Italic text is Engrish (English written in katakana). In cases when I needed to emhpasise that the word is Japanese (or when the text specifically commented about it being Japanese), I added the Japanese version as furigana. Oh, and I edited a note in the prologue about LLENN's speech patterns. To avoid making another note about it here, LLENN tends to use keigo (honorific speech) in her dialogue. This includes formal/polite forms of verbs, as well as more formal expressions and so on.
Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the translation of some gun-related explanations, since I don't know much about guns.
Feel free to point out any errors, give suggestions or just talk about the story itself in the comments.
SECT.2 - LLENN and Pitohui
“Hey! You ochibi-chan over there. You’re really a girl, right? I can tell from the way you walk.”
While enjoying window shopping, wondering which live-ammunition gun she should buy next, in a gorgeous shopping mall in ≪SBC Glocken≫, GGO’s central city,
“Care for some tea? It will be Onee-san’s treat.”
LLENN heard a feminine voice calling out to her from behind. She was being seduced.
What LLENN, wearing a robe with a hood that hid her face, saw by turning around was――
A tall, though not as tall as herself IRL, black-haired, ponytailed, brown-skinned beauty with a brick-coloured tattoo on her face.
At this time, her garments were something just a hair’s breadth away from being a bikini, and with such excessive exposure that it wasn’t suited for battle no matter how one looked at it. The garments exposed her slender, firm, cyborg-like flesh to those in her surroundings.
While finding it odd that the tattoo only covered her face, and wanting to ask why this was so, and moreover, thinking that if that was her own character, she would probably have left GGO immediately――
LLENN lowered her guard a little, as the other party was obviously a woman.
In most of the current VR games, it was impossible for someone to get a character that was of a different gender from their RL one, aside from slight mistakes in judging the gender based on the player’s brain waves.
There were male players who tried speaking to LLENN out of curiosity, but it was unmistakably her first time conversing with a female player.
In the first place, GGO was a game with overwhelmingly few female players. Obviously, LLENN had seen female characters from afar, but she hadn’t dared to run up to them to hold a conversation.
The brown-skinned beauty smiled sweetly.
“I’m „Pitohui“. Everyone’s booing about how hard it was to say my name, so just call me „Pito“ for short. Ochibi-chan, what’s your name?”
“Good day…… I am…… „LLENN“.”
“LLENN-chan huh! What a cute name! Oh, and you don’t need to use keigo in the game! After all, bringing Japanese society-like hierarchical relationship here when you’re finally enjoying a different world is such a drag, right!”
This exchange with someone in GGO was LLENN’s first conversation.
LLENN went to a restaurant in the game where she sat down in a private room with Pitohui, and they had a conversation while having tea and cake as a snack. A VR girl meeting, so to speak.
Karen hadn’t conversed directly with anyone other than her professors and family for quite some time, but strangely, as LLENN, she became lively in this conversation, which was without keigo. Pitohui’s cheerful and frank character reminded her of her friend Miyu.
Firstly, the two carefreely shared their tales of amusement, as well as those of their hardships, eventually culminating in talking about their difficulties due to the scarceness of female players in GGO.
Pitohui informed LLENN that, having ended up as a sexy character, Pitohui tattooed her face, greatly reducing the number of nanpa(1), and thus she recommended this method to LLENN.
LLENN answered by quickly shaking her head, and then,
“I don’t have one IRL either. Since I wouldn’t be able to go to the hot springs if I did!”
Pitohui remarked and showed a sweet smile.
In the first place getting a tattoo and removing it in GGO was instantaneous, so, as long as one had the credits, it was possible to attempt it as much as one liked.
Pitohui’s VR game history was much longer than LLENN’s, as she had been playing them even during the SAO death game turmoil.
And as for GGO, she had been playing it ever since the service started 8 months ago. She liked the scenery of a savage world that did not resemble any other VR games, so she currently only played this game. However, she had recently been busy IRL, so her play time considerably decreased.
Not only was Pitohui LLENN’s sempai as a gamer, she was also far superior in terms of player ability.
Due to the conversation, LLENN was able to open her heart, thus she listed Pitohui as a ≪friend≫. With this, they were able to exchange messages even if they weren’t in the game.
More than 3 months after starting to play GGO, LLENN was finally able to find an in-game acquaintance. On that subject, after a long while, LLENN remembered that she wanted to resolve her feelings of anthropophobia caused by her height complex, which was the reason she decided to begin playing VR games in the first place.
Of course, LLENN had absolutely no idea what kind of person Pitohui was in the real world.
