Chapter 1 - Just when the youth’s grand adventure is about to begin......Eh, what the heck is this......
“Looks like everyone is done. Then starting collecting from the back.”
Following the instruction of the male lecturer standing at the podium, students seated at the last row started collecting the booklets.
The survey distributed to students was 【Parent-Child Awareness Survey】. It was not printed on copier paper, but on high quality paper that was made into a booklet. It was an important-looking booklet just like the question paper used for National Academic Performance Survey.
It should be like that. This was a survey carried out by the Cabinet Office Director General(for Policies on Cohesive Society) to grasp the current situation amongst teenagers. In other words, it was something done in regards to national policy.
“Ahh, come to think of it, I’m surprised that our school is actually chosen as a survey target. You lot are chosen as the representatives of youths living in this country, you know? This is a very honorable matter. You can be proud of yourself. Un un.”
Somehow, it was the teacher that was speaking with deep emotion instead.
To the students that stayed behind after school to fill in this survey, ‘Don’t joke with me’, ‘What honor is this’, ‘Seriously spare me from that’, such words were said.
Oosuki Masato was one of them.
“I wanted to hurry home and play my online game......I have wasted time for this, geez......”
Masato ruffled his hair in frustration and let out a deep sigh.
But well, settle down. I finished it. Well alright. It will be over once I pass it to the student collecting the survey. Good, it’s over.
Let bygones be bygones, as for the game, should I desperately collect rare materials to make the equipment at 100% success rate, or use normal material to make it at 75% success rate, which should I choose, I need to think about this......was what he thought.
There was something that bothered him.
“......That question, what could it be about?”
The content of one of the questions in the survey lingered in his head.
[Q: Will you become more intimate with your mother if you go on an adventure with her?]
It was a question in the survey Masato just did. In the survey carried out for national policy, such an absurd question was openly asked. Seriously.
“The surveyor may have a screw loose in his head......probably a screw loose in his head.”
Has Japan started to be like that, or is it already too late......He was astonished while lamenting on it.
But that’s fine. It’s over. Let’s go home and play games to my heart’s content. It’s about time to go anyway, better go now.
At that moment, the teacher who collected the survey said.
“......Ah, as I thought. The blank line on the last page of the survey is not for filling in your name, but there is still someone who filled in his name. Well, I won’t say who though.”
Something like that mentioned.
“Huh, could I have......No, probably my imagination......Instead of that, online game!”
Masato did not notice the gaze of his teacher facing his direction, and walked out of the classroom carefreely.
During the weekend a few days after that.
After the half-day curriculum was over, Masato returned home in the afternoon. A pair of shoes was placed at the entrance. It was the female high-heel shoes.
He recalled that mother seemed to have several pairs of shoes like that. However, seeing that it was aligned neatly in the middle of the entrance, a guest huh. He could hear joyful conversations coming from the living room.
“Probably an acquaintance of mom......Would it be good to at least greet......?”
Should I be a competent son worthy of praise here? Or would it be OK to pass on the troublesome matter of greeting mother’s guest?
He hesitated for a moment, but his body, which was closely linked to his true heart, chose to quickly return to his bedroom and play online game, well it’s fine, he just had to sneak pass the corridor......
He could not pass it.
“Those footsteps must be Maa-kun! Definitely!”
The living room door was suddenly opened, Oosuki Mamako’s face peeped out.
That face caused a great panic for Masato. Seeing that face, even Masato, who was the biological son, could not help but doubt.
“......I-Is this person really a mother? My mother?”
The reason was because Mamako looked young. Just by her looks, she was overwhelmingly young.
There was not a single wrinkle at the corners of her eyes when Mamako smiled brightly, her skin was full of moisture as always. Her soft and fluffy curled long hair with perfect cuticle shone like an angel.
Mamako was not father’s remarriage partner, just an ordinary mother, a housewife around forty with a first year high school son, transcendentally young to the point of even possible to compete with a teenager girl easily.
“......Even being young should have a limit......Geez, what’s with my mother......”
Her youthfulness could even be classified as supernatural phenomenon. Due to that, he did not bear resemblance to any part of his mother at a glance......Masato was slightly troubled with Mamako being like that.
That’s right. It was troublesome. It was not a straightforward denial feeling such as [hate]. It was difficult to make contact and hard to measure the distance he had to maintain, hence he felt a bit of refusal. It was such a feeling.
However, the troubling matter was that his mother did not realize her son’s thoughts.
“Maa-kun, welcome home!”
Mamako showed a sweet and serene smile, moving closer to Masato with confidence that he would definitely accept her. Closer, closer and closer.
“Ah I know already. Stay away from me a little.”
“Oh, sorry about it. So how was school?”
“Fuu, ordinary is it......You never encountered anything you dislike, did you?”
“Then, then, is it alright to believe that you had fun just like always?......Ah, that’s right! Have you had your lunch? If not, mom will make something......”
“It’s fine you say......Erm, that means you don’t need any? Did you eat outside with your friends? Is that what you are saying?”
“That’s right......More importantly, it’s not the time to pay attention to me. Isn’t there a guest?”
“Ah! Aah that’s right! There is a somewhat important guest now, can Maa-kun come and greet her as well? Mom also want to introduce the son she’s proud of. Okay?”
“It’s fine you say, erm......That means you will greet her, right?”
“It means I will pass. Get it right......Geez......”
Who would do such a troublesome thing. Masato turned his back to Mamako, and was about to leave the living room quickly. However, “......” in the instant when he casually looked towards the living room, he coincidentally made eye contact with the guest.
“Oya? It seems that your son has finally returned.”
