The sound of trumpets filled the air. Behind it, the grand orchestra gradually built up to an earth shattering climax, triggering wild cheers from spectators all around.
"The hero is here!" Some voices stood out even from the distance. "The summoning ritual was a success!"
The hero? Hmph. Yeah, right. I'm the hero... just like 100,000 other players.
"Hero, please rise!" A powerful voice echoed around the room. It was old, gruff and carried an authoritative depth to it. With those words, not only the music, but the cheers and the chatters all dissipated so completely, that even footsteps could be heard, pattering against stone.
That's my cue.
From beneath a blanket of pure white cloth, a young girl emerged. When she opened her eyes, she was greeted with the sight of a finely robed gentleman, standing in front of a grand throne that reached into the ceiling, past even the gallery of onlookers above.
"Or should I say, Heroine." The man approached her. "You have come at a most timely hour," he continued. "The kingdom is in peril."
It always is.
"I ask, as King, that you become our salvation, oh Heroine."
There it is.
"Of course." A tiny voice, belonging to that of a child, came out of the heroine's mouth. Huh? That... that wasn't my voice. Does this game come with a voice synthesizer? It sounds really good, too - that's triple-A quality right there.
The King's moustache ruffled as his lips stretched out to form a smile. He then looked to his subjects, gathered all around the room. Nobles, soldiers, and servants alike cheered with ever more vigor. "Bless you, Heroine!" he said, as he knelt down on one leg. "I am confident that you shall be able to save us!" Finaly, he wrapped his arms around her.
Woah, woah! I can feel him! I-is this even possible!?
"But first," he then whispered into her ear, "shall we get you robed, dear Heroine?"
"...Huh?" She looked downwards.
Her skin crawled.
In that room, filled to the brim with onlookers, she had been standing, for over a minute with nary a sliver of cloth to cover her tiny body.
She sucked her cheeks in, pursing her mouth as she crumpled down to the floor. Wh-whaaaaaat!? She screamed in her mind, her voice lost in her panic, This just isn't riiiiiiiiiight! She desperately covered her body with her arms while she grabbed one of the blankets littered by her feet, and wrapped it around her. What the fuck sort of game starts off by embarrassing the player!?
The King's ushers were quick to surrounded her and, temporarily cover her from prying eyes. They then escorted her to a private room, where she waited until she was delivered some clothes.
The Heroine felt dizzy. The stress of unwittingly becoming an exhibitionist not too long ago, drained her so completely that she spent the next few minutes sitting idly on the bed with a far-off gaze. Eventually, she tried to take her mind off it by exploring the various objects in the room.
First, she tried bouncing up and down the bed.
Wow, they bothered adding physics to this bed? That's pretty damn realistic. Soft, too. I didn't catch who developed this game, but it's clearly some big time company. No way some no names made something like this. I mean look at all this...
Her eyes came upon the bedside mirror.
She stared at her own face. Her hair glittered against the light rays permeating through the stained glass windows before her, and her snow white skin appeared almost transparent. She then turned to one side and placed her hand on her cheek. The soft skin indented readily against the light touch of her fingers.
Just by the tip of her fingers, her long, slender eyelashes enclosed her eyes that resembled cuts of polished amber. In her daze, her finger then dropped onto her lower lip, leaving her mouth slightly ajar. Even her lips appeared to glitter as she lost herself in her own image against the bejeweled mirror.
Finally, her other hand glided up her torso, slipping a finger into the towel.
She was about to pull the only thing covering her body when she finally regained her sanity.
Holy shiiiiiit! She shook her head violently and gave herself a couple of slaps across each cheek for good measure. What the fuck am I doing!? Can I even do this!? Isn't this illegal in some countries!?
She swallowed her breath.
Isn't this a little bit too much detail!? I-i-if I pull this down... there won't be any going back!
A chill ran down her spine.
Turning to the bed behind her, she dove into the covers and hid herself within the bedsheets. It'll be real trouble if an NPC, or worse, a GM, sees what I'm doing. Forget a ban, the police might suddenly crash into my room and throw me in jail right then and there!
She did some deep breath exercises to calm down. Okay, relax... In spite of herself, she could not resist to sneak a peek at the mirror once more. Still, she's... really cute. Damn cute.
"Miss heroine!" In that very same moment, the door swung open and a cheerful woman in a maid outfit barged right in.
"Y-y-yes, what is it!?" Her voice squeaked as she leaped off the bed.
The maid giggled, "I now have your clothes, Miss Heroine," she said, laying out a set of fine clothes on the bed, and a pair of sandals on the floor, "shall I help you put them on?"
"Ah, no," the heroine smiled, "that isn't necessary, thank you."
"Okay! I shall wait for you outside, then." The maid took another bow before leaving the room.
"Ehehe..." she waved at her as she left the room, "what an energetic girl..."
Anyway, this must be a tutorial portion. Time to learn the inventory system, ho!
