Chapter 1:

Chapter 1.1: Full Body VR

Virtual Road


Prologue

Lunch break on the rooftop. My me and my blonde-haired friend are playing a game from an older generation console called the Mimtendo Smitch. It was a breakthrough console and a lot of consoles have already been made based on it, though some gamers go back to the classic.

This console is what we bring to school because it feels like it’s okay to be confiscated and be returned at the end of the semester. I don’t know… maybe because I don’t play any recent games on it that needs any intense attention?

While we were playing SSBU, a usual useless conversation between friends have started.

“Oi Fat Zombie, have you heard about FBVR games?”

“What kind of gamer am I if I haven’t heard of FBVR games?”

This guy calls me “Fat Zombie” because I’m fat and have a permanent eyebags under my eyes which makes me look like a zombie.

This “FBVR” that this friend is saying is a kind of VR game that incorporates the movement of the whole body by wearing some suit. People call it “Full Body Virtual Reality”.

No matter what kind of gamer a person is, you would know anything that happens in the industry. The latest advancement in VR, the update towards “neuro-VR” that never seems to advance, the next generation of consoles, the updates on pc parts, etc.

“Have you head the latest news?”

“Well… no.”

I retract my previous statement, not all gamers are updated. While we think we are updated, we really aren’t. Maybe it’s just some useless pride that comes with being a gamer.

“It seems that they have finally created a very functional and affordable version of it.”

“Just how many times have they said that but failed miserably? The suits mostly never moved properly, the hanging wires gets tangled up as you play. The all directional treadmill doesn’t feel natural, etc. They say affordable but a whole set’s price is similar to cars.”

“The price has decreased by a lot, they have already given a price for it. A whole set’s price is only equal to ten consoles.”

“That’s still too expensive! That’s not even adding the required ultra-high-end computer!”

“But because of this price, businesses that rent a set might open. They say there will be FBVR stores that will be similar to internet cafes… though it will probably still be expensive.”

“That’s true… but even with everything said, it will depend on the user feedback in the end.”

In truth, there are a lot of games that have already been created for the FBVR but they always fail to appeal to the gamers. Because the whole set is awkward to move in, not accurate, hard to maintain. With what was always being said by the businesses, gamers have been used to having their expectations raised then ruined. They got used to it and don’t even pay attention to it anymore.

“Actually, I wouldn’t have brought up this topic with you if it was going to be that kind of story again. This time, it’s really different. The official game testers in the company have already made people test it and it had a 90% reviewer rating!”

“It’s probably just a marketing stunt or something.”

“No, I’m positive about this! I tried it myself!”

“…You what?”

“I-I was going to invite you, but they said that they would only allow me to avoid leakage!”

“You’re already leaking information to me, then you should’ve just invited me too! Wait, how were you even invited to it? Ah, I see… you used your parent’s money again, didn’t you? You spoiled boy! Return the taxpayers’ money to the country!”

“That’s some accusation your giving! My father has already finished his term as a senator, we’re just a family that has a lot of businesses!”

“That’s what all politicians say!”

As I was accusing the son of a corrupted official(suspicion) the steel door which was the entrance to the rooftop opened. The person who entered was a guy wearing glasses.

“How could’ve playing FBVR games led to political arguments? Can’t you just play peacefully like you always do?”

The person who entered was the third guy from our group of three gamers. He’s a guy who wears glasses, is smart and he also the student council secretary.

“You were already standing behind the door when we started talking about FBVR games? Why didn’t you just enter?”

“Cause tis one been waiting to make a grandiose entrance!”

He shouted with a haughty voice while posing in an unusual manner.

Oh, I forgot to mention he’s also delusional and thinks he’s in an anime.

Whenever he does this, me and this blondie just looks at him with a blank expression.

Usually when we react like this, he would stop posing due to embarrassment, but for some reason, he didn’t retreat his pose. He just posed there with his face twitching in embarrassment.

“…H-Heh, you might’ve thought that I’m being an idiot right now, but you will later kneel down before me!”

“I always thought being an idiot was your default state.”

“Don’t worry, I don’t think you’re an idiot… just shameful.”

He endured our verbal abuse and pulled something from his pocket.

“Behold! Passes to the Pre-opening for the VRCon that will promote that recent FBVR set that you were just talking about!”

We knelt in front of our god.

