Chapter 3: Past Hero

Sorry about not getting it out earlier, this past week really kicked me in the nuts with being sick and having a lot of stuff to complete for college. I’m not out of the woods completely but I’ll probably manage another chapter by the weekend.

So finally we are to the point in the story that matches with the chapters that The Esteemed Holy Sheeprabbit did. New chapters may drop slightly in quality (if that is even possible).

The last part was almost copy past with the ending of chapter 2 that Estelion did, so thanks to him for that.

Also thanks to him for translating some of the more difficult to understand paragraphs. I would have given up without him.


3. Past Heroes

AUTHOR NOTES:
I have somehow achieved the feat of entering the ranks. It is thanks to everyone that reads “She professed herself the pupil of a wise man”. Thank you very much!

It was kinda unexpected but I will do my utmost best (TN: something about “kneading dough”. I assume they are using a Japanese saying here.)
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Kagami operated the terminal through the bracelet to open the menu. The menu looked like those that appear in animes and movies and showed up in space with commands that can only be used by the player.

From the menu, she chose chronological history. Kagami forgot the words and stared at the numbers.

It was the most recent event that have been written.

Year 2146 of the Arc Calendar, April 23rd: Second Prince of the Kingdom of Mirston was born. she was named “Atolzade.”

It was.

Kagami was shocked, not by the contents. The Mirston Kingdom was familiar because a player had founded it. The problem was the numbers displayed for years.

When she checked the displayed current time up in the top right corner, it showed Year 2146 of Arc Calendar, May 12, 3:00PM.

IT was funny. Three decades had passed since ‘now’. she started to review the history little by little.

Ten years ago, June 24, 2136 of the Arc Calendar, ‘Outbreak of the Three Kingdoms Defensive Battle’.

Kagami tried to puzzle things our first. If there was a version update, it would have been firmly expressed in the timeline. As a test, one of the oldest dates on the timeline should be September 1st, 2112 of the Arc Calendar, the official start of <Arc Earth Online>! It was written with heavy decorations.

The other two upgrades were also firmly stated. However, Kagami couldn’t find a third version update. Even up to yesterday, the updates could only be found two times.

It was not the result of a version update, anxiety and questions began to form in Kagami’s mind.

If it was not a version update, than why could she smell and taste the grass?

she closed the menu and looked up.

[The water. Could oneself receive more?]

The captain, who stared curiously a the summoned Dark Knight, was brought back by the voice.

[Huh? Ah, that’s fine]

After receiving the the leather pouch from the captain, she poured the contents from the bag flowed down her throat and was warm and wet on her thirsty tongue.

[Heh, the water is good. Thank you very much.]

She returned the leather bag and put a hand to her throat. The moister had a taste and made a sensation in the throat that <Arc Earth Online> never had until now.

Still, it felt wrong. The senses were too realistic and unconformable. It was possible to drink recovery potions and drinks before too, but to feel it in the throat and actually taste it was not. Kagami knit her eyebrows, unable to understand.

Even the friction caused by the cloths against the skin felt very real.

Recreating the 5 senses with VR technology until now was still in the research stage. Electrical signals, and to some extent electromagnetic pulse were used to reproduce as much as possible although within limit, keeping the pain down to a minimum.

Now the situation was too realistic. The evolution in technology required to do this cannot be expressed in a single word. The technology of today should not be able to reproduce it.

Kagami tried to think calmly. To upgrade all VR to this level was not possible.

And then, after coming up to a certain conjecture, she immediately rejected it. There was no way that could be true.

But with the current situation, it wasn’t possible to deny it completely.

Yes, this is reality.

It was like the urban rumours from when complete VR games started. That the game world is actually just another reality and can trap players in the world.

Of course, Kagami did not believe that such a thing was possible. It was very similar to the conditions right now. she felt chills go down her spin and she shook her head to deny it as nonsense.

I could just be a bug but Kagami was starting to think that it may just be better to not think to much of it.

[Captain Graia, The hobgoblin’s hideout has been found in a nearby fort. What is this guy?]

The platoon that left for a moment to search the woods returned to see their captain standing by a red eyed and shiny black knight. she judged that if it wasn’t safe than captain would have said so.
Even so, although she could tell from the way the black knight was not wary that it would not bring danger to anybody, because this never-before seen existence was releasing such overwhelming pressure, he couldn’t get rid of his nervousness

[Oh, This black swordsman……this young lady here summoned him. Don’t worry, she will not cause harm.]

