The Beginning

Episode 2「NONAME」


The next day was a day 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 humanoid, it does not look like a human at all. 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」

「……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?」

Depending on the area to compete, there are differences in terrain and the presence or absence of obstacles.

「"Oh," he said. I have one favor to ask. No spectating.」

Shingo had no doubts in particular, and opened the settings window. Some players are like that.

「Roger that」

I disabled spectating, selected an area randomly, and sent a match application to the NONAME in front of me.

「…………」

 NONAME moves his hand. Immediately, the vision shifted.

 It is a wide open plain. The terrain is flat and free of obstacles, so it is a test of both sides' skills.

Now it's time to get back to normal... and win!

Shingo jumped straight in as soon as the match started.

It's my first time fighting. Let's see how it works.

Considering that it will be counterattacked, he slashes shallowly. I was watching the movements of NONAME. Heseemed to sway, and then he disappeared.

「...!?」

Shingo immediately raised his sword. It was no longer intuitive.

I hear a snapping sound. When I turned my eyes to that direction after a delay, there was NONAME jumping upside down, trying to land on my back.

The action was the same as what Shingo did to Joker last night. At least, I've never seen another avatar that behaves similarly.

Shingo immediately reversed and stepped back to keep a distance from the landed NONAME.

An opponent equal to me, no, maybe even better than me. A half-hearted feeling will lead to defeat.

Shingo understands that and sharpens his concentration. This time NONAME side did the trick.

NONAME wields a sword gracefully. It's terrifyingly fast, and it's all you can do to prevent it. The opponent's avatar looked like a flash. Shingo's health gauge is gradually being scraped by the grazed blade.

「……!」

Shingo was shocked inside. He wondered if an avatar controlled by brain waves could move like this.

It was a revelation to him to know that there was still a higher level to go.

「Haaaaaaa!」

Shingo creates a fierce sword fight with NONAME.

Little by little, they started counterattacking instead of just defending.

The superfluous scenery disappears from view. All that is needed is the appearance and movement of NONAME.

I was more focused than ever. There is a feeling that the motions that I thought in my brain are directly output to the avatar without any interruption. There was even a feeling that it was my own body rather than my actual body.

 Faster, faster. Each time he thought of this, Shingo's movements accelerate

I noticed that NONAME was on the defensive and Shingo's sword was gradually slashing his opponent. His strength gauge was gradually decreasing.

「Aaaaahhhh!」

And finally, Shingo's sword hits noname's body. It cut down the remaining health gauge of the opponent, and the battle was won.

『Winner, SHINGO』

 The game was over and they automatically returned to the room held by Shingo.

 Shingo was so selfless that he had a hard time believing the results. All he could hear was the sound of his own beating heart. The excitement was still swirling around him.

NONAME was silent for a while, but eventually spoke up.

「We will meet again soon.」

After saying that, he disappeared.

 Shingo wonders but ends『XANA』at once because he is exhausted.

「...... Ugh!」

As soon as I removed the HMD, I was hit with a far greater detachment than ever before.

 I naturally fell to the floor, and I was tormented by an unfamiliar feeling, as if I was wandering around without knowing where my body was.

 Perhaps it is because I have become more attuned to my avatar than ever before.

While I was vaguely thinking about such things, I felt the waves gradually receding, when suddenly I heard the sound of the front door opening. It should have been locked.

When Shingo managed to turn his gaze in that direction, an eerie black-clad man appeared. Not just one person, but several.

「Hey, what's up, you guys are ...... gah!」

One of the men sprayed my face with a mist of liquid that looked like a small spray bottle.

Then, in the blink of an eye, my consciousness began to fade away, and I fell into the darkness without being able to resist at all.

en_NZ