Chapter 9:

New Path - Part 2

IN-CURSE [HIATUS]


Makoto Fell off and then he blacked out.

After a while he finally woke up, “ugh… my head… Where am I? Am I dead already?” He then looked up, and it turns out that he has fallen into a great abyss.

“Ugh… wait a minute, my chest feels weird,” He then looked at his chest and he was so shocked. “What is this? I have a mechanical heart? Who did this to me? Did I die before? Also, what is this place? It’s very dark… Is anybody here? Hello?” No one answered… He’s so confused about the situation. Suddenly he was in a dark place and his heart was replaced.

“Bzzzt… Bzzzt… BZZZT… BZZZT…”

“PROGRAM START!”

“LOADING…”

“LIFE SIGNAL DETECTED”

“INITIATE SEQUENCE”

"Ugh... That voice! What is that voice? My head hurts…!

After hearing that voice, suddenly the torch lights up. Turns out it was a dungeon. He’s never seen a place like that and indeed he was so surprised. He then stood up, “There must be a way out of here.” He was looking for a way out, however the system says otherwise.

A screen appeared in front of Makoto’s face. On the screen it says,

NEW QUEST!

QUEST OBJECTIVE: FIND THE KEY!

DO YOU WANT TO ACCEPT THIS QUEST?

TIME REMAINING = 00:30:00

and there are two option on the screen, which is ‘YES’ and “NO”

“What is this? a screen? is this a game?“ Although he’s still confused and doesn't know what happened, he chooses to accept it, he just wanted to get out from that place, so he pressed ‘YES’ and then this happened,

“LOADING ASSETS…”

“INITIALIZING MEMORY…”

“DIVIDING…”

“UPLOADING…”

His head suddenly had a great headache. His head is fully loaded by a lots of Information about this city, and every scientist that exists, about H.A.N.S, about Izumi and this game system that he made, about the SPHERE, the Real World and about the ‘Real One’ His head is really in pain after he gained all of that Information.

“What… what… What is all of that? Is this real? I can’t believe it, why? why I never realized it and how it can be like this? Well, for now I must find the key right now before it’s too late!”

He checked the quest status again, and it turns out that 5 minutes had passed. Which means he only had 25 minutes left.

“Oh no, What should I do now? Oh yes, ‘Map!’” After he said that, a map showed up on a screen.

The map shows that Makoto was way too far from the key he is looking for. It’s not a big dungeon but it will take a lot of time to get there. So he has to run as fast as he can.

The path to get there was tortuous and there were a lot of booby traps in it. After halfway through, he felt exhausted, luckily he found a small shelter so he rested there for a while. When he entered that shelter , there’s a small table and a laptop and a little box on it. He was curious, is this a trap or is it a clue to get the key? When he opened the laptop, There is a word says,

MAKE YOUR GEAR

INPUT BLUEPRINT CODE HERE: …

“Blueprint Code? Do I even know that?” Makoto was confused , but he suddenly remembered something.

wait… I think I’ve seen it before, and I remembered it. It was loaded to my brain before, I know all the codes. By the way, how many minutes do I have left?” He checked the quest status and there’s 10 minutes remaining. Half of the way took 15 minutes. But if he can make a speed up gear, he can reach the way and take the key faster. After that he type the code,

INPUT BLUEPRINT CODE HERE: S057F. And then, he pressed enter.

LOADING…

APPROVED!

GENERATING…

GEAR COMPLETE!

OPEN THE BOX!

He opened the little box and he found the gear. The gear looks like sneakers.Before he goes, he takes the laptop. He took it in case he needed it later because there is no kind of software that can make that gear. He can build the generator but not the software.

He then ran to get the key, the gear helps Makoto run way faster and he can avoid all of the booby traps in there. It only took 5 minutes with that gear. When he is almost there, there is a big door. When he checked the map, the key was inside it and he just needed to open the door. He then opened it. Surprisingly, there is no password or a key to open it. When he entered the room, there’s a bright light in the center of the room. There, he can see the quest status screen.

QUEST OBJECTIVE: FIND THE KEY!

TIME REMAINING = 00:10:00

TO ACTIVATE IT YOU MUST INPUT YOUR JOB CODE: …

“Do I have a status like in a game? ‘OPEN STATUS’” Then the status screen opens.