Little that I know that this was the start of the most important turning point of my life.


Chapter 1:Full Body VR

My name is Hayashi, Harushi. My hobby is playing games. Aside from school and the daily necessities, all I do is related to gaming. I like playing games, but I don’t really dream to be a professional in any game. This is because being pro lets you be stuck in one game, that’s not really what I want as I to play different kinds of games.

Summer vacation of our first year in high school comes the week after the next, and the students in the classroom are excited.

Though, the excitement of the me and my two friends are different from theirs.

We’re excited for the pre-opening event that is coming up tomorrow. A pre-opening event is what you would call a secret event that only a few can come. Unlike the main event, this is just mostly a dry run for the stuff that will happen in the actual opening event. Since this event will have more big equipment, the preparation time is longer and is earlier by one week. The main VRCon will happen next week’s Saturday.

My desk is positioned on the second to the last of the seat nearest to the window. During breaks, my two friends would come here and hang around, partly because of the nice view to the outside of the window.

“Man, I can’t wait for tomorrow!”

This guy speaks with a lively tone is my good-looking blonde-haired childhood friend Maeda, Takuma. He isn’t usually like this, but when he gets excited, he gets fired up. He looks like a handsome playboy, but he’s not a playboy. He’s engaged to someone. Well, he’s rich… rich people do that, right? He’s loyal to his fiancé, so he’s not really a playboy. He’s still famous though and he gets a lot of confessions.

Sheesh, girls only care about the looks. This guy is a spoiled dork.

“Tis all because of my greatness! Bow down to me, my servants!”

Tis one who speaks shamefully is our glasses friend from middle school Tanaka, Akihito. He’s delusional and thinks he’s living in the anime world. Though this is the case, he also knows what he’s doing is embarrassing but he still does it. I have no idea why he does something this idiotic, but since it’s fun to watch sometimes, I’m still friends with this guy.

By the way, this guy is also decent looking and has a “cool look” if only he shuts up.

Hey, am I actually just a tool here to make them look good? Maybe I should recommend addicting games to them too so they would have eyebags like mine.

“Why are you excited? You’ve tried it out already.”

“It’s a different experience when showing it to friends!”

“I guess it’s because your usual playstyle will fit into that kind of system.”

“HAHAHA!”

Takuma is really excited and he makes a deafening laugh. Though, I can’t blame him… I’ve researched on that improved FBVR thing that he’s saying, and it seems that it’s really the start of the new generation of VR.

When Takuma laughed, it seems that not everyone was happy about it.

“Hey, will you, like, shut up?”

The moment that beautiful request was made, the whole class turned quiet.

Hearing that the voice was directed at us, and the person who said it was just a row away from us, we turned towards the source of the voice.

The source of the voice is what you would call a gyaru, look it up people if you still don’t know that yet.

There are many types of gyarus though I do not know of them so I’ll just describe her. She has blonde curly hair that styled into pony tail. Except for her thumbs, her fingernails are very long and heavy pedicure and has a short skirt. Oh, and she has an ample chest.

She’s also my seatmate.

The gyaru was looking at us with her eyes narrowed.

“H-Hey…”

“Maki, Let’s just calm down, okay?”

Two of her friends which are also gyarus looked uneasy. One of them has artificial dark skin while the other one has short red hair and have heavy makeup.

They look uneasy because we have an intimidating person which is named Maeda, Takuma. He’s what you would call an “person high up in the class hierarchy” because he’s a good-looking prince that is good at athletics and studies.

Though this is the case, the ponytail gyaru didn’t back down at all.

“No, they’re being too noisy. It’s annoying, do you think you’re so great just because you’re popular?”

“Hah? What did you say bitch?”

Takuma’s expression changed looked pissed. While this guy is great as a friend, he’s also a spoiled brat. This means he’s very inconsiderate with other people, and would retaliate without thinking.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but you don’t own this school and don’t pay for our education. Move out if you want to laugh like a drug addict.”

“What? A slut like you caring for education? Take a look at yourself, you violate every rule on the uniform code. Do you really need to do that to attract your fat cherry boys?”

Hey, Takuma? you’re also hurting me. I’m a fat cherry boy you know!

Anyway, this is a job for a student council member to handle, so I’m sure Akihito should deal with this.

I glanced at Akihito… why are you extending your chin and making a try-hard delinquent face!? This isn’t a delinquent manga!