The other party did not feel like mother’s friend coming over to visit. With long black hair, she was an intellectual cool female wearing an OL attire smartly, she was an intellectual cool woman. He thought that she could be an insurance salesperson, but......she did not seem like a person who would belong to an average organization anywhere......he had such a premonition.
The woman stood up quickly, walked to the front of Masato with agile movement, and showed her ID hanging from her neck.
【Cabinet Office Director General(for Policies on Cohesive Society) commissioned agent】
A weighty and long title was printed on it.
“Pleased to meet you. I am Shirase Masumi. I wish to inform you that I have visited today for the matter of a survey conducted by the Cabinet Office. Because I am Shirase.”
“H-Hello......Rather, suddenly using a pun......”
“Allow me to inform you that I am Shirase, who, as a result from being teased around by this name since young, have resolved myself to declare it first.”
She seemed to be someone who overcame her complex the wrong way.
Meanwhile, Mamako was inching closer to Masato......This mother believed that her son would accept it and got really close.
“You see! Hey Maa-kun! The survey Shirase-san is doing......”
“Ahh, could it be, the parent-child awareness survey?”
“Wah, incredible! Bingo! How did you know that?”
“I did it at school previously.”
“Eh......I-Is that so?......Maa-kun, you didn’t tell me about it at all......”
“I don’t have to report every trivial thing to my parents, do I? And you’re too close.”
He pushed back his mother who was getting closer like an adorable pet that could not hold herself back.
“So Shirase-san, shouldn’t that survey be over?”
“No, it’s just postponed temporarily. Mamako-san immediately stood up the moment her son returned......Mamako-san really loves her son very much.”
“Not at all on this side though.”
“Eeh!? Maa-kun also loves mom right!? About Maa-kun, Mom......!”
“Shut up, be quiet. Stop coming so close without me noticing......And stop calling me in such an embarrassing way. How many times must I say for you to understand? It’s about time you remember.”
“B-But, Maa-kun is Maa-kun. Mom has always called Maa-kun as Maa-kun so she wants to call Maa-kun as Maa-kun, but if Maa-kun dislikes being called Maa-kun then mom will think of a new way to call Maa-kun......”
“Argh just shut your mouth!”
He distanced himself from his mother who came closer despite him pushing her away.
“Erm, then Shirase-san. I think this mother is quite a handful, but please continue with your survey.”
“Then, continuing on......Aah, just one thing. This survey collates the opinions of parent and child individually before evaluation, so......”
“So the objective is not to let the parent and child know what each other has to say, and you do not want me to eavesdrop on the interview content, is that right?”
“That’s correct, but please let me perform the [inform] part. Only by informing will I then be Shirase after all.”
“I guess I’m somehow sorry about that......But still, mom’s opinion huh......”
Wanting to listen to something he was told not to listen was human nature.
Not to mention when the content involved was how his mother thought of him, what if it was such kind of content?
“Honestly speaking, how does my mom think of me huh......I am curious about it at least.”
However, Shirase was doing an official survey for the government. If Masato eavesdropped here and caused the information to leak, it might develop into a big problem. He should follow what she said here.
“......I understand. Then I will be going back to my room.”
“Thank you for your understanding. Then as soon as it’s over, this Shirase will inform you so, please enjoy yourself in your room for the time being. Please wait for Shirase to inform you.”
“Got it. Well then.”
“Wait a minute Maa-kun! How should mom call Maa-kun from now on......!”
Nimbly avoiding the hands of Mamako that were trying to cling onto him, Masato walked towards his room on the second floor.
And then, in the living room after Masato left.
Mamako was wiping her tears with a piece of tissue, blowing her nose, wiping her tears, blowing her nose and blowing her nose until one box of tissue was used up, she vented her hardships as a mother with a son.
“......You see, I also understand it to some extent. Maa-kun is also a high school student already, it’s natural for him to feel embarrassed to be intimate with his mom.”
“That part naturally exists. In the surveys that the Cabinet Office had carried out, we have received similar responses every time. Shirase informs you that this is a common trend, because I am Shirase.”
“However, even so, I want to be more intimate with him as mother and son. Because in this world, we only have each other for mother and son.”
“To a mother, you naturally want to be intimate with your child......I also have a daughter, so I understand your feeling well.”
“I see......Shirase-san also has a child......”
“Yes, she is five years old. Still an age that requires a lot of time and effort.”
“Five years old......I see......Walking around here and there alone, talking about various things......calling ‘mommy!’, clinging to your legs or the likes......that kind of......”
Thinking of her son in his childhood, Mamako’s expression gradually clouded.
“I wonder if we can be like those times if possible......but Maa-kun does not seem keen about it......after buying him a computer for high school enrollment celebration, he became engrossed in games and never talked to me more than necessary......”
“That’s true. ‘Ordinary’ ‘Not really’ ‘Aah’ ‘It’s fine’, ending the conversation with such brief replies......However, those words are typical for a child in adolescence. As a mother, does Mamako think that it will be alright to maintain a suitable distance?”
“That’s......I can’t do it well......”
“I see......fumu......the so-called classic family with an adolescent son......this degree of awkwardness may be just right......fumu......”
Shirase pondered a little, quietly made up her mind, and took out a booklet from her bag.
【MMMMMORPG(temp) Participation Registration Form】
A booklet with such a title was placed before Mamako.
“This is......hen, my application has been accepted!?”
“Yes. I judged that the mother and son of Oosuki household have fulfilled the condition for participating in this project. Therefore I will acknowledge your participation......Then, without further ado, please prepare.”
