|Author: Resn||Original Source: Kakuyomu|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library|
“Yup, good job getting here. Welcome to the Starting City Wyndham.”
After a long and arduous journey, Crim shouted with joy, and Ryunosuke welcomed her to the city, looking at her with kindness like she was his daughter.
The Starting City Wyndham was a large fortified city with a large harbor, and had been standing since the imperial days. Since it served as the main entry point to the continent, it had remained a neutral city even during times of war.
Overall it’s appearance was the default city from a medieval fantasy setting. A river went through the middle of the city, the Transport Plaza was in the center, and the rest of the city was divided between the northern district and southern district.
When she looked at the map, it seemed like the northern district was largely occupied by banks and stores, while the northern district had inns and various scenical locations, like big parks.
There was also a small path leading out further south from the southern district, which led to the harbor. As all players started there, the city was correspondingly large.
Learning the layout of the city would likely take more than a few days of walking around. That was how vast it was.
“So, where are you meeting with them?”
“Umm…give me a moment.”
Saying that, Crim checked the messaging application of her Neural Linkage Device and left a message in the group chat with the twins.
“Sorry for the wait, I’m at Wyndham now.”
“Ohh, I hope you had a safe trip!”
“We’re sitting on a bench in the plaza at the center of the city. Just call out to us when you’re here.”
“We’re both elves with blonde hair and ears longer than usual. The actual species are called High-Elves, which are apparently(?) rare to get!”
The replies came almost instantaneously. A warm feeling filled Crim as she smiled seeing their excited replies (especially Hijiri’s).
“So…they’re in the plaza at the center.”
“Alright, I guess they mean the Transport Plaza. It’s over here.”
Ryunosuke led the way, and Crim entered the bustling and crowded city of Wyndham for the first time.
It was still midday inside the game, but outside it was currently a Sunday night, which was one of the times when the most players were online. When they reached the center, Crim saw a Transport Plaza that was larger than any she had seen before.
The areas around the plaza were adorned with fountains and flowerbeds, which gave it an overall calming appearance. The outer rim outside those fountains and flowerbeds was rather wide too, enough for players to place pieces of cloth with their wares on top to trade them with other players.
Crim scanned that area, searching for the elven twins.
There they are.
She finally spotted two twin elves with bright golden hair sitting on a bench, in a corner of the Transport Plaza.
The elven girl who kept smiling brightly as she looked around was probably Hijiri. She had certain pronounced curves on her body, unlike most elves who had slim bodies.
And the boy with a pretty but shrewd face, wearing a pair of glasses with thin rims which he somehow acquired in his first day playing, was likely Subaru.
Both of them had somewhat long hair, which reached slightly below their shoulders, with a single braid on one side, which was mirrored between them, but otherwise was the same hairstyle.
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They did not pay any attention to Crim or Ryunosuke, simply continuing to look around…which made a knot form in her throat. But that was to be expected, Crim’s appearance, even her gender, was completely different from what it was in real life.
She began to wonder if they would really believe her if she went up to them and said “Hey I’m Kou, I’m actually a girl here,” and the fear of what their response would be continued to well up in her, since she had neglected that subject until now.
As the fear seized her…
“Hey, what’s the matter with ya? Go on.”
…Ryunosuke pushed her back and she trotted a few steps forward, standing closer to the twins. The way she staggered forward also caught the attention of the twins, there was no turning back now.
Maybe that was for the best actually.
Thanking Ryunosuke in her mind, she took the remaining steps before standing right in front of the twins.
“Hey umm…it’s been a while. I know I look weird, but it’s me…”
The two stared in shock for a moment, and then…
“Kou…you’re so kyuuuuut!!”
The sister elf, Hijiri, jumped forward and tightly embraced Crim faster than she could react, while shouting loudly and overcome with emotion.
Feeling the pressure of two soft lumps against her chest, and the immense pressure of the embrace, Crim let out a very unlady-like groan that sounded like a frog being squished.
“Oh my gosh you’re so small and cuteeee! Kyaaaaahh!!”
“Sorry but no can do. She’s been holding back ever since you were hospitalized with no visitors allowed, so just shut up and let her get what she missed.”