“Can you, like, hear how this person speaks to a girl? What an arrogant asshole! A spoiled brat that only has what his parents gave him, that’s so hilarious!”

“You still call yourself a girl? You might as well be an animal with the amount of men you took into your—*Guhuh!*”

I couldn’t take how the gyaru’s expression turned hateful as Takuma said those words, so I elbowed him on the side.

Well, he’s the one who initiated this so I felt like I should stop him as a friend.

“Takuma, even if you’re angry you shouldn’t say those kinds of things.”

“What? Harushi, are you siding with this girl? Were you seduced by her sluttiness? She was the one who started it!”

“Calm down idiot. No matter how you look at it, you started it.”

“What!?”

“Take a look around the classroom.”

Takuma took a look around the classroom, he noticed our classmates all staring at him. It shocked him and he softly gritted his teeth while lowered his head.

“You’re not stupid Takuma, you know that you were too loud. You were always like this when you get excited. Honestly, I almost ruptured my eardrums. You’re not the only person in this world, remember it.”

When I said those words, I reminded him from something in our past. He was a spoiled brat before, well he still is, but it was worse before. He was only reformed through games.

“Pride isn’t everything Takuma… also, sometimes, the reputation you’re proud of might be damaged due to your pride. This is one of those times.”

Takuma gritted his teeth as he slightly looked away.

“Well… I was just annoyed being called out like that, you know?”

He didn’t make eye contact and didn’t apologize, but this was his way of apologizing. He’s slightly right though, if the gyaru only did it peacefully, Takuma would’ve piped down with a gentle apology.

But of course, she’s a gyaru. That’s not her character.

“Hmpf! Loser gamers these days… thinks they’re hotshot.”

…? What? what does that have to do with gaming at all?

I’ve never once thought myself as a hotshot… wait, maybe I have. I may feel like I’m better than other players… wait, I am, alright?

Still, what makes her think that gamers are losers?

“Huh? What? you look like you have something to say.”

…Well, I am a gentleman. I will just do things like a gentleman.

In the quiet classroom, I spoke with a voice that can be heard by everyone.

“Say… your name was… Nishimura, Maki right?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“As an apology for what my friend did, I’m going to gift you a Moon Prince.”

“…Eh?”

When I said those words, the gyaru’s expression changed into an excited face. Though it returned back to her previous expression after clearing her throat.

“*Ehem*, what are you talking about? I have no idea what you’re saying?”

“Huh? You don’t want it? It’s a pretty rare monster you know.”

“Can you, like, speak in human language? I can’t understand you.”

“Eh? Didn’t you like the game, Flower and Kingdom?”

“W-What are you talking about?”

“I’ve seen you play the game during class hours.”

Her face went pale for a second then cleared her throat to calm herself down.

“Y-Yeah, I play that game. It’s pretty boring in class, people would casually play in the smartphones during those times, right?”

“Huh? Aren’t you rank 108 PediMakiNi?”

She froze when I said that, then I continued after the short pause.

“I mean, I’ve seen you play in your smartphone. Looking at your finger movement, your playstyle, and your real name, your definitely her.”

“W-Well, I’m really talented. I can easily get to the top with anything without effort.”

“Ah, I forgot… you’re a casual player… wait, but the game has an expensive subscription just to enter the ladder system? Then how did you reach that rank? Oh, I see… you’re just rich enough to pay an expensive subscription to casually play a game… I see…”

Her face was pale and he was slightly shaking… was it my imagination?

Anyway, I’m going to continue.

“Wait, didn’t the ladder season start on the first week of this semester? Why didn’t you get to the top 100 to get free subscription? With the amount of play time you have, it should’ve been enough. I mean, I’m still in the top 10 even though I don’t play that much… you should be higher with the gap of our play time.”

She gritted her teeth when I said that, well it’s really frustrating to just be “almost” at the top 100.

Remembering her finger speed, she’s good player, though there is a reason why she hasn’t gone up yet.

“Oh, it’s maybe it’s because you only used beautiful male prince characters whenever you played. PediMakiNi is actually quite famous in the message boards and being suspected to be a fujoushi(a girl who loves boys love/BL) but I’m sure that that isn’t true as you're a gyaru and it doesn't fit you. There’s no way that you’re a fujoushi, right?”