"Hmm..." She crossed arms. Even while she looked around the room earler, she did not notice any HUD or status markers anywhere.
Hmm.... another one of the ultra-realistic games, huh? That means the commands are probably voice-activated or something.
"Inventory." she said. Instinctively, She looked around for a floating window, perhaps one that looked similar to the ones she saw during the character creation screen, but no such thing appeared.
Hm, not that?
"Equipment. Items. Storage." She tried out several different commands that she recalled from the other VR RPG games she played before, but no matter what command she gave, no user interface was forthcoming.
Eventually, her frustration boiled over, and she finally gave up on finding the inventory screen.
Alright, that's it. Maybe I need to actually hold the item first. Fuck, if there isn't something like an inventory for this game, I'd be so fucking pissed. She furled her brows. Anyway, I should just hurry up in here and finish the tutorial so I could ask a player how to open the inventory.
She held the dress in her hands. The soft material reminded her of linen as it shined ever so faintly from the sunlight permeating it.
That's... beautiful. The textures are so lifelike. Good God, I should watch the CPU temperature on my rig, it might not be able to handle this much.
She took another breath.
Okay, let's do this.
She looked intently at the dress, and recited all of the possible variations of the 'equip' command she could imagine.
"Equip. Wear. Use." Her litany went on for minutes, but no matter what she said, she could not equip the dress.
"Gaaaah!" She scratched her head furiously. "Why isn't it working!?"
As the heroine was wrapped up in frustration, the maid entered the room.
"Miss Heroine?" The wore a worried expression, "i-is something wrong?"
"Eh!? Kyaaa!" The heroine leapt back, hiding herself behind the dress. "U-uhm... I.... don't know how to equip it..."
"Equi... huh?" The maid cocked her head to one side. "Ah, you don't know how to put it on, is that right?" The maid giggled. "That's why I'm here to help you!"
"Huh, eh?" She felt the tension in her shoulders melt away. "Th-thanks."
The main then proceeded to put the dress on her like normal clothes.
Eh eh eh...!? What!? Wait- don't tell me... the way this game handles items... is just as if they were in the real world!? She rolled her eyes. That's a fucking paiiiiiiiin... I mean yeah, it's realistic, but come on - there has to be a line somewhere!
"I-is there a problem, Miss Heroine?"
"Uh-ah! No, not at all, ehehe..." she scratched her temple, "sorry to make you do this..."
"Not at all," the maid smiled as she tightened the corset around the girl's abdomen. "I am honored to be serving the legendary heroine in any way I can."
"Really." The maid nodded.
She averted her gaze and fidgeted around with her fingers. "I'll... try to live up to your expectations."
The heroine twisted her body following the maid's progress, allowing the maid to more easily reach each part of her dress. This NPC is really realistic... It's like I'm really speaking with a real person. AI's really come a long way since the games I played during my childhood.
"Okay, we're done!" The maid stood her right in front of the mirror.
The dress flowed smoothly down the lines of her body. It reached down to just above her knees, where her white stockings wrapped tightly around her slender legs. Down on her feet she wore a pair of shiny black sandals, with a slightly raised heel. Finally, on her arms, she wore a part of long, silken gloves that slipped up into the sleeves of her dress.
Incredible... She looks just like a doll.
She twirled around and gazed at herself at various angles.
I think I'm in love.
"Do you like it?" The maid asked.
"Yes!" The girl's smile stretched from cheek to cheek. "I love it!"
"Then, shall we?" The maid offered her hand to the heroine. "The king awaits."
The girl took the maid's hand. The two then proceeded to the banquet hall, where the crowd of nobles along with the royal family awaited the heroine's arrival.
The banquet hall bustled with excitement. Music filled the air, along with the wafting aroma of various roasts, stews and salads. At the front, the king and his family sat on their own table on a raised platform, as they waited for the heroine to join them.
"Ah, Heroine, I am delighted for you to join us." The king personally stood up and greeted the heroine as she approached.
"And I thank you for allowing me to wear such beautiful clothes." she said, as she gave a curtsy.
The King looked absolutely delighted. "Hah hah! You are very polite indeed! Know that it is my honor. Indeed, you may keep those clothes, dear Heroine!"
I see. Level 1 giveaway gear, huh? Still, this staff player looks delighted. Heh heh. Though I could never act like this with my normal body, right now, I am an incredibly cute girl!
She covered her mouth and giggled. "Thank you so much, your highness."
He laughed heartily. "Very good! Very good! Now, heroine, come. Sit!"
"Thank you, your highness." She was then escorted by the maid to her chair.
"Ah, I almost forgot," The king said, "you have not yet shared with us your name, Heroine."
"Ah," she covered her mouth, "come to think of it."
She then stood up before the King and his family, placing her hand on her chest. "I'm sorry for the late introduction. My name is Sylphia, a... um," In a split second, she debated with herself whether she should mention her job class. Deciding that it might be unimmersive for roleplay, she decided to leave it out and decided to only mention her race instead. "...of the Fairy race."
