Just a little rant. Usually I don’t care about ratings and I understand how some people could dislike my other series but seriously, the characters haven’t even been introduced in this one. And yet there are 6 one star and 3 two star rating on NU. They were probably the same people who give my other series 1 star but still, What is there to even hate? Nothing even happened yet, and there’s hardly any characters to dislike. Just trying to wrap my brain around it.
To clarify, I’m not asking for better ratings. I’m asking for a reason for the low ones.
Enough with the rant though. Enjoy.
Side note: I added a “Status” Page for those of you who want to check. I’ll probably be posting a lot of Livestreamer for a while though.
Volume 1: New Game+
Chapter 2: The Popular and The Lonely High-schooler (Part 2)
For Aran, For Edogawa Ran, it has been 3 years since he came across the world of Dragon’s Krone.
By nature, Ran was a person who preferred to do things alone. Since he had few friends, once Ran heard about the grand unveiling of the VR console「UnChain」 he was instantly hooked.
A new device that constructed a virtual world directly in your brain,「UnChain」. By giving specific stimulation to the 5 senses, it could create a visual using your sensory organs and project the image into your mind; a new kind of「Brain Machine-Interface」.
Attached to a reclining chair was a hood that contained the relatively small VR console UnChain. Sitting down in the chair, if you booted up the main device then you could immediately Dive into a virtual world.
Being a device that defied our common perception of the future, mass media was in a big fuss about it. Up until now other attempts with technologies involving naked eye 3D imaging and AR (Augmented Reality) have been met with a multitude of failures. There were many who thought that UnChain would follow down the same path and most held cold-hearted opinions of it.
However, the introduction of a certain “application” made all the naysayers do an about-face.
That application was developed alongside the UnChain-Project, It was the game application「Dragon’s Krone」.
In the game you become an Avatar, it was a virtual fantasy world with swords and magic. Appealing to both casual and hardcore players, gaming fans were all captivated by it. Dragon’s Krone caused UnChain to become popularly widespread, and this gave rise to the sensation known as the VR Boom.
In a certain remote prefecture was Kasumigaoka High-School. During lunch break, in a classroom filled with cheerful laughter, left all alone by himself was a young man breathing a heavy sigh.
This was a sight you would never imagine if you came from the game world; the sight of the pitiful「Loner」 Edogawa Ran.
In the world of Dragon’s Krone, a tall figure with silver hair, and with genderless facial features, he possessed a beautiful form that like a painted picture. But for the Ran in the real world this did not hold true. His looks were nothing special, just your average boy with black rimmed glasses.
During their 2nd year, the students were shuffled into new classrooms and half a year has passed since.
The people in the surroundings had already formed groups, but for Ran the number of students gathered around him– was Zero.
For Ran who only ever tasted bitterness during lunch time, being here made him feel like a snail desperately trying to cling on to a rocky surface. This was his daily routine, patiently enduring while lying motionless.
「2 more periods…… Only 2 more periods and it will finally be over」
Ran absentmindedly looked over towards the window. As if offering up his prayers, he whispered those words to himself.
Once I get home I will check out what equipment could be made from the Drake’s raw materials. If there’s something worthy of crafting then let’s immediately shut ourselves in the crafting room.
Oh yea, that’s right, before I do that I have to contact DICE and make a request for more of the Blizzaria Sets.
Based on my conversation with Sonya it seems like there might be a boom in sales, so it would be best if I sent a mail to the people in charge at DICE to let them know ahead of time.
Thinking about those things, Ran quietly took out his smartphone. In order to contact DICE he opened up their Dragon’s Krone “My Page” that he had bookmarked.
「Hey, did you see yesterday’s broadcast?」
Just then, suddenly reaching Ran’s ears, was the conversation of one of his classmates.
「Broadcast…… You mean Aran’s broadcast? Of course I did. It was awesome huh」
「Totally. Ya know, I almost ended up screaming」
The topic of his classmate’s conversation, was Dragon’s Krone…… and moreover it was a conversation about Ran’s other half, Aran. Because Dragon’s Krone did not have any age restriction, there were many Players in high-school. The fact that there were Players among his classmates, this was well known to Ran.
「Did ya hear? According to the rumors, Aran is a high-schooler just like us, you know that?」
「Eh, seriously? He must be getting a ton of money from DICE, Aran that is」
「Being able to make money from a game……It makes me totally jealous」
The two were having an interesting conversation. But for Ran who didn’t have the courage or the guts to join in on their conversation, he continued on as usual and sat there quietly, only listening with perched ears.