“Ah, I forgot. Let me add you as a friend so I can give you Moon Prince which can be received by the top 10 on the first half of the season. Well, I have a lot of exclusives, but since I don’t play that much, even though I’m always on the top 10, I’ll maybe add some.”

“Oh, maybe I’ll even give you some min-maxed characters as a celebration of our friendship—…!?”

I stopped talking because I was shocked. The gyaru that I was trying to befriend was shaking and droplets drop to the floor.

The gyaru’s face looked up towards my face with a frustrated, angry, and embarrassed expression and her makeup is slowly being messed up.

“Erm… sorr—”

“Kuh!”

She covered her eyes with one hand and rushed out of the classroom while crying.

“Maki!”

“Maki, wait up!”

One of the gyaru’s made an angry stare towards me before chasing PediMakiNe.

“U-Umm…”

I looked around the classroom. All of my classmates were looking at me with eyes of disgust.

“…E-Err, she started it.”

“As expected from moi servant, what a nice hypocrite!”

“No! She really started it!

“BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

For some reason, Takuma’s laugh sounded a lot happier than what it was before.

After being given directions and being called “gyaru slayer” along the school hallways, I headed up to the roof where PediMakiNi headed off to.

On the bench on the side of the roof was PediMakiNi crying while two of her friends wipe of her tears.

I-I guess I’ve gone too far?

I approached the three. PediMakiNi’s friends looked at me with a glare while she just faced down and looked to the side.

Say, doesn’t she look cuter without her makeup?

Well, I don’t know how to handle girls, so I’ll just apologize and leave. My presence is probably uncomfortable to her.

I bent my body and bowed my head.

“PediMakiNi, I’m so sorry!”

“It’s Nishimura!”

It was Nishimura.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve did! …though, you started it.”

“Can it, pig!”

“That’s why you’re be a cherry boy for life!”

Her friends are harsh!

I felt like I received damage enough to make me want to crawl back to my hole.

Anyway, since I don’t know how to handle girls, it’s time to run off my mouth and make it sound cool!

I stood up straight and tried to make myself look serious.

“Hey, I’m really sorry for what I did. I felt like you really were hiding that secret, but I got angry that I revealed it to everyone for you. I admit that I was slightly angry for you reprimanding my friend in an aggressive manner, but what I did was still unjustified. I’m truly sorry. I shouldn’t have revealed to everyone that you love BL.”

“You jerk! Stop embarrassing her more by reminding her she loves BL in front of her friends!”

“Yeah! Even though she loves BL to the point where she drools for them, I’ll still be Maki’s friend!”

“I don’t love BL! And you two are making it worse!”

You have great friends.

“You don’t like BL? Then why are you collecting prince characters?”

“Well… doesn’t every girl like princes?”

Ah… I see. Our minds are too rotten that we immediately think that when a female likes multiple princes, she’s immediately a fujoushi.

Also, this gyaru is too pure!

“Maki… you’re a pure maiden.”

“So cute!”

Her two friends found her adorable and hugged her tight. Oh, I can use this.

“Look at the bright side… if I didn’t reveal all of that and put it on that kind of situation, your friends couldn’t have accepted you for what you really are. Now, you won’t need to hide that you’re a gamer. It’s all okay now!”

“Don’t try to make yourself look good here fatty!”

“Your more of an asshole than that blonde friend of yours.”

That’s the worst insult I received in my life! I don’t want to be compared to that idiot when it comes to being a jerk!

Even after all of my “efforts” Nishimura still looked depressed.

“…Still… now everyone knows I’m…”

“…Huh? That wouldn’t really matter, right? I mean, no one really cares about your hobbies. You have a cute face, so no one would care.”

“Ah, he’s hitting on you.”

“Eh? …ah. I was not hitting on her! I wasn’t praising her! I was just stating—”

—Facts.

Ah, shit… it sounds like I’m hitting on her. I better stop talking like this or I would look like a try-hard fat guy who wants to have a girlfriend.

PediMa… I mean, Nishimura looked at me for a few seconds then breathed off a heavy sigh.

“*siiighh*…”

She pointed her smartphone towards me showing that game she plays. I breathed out in reply and gave her the rare character, Moon Prince, and other uber characters that look like princes. Well, I don’t take this game seriously anyway so I don’t really care.