Miyu once told her this:
“Though we’re within a VR game, the characters are still controlled by real humans, so a person’s nature is still revealed through their speech and actions. There are no people who’d truly be able to act out a different personality.”
Pitohui’s attitude did not fully give an impression of her being cheerful and wild.
Thus, LLENN arbitrarily tried profiling her as „A good-natured onee-san-type female in her twenties. Working adult. Single“ and things like that, but she didn’t know if she was right.
After finishing their tea and cake, Pitohui asked whether they should „drop out“, in other words, return to reality for the day, and LLENN responded to the question by stating that she was looking for a new live-ammunition gun.
“What! In that case, leave it so me! I’ll show you a nice shop!”
Pitohui took her to a small shop that she knew.
Just before the end of a narrow road, there was a bar in the outskirts-like, small and messy shop.
However, inside the shop, rare and high-powered guns that other players would get by exploring ruins and defeating powerful monsters were lined-up on display.
“Amazing…… So there are shops likes this too…… And there are guns like these……”
Facing LLENN, who had trouble choosing,
“LLENN-chan LLENN-chan! I recommend this! It arrived just yesterday! Come here! Look!”
Pitohui beckoned her as if she was recommending new cosmetics.
There was a small, high-powered, and reasonably rare gun――a P90 there.
The destructive power of the numbers on the accompanying price tag was considerably high, thus it was far over LLENN’s initially assumed budget and she wouldn’t be able to drink tea in the game for awhile if she bought it, but…
“I’m buying it!”
She decided promptly, with just one glance. And then,
“What is this…… is this really a gun…… it’s so cute…… It’s straight up cute……”
Her inner voice slipped out from her mouth.
“Oh? LLENN-chan, you’re Hokkaido-born?(2)”
After finishing her shopping session with a pleased expression, and getting a spare magazine and a pouch to carry it as freebies, LLENN hid the P90 under her black tea-coloured robe and continued walking around town while carrying it in her hands.
One could wave their hand, and operate the window that appears to place the gun into storage to not have to worry about it, but...
“I get it. You want to feel the gun that you’ve just bought for a while. You want to confirm its existence through touch.”
It was just as Pitohui, who was walking by her side, said. She was like a child who hugged a stuffed toy that she had just bought. Wanting to always have it by her side and constantly caress it.
“What are you going to do about its name? You are giving it one, right?”
“A-a name? For a gun?”
LLENN looked up at Pitohui.
“I-I am―― giving it one!”
“Just as I thought. So, what name are you giving to this child?”
After several seconds of silence, LLENN answered in a firm tone.
“Yeah, that’s a nice name. In your hands, LLENN-chan, P-chan will bleed a lot of enemies. Because a gun doesn’t betray anyone. It only grows greater with the number of kills.”
“Yeah, I’ll do my best to kill!”
If these words were said in the real world, they would probably appear in the news.
It was about time to return to the real world, and LLENN greatly bowed her head to Pitohui.
“Thank you very much, Pito-san. You have been a great help.”
“Yeah, no need for keigo. Don’t mention it, I’m also happy to make a female friend. I look forward to playing with you. The next time we meet, let’s go farming together. I haven’t seen the huge alligators in the desert area yet.”
‘Ah, she’s such a nice person.’
While thinking this, LLENN was about to open the window to log out,
“Oh right, I forgot to say something.”
“Before the next farming run, be sure to paint the P90 pink!”
‘Ah, she’s the kind of person that you can’t let your guard down against.’
While thinking so, LLENN opened the window to log out.
Thus, LLENN and Pitohui formed a ≪Squadron≫.
This was a team formed with congenial partners that, in a fantasy genre game, would be called a ≪Guild≫. It allowed members to fight together, exchange items, and share a matching crest.
Naturally, banding together and fighting as a team in a game had various advantages.
For LLENN, who began playing the game to improve her social disposition, yet never grouped up with anyone, this was her first squadron. Though it was essentially a group consisting of only LLENN and Pitohui.
One month later―― whenever the two were on at the same time, LLENN would go on a farming session with Pitohui.
As opposed to LLENN, who would always be on at around the same time, Pitohui’s play time was really scattered. There were times when she would be playing on weekdays from morning, and also times when she would never come on during the weekend.
LLENN was curious about the kind of life she led IRL, but considered asking to be a violation of manners.
Eventually, LLENN realised that Pitohui was an extremely rich player.
She noticed this because of the number of guns that Pitohui had. Every time that they played together, the gun that Pitohui used was different.
“Pito-san, what are you using…… today?”
