Sword Art Online Volume 23 preview summary

Several days ago, a preview of volume 23's content was released on BookWalker ahead of the book's official release on the 10th. I wasn't sure whether I was going to summarise this volume or not, but since I was pleasantly surprised by one of my readers, I decided to at least do the preview. The preview is pretty long too (60 pages, which is about 1/5 of the book), so enjoy. The preview only covers (part of) Sinon's adventures... or more like misadventures, seeing as she seemed to be on a roll in making poor decisions.

Notice: This is a summary, not a proper translation. Even if I ended up making it more like a full-blown retelling than an actual summary.

-Gsimenas

Chapter 1


Volume 23 begins with... Sinon describing how much it sucks to be thirsty in UR. The sense of dehydration is so realistic that Sinon honestly wonders whether her real body hasn't dehydrated.

At this point, the grace period has already expired and Sinon is aware that she would lose her account if she died, so she chooses to continue playing UR... in search of water in a barren wasteland.

"To think that I, of all people, would be driven into a corner like this......", she says as she recalls her mistakes.

----------

Six hours ago - 4:50 PM on 27 September, 2026. Sinon was logged into GGO and farming machine mobs in a high difficulty dungeon for rare metal drops.

Although Sinon has been spending more time in ALO, she had no intention of giving up her GGO account, feeling that her Hecate II was a part of her. That's why she was soloing a dungeon for mats to customise her rifle for the next BoB that she wants to win.

Just when she only needed one more piece of metal that had a drop rate of 3%, the floor started shaking violently and her vision was dyed in a rainbow light, forcefully transporting her aboveground.

Sinon found herself in the corner of an unfamiliar city with no one around. Instead of concrete, the buildings were made out of stone, while the roads were made out of bricks rather than asphalt. A sharp contrast from the usual GGO cities.

More GGO players started flowing in soon afterwards, but all of them were dumbfounded by what was going on and she didn't see any familiar faces among them. Not liking the prospect of being surrounded by unfamiliar men, Sinon sneaked into a two-storey building nearby.