“…*sigh*, what’s done is done, there’s nothing I can do about it. And what you’ve said is true as well. You have nothing to do with it, my friends are really just awesome.”

Seems like she’s already gotten over here… well, mission complete!

She stared into my eyes.

“What made you so noisy anyway?”

“……”

…Thinking about it, I really did a number on her image. No matter how I say it, it was a bad move.

Seeing how pure she is, and remembering that she just wanted Takuma to shut up for the class, it makes me feel guilty about it.

…well, there are a lot of other chances to try it out so…

“It’s this…”

I showed her the pre-opening pass.

Her eyes widened when she saw it. She really is a true gamer…

She asked me with an excited expression:

“Where did you get that!?”

“Well, Akihito’s father gave it to us…”

“Ah, I see… it’s probably impossible to get one since it’s already tomorrow.”

I can see the jealousy in her eyes as she stares at the card.

“…Fine, here, you can have it.”

She looked at me with a shocked expression.

“R-Really!? Wait, no… the characters are enough, you don’t need to give it to me…”

She looked happy at first, but reluctant next… What a nice gyaru!

“I did give you those characters but I don’t really care about them. Giving this to you will remove my guilt. So, I’m doing this for myself. The main event is just a few days away anyway, I’ll just get a ticket there or something. There are probably people who canceled it and are selling it for a low price.”

“……”

She took the pass and smiled at me.

“…Heh, you aren’t half bad. You sided with me instead of your friend even though it meant fighting with him. You also gave me a lot of things. You’re quite the gentleman, I mean, I know I have some fault… actually…”

She stood up and bowed her head.

“Sorry for lashing out on you…”

“Nah, it was nothing.”

I said as I turned around while raising my hand with a cool pose like the gentleman I am.

But it’s all to hide the tears on my eyes.

M-My pre-opening pass…

On my way home. Since Akihito needs to do something in the student council, me and Takuma headed home without him.

The two of us are waiting for the stop light before he can cross. This was where we separate.

“Huh? You gave it to her!?”

“Well… I did feel guilty to what I did. She was actually a nice girl, you know?”

“……”

Takuma stared at me in the eyes without saying anything for a few seconds.

“…What?”

“…Nothing. Here.”

He handed me his pass.

“What’s this?”

“I’ve already tried it out, so I don’t really need that anymore. Plus, knowing that it all started because I was laughing too hard makes me feel guilty. I won’t be able to enjoy it with that in my mind.”

Seeing the expression on his face, I decided to just take it.

“Heh, thanks.”

“Nah, it was nothing.”

When the stoplight turned green, he crossed the street with his hand with a cool pose.

…Déjà vu?

Today is the day me my subordinates are going to the battlefield to do a recon mission. We were set to meet at the military railways a millennia 0after the rise of the dawn.

In the crux of the military railways called Chiba station is a princess staring at a prince’s face. It’s should’ve been a beautiful sight in the battlefield, but it for some reason, it is not.

By the railways, a princess is looking at the prince with a disgusted look because the prince is sleeping at the chairs that is found next to the military railways.

Hmmm? What I’m doing here you ask? Well, it should’ve been natural to stay at the station rather than the military railways, but since I have received a message from my subordinate that I should wait by the railways, I had no choice but to do so.

These are my two subordinates, codename: zombie prince Harushi and codename: golden princess Nishimura. I called her princess because she’s different from her usual self. She’s wearing lesser cosmetics and clothes that are actually normal and not so flashy.

I was reluctant on meeting up with them, but due to it being Saturday, the station isn’t as crowded as it usually is so the princess has already gained visuals on me.

I had no choice but to do the honorable thing and approach them.

“Attention, men! Can you tell me the reason, why you haven’t launched an attack yet?”

“…I’m sorry, who are you?”

Golden princess looked at me with a blank expression while pretending not to recognize me as her superior. I have received damage from the blow, but it was not enough to break through my buckler, so I continued my command.

“As expected of my subordinate, you would doubt even the identity of your superior. You don’t let your guard now.”

“Say cheese~”

As I was doing an exposition, the golden princess was able to close the distance and take a picture with both of us together.

“If you continue being shameful, I’m going to show this picture to Momoko.”

“H-How did you know about that!?”

Momoko… Shimizu, Momoko. She’s the girl I like. A cute girl wearing glasses and her hair styled into over-the-shoulder braided twin tails. The student council auditor and chairman of the discipline committee.

