There might be some inconsistencies from before since I originally planned to have this chapter still fall under the flashback arc, but after weighing the trade-offs, I thought it would be better to also have M3rri in the party (so his motivation for joining might be slightly off from what was stated before). Sorry about the poor writing/managing.
“…but lately i have been trying to move away from rori” –ZB
On one of the many grassy paths of WNWS, there was a van filled with hay slowly treading. On it were two players, one lying on the haystacks, and the other holding the reigns over the steering wheel.
“They say the power of the kings leaves one in solitude, but it would seem that is not the case here. Right, Snirito?”
It’s been a half a day since we have departed from the snowy mountains, and we have finally reached one of the inner cities of WNWS, The Hwhiz area.
It’s been awhile since my last visit, but nothing in the Hwhiz area has changed much. As usual, the ground was surrounded by bodies of water. Hwhiz is built upon several tips of ice bergs and detached pieces of ice floated from the North Pole. The combined area added doesn’t exceed 100m x 100m, and in the center of it all is a giant Christmas tree. On top of the ice sheets, there are several cargo containers, but no houses to be found. As to why anyone would choose to build a city, if you can call it that, on top of floating ice sheets, circumstances of adults.
Snirito: “Well, let’s go find the clan leader.”
M3rri and I: “Wait, you are not the clan leader?”
It would seem that Snirito was not the leader of Mooncheese, even though I seem to see him around most frequently in the world of WNWS.
“Yeah, the leader tends to be very busy. But we should be able to meet him today.”
The news of a third person brought concern, but it was quickly swept away by the thoughts of not being in a two men clan with Snirito. The sky suddenly became clearer, and there were birds chirping in my ear. As if illuminating the path, sunshine poured in in front of me, and I quickly followed the now ahead Snirito in fleet-foot.
It wasn’t long before we arrived in front of one of the cargo containers at the very corner of an isolated island. From there we climbed a few stories to get the top, where we saw two moe type avatars in a heated “discussion”.
“I’m telling you, ball pens are the new black pen! Take a look at these fabulous Bic ball pens: quality ink, quick drying for smooth writing, tungsten carbide ball, perfect sphere and very resistant. It is THE state of the art pen of the century, not to mention it comes in 6,8 and 12 eco-packs!”
At a distance, it would seem that all that was let out were words, but as I encroached on the scene, I started to see feint clanks between metals, and traces of sparks between the two. They were crossing shields at a speed that could not be seen by the naked eye.
The orange haired girl let off a series of fast thrusts of her shield while advancing on her opponent as she slowly pushed the blue haired girl to an edge.
“Fangs, deflect them!”
Not letting up, the blue haired girl kept her deflection on each and every thrust with her 6 pieces of floating shields. Each moving on their own.
“Yes, but fountain pens have a long history, a tactile feel, emphasizes more on form as the fountain pen needs little to no pressure to write! It feels more artistic, as well as employing more class, to use a fountain pen!”
As the blue haired girl retorted, all the instances of her shield gathered to the center, where it formed one giant hexagonal shield. The orange haired girl was pushed back by the increased force.
“Hey, we’re back.”
It was thanks to Snirito’s interruption that the air around us settled, or I swore the Hwhiz area would’ve melted. Just the crossfire of gaze between the two would’ve caused an spontaneous combustion.
“Hey Snirito,” the one with the blue hair replied, “could you tell your waifu to go back to her own faction’s area? She’s starting to get on my nerves.”
“Calm down you two, calm down. Asukuna, what are you here for? I thought we said to meet up at Resort after dinner?”
“But Sni-kun! I can’t wait for that long.”
As Snirito and Asukuna walked off into their own world, the blue haired girl turned to us.
“Hi, you guys must be the new members Snirito was talking about. I am Zerobei, the clan leader of Mooncheese.” She held her hands out for a handshake as she introduced herself.
Still nervous, I hurriedly straightened my tails to do the proper tail-shake. Only to realize I haven’t greeted back, panicked, and finally said “Hi..”
She was a tall, cool beauty with water blue eyes like her twin tails. She wore a white, shoulder-less china dress like one-piece which emphasized her well endowment. On her head there is a odd U-shaped tiara that added to her majestic aura.
“Hehe, what a strange one. And you are?”
As she turned to M3rri and exchanged introductions, I sighed with the relief of being freed from the high class aura that lingered around Zerobei.
It was clear that even in the moe type, Zerobei’s avatar was one of the rarer ones. Her high specs were shown in the conflict earlier where the the six shield pieces automatically blocked for her, not to mention that by merely combining the shield she was able to let off a force large enough to push away her opponent.
“That’s not all to his weaponry,” Snirito has returned to us and as if he read my mind, confirmed my conclusion, “he still has his main shield cannon that he hasn’t brought out yet.”
“Must’ve been expensive.”
I said quite sympathetically.
“Yep, and I remember it like it was yesterday…
The garapon plopped down on the sofa, and glared defiantly at Zerobei.
Its stature upstraight as if it commanding in an authoritative tone, “Hurry up and spin me.”
Zerobei’s eyes were filled with hesitation, but beyond them a ray of ambition, a greed. He slowly reached for the stick that was too small to be spun, and reached as close as the anti-beggar system would allow.
Zerobei acted like he should be the one to take the initiative in this action, but not being able to predict the outcome of his choices, he sat in a petrified silence.
