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.hack//C.S. Chapter 6

Today, for the first time, Divine introduces ★ to Ikaruga.  Even though she's never mentioned ★ (Kira) before, he's somehow learns a lot about her through her name, ★, by the various stars dotting her trademark, large, magician's hat, and from her clothes which resemble that of a black Adept Rouge's combined with a Cursed Knight's.

She says, "Today, I need a favor from Ikaruga."

Ikaruga has never had contact with others up until now and has therefore never been asked for a favor.  That lack of experience makes him doubt he'll be able to meet her expectations.  He says, "…From me?"

★ takes a step forward and continues, "I want you to accompany us to a place other than this town.  In other words, let's go to an area."

"If you want to go to an area, you can get there through a gate.  Don't bother me for something like that…"

Divine waves her tail, kururi, as she adds, "To be more specific, we'd like to travel through "Ikaruga's method.  (-ω-)"

Ikaruga doesn't understand what they mean and returns the question without hesitation.  "My method?"

Divine crouches down and slowly, jiri jiri, walks up to Ikaruga.  She resembles a cat nearing her prey as she says, "You, don't state area words.  Do you have a clear understanding of area words and their properties?

Ikaruga looks back at the sunset.  After a while, he gives a feeble, "No."

Divine paces back and forth as she says, "In other words, you're using a transfer method different from what's implemented in The World.  This is Ikaruga's rule.  Once we understand the mechanism, we might be able to find a way for you to return to the Real."  She comes to a stop right as she finishes speaking and leaps onto the handrail to look into Ikaruga's eyes.

Ikaruga thinks about what Divine said.  After a moment, he says despite some hesitation, "…I see.  Except, I don't know how to transfer with another person."

"We might be able to transfer together by creating a party with you as the leader."

Ikaruga, without missing a beat, says, "Why?"

"Party leaders can be followed by party members.  That, however, comes from The World's system.  We're going to try and adapt it, although whether it'll work or not and why…"

★ gives a soft follow up.  "It's an experiment that's 'worth testing.'"

Ikaruga decides to cooperate for those reasons.  He, however, is unable to create a party.

Divine creates the party in his place and designates him as the leader.  She says, "Well, that's no problem.  I leave this to you.  Just do it the way you always do (-ω-)"

"Yeah…"

They line up before the Chaos Gate and Ikaruga closes his eyes.  Divine once more watches him with her eyes wide open.

Ikaruga says, "What level are you guys?  It'd be a problem if I pick a place that's too high."

Divine says, "We're both at level 80 so you have nothing to worry about (・ω・)b  Go ahead and pick a low area within the server's upper limit."

Ikaruga mutters, "80…" at her small boast.  He then adds, "…Then, let's go.  I've picked an area with a level 82, 83 dungeon system."

"Hold on, why that level…?"

"Because it's 'my rule.'  I'm beginning the transfer."

The graphics around them crumble apart at his words.  The black background that appears is filled in with lines.  Divine and ★ have no choice but to step forward into that space, but stop midway.

Ikauga grabs the two by their arms and says, "…I can't guarantee anything from here on." as he leaps straight into the "hole" where the lines break.

There is nothing Divine and ★ can do.  In an instant, they feel that something like an area is appearing in the distance.  That place isn't their destination.  Ikaruga takes them to a different place in The World.

Ikaruga says, "We'll be appearing in a dungeon."

Divine, despite everything happening, has enough awareness to say, "Ye- yeah."

A spot illuminates before their eyes and then the three are setting foot there.  They appeared in a shine like dungeon.  Instead of landing in the first layer, they are before the gate stationed between the second and third layers.

Ikaruga speaks with a light sigh.  "…It's pretty exhausting with other people."  Divine, however, is too shocked to respond.  "Hey, are you alright?"

★ is also sorting out what happened.  She can only express herself in a feeble voice.  "…What just happened?"

Divine thinks back to their trip and says, "Most likely, if you don't specify a word, you travel through that vague space… I think."  Words are like addresses, they reveal locations.  That space might fulfil the same conditions of a word through a "ladder lottery".

The light reflecting off of Ikaruga's eyes thins as he stares down the corridor.  He says, "…Then, were you able to find anything out about me?"

Divine says, "To an extent.  Right now we're gathering footage and data.  We'll figure something out from that."

"I see…"

They then set off for the beast statue.  Their journey is through a dungeon, yet a battle field never develops.  Instead, they continue past irregular chime balls and vapor doors.

Ikaruga stops walking the moment they reach the fourth layer.  He says, "Speaking of which, what are you going to do about returning?"

"Mn? (・ω・)"

"I can return without a gate.  Are you going to try that too?"

Divine and ★ discuss the offer for a moment before giving light nods.  Divine says, "Yes, please take us.  Just, will we be going through that space…?"

"No, I can instantly move to Mc Anu.  It might be because I have a clear image of it."  The tension filling the faces of Divine and ★ drain at his words.  Not having to return to that space must be a relief.

The three people reach the beast statue and transfer without utilizing a gate.  As Ikaruga said, the process is the same as with a normal transfer.

Divine sits down, petari, in a corner of the dome upon transferring to town.  "How- How unexpectedly exhausting…"  While she had thought that only the system transfer was what changed for Ikaruga, the area they visited was also affected.

★ gives a polite bow as she says, "In any case, thank you very much for today."

The surprising action prompts Ikaruga into saying, "No, I was also able to have some fun.  That… going with strangers (other people) wasn't bad."  He ends by stating his gratitude, but it comes out in a truly small voice.

T/N: Seriously, Ikaruga reminds me a lot about Tsukasa.  Now, about the last update.  My guess, since the title, "Dreams and Reality" of the previous chapter is really similar to the novel, "Sisters Violated in Dreams and Reality," Novel Updates must have gotten confused.  In a sense, you could say I broke the internet.  Yay, Gandire!!

-Gandire Alea

7. The Invisible Cage>

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