I thought it may be better if I was knocked out in the preliminaries. My mind was going back and forth, feeling extremely anxious, not knowing which would be the best for me.

“Wow, that person is really beautiful!”
“Who? Oh! It’s Irene.”

When a woman honestly compliments another woman for their beauty it meant that they were truly beautiful. Since I knew that fact, I turned my gaze towards the person whom the two of them were pointing at.

‘Ten out of ten.’

She was so perfect that I thought ‘if elves were real, she would be one.’.

“Ah, that Irene? She really is beautiful. But it doesn’t seem like she’s in Perfect Real Mode though.”
“You’re right. She only has an earring on one side.”

Hearing the two talk about her, it seemed like Irene was quite famous. But still, I didn’t know that person.

“Who is Irene?”

Since I was the type to always ask what I was curious about, I asked Katalina.

“Hm? Ah. She’s a user who’s famous for being the beautiful reporter for the official Blue Sky fansite. You know, that host who does the interviews on the website? She’s quite popular, I guess you didn’t know Ellie.”
“Well…”
“Oh yes, sorry!”

Realizing what I was going to say next, Katalina admitted her mistake and begged for me to accept her apology with her two hands clasped together.

I didn’t particularly feel offended by her words anyways so I nodded my head as if it wasn’t a big deal and accepted her apology.

“Wow, the muscles on those guys are no joke either.”
“Hmm…? I guess you’re really interested in muscled men, Esther?”

Seeing Esther’s reaction, I asked curiously. Since in the past I had quite a good set of muscles on my body.

“Ah, I find excessive muscles to be disgusting so I don’t like such things, I like men who have just the right amount of muscles.”
“Is that so?”

Well, I assume that preference differed from one person to another, but I realized the fact that even in Korea, excessively muscular men weren’t that popular.

Thinking about it, perhaps the reason why women didn’t come to me in the past was because I had excess muscles? But then again, what good would it do to me to worry about it now?

“But more than that, I much prefer someone who’s strong.”
“Hm.”

Though it sounded silly, the reason why someone looked for muscles in another was their wish for them to be able to protect them in the first place, so she wasn’t exactly wrong.

“Esther, do you perhaps have a guy who you’re going out with?”

I didn’t know why I was asking this question. Esther’s cheeks suddenly glowed red.

“N… no!”
“Hmm? So I guess you still have someone you like though.”
“…”

Even when she didn’t answer, it was extremely easy for me to figure out that I was right. It would be strange if I didn’t realize it since her face became bright red.

I wasn’t sure who the man Esther liked was, but since she had such a great body, a great personality, a kind heart and a good background, that man was probably the luckiest guy in the world. Or perhaps had saved the world in their previous life…3



References

  1. Robinxen: BOATING!
  2. Robinxen: Huh so there’s not a binding system.
  3. Robinxen: I zoned out for this entire chapter almost.

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