1

Oh right, I fell asleep before logging out. Recalling that he fell asleep right after the morning breakfast call because of doing an all-nighter, Kagami looked upwards while pinching the bridge of his nose.

He had no idea how many hours he slept but, based on the fact that he wasn’t forced awake by his little sister, it could not have been long.

In order to drive away sleepiness, he closed his eyes strongly and then opened them wide again, only to see himself in the middle of a deep green forest. Here and there he saw the ground spotted with flowers he did not know names of, from the gaps of swaying tree branches peeked majestic mountains. Between those mountains, he caught a glimpse of silver towers shining dully.

Startled by the sight of the game he knew he stood there, put a hand on his chin and listlessly started organizing questions in his head.

First, falling asleep when playing an online game was a normal thing. When a player falls asleep while playing, their character stops reacting in any way. However, when it comes to VR games, falling asleep during play forced a game to shut down. The device was set to disable itself in such cases so it was practically impossible to wake up inside a game.

However, no matter how he looked at it, the towers that he could see between the mountains were the “Silver Towers”. They were nine towers, each of which was used as home to a Sage, there was no way he could mistake them.

The first thing he suspected to have happened, was a malfunction. But then, he thought that there was something unusual happening and he stopped thinking about device malfunction. It because he felt something enigmatic, if anything, it was a more important issue.

It was the sense of smell. Whenever wind blew, he could feel the scent of greenery tickle his nose.

Although the VR technology has advanced and became capable of reproducing the sense of touch to an extent, reproduction of sense of taste and smell did not reach usable level yet. This, was the enigmatic part.

And thus, to confirm it he had plucked out some grass from beneath himself and gnawed on it, as a result, he felt bitter and astringent taste spread in his mouth. Unable to bear it, he spat it out together with a large amount of saliva that was secreted, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. The sense of taste had detestably assaulted his tongue, even saliva secretion was reproduced.

Unable to understand how herbivores could even eat something like this, he stared down the grass which looked to be closer to him than usual. It was then. Suddenly, he heard shouts and the rumbling of the ground from the back of the forest, as well as a blasting roar of metal clashing against metal.

It was a sound he was familiar with.

Oh, right. He recalled that he was on the mission to exterminate the monsters pack that had appeared near the country’s borders. Someone must have been either unlucky enough to meet the pack, or someone else had took his place in fulfilling the mission.

I bet it’s not the second option, he thought with a bitter smile and started running. Just like that he had ran out of the forest to the open grassland beyond it and there, he saw a knight who while raising a banner and displaying a familiar coat of arms, cut down a creature of a child’s stature who had pointed ears and blue face. However, immediately after that, two, three more of blue-faced creatures holding dully-shining knives gathered to assault the knight. It was a true battle.

The plain was filled with two colors, silver and blue. Knights wearing armors which shone like mirrors who raised shouts as they charged were knights of the Arkite Kingdom, the country that Nine Sages were affiliated with. They were part of the Arkite’s elite troop, the Spell-Clad Knights. The enemy that knights were facing against, were the staple of monsters, Goblins.

Faced with that sight, he realized that he must have slept quite some time. He took so long that they ended up dispatching the knight order.

【Summoning: Dark Knight】

When he cast the spell, a hole shining with murky dark color opened in the grass and rising from inside it, appeared a large-builded knight. The knight was clad in full-body armor so black that it made people shiver, from his entire body came out an visual effect that appeared like black flames which wavered ominously. The knight had no face, and instead, in the black-dyed space inside the helmet there was a pair of shining red lights that looked like eyes.

This black knight who released a clearly abnormal sense of presence suddenly appeared in the very middle of the battlefield between the knights and goblins.

Seeing the mysterious black knight, goblins stopped in their tracks and started raising their squeaky voices to intimidate him. Once again, Danbulf felt something to be off.

Goblins did not have a thought pattern like that.

Whenever he fought them, they acted with dauntless courage. So to speak, they did not know their place, and just charged straight at their enemies just to be wiped out. However, no matter how he looked at them now, they clearly made a big fuss as if they really felt fear.

However, there was no point brooding over it right now, thus he ordered the Dark Knight to clean them up.

And then, the place turned into a hellish slaughterhouse. The black longsword cut the wind and caused a gale. Every time it was roughly swung down, five, six goblins were scattered in all directions, letting out death throes and turned into mere slabs of meat.

Eventually, the voices of goblins trying to intimidate the knight had turned into voices of despair. They attempted to run away from this hell, but the Dark Knight who was ordered to clean them up had not a speck of mercy.

Right after the goblins screamed upon seeing the black mass close the distance between them in no time, those who had bad luck to be the closest had been slashed apart and danced in the air. Being shown that, goblins in the surroundings too, were unable to even make a decision to poise themselves against the black longsword which scattered their body fluids and innards to roll around on the ground and filthy the sight.

