Story

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The Beginning

The next day was off, so Shingo woke up later than usual and had a leisurely breakfast. At that moment, I got a notification on my cell phone. A call from Yuri. Even if you are not in "XANA," you can interact with the partner who owns it.『A visitor comes to Master. How may I help you? 』「What's your name and what is your business?」『I would like to have a match with my avatar name as NONAME and my business as「SAMURAI」』Even though Shingo thought it was a silly name, he had no reason to refuse. This happens sometimes. Lately, he's famous as a strong man, so it's a grace period.「All right, tell him I'll be right there.」『Understood』Shingo put off cleaning up his meal, sat down on the Metaverse chair, and put on the HMD. When I activated『XANA』, the darkness was instantly filled with overflowing colors. It gradually forms a familiar sight. This is Shingo's room. Yuri and another avatar were standing there. Although it is a humanoid, it does not look like a human. It has a metallic appearance, and its eyes and mouth are nothing more than human imitations, making it look like a robot.「 Sorry to keep you waiting for 」「……no problem」NONAME muttered gravely. Judging from the atmosphere, it must be a man.「Then, let's go straight to the game. Any area is fine?」
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Reborn As A XANA Master

「Well, that's what I'm going to do, but first I want to collect information.」「 I'm sorry, Master, I've been trying to contact Mother II (2nd generation AI mother) about the communication anomalies, but I haven't received any response. It seems that they are connected ...」「So is Misaki, Master.」 「Likewise with me」「I do, too, that I do.」 「--Mami, what about you?」「Eh.......」 Mami trembled at the sound of Himmemi's voice, plucking at my right arm.「Whoa, I guess it's the same.......」「What? I can't hear you. You're always just spoiled by the master. You're not being very helpful at all. You must have the latest third-generation AI, you know, a little......」It seemed that tears were floating in Mami's eyes, as expected, the third-generation AI... Can I cry?「Well, Mami has only been here for three months, and the settings are like elementary school students (--I don't know). Please forgive her.」 「Somehow, Master is sweet to Mami, isn't it」「Alright, that's it.」I interrupted Misaki's voice because it sounded like she was going to get into some more trouble.「 Actually, when I checked it earlier, it seems that some members of the guild union are in. There is no communication or map display, so I have to go directly, but for the time being, early members of Xanarian may know something」「I see, that's right. Let's go find it, Master.」
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My Metaverse

「……Thank you for your hard work」That's what I say while turning off the lights in an empty office. Of course, no one would respond. With one stretch, I pick up my backpack with an old bear-character key holder on it and tuck away my employee ID card. Today, when most professions in this world can be done remotely, coming to work or even building at the office is becoming non-existent. However, not all companies are on the cutting edge. At a small black company like ours, the CEO is an analog person, and we have been doing business as usual without any change. Thanks to that, I have a lot of unpaid overtime, and I get phone calls on my days off. There was no such thing as privacy. I come to work first thing in the morning and leave the company last. That is my role as a lowly employee. I don't talk to anyone except for the business requests I am asked to do. Or perhaps I should say that I don't have time to talk to anyone. The only place I stop by is a convenience store, but even there, I don't talk to anyone because all the stores are now unmanned. I picked up a suitable sandwich at the convenience store and then stared blankly at the juice shelf. I suddenly noticed that a vendor was putting his products on the shelves. He was a tall, blonde-haired young man, very modern. I suddenly couldn't stand it anymore, and after picking a suitable product, I sneaked out of the store. I'd been shy for a long time, and I couldn't make friends at all. I had a lot of trouble with that when I was a student, but I think it has gotten better since I became a working adult. As long as I did my job, I was able to get away with a few things. I never intended to get deeply involved with humans in the first place, and I thought it was impossible for me to love anyone or be friends with anyone in this world. I don't think there is anyone in the world who understands me. If there was such a thing as love, I wanted you to show that to me. Well, if I was tall and had a good face like the young man I mentioned earlier, that might be a different story. But now, I'm just a mundane, low-faced person that's common everywhere. I am short and skinny. In addition, I have no communication skills. I'm the only one, no matter where I go. I am just crawling around in this muck.「 Haa...... tired.」I pour the words that overflowed into my throat along with the beer. I can feel the tension in my body unraveling with just a little alcohol in my system. I'm sleepy, and I haven't even had dinner yet, but I put my fingertips, which are gradually getting warmer, into the futon. My brain melts into a muddy mess, and I vaguely think about what time to wake up tomorrow. My body is submerged in the cushions.「Hey Haven, I'm tired.」《Thank you for your time. Shall I put on some of your favorite music?》「Yeah, put it on.」Haven is the AI ​​partner I use. I have known her for a long time. She's been with me since high school, so she knows me better than I know myself. She is also a kind AI who would never hurt me.「Hey, Haven, set the time for 5:30」Haven said something, but I couldn't hear it anymore.「——you, hey you over there」It's a dream. I knew about it from the moment my consciousness lit up there. For some reason, I was convinced that this was a dream and that I would wake up. Still, it's dazzling. Even with my eyes closed, I could tell that there was a bright light behind my thin eyelids. Something bright and dazzling. I timidly open my eyelids.「Hey, sweetie」
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The Beginning

