Part 5: Guild’s Eight Summit
“Mou... It’s not fair!”
When they arrived near the 『Central Round Room』, Melbiena was pouting and refused to let go Yuuto’s back, so she was still clinging at his neck.
“What’s not fair?”
Sometime, Yuuto finds a girl at her age is difficult to understand.
“Why dear Husband use 『Instant Movement』? Dear Husband supposedly take me to 『Central Round Room』 walking, while we reminiscence about the past and plan our future together.”
“We can do that later Melbiena There are still a lot of things we need to clarify first. This comes after that, okay?”
“If it’s what dear Husband wish, as a devoted wife, I’ll oblige.”
Melbiena let go Yuuto’s back, but she changed her clinging target from his neck to his arm. Yuuto was rather troubled by her clinging nature but he could ponder about it later. There still more important things that need to be done.
“Sorry that took that long............ What that’s looks for...?”
Yuuto was a little puzzled by the other’s receptions when he and Melbiena entered the room.
“Looking it directly and not as a game display is really has different impact...”
Ichiko held an astonished looks at her face.
Stella was grumbling incessantly.
“*stare intently*” The three girls for some reason looks at him with such attention.
For some reason Chie turned her face away...
‘What is this? New type of bullying?’
This and that, the other introduced their character name and real identity, and now it was Melbiena turn to introduce herself.
“My name is Nakamizu... No... Shizumoto Kiyomi. You can call me by my name, or just call me Shizumoto-okusan.”
Kiyomi ended her introduction with a rather bright smile while resting her head in Yuuto’s shoulders, and crossed her arms with Yuuto’s. Yuuto, at this point of time, was already given up on repudiating Kiyomi’s assertiveness. It’ not that bad... or not.
“Wait... why do you take my surname?” (Yuuto)
“Because... we... are... married... or Dear Husband wanted to marry into my family?” (Kiyomi)
“I think that’s not the problem here...” (Ichiko)
Using this opportunity Yuuto took his escape from Kiyomi’s cuddling and stood at the middle of the room.
“Jokes aside, we need to think up what we should do next.” (Yuuto)
“It’s true... But there are so many things we still didn’t know. Like how and why we get here...” (Ichiko)
“Yes. It will be difficult to devise something while we lack information.” (Yuuto)
“How about we tell what we know before we come here?” (Saki)
So they told their own tale about the time before they came to this place.
There are some points that Yuuto noted after hearing all of them.
First, the stories were similar to each other. They all had perfect memories about ‘yesterday’; they also had played RAHO at some time on Wednesday, June 3th. Then they all went to sleep in their home, and when they woke up they found themselves in ‘this place which resembles RAHO a lot’. The only irregularity was Stella who watched late night anime show and went to sleep at dawn of Thursday, June 4th; and Chie who plays and sleep at some netcafé.
Second, even though they slept at different time, they arrived at the same time, if we believed what the System Log recorded. Yuuto and Chie already confirmed it before.
Third, when Yuuto asked about the place where they first arrived in this ‘reality’. The summary of the answer was: Yuuto was in his 『Personal Room』, Ichiko in 『Castle’s Southern Gate』, Stella in 『Magic Workshop』, Mizuki and Tsumiki in 『Mirrors Boulevard』, Chie and Saki in 『Training Hall』, and Kiyomi in 『Royal Gallery』. These locations were corresponding to where their last avatar position was when they logged out from the game.
Fourth, even if there were other people when they logged out, only the 8 of them that arrived. Ichiko, Mizuki and Tsumiki was in a party, but the other party members was not here (they soon use the term ‘transported’). Chie also was teaching some other newbie member but only Saki was transported here. Stella was practicing new magic with other guild member but only she was here. Kiyomi was also chatting with other guild member but only she was here. As usual, Yuuto was alone in his 『Personal Room』.
So it means, there seems to be some kind of pattern about why only this 8 people who transported here.
Yuuto first think that it’s because they were residing in Japan. The party member that Ichiko, Mizuki and Tsumiki joined was composed from other nationalities. But if this is true, then there should be other member, since the 『Neuschwanensee』 member had 18 members of Japan Nationality (it was showed on in-game Character Info and can be seen publicly). Then Yuuto remembered from what he personally knows about some guild members’ real address, like Htutherst who is from Osaka, and Gerunding who is from Akita. Even if they were fellow Japanese, they were not here. So maybe the exact location in Japan is important.