After the Dark Knight finished a sweep in the nearby location, Danbulf saw groups of goblins led by a goblin of larger build and wearing an armor.

As he let out a dull metallic sound, the heavy-clad goblin raised his voice with impatience. Although he was slow because of heavy armor, he had a fair amount of stamina. Some few of the more cunning goblins used their meager wisdom and flocked to these heavy-armored goblins in order to raise their own chances of survival.

However, that was nothing but foolish when their opponent was the killing-intent filled black knight. The only way for them to survive was to turn around the moment they faced him and escape.

But not even that would save them as the black assassin loomed. By showing off absolute death to them, monsters fell into panic and stopped acting as a group. Like this, the only role remaining for goblins on this stage, was that of a prey.

It all happened in an instant. Goblins did not even understand what hit them as they dyed the earth with their blood.

Just as he was ordered to, without a word, the Dark Knight executed the contract and turned the goblins into corpses.

It all happened within two, three minutes. As the wind blew, the peaceful plain has been stained with blood and appeared like a vision of a massacre to anyone. Between the two colors, the blue color covered the black plain, and a silver color had gathered into a tight formation which remained vigilant of the black knight.

There were about a hundred goblin corpses lying around in this place. Danbulf took a quick glance and confirmed that his mission was over, then dismissed the Dark Knight.

Then once again, he recalled something that bothered him. The smell and taste, as well as goblins’ actions that he saw for the first time. All these factors made him come up to a single conclusion.

There was the third version update.

It was hard to think that the technology reproducing smell and taste which was still in the research stadium was implemented, but it was a fact that his five senses were functioning perfectly. It was very strange for the newest technology be first implemented in a game, but there was no other explanation for this.

As expected of “Ark-Ars Online"s management. The reason the game didn’t shut down when I fell asleep was due to the update, Danbulf concluded.

While he grasped the situation, he noticed a sound of metal rubbing against metal approached him.

The source of this sound was the knight troop. Engraved on the knights’ shields there was the coat of arms of this “Arkite Kingdom", which was a large tree and a moon.

It was the Arkite Kingdom’s Spell-Clad Knights. They used characteristic armor and shields. Wearing first class equipment, their armors reflected light like mirror and blended in with the surroundings, their shields gave them high protection from spells and monsters’ breath attacks.

The person who was most likely the captain of this elite knight troop had signaled with his hand for his subordinates following him to stop, then took a step forward. He had some white hairs mixed in among his silver-grey hair, which he swept back to fix his appearance. His face had deeply-chiseled features and a slanted scar that marked him an experienced warrior. On top of the armor he wore, he had a red cloak which was the proof that he was the captain. Although he was not as dignified as Danbulf, he was a manly man. However, Danbulf had no memory of this man’s face, even though with his position as a Sage, he should know all commanders leading the country’s elite forces.

“I presume that the knight in black armor from just now was a servant-type spell. Was it yours, young lady? Can I think of you as of reinforcements?”

The man thought to be the captain had spoke to Danbulf like that, however, Danbulf did not realize it was him who was spoken to. There was a clear discrepancy in the words the man spoke.

In which case, who did he speak to? Danbulf took a look around. That’s when a goblin’s corpse shook and something jumped out from under it to run off towards the forest.

“Nhm, a survivor…wasn’t it...hm?”

The moment Danbulf spoke these words, he realized there were two more things that felt out of place. One, was that the creature who survived had clearly different features from all a goblin.

“What…’s this?”

And one more, was the bell-like, cutely sounding voice.

Seeing his own appearance reflected in the captain’s mirror-like armor, Danbulf was dumbfounded.

Arkite Kingdom’s Spell-Clad Knights’ official equipment, Mirror-Clear Armor. Its surface which reflected light like a mirror, was much like mirror itself. Seeing his own appearance in the mirror, Danbulf first moved his right, then left hand. As a result, the girl reflected in the captain’s mirror had imitated it. No, it was beyond the level of imitation, she moved with him as one.

And he also had a memory of this girl’s appearance.

She had silver hair reaching waist, azure eyes turned up at the corners, slightly reddened cheeks and nose, as well as facial features that retained some innocence. Although she was still wearing Danbulf’s equipment, the inside of the robe had clearly changed.

Yes, it was the girl that he made as the perfect female image by using the “Cosmetic Box".

4 thoughts on “1

  1. Timoteo

    How slow can you be to take this long to notice you switched genders?

    He touched his chin that was supposed to be full of beard, bent down to pick grass and eat, touched his own face to clear the spit after... and he never once looked at his arms or body?

    Sometimes authors forget the most basic of stuff... or maybe they think the world is truly a first person game where you can never see your own body.

    Reply
    1. krytykkrytyk Post author

      If anything, I would blame it on the all the sudden things happening that momentarily overwhelmed him (new five senses sensations) and the fact that he just woke up.

      Reply

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