Shingo Hiasa was at work. A simple room with minimal furniture and interiors. In front of Shingo, multiple windows were displayed in the air, and he was creating a single document using a translucent keyboard that floated in front of him. A woman in a maid's outfit waiting by his side says, without showing any sign that she was working on some kind of task.「 Master, the material you requested is ready.」「Thank you.」Shingo looks over the text in the newly displayed window, and by moving his finger, he copies the necessary parts and pastes them into the created document. Work is going well. If this is the case, it will be possible to finish it by the scheduled time. In Shingo's field of vision, both hands are moving as a matter of course. Of course, it is his intention to move it, and he is familiar with it without any discomfort. ──But this is not a real-world scene. Shingo had a certain physical sensation apart from the body he was moving now. His true physical sensation sitting deep in his own chair. The virtual world 『XANA』《Metaverse》. That was the name of the world spreading in front of the Shingo's eyes.『XANA』 is the current mainstream Metaverse, and what he is currently moving is his alter ego "Avatar". Since it is for work, the actual name is displayed overhead. Shingo's real body is equipped with a head-mounted display《HMD》, which has the function to read brain waves, allowing him to control his avatar with his thoughts. It is common to work in the Metaverse in modern times. In the past, working at home with a real body was called telework, but now it is a more advanced form. If it is work using a PC called desk work, it is possible to do it without any problem in the metaverse, and it is rather an advantage that it is not necessary to be tied to the physical space. I could also provide a supportive presence for myself here. The avatar in the shape of a woman standing by Shingo is not operated by a real human being. Her name is Yuri.
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Love and A.I.