“Y-Yes! The necessities......first of all, I have to bring Maa-kun’s shoes! Aah that’s right! I have to explain to Maa-kun before that!”
“I will inform your son about it. That’s because I am Shirase. Informing is my job.”
“......Is what I thought but, I am Shirase that sometimes does not inform what needs to be informed. This is Shirase that attempts to appeal with a mischievous side.”
“What’s this person saying after appearing suddenly.”
Masato was playing online game in his room, when a voice suddenly came from his back. Turning behind, Shirase was standing there before he knew. “At least knock......” “Because I believe that interrupting when you are concentrating is bad, I knocked with as quiet as possible” It was totally pointless.
Shirase spoke while her eyes looked at the screen calmly.
“Fumu, MMORPG is it.”
“Hey, don’t look......”
“The 3D graphics movement is smooth huh......Masato’s computer seems to be loaded with a good graphics board. Its cooling fan’s noise is also soothing to the ears. Moreover, you chose a low latency monitor as expected.”
“T-Thanks. But this is actually something my mom bought on her own discretion. A kind person recommended this. Is Shirase-san familiar with such things?”
“I learned a little back in my school days when I stayed at home because I hated my name to be made fun of. Since the computer OS was the only one that understood me, I desperately learned more about them.”
“It would be great if you don’t inform me of such a painful story.”
“Informing you of something that you don’t want to be informed. This is Shirase’s quality......Now back to the main topic.”
“Are you here to inform me that Mom’s interview survey is over?”
“Yes. And......Masato-kun will now be sent off to start your new life, is what I am going to inform you.”
This person is saying some incomprehensible thing again, in that moment when Masato was astonished and let down his guard, [An opening!] Shirase quickly stretched her arm out and splendidly tapped the Esc key on the keyboard. The game screen closed in an instant.
In addition, Shirase pressed onto Masato from his back [Munu!?] as she forcefully seized control with her breasts pressed onto the back of Masato’s head. She launched a browser and entered an URL.
The address entered was www8.cao.go.jp/ksn/mmmmmorpg...... (TL note: Yeah, who is the idiot that tried this address?)
“Aa!? Wait, what have you just done!? Where do you intend to connect to!?”
“One question for reference......Based on the survey conducted by the Cabinet Office, we concluded that many users who had played online games have wishes of ‘actually entering the game world’. Does Masato also wish for it?”
“T-That’s, if it’s possible, then I want to try it ......but such a thing!”
“What will you do if that wish can be realized now?”
“Eh?......T-That kind of thing......”
There is no way that’s possible......Those words that already reached Masato’s throat, could not come out from his mouth.
The moment Shirase hit the Enter key, a torrent of light overflowed from the low latency monitor. That brilliance pushed forward like waves on the seashore, enveloping Masato in an instant, then dragging him back into the monitor.
“T-This is......don’t tell me!?”
“Exactly! This is that ‘could it be’ development! That ‘don’t tell me, could it be’!”
“The ‘could it be’, the Game World transportation is hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
Masato stopped struggling. He let go of his hand that was desperately clinging onto his desk, and entrusted his body to the flow.
His body slipped into the monitor which should not be able to pass through normally, at that time.
He could hear Mamako’s shouting voice. He wondered if it was just noise he heard.
In the light that was dazzling to his eyes, Masato muttered towards his mother whose figure could not be seen.
“Mom, sorry......I, will be going now.”
Why did I apologize first? Because I felt sorry for her.
Due to his father taking his post for work alone, only the two of them lived together. So if even he was also gone, his mother would be all alone. He thought that it was not something good. He also felt that he should not do that.
Masato did not dislike his mother.
If asked whether he liked her, of course he could not give a straight answer.
There’s only one mother in this world, so he certainly felt that he had to cherish her. There’s also his mother’s happiness to consider, and he would not hesitate to meet her expectations or wishes for him.
However, it was very difficult to express such feelings with actual words. Something had been pulling his heartstring, a part of him could not truly see his youthful mother as just mother, and he could not interact with Mamako well. That was the current Masato.
“I will go on a great adventure from now on and get stronger......I wonder if I will be able to face my mom more honestly......It would be good if that’s the case......”
He would definitely return someday. At that time, he would overcome his shyness......and say ‘I am back’ while hugging her, or something like that.
Holding such gentle feeling in his chest, Masato crossed the boundary of the world that was not supposed to be possible to cross.
And then Masato descended.
It was clearly a different space from the room he was in before. Under the endlessly vast sky, in one of the islands floating around, Masato was standing on the rock altar set up at the edge of the island.
Under his feet was the magic circle that was still glowing......
Something small ran past Masato’s foot. It was a lizard. However, there were eight legs.
The eight-legged chibi lizard spat out small flame to threaten Masato, but ran away in a blink of an eye after showing him sufficient battle spirit.
That kind of living thing did not exist in the Japan Masato lived in. It should not exist even if he searched anywhere on the planet Earth. In that case “......Don’t tell me, really?” he could only believe in that ‘could it be’.
This is the game world? Fantasy theme? No, really? Seriously!
Anyway, Masato was.
I came! I ended up coming! Transfer complete! Hello virtual reality!
The long awaited story, finally finally finally will raise its curtains nowwwwwww......!
“Geez, Maa-kun. Even though mom told you to wait because mom is also coming, you didn’t wait at all. Mom is really depressed you know.”
As he somehow heard a familiar voice and looked back, a girl was there.
Wearing a beautiful one-piece for outing, holding onto a Boston bag stuffed full of things till the zipper could not zip up, like a girl that was about to set out on a journey......No, wait.
