The synopsis and ToC can be seen here.
Some of the “streaming”/”internet” terms differ from English to Japanese so forgive me if some of them are incorrectly translated.
I plan on releasing chapter 2 this weekend, maybe Sunday.
As a side note: For this series I am trying to improve my writing skills so I will NOT be putting speaker quotes unless it is relatively confusing to know who is talking. Most of the time it is clearly stated but I will try to write dialogue in a way were you can tell who it is based on their personality.
Volume 1: New Game+
Chapter 1: The Popular and The Lonely High-schooler (Part 1)
By utilizing [Dragon’s Krone]’s dedicated streaming servers, which entirely focused on distributing video content, there were a large number of 「Live Players」who recorded their own personal footage.
Livestreaming, although it was simple and easy to view someone’s stream, Dragon’s Krone had implemented a system that directly benefited the streamer themselves.
That was, the ability to collect in-game currency from Listeners: A viewing fee.
Anyone who plays Dragon’s Krone can purchase a「Broadcast Limitation」 by using in-game currency. If you placed the broadcast limitation on a “Saved Broadcast” , then people can only view that saved broadcast if they pay the broadcaster a viewing fee with in-game money.
This 「Livestream Game」 produced a lot of popular Web Content and, although it was a system that utilized in-game currency, this simple form of compensation was well-received among the livestreamer community. Wanting to be a part of this new wave of interest, real world companies began sponsoring popular livestream players. This gave birth to so-called “Pro Gamers”.
『YOU ACTUALLY KILLED ITTT!』
『Well, didn’t I say it would be easy for him?』
As Aran sheathed his beloved Katana, comments carrying words of praise flooded in one after another and filled the popup window.
Although the Listeners continued to restlessly comment, Aran took a deep breath as he sized up his prey.
The「Supreme Dragon Drake」that Aran had defeated, it was a diabolical boss Mob that countless players have challenged so far but all were met with despair and none have ever defeated before.
At the start of the battle it would fire out a 【Kindred’s Roar】.
Invalidating all physical attacks for a set period of time【Centuria Ⅲ】.
Bouncing back all magic during a period of time【Reflector Ⅲ】.
Without any cast time, a wide area explosion that caused immense damage【Dragon Breath】 And stopping your movements with the skill【Evasion】.
And many more skills like those. Along with absurdly brutal abilities given to it by the developers, till this day the number of players who had successfully defeated it was completely non-existent.
And yet, that Supreme Dragon Drake was not only defeated, but it was defeated single-handedly without even teamed up in a party. As expected, after witnessing such an amazing feat before their very eyes the Listeners didn’t sit back awestruck and instead sent in a frenzy of comments.
「I thought I was done for when it used the zero cast time【Dragon Breath】, but I somehow managed to defeat it」
With the Dragon’s corpse behind him, Aran turned around and gave a smile to the camera is if taking a picture of himself.
『The Drops! What items did it drop!?』
『Tell me what the Dragon’s weak points areee!』
In the window, feverish messages kept coming in and showed no signs of stopping.
Looking at the comment window that scrolled at violent speeds, Aran reflexively closed it and removed it from his sight.
He could roughly guess the contents of those overflowing comments after all, and it was also impossible to read each and every one of them and reply on the spot.
「The key point in beating it, I guess it would be dealing with the【Kindred’s Roar】 at the start. If you don’t have at least one person in your party who can use the skill【Hearing Isolation】 then your party will crumble in an instant. After that…… Let’s see, the brutal【Dragon Breath】 and【Evasion】. In order to lower the damage I recommend the fire resistance equipment from『DICE』」
‘You can buy it at my social shop so I look forward to seeing you’, Aran kindly informed them.
「DICE」, that was the name of the Men’s Apparel Brand that sponsored Aran.
In exchange for financial backing, Aran was sponsored so that he could promote the brand name and the products of DICE.