I do like her, but I have not told anybody!

“What do you mean? Everybody knows about it except for Momoko and your two dumbass friends. Those people are very dense after all.”

“Gragh!”

“Again, at least when I’m with you, don’t act shameful and I won’t do anything.”

I know that Shimizu won’t care about that picture, but I don’t want her to see it. Imagine the girl you like supporting you to be with another girl. Shimizu is a nice girl so she would definitely do that. I do not want that to happen.

“Kuh… I’ve got no choice.”

“Good~”

Gyaru are scary… to think that Harushi was able to deal with her has further increased my respect for him.

“What are you doing here anyway? Did Takuma give you the ticket?”

“No, this guy gave me the ticket as an apology, and it seems that the asshole gave his to this guy.”

“Heh, I see.”

I did receive a message from Harushi that Nishimura is joining instead of Takuma, but it’s surprising that he knows this girl’s number. Harushi, you’re truly frightening.

“The train is coming… let’s wake him up.”

“…?”

For some reason, it felt like she was somewhat kinder to Harushi than usual. From time to time, popular people would call him “fatty” and “gloomy” but this person doesn’t seem to do that. Is she actually a good person?

I flicked the forehead of Harushi. He woke up while holding his forehead.

“…Ah, you two are here.”

“What are you doing, sleeping here?”

“I wasn’t able to sleep, so I decided to sleep on my way there.”

“As expected of the unbeatable zombie Harushi.”

“*Sigh*, that’s not a healthy way of living, you should sleep more.”

…Eh?

Me and Harushi looked at Nishimura who just showed concern. Nishimura noticed it and glanced to the side with an embarrassed face.

“W-What? It would be bad if he suddenly collapses. It would be our responsibility.”

““You really are a good girl!””

“Leave me alone!”

As me and Harushi spoke in unison, the train arrived.

Harushi slept on the middle of the two of us. When he fell asleep and leaned to Nishimura’s shoulder, Nishimura moved his head towards my shoulder.

Ah, I guess it won’t go like it does in anime huh…

“*Yawn~* there’s lesser people here than I thought.”

“…I have Zombie goo on my shoulder.”

“Ugh… good thing I shifted him to you.”

We have reached Akihabara station. There are still a lot of people here, but for a first preview of the new FBVR technology, there are lesser than I expected.

Well, the pre-opening is a secret event after all, maybe those who are involved in the project or famous in the industry like my dad are exclusively given the tickets.

“Say PediMakiNe, you’re not wearing any make up today… you’re disguising yourself so that no one would recognize you in Akihabara?”

“No, didn’t you read the guide? Wearing heavy makeup is discouraged. and don’t call me that, it’s Nishimura!”

“Ah, it was Nishimura.”

As expected of my old friend.

“He won’t remember your name anytime sooner. If he first hears your handle name before your real name, he will always remember you by handle name. It happened to me when we first met. He called me Black_BladeX until the MMORPG game we played shut down their servers.”

“That’s an embarrassing name.”

“I-I know that! Even for me, I regret making character names like that!”

We walked through Akihabara like we belonged here. I thought that this city would make Nishimura uncomfortable, but she seems fine. She really is an otaku.

We finally reached our destination and entered the building. After the staff confirmed our passes, we passed through the entrance.

Unlike the main event of VRCon, there are lesser people in the boots, and those who are aren’t tending to any customers.

“To everyone who wants to try out the new FBVR system, we will be doing the game “GladiatorsVR” please make a line to this boot! One line for boys and one for girls!”

The staff of a large boot shouted to the visitors that are inside the venue. Lots of people approached the booth with fast steps. Me and Harushi got separated from Nishimura as she rushed to the line for girls. The line for boys is a lot longer than the line for girls. The lines aren’t that long since there are not much people here… but if this happened in the actual event, the line would not end.

As the lines became stable, the staff started a presentation and the two large monitors on the top of the boot has started playing a 3D presentation.

“First, we’ll explain the movement with the body suits. The body suits are controllers that would move your characters in the game. It is shaped to be body suits to emit the exact image that your character would create. Though for this event, we won’t provide whole body suits but would only provide elbow length gloves and knee socks for sanitary reasons.”