「But ya know, with such insane skills and techniques like that, He must be a complete game addict huh」
「Probably. Even if you earn money, to sacrifice your personal life like that… It sort of makes him pitiful huh」
Due to the two’s conversation making an unexpected turn, Ran unintentionally showed a frown on his face.
Hmph, if you want to speak ill of me then do so all you like. You and I live in two different worlds.
It’s true what you said, in the real world I am socially challenged and can only do things like eavesdrop on my classmates’ conversations. But, in the other world, I have many things that money can’t buy.
Also, the one thing that I won’t ever do is talk to you about Dragon’s Krone.
I, I play Dragon’s Krone too. “Ohh, what’s the name of your character?” Well, the name’s Aran but──
It’s true if I did something like that then I might gain some people who seem like friends. But if you knew that I was Aran then what kind of things will you demand from me?
By becoming Aran’s friend you probably just want to feel superior to others, or perhaps you want my knowledge, or maybe── they probably want money.
Really, it’s completely absurd.
That’s why I don’t want any friends in the real world. Friends are Unnecessary.
As Ran talked to himself in his heart, in that moment, the once heavy and gloomy aura in the room gradually started to transform.
The atmosphere was so different that you might have thought that a spring breeze was blowing through the classroom. The clear voice of a young girl brushed against Ran’s ear.
Ran involuntarily shifted his gaze to the source of that sound and what met his eyes was, being illuminated by the radiant sunlight shining through the window, a female student with long chestnut hair and big round eyes──
Wearing a blazer, one could say that it was an image perfectly befitting of a female student. She was「Ninomiya Suzu」.
「Umm……Regarding the thing from before, did finish looking?」
While slightly leaning to the side, she called out to the two male students who were having a heated conversation about Aran.
Gently using her pinky to comb aside her ruffled hair, the gesture was so sensuous that you wouldn’t think she was someone their own age.
Immediately averting his gaze from her, Ran’s pulse had quickly escalated.
Because of the 2nd year class shuffle, Ran and Suzu were now in the same class.
Suzu was, despite being reserved and somewhat of a late bloomer, she was a girl who earnestly tried her best at everything she did. Although it was nothing extraordinary, her looks were refreshing and charming. With a polite and calming ambiance about her, she was a student who embodied the words「Fair Beauty」. Many students both male and female were captivated by her.
Ran, her loner classmate who was always in the background, was also one of these people.
「Oh, that’s right. Sorry. Not yet」
「It doesn’t matter when for me, but Megu keeps going on and on saying that we’ll do it today. The Members, do you think you can find them?」
「Eh, by today? For the Grand Mission」
The male student known as Andou casually threw out a certain terminology. Once he heard it, Ran’s heart leapt into his throat.
……Just now, did he say「Grand Mission」?
By Grand Mission… there’s no way that they could be talking about the Grand Mission in Dragon’s Krone right?
Gathering together a large amount of players at once, all of them would try to complete the same quest, The「Grand Mission」. There should’ve been an announcement saying it would start soon but……
「Was there anyone else from the other classes who played Dragon’s Krone?」
「Well ya know, there are some, but they probably already joined some other party right?」
「Someone who’s still left… I’m sure there must be at least one person」
Saying “Let’s go through them one by one,” Andou and Yamabuki began naming off students in alphabetical order.
Egashira, Igarashi, Inoue, Uchida, Katou──
However, the name “Ran” did not come from their mouths, and they continued down the attendance list until they reached the last name「Watanabe」.
「……Nope, can’t think of any」
「Wonder what we should do~」
Little by little the mood coming from the two seemed like they gave up hope. Ran was desperately trying to hold down his beating heart that felt like it was about to explode.
Judging by their conversation, that means that Ninomiya-san played Dragon’s Krone.
If so, then the same could be said for the other two classmates──
「Ninomiya-san, is there really no way other than searching in other classes?」
「……Yeah, it might be a bit difficult. Megu keeps insisting that she doesn’t want to do it unless it’s with people we know…… Sorry for being a bit selfish」
「I know what ya mean. I wonder if there really ain’t some other guy who plays too」
There’s a classmate who plays Dragon’s Krone sitting right here.
Completely forgetting that he had just declared in his heart「Friends are unnecessary」, Ran was nervously squirming as if he wanted them to invite him.
