At the back of a deserted mountain hut, a tattered book was enshrined onto a wooden desk that seemed like it would collapse soon. The cover was rolled up by the wind blowing from an opened door, and the pages were rolled up lightly.
With the wind dying, the pages stopped flipping as well. It was exactly at the last page which had one sentence written on it.
What was written there was this.
[My name is Watarai Karito. If you are able to read this, it means that I'm assuming that you are a person from my world, so I'm going to continue my story.
I came to this world on year 20XX Month X day XX. It was around half-past 8 PM in Japan’s local time. At the very least, it was around that time when I last confirmed it.
My last memory before waking up to this place was selecting the mercenary mode of the VRMMO type military shooting game. I have no idea of the sequence of events on how I arrived in this place thereafter.
What I can only think of and imagine is that some problem had occurred on the administrator's part. Otherwise, it would be due to the fault that I tried to continue through the game with the unlimited goods and money settings. However, there were many players who have obtained the privilege of unlimited goods and money settings aside from myself, and I have never heard of players being harmed by the occurring bugs.
Anyway, even though I still can’t believe it myself, I was forced to accept things when I realized that I had transformed into the appearance of my character at the beginning of the game. When I looked at the mirror, I was surprised that my face, my body and my height were exactly the same as my character in the game. This appearance was much better than my real self though.
But, what surprised me more was, the world of <World Battle-Ground Online> that I’ve played so far... Aahh, it’s so troublesome to write the full name each time, so from now on, let's go with the shortened name <WBGO>. Anyway, the world that I’ve played in so far was of a totally different setting from this world.
When <WBGO>'s world was set to be in a modern day war environment, I don’t recall seeing winged animals like dragons appearing in the sky... No, actually, during special missions where sudden gene manipulation occurred, creating a setting of biological weapons such as Tai○nto or pseudo zo○bies happened. The company got harshly criticized at that time.
[TL:I didn’t have idea what that Tai○nto is but the other one is very obvious.]
I was surprised when I saw a dragon flying over my head for the first time. As a result of looking up all the time, I fell down from the cliff due to my dumbfounded state... That made me realize that this world is real. Well, it was mostly because of the pain, because when you were shot by a gun, or blown up by a grenade in <WBGO>, you will not feel pain.
At first, I didn’t want to accept this reality and shut myself in this hut for a week. The following week ended up being spent on understanding the current situation. Thereafter, while trying to accomplish all the things that I could possibly do until recently, I continued to wait for someone to come to this hut. After performing trial and error, I understood that I could use every weapon and equipment that I possessed before in this world freely, not only appearance wise, but I am also able to exhibit those skills obtained in <WBGO>.
What about other players aside from me? No, it doesn’t seem like there would be another human being from my world that would come here.
I stayed in this hut for a full year according to the Earth’s calendar. If it wasn’t for the clean well of spring water that I found located at the back of the hut, and an unlimited supply of the recovery item, usable ration, I would have died of starvation a long time ago.
In my former world, I lived in solitude. In the real world, I left high school halfway after sending a gang of bullies into the hospital. At the same time, my parents passed away in an accident. Because of that, I slowly became a NEET and shut myself inside my apartment while living off of the money I got from my parents’ insurance, and played games all day long. I didn’t have any human relations except for those from the internet. I was drowning in solitude everyday.
I thought that was enough. I didn’t know what true loneliness was.
It made me realize that I was naive.
I can’t endure it anymore. I literally didn’t meet anyone else here, didn’t talk, and, how long has it been since I came into contact with other people? I came to realize how harsh this world was.
Therefore I decide to leave here.
I don't care who it is, I just want to see someone's face. I want to hear a person’s voice. If this world really is a fantasy, then I wouldn't even mind if it's an elf, or a someone with cat ears or dog ears. Even a dragon that can speak will be fine too. As long as we can have mutual understanding of each other, even a specter would be gladly welcomed.
I can no longer stand this loneliness. It’s already a miracle that I haven’t gone crazy. Those castaways who drifted into an uninhabited island must have felt like this too.
To my countryman who has come to this world... I have headed north. Follow the small path down the slope that I've opened, and take the left path to head north from there.
I pray for a comrade that can read these words to appear. If it really happens, I want you to not forget.
_____That you aren’t alone. At the very least, it's because you have me, someone like you in this world.
I wish you good luck.]
How much have I walked?
I have been walking for three days and three nights. Except for eating and sleeping, I continued to walk even when the sky turned dark. From what my body tells me, it seems like I’ve walked about 100 km.
I almost didn’t feel any physical fatigue. In the modern warfare MMORPG <WBGO> mercenary mode, you can acquire experience and raise the player’s rank at the same time by clearing the quests and training. Also, it became a means of strengthening one’s parameters through the allocation of points gained.