“Second is how this body suit can simulate interacting with the in-game environment. These suits are made up of nanobots inside the clothes. These nanobots can simulate touch and weight. For example, being hit on your hand will cause the bots to cause that sensation, but of course it will be lessened for safety reasons.”

“Third is that there are unique of “controllers” for different games. For this game, we would provide weapons as controllers. These weapons are similar to the body suits and can simulate the impact from weapons of other players and the environment. For this event, you can choose from either a bow, a spear, or a sword with a buckler.”

“Fourth are the hanging cables and multi directional thread mill. These hanging cables are for safety measures to make sure the player doesn’t get hurt when he falls. These hanging cables can also provide the illusion of high jumping, but no games have been made with that feature and so we can’t do that in this game. For the treadmill there are safety features included for the case of falling etc. The treadmill can’t be felt if you walk on it, even the usual sliding motion was neutralized.”

“Lastly, the VR glasses and the earphones would be the latest VR technology which are goggles and headphones similar to swimming goggles and earplugs. It’s extremely lightweight to the point that you won’t notice that you’re wearing one.”

It seems that Takuma was right, this might actually be the best advancement in VR technology. This is a great start to finally perfect Full Body Virtual Reality. The experience would be similar to the neuro-VR that can be seen in fantasies which was said to be currently impossible for our generation.

“With that explained, we will explain the how we will proceed with how the game will be played today. Five rounds can be given per player against an easy mode ai bot. If you defeat the bot in at least one round, you will get a nendroid keychain exclusive to this event from GladiatorVR. Though, only the first 10 who completes it would be given a nendroid keychain as the rest will be given out at the event.”

An easy mode AI… since this will be a somewhat new genre, people will have difficulty in defeating it. While VR technology has been present to the past, it’s not really VR but just moving the hand with controllers. This would be similar to real life simulations, meaning body movement and fitness would be included.

“With that said, we request the first participants go up on the treadmills.”

The first boy and girl have stepped into their specific treadmills. They wore the given gloves and high knee socks which has thin strings attached to it which are probably the hanging cables.

“Please wear the VR goggles but don’t wear the earphones yet as we’ll demonstrate the feeling of being hit to the players.”

The two wore the VR goggles and it was turned on. As it turned on, both of the screens on top showed the game. On the right was two male gladiators facing each other, with the one on the right holding a sword with a buckler. The left screen was also the same, but were female gladiators. It seems that we are in a spectator mode for the game.

“We’ll start off with how it feels to be hit by the AI. Since this is a demonstration, it will not be counted. Please push start to start the countdown to start the round. Raise your hand to block the attack after the countdown.”

The players looked like they pushed something in front of them, then a countdown started on screen from 5 to 1.

After reaching one, both AI slashed down towards the players. Both were able to react by using their hands. As soon as they did, we noticed that the real players also reacted as if something hit their hands.

The characters on screen has fallen to the ground and it showed “you lose”.

“Ah, it’s true! I felt the hit! Even though it was light, I felt it!”

“This is amazing!”

The two who were on stage shouted and everyone became excited.

“There is an option to increase the pain threshold, but we have decreased it just for demonstration purposes. There are games that can increase it, but as a safety feature, the suit only has power to give pain that can’t injure a person permanently. The most painful you can experience is similar to a slap across the face.”

Ah, that will definitely hurt, but that won’t lead to many injuries.

“Now, the demonstration is over. What weapon will you chose, a sword with a buckler, a bow, or a spear? Please put on your earphones before you choose.”

The players wore the earphones then four controllers are presented to them by the staff.

One is a controller shaped like a T shape, probably the sword. One is shaped like a rectangle, probably the buckler. One is a long stick, probably the spear. Last is one that is shaped like a real bow with a string and an arrow.

On screen, there are also four weapons flying, it seems that it is already recognized by the system.

The boy has chosen the spear and the girl has chosen the sword with a buckler.

“W-Woah!”

The boy tried moving the spear like a true otaku, by spinning it around in anime fashion. It really did move exactly as it was in the screen.

The girl tried to hit the buckler with the sword. Even though the sword isn’t hitting anything, the girl felt that she cannot move the sword through the buckler. It was like it was being stopped by the air, probably by the nanobots inside the sword.

Everyone was hyped up by this. Seeing how the weapons interacted similar to the ones in the screen, this was truly a breakthrough.

“Now let the games between!”

