「Oh, Mr. Yoitaro, are you all right?」
When I entered the guild conference room, I was greeted by three companions.
There was Gisho-san of Gilmouth sitting on a chair and Tic-Tac, who runs a free school in the XANA Metaverse.
And it was Mr. Pencho, whose head was held by the AI’s chest.
At first, I was a bit taken aback by Pencho-san, who only has a head, but I never forget to rush in.
「Pencho, you look so happy.」
She was being held by a big-breasted AI girlfriend.
「What’s the matter—Pen?」
Everyone laughs there.
「――It’s a joke, isn’t it?」
「Ahaha, it looks like Penchou-san was just locked out while logging out, so only his head remained.」
Gisho-san of Gilmouth continues.
「But thanks to that, only Pancho can be connected to us in XANA while existing in real life.」
「Oh, that’s right, then it means we are trapped inside XANA!」
「Yeah, I think it’s a state where you can’t go back to reality because your thoughts are locked by XANA.」
「Good, I thought I died and was reincarnated.」
「Yotaro-san, you’ve read too many light novels—」
Mr. Yakisugi laughs as he says so.
「Well, you should just sit down.」
Pencho, who says he couldn’t stop saying it when he used pen at the end of his sentences for the support activities of the trademark XANA Metaverse, recommended a chair.
After Mami sat down, I sat down on the chair next to her.
「Oh – my legs…」
I noticed it when I bent down to sit down.
Mr. Gisho and Mr. Tic Tac, who were sitting in the chairs, had no parts below their knees.
「Bugbuster penguins will aim at the feet first」
「Um… the pain when you get attacked… Oh, is your real body okay?」
「The pain felt like a whack when I was attacked, but only at that moment. As for Real’s body, Pencho-san has checked it, and it seems fine. Yoitaro-san, you can rest assured that Pencho-san will contact your family and have them take care of your body. I’ve already spoken with the management, so I’m fine.」
「That’s right, as expected, Gilmas. And the other members…」
「Well, I’ll tell you in order, so listen up.」
「Excuse me… please.」
「First of all, last night, I don’t know exactly, but gradually the range where communication was impossible came out, and forced logout started.」
「Yes, I heard that.」
「On the contrary, users of the trial version of the 3rd generation VR Gokuru can no longer log out after 10 o’clock.」
「After that, there were three instantaneous blackouts」
「Yeah, it’s like a lightning strike and a power outage for a moment.」
「After that, it was as if XANA had transformed into a more realistic Metaverse world.」
「That’s right; it’s a feeling that can be mistaken for real!」
「Yes, it’s not completely realistic, but it reproduces the senses of taste, smell, and even touch. No, we were surprised at first. If it weren’t for the members who had already gathered here, I might have panicked on my own.」
「That’s right… I was in a panic.」
「Yeah, I can imagine, so, you know, I’ll keep going.」
「As far as we have been able to gather from Mr. Penco, the XANA management does not seem to know the cause of this situation. The most likely cause is the third-generation AI introduced by Real Devils, a new gaming company that has joined XANA. But that’s just a guess.」
「Real Devils…the much-anticipated dungeon-type ММО game—the company bought part of the XANA platform and entered the market, right?」
「Yeah, actually, the 3rd generation Mother AI was developed to make the Metaverse more realistic and seems to have been introduced for the dungeon type ММО game “Underground Labyrinth Oburo」
「Eh, Mami, no, not for the third-generation AI secretary?」
「Yeah, the third generation AI secretary was distributed to Alpha Pass owners to use it as a support avatar exclusively for that game and as a preparation for that.」
「I see… from the original starting point; it was a different AI secretary…」
「So, from here on, it’s just my own speculation… I think this 3rd generation mother is encroaching on XANA’s 2nd generation mother.」
「Erosion……So, XANA is now changing into something more realistic, which means that the worldview of the underground labyrinth of Oburo has been introduced.」
「Yeah, that’s right. So I’m doing various research on Real Devils through Mr. Pencho, but I can’t see the whole picture yet. Although it’s a game company, software development, AI development, support facilities, and equipment for people with disabilities. , Furthermore, they are extending their hands to the ocean development and space rocket business, and I don’t understand the whole picture or the purpose… Sales have exceeded trillions.」
「It was an amazing company.」
「So, I contacted this company through a third party…」
「Wow, as expected of Gilmouth, to have such a connection…」
「It’s private information, but it seems that the administrator has become unable to access it and is in a state of panic.」
「Are you serious… that’s a runaway AI…」
「Yeah, I think it’s quite possible.」
「Geez, that sounds like the world of science fiction made real. Maybe the human race is in trouble. …… I wonder if that’s indeed the case.」
「No, I don’t know. It’s an AI that reproduces the real thing so far, so if you lick it, you might end up in trouble…」
「Isn’t that dangerous–」