“Oh, it’s an ≪L86A2≫. It’s a version of the British army’s assault rifle L85 with an enhanced gun barrel and it’s a lengthened squad automatic weapon. It only uses a regular magazine, but as for differences from a rifle, well, its penetration isn’t as powerful as a normal gun, but its accuracy rating isn’t half bad. Although it’s heavy, I like it.”
“As for my sidearm pistol, it’s a ≪Colt Double Eagle≫! It’s a double-action auto gun based on Colt’s Government, but its appearance and ability are poor, so it’s not a popular gun! Well, as soon as I heard that it was in GGO, I looked for it! I found out that a collector had it, so I piled up my credits and bought it!”
Pitohui was a strong character who had been playing for a long time, but even so, she possessed a lot of expensive, rare, strange and unconventional guns.
One day, during the waiting period of their farming session, LLENN couldn’t hold back her curiosity any longer and asked how she obtained that many credits.
“Ah, through the ≪real money trade≫, of course.”
Pitohui quickly told her about it.
Real money trade, abbreviated as RMT, is the act of exchanging the real world’s electronic money for in-game credits and items.
GGO was currently the only VR game that officially allowed interchanging in-game currency with the real world’s electronic money. For that reason, in GGO there were pro players who would obtain „sellable” items by playing the game and selling them to earn a living.
Pitohui took advantage of her RL financial power. Such a playstyle was frequently flamed by people who thought that games were about putting in extraneous effort to obtain the items. However, everyone was free to choose their own playstyle, and, most importantly, it wasn’t prohibited by the system, so though it was sad, they were just the cries of the poorer players who were jealous..
Pitohui was rich in the real world. At the very least, to the extent of inexorably investing in a game. LLENN knew just this one thing about her RL. Because of this,
“Today’s gun is a ≪Remington M870≫! Speaking of pump action shotguns, it’s cliched. Wanna try shooting with it? Come on, shoot!”
“Finally, I got my hands on it! An ≪M16≫! Look closely, it’s not an ≪M16A1≫! It the original model M16!”
“Today, I’ve brought five guns, all of them automatic pistols using 9 mm Parabellum bullets. I’ll explain, firstly this is――"
LLENN was told a considerable variety of details regarding small arms.
She would try firing guns that her strength value allowed her to hold, but
“Yeah. It was fun shooting with it, but……”
“Just as I thought, you’re set on P-chan, huh.”
“You’re earnest. LLENN-chan! And here I thought that you wanted to try shooting using all the live-ammunition guns in GGO has to offer!”
Pitohui cried out. And then,
“LLENN-chan, do you know about ≪anti-materiel rifles≫?”
“I have heard the name, but that’s it.”
“Well then, Onee-san shall explain! A taibutsu rifle, anti-materiel rifle in English, is well, simply put, it’s a gun that uses the hugest bullets by far."
“What do you mean by huge?”
“Ordinary assault rifles have a calibre of 5.56 mm or 7.62 mm, right, but one that has a calibre of 12.7 mm or higher is usually called a „taibutsu rifle“. These are bullets of a heavy machine gun. They are such large bullets that during World War II, they were equipped on fighter aircrafts.”
“I can’t even imagine it, but if the bullets are big, then the gun’s power is also high?”
“Naturally. 5.56 mm bullets can only be used up to around 400 metres, 7.62 mm bullets can only be used up to around 800 metres, but if you use 12.7 mm bullets, you can fire at a target that’s over 1000 metres away.
“A thousand metres? 1 km?”
“An unthinkably long distance, right? Of course, the gun is equally large and heavy! The required strength value is extremely high.”
“It’s probably impossible for me, huh……”
“Well, the gun is around as large as you are tall, LLENN-chan.”
“Why are you happy? ――This kind of large rifle was called an ≪anti-tank rifle≫ until the Second World War, but then tanks became sturdier and harder to destroy, so they changed its name. It’s used as a gun that’s suitable for things like long-range sniping, or attacking enemy resources. Although it’s big, it can be used by a single person, so it’s convenient.”
“Hmm. A large gun that can be used to aim far, huh. Then, if you have one, would you be the strongest in the game?
“No, not at all.”
“At any rate, it’s large and heavy, so the strength value requirement seems to be equally large. Super long-range sniping itself requires skill. Well, you wouldn’t be able to use it if you’re not overly absorbed in it, right? Since it’s a very very very rare gun, you can’t let your guard down as a shock defeat can cause you to lose it as a random drop.”
“Even so, Pito-san, you want to have one……”
“Right! I want to decorate the gun locker in my room with it! ――In the server, it’s said that there are only around 10 guns of this class; they are extremely expensive and nobody sells them. Actually, I know one character who has one. And what’s more, she’s a girl player.”