“What am I doing?”
There was a part of him that wanted to just say “sorry I can’t”, and escape from the shop filled with the dreadful music. But tomorrow, she would still be there, at the top of the list, trapped, and there was no way she would forgive him if he did that.
He started reminiscing all the time he spent collecting this money, all the lunch he skipped, all the pens he sold, all the tax he collected on people who used his courier service, all the sacrifices he had to make that arises around boys of his age in order to immerse himself in achieving this goal.
As a result, he is now in this room with the garapon, a situation he never even dreamed about if he hasn’t saved up.
He strengthened his resolve: even though he doesn’t have the knowledge or experience, his love, his intense feelings made him believe he will rescue the maiden.
With his will determined, he extended his right arm and moved his body forward. His fingertips, softly touching the gentle curve that is the garapon stick handle. He slowly traced the octagonal edges of the garapon with his other hand.
After caressing the entire garapon, the garapon started to light up as he gently rotated the garapon stick.
“No, no, not just a 1x”. As if pleading, the garapon started to blink its light voluptuously. “Roooooll me.”
Car crash, Derp Walk, Superfly.
The pictures on the garapons changed slow at first, but gradually sped up as Zerobei spun front and back, front and back, front and back.
That night, I heard two years worth of money saved making kaching sounds as they rushed deep into the garapon machine.”
I looked at Snirito in shock as to how detailed his recollection was. But I also noticed he has addressed Zerobei wrong.
“I see, that was one of the scariest story I’ve heard to date. By the way, you meant she/her right?”
Snirito looked at me for a second, and then raised a evil grin.
“Oh, I meant he/his/him.”
Confounded, I couldn’t raise my voice to stop Snirito when he crept up to Zerobei and untied the thread around her neck: the only thread that was holding up her sleeveless one piece.
As I watched in slow motion, Zerobei took a second to realize what happened, look at Snirito, then at me, and then screamed as loud as she could while putting both her hands on her ears.
It was soon after that that she has poofed into a petite grey haired girl lying on the ground with tears in her eyes.
“Please don’t bully me ;_;”
While she kept the same (but shrank) clothing, Her endowment disappeared along with the poof, making the clothing quite floppy despite being a miniature version.
“Um, are you going to bully me?”
M3rri and I just stood there in shock, trying to figure out what just happened while Snirito is laughing with his upper body bent over his stomach.
“N-no. We aren’t here to harm you.” I finally answered after regaining my composure. If what Snirito said was true, then there is no reason to be phased by the cute hand over chin gesture, the upward puppy eyes, the frilly costume, nor the very suggestive posture he was in.
“Can you get up? I’ll give you a hand”
This is a boy. I had to tell myself repeatedly, that this was a boy.
He grabbed onto my tail and I pulled him, but I didn’t expect him to be light, so he ended up hugging onto me.
His voice was soft, and the fragrance coming off him smelt nice. I could feel his breath breathing into my ears, his chest tight on my back.
“Y-yeah, no problem.”
I was having trouble just keeping my heads down when I said it as to hide the flush on my face. Even though he was a guy, and I keep telling myself that he is one, my brain refuses to believe there was something underneath the cute face of Zerobei.
After we both settled down from our flusters, and gathered Snirito who was rolling on the floor and M3rri who was sulking by the waters, Zerobei explained why he called a meeting.
“Ahem, members of Mooncheese. Today I am here to ask you to do me a small favor,” Zerobei said in his usual confident voice.
“Just two days ago, I’ve received a report that one of our clan members, Enciel, has gone missing from his post. The report said the last sighting of her was when she started challenging <<Bawstagant>> by herself. You can access <<Bawstagent>> through <<ground zero>>. It is an area that only opened up after our recent clearance of floor 70. Snirito knows the details.”
Zerobei debriefed us succinctly, but informatively. I could feel his sincerity in wanting to help his clan mate.
“I would really want to go myself as well, but having multiple thesis due, working on Q&A’s, and socializing between guilds disallows me from doing so. Instead, I will let Snirito carry this television with you.
He said as he reached into the region behind his buttocks, ripples appeared in the region, revealing a compressed space. He pulled out a small LCD TV.
“It is a transmitter device that projects my thoughts. You can probably think of it as I lost a shadow game and was punished with having my soul trapped in here.”
“Anyways, back to the mission. Enciel is not only a clan mate, but a very good friend of mine. She is not one that would usually dive into something recklessly. This is not a clan mission, but my personal plead.”
Zerobei was starting to tear up again at the end of the sentence, but stopped as I petted his head. I turned to look at Snirito and M3rri, both of which gave me a nod of confirmation.
“Yeah, even though I’ve only just became a member. I’ll assure you, clan leader,”
Deep in my heart, I am now determined: Zerobei can’t be a he.
“We’ll save Enciel.”
“The Avatar Type Song!”
It’s a war out there
You can’t hide from it, gotta play
by the rules
play it cool
where you place
of sad disgrace
when your friends and foes you dont like
..gonna the face off it
they missed their hysteri
but their type are replacing it
yeah their gay type
are replacing it
Hard-hit by the times
That’s just how your life goes by
I know it’s not your fault you say
But there ain’t no other way
So step on up to the plate
Meet your fate
Walkin’ straight on into the RT’s prey
So step on up – up to the plate
Cause this ain’t no game
It’s time to make (C$’s bank) history yeah!