“What do you meannn?!”
Subaru had no qualms surrendering Crim to her fate, and even seemed to grin with a bit of schadenfreude, which only made Crim shout even more loudly.
After their noisy reunion, and when the pressure on Crim was finally making her start taking suffocation damage, Hijiri came to her senses and released her. Then they all sat down at a table.
“Anyway, I’m Frey, nice to see you again.”
“And I’m Freya! Let’s have lots of fun, Kou!”
Subaru introduced himself as Frey with a cool demeanor that matched his glasses, while Hijiri’s voice was warm and bubbly as she introduced herself as Freya. This was their first time greeting each other in this world.
“Umm…it’s not Kou here, I’m Crim…”
“Crim, huh. Are you nervous~?”
“Well, I guess…”
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Crim had been together with the twins from the moment she became aware, growing up together, so she was rather nervous and worried to know what they thought of her having a female avatar now.
“Anyway, why in the world did you choose such a deli…Ahem, funny appearance?”
“Frey, at least try to properly amend that if it was a mistake, what was that half-a̲s̲s̲e̲d̲ attempt!”
“Ahahahah, you look so stupid.”
“I didn’t tell you to insult me though?!”
“Anyway, you picked a rather cute body, didn’t you?”
“Just shut up already!”
Frey cackled merrily as he said that, while Crim bared her little fangs at him. But all the laughter also made her not want to take anything too seriously. They had been together for nearly their entire lives, so Frey was fully aware of that too, which was why he kept pushing the matter further, and in return Crim was at a loss as to how to properly react, frustrating her even more.
“But yeah, you might look different, but I know you’re still the same Kou we know.”
Meanwhile Freya spoke with the kindness and patience of a saintess, which did not match her youthful appearance.
Hearing such supportive and positive words from her childhood friend, Crim’s eyes seemed to water up a little. Except that…
“I probably would’ve gotten emotional if you weren’t hugging me and touching my head all the time…”
“Huh? But it feels so good to do it.”
Freya’s voice did not carry any guilt, even though she had been clinging onto Crim so much that she was nearly rubbing her cheek on Crim’s, patting her head and hugging her constantly.
She smiled innocently as she tried to excuse her actions as well, so Crim’s only recourse was to glare at her for a while.
“Hahh… Anyway, at least I’m glad you two are still the same.”
Crim was truly relieved from the bottom of her heart, so she ended up smiling again, which spread to Freya and Frey who smiled back at her.
Eventually their peaceful reunion came to an end.
“I’m glad to see you all managed to find each other safely.”
“Ah… Thank you so much for everything, Ryunosuke. I would’ve been so lost without you.”
“I’m glad I could help. Traveling with you was pretty fun too.”
Somehow it seemed like Ryunosuke would head his own way now, so Crim tried to resist the melancholy from goodbyes, and instead smiled as she thanked him.
“Crim, who’s that?”
“He’s Ryunosuke, I met him in-game. He’s the one who guided me here.”
“Ohh, that’s something I appreciate a lot too.”
Frey asked about Ryunosuke, and then Freya seemed really thankful after hearing who he was.
“Now that’s something I’m glad to hear. Anyway, this is where my role comes to an end. See you again sometime.”
“Okay… Ah, can I send you a friend request?”
“Yeah, of course.”
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Saying that, he began patting Crim’s head until he received the friend request, which he accepted. With that done, he turned around and left, quickly vanishing amongst the crowds.
“What was that, Freya?”
“Hmhmhmmm… I swear I heard that name somewhere. And he also looks somewhat familiar…”
Placing her hand to her cheek, Freya seemed to be trying to remember something. She spent quite a while just groaning to herself.
“Well, I can’t remember so it probably wasn’t something important, Probably!”
Deciding it was not worth it to keep worrying about it, Freya stopped thinking about it and stood up. Crim and Frey did not give it much more thought either, standing up and leaving to find a better place.
At this time, none of them knew or even imagined that the answer to Freya’s doubts would have a large impact…or as Frey liked to say, a delightful impact on their future guild.