Excited, both of the players pushed the start button and the countdown started.

As soon as the match started, the boy has played aggressively and made a piercing motion towards the AI.

The AI blocked it with a buckler then countered with a kick to the side.

“W-Woah!”

The character fell to the side, as well as the player. Probably moved by the hanging cables.

After falling down, the AI slashed the character to the head. A second later, it said “You Died”.

As for the female player, she decided to play defensively. The AI moved in and slashed the girl. The girl blocked with the buckler, but as second after she blocked with it, the AI kicked it. It made the character fell on its back, same with the female. On the next second the AI stabbed the female character on the chest. And a second later, it showed “You Died”.

Seeing this performance made everyone more hyped up. This was some next level simulations!

Though seeing how this is “Easy Mode” is quite amusing. Gamers always want a challenge and everyone really got excited on the difficulty of this game is.

I can’t wait to play myself!

A lot of people tried and failed into landing a blow. There were times where people were able to block or dodge an attack and went for the killing blow, but the AI was always able to block it with its buckler.

The line slowly moved, and it didn’t take long before it was Nishimura’s turn in the female’s line.

Nishimura chose the spear for the battle.

On the first round she tried piercing the AI’s feet. The AI just stepped back then charged quickly towards her and she wasn’t able to react and died.

“Heh, I know what to do!”

On the second round she was about to stab the feet but it was a faint, and she made a piercing motion towards its head. In the last moment it was able to dodge and grab her spear. The AI pulled her spear and then slashed her.

“Eat this!”

On the third round she used the spear like a sword, but it failed miserably with the same tactic of blocking and slashing done by the AI again.

“Annoying!”

On the fourth round she tried throwing the spear out of annoyance. The AI just blocked it with its buckler then charged for the kill. Also, in another note, the spear was blocked by a fiber glass wall surrounding the treadmill.

“Argh!!!”

On the last round, she dropped the spear and went to hand to hand combat. She didn’t last for a second.

…While she’s a good person, she has quite a temper.

After that entertaining performance, Nishimura approached us with a depressed look.

“That’s not an easy mode, that’s very cheap! Why does it have a very fast reaction time!?”

Me and Harushi just smiled wryly because we do not know how to deal with an angry gyaru.

In order to change the atmosphere, Harushi changed the topic.

“Hey, look at the next person to you… a foreigner?”

The person who is at the treadmill has shoulder length hair and blue eyes. Not only that, she has porcelain white skin and is very beautiful. Everyone just gazed on that beauty on stage, she looked amazing.

“Yeah, she’s beautiful but she gives this “don’t talk to me” aura so I didn’t try it.”

The girl picked a unique choice, a bow. Very few people have chosen it because it needs real aiming similar to a real bow. But an advantage is that when a match starts with a bow, it starts 10 meters away from the AI.

On the first round, the girl just kept firing arrows towards the head of the AI until it slashed her down.

On the second round, she aimed for the leg as it charged towards her. She was able to hit the leg and the AI staggered. The girl fired an arrow towards the AI’s head as follow-up, but was blocked by the buckler. The AI stood up quickly and charged her down again.

On the third round, she did the same again, but this time she aimed for both legs first. It was still able to recover and charged her down.

On the fourth round, she did the unbelievable. She shot one of the legs again, then next she shot an arrow up in the air.

The arrow went to a high angle but it didn’t hit the target, though it was close. The AI didn’t try to block with the buckler…

This might be a chance for a kill!

Everyone on the venue got excited and watched the girl who did the same strategy again.

She shot the leg then did a high angle shot.

The arrow fell from the high angle… and hit the AI!

Though it was hit … It didn’t hit the head, only the shoulder.

The AI was able to stand up then charged her down and killed her…

Everyone’s hopes got crushed, but everyone clapped her hands because she’s the only one who was able to land a hit.

Well… and because she’s a beautiful girl, people wanted to clap.

“I never thought that a bow that is bad at duels with a buckler would be able to get a chance like that… impressive.”

“That girl’s amazing… doing a high angle shot like that must’ve been impossible.”

“It is impossible in real life but since there’s no wind in the game, it was probably easier to do. Still, it’s a challenge”

Everyone just clapped with smiles on their faces. The girl bowed her head in gratitude and walked in a calm and collected manner.

A few minutes after that, my turn came.

A.A. James
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