Chapter 01 – The First Village, Part 4
「You must be tired after the battle, Michio-sama. I’ll have my wife prepare a bath of hot water for you, so until it is ready please make yourself at home.」
「All right. Thank you, and sorry for the trouble.」
The Chief had a little exchange with his wife which I totally couldn’t understand, and then he urged me to come inside with him.
The entire thing was a two-story building build in western style. Based on what I have seen up until now, it looks like the civilization in this game is not all that advanced. My guess is that technologically they should be at the level of our Middle Ages at best? I mean, I haven’t seen anyone using a gun so far, but I didn’t see anyone using a bow either, so I guess the exact specifics will have to be determined later.
From the entrance alone it became apparent that inside this house was much bigger than it looked from the outside. Immediately upon entering, I was guided to a small side-room and told to sit down.
「Please wait here while we will get everything ready.」
「Okay, I’ll be sure to do just that.」
「Now, if you’ll excuse me…」
It was a simple room with almost no furniture in it, probably serving as some kind of a storeroom, so before the Chief left me there to wait he handed me a wooden board so that I could sit on it. Well, I was hoping to at least get myself a chair, but that is fine as well. Everything is better than freezing my ass of on a cold hard ground.
I sighed without even realizing it. Well, as far as the first times in games go, this was certainly an intense one, but I think now that we have reached our 「Rest Period」 after successfully completing the tutorial event would be a great time to call it a day and log out.
……. Wait, how do you do that again? Maybe there is a button, or a prompt somewhere within my field of vision…… nope, no good. Then maybe I have to move my hand or fingers in a specific motion, like in that one famous VRMMO… nah, that was not it either…
But no, seriously now, how the fuck do I log out of this goddamn game?! No, no no no no no no no, don’t tell me I can’t log out!?
I was beginning to panic. Thinking about it, I really didn’t know how am I supposed to log out of this game. There was nothing about it before or after the character creation process, and certainly no information windows with that crucial details appeared when the game started. But then… how am I supposed to go back to reality?
I shouted, but nothing happened. No forced pause, no time stopping around me, nothing. The game’s world just continued onward.
「Log Off! End! Stop! System! Options! Main Menu! Save & Quit!」
「Main Menu! Menu! Exit to the Main Menu! Exit Options! Window! Open Window! Menu Window! Exit Window! Memory! Save! Quit! Save & Quit! Quit Without Saving!」
I tried saying every combination possible that came to my mind, and still nothing happened. At this rate, I will really be unable to return to reality from this fucking shit game!
But…. Can I really call this a game at this point? Because all of my senses were telling me that everything around me was 100% real. There was no room for doubts. This couldn’t have been a mere dream or some cheap fabrication, not with that level of attention to every little detail.
And anyway, if this really is a virtual reality that is practically indistinguishable form the real world, then how is this possible that something like that hasn’t been covered by the media?! I mean, can you imagine?! That would make this game the very first to offer a full virtual reality experience!
….. No. As awesome as that would be, it’s just not possible. After all, I didn’t use any VR gear to start playing. All I did was opening a browser, clicking on a link and finishing the character creation process. That’s something even a trained monkey could pull off.
And yet here I am. In a world that is clearly not real, but it looks, smells and feels like real.
For all I know, this might be the real world, and the life I was living up until now was nothing more than a cruel simulation. But then… why would I think that this was a game? My Identify Skill came to my mind. A tool that allowed me to view myself as if I was watching from a third person perspective and all the information about me, something like that was possible only in games.
However, as I finished inspecting every part of my body, I finally noticed it.
All the blood that my jersey was stained with.
If it was a game, something like that would never have happened. And it wouldn’t have that nauseating smell! Blood would have just fly into the air and fall to the ground where it would have simply disappeared after a while or turned into a myriad of pixels and evaporated.
So which is it? A game world, or a real world? Where am I? What Is going on in here?! I guess it doesn’t really matter all that much. Without a way to log out of it, what difference does it really make? If I am stuck in here without any option to bail out, then it means that this has become my new reality.
IF YOU CHOSE TO CONTINUE BEYOND THIS POINT, YOU WILL LIVE YOUR LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD, NEVER TO COMEBACK TO THE WORLD YOU WILL BE LEAVING BEHIND.
KNOWING THIS, DO YOU STILL WISH TO CONTINUE?
That was the last memory of my own world that I had. That ominous message which appeared at the end of the character creation process. It was way too dubious to be the part of the actual game, and admittedly I was pretty tilted at that time so I kinda neglected it and clicked yes without really thinking it through.
That’s why I can be entirely sure this is a game world or not. If this is the game world just like it was described on the mains site, then the warning given at the end could certainly be true.
「Please excuse me.」
While I was thinking so hard on it, the village Chief came to me together with a woman who looked like she might have been his wife. She was carrying a large wooden bowl filled with water and a towel in her hands.
「Michio-sama, please use this hot water and towel to cleanse yourself off the battle’s filth.」
His wife placed the bowl in front of me and handed me the towel, or to be more precise, a piece of cloth that was supposed to be the towel.
「My wife also prepared a change of clothes for you. What you are wearing right now is dirty, so let us wash it for you.」
「Thank you, and sorry for the trouble.」
And a change of clothes was placed in front of me.
At first I thought that that woman might be the village Chief’s servant, but by using Identify I conformed that she was indeed his wife at the age of sixty-six. Completing the task she was given, she left the room together with her husband.
When I was finally left alone again, I took of my clothes and wiped myself with the ragged cloth-towel. Looking at my jersey, it was completely littered with red stains. The blood of all the Bandits I have killed, and it didn’t look like it was going to disappear anytime soon without a thorough wash. Well, what did you expect, Michio? This is apparently not a game, so of course it won’t disappear.
Not a game huh? Because sure, real life allows you to Identify other people after looking at them and carry up to six weapons. Yeah, right.
KNOWING THE RISK, DO YOU STILL WISH TO CONTINUE ANYWAY?
Okay, okay, I admit, this really is the other world that is just like the game I was supposed to play. Also, I admit that I tried to run away from reality and look away from the facts I should have easily acknowledged. And what is the most common way of escaping reality in video games?
Murdering the shit out of everyone who comes your way.
If this is really a game, then I just killed a number of game characters, even though they were mere Bandits. But if it’s not a game, then the ones I have killed were actual people. What I did earlier, my heroic charge forward coupled with slicing the Bandits into fine pieces, would simply be called a brutal murder if this was the real world. So for the safety of my own mind, I want to think that this world is a game, even though it might as well be nothing more but my wishful thinking.
I can’t. I just can’t ignore what I did earlier. I have to accept it. This is reality, and I just committed a murder. I killed people. I took and ended people’s lives, thinking they were just some mobs from a game! That’s horrible! Utterly unforgivable.
But all in all unavoidable, the more I think about it.