Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 4 : Logout Unavailable
After finishing my meal and other things during maintenance, I was excited in my apartment where I live alone. It has been rumoured for some time that a new large-scale event is coming. I’m really grateful that it coincided with the university summer break period.
Even though I’m not a hardcore player, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the RPG aspects of the game at all.
“Alright! I will throw myself into chatting basically from today!”
The situation was the same as usual in the end, but that was okay. With a certain amount of enthusiasm, I logged into the night of the Grand Guignol. I put on the goggle-type VR connection device with my eyes closed and turned it on. Then, the puppet logo appeared on the other side of my eyelids, and soon the login screen of the game appeared. The BGM was peaceful.
Without hesitation, I pressed login. The excitement I felt at this moment was unbearable. Eventually, I got the feeling that my eyes were open, and the next thing I know, I’m in the plaza of Clock Town. This game is where the players respawn from the place where they logged out.
We were all talking about discussing the new event today, so I decided to head to the guild hall where all the guild members gather during the day. The guild hall of our guild, [Mashed Potato], is a tavern-type place with a counter and chairs. On the second floor, there is a row of rooms that remind me of an inn. It is used for R18 functions such as sex, but since I am a virgin, I have not used it.
According to hardcore players, the casual players are, [The group that only thinks about hooking up]. In fact, they’re not wrong. My main focus is chatting, but there are quite a few people who are interacting ‘sexually’. In Mashed Potato, it is up to the individual, but we don’t really encourage it, and players who want to mainly do that immediately move to guilds that focus on hooking up. Note that there are also levels in the sex function.
When I headed to the guild hall in the west of Clock Town, I found that many guild members were already there. I thought I logged in within a few minutes after the maintenance was over, but everyone, you all are really fast.
“You are late, Neji.”
“No, I think you guys are just too fast?”
When I told Nachi, he snarled at me.
“More importantly, did you see the notice?”
“Not yet. What is the new event like?”
“It says the announcement will be made at 22:00 in the sky above each town plaza.”
A town is a city, like the clock town, that has several hangouts in different places. Once you clear the scenario, you will be able to move on. I can move on too, but I like the scenery of the Clock Town so much that I’ve set my guild’s base here. The same is true for Heath and his group, the Genesis guild, for example. Each guild is free to choose the town where they want to set up their guild hall. However, no matter how much they are in the same city, the hardcore players, who are always battling, and the casual players, who are always chatting, almost never cross paths.
“Normally, they’d at least reveal the character design for the new boss, right? What about that? Anything at all?”
I selected the notification button by looking at it and checked it.
“Tell me if there is a difference.”
Nodding, I returned my gaze to Nachi and the others. There are currently around thirty people at the guild hall. While I was thinking about that, Ango brought a bottle of “Gold Beer” in front of me. It is a crafted item. There is also a drinking function in this game. I’ve never smoked, but I hear there’s a smoking function too. You won’t get drunk particularly, but you will get an item buff when you drink. If it’s gold beer, it’s a buff that turns your cheeks red. It’s an item that changes your avatar slightly. The effect lasts for thirty seconds.
Currently, it is only a little past 18:00.
Four more hours… It seems both short and long. If it’s within a dungeon, it’s definitely a long time. However, when chatting, the time passes more quickly than expected.
“Anyway, look at this staff.”
Nachi enchantedly showed me his golden, ornate staff. It seems he was able to trade it safely. This is the most powerful equipment item among the current staff for priests. As for my equipment, the latest edition of the bard’s equipment hasn’t been released for about a year now, so I am prepared for it with the Marilyn that I have saved up just in case. Because there are not many people who are willing to play bards, equipment is also cheap. Many times, they are sold at throwaway prices. But with a popular profession like priest, the equipment changes constantly and is very expensive.
“I’m glad you bought it. I have to say, it is best that you found a trade partner so quickly.”
“Ah yeah. Mao told me he knew someone who wanted to sell.”
“Mao is very diligent, isn’t he? He sends me a greeting chat every day. So we started chatting, and he introduced us.”
I’m not friends with him, so I can only nod vaguely. I’ve almost never interacted with Mao. But there is no doubt that friend of friend method is safer for high value trades and the like.
As we talked like that, we waited for 22:00. I knew it was going to be quick when I was chatting. We all decided to go out to the clock town square at 22:00, with all fifty or so of the guild members who had logged in by then, and headed out under the night sky.
The night sky and the shining stars are so beautiful that it is hard to believe that this is a virtual reality. While looking up with that in mind, countdown numbers like a digital clock appeared in the sky.
With 5 seconds left, it will be 22:00. Four, three, two, one――
The moment it hit zero, I felt as if something suddenly brushed against my skin and went through it. When I opened my eyes wide in surprise, the air I breathed in felt strangely chilly. I’ve never had that feeling before in VR, but it felt as if I had really breathed the outside air.
“On behalf of the management, we are launching a new event. From now on, everyone will not be able to log out.”
At that moment, an image appeared in the night sky that looked just like the puppet I always saw on the login screen. While I was unsure of what was being said, that puppet’s mouth moved.
“You will not be able to log out until you have cleared all the current bosses that are available and all the upcoming bosses from now on. Please confirm the disappearance of the logout button.”
I looked for the button that was supposed to be in the corner of my eye, feeling like I was starting to sweat awfully. Sure enough– there is no logout button in the place where it should be.
“This is not a death game. No matter how many times you die, you will come back to life exactly as per the game specifications. But because we have changed the reality limit code, the sensations are altered to be more realistic. Pain will occur. Taste, smell, touch, appetite, sex, and sleep will all conform to reality.”
As I listened to the puppet’s words, I stood there blankly, unable to say anything.
“There is no urge to urinate. In reality, all of you are in a state of unconsciousness and are being properly taken care of by medical institutions. In short, all of you are our hostages.”
I was surprised to hear that. I’ve heard of it too. I heard that there is apparently a criminal group that commits VR terrorism. It seems that half of the group are criminals who take delight in people’s reaction to their crimes and the terrorists are forcing users to continue playing the game, threatening the government with unconscious users as hostages until the users are able to log out voluntarily. I think I saw on the news that it is a common type of terrorist attack overseas these days.
“Well, enough of this topic. There’s only one thing you can do. All you have to do is defeat all the bosses, complete the scenarios and quests, and log out on your own! You will be brought back to life, but you will also starve to death in the future, so please be careful. Last but not least, a gift from us!”
The puppet said so, and then pulled the cracker in his hand. At the sound of bam, the realistic surroundings blurred for a moment.
“From now on, everyone’s appearance will be in a shared state with your real ones. No more avatars, except for your clothes. Your face is just as it is in real life! I hope you enjoy this more realistic state! So long!”
With that voice as the last word, the puppet image disappeared from the sky. I indirectly glanced around me. The face of Nachi was still the same, but Ango, for example, who was standing next to him, had been a gorilla avatar until now, but he had turned into a normal old man.
At that time, I still didn’t understand the situation very well. However, this is how my life of not being able to log out began.
TN: I don’t know if I wanna get stuck in the game or get isekai more. I just hope it will be a peaceful world where I can live peacefully.
Editor’s Note: For some odd reason, I’d love to be stuck in this game…