His physical abilities such as Life Point(LP), Muscle Strength, Stamina, Agility, and Reflexes were strengthened to the maximum. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that he was invincible. After all, it was only limited to the mercenary mode.
<WBGO>’s biggest realistic setting would lie in its pure implementation of the [Tactical Combat Mode], where battles among players occur. It’s a system where battle reproductions were made as a gaudy performance, and the only difference from real combat was that nobody actually died from it.
Karito’s tactical combat mode rank was above average. Amongst the numerous participating active military soldiers, he could be considered as one of the superior ones.
Still, the active military officers and players were fixed with minimum parameters, and special items and recovery items will not appear. This is the realistic sense of urgency that the [Tactical Combat Mode] provides. For those players who purely want to enjoy the exhilarating gameplay, they would usually be inclined to choose the [Mercenary Mode].
Of course, in whichever mode, like any other MMO games, it’s possible to enjoy it by teaming up with other players and dividing into opposing teams for player battles.
In addition, the present Karito was equipped with a special exoskeleton armour which only appears in mercenary mode. The armour can give various additional effects other than damage reduction when equipped. It was the so-called armour of magic in RPG games. But, it was not made by magic, but from technology. You could say that it’s closer to a SF (Science Fiction) setting.
The rifle he was holding in his arms for self-protection weighed the same as a branch of dried wood.
Karito’s current equipment was a rifle called M14EBR. It was customized from the special forces’ Springfield M14 automatic rifle which uses 7.62 mm caliber bullets.
In the game (and real world), it has high output power, and a fully automatic rapid-firing mechanism. It was a prideful, high performance all-round gun that can be used for accurate and long distance sniping. Although it was hard to handle due to its large recoil, with muscle strength that has been improved to max, and with the armor’s additional effect (recoil absorption UP) in addition to Karito’s skill, it is more than enough to demonstrate the full power of M14EBR without much adverse effects.
Benefitting from his maximum status and equipment that have been mastered, Karito’s speed didn’t even drop by a bit even though he had already been walking for three days and three nights.
But, he was reaching his limit in a different sense.
The road seemed to stretch on forever without end. He didn’t see anyone on this road. He didn’t meet a half-beast, which has the lower body of a beast and the upper body of a human, nor an elf, or cat eared or dog eared people either.
He, Wakari Karito, had not escaped from his loneliness yet.
As long as a person lives, no matter if he is walking, sleeping, or doing nothing at all, he will go hungry.
As Karito became hungry, he sat down under the shade of a tree, and selected military rations from the list of items. Two plastic packs appeared out of nowhere, and landed onto his hand.
The contents were cooked rice and hamburger steak. Each meal was attached with a heating agent to warm it, and a spork.
In <WBGO>, military rations were treated as recovery items, but in reality, the actual rations that each country adopted came in a wide variety.
It became interesting when a foreign player gets used to rations other than those their home country adopts, while on the other hand, one would receive a special privilege after collecting various countries’ rations. By now, Karito had finished collecting the rations of the countries that had been added recently.
...I never thought that these rations would become my lifeline now that I have been sent to a different world.
After sampling and comparing the rations from various countries for a year, as expected, since I am Japanese, the rations from Japan (a reproduction of the military rations from JSDF) suit me the best.
The military rations that could only be a simple consumable item, even if it was a set menu, since the beginning of the game, have now become my important meals after I was transferred to this world. It sure is ironic.
Now, let’s get back to the topic.
(Next, should I change into the French military uniform..?) I wondered.
I was lucky that there was a PDA (Portable Terminal) in my breast pocket. I selected the item inside the item box, and changed into the equipment.
A PDA is an important item in <WBGO> that’s given to players at the beginning of the game.
Whatever happens, it won’t break or become lost. All I need to do is to imagine it, and then I can take it out or put it away anywhere I want. I can put it away into my back pocket, and in the next moment, I can take it out from my breast pocket. Such tricks are possible.
With the PDA, we can store items, change equipments, record conversations with friends, display a map, assist in the provision of expenditure money, and various actions that can let you play the game more comfortably. But, after coming to this world, only the item storage and equipment change functions were useable.
The weight of the equipment a player can equip is predetermined. It is impossible to equip equipment with a weight that’s over the limit. The only ways to get around the limitation of equippable weight itself was a training mission to be cleared for strengthening physical strength, or to rely on armours with additional effects to boost the physical limitations. Furthermore, the armours themselves aren’t included in the list of equipments.
The maximum reinforcement a player can equip is 100 kg. As long as it doesn’t exced that, Karito can easily carry any huge objects.