The status screen was only filled with his name, age, size, and a short description of him and the job title. His Job title is SUPPORT NPC.Because of that he doesn’t have a weapon, or a skill. Besides his Job Title, there’s a code. he then input the code to the quest status screen

TO ACTIVATE IT YOU MUST INPUT YOUR JOB CODE: NPCS - A1

Right after he inputted the code, the bright light becomes brighter like a star.

“Ugh… My eyes…!”

The bright light transforms into a girl. She is pretty and has a youthful appearance, resembling a teenager. She has brown eyes and her light-blonde hair is so bright. Indeed he is surprised, but is it a human or an android? Then he heard a man’s voice in the room.

“Greetings Makoto, I am the Principal and I’m here to ask for your help!”

“The ‘Principal’? I know this voice, is it you Izumi? Are you the one who brought me here? Are you also the one who replaced my heart and filled my brain with these information? But why did you murdered someone?”

“Yes I am but don’t be panicked. I didn’t murdered someone because I’m not the Izumi that you knew and I have an explanation for all of it.”

The ‘Principal’ then explains to Kaito that the reason for all of it is to catch Izumi and prevent the things that he has or he will do in this world. This world's name is SPHERE and the people who knew about it are the people chosen by the ’Principal’ like Makoto and I are called a TRADER Because we trade our body parts for good, after all there’s always a price to pay.

Then, the ‘Principal’ explains that Izumi was corrupted by a virus from SPHERE. Because of that his negative side corrupted him and took control of him. Because of that, he made this game system. He said to all of the players that the winner of his game would get out of this world, and they could find the answer for their questions or grants them whatever they want. But behind all of that, He wants to make SPHERE as a 'playground' between players and manipulate every person's mind in SPHERE. However H.A.N.S has figured it out before. H.A.N.S tried everything to delete the virus but the virus always avoided it and found a way to escape.

H.A.N.S can’t delete the virus so, H.A.N.S made another virus for SPHERE to help delete the corruption which later would be a guide. The virus is modeled after Izumi, but with his positive side, and that virus is the ‘Principal’. Unfortunately, later after that Izumi figured it out so H.A.N.S released the virus before Izumi took control of H.A.N.S.

The 'Principal' told Makoto the same thing that he told me. Then he explained that the reason why Makoto’s job is an ‘NPC SUPPORTER’ is because his role in this game is to support and make gadgets and special gear for a player so, his role is kind of similar to a blacksmith in a fantasy novel. There are 20 players and they are chosen by Izumi himself. He also explains that the bright light that transformed into a girl is an android and her name is Hikari. There are 2 keys in SPHERE and the 2nd key is on the android. The key itself is a self-destruct system to destroy H.A.N.S and Izumi and get every person out from SPHERE. By getting out of SPHERE we can find the ‘Real One’.

H.A.N.S put the key along with the ‘Principal’s’ virus so that the ’Principal’ could keep the key in a safe place. However, one of the keys was lost when Izumi tried to access and find him in every city in Neo-Nippon. Because of that, he wants Makoto to bring Hikari along with him. Hikari can also act as a player, he already put a special status for her so he can blend in as one of the players without Izumi knowing. Then he asked Makoto to find me and find the keys together with me. Because, amongst the players I am the only one who can activate the keys.

"Who is the 'Real One'?"

The 'Principal' then answered, "I can't tell you because there is no complete data about him. All I know is that he knows the real 'Truth'."

"Also, how can I find him amongst the players?" Makoto asked.

"Use your ability and the knowledge that I have given to you, thus you will find the way. And I must tell you that this will be the last time you hear me. I can't no longer interact with you, because he will find you and me. Also take that laptop along with you, it will help you to find him. It is a gift from me. I'll teleport you and Hikari to your house. I hope you succeed. Good luck!"

The 'Principal' suddenly teleports Makoto back to his home along with Hikari and That is the last time Makoto heard the 'Principal'.

'I'm home…? Ugh… my head hurts a little bit" Besides him, there's Hikari and she was asleep. He then put Hikari on the couch and put the laptop on his desk.

"Now, I should start searching for him, before it's too late..."