|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 6491 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 3068 words|
Kagami operated the bracelet terminal and opened the menu. This type of command menu was seen often in Sci-Fi systems of anime and movies that appeared in space; It was only able to be seen by the person in question. To others, it would only look like the person was staring into space.
The history that Kagami had selected from the chronological table of the menu displayed its contents. However, Kagami stared only at one figure as she had lost the capability for speech.
It was the place where the newest event had been written:
The second prince was born on April 23, 2146 of the Ark Calendar in the Mirstone Kingdom. He was named 「Atolzade」.
It was so.
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It was not the content that had astonished Kagami. Though the Mirstone Kingdom was not familiar, it could have been some small country that a player had founded somewhere. The problem rather, was the number of years.
When she checked the current time in a bit of a panic, what was displayed in the upper right corner was Ark calendar 3:12 PM, May 12th, 2146.
This was a strange thing no matter how one thought of it. This was because 30 years have passed since “now”. Re-examining the history, she found events that she had not known anything about were there.
And a decade before as was mentioned before, on June 24, 2136, the Defense of the Three Gods’ Countries war broke out.
Kagami at first thought that it was incomprehensible. If there was an update, it was supposed to have been written in the chronology. As a test, she went back to the oldest point of the chronology, September 1, 2112 when Ark Earth Online officially released. The decoration was written grandly.
Even the two updates were listed. However, she did not see the description for an update that should have only occurred yesterday. Although Kagami knew that there had been an update only a year ago, she nevertheless looked.
If this was not because of an update, Kagami’s mind welled up with anxiety at the same time as this thought.
If this was not the result of an update, then what was the taste and smell of grass from just now?
She then looked up and closed the menu.
「Could I have some water? I won’t finish it.」
She called out to the commander who was staring with great interest at the Dark Knights she had summoned.
「Hmm. Oh, it’s good.」
When she received the pouch filled with water from the commander, she poured the contents through her small lips to her throat. The water was lukewarm containing a dose of salinity that’s wet to the tongue.
「Here is the water. Thank you.」
She returned the pouch, and placed a hand on her throat. It was obvious that taste and thirst were not a part of 『Ark Earth Online』.
Still, something was wrong. She was anxious because the five senses were too realistic. Although it was possible to drink recovery medicines before, as far as taste and thirst went, something felt off. However, the current situation was nothing but vague and it was impossible to keep up with.
Even when taking off one’s robe or putting it on, the feeling of cloth rubbing against the skin was a reality.
Up until the present, VR technology was in the research stage with the five senses. That said, in its own way, electrical signals and electromagnetic pulses could be reproduced. It was to the extent that a person could feel it in VR, but the feeling of pain was suppressed with a limiter.
For the current situation, however, it was too realistic. As one would expect, not revealing a single word about the advancements of technology was not possible. That’s to say that the rapid advancements of technology that was just produced recently, should not be possible to be reproduced here.
While Kagami was calmly thinking about this, he dismissed the theory he had made at first about the update. In VR, the reproduction of this was still impossible.
When she drew an impossible conclusion, it was immediately discarded. It was highly unlikely that it was reproduced to that extent.
However, from the current situation, it was not entirely possible to deny it completely.
So this really is reality.
This had been the kind of thing of urban legends, whispered ever since full dive type VR games came out with the VR technology. The reasoning was that the game world was real and that it existed slightly apart from the real world. And also that any player could be caught in that world.
Of course, Kagami had not believed such rumours, but she had imagined it. And the current situation was very similar to what she was experiencing right now. She shook her head to deny it as a chill ran through her spine. She looked towards the heavens as she banished such ridiculous thoughts.
It may just be a bug but she concluded that she would pay it minimal focus when Kagami stopped thinking. The answer would not appear even if she thought further.
「Commander Graia, a hobgoblin hideout has been discovered! Eh, who is this person?」
When the group that searched the forest returned, in an instant, their smiling facial expressions retreated and only tension remained. That was because standing beside the commander called Graia was a knight with a strange appearance of red eyes and a shiny dark face.
Although they realized that the black knight posed no danger to everyone, they could not help but be vigilant. Its existence had an overwhelming feeling which intimidated them.