Appearing like a young lady, but as a matter of fact, that person was not at the age of a young lady anymore.
That person was not anyone else, she was Masato’s mother, Mamako.
“......Eh......W-Why......this cannot be right......it’s impossible right......”
“Maa-kun. Let’s go on a lot of adventures together from now on. Ufufu.”
“Whaaat the heck is thisssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!?”
In the game Masato was transported to, his mother came along as well.
Really? Really with mom together? No no, that’s......
“Now Maa-kun, this way. Mom will properly escort you.”
“Ah, aah, got it......”
Masato was walking for the time being. With his arm being pulled, he was in autopilot mode.
Crossing over meticulously crafted stone bridges from one floating island to another in the sky, they headed towards the biggest island.
In front of the passage that was decorated with the statues of various gods, a majestic palace at the center of a dome-shaped roof building awaited them. Mamako seemed to be leading the way there.
“Un. Calm down. Don’t abandon my thoughts. Think. Grasp the situation.”
What’s going on now? What’s the current situation? For the time being, it seems that I have been transported into a fantasy game, this can be determined by judging from the situations up to now, but......
More importantly, mother is here. I probably need to do something about that first. Start from there first. Un.
“S-Say, mom......why is mom......”
“Alright, we are here. It seems like there is an event at here. Let’s work hard together.”
As he was mindlessly walking along the hallway, it seemed that they had reached the event encounter point.
They had arrived at the center of the palace interior. In the middle of the spacious circular-shaped hall, an old man was calmly sitting on the throne and waiting for them.
His sturdy body was dressed in gorgeous clothes, with a mantle weaved from golden and silver thread. On his head was a crown embedded with jewels. That person with pure white beard was just like a king......
“You have finally arrived! We are the lord of this transportation palace, King-sama!” *Don!*
The one who introduced himself as King-sama was...King-sama. There was no sight of any soldiers or ministers around, but he was King-sama.
“We have been looking forward to your visit! You have finally arrived!”
“Thank you very much. We are very honored to have been invited......Come, Maa-kun as well, say your greeting properly.”
Following Mamako, Masato also kneeled before the throne and lowered his head, just as he was told.
King-sama looked at the two with a satisfied smile and spoke commemorative words.
“Then first, let’s hear your names. You may present your names.”
“I am Mamako. And, this is my son Maa-kun.”
“[Mamako]-dono, and this is [Maa-kun the son]-dono, right? Then, it will be registered as such......”
“No, wait a second King-sama!? My name is Masato! Masato!”
“Fumu. Then the mother is [Mamako] and the son is [Masato], is that alright? Then it will be registered like that.”
King-sama held up his hand gently. Two window screens appeared in the air immediately. The screens requesting for name input displayed the names of Mamako and Masato respectively, and they were registered on the spot.
“Eh......could it be that just now, it’s the first time account registration......?”
“That’s correct. On a side note, once registered, you cannot change it anymore.”
“Say that firstttt!”
Going along with the flow and registered with real name. It was a common occurrence. Not to mention that it was unchangeable. Pretty common as well. Masato, who had actually done that, banged his head on the floor in regret. He was glad that it was the floor.
“Damn itttt! God damn ittttttt!” *Bashi bashi bashi!*
“M-Maa-kun! You can’t bang on the floor! You will be troubling people on the floor below!”
“Ho ho ho. There is nobody living below, so you may bang as much as you like......Then since the account registration has been completed, please enter your basic information. You may receive this.”
King-sama lightly flicked his finger, the screens that appeared slid towards them. Those screens sliding towards them in the air displayed the basic status of Masato and Mamako.
Masato’s account name was 【Masato】. It really was his real name after all. The profession had 【Ordinary Hero】 filled in. Attack power and defense power stats were recorded, other recorded data were 【Battle Enabled】, 【Production Disabled】 , such things.
He peeked at the status of Mamako who was next to him, the account name was also her real name 【Mamako】. Her profession was 【Ordinary Hero’s Mother】. Others had 【Battle Enabled】, 【Production Disabled】 displayed.
There were many things he wanted to say, but first of all.
“Uhh King-sama......My profession is [Ordinary Hero] , so what is this about......”
“Ordinary is just being normal.”
King-sama closed his eyes as if thinking about something, and showed a gentle smile.
“It is not something major like saving the world......normally getting along, normally finding happiness......for the sake of embodying that state, the Ordinary Hero Masato-dono and Ordinary Hero’s Mother Mamako-dono, that is what you two should aim for.”
Slowly announcing their objectives, he pointed his finger towards the distant space.
“Now go, O Hero!” *Do-don!*
It seemed to be some grandiose dramatic words.
“Alright let’s go!......No, wait a minute!? I can’t just go!”
Where do I go? What should I do? There is too much I don’t understand.
“Fumu, you can’t?”
“Obviously I can’t! Isn’t there any more explanation!? In the first place, what kind of situation is this, I don’t understand even a bit!”
With a *kohon* cough, King-sama told him.
“Putting it simply, this is, in other words, [An online game’s closed beta, using a special technology that we cannot explain well to transfer the user’s actual body into the game, then please start to test play] such a thing.”
“Wah, really simple.”
“As for the test players, they are fundamentally picked from the analysis of a certain survey after strict inspection......though taking the trouble to write your name on an anonymous survey and submitting is also an example of getting chosen. That’s also because it is easier to pinpoint the individual. Well, we won’t say who though.”
“Pupu. Oi oi who is it, that embarrassing guy......hmm?......No, don’t tell me......”
It’s that ‘don’t tell me’ He felt that he could hear such a voice out of nowhere. He hoped that it was just his imagination.