And, as part of their advertisement strategy, DICE produced products that had a dual purpose in the game. They produced in-game equipment with original designs that were geared towards high level players; serving as a marketing tool while also being practically useful.
DICE was not the only company who decided to interlink their marketing strategy with Dragon’s Krone.
From video game peripheral makers, to other companies like automobile makers and toy makers, a large variety of companies made contracts with and sponsored Players. Their influence in the game came in many different forms and it is still spreading even further.
Up until now there has been many failures trying to establish the relationship between「Games and Advertisements」, but Dragon’s Krone was an open environment in which marketing companies could flourish in their own different shapes and forms.
「If you want more details then please check my blog later. For those of you Listeners who haven’t subscribed yet, I encourage you all to subscribe to the channel and to the e-mail magazine updates. Who know, maybe the next issue of the e-mail magazine will have a hint on how to defeat the Drake……」
Leaving behind some superficial words, Aran energetically waved his hand.
At Aran’s words the message window was once again went into a crazed frenzy, and the viewer counter started revolving at extreme speeds as if it was broken.
「Well then, May we meet again during the next broadcast. Adeus!」
Saying his usual words of farewell, Aran’s figure slowly disappeared as the broadcast video faded-out.
Reflected on the broadcast screen in place of Aran, was the business Logo of DICE.
After confirming that the broadcast status had been changed from Online to Offline, Aran quietly opened the menu, and he ended today’s broadcast.
With the broadcast ended, Aran withdrew from the exclusive combat Battlefield where he fought the Supreme Dragon Drake. Making use of Fast Travel, he teleported to his own private area which prevented trespassing by other players: his「Home House」.
With a thatched and slanted roof, the front entrance was decorated with a magnificent Karahafu design that would make you think「This must’ve cost a hefty sum of money」. The ambiance emitted from Aran’s house would make you forget that this was a Fantasy world; it was a house that embodied the essence of a splendid and traditional Japanese Samurai’s abode.
「Welcome home, Aran-sama」
When Aran set foot in the main building, he was sent a greeting from a young girl.
The person waiting for Aran at the front entrance, she had flawless white skin and long black hair. Dressing herself in a Gothic Lolita outfit, an Elf that looked as if she was the perfect depiction of a doll. Her name is Sonya.
Sonya was not a character being operated by a human player.
Assisting in the Home House Support System, helping during manufacturing and maintaining the players Social Shop. She was a Support character that could even assist the player in combat, A Non-Player Character, an NPC.
Incidentally, this support character could be customized in a variety of ways by using in-game currency or real world money. The setting of Gothic Lolita Elf was just one of Aran’s preferences.
「I’m back, Sonya. Anything happen while I was gone?」
「The inventory of the display item in the Social Shop, The『Blizzaria』Series, has greatly diminished」
「Oh, Did it? I thought that it would sell pretty well, but still, I guess I should contact DICE and get some more stock」
「Since the end of Aran-sama’s broadcast, access to the Social Shop has increased 320% from the previous day. The number of purchases total 10,654. For further details, please access the Social Shop’s analysis feature in order to review it」
The Blizzaria Series, like Aran mentioned during the broadcast, was a series of equipment manufactured by DICE that possesses a high level of flame resistance.
Different from the real world, the concept of 「Stock Inventory」 does not exist in the virtual world of Dragon’s Krone, but this was different story for the marketing companies. That is because, in order to determine the number of marketing goods that could be sold as items, the real world companies have to pay the administrators of Dragon’s Krone a 「Media Expense」.
Items that are sold in-game, aside from the ones that need to be purchased with real world money, those in-game items pretty much turn players wearing them into walking billboards, so paying the Media Expense is essentially making an appeal for goods and services.
In other words, players that wear a company’s goods openly advertise their brand, essentially like an in-game fashion show.
This was the main reason as to why Apparel Makers such as DICE are the primary type of company that enter into this marketing strategy. Another major factor is because Apparel Makers have a rather high affinity for using a VRMMO as a media for advertisement.