「Ah, this black swordsman here is……… what this young lady here summoned. Be relieved because it is not harmful.」
「Is this a summon skill? It was also a very rare class, wasn’t it? Then is this guy an armour spirit? Although I have heard the stories before, I did not think that it would have an aura of intimidation to this extent.」
「Mhm, I was also surprised when I saw it for the first time.」
After that, Graia explained the situation to the group that came back. The hobgoblins here were defeated by the Dark Knight. The girl was alone voluntarily and she had no companions. As such, he would call back the platoon that went to search.
While the knights were having such an exchange, Kagami noted the respect that existed between the two.
They were saying that summoners were a rare class. Certainly speaking, only a small number of people sought to gain this class. By the way, the most common one was that of the warrior monks. It was a class that dealt with the art of recovery and support. It was easy for many to understand why it was such a popular class.
There were good skills available at the start. If the magician had 【Magic: Flame】, then warrior monks had 【Monk Skill: Heal】 as well as 【Monk Skill: Protect】.
The initial skill of the summoning class was called 【Carved Seal of the Contract】. This was the skill that allowed you to summon spirits with which you had defeated. It was not a skill that had any attack strength, and this summoning skill was misunderstood to be an advanced technique. This was the most common cause for the lack of summoners.
It was not that difficult to defeat a spirit if you were able to ask an acquaintance or even employ a mercenary. However, in order to form a contract with a spirit, one had to naturally do it alone. Players had to pledge not to use 100% of a spirit’s stamina.
Of course Kagami went through the same road. She had bought a large amount of medicine, a large amount of explosive-base items, and had fought an armor spirit for two hours on the 『Ancient Battlefield』 and just barely managed to contract with the spirit. It was the Dark Knight she had a deep attachment to. It was not just because of the convenience of it or that it was her first summon, but because it had become a companion she had spent a long time with.
However, this was not something anyone could just do. Those who had hunted for the basic knowledge of the class on the bulletin boards tended to avoid the summoning class because of the degree of difficulty involved.
That said, that did not mean there were no summoners. Or rather, it was due to that Danbulf yearned to paint over the negative perception the summoning class had. There were those players who saw his heroic sagas on the bulletin board and chose the summoner class.
However, the two knights of the company talked in such a way that they had just seen a summon for the first time. For some reason, summoning skills were in relapse and became unpopular again. This was not a situation Kagami could ignore as someone who had reached the peak of the summoner class.
「Speaking of which, I did not hear the name of the young lady. I am Graia. Graia Astor」
While thinking about the huge task that laid before her, that was popularising the summoning class again, Graia had asked for her name.
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Kagami felt uncomfortable with the question.
This commander’s conduct would be a commonplace in reality.
To ask for the name of another person.
One would introduce himself.
It was natural when interacting with someone for the first time. In truth, she was quite willing to introduce herself.
However, this was in game. By examining an object within an avatar’s sight, it was common sense that the other party’s name would be displayed overhead. If there was a need to ask for one’s name, it would be to ask about how to pronounce their name.
With that, Graia gave his name. It was not a lie because when Kagami examined him, his name displayed as Graia Astor. In this way it was readily apparent that a name can be seen immediately without asking for it.
Calling to mind certain assumptions, Kagami attempts to test them out.
「You can just check it, don’t you understand?」
「Hmmmm……. Although I am sure that at your level of skill, you would be pretty famous, but I am not able to remember your appearance. I am sorry. Is there one among you who knows who this is?」
To the commander’s question, everyone shook their head side to side.
「Hmmmm, I see………….」
Kagami heard that among some players, there were apparently those that thought it was rude to appraise people without the other party’s permission. They would only do so if they got the other party’s consent.
Although it could be said that by simply examining Kagami who had her appearance changed so much, people should still know the name of Danbulf as it was the name of one of the most important figures in the Arkite Kingdom. However, there were only so many people that could have such a famous name.
Kagami’s assumption was that those people here were unable to appraise. It was something like that.
The common sense of a player was not there, and their thinking was too out of place. If they were not players then……. there may need to be a change of perception, as Kagami thought of this, she placed her hand on her chin and muttered 「Hmm.」
Based on recently collected information, she assembled a hypothesis. The improbable theory gradually became more possible in her mind. Kagami shivered a little when remembering the theory from earlier, and dismissed the hypothesis which led to that labyrinth of thought
「We are really sorry, young lady. For us whose only strong point is in the sword, we are not that familiar with those of other profession.」
「Hmm? Oh no, it is not like that. She felt guilty for worrying them.」
Graia misunderstood that the girl’s silence was because of shock. To be recognized as a player, Kagami thought of taking actions only a player would do.