The other members think that Yuuto’s reasoning maybe correct. Yuuto then try to take out 『White Paper』 and 『Magic Pen』 from his inventory. This is originally ingredients for 『Alchemist』 『Inscribe Scroll』 skill in the game, but since the game become reality then he thought that the items, that can’t be interact at all on the game, should be able to used normally. He presses the takeout button, and from empty space a white paper and a pen gently floating down. This attracts other members’ attention.
“Ah! The Inventory?” (Ichiko)
“So it can be used normally. I see.” (Chie)
“What are you intent to do, Dear Husband?” (Kiyomi)
“I’ll try to draw a map of Japan.” (Yuuto)
“Is this Japan? More like couple of flat sausages...” (Stella)
“Sorry... But I can’t draw very well you know...” (Yuuto)
“Haa... It can’t be helped. Let me do it.” (Stella)
“Hmm... It’s way better than yours, Yusis.” (Chie)
“Don’t start pouring salt on my artistic skill wound, Chie...” (Yuuto)
They later found that they are mainly resided in Eastern Kanto plains, so Stella just needed to draw a simplified map of Tokyo Bay and its surrounding area. If using Yuuto’s home in Kawasaki-shi and Ichiko’s apartment in Suginami-ku as two reference point for drawing a circle, then the other members who are mainly resided at Setagaya, Shinjuku, and Kanagawa was inside this circle at the night of Wednesday, June 3rd. If Yuuto didn’t remember wrongly, the circle is about 12-18 km in diameter as Stella’s map drawing isn’t that precise. Boy, how he missed GMaps.
(Kawasaki, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture. Suginami, Setagaya, Shinjuku was a part of 23 Tokyo’s ward.)
“So our house is close to each other?” (Mizuki)
“It’s close from my house! Can I go to Mii-chan and Tsuu-chan house to play next time?” (Saki)
“You’re welcome to come anytime, Saki-chan.” (Tsukimi)
The three girls held their hands together. They sure on a bullet train track to become friends.
“It’s unfortunate that our real house is really far apart, Dear Husband.” (Kiyomi)
“But still, it’s still a surprise that we live practically next to each other...” (Yuuto)
“So we can assume, that people who play the game at some time in Wednesday, June 3rd and located inside this circle is transported to this place somewhere in Thursday?” (Ichiko)
“Seems so.” (Yuuto)
“That’s means there is some possibility that there are others who also been transported to this world. Between Suginami-ku, Setagaya-ku and Kawasaki-shi there must be at least 1 to 2 million people was inside the circle. I can’t believe that only us 8 that transported to here.” (Ichiko)
“But, what if only our guild member is transported?” (Saki)
“Why’s that?” (Kiyomi)
“If you open friend list all the name is dimmed, except for 8 of us.” (Chie)
“Yes... Shisou checked that first when we arrived.” (Saki)
“So, you also noticed that, Chie.” (Yuuto)
“Yes. It the first thing I do when we arrived.” (Chie)
“Hum, Stella didn’t you said before that our situation resemble plots from anime and manga, can you elaborate?” (Ichiko)
“Fufu... FuFuFuFu... FUFUFUFUFU... Now open your ears, you commoners (shoumin) and make a note of the words of wisdom of the great me (watashi-sama) that will be soon dispensed into your empty sku...” (Stella)
“Can you keep it short Stella? It seems we don’t have that many time.” (Yuuto)
“Why is that, Dear Husband?” (Kiyomi)
“You all hear something about reception ceremony from the NPC right?” (Yuuto)
The others members nod their head. The 『Guardian』 had informed them about this.
“Well... I had asked Mitteherz to hold the ceremony at 17.00 but before that we need to hear his report. Now the time is 14:58. You don’t want to attend the ceremony wearing the equipment you wear right now, correct?” (Yuuto)
Yuuto point at an imaginary window located at the upper left corner on his sight. There is a digital clock. When they arrived it should be 12:00, but they didn’t aware it that several hours had passed. It showed:
『Day:17 Month:8 Year:0002. 14:58.』
『?? - ?? - ????. ??:??:??:??』
When Yuuto first aware of it he wants to retort: What’s wrong with the rows of ‘?’. And not only the date format is really strange, but the day and month is different. It showed 17th day in 8th Month, while it should have shown June 4th, or 4th day in 5th Month.
The other members seem to notice the clock by now .
“It’s true... We can’t wear armor for a party... And priest’s garbs although passable, are not a proper party outfit.” (Ichiko)
Ichiko seems to browsing her inventory.