“Now then, about this game, partly also because of it being in test pilot stage, its official title has not been decided. We call it [MMMMMORPG(temp)] for the time being.”
“By the way, that mashiburi means multiplayer?......It smells of parody without a doubt......”
“The genre is fantasy themed MMORPG. A rich variety of professions you can choose from, with battle or non-battle choices on top of that. You can go for battles, or craft items such as home decorations, or simply chill around. You can freely choose according to your playstyle.”
“But I already......”
“Umu. In order to collect actual data, nobody is able to choose yet, and the professions are randomly allocated. This is also unchangeable. Don’t think bad of it.”
“Suddenly robbing away that freedom......This is the guy at the center of the world huh......”
Extremely absurd, boundlessly unreasonable, that was the center of the world.
However, to be chosen as a beta test player was a very precious matter. Not to mention a full-dive test play on top of that. He was honestly happy on that point. Masato somehow improved his feeling, and raised his body.
“Haa......I have roughly understood the outline for the time being. In other words, this is an online game.”
“Umu. It helps that you understood fast......Then how about Mamako-dono? Have you understood the specifications of the game?”
“Fumu? Feel free to ask anything you are concerned about. We will answer you accordingly.”
As King-sama showed a gentle smile, Mamako asked him with a somewhat troubled face.
“In that case, umm......What is that ‘akaunto’ thing?”
““Eh, from there?””
King-sama and Masato synchronized their voices.
“U-Umu......for reference sake, what does Mamako-dono think this account thing is?”
Mamako carefully thought, thought and thought some more, “A-a-a-a” counting the number of times for [A] pronunciation, is it something like that? was what she inquired with a smile.
Un. That was Mamako’s level of knowledge about online games.
King-sama maintained his gentle smile and looked at Masato.
“Masato-dono. Please take care of Mamako-dono. Good luck.”
(TL note: A wise king must be capable of pushing responsibility onto others)
“Hey!? You can’t be throwing this to someone else!? Do something about it!”
“You don’t have a choice!” *Do-don!*
“Suddenly asserting with such dignity!?”
“The reason is because we are NPC! If the text is not implemented, we can’t say anything! If we, who are in charge of initial explanation, were to include beginner tutorial, it can’t be done within 10kb of text! Work on it admins!”
“The one who is a made-up data suddenly demands the admins......What a NPC......”
“By the way, the test player and NPC in this game will not be much different. When you really want to determine the difference, just say something erotic to them. NPC will only respond according to how they were programmed.”
“I don’t want such a differentiating method.”
But then, I can say this kind of things or that kind of things......I don’t have a tiny bit of intention to do such things. Not a tiny bit.
“That’s about all we have to say. You may get used to it by experiencing it yourself as you progress.”
“Well that’s about it......instead of saying this and that, experiencing first hand would be faster......!?”
As there was no more question on the explanation for the time being, when he was convinced, Masato suddenly realized.
No no, wait wait. There is still a question. More like, it’s right here.
Next to Masato, there was Mamako who got close without him noticing.
“W-Wait a moment! There is a very important matter yet to be said!”
“We see. We know what Masato-dono wanted to hear......Why is your mother accompanying you, that’s what you want to know, right?”
“Yes, that! Explain that!”
“But about that, we cannot say.”
“Hah!? Why!? Because there is no text!?”
“No, that’s not the case......About your mother being together with you, it is deeply involved in the objective of this game. Hence, we will not explain the details. If we explained, the will of administration will forcibly prevent it......it must not be done. Realizing it yourself during your adventures is the most desirable result.”
“Ha?......E-Erm......What are you saying......?”
“Your mother has been told about the rough idea in advance. The child should remain innocent. You should just move on like that, get to know each other while adventuring together......Now then.”
King-sama stood up and lightly touched the throne. The throne disappeared in an instant, and the floor stone beneath sunk while echoing a heavy sound. A spiral staircase that continued downwards was revealed.
“It’s the next scene. Follow us.”
“Oi hold up! Don’t just proceed on! Hey the explanation......!”
“Well, just keep quiet and follow. Do you know that there are gifts, which can even make a hero holding dissatisfaction and distrust to the current situation draw his breath, prepared?”
“Trying to gloss it over with misleading words won’t work!”
“Hoho? Then does that mean you don’t want the new account creation+First-time Login Privilege?”
*Zukin!* It was a bullseye.
To give up the first time privilege that would have a luxurious setting no matter which online game it was......was impossible for a normal person. It couldn’t be ignored no matter how he tried to shake it off. Take it. Take it in any case.
Of course, even as a hero, he could not overcome that temptation......
Beyond the spiral staircase they climbed down, there was another circular space. There were several doors aligned on the wall, name plates of various professions such as 【Holy Knight】, 【Wizard】, 【Florist】, 【Farmer】 were listed on them.
Amongst them was the 【Hero】 room. The moment when Masato, who stepped into the room following after King-sama, saw that, his dissatisfaction and distrust that were supposed to be rampaging in his chest were cleanly forgotten. He drew his breath.
There were swords. Exorbitant swords.
It was a small room built with dimly glowing stone, in the middle were three swords stabbed into a rock pedestal.
A sword with burning color like magma. A sword with deep blue color deeper than deep sea. A sword with transparent color that could see through.
Even Masato who saw a real sword for the first time could tell at a glance, those three were not simply swords. It was not the intimidating feeling of a weapon, it was more like something else......Something similar to an awe-inspiring feeling before a tremendously strong existence.
“You feel something after all. As expected of the hero.”
“Now Masato-dono. Pick any you like. We will hand it to you.”