「There is one video that has yet to be uploaded. There are also 150 unread messages in your mailbox」
「Understood. Let’s leave the video and messages for later…… For now, please open the item box」
「As you wish」
Sonya gave a short bow, and a new window popped up in-front of Aran’s view.
In Dragon’s Krone, items and money you obtain is stored in the individual player’s item inventory. If you get attacked by Mobs or other players and die, then all the items in your possession get converted into Objects, and they end up as drops at the place where you died.
Items in your Inventory cannot be stolen, but once they get converted into Objects, not only can other players grab it, but even the surrounding Mobs can pick them up and retrieve them.
In other words, once you die all those items are lost. As a means of insurance against such an event happening, each player has an item storage-place in their Home House known as an「Item Box」.
「Let’s see here」
Looking over the numerous items dropped by the Supreme Dragon Drake, Aran’s eyes were sparking as he chuckled to himself.
「Drake’s Scale」 and「Dragon’s Fat」,「Jet-Black Horn」 and「Kindred’s Blood」.
Each and every one of them were of the highest rarity;「Legendary Class」 materials.
If key items are also among the ingredients, then the shops in town should be selling a Recipe for them. With that Recipe you can manufacture weapons and armor. It would be best if they could be made into equipment for my class, 「Samurai」, though.
While daydreaming about making all-power equipment, before logging out, Aran took a look at the shop and confirmed the inventory. Thinking of the fun times to be had next time he logs in, Aran transferred the items from his Inventory to the Item Box, and then he opened up the「Rankings」window.
「Displaying the Rankings」
Along with Sonya’s announcement, a list of Players was being displayed──
This was, a Rankings list for streams based on their viewer count.
In Dragon’s Krone where livestreaming was heavily endorsed, the game’s greatest players, they could easily be identified by looking at the highest ranked streamers on this Rankings list.
The most skilled players will naturally attract viewers to their livestream. Other than looking at how high their character’s Level is, this was another method to measure the true strength of a Player.
「No change in the lower rankings, huh」
Sliding past the ranking to see the top 30, the display soon stopped on the names of the Top Ranking Players.
「As usual, Aran-sama is number 1 in the daily rankings」
「Well, of course I am」
「How magnificent. As expected of Aran-sama」
With a slight grin on his face, Sonya’s words of praise only elevated Aran’s mood.
On the monitor was the number of viewers for his broadcast; it surpassed the 2nd ranked player’s view count by almost two-fold.
Up until yesterday there wasn’t that much of a gap between 1st and 2nd, but this must be due to the subjugation of the Supreme Dragon Drake.
Even so, he couldn’t let his guard down.
The current No. 2 Ranked Player「Cloche 」 was a Female Player.
Her technique and skills were of the highest level. And on top it all, she was a Cool Beauty so she gathered a rather large fan-base. As proof of that, apparently the Apparel Brand that sponsored Cloche reportedly had a massive increase in sales ever since they brought her on-board for advertising.
If you are wondering why I know so much about her, it is because I, too, am one of her fans.
「Open the Mailbox」
「As you wish」
Having done a rough scan of across the Rankings list, Aran began operating the Mailbox.
A new window popped up, and all the mails that have piled up were being received one after another.
「The mail have been filtered and the one’s deemed dangerous have been marked for deletion. If any of those mails look important, then please exclude them from the filter and transfer them to the inbox」
「You’re a lifesaver」
The majority of the 150 unread mails were from messages from fans who saw the stream or read the blog.
There are some messages among them that had offensive language, but since Aran planned on personally replying to every single mail individually when he got the time, he separated them and placed them in the box labeled「Players」.
Since he was sponsored by DICE, he couldn’t just rudely ignore any message. One day, it might be better if he used Sonya’s automated reply function to help deal with them though.
Swiftly readjusting his gaze, all that was left were suspicious looking mails from unknown senders that Sonya had marked for deletion.
In Dragon’s Krone, there has been an increasing number of problems where Players who are sponsored by companies get maliciously harassed.
