Bold text was emphasised in the raw with boutens (dots placed alongside text, serving as emphasis). Italic text is Engrish (English written in katakana), Comic Sans font is for Japanese words written in katakana.
Feel free to point out any errors, give suggestions or just talk about the story itself in the comments.
Editing: Pryun, Dennis, 1caiser
Rainbow Bridge Part 2
I muttered this in an unintelligible voice, while chewing my chewy udon.(1)
At that moment, Suguha, sitting on the opposite side of the dining table, looked at me with upturned eyes.
“That’s bad manners, Onii-chan.”
It’s true that holding chopsticks in my right hand and a tablet terminal in my left while eating a meal probably wasn’t appropriate. However, after swallowing the udon in my mouth with a gulp,
"I'm certain that I can eat bukkake udon while using my tablet.”
“……Then, what about karē udon?”
“……How about kitsune udon?”
“……And what about nabeyaki udon?”
“I don’t get your standards at all……”
Sighed Suguha, who then slurped a mouthful of the chilled bukkake udon (with hot spring eggs(2), steamed chicken, boiled shrimp, okra, thick wakame leaves, shiso and shredded nori as toppings).
We logged out from ALO about fifteen minutes ago. As usual, our mother has yet to return home, thus the two of us made a late dinner, but lately, I feel as if we’ve been favouring the ≪quick to make and simple to clean≫ route too much.
Let’s make at least three meals for tomorrow—— while secretly deciding this, I once again heard the voice from across the table.
“So, what was with that ‘I see’?”
It took me a second to realise that the question was about the ‘haruhoho’(3) I uttered a while ago.
“……I can’t believe you recognised that it was ‘I see’…… Eh, I mean, it was about the story regarding the Æsir.”
“Oh, so you investigated that right away .”
“You can say that, though I’ve only read a rough outline.”
I presented the tablet, where the corresponding article of an online encyclopedia was displayed, to Suguha, and considered whether I should break the remaining hot spring eggs open and mix them in with the udon, or simply eat them whole. However, before I could come up with a solution, Suguha laughed boldly and scornfully.
“……What is it?”
“It’s completely useless, Onii-chan. And here you said “I see” with just this. Only the highlights are written here.”
“I-is that so?”
“Yeah. If you really want to know, it did not begin with the head god Odin’s father, the giant Borr, nor Borr’s father, the first god Búri…… Ehm, firstly, in Norse mythology, the beginning of the world started with a large rift, called Ginnungagap……”
“S-stop stop. Let’s save the beginning of the world till later, when we have time for you to tell me about it without haste. Hey, we’d better eat quickly or the udon will grow stale.”
At my interruption, Suguha made a displeased face, but obediently put down the tablet and picked up her chopsticks again. Without hesitation, she opened the hot spring eggs and mixed the egg yolk that flowed out with the noodles. Notwithstanding the beautiful golden radiance, I followed suit and then slurped it down.
Although I thought that interrupting the earnest lecture was inexcusable, I currently did not need such detailed knowledge. Because, my current concern was not the realm of the Æsir that——possibly exists in ALO, but whether the ≪Deep Sea Plunderers≫ quest had a continuation.
Leviathan told us 『I am going to move it to a new Mimuro(4)』as he took away the ≪The Child’s Egg≫, which we had unintendedly stolen from the Underwater Temple after being completely fooled by Kraken. However, we had a feeling that this wouldn’t end with ‘thus the issue was resolved and they all lived happily ever after’. What the heck is that Child or whatever——it’s not a human, as it was going to be born from an egg——but I have no idea. Kraken also seemed as if he hadn’t lost yet and, in the first place, that huge octopus’s thirst for revenge wasn’t satisfied.
This did have a few of my personal feelings mixed in, but wasn’t that actually the beginning of a serial story quest, rather than being just a standalone quest?
In ordinary campaign quests, if one of the quests is cleared, the player can receive the following quest and the new destination will be specified via markers. However, there are rare cases in which the players themselves must guess which place they should go to and what they should do based on the information that they had received up to that point.
Assuming that this campaign is of that type, there should be hints to the location where the next quest could be accepted in the conversation between Kraken and Leviathan……but……
“……-chan, come on, Onii-chan, geez.”
Suguha called me several times while I pondered, before I finally came to my senses and raised my head.
“Eh, wh-what is it?”
“I hope you haven’t forgotten that we’re doing a major cleanup of the dojo tomorrow morning. Don’t stay up late tonight; we have to go to bed soon.”
Of course I had forgotten about it, but without saying a word, I nodded.
“I get it I ge~et it, I’ll go to sleep in one… make that two hours, I promise.”
I avoided my little sister’s gaze of suspicion, and escaped to the kitchen with the now empty plate.
In my room, I rolled in bed and looked up at the alarm clock on my headboard while upside down
It was 23:30. At around this time in the old Aincrad, I would be in the midst of my ≪night phase≫, secluding myself in a high-efficiency hunting ground and continuing to swing my sword.
Of course, leveling is indispensable even in ALfheim (although ALO doesn’t have levels). There were times when I worked vigorously on hard farming in order to catch up with Asuna and the rest, especially since I had reset my stats inherited from SAO.
But of course, there was no chance of experiencing the trepidation from back then——that throbbing motivation to level up in order to live on.
Needless to say, that’s a fortunate thing. I did not, by any means, have any desire return to that world or anything.
However, somewhere in my heart, I may be continuing to hope. For something that is a game, but not a game…… for something in the miniature garden of the virtual world that could invoke a breathtaking ≪reality≫.
I felt a sign of that ≪something≫ the moment Leviathan’s trident came down in the nick of time, when we were about to be wiped out, after being driven to a near-death state by Kraken’s blow. Could it be that this seemingly predictable(5) event was actually an accidental development not written in any plot…………?
“……No, well, it would just be interesting if that were the case…...”
I muttered that monologue to hide my embarrassment and, in order to prepare for tomorrow’s major clean up and go to bed early, I turned off the lights in my room.
After about ten seconds had passed, I fumblingly grasped the AmuSphere and mounted it on my head, and then recited the voice command in a whisper.
1. ^ Udon is a type of thick wheat noodle of Japanese cuisine. The following few lines mentions several types of udon. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon for more information about the different types of udon.
2. ^ Eggs slow-boiled so that the yolk is hard but the white is still soft. Traditionally, such an egg was cooked in a hot spring, hence the name.
3. ^ Haruhoho is a slur of “naruhodo” (なるほど), which means “I see”, “that’s right”, “indeed” etc., while the “hee” part is probably a slur of “nee” or some other ending particle.
4. ^ The word Mimuro (御室) means "home of a nobleman". However, it's treated as some proper noun in this story. For reference, Daisuki subs for the Extra Edition translated the word as "resting place", while Crunchyroll translated the word as "home".
5. ^ In the original text, the expression 予定調和 (yotei chouwa, lit. pre-established harmony) was used. It can refer to philosophical theory by Leibniz, but in Japanese society, it can also be used to refer to something (e.g. the plot of a movie/book/etc.) being predictable.