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Chapter 20: Threatening letter
It had been three months since logging out was deemed impossible…
In that way, three months were about to pass. Since the passage of time in game is the same as reality, I’ve been unconscious for three months in real life, and my university summer break has already ended.
Sometimes, I worry about what’s going on in real life, but all we can do is to attack on our own accord and wait for rescue basically. For me, it’s difficult to join the attack force voluntarily…
Today I had prepared onigiri with shrimp tempura filling, miso soup with deep-fried tofu, pickled daikon radish, and brown rice green tea. Then Nachi dropped by. He had a grim look on his face. He looked very unhappy.
I alternately looked between Nachi, who had turned up at least two hours earlier than usual, and the clock feature. It was only 6:30 in the morning.
“You’re early. Is there a sudden conquest?”
“Didn’t you hear anything? Neji. You don’t seem to have heard based on your response.”
“What is it? I’m sorry, I have no idea.”
Nachi sighed deeply at my words.
“I heard that a threatening letter arrived at Genesis for some reason. It was addressed to Genesis, or rather Heath.”
I yelped involuntarily and I bent forward.
“A threatening letter? To Heath? What?”
“…Somehow. It’s from someone who wants logging out to remain impossible… I heard it was something like ‘Dissolve Genesis’ ‘If you don’t, we will hurt your precious other half’. Such as ‘Stop the attack’ or ‘I’ll make you suffer’.”
When I heard that, I shuddered. This game is not a death game, so even if you die, you will come back to life. Repeating PK in that circumstance probably means that you will be killed every time you come back to life. Of course, there will be pain, so it’s hell just imagining it.
“It seems to have been created and scattered near the Genesis guild hall with the flyers crafting skill.”
“I heard that Heath was mentioned by name. So, when it comes to Heath’s other half…, his partner in Genesis is Mao, the vice-master, right? I don’t know who the other person is, but he doesn’t seem to think well of Genesis and its guildmaster, Heath… He seems to have a grudge against Heath, but the person he’s trying to mess with seems to be Mao.”
Nachi had his eyes focused. These days, Nachi often talks about Mao. Probably, my best friend, who is also my friend in real life, likes Mao, I think. I haven’t heard anything definitive, but I can tell just by looking at him.
“I definitely can’t forgive him for wanting to harm Mao.”
“Yeah. Inside Genesis and in the attack group, there was talk that Mao should have a guard, so I volunteered. I plan to never let him alone. So I might stay at Mao’s private home for a while.”
“I see, okay. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”
“Thank you, Neji. Heath seems to be distressed, so try to cheer him up. I think that will suffice.”
I smiled slightly and then nodded. Heath and I still see each other almost every day, but I’ve never really heard anything like this.
“Hey, Nachi. When did that happen?”
“The threat this time, the ‘other half~’ content was made yesterday morning. The threat itself seems to have been around for a long time. You know there are some weird people out there, even though we are doing our best to be able to log out…”
If it was yesterday morning, Heath would certainly have known about it when we met yesterday evening, but I didn’t hear a single word of it in all seriousness. Like always, I was just embraced. I guess I’m not reliable enough after all…
“Still, there is no way Genesis is going to dissolve, is there?”
“That’s right. I’ve never heard of any other guild that has all the guild skills and guild levels maxed out.”
“It’s the guild that’s absolutely essential for our attack and both Heath and Mao are really doing their best for it.”
“I wonder what sort of people don’t want to log out.”
As I idly wondered if it was a personal vendetta or if it was just a matter of staying in the game for good, Nachi folded his arms.
“Everyone is searching for the culprit now though… In the past examples of overseas terrorism, terrorists are connected from the outside, or there are people inside who are connected to the terrorists, and these people don’t want the attack to go faster than planned, so they make threats and such.”
“When you say ‘plan,’ do you mean like… terrorists’ demands to the government?”
“That’s right. In this case, it seems like Genesis is on their radar because they are the top guild that’s in the attack group, so Heath is being threatened. It’s annoying.”
Nachi said indignantly. If I were to hear that the person I love was being targeted, I would also of course feel uneasy. If I heard that Heath was about to be PKed, I’m confident that I would try to help him in any way I could, no matter how powerless I was.
After that, he had breakfast first, and then Nachi went off to go to Genesis’ guild hall.
A little while after seeing him off, my mail announced the arrival of a letter.
I was surprised when I saw the sender. Because it was from Heath. It’s the first time I’ve received a letter from him. The sender was definitely Heath since it couldn’t be faked unless it’s manipulated from the outside world. I was so surprised that I looked at the name again and again. The subject was “No Reply Required”.
“I need to talk to you about something important, so come to Lewis Cafe in the east section of Clock Town at 16:00. Don’t tell anyone, just come alone.”
That’s what was written. Something important… Could it be about the threatening letter? That must be the case. I nodded to myself as I looked at the letter, deciding not to reply since it said that I didn’t need to. I would be happy if he could count on me, and if there’s anything I can do to help, that would be fortunate.
So I decided to wait for 16:00. I wasn’t on duty for handing out food that day, so I spent the rest of the day fidgeting and checking the warehouse.
I walked into Lewis Cafe thirty minutes before the meeting time. The cafe was also quiet, as the streets were much safer and settled. I ordered a honey latte at the counter and turned around to look at the store. There was an empty seat for two by the window, so I decided to take it. I was so busy looking out the window that I didn’t even have time to look at who was sitting in the nearby seats as they filled up.
It was when the store’s wall clock finished ringing the bell that tells 16:00 that my shoulder was struck. I reflexively turned around ーー… and that’s when I lost consciousness.
TN: The end is near. Only 5 chapters left. But don’t worry. There are 15 extras.
Editor: Wtf just happened…
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