"I'm sorry," The King furled his brows, "did you say 'Fairy', just now?"
"Hmm? I did." Sylphia cocked her head. Huh? Did... I say something wrong? I did pick the fairy race, didn't I? Actually I sort of forgot. Then again, I do look pretty human. I don't even have Fairy wings, come to think of it... She rolled her eyes up and to the side. Actually, didn't I pick Fairy!? Did I fuck up the character creation somehow?
He cleared his throat and then placed his hand on his chin. "A Legendary Hero and Mythical Fairy... I see... We must have been quite blessed by the Gods to have summoned such a special Hero."
"A-ahahaha," Sylphia immediately forgot her anxiety, "It's not that big of a deal..."
"Pardon me, then, dear Heroine." The King said, "I had thought you were a child up till now, but in truth you must be a wise being, who had lived for millenia..."
"Eh!?" She shook her hands in front of her face. "No, no! I'm not that old! But, well," she rubbed the back of her neck, "it's true that I'm not a child anymore."
"Hm." The King nodded. "I shall keep that in mind."
After the lively chat, Sylphia's stomach started grumbling.
Fuck, I'm pretty sure I just ate dinner before playing, and now I'm already hungry? Actually, what time is it, anyway? I think I've been playing for a few hours now. Still got work tomorrow, so I might have to hold this tutorial for tomorrow...
She motioned her hands over her eyes to remove the VR mask.
I'll just take a look at my clock and...
However, even when her hands had already come in contact with her eyelids, she was still unable to touch her VR mask.
She groped repeatedly for the VR mask, failing each time.
W-wait a sec... This isn't possible.
A cold sweat formed on her forehead. Unable to bring herself to believe, she touched her own cheek and then worked her way up to cover her eyes.
Oh God. She panted heavily.
Eventually, even the King noticed that she was stirring herself into a panic. He leaned closer and asked, "Is there a problem, dear Heroine? You look pale."
Ah! That's right! This NPC! Maybe they have some help function somehow.
"U-um... excuse me, sir..." She stammered. "I think I'm encountering a bug. Can you help me?"
"A... bug?" The king looked perplexed. "Whatever do you mean, Heroine?"
Shit! None!? Dammit, I swear these game companies skimp out on customer service! Every fucking time!
"N-no! That's-" She paused to take a deep breath. "I need technical support. If you can't do it, can you please patch me to a GM?"
His brows furled and his mouth fell agape. "I..." he said as his head shook, "I do not quite understand..."
What's going on here...? What is this?
Just then, she felt her stomach grumble.
Her eyes turned to the ultra-realistic plate of pork roast sitting right in front of her. She had taken it for granted earlier, but she just realized something - it smelled of actual pork roast. In fact, there had been smell since she started playing. She smelled the strong perfume of the King when he hunched over and covered her with her arms, she smelled the fresh breeze in the room she stayed in, and she smelled the odor of all the visitors attending the banquet mixing with the aroma of the food.
There's... there's no way that's possible.
She swallowed her breath.
"Dear Heroine?" She filtered out the King's voice from her mind, though she could imagine that he had a worried face, considering that he was looking at a little girl having a nervous breakdown.
With unsteady hands, Sylphia grabbed a fork and with it, a piece of pork roast, and laid it on her tongue.
Tears dripped down from her eyes.
It has taste...!
She rubbed her face with both hands.
I'm... not in a game! This is real! I'm... I'm... trapped in this world!?
She clasped her hands tightly to control her trembling.
"Are you feeling ill, Heroine?" the king's voice melted away in the background.
What's gonna happen to me now? Is my body okay? Does my family know I'm gone? At the earliest, they'll probably check on my body tomorrow!
Her throat felt dry.
Do I still even have a body in the old world? For all I know, I've been transported entirely into this world... But wait, this isn't even my body! Did my body vanish or something!?
She glanced down at her hands - tiny and soft; hands that belonged to a little girl.
A little... girl...?
Suddenly, a spark lit up in her mind - a realization. That subtle sensation grew slowly within her mind, like a distant star zooming ever closer.
In a fantasy world?
It was as though her mind had short circuited. Like a machine coming back to life, she sat right back up. Her face blanked out as the spark became a shining beacon that enveloped her entire mind.
"Heroine...?" the King was dumbfounded.
Then, as if nothing had happened, Sylphia placed her hand on her cheek and started laughing. "Ah, ahahaha, I'm sorry, your Majesty, it's nothing!"
"I... I see..." The King relaxed into his seat.
Adventuring in a fantasy world! As a little girl! As the hero! Ah, what better setting could I ask!?
Next, she took a sip of the drink in her cup. Her smile was as though flowers radiated around a halo of light behind her.
Ahaha! The food is terrible! I don't know how the hell this happened, but thank you, whoever fucked up! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Today is start my new life!
In a new world!
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