Turns out that the PDF format that I have chapters saved as makes it a hassle to reformat. It’s doable but takes some time. I’ll probably just go off webarchives since I’m lazy and school is already taking a lot of my time… Hmm, Oh well. Light edited as I need food.
Side Note: Last chapter I changed the name “Timber” into 「Timbre」. Same pronunciation just different meaning.
Also, in the Prologue the author changed the skill “Battojutsu” into “All or Nothing” (the skill that’s used at the end of Moon Step)
Volume 2: Samurai Hunting
Chapter 11: The Promise with Sonya
「A Female Wizard PKer, is it?」
「A Wizard seemed like she was trying to PK some Friends, so I would like you to do a search and see if any similar incidents have occurred」
As Edgar arrived at his Home House, he called out to Sonya after she had greeted him. What he wanted to ask was about that subject.
Wanting to find out the true identity of the aforementioned Wizard, the first thing that came to Edgar’s mind was to ask Sonya.
A Support NPC was as the name suggested, they could support the player by processing conversations through a Natural Language Processing interface. Aside from personal information stored on the Dragon’s Krone server, they were able to access information from a variety of databases as well as open data on the internet.
In other words, by conversing with a Support NPC, it was possible for you to search for information using a massive database.
「Understood, Edgar-sama. Please wait one moment」
Closing her eyes, as if she was deep in thought, Sonya remained silent for a while.
「…… Among the information maintained by the administrators, I have accessed the database in regards to exchanges between different Players, but I did no see any incidents that match with the desired specifications. However, lately on the internet there has been a steady rise in organic searches in relation to Dragon’s Krone and a certain Keyword」
「It is『Samurai Hunting』」
「…… Samurai…… Hunting?」
Hearing Sonya say that Keyword, Edgar began to recall the words that Wizard had said.
According to Suzu-san and Megu-san, that Wizard was saying that she was looking for a Player with the class Samurai. A Wizard PKer who was searching for a Samurai. She must be related to this Keyword somehow.
Or rather, what is Samurai “Hunting” suppose to mean.
「Can you tell me the details?」
「I will be conducting an integrated analysis of the correlating databases so please wait one moment」
Sonya once again closed her eyelids.
Since the internet is a fragmented assembly of open data, you have to gather similar parts of information and associate them for analysis, only then can you come to an appropriate answer for what you are searching for.
If you had to do this all by hand then it would take an overwhelmingly long amount of time to complete this necessary step of information integration and analysis, you would probably pass out from exhaustion. But here in the world of Dragon’s Krone, Sonya can utilizes the architecture of “Cloud Computing” to increase her calculating power. It took her merely 1 second to complete the search.
「Samurai Hunting, within the past few days, it is something a portion of high level players have been doing. It is the generic name for when Players go out and PK members of the Samurai Class」
「So it’s PKing with Samurais as the target?」
「It is just as you say. Upon confirming it with the Dragon’s Krone database, within the past 5 days there as been a large increase in mortality rates for Samurai Players due to PK」
「The reason being?」
「My apologies. I am unable to ascertain the reasoning behind it at this moment」
The information from the Net is probably gathered from victims posting on their SNS after all.
The victims themselves will probably have no way of knowing why they were attacked, huh.
High level Players are going after Samurais and PKing them.
Based on what Sonya said, there’s a high possibility that the Wizard who attacked Suzu-san and Megu-san is somehow related to this「Samurai Hunting」.
But, I just don’t see a reason for it.
Incidents where a particular Class is targeted for PKing more frequently than others, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
In the past, there was an incident where, due to a series of version updates, the Thief Class was buffed and became unbalanced. The discontent among Players erupted into an episode where Players took matters in their own hands and gradually started to PK Thiefs.
Because of that incident the population of Thief Classes steadily decreased, and in a panic the developers hurried to adjust the Thief Class’s Stats. The incident ended with the Thief Class receiving a nerf; lowering their stats to a more mild level.
However, this time is different.
“Samurais will be buffed”, there was no information saying that would happen, and a version upgrade was still far off in the future.
In any case, this Samurai Hunting isn’t a movement instigated by the vast majority of Players.
The driving force behind this…… For example, it might be something like personal grudges against Samurais──
「…… Megu-san might be right about all this」
The words that Megu said in the classroom flashed back in Edgar’s mind.
As expected, that Wizard is friends with those「Colluding Players」…… Maybe she was trying to give her「Thanks」for what happened during the Grand Mission. As she was searching for me, she might have started to slowly PK Samurai Players, it’s certainly a possibility.
「Edgar-sama, a Message has arrived」
And then, in the corner of his eye floated a new mail mark.
There wasn’t many Players who would sent this character a message, so Edgar could guess who it was from. It was probably one of his classmates trying to contact him.
「……Today’s hunt is canceled, huh」
The sender of the message was Suzu.
The contents said「I wish to put today’s gathering on hold」, something to that effect.
The incident where they were attacked happened just yesterday. Not even a day has passed yet, so it wouldn’t be strange if they were hesitant to log in and show their faces.
But, in that case, this was a chance to investigate about this「Samurai Hunting」.
「Edgar-sama, Shall I accompany you as well?」
「Since your plans for today have been canceled, you were planning on investigating this『Samurai Hunting』incident, were you not? The people who are targeting Samurai are mid-level Players and above. Although you are an experienced player yourself, it is dangerous for you to act alone」
As if she could read his mind, Sonya offered up those words.