[This was made with summoning magic? Wasn’t it a very rare class? Then this guy is an armour spirit? I heard of stories of it but never imagined it would be……this intimidating.]

[Well, I was also surprised when I first say it.]

Graia’s focus than went back to the situation. The hobgoblin were defeated by the Dark Knight, the girl was alone without colleagues, so as to recall the rest of the platoon, she sent out a few people to tell them.

While the two knights had the interaction, Kagami focused on one point in the conversation the two men had.
Saying that the Summoner is a rare class. Indeed, when counting the number of people it can be considered rare. By the way, the most popular support class was Saints because it was helpful to treat patients and could be understood by anyone.

The moment a magician class chooses their class, they become able to use the most basic of spells. If they were a sorcery expert, they would be able to use <Sorcery: Flames>, and if they were a sacred arts expert, they would be able to use <Sacred Art: Heal> and <Sacred Art: Protection> for example.
An initial skill for the summoning expert would be the <Contract Stamp>. It has no attack power and can only be used on a spirit after beating it using your own skills. Thanks to this, many mistake the Summoning expert to be a senior class and are deterred away from it.

It is not difficult to only defeat a spirit. Hired mercenaries could take care of most on their own, however, only when the summoner themselves beat the spirit using skill do they show 100% of there strength when summoned.
Of course Kagami follows that path. Stocked with a large amount of drugs and bombs, beating an armoured spirit took around two hours on the <Yube Radius Battlefield> and was contracted with difficulty. It was the Dark Knight that was easy for a first time, not to mention that it is a spirit combined with deep affection.

This is not a thing everyone can do however. Those who know the basics tend to avoid the summoning expert quests when on the bulletin board due to the degree of difficulty.

That said, you can’t avoid it if you want to be a summoning expert. Dunbalf himself had seen prospective players choose some of the summoner quests from the bulletin board.

But the Knights, the two men talking…said that it was the first time they had seen such a summon. For the summoning expert class to be this unpopular filled Kagami with anxiety. This was not a situation that could not be neglected by she who stood at the apex of summoning experts.

[Speaking of which, I hadn’t heard the name of little miss. I am Graia. Graia Astol.]

{召喚術士再建のためにどでかい事でもかまそうかと思案していると、グライアに名前を訊かれ視線を向ける。}

Kagami wasn’t sure how to answer the question.

The action of the captain was commonplace in reality.
Ask the name of the other party.
Say your own name.
It is a natural interaction between those who mean for the first time. Both sides are equal in this exchange.

But this was in a game. It was common sense that by examining the target character in sight, the name would appear above their head.

Graia identified his own name. Kagami checked that he wasn’t lying by examining that the name above him truly was Graia Astol. This way it can be immediately known without listening.

{ここである仮定を思い浮かべ、試しに鑑は言葉を紡ぐ。}

[Can’t you just take a look to know?]

[Hmmm… I’m sure that at your level of skill, you would be quite famous, young lady, but because I am unstudied, I do not know you. I apologise. Is there anyone here that knows?]

To the question asked by the captain, everyone shook their heads side to side.

[Hmm, I see……]

Kagami had heard that amongst the players there are those that think it is rude to investigate without the other parties permission. she would examine such player without hesitation.

Even though the appearance has changed, the name Dunbalf is an important figure in the Arkite Kingdom. There should be no one that doesn’t know the name.

She was talking to someone that a player’s common sense would not work with, and whose thought processes were quite different. she found himself needing to perhaps once again reaffirm whether or not these were players, as she put her hand to her chin and began going “hmmm”.

With the information she gathered as a basis, she built up her hypothesis. And as she did, an impossible explanation began to gradually take form and she got lost in the labyrinth of thoughts.

[Really, I’m truly sorry. We’re a group of people who have no redeeming features outside of our swordsmanship, you see, so we aren’t really that familiar with summoning experts.]

「うぬ? ああ、そういう事では無い。すまぬな」
[Hmm? Oh, That’s not it. I don’t blame you.]

Misunderstanding the girl’s silence as considerable shock at their failure to recognise, Graia had quickly followed up on the situation. The members of the knight brigade as well wore somewhat apologetic expressions. The girl saw that they held strong will in their eyes, and yet there was more than enough here to let her recognise anew that they were not players.