“......Is it fine to take it?”
“It’s all good......To tell the truth, this is supposed to be the reward for the highest ranked quest, but recent users will not be enthusiastic if they don’t get a First-time Privilege. Well in essence, it is a bait.”
“I don’t want to hear such story.”
“People nowadays are luxurious. The heroes in the past went on their journeys holding a wooden stick.”
“Don’t talk about Famicom era.”
“Now Masato-dono. Your sword.”
Masato stepped forward, moving towards the transparent-colored sword without hesitation.
Masato thought about why he did so, he himself had no clear basis. But he felt it.
“What is it......I somehow think that this is absolutely suited for me......no doubt.”
The Sun, the Moon and the Stars. He grasped the handle that had been delicately crafted in reminiscence of the sky, and raised it.
The transparent sword body that was stabbed deeply into the hard rock, was pulled out by Masato’s hand without feeling any resistance.
“We see. Masato-dono is the hero that chose the high and far away sky.”
“Chose the sky......?”
“The sword in your hand is Holy Sword of the Sky Firmament. In the distant past, when the sky of this world was shrouded in darkness, just a swing from this legendary sword could split all that darkness......is its setting.”
“That’s one phrase unnecessary. But well, it seems to be some really amazing sword......Though the amazingness is vague from just listening to that explanation.”
“Then let us give you an easy to understand explanation.”
King-sama put on a pair of reading glasses and took out a book from his pocket. He started flipping through the book with 【Official Guide Book】 at the front page.
“Eh, Firmament......2x Damage and 3x Critical Rate against aerial monsters, has the highest class of attack power amongst event items, unsellable, that’s all.”
“That’s very easy to understand, but various things are wasted. Cherish the world view more.”
“There is no need to worry. It will be done properly in the official release.”
I think that because it’s a beta version, not everything will be done well, but I still want this to be done properly to some degree......Masato kept quiet as he would properly not get what he wanted even if he asked.
“How is it Masato-dono? Do you feel motivated now?”
King-sama’s remark was spot on. Bullseye. The moment Holy Sword of the Sky Firmament was in his hands, Masato believed that something inside him changed.
“In my hands, there is a sword......”
The sense of touch on his hand appealed to him. The desire engraved in the male instinct ── to fight, that desire which was synonymous to the life of a male stirred.
On top of that, Masato obtained the legendary sword. The highest grade weapon. It was something promised to be the strongest in regards to adventuring and fighting.
Was there any reason to discard such an honor? He would not find one even if he searched.
“Haa......I’m on board, though still frustrated.”
“We understand that feeling from your perspective. It is fine to just take it as the destined fate for Masato-kun as the hero.”
“Is that so......aah no, even if you said hero, there is no recognition for it at all.”
“What are you saying, Masato-dono has obtained the legendary sword, right? That is something which cannot be obtained if one is not a hero. It is evident that Masato-dono is the hero. A real hero without doubt.”
“Wait, if you say something like that......it’s somehow embarrassing......”
Masato was the hero. There was no doubt about it. A real hero. A hero he said!
“You don’t have to feel embarrassed, you know? Masato-dono is the hero. This world’s great hero. Nay, the savior!”
“L-Like I said~ stop that already~ it’s too much~”
Hero. Great hero. Savior. From hero to great hero to savior. 3 combo achieved, just kidding!
“We have only said the truth......Actually, whether the game can convert to official service depends on the results of the test play. It is closely related to the contributions of you all......please guide this world to a new dimension. You are the only one capable of doing that.”
“Eeh~? Well, if you say that only I can do it, then I will give it a try~”
“Ufufu, that’s true. If it’s Maa-kun, you will try it. Because Maa-kun is mom’s prided son.”
“Nn~ Well, I am the prided son? That’s of course.....huh......”
“Then maybe mom will also borrow these swords. Heave-ho.” *Supo, supo.*
Mamako pulled out the burning-colored sword and deep blue-colored sword from the pedestal.
The legendary swords that could not be obtained without being chosen, and two of them together, were easily pulled out.
King-sama, who was getting carried away, and Masato, who was feeling proud, were easily shocked by that. Err, wait a sec? What is going on just now? Someone explain please?
“E-Erm......King-sama, this is......?”
“Sorry. We cannot say anymore about this. Please forgive us as we are just NPC......Oh that’s right. Please go through this guide book with Mamako-dono later. Now then, do as you see fit.”
After pushing further gifts for Mamako into Masato’s hands, King-sama went away to somewhere.
(TL note: As mentioned before, a king needs to know how to push responsibility to others)
Passing through the door installed at the back of the hero’s room, a circular arena was there. There were no audience seats, the stage for battle was just set up in a space that stretched endlessly. This was the place for holding the tutorial battle.
Masato stood at the edge of the stage and skimmed through the guide book. He soon found the information he wanted to know.
“[Terra di Madre] and [Altura]......”
They were the names of the two swords in Mamako’s hands.
The burning-colored sword was Terra di Madre. The Holy Sword of Mother Earth. It was the life itself that was born from the splitting of heaven and earth. The sword that was the source of all life in this world, was what was written.
The deep blue-colored sword was Altura. The Holy Sword of Mother Sea. It seemed to have suppressed a great flood that assaulted the world with one miraculous swing. A sign of contract for the earth and the sea sharing the world, was what it seemed to be.
As for how incredible the two swings of those swords actually were, it was just as the following description mentioned.
