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353 Part 3
“Well, there was no science room on the second floor, so this is a good place to stop.”
“Then, can we save and quit?”
There were several save points on the map, and since they had saved before coming to the art room, they decided to save here once again before quitting for the day.
“Alright, follow me so you don’t trip.”
Risa kept her eyes closed as she grabbed onto Kaede’s offered hand. She felt a great sense of relief over getting through this first part.
Kaede then started to walk, and so Risa also took a step forward. That’s when something cold enveloped her other hand that was open.
Risa turned around without thinking. There was the girl in the school uniform. The cold sensation Risa had felt was her translucent hand.
“Don’t go…please don’t gooooo!”
A black substance was dripping from the ghost’s eyes as it clutched onto Risa’s hand. This sudden shock seemed to be too much for Risa to handle. And instead of shaking the hand off, she just fell down to the floor.
“Huh!? Wh-wha-what!? Risa!?”
Kaede suddenly heard the unfamiliar voice as she started walking, and she turned around in order to help Risa. However, it was then that her vision turned black, and after a short pause, the words ‘Game Over’ appeared in front of them.
When their vision returned to normal, their inventory was back to the state it was before they went to the Art Room. It was clear that they had been automatically brought back to the save point.
As for Risa, she was sitting silently on the ground as if she could no longer stand up. It was clear that she did not have the strength to go back to the art room.
“Let’s stop then!”
Kaede decided. She then called out the menu and exited the game. And like that, the two returned to the real world.
After coming back, Kaede removed the VR headset and thought back on this first VR horror game experience. As it was a VR game, it felt like an extension of a haunted house attraction. So while she had been surprised, she enjoyed the tension while exploring.
Kaede took the headgear off for her, which revealed a face that looked exhausted.
“I give up…overcoming my fear…”
Her eyes were wet and then tears began to fall. Kaede knew this would happen, and so she wasn’t surprised.
“Oh! I just knew that this would happen! This always happens after you say that you’re going to overcome it.”
“The game…you can have it if you want.”
“Hmm. No thanks. I can’t play multiple games at the same time like you can. And it seems like there’s still a lot to do.”
“Okay… Sorry for putting you through this.”
“No, it was a refreshing experience. But I better go home soon.”
As she had to be careful of ghosts and lead Risa, who was incredibly slow on her feet, and explore simultaneously, quite a lot of time had passed. And it was already dark outside. Kaede picked up her bag and looked around to make sure that she didn’t leave anything.
“Well, see you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow! Ah, that’s right…what time should I call you tonight?”
Kaede knew that Risa would have trouble sleeping that night, so she asked when she should call. What had happened on the 6th layer had happened a few times before, and judging by the way Risa reacted to this game, tonight was unlikely to be an exception.
Risa realized what Kaede was saying, and she looked embarrassed as she began to mutter. But she was unable to refuse the offer.
Kaede replied after Risa managad to say the words. She then said goodbye and left. Left alone in her room, Risa sat hunched over her desk and angrily rang her hands through her hair.
“This is so embarrassing… Oh, you idiot.”
No matter how many times she tried, she always regretted it. And yet she always felt confident before starting, which put her in a worse position.
“I won’t try anymore! I won’t!”
Risa looked at the horror game box admonishingly as she declared this to herself.
A few days after Kaede and Risa played the horror game. It was just at about the halfway point of the long event, and they were already close to the goal in terms of killing event monsters.
“Oh! It’s going a lot faster than I expected.”
“Yes. And it’s not that difficult to gather materials either. I almost have enough.”
“It seems like we’ll reach the goal without me actually doing much.”
Chrome, Izu, and Kanade checked the kill count, while leaving the rest to the larger, more active guilds. At this point, there was no need to really push themselves, as it was clear that they would reach the goal within the time limit.
“Well, I guess I’ll just continue to observe the other guilds.”
“From what I heard, those two from Rapid Fire seem very interesting. It made me want to take a look.”
“Those two really are strong. It will help during PvP events if we have information on them.”
“Exactly. Alright, I’ll contact you if something happens.”
“Yes. And let me know if you need anything.”
“Yes. Ah, also…Sally seemed to be thinking deeply about something the last time I saw her, but I couldn’t really ask too much about it. So you should talk to her if you see her.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
As Kanade could fight quite flexibly with his magic books and Sou’s ‘Mimic,’ he was able to hold his own on the battlefield, even if his level wasn’t that high. But Kanade was greatly reliant on ‘Akashic Record’ and its magic books. And so he would not be able to fight on the 7th layer if he couldn’t use them. And so he wanted to know if there were any specific books that he should save.
Kanade left the guild home in order to once again search for information about Lily and Willbert. A short while later, Maple and Sally arrived at the guild home.
“Oh, he just missed them.”
“That’s true. He could have talked directly if he waited a little longer.”
“…? What are you talking about?”
“Well, Kanade said that Sally seemed to be troubled over PvP. And he wanted us to ask her about it.”
“Do you know what they’re talking about, Sally?”
“The day I last talked to Kanade was…AH!!?”
Sally covered her mouth and then coughed to try and cover her outburst.
“A-are you okay?”
“Yes, it’s nothing. I was actually thinking about something else. Sorry for making you all worry.”
Maple realized what she meant by that, and she nodded to herself. But Sally was looking at her in a way that suggested she didn’t want her to say anything, and so Maple kept her mouth shut.
“That’s fine then. I won’t pry if it has nothing to do with that.”
“Yes, sorry. I’ll tell Kanade about it later.”
“You should do that.”
After that, they started to talk about what everyone else had been up to. In the meantime, Maple whispered to Sally.
“Was it the horror game that you were troubled over?”
“Hey! …You don’t have to guess what it was.”
Sally said as she averted her eyes and raised her scarf to cover her mouth.