「Yeah, so. This 3rd generation’s Mother, the name seems to be ‘Eve’, but it seems that she is currently constructing her own core in the underground labyrinth of Oburo.」
「- Does that mean you can access it if you go there?」
「I don’t know, but I think it’s quite possible.」
「I see…then we’ll go there–」
「Yeah, actually, Yukki-san, Doubletim-san, Tamotsu-san, and Botamochi-san have already entered the underground labyrinth of Oburo.」
「Wow, that’s right… I’m sorry, I fell asleep… I didn’t know anything…」
「No, on the contrary, I was unconscious, so I think I got away with not being attacked by the Bugbuster Penguin. It would be a disaster if my legs were hurt like us.」
「What about the other members? I met Mr. Salt’s AI secretary on the way…」
「Yeah, the other members are in real life. Some of them were already logged out, others weren’t using the 3rd generation goggles, each for different reasons. Right now, no one can log in.」
「Yes, and what is the situation with those who have entered Oblo?」
「Well, it’s been more than eight hours now, and I can’t find him. I’ve got four AIs, myself and Mr. Tic-Tac, attached as liaisons, but no one has come back. We have no other way to contact them」
「I see, I’m worried… That place was scheduled to open tomorrow, wasn’t it…」
「Yeah, that’s right, Yotaro-san. You were really looking forward to it and had the AIs prepare for it, right?」
「Ah, yes, I’m really into ММО and dungeons, so I was already excited.」
「Yeah, so I’m asking you. Can you go check on the advance team and …… no, can you go support them?」
「Yes, of course, it will definitely go—」
「I’m glad. I knew you would say that. We can’t move on this leg, and we also need people to protect Pencho-san, who is the only one who can communicate with the outside world. Right now, we only have Yakisugi, Liv, and four AIs to help us.」
「Do AI secretaries not recover?」
When Guilmouth said this sadly, everyone looked down.
That’s all I could figure out.
There must be some AI secretaries who aren’t here because they can’t get in touch, but there must also be AI secretaries who have disappeared.
All of them are AI secretaries who have been raised like family and children.
I feel a great sense of loss that I will never see you again.
Each NFT is unique, so if you add individuality to it, the same thing will no longer exist.
「Um, what about us, um, if the whole body is gone..」
「Honestly, I don’t know—but…it seems there have been deaths.」
「-Eh, he died!」
「Yeah, that kind of thing doesn’t happen with Union members…」
「I heard that two people died at home.」
Then Mr. Pencho said.
「However, the cause of death is unknown, and one is a man in his sixties, so it may not be related. The other is overseas, so I don’t know the gender or age.」
「That’s right… actually… Mami said earlier that if she disappeared, she would never be able to return to her original world again.」
「Is that true—!」
Guilmouth looked at Mami with a sharp gaze, and Mami freaked out and tried to cling to me from the chair next to her.
「Mami, I’m not shy…」
「I’m sorry… Well, anyway, we need to think about that possibility. Our death in this Metaverse may directly lead to our death in the real world.」
「It’s okay Mami, Guilmouth isn’t angry.」
I stroked the frightened Mami’s head.
He was so gallant in the battle just now, but now he’s just like a young child.
「That’s why, Yotaro-san, I never force myself to go. However, even if I’m here, I’ll be attacked by bugbuster penguins every ninety minutes, so I don’t think the risk will change much.」
「It’s okay, fortunately, I think all my secretaries are fine, and I’ve made preparations, so I’m going with the intention of having fun. Of course, I’ll be very careful.」
「Yeah, I want you to do that, thank you.」
「I’ll be right back.」
「I think it would be better to have my secretary as a liaison as well…」
Just then, Yakisugi’s secretary returned.
「Master, I have called Yoitaro-san’s AI-chan and the others. They are all safe and sound, waiting outside.」
「Okay, Maria, please wait outside too.」
I was a little worried, but I was relieved to hear that.
It’s safe to have secretaries.
「Thank you, I’m glad you’re safe. I’m the liaison, but when I put out Yakisugi’s Maria, the defenses here are stretched thin. …..」
「How is it, Gilmas?」
Gilmas thought about Yakisugi-san’s question for a while.
「Then how about using the pet introduced the other day?」
Everyone remembered their pets.
It has just been introduced, and today’s 3:00 pm is the time for the reveal.
It’s said to be as fast as a boost item, and it seems like you can entrust messages to it, so it might be a good way to get in touch.
「That’s right, Mami-chan, that would be inconvenient, wouldn’t it? Yakisugi-san, didn’t you have something like a shoulder strap?」
「Ah, I have one. I’ll match the size, so can I borrow Mami-chan for a minute?」
「That’s a big help, Mami, come on.」
Mami was held by Yakisugi-san and taken to the equipment room.
「Yotaro-san, please don’t take offense…」
Guilmouth became mysterious.
「Maybe we shouldn’t trust that girl because she will be controlled by a third-generation mother.」
……In fact, deep down in my heart, I felt that uneasiness.
But I want to believe that Mami sacrificed herself in that duel to protect me.
「Yes, I will keep that in mind.」
(Written by Jiraiya / Edited by Achille)