The difference between the equipment list and the item box is that any equipment stored inside the equipment list could be equipped instantly just by imagining it, but there is a limit to how much it can store. As for the item box, even though it can store an unlimited amount of items, on the contrary, one would have to perform the action of selecting the items from the PDA. That’s about all of it, I think.
I take out my PDA and choose an item, and allowed it to process my command.
“...Shit.” I crushed an empty tin can lying near my foot irritatedly.
I had waited for someone to appear while shutting myself in that mountain hut for a year, and when I finally decided to come out from my hut to travel the world...
Only three days, three days. It hit Karito that positive results do not always follow after the actions done.
Even if you have a well-trained body, it doesn’t mean you have mental strength proportionate to that robust body.
(Maybe I shouldn’t have left the mountain hut after all?) I sighed.
Even if I regret it now, it’s already too late. I have come too far already. I do not feel like tracing back the path that I took before any longer. I had no choice but to move forward.
“Huh!!!?” Karito exclaimed.
Karito stood up immediately after hearing the sound of vegetation being trod on by something, and held his M14EBR reflexively.
In fact, when he was still staying in the hut, he had experienced a similar situation where he was attacked by a bear-like monster while investigating the vicinity. Even though at the first glance it looked like a bear, but it also had similarities with wolves, and it also has a horn like a deer’s. As expected, it was a strange animal from fantasy.
Soon after encountering it, out of surprise and fear, I unconsciously summoned an AA-12 automatic shotgun and a drum of magazine loaded with double buckshot shells (About 32 rounds x 1 double buckshot shell, with 9 lead = 288 lead buckshot), and fired at it, turning the monster into a state more hideous than mince meat. Incidentally, due to the grotesque scene of intestinal guts and the blood’s intense smell, I puked.
[TL: So yeah I didn’t understand much about that stuff but after asking google-san I get something like this 1 drum of magazine can load 32 rounds of buckshot shell, and inside a buckshot shell it contain 9 lead bullet. So when you fired 1 buckshot it will spread that 9 bullet out from the shell and I guess the MC emptied the magazine so he shoot a total 288 lead bullet.]
Anyway, after experiencing something like that, I have learnt my lesson. Karito activated the goggles’ function on, and assumed a position where he could shoot with the M14EBR anytime. If, by any chance, the other party is a human, it wouldn’t be something to be made light of .
At a glance, the goggles looked like it was designed for military use, and had a thick frame, but in fact, this was a special pair of goggles that was granted only after you cleared a certain mission and was promoted to certain rank. The goggles can be used as a telescope, infrared goggles, and night vision goggles. It can also be used to see through something and search for enemies with high efficiency.
Upon reading Karito’s thoughts, the goggles activated the scan mode. Within a radius of 15 metres, he was able to see through a thin wall, and see a silhouette on the other side. Within the field of vision, at the distance of 15 metres, the scenery beyond the thin wall would be projected as silhouettes. Compared to the real scene, the transparent silhouette was reflected with little deviation as it overlapped with the visual field.
“What is that?”
He saw a shadow move just a moment ago. Because the object had immediately disappeared from the effective range of the scan, he wasn’t able to confirm the identity of the object. It was somehow beast-like, yet also somehow human-like.
“At least there were animal ears and a tail, right?” He asked himself.
At any rate, it was certainly very agile. It had disappeared into the depths of the forest in an instant. If I was attacked by such an opponent...
“In any case, I will switch to scout radar.” He muttered.
He decided to switch on said function. By sensing the enemy’s heartbeat, their position would be displayed on the goggles. The searching range was about 15 metres too.
I looked up to the sky. At a distance, a bird was circling at high altitude. If only I could fly like a bird, then I would immediately be able to find a town or a village where people might live.
“If I have an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) I should be able to use it to check... Huh?” Karito mumbled.
At the edge of his vision, he saw something besides the bird and the clouds. He strained his eyes. Both of Karito’s eyes were opened to their limits when he saw the real nature of that thing.
It was smoke. Blocked by the forest, he didn’t know where or why it occurred.
But, there would be no smoke without fire. The possibility that the forest burning on its own was low.
The smoke continued rising steadily.
“There might be a person there...” For a moment, he groaned, flooded with emotions. “A person, there is a person there..!!!!”
Without a second thought, Karito began to run.
With his physical ability strengthened to maximum, and the addition of the exoskeleton armour that strengthened his muscle power, his speed had easily surpassed the 100m run world record.
“I can meet a person, I can meet a person, I can meet a PERSON.......!!!!” He yelled.
Stimulated by hope, Karito failed to notice something as he desperately ran towards the site.
Soon after he started running, another two or three columns of smoke rose from beyond the forest, adding to the darkness that was polluting the sky.
Without realizing anything until he arrived at the scene, the young man with raven hair who was seized by loneliness continued to rush ahead recklessly.