This is known as「Account Hacking」.
Account Hacking is just what it seems like, it is a method by which people illegally obtain your Dragon’s Krone account information. It has gotten to the point where Players who illegally obtain account information are subject to criminal charges.
Account Hacking comes in many different forms, but the most common one is hacking through mail.
They attach an item to the mail, and once it get’s opened it installs backdoor malware (an illegal program) into the VR console. The next time you Login, they steal away your account info.
As a result, before you send an attachment in Dragon’s Krone, it is common courtesy to confirm through voice chat that you really did send it. As such, for suspicious looking mails that Aran wasn’t contacted about, he simply threw them into the trash bin without even reading the text.
「By the way Aran-sama, is it really okay that you haven’t logged out yet?」
「Eh? Ah, crap, it’s already this late」
The clock on the edge of the display was showing that the time was close to 10 pm.
After this he will have to update his blog and edit today’s livebroadcast before putting it in the archives; this will take about 30 more minutes. Even if he logged out now, it he wouldn’t be able to go to bed until about 11 pm.
「……Seriously, this sucks」
Aran grumbled those words.
In the real world his expression was scanned and the face of Aran’s avatar changed to that of a frown, as if exposing the displeasure nestled deep in his heart.
The thing that Aran found annoying, it wasn’t having to update his blog or having to upload the video to the archives.
For him it was the most detestable thing── It was the signal that he had to separate from this world; the signal that he had to return to “Reality”.
「*Haaa*…… I really don’t want to go to school」
During his livestreams Aran’s true appearance was never shown.
In the world of Dragon’s Krone, Aran was an extremely popular livestream player; so popular that there is probably no one who didn’t know his name.
The number of other players who just want to be his acquaintance are as countless as the number of stars in the universe. If Aran sent out applications to players who wanted to go hunting together with him, then most likely an insane number of applications would come rushing in to the point where they couldn’t even be processed.
However, in the real world he was nothing like this.
Here in the real world, even if he tried to gather people together── No one would come.
In the real world, Aran was “Edogawa Ran”; a high schooler…… and in addition he had absolutely no friends; a high schooler that could otherwise be called a「Loner」.
「Try your best, Aran-sama. Sonya will always be here for you, awaiting as I look forward to Aran-sama’s return」
In a graceful manner, linking her hands in front, Sonya gave Aran a warm smile.
Sonya’s words, they were like blessed rain falling down onto this parched and dry desert. They spread out and permeated deep into Ran’s soul.
A Loner High-schooler, for someone like Ran, Sonya was an irreplaceable refuge of 「Healing Comfort」.
TL Extra note: It said the his viewer counter “kept revolving as if broken” as in it was going up… But personally if someone soldout so hard on stream I would flip a table and just ragequit 😛
TL note: A Centurion is a professional soldier in the ancient Roman army. The kind of shield they used were vertically long shields called Scutum. I asssume the skill “Centuria III” is a reference to those types of shields.
Also note: although one of the Dragon’s skills is called “Evasion” it does not help the dragon evade, but instead stops/hinders the movement’s of the players. Kinda the opposite of what you think “evasion” would mean.
TL note: Adeus is Portuguese for “good-bye”. In the original text there is furigana that says that Adeus is supposed to mean “See you later”.
TL note: Here’s a good reference to what Aran house might look like. Picture Here. A Karahafu design is the “triangle” part of the front entrance.
TL note: “Cloche” is a French word which means “Bell” in English. The name in Romaji for “Cloche” is “Kuroshie”.
I am debating if I should use Kuroshie or Cloche for her name so yea… I really want to put Cloche since it has some significant later in the story but it sounds weird so Maybe I’ll make a poll down the line for readers to choose.
TL note: The Kanji for “Ran” means “Orchid”. In flower language an Orchid is a symbol of perfection and wealth… Not sure if it applies in this case though. Ran is probably more related to the name Aran.