【Terra di Madre: 2x Damage and 3x Critical Rate against land monsters. All target attack. Has the highest class attack power amongst event items. Unsellable.】
【Altura: 2x Damage and 3x Critical Rate against aquatic monsters. All target attack. Has the highest class attack power amongst event items. Unsellable.】
As a special note, the all target attack on both swords was [Damage based on headcount] such description. The amount of damage from one hit was predetermined first, then equal amount of damage would be given according to the number of targets.
That was the actual effect when those weapons were actually used.
“Watch me, Maa-kun! Mom will work hard!......Eii!”
Mamako raised up Terra di Madre in her right hand highly, and then swung it down.
At the same time, countless sharpened stones just like swords stabbed out from the ground and swung down, aiming at a group of monsters.
“Ugaaaaah!?” “Gugyaaaaaah!?” “Gebuf!?” “Gyafah!?”
Ant, caterpillar, spider, wolf, bear and various other monsters in front of Mamako were split into two and annihilated from one end to another. Easily done.
However, a new group of monsters appeared soon after.
“Mom will not lose! Because mom wants to show Maa-kun her good points!......Eii!”
Mamako held Altura with her left hand horizontally, then swung out in one breath.
Following that, water overflowed from the place the deep blue sword flash that drew past, splitting into countless water droplets, then shot out with the speed of bullets.
“Goaaaaaah!?” “Gigigigii!?” “Gohaa!?” “Ugugugu......Gafu......!”
The group of monsters that were showered by the simultaneous shot of high speed water bullets became full of holes, their bodies collapsed in an instant. The second wave of enemy was also fully destroyed. That was also easily done.
However, it was not over. The battle still continued. A silhouette of monster was in the sky!
“Maa-kun! Now is the time to witness Maa-kun’s power! Do your best!”
Masato closed the guide book, and drew a cut in the air with Firmament.
In that moment, a slash wave was released from the transparent sword body, and chased the enemy by itself. The freely soaring slash wave struck the monsters at once.
One monster the size of a sparrow that was flying in the air fell and turned to ashes.
I defeated a monster!
And then Masato fell on his knees on the spot and started bawling.
“......Uuu......this is wrong......something is wrong with this......definitely wrong......”
“W-What happened, Maa-kun!? Could it be you got hurt somewhere!? Let mom see!?”
“No......not that......it’s not that......kuh......”
It was true that Firmament was incredible. To be able to release homing slash wave, there was no doubt that it was an incredible sword. It was fine to be confident. He should have praised himself. It’s alright.
Even though that should be the case, Mamako’s normal attack was all target attack, not to mention with two swords, she could attack twice.
If he compared his mother who had defeated dozens of monster to himself.
I can only cry. I can only sulk about it and sleep. What else can I do?
Mamako ran towards Masato who was having such thoughts.
“Maa-kun! Hey cheer up! Maa-kun’s attack is incredible! Not only is it transparent, it also flies out with a boom, that surprised mom! Maa-kun was very cool!”
“I beg you, please stop with that encouragement......I’m already more depressed than I have ever been, do you want me to be even more depressed?”
“M-Mom doesn’t have such intention! Not that!......L-Look, just stand up first! Let’s finish the tuto......chyuto......erm, what is it called......”
“......Choo Choo Train huh.”
“Yes, that’s it! Mom did that a long time ago. Going ‘fwan~fwan~’ with her friends together.”
“No. That’s totally wrong. It’s not the one where we line up in a row go round and round.”
“I-Is that so? This isn’t the place to talk about old times, right......E-Erm......anyway, we should stop this for now, let’s move on to the next part! Hey, let’s do that! The next part will be more fun!”
Saying so, Mamako clung onto Masato’s arm and tried to help him up.
Masato shook off those hands.
“If mom wants adventures, you alone can go just fine. Well, when you go to the fields, there may be monsters coming out, but your firepower is more than enough. You can easy win in the initial strike.”
“Firepower? Mom cannot spew fire you know? There isn’t even a gas stove.”
“I’m not talking about THAT kind of firepower.”
Firepower referred to attack power. Firepower is a term also used in firearm. It might be just a little too difficult for mom. In any case.
“Haa......Look, it’s fine to go already. You can just leave me alone.”
Masato already decided to pass. Pass on everything. It was to the point of passing on breathing as he lied down, and pretended to be dead. He became just like a corpse and would not respond.
“Uuu......Maa-kun......w-what should mom do at such a time......ah, that’s right!”
The troubled Mamako stretched out her hand for the guide book that Masato abandoned. She would even grasp at straw as she desperately flipped the page.
“Where is the strategy......the countermeasure for when my hero son dislikes adventuring together......”
“As if such a pinpoint strategy will be written on it. What do you think that guide book is?”
“【Knowing that your normal attack is all target double attack, your son will be delighted. You will be hugging each other as you adventure together】 was written on it, but it’s all lies! Maa-kun is not a tiny bit happy at all!”
“......Well, fundamentally speaking, I believe it is a joyous matter.”
“Eh, is that so!?”
“Yeah, that’s right. You have high firepower all target attacks, you know? And two turns of attack on top of that......If that kind of player is right before my eyes, I will give it my all to make that person my companion. I want to make him my companion even to the point of splurging money.”
“Then, why aren’t you happy?......Why......”
Mamako thought carefully, and realized all of a sudden. She then timidly asked.
“Could it be......It’s just mom’s guess, but could it be......because it’s mom?”
“That’s exactly the biggest issue......Pay attention.”
Masato lifted up his body and sat down facing Mamako.
He kept in his mind not to get angry and yell. It was an important talk.
“E-Explain you say......”
“About everything. Everything. I am telling you to explain everything leading to this situation......Mom knows something about this right? King-sama said that mom has already been told the rough outline. There is some story from the administrative side right?”