Because Support NPCs are modeled after a conversation-based interface, using the behavioral patterns they observed from the Player so far, apparently it was possible for them to predict a Player’s actions when they receive new information.
Anticipating a Players thought process, and then Supporting them however they can, in the end a Support NPC’s duty is to make sure that the Player can have a fun, stress-free experience in Dragon’s Krone.
「Now that you mention it Sonya, I did promise that『We would go hunting together when everything was taken care of』, didn’t I」
「Is the problem taken care of?」
「……Well, for the most part」
The problem was resolved in a way I never would’ve thought, though.
To think, things would end up with Me frequently playing Dragon’s Krone together with Suzu-san and the others… that result never crossed my mind.
「Oh, how delightful. Well then, let us depart immediately」
「Ah, hold on a second. We still have to prepare Sonya’s equipment」
「My equipment, is it?」
「You weren’t planning on heading out empty-handed right? I’ll go and fetch something for you from Aran’s item box. By the way, what kind of weapon would you like to use?」
Unlike Players, Support NPCs did not have an aspect known as「Class」.
In place of that, they had the advantage of being able to equip any weapon or armor without any restrictions, although they had the demerit of not being able to use Skills.
Basically, it was quite difficult for Support NPCs to be the main attack power in battle, and although they could not use healing magic to save Players from danger, they could add supplemental damage when fighting against Mobs, and they could do other things such as use items that you gave them. Ultimately they are assigned「Support」duty when it comes to combat as well.
「Upon analyzing Edgar-sama’s fighting style up until now, in order to not be a hindrance during combat, I believe that a long distance weapon such as a『Bow』or a『Gun』would be best suited for this situation」
「Sonya, is that the type of weapon that you want to use?」
「……and by that you mean?」
Not understanding the meaning behind the question, Sonya tilted her head to the side.
「Well, simply put, I wanted to hear your personal opinion about it, but…… I guess I’m asking you a strange question huh」
I ended up saying something stupid, Edgar was feeling a slight sense of guilt inside.
Sonya was not a human.
She’s only acting and saying what she believes is optimal after analyzing my actions; She is just a Program.
She doesn’t have any personal desires, and the only feeling inside of her is, at most, the desire to help Players.
However, the next words to came out of Sonya were somewhat surprising.
「However, if Edgar-sama so inquires, then I would like to use a Bow. Using a Gun will be difficult after all…… And in addition, my specialty was using the Bow back in the old days」
「B-Back in the old days? The Bow?」
As Sonya nodded her head, Edgar could not hide his surprise.
She used to use bows in the past?
It can’t be, does this mean that Sonya had an established「Past」from before I started playing Dragon’s Krone?
「The Truth is…… Before I was sent to attend to Edgar-sama, I used to be a bow soldier at the Veroon Grand Duchy」
「ッ!? You’re joking right?」
The Veroon Grand Duchy was a massive military country in the center of Dragon’s Krone.
For her to be a bow soldier there── Wait, that would mean, Support NPCs were just normal NPCs throughout the world who chose to become Support NPCs?
I’ve been playing Dragon’s Krone for many years, but I’ve never heard of anything like that, and Sonya has never mentioned it, I haven’t seen anything that would indicate that.
But, in order to make this Virtual World be as close to 「Real」as possible, I wouldn’t even be surprised if such a Program really did exist. In other words, each and every one of the Support NPCs have a pre-determined backstory when they are created, and their histories interconnect with other NPCs, and──
「Fufu, just kidding」
As Edgar’s imagination continued to go out of control, Sonya interrupted him with a slight chuckle.
「I don’t have a complex backstory like that. It’s simply that my specialty weapon was designated when Edgar-sama first made his character」
「I am terribly sorry, I was so happy that we would be going out together that I ended up joking around a bit」
Sonya stuck out her tongue slightly in a playful manner.
That gesture only made Edgar even more baffled.
I’ve said it many times, but Sonya analyzes my behavior, and then acts in the most optimal fashion according to a program. She is just a Program living in Dragon’s Krone──
But, is Sonya really just a Program?
In the first place, here in this virtual world, are humans and programs really any different?
「……Perhaps, have I made you angry?」
Edgar was stuck in a loop of questions that had no answer.
Seeing his expression, Sonya spoke up in concern.
「Ah, no, I’m not mad. I’m just a bit surprised」
「Is that so. That puts me at ease」
Showing him her never-changing smile, Edgar found himself feeling somewhat embarrassed.
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of embarrassing and awkward moments with Sonya.
Perhaps, even though I’ve never taken Sonya hunting with me before, I’ve been going out and playing with Suzu-san and the others. Maybe I’m feeling a bit guilty about it on the inside.
──I’m just overthinking things.
「Just wait a bit. I’ll go grab a bow from Aran’s item box」
「Yes, I have received your command. Please be careful on your way」
Sonya silently lowered her head and gave a bow.
Seeing him off like she always did, Edgar temporarily logged out of the Dragon’s Krone world.
Extra TL note: This series has too many conspiracy theories. Suzu = 2nd best player, Wizard = Stalker, Sonya = Not Program, It just never ends.
I’m not familiar with computing terms so those might be a bit incorrectly used.