Therefore, she tried to select the log out button from the menu, which would confirm that this was a game. However, it was not possible to do so. On the contrary, the system entry itself had disappeared.
She quickly reformed her earlier hypothesis.
She could definitely feel her five senses working. The reality was that there were no players, she was unable to log off, 30 years had seemed to pass, and there was no update.
Reproducing all five senses was impossible for today’s current technology. If that was the case, no one knew who was a player except themselves. The system did not recognise the forced exit code in order to log out. And since the game world did not differ by one second from reality in the four years he had played, that could only mean one thing, it was now thirty years in the future.
Supposing that the development money was the same as an average national budget, then there should have been an announcement when implementing this technology.
This world resembled the real world more and more. The hypothesis that was shoved into the corner of her head was gradually resurfacing. If basing it on that, this world would be an extension of another world.
She asked another question:
「Then do you know of a person named Danbulf?」
Turning it over, she asked about herself as if she had become a part of the past.
「Of course. There might not be a single person in this country who would not know the name of Danbulf.」
「Right, everyone? 」 he continued with that line of thought and all the knights nodded saying that it was only natural.
Through this answer, she found that a person named Danbulf existed. Next, Kagami tried to verify if this Danbulf had been played by him 30 years ago, or whether it was just a person with the same first and last name.
「What sort of person was he like?」
Although she said what kind, she was not aware of what country this was. If you were speaking of 『Danbulf』, he was a hero from about 30 years ago who had taken an active part in the 『Turbulent Days』. He was an Elder of The Silver Linked Towers, was he not? He was a sage feared by other countries. They referred to him as an army himself.
The timing and the title of the Elder of the Silver Linked Towers matched the facts. Ah….. she was truly embarrassed. Unfortunately, she had acquired two household names. This was the price for being too enthusiastic of Danbulf.
「He……. was a hero.」
「It is so. In the war after the nation was founded, it was said that Danbulf secured a chance for victory by hindering the progression of the the enemy forces. There was also talk about a platoon composed of the Elder’s summons plunging the enemy camp into chaos.
In addition, he was the developer of a refining technology. He was even heard to have used the strength of two classes at the same time. It was not like there was only 「Danbulf」, there were many other stories about other sages.
Come to think of it, nowadays, knights are sent to eliminate demon nests found in the vicinity of the border. Back when Danbulf was present before, there was a story that the sages of the Silver Linked Towers took turns to annihilate the demon nests.」
The history Graia was talking about was the same as the memory Kagami had. Kagami called off the war, developed a second class, and also devised research technology. These were all done by the former Kagami, there was no mistake about that.
「Hmm, so that is the case. Then, do you know of Danbulf’s last moments?」
「Lord Danbulf’s death? I have never heard the talks of his death. In the first place, 30 years ago on a certain day, he went to subjugate demons who showed up near the border. No one has ever seen him since. Because Danbulf would not be defeated by mere demons, a search was conducted by the country at the time. However, I heard that he was never found. Have you not heard of such a thing?」
「I see, it was like that after all?」
An answer the same as the memory of Kagami came back. She was connected to that time. In other words, Kagami was convinced that this was the same world 30 years later.
Although she does not know the reason, she stopped to calm down and think.
Kagami completed organising her situation. The current problem now was what happened if she gave his name as Danbulf, who was a famous name in this country. Danbulf had a solemn and dignified figure who was a veteran summoner and an Elder of The Silver Linked Towers. And according to the story just now, he was a hero.
Such a hero had now become…………. an ideal girl. She imagined the cold eyes that would be turned upon him when he returned to his original appearance, and Kagami shivered with the crisis that she was in.
She could do nothing now but lie.
This was the idea Kagami decided on. She thought this way because Graia was seemingly unable to use appraise. She chuckled to herself that no one would ever know. It was a cunning attempt to save her reputation and honour.
Kagami came up with an alias. The hero who disappeared 30 years ago has appeared and became a girl. That theory would never be believed right away. Moreover, if she desperately tried to convince them that she was Danbulf and they asked her why she turned out like this, she could not afford to answer that she was creating her ideal female image. That would give a fatal blow to her image.
Giving the alias a little thought, she appropriately converted her own name.
「Is there something about Lord Danbulf?」
「No, it does not matter now.」
And so, she gave her name. 「My name is Mira.1 I am still a beginner that is not aware of common things.」
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She spoke while holding her hand against her chin, but because Danbulf’s beard was missing, she felt anxious for her future.