“Frankly speaking, transporting into the game itself is strange, but I welcome such a thing so I won’t ask......However, this is somewhat different from the image I have about being transported into the game. What is different is obviously mom coming here together.”
“Even the mothers in other families would like to be transported into the game with their sons together once in awhile......”
“No way! Absolutely no! Impossible! More like it will be problematic if there is! A fantasy for teenage boy does not need a parental existence! It’s a hindrance!”
“Muu. Maa-kun’s way of speaking is mean. Mom is angry.”
Mamako’s cheek puffed up. Mamako was throwing a tantrum. What’s with this person, so cute......
No no hold on! She’s my biological mother! A mother around forty! That’s not within the category to judge cute or not! There is no way for that!
“Stop fooling around! I don’t want that, just answer me properly!”
“Y-Yes! Mom will answer!”
“Why has mom come as well, why and how it became like this, explain it in details. Go on.”
“B-But......it is better not to talk about everything at first......adventuring together, accumulating various encounters, then realizing it yourself based on those is better......”
“It’s fine, just tell me! Don’t be so annoying!......Hey mom, if you don’t stop that......”
“I will severe our mother-son relationship you know!?”
Those words came out from his mouth. The words that came out by themselves due to irritation.
It was a spur of moment, but throwing that line out so straightforwardly in a spur of moment......it struck Mamako directly, robbing her of emotion.
“......Ah......no......just now......” It was too late when Masato realized his verbal slip.
Big droplets of tears were forming and flowing down from the corner of Mamako’s eyes who was in a daze.
His mother was crying, looking straight at him.
“......Sorry. Mom is not sure what and how to explain it. Shirase-san and others also have various circumstances, so mom doesn’t know how much she should say.”
“Ah, aah, un. I understand. There is some sort of circumstances, so then......”
“But, mom can tell you one thing. Lying to Maa-kun, hurting Maa-kun or the like, mom is not trying to do such things. Please believe that at least.”
“Aah, I get it......”
“You know, mom wants to get along with Maa-kun. Adventuring with Maa-kun, talking about many things, working hard for various things, getting along well as parent and child, those are what mom thought of. That’s why......*sob*......you know?”
“I get it, I understand already! I properly understand! I understand it perfectly!”
“That’s why, mom beg you......”
“Don’t say such sad things like severing our mother-son relationship......Amongst the words mom has heard since birth, those are the harshest, saddest words.”
Tears flowed nonstop from Mamako’s eyes. Sad tears dripped and dripped.
Masato screwed up......
He made his mother sad to the point of shedding tears. The figure of his mother getting depressed because of him was before his eyes.
There was no other thing that could make a child taste such bitterness and suffering.
“......What the hell am I doinggg......”
Those were not emotional words. As a child born from his parents, his life itself which was given to him had been dyed with the wish to let his parents smile and be high-spirited. His soul would not settle down if they were sad. It was not possible for him to endure. It was not possible for him to ignore.
Masato immediately went into seiza, and kowtowed on the stage of the arena.
“Sorry, mom! I didn’t mean it just now! I do not have any intention of doing that at all! It was just a spur of moment, I do not mean it at all! So!”
Please forgive me. Please stop crying. He was desperately appealing to her.
*Ruffle ruffle ruffle*, his head was stroked like that. Mamako’s hand, using those fingers that were gentle at all times, messed up his hairstyle like saying [oh this boy].
“You know, mom really likes such a gentle Maa-kun who can be considerate to her.”
“T-Thanks......I am really sorry for saying some strange thing.”
“Alright, mom forgives you......Then it’s fine already. Now, raise your face.”
As he raised his face, his mother’s tear-stricken face was there. As it was still too much for him to look straight at her, Masato shifted his line of sight away from her “Hey. you have to properly look at the person you are talking to.” “I-I know already.” It could not be helped and he faced her properly.
Masato could see Mamako showing a face that wanted to be his companion.
“Kuh......I have never thought that a day would come for me to face mother with such an expression......”
“Hey. Face here properly. Listen to your mom’s words carefully.”
“Mom wants go on an adventure together with Maa-kun. Can mom become Maa-kun’s companion?”
Should he make his mother a companion?
There was no hesitation. Because there was only one choice.
“......Well, alright. I think that mom’s firepower will be a great help. Rather than saying if you can be my companion......well uh......it’s fine to come together.”
“Yes. Then mom will do so. Please treat mom well from now on, Maa-kun.”
“Un, well......Likewise, please treat me well, mom.”
Mamako became his companion.
“But Maa-kun. Mom needs to tell you one thing.”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“You see, mom cannot spew fire you know? Because mom is not a stove.”
“Like I said, it’s not that kind of firepower, how many times must I tell you before you understand, mom!?”
It might be possible that, the greatest enemy of this adventure could be his mother’s comprehension ability......Masato could not shake off this premonition.
1 OL - Office Lady. Refers to women with an office job. ↩
2 Shirase - In Japanese kanji, her name is Shirase(白瀬), and the word for inform is also shirase(知らせ). It is intended as a pun here. Note that there will be many instances of this pun being used later on. ↩
3 Munu – it can be either the sound effect of breast pressing on the back or a mutter of “mune” which is breast in Japanese. ↩
4 Akaunto – As Mamako does not know what ‘account’ is, she is spelling it out in hiragana. ↩
5 Famicom - Or NES. ↩
6 World view – In this case, Masato is saying to not ruin the fantasy world setting by giving out statistical data in a modern game-like way. ↩
7 Grasp at straw – Idiom. Desperate to the point of making futile efforts. ↩