“What! Leaving aside the gun, the fact that she’s a female player surprised me.”
“She's called Sinon, don’t you know her? The blue-haired girl.”
“Well, it’s fine. That Sinon-chan defeated a monster somewhere in an underground ruins dungeon, and what she got as a drop was a taibutsu rifle called ≪Hecate II≫. After hearing that she really really cared for it, I looked for her, found her, and tried saying something to her. „Hello! Sell me your Hecate II!“ to be precise.”
“Pito-saan, did you really think that it was for sale……?”
“It was hopeless! She was such an inflexible girl!
LLENN knew that Pitohui was extremely rich and was a gun maniac (and so she had a few problems with her personality), but aside from that, everything else was mostly a mystery.
Once, on the way towards a farming session in a wilderness, LLENN,
“Pito-san, what are your hobbies?”
Inadvertently asked something that made it sound like they were in a formal marriage interview.
“Huh?…… Hmm, aside from this game? I don’t have any.”
She received such an answer from Pitohui.
Since she ended up asking about it, she had to say something about herself――
LLENN shared various things about her own hobby, music, such as that she frequently listed to classical music or movie soundtracks, that her current favourite singer was Kanzaki Elsa, and Pitohui gave a weak reply,
“Music, huh…… I mostly don’t listen to any.”
“Is that so? That’s unexpected……”
LLENN said honestly, and then
Pitohui, giving an expression of surprise, answered.
“For some reason, I arbitrarily thought that you, Pito-san, liked music.”
“Hu, would you be surprised if you saw that the real me can’t even read a musical score?”
“…………No, sorry. Let’s end the talk about RL here.”
Apologising, LLENN tried to stop the conversation, but against her expectations, Pitohui said,
“Well, since I have become good friends with you LLENN-chan, I think that we can probably even meet IRL and you could teach me in person. A so called offline meeting. How about you, LLENN? Do you have the guts, or should I say, resolution for it?”
LLENN thought about her absurdly tall self IRL for a few seconds and,
“Pito-san…… you would probably…… be surprised, I think……”
Answered in keigo.
Usually, if she used keigo, Pitohui would definitely tell her off for that, but just this time, she did not say a word about it. Instead, seeing LLENN shrinking her small body, she smiled.
“Then, let’s do it! Some day, when you, LLENN-chan, are able to win against me in a head-on match, let’s meet IRL! Wherever your house is throughout Japan, I’ll come to meet you!”
It was a mystery how their talk ended up like this, but LLENN did not dare to retort. Instead,
“Me, beating Pito-san in GGO……? L-like that’s ever going to happen!”
“Then promise me! Until then, train yourself in GGO and some day, using P-chan, try to utterly slaughter me!”
“U――understood! No, gotcha!(3) Some day, for sure, I am going to, defeat Pito-san.”
“Yep, good answer. Then, the oath kinchou!(4)”
“Hitting each other’s metal as proof of an oath. It was popular in the Edo period(5), don’t you remember?”
“Pito-san…… Are you over a hundred and seventy years-old IRL?”
“Still a secret. So, if we were samurais, we’d use a katana and a tsuba(6), while girls use mirrors, but we don’t have either, so we’ll do it with guns! Now! ――One day, we’ll take part in a serious match, and if I lose, I’ll meet with LLENN IRL! That’s a girl’s promise!”
And so, the two raised their guns in the wasteland. The P90’s muzzle and Pitohui’s ≪SKS Carbine’s≫ barrel knocked together and a dry metallic sound resounded.
At that moment, LLENN did not understand what the smiling Pitohui was thinking, but thought,
‘That’s impossible, such a day will never come.’
Around 1 month after that promise was made, on 18th January, 2026. While on their way back from a farming session――
LLENN heard about the Squad Jam.
1. ^ Nanpa (ナンパ) is a type of flirting and seduction popular among Japanese teenagers and people in their twenties or thirties or it can refer to people who take part in this activity.
2. ^ LLENN used the word なまら (namara), a Hokkaido dialect word that means “very much, exceedingly”.
3. ^ LLENN first used a -masu verb, but then remembered about Pitohui’s hatred of hierarchical society and used a plain verb.
4. ^ A kinchou (金打) was the act of hitting each other’s metal objects to signify that an oath will be kept. In the case of samurais, they would hit each other’s sword, while women would use mirrors instead.
5. ^ The period in the history of Japan between 1603 and 1863.
6. ^ A tsuba (鍔) is a part of a Japanese sword. An English equivalent would be "sword guard".