To try and confirm that it is a game, Kagami opened up the menu and tried to select <logout>……but could not. On the contrary, it was gone from the menu itself.

Her hypothesis from earlier so forming fast now.

Five senses that could be clearly felt. “humans” that were not players, not possible to logout, in reality 30 years have passed, and there was no version update, etc.

The impossible reproduction of the five senses. People with self recognition don’t know anything about players. The force exit code to logout isn’t recognized. A reality and game world that hadn’t differed even one second in four year increments had now become the future.

Also, with development with a national budget average of expenses, there should have been an announcement of the implementation.

It mimics real-world. The hypothesis that she drove to the corner of her head is being rebuilt. Based on the above, this is another world or an extension of a whole new world. She spun another question.

[Have you heard of one called Dunbalf?]

Asking about a past person should reveal some things.

[Of course I do. Someone who doesn’t know Dunbalf doesn’t exist in this country.]

[Right, everyone?], the knights all gave large nods as though it was obvious.
By this answer, it was obvious that there was a character named Dunbalf. Next was to find out if she was the same person or just someone with the same name.

[Do you know what kind of person she was?]

[Well even if you ask me what kind of person she was, well, like I mentioned earlier there’s nobody in this country that doesn’t know of him. When you speak of Master Dunbalf, what comes to mind is this nation’s hero who played an active role in the <Age of Upheaval>. She was an Elder of the Silver Linked Towers, and was a Summoning Expert and Sage feared in other nations as <War Power Dunbalf>, right?]

The words that the commander spoke as though obvious, completely agreed with the girl’s memories. And…
She had established that even that Chuunibyou-esque alias had been passed down.

[Ohh…? A hero, you say?]
[That’s right. It’s said that in the wars following the founding of the country, she held continuously held back the enemy advances and created a chance for victory after all, and there’s also the story of how as an Elder, the platoon she created descended the enemy camp into chaos. Moreover, I’ve heard that she was the one who developed the refinement technique with few users today, and that she could use the powerful Xuan techniques as well. Well, it’s not just Master Dunbalf, but there are huge numbers of anecdotes for all the Sages.]

What Graia spoke of was just like the history in her memory. The war was the same, as was having Xuan Expert as second class, and being the Elder Dunbalf who had thought up t refinement technology after researching. There was no mistaking that all of these anecdotes had been piled together and passed down as the tale of Dunbalf the hero.

[Hmm, I see. And so, do you know of Dunbalf’s final days?]

[His final days…? Mmmn, I haven’t really heard anything about him having died… To begin with, this is something that happened thirty years ago, but one day she departed for the national borders to subjugate some monster than appeared, and was never seen again. There’s no way Master Dunbalf would lose to just some monsters, so in those days the whole country had conducted a search it seems, but it was said that they couldn’t find him.]

[I see, so that is the case.]

It went exactly as her memory did. This means that it was the same world but 30 years later, Kagami is convinced of that.]

She didn’t know what unreasonable thing actually happened, but she forced himself to stay calm.

The problem was what would happen if at this rate, she just honestly said that her name was Dunbalf. It might have been different in another country, but in this country it was a famous name. The name of a dignified and sombre, veteran summon master who was an Elder of the Silver Linked Towers. And according to the story just now, presently a hero.
That hero had been turned into this… lovely girl. When she imagined the cold gazes she would suffer when she returned to her original form, the girl trembled at the immeasurable crisis she was in.

This was not some kind of strange joke.

Graia and the others couldn’t <Investigate> so she would use this to her advantage. Having made up her mind, unnoticeable to anyone else, the girl snickered. It was a cunning plan, all for the sake of her self-protection and honour.

Her official excuse would be that even if a hero who disappeared thirty years ago reappeared as a little girl, nobody would readily believe it. Moreover, if she desperately tried to convince them that she was Dunbalf, and they asked her why things turned out like this, there was no way that she could tell them about how she was creating her ideal woman and smirking away. No matter how she thought about it, it would deliver something lethal to her image.

A little bit lost in though trying to think of a pseudonym, she thought it would be appropriate to convert her real name into something usable.

[Do you know something about Dunbalf?]

[No, I do not. Well then, it seems that I have yet to give my name. I am Mira. Because I am still a beginner, it is a given that you do not know me.]

She spoke while placing her hand against her chin, but because Dunbalf’s beard was missing, she felt somehow uneasy, and the girl, Mira, felt anxiety for her future.


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