But, although things could be swiftly settled if he simply just raised his hand at that moment, Ran was a true-born loner with a communication problem.
In his mind he thought that even if he did something so grandiose such as raising his hand, surely his voice would not reach those two.
There would always remain that one meter distance. Ran would never be able to close the distance between him and Suzu’s group even if space itself became warped.
As if ridiculing Ran, the sound of other students having fun and laughing came through the window.
The time would soon come for lunch break to end.
The lunch break that Ran desired to end would soon be over──
However, today’s lunch break was different from all the others.
Gently, those few words came from the voice of Suzu.
And, from her mouth came, as if answering his cursed prayers of「Invite Me」, she called out Ran’s name──
Honestly believing that his name would never be called out, letting out a hysterical voice, Ran so vigorously turned his neck that it might snap off.
Maybe I heard it wrong, Ran thought for a second.
However, facing him was the gaze of Suzu, informing him that he was indeed not mistaken.
「Edogawa-kun, perhaps, do you play Dragon’s Krone?」
An unsightly voice crack came from Ran.
In spite of them not once having spoken to each other before, Ran could not hide the shock he received from finding out that Suzu actually knew his name. But, the question that came out of her mouth struck Ran with an even heavier blow.
「Huh, are you serious?」
As Ran and Ninomiya Suzu were mutually facing each other, Andou called out while looking doubtful.
「Edogawa…… You play? Wait, why does Ninomiya-san know that?」
「Well, look, his smartphone」
「Smartphone? Oh, I see……」
Suzu pointed her finger at the screen of the smartphone that Ran was holding in his hand.
Displayed on that screen, was a “My Page” from the Dragon’s Krone website.
The moment the three’s gaze turned towards his smartphone, Ran immediately tried to delete the image from his screen… but he was too late.
「You seriously play Dragon’s Krone!? There’s absolutely no way I would’ve guessed」
「If you are viewing a My Page, Edogawa-kun, then that means you have a Dragon’s Krone account, right? 」
As if he was a mole being dragged out from underground, Ran, who suddenly found himself as the center of attention, was frantically looking around in a panic.
Somehow, aren’t I in a whole lot of trouble right now?
By showing off a My Page like that, it looks as if I wanted them to invite me.
「But ya know…… If you really do play the I guess you’d be good enough」
「Yeah. But you’re right, we can’t go on without making some sacrifices」
These guys…… They keep saying「But」, what the hell is that「But」 suppose to mean.
I don’t come cheap you know.
Up until now I wasn’t sure if I was going to join in or not, but now I know for sure that I’ll refuse.
But, again, brushing against his ear was the soothing voice of Suzu.
Just like she did before when she called out to Andou and Yamabuki, Suzu leaned forward slightly with her head tilted to the side.
Not for anyone else, that gesture was done only for him. The dark angry cloud that was swirling around in Ran’s mind, like clear mist descending on the water’s surface, that dark cloud was blown away and everything became pure white.
「If you would like, that is, if you don’t mind」
Suddenly finding Suzu directly in front of him, Ran’s pulse hastened even quicker, his throat instantly became dry and scratchy.
And, without noticing Ran’s panicked state, Suzu continued.
「Would you like to play Dragon’s Krone together with us?」
Signalling the end of lunch, the bell let out a high pitched chime.
That chime, as if annoyingly clear, as if urging him onward, it resonated throughout the classroom.
Frozen on the spot, Ran stiffly nodded his head.
This lunch break that he always wanted to end, the lunch break where he thought only brought pain and anguish, today he experienced the start of his high-school life. And this is only the beginning.
TL note: In the last chapter I accidentally translated [Blizzaria] as “Blizzard”. Blizzaria is the correct translation and I corrected it in chapter 1 already.
TL note: The original word for “game addict” is written as “Invalid/Disabled Player”. In context, an Invalid Player is someone who is so addicted to games that it gets in the way of their daily lives, to the point where it is considered an “obstacle” and a “hindrance” to their every day living. It basically turns them into non-functioning people of society, like a NEET (although he still works and goes to school).
TL note: The ッ! is a glottal stop which actually doesn’t make a sound. Think of it as “the sound of surprise” or like a random exclamation point appearing on the person’s head. There will be a lot of there’s in future chapters.
TL note: Normally Megu would be translated as “Meg” but I refuse to use that name so I will go with Megu. Even moreso because it is a nickname.