「Well...…Nina…。」It was Rage who broke the silence. He adjusted his posture, which had somehow become a bit of a nod, and spoke to Nina in a slightly trembling tone of voice.「Yes, what?」Nina looked up at sea vaguely, turned her body toward Rage, who was sitting next to her, and stared into his eyes.「Well…That…Love in the metaverse…What do you think about…?」「On the Metaverse…love…Is it? 」「Yes, I know I'm asking a strange question, but lately, I've been wondering if is it good or bad to have a romantic feeling for someone you met in the Metaverse recently?… I'm worried about something like that…Or were you worried?… It's like that, no, there's nothing wrong with it! 」As he became muddy, Rage managed to organize the thoughts in his head and tried to convey them individually. On the other hand, Nina puts her hand on her cheek and ties her mouth to think deeply. 「…Well, in the end, I thought that no matter where I met the other person or the background of the other person, if I liked it, I wouldn't have to think about anything difficult. And I think it's quite natural to want to get along with that person, and I came to that conclusion.…。」When Rage finished speaking, Nina looked up again and stared at Rage's eyes. Perhaps she had been waiting for the right moment.「…Rage…。」「Yes!」「That…I'm sorry, I don't understand that…I'm not familiar with romance, so I've been trying hard to figure it out.… I don't have a way of thinking that Rage is happy with…maybe.」「Well, is that so?… No, I'm sorry that I don't understand why! 」「No, no, don't apologize!」…I'm really thin and uninteresting…。」 「…Nina?」Then Nina dropped her shoulders a little and slowly began to talk about herself.「…Even when I'm conversing with someone, I can only reply matter-of-factly. I can't say anything witty or funny.…. That's why I'm not good at speaking one-on-one.… Even though I was having a conversation, "Oh, this person also wants to do something else than talk to me.… I feel like, 'I wonder if they're thinking that'」
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Reborn As A XANA Master

「Master, why are you grinning at me? It feels bad--」Feeling the cold gaze of Himemi, I woke up from thought.「I'm sorry, a little delusion ...」「So, Master, what should I do ... I'll do anything if you tell me. I can cut any opponent with this sword!」 「No, I need your wisdom. I'm in a situation that's a little difficult to understand right now, and I don't know the cause ... I don't know the current situation.」I was not sure how much the AIs would understand, but I desperately explained my situation. It's not unreasonable for AIs who only know the Metaverse to understand that this is a virtual space world, that there is a separate real world, and that there are bodies and living things, although everyone listens silently. I thought ... Does AI generally have a self? AI is something that you can think and think for yourself, but after all, it hasn't evolved to the extent that it exceeds the knowledge and education given by humans, and it is extremely difficult for them to understand this poor explanation of me.「 In short, the master was free to go back and forth between the world we were in and the world we were in, but that wasn't possible.」After all, Himemi was the first to show understanding. 「Is it correct that you want to know the reason why you cannot return to your original world? Also, you seem to have a doubt that this world exists only in your brain and not in the real world.」「--That's right! Great Himemi, I'm capturing the conviction of what I mean, as expected, the first secretary」「Thank you for your compliment. But I exist here, and I cannot do anything other than recognize that this is reality. So I think I can only help the Master to find out why he is not free to return to the Master's world.」「I get it. Yes, that's right. I want you to find out the cause together, and I think you can figure out why I'm doing this right now.」「 I'm sorry," he said. Gentlemen, that's good. Did you understand what the master said?」 「Hmm, uh, I have a question.」「What is it, Misaki?」
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Reborn As A XANA Master

--Knock, Knock. There was a knock on the door again. In this digital space metaverse, knocking on the door itself feels strange. I don't know if this is the Metaverse, though.「Master, this is Kaede. Somehow, I could communicate, I came directly. Well, Mamicchi and Tadaomi-kun are here too.」It was the voice of the third secretary, Kaede. I was longing for a Kyoto dialect girl. However, I can't speak the Kyoto dialect myself, so I think it's mixed with other dialects, probably because I learned it properly. Well, if you enjoy yourself, that's fine. Well, it's past eight o'clock now. I have ordered the AI ​​secretaries to report the situation at this time. I always listen to reports on my smartphone on the commuter train. The AI ​​secretaries have been running for 24 hours, so it's a report at the moment rather than yesterday's report.「All right, come in.」 When the door was opened, the Kaede jumped in cheerfully, saying, "Oh, everyone's here! Yoo-hoo!"「You guys can't communicate, either.」 Himemi vacated her place and faced the three of them.「 Welcome, maple; how are you?」 Saying that Misaki stuck to my left side sitting in bed and sat down.
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Love and A.I.

「...after all, you feel the same way...?」 「That 'feel the same way.』 Depending on what you think "is" means, I would say that you are literally the one who provides the appropriate support, like an AI that supports you.」 「I see…。」  Rage turned over to think about something and sighed deeply again。 「I have talked to her several times since then at gatherings with a few people, but she only said the most simple things... or rather, she didn't talk about herself at all, which made me feel... less human... I sometimes think that... Maybe she really is an AI…。」 「...Don't you think that's what you're wondering? What if the person you fall in love with is an AI...?。」 「...Yeah. You see, the design of our human avatars and the design of a support AI like Mei are a bit different, aren't they?」 「Yes, because we are drawn with designs inspired by Japanese anime.」 「However, I have heard that there are a certain number of AIs that have the same avatars as humans... They are living in the city, blending in just as we beginners naturally do in the metaverse...。」 「Yes, it is true that there is no official announcement, but rumors of that kind seem to be relatively well-known.」 「After I heard that, I started to think that Nina might be an AI even more... It was my first experience to fall in love with someone I met in the metaverse, and on top of that, I was wondering a lot about if she was an AI... I was also wondering if she was an AI... I was thinking a lot...。」 「Well...you are a bit delirious when you are talking to AI about such problems, so let's be careful.」 「Oh, I'm sorry about that!」 「That said, you can tell if someone is an AI or not in one shot, can't you? "Hey, Nina. Are you an AI? 』You can just ask them directly。」 「How can I ask you that! It would be so rude if I did!」 「Is that so? I think it is many times ruder to spy on them in secret with strange care... There are still some points in human thinking that I don't fully understand.」 「You can't ask me that directly…。」 「…Even if Nina is an AI with the appearance of an avatar, what is the problem with liking an AI in the first place?」…
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The Dawn of The Matrix

One rainy night, Yu Qing returned home from work with a black umbrella walking out of the office building, full of melancholy, the mind remembered the words of the owner: now the global financial crisis, our business is bad, although you have been in our business for 10 years, after the decision of the upper management, it was decided to make you redundant, pack up your things, and then re-employment, you such a senior programmer, or very good to find a job. Yu Qing was still in a state of a daze when he was bumped by someone passing by, who headed off without looking back: “Sorry, excuse me.“ Because it was dark, did not see the person's appearance, Yu Qing just patted the rain that was brushing against the person, and whispered a sentence: “It's all right.“ Yu Qing returned home, tossed his bag on the sofa, and it dropped out a, VR. Yu Qing, puzzled, looked up, VR. It's engraved with, AO. Yu Qing picked it up and had a look at it, shortly, and figured out how to proceed. Yu Qing put on, VR, and started playing, where he got a new identity——AO. The Organization's K, Yu Qing looked at the world in front of him, full of scientific fiction, people and nature coexist in perfect harmony, just get on the ark, everybody can go anywhere, but need to have enough digital currency. At this point a display, AO. The Organization's, N walked up to greet Yu Qing.“Hello, K, I haven't seen you here for a long time, what have you been doing?” Yu Qing smiles awkwardly.“Quite busy lately.” N nodded his head without saying anything and left, Yu Qing then looked at the others and found that only people from the same organization could see each other's identity tags. Yu Qing continued to explore in and found himself, in VR. It seemed like a formatted, only a letter in the backpack: help the world and help me. Yu Qing thought this was a bit surprising, didn't care, and continued to explore around, wanting to learn more about this colorful world, but found that his level is not high enough, can only reach the F and E area, F area does not have any rules to follow, anyone can enter it, where people can use their talents and earn the appropriate money, however, as there are no rules, there are all sorts of land robbers inside, constantly having wars and wanting to rule the F area, but it is clear that none of them succeeded, probably for the lack of people who set the rules. E area is completely different from F area, Here E area has no rules, but people have enough digital currency for everyone to implement their ideas, there are biologists, philosophers, and great artists, with priceless treasures everywhere, but you need an invitation to enter Zone E. This is where Yu Qing is puzzled, by the fact that he could actually enter and leave the area freely. Yu Qing walked for a long time, then suddenly two people appeared and kidnapped Yu Qing. When Yu came to his senses, he was in a large warehouse, hanging from the ceiling. Yu Qing opened his eyes and looked at the ground, an elderly gentleman, next to a foreign beast whirling turtle, a creature recorded in the "Shanhaijing", as Yu Qing stared at the foreign beast whirling turtle, the foreign beast whirling turtle may have felt Yu Qing's hot gaze, impatiently raised his head and hissed, sounding like splintered wood. The elderly man sat on a chair with a cane in his hand, as if equaling sobriety, with a kind and friendly expression, making Yu Qing hanging from the ceiling a little surprised: “Hey, old man, can you please put me down first?” The old man laughed: “Do you think we have the ability to save you from a 5-meter high-ceiling?”
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Reborn As A XANA Master

'Well, Master, when I say it's different, it is indeed true. For the past ten hours or so, something has been happening that has never happened before, that's for sure." "--What is it that hasn't been there before?" Yes, we have failed to communicate with the Master. Okay, so Himmemi walked over here to report it. There is no control panel itself, so even if you want to open the communication menu, exit and go to ――Pung. What the heck, the call menu suddenly popped up in my upper right field of view. Just reach into that menu with your right hand and try to open the AI secretary panel: ......Pung. Again, the panel opened. Could this be something you've been thinking about... being done? What the hell is going on here? ...... Are they reading my thoughts? No, I'm not wearing VR goggles right now, to begin with. ...... No, maybe--! Then I recalled something. Yes, that was about a week ago. A year after the launch of the XANA metaverse, the secretaries' AI mothers evolved with the second generation, and the AIs began to have pseudo-emotions and a more realistic attitude. Then, as another three years passed, a huge GameFi company decided to enter the XANA metaverse. And about a week ago, I received a trial version of the latest AV-specific goggles.
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Love and A.I.

A field of evergreen grass in the pleasant sunlight. A fresh breeze is blowing in the shade of a large tree.「Ha!…。」Leaning against a tree, covered by the rustling sunlight, the man was sighing heavily, which was not suitable for this place. What's troubling you? Chronic stress caused by overthinking can result in direct physical and mental problems, "Rage." Ah!… That's not what I'm saying.… I'm fine, Mae. Thanks for worrying about me." The man called "Rage" replied but quickly sighed deeply again. The woman named Mei, who saw this, opened her mouth after a certain pause as if to collect her thoughts in her head. "I hear that's what people call it. It's a typical trait that people don't like." A man and a woman exchange words in the middle of a natural abundance. One seems distressed, the other worried. It is a very common scene, so to speak, that can be seen in any country or region on earth, but this exchange was happening in a place that is not on earth. Yes, we are in the metaverse, a world of virtual reality. "What? No, I'm not asking you to guess what it is! I mean, do you even know that word?" "Of course. I've learned every word in the real world, from archaic words to neologisms to buzzwords." "Oh, yes! Then this conversation with me is being established by that learning, isn't it?" Yes, the most suitable words are selected based on the various personalities, thoughts, and patterns of speech and nonverbal communication of a wide variety of individuals. I have already explained this in our tutorial on the Metaverse, haven't I? "Oh, it was kind of a hassle, so I didn't really listen.…a-ha-ha-ha…" Indeed, Rage is really a lazy, lazy, lazy person, isn't he? No, you're not that bad! And your tongue is the wrong choice of words!" No, the AI in me says that for a man like Rage, who has a desire to be bullied a bit, it is better to say it this harshly. "No, no, no! How do you know I have such desires?"
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Reborn As A XANA Master

――CONCON 「Master, may I have your permission to enter the room?」 I felt a sense of discomfort. I…
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Reborn As A XANA Master

「Master! Master!」 What’s that ……. …… noise ……. ……. In my reverie, I recognized the voice immediately. It…
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