“It’s troubling... But I don’t have any dresses in my inventory...” (Mizuki)
“Me too, Mii-chan... I only had leather armors.” (Tsukimi)
“I got cute armor, so it’s okay.” (Haimona)
“I fine like this.” (Chie)
“That’s not good Saki-chan, Chie-chan! A girl should wear cute clothes!” (Kiyomi)
For some reason Kiyomi’s eyes was filled with passion.
“Ch-Chan? But, I’m no... forget it.” (Chie)
Chie looked like she wanted to say something but she cut it when she saw the others’ stares. Kiyomi then grasped Chie’s hand.
“??? Don’t worry everyone, if you need a dress you can borrow from me.” (Kiyomi)
“No. I pass.” (Chie)
Kiyomi brought her face closer to Chie’s face, as if to examine her face intensely. Yuuto think he could hear Stella murmur, ‘...become yuri! become yuri!...’, nah... It just wind, better ignore it.
“That’s really not good Chie-chan. You are cute, so you had to wear cute clothes. Wearing armor to a party is just a very sad thing to do. Dear Husband also agreed right?” (Kiyomi)
Why she brings him on this?
“Dear Husband also agreed right?” (Kiyomi)
“Uh... Kiyomi...” (Yuuto)
You pretty smile is kinda scary right now.
“Dear Husband, also agreed right?” (Kiyomi)
For some reason, Kiyomi was really forceful.
“Okay... okay... I understand. What Kiyomi said is true Chie. You’re cute so you need to get cutely properly dressed.” (Yuuto)
Yuuto won’t admit it... But he thinks he can empathize with Masuo-san situation from Sazae-san. But it wasn’t a completely a lie. Chie face was cute, really cute, I mean it’s a deadly sin for a gentlemen to say to a young girl that she is not cute, right? ‘A gentlemen must do what a gentlemen do!’ the adage of his ‘women-plagued’ cousin surfaced in Yuuto’s mind.
“If that what Yusis said, I think I should do it.” (Chie)
“Is that really okay Kiyomi?” (Yuuto)
“It’s not something problematic. Half of my inventory is dresses after all. You can choose the one which your heart desire.” (Kiyomi)
“Half inventory? I know girls like fashionable clothing but...” (Yuuto)
“Don’t forget that I also had the 『Artificier』 job Dear Husband. You can say that this is my hobby... After all, a devoted wife needs to have decent appearance in front of others to not shame her husband reputation and to please her husband with her alluring loveliness at her inside and outside. So a prudent wife must have ability to make and mend her clothes.” (Kiyomi)
“I... can’t refute that... Thank you... I guess...” (Yuuto)
“*giggle* No need for that, Dear Husband. It’s a devoted wife duty to also attend to her husband’s friends needs at her best capabilities.” (Kiyomi)
Yuuto shrugged, Kiyomi had always been like this even in the game. If she thinks that the other person was in a trouble and she can do something, she would go all the way to gives help. But she need learn to control herself... Not that Yuuto ever will say it.
“You two sure had a very good mood going with each other.” (Ichiko)
The other three girls also seen this enthusiastically with their eyes shaped like 『<●><●>』.
Kiyomi put her hands on her cheeks and turn her body away from Yuuto’s.
‘Really (yare yare)... Don’t say those words if you end up embarrassed from that...’ Yuuto shook his imaginary head inside his heart.
“That’s good and all, but let me see the clothes first, Sis Wife (waifu-neesan)!” (Mizuki)
“Mii-chan, that’s not polite... I’m sorry for my older sister, Kiyomi-san” (Tsukimi)
“No needs to be concerned about that, as you all are my and my Dear Husband’s friends. So there is no need to be worried about politeness between us. Let me brought out the dresses from my inventory.” (Kiyomi)
Kiyomi then takes out her extensive dresses anthology and introduce it like some high class designer present her latest creation in Roppongi high class boutique. The girls were really excited even Ichiko were interested.
“... ... ... What about the explanation? ... ... ...” (Stella)
The left out dejected Stella is sulking on a couch in the corner of the room. If this was a manga panel then her background panel would be dark tone and full with squiggly lines.
“Sorry Stella, it become this... They are all now too occupied to hear the explanation.” (Yuuto)
Stella stared angrily at Yuuto who escaped from the now rowdy dress hunting girls.
“... ... ... Yusis. Why do you interrupt my explanation?” (Stella)
Stella started to rebuke Yuuto.
“About, the usual plot for protagonist in manga or anime to be transported into different or new realities, right?” (Yuuto)
“... I assume you had some knowledge about them?...” (Stella)
Well, most Japanese in their generation had some knowledge about their most famous cultural products one way or another, so it’s not that strange.
“I was very young back then...” (Yuuto)
Yuuto gazed off at the distant purple sky beyond the windows, drowned on some past nostalgia. Stella thinks that he may have his own share of troubling times in his youth. Must be, the ‘History which shall not be remembered’.
“You’re not that old. Right now at least.” (Stella)
Yuuto smiled awkwardly at Stella sarcasm. Then silent comes down between them.
“Summoned, accidental transfer, paranormal, space-time anomaly...” (Yuuto)
Suddenly Yuuto started to talk.
“The usual plot for a protagonist to come into a new reality.” (Yuuto)
“...soul-swaps, connecting gate, reincarnation, DEATH-transfer.” (Yuuto)
Once again silent comes down.
“You had some inkling about this right?” (Yuuto)
He was right, Stella had already thought about this possibility. But, they are no way 8 people died at the same time. I mean even Truck-chan won’t hit eight people sleeping at their home simultaneously. I mean my apartment was in freaking 6th floor.
“The last part is quite depressing. It is better for them to hear about it when they heart is more settled.” (Yuuto)
“... Why do you think about ‘the last part’?” (Stella)
It may be true, but why Yuuto care about this very much?
“The map’s circle.” (Yuuto)
“What about them?” (Stella)
“What those remind you off?” (Yuuto)
“... You don’t say...” (Stella)
“If it was a natural disaster like an earthquake, there should be warning beforehand and a time gap before the first casualties appeared. Instant multiple casualties usually involve an instant quick energy transfer over a large area. Let’s say, about, sudden giant meteor impact, large scale terrorist bombing, or 60-100 kiloTon TNT blowing somewhere in Setagaya. You know.... those kind of things.” (Yuuto)
It possible, but isn’t that...
“You had watch the recent news right?” (Yuuto)
He must be refers to the hot situation in a certain nearby rogue country that is engulfed in a civil war. Since the country known to have WMD program, various neighboring countries and Japan are wary on it and launch military intervention, but one party of the civil war condemned Japan and the other state while saying that they had control of WMD. The media was in frenzy for several weeks because of this. Stella heard that this is the first time JSDF were deployed on foreign soil as active combatant, so it was pretty big. Even Stella that rarely watched news knew. Even if Yuuto didn’t say it, Stella understands. But that means, everyone was...
“That is... that is... that...” (Stella)
“Relax. Of course it just a baseless conjecture. Our memories may not be perfect or had been tampered. There is just so little clue and all we do is only a wild mass guessing.” (Yuuto)
Well it’s might not be true... but the thoughts that she also can’t rule out the possibility of that happens left a bitter taste in her mouth.
“That’s not all, Stella... Like what you had said. In most of the stories, there is no way back home.” (Yuuto)
No way back, no way to return to the previous daily lives. Even if she already guesses it, it still makes her heart heavy.
“The situation is not very clear, so let us omit unnecessary guessing; it will spare us from pointless suffering. I hope you can understand.” (Yuuto)
“I know...” (Stella)
She was not that stupid, even if she never invest any point in communications skill; she knows enough about what’s right and wrong. If they lose hope in this early part of the game, who know what kind of reckless deed that the other would do. Of course she based her knowledge from VN like Danganr*npa and 9*9*9*?
“You’re very perceptive...” (Stella)
She had some admiration for Yuuto’s consideration for the others...
“Nah... I’m just a pragmatic bastard.” (Yuuto)
Stella had a small laugh hearing Yuuto self-deprecation.
“This is for you.”(Yuuto)
Yuuto take out a small piece of white linen cloth.
“The tears. They said that a girl should only shed tears when they are married, give births, or said farewell to their families.” (Yuuto)
Stella didn’t realize that her cheeks had some tears running in them. It must be caused by the previous depressing conversation.
“What about when they are genuinely sad?” (Stella)
“I guess that is when a friend supposedly comes and shares the burden?” (Yuuto)
“You must be one of those famed lady killers!” (Stella)
“That’s wrong... It’s me that was usually killed by ladies.” (Yuuto)
Yuuto shuddered for some reason as he throws out a rather weak laugh.
“What will happen to us now?” (Stella)
“That... I still don’t know...” (Yuuto)
The two of them, sighing, as they looks at the other six, and the still uncertain future.