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.hack//C.S. Chapter 3

Chapter 3
3. Chaos Gate

 

Past the dome’s entrance is the gate.  Ikaruga stands before it, and just like before, isn’t moving.  He cups his mouth with his hand and stares at the gate, jii, deep in thought.  My level… needs to go up 2 or 3 more times.  What field should I go to?  Ah, the rain field is an absolute no…  My hair would get wet.

Ikaruga mentally goes through his options as though he were discussing them with someone.  Upon finishing his “conversation,” he transfers to his chosen area.  The situation is similar to that of other PC, but his method of selecting an area is different.

Ikaruga can transfer to another area without speaking a word, an impossible action within The World.  This makes following him any further impossible for Divine[1].  She watches him disappear while leaning against a pillar near the door.  At the same time, a harvest cleric walks in to the chamber.  The harvest cleric says, “Aren’t you going to get attached if you stick to him this much?”

Divine’s tail shakes 2 to 3 times as she says, “I’m just watching from above.  I’ve already decided not to interfere with him…”

“Then, if something happens to that child, do you plan on claiming, ‘I didn’t know.’?”

Divine’s thin, cat like, pupils sharpen to be as thin as a sword as she stares at the gate.  She has no response to the harvest cleric’s question.  She doesn’t respond because she knows that person is right.  Instead, she says, “You really worry too much, ★ (Kira).  I can’t do anything without learning Ikaruga’s position.  Don’t forget that maybe, the self-defense program, could be working…”

 

In a clear field overseen by a blue sky lined with shinning crimson bands stands Ikaruga.  He knows neither the area word nor required level for being there.  In fact, he’s the only one there.  However, since monsters, treasure chests, and beast statues are present, it should be an established field.

Ikaruga takes out an old sword and challenges a monster near a treasure chest.  He says, “…Well, will you be killed by me?”

He makes contact with the monster, but the battle area fails to establish itself.  The development is just like the R:1 system.  Furthermore, the monster freely runs around the map where it eventually gets swallowed up into a herd.

Ikaruga eradicates the monsters[2].  He looks up to the sky and closes his eyes while saying, “…Ah, time to leave.  Back to that place…” without going to the beast statue.

He is surrounded by light and transfers away despite no gate being within view.  His method of transfer is one independent of gates.  It’s a very peculiar ability, but the person himself acts as though it’s only natural.

Ikaruga returns to the town.  However, instead of appearing within the dome, he appears at the edge of the bridge.  He’s a bit relieved that Divine isn’t there, but the feeling only lasts for half the length of the bridge.

 

Divine gleefully waits for Ikaruga in his reserved seat.  “Welcome back~, did you have fun?”

Ikaruga leans against the bridge’s railing as he says, “…Not in particular.”  He then voices his wonder, “You, have a lot of free time.  Are you a NEET?”

“Ikaruga-kun has no right to say that.  Haven’t you been logged in the entire time?”

“…You’re no different.”

“I diligently take breaks whenever you go to an area~.  That&

rsquo;s my job.”

Ikaruga has trouble accepting her statement.  Her behavior until that point led him to think that she’s younger than him.  “Your job?  Aren’t you just a brat?”

“I’m still in my mid-20s…  It’s just that this character is a roll[3] (-.-;)”

“…Heh, you’re surprisingly clever.”

“What do you mean, clever?”

Ikaruga doesn’t reply.  Instead, the action is faint, but he relaxes his lips.  For the first time, he presents Divine a smile.

Actually calling that a smile is doubtful, but it is a change in his expression.  “…Well, please take a break every once in a while.”

“I’m pretty sure you don’t have any reason to worry about me.”

Divine hops off the handrail.  She speaks while easing her body into facing Ikaruga.  “You’re not the one I’m worried for.  Continuous usage of the Paso will overheat it and melt its circuits (-w-)  Your electrical bill is gonna be stupidly expensive~.”

Ikaruga watches the everyday sunset as he says, “That’s true, but it’s still none of your concern.”

The lack of emotion in his tone makes him sound lonely.  Divine stops waging her tail and stares at Ikaruga’s orange haloed profile.

Ikaruga says, “You, said you were interested in me,” without shifting his gaze from the sunset.  He is, despite his calmness, listening for her reply.

Divine looks straight at Ikaruga and nods.  “…Yep.”

Ikaruga looks down as he receives her answer.  He closes his eyes and says, “…I see.”

Divine leaves the bridge without causing any more trouble.  She enters a back alley of the mercenary district where she rendezvouses with ★.

★ makes a face as she skims over Divine’s report.  “As expected, there’s a lot that doesn’t match.”

“Especially his transfer method.  That’s a real mystery, but there’s nothing we can do about it here in the system.”  Divine uses a wooden box to gives herself a light stretch and continues, “I’m also worried about his logging in and out… but there’s no way we can do something like steal his personal informationn.”

“…He’s, always been bound here to The World unable to leave.”

 

—Almost like, being cuffed with chains as a warning.

 

Chained Shackle

[Linked Handcuffs]

 

T/N: The second, technically third, chapter down.  One thing I’d like to say about Divine, she sometimes drags the end of her words.  If you see an extra letter or two, those are intentional.  So, you might notice that these chapters are short. Therefore, I should be able to release at least on a week as long as nothing happens.  *tilts head*  Did I say this last week?  I can’t remember…  More importantly, Cute Star did it!  She’s a main character in a light novel!  Well, I hope you enjoyed it and please continue to support Cute Star in all her endeavors!

 

-Gandire Alea

[1] After some back and forth, I realized that “Divine” should be the translation for the name “Song Huang.”  I’ve gone back and made the corrections.

[2] This line doesn’t actually specify if he just killed the one monster, or the entire herd.  I’m assuming he killed the herd because I don’t they would passively standby and watch one of the members get killed.  The following sentence also hints that he might have eradicated them.

2 ロールしてる=is a roll.  Does anyone know what that means?

 

<2. The Water Capital, Mac Anu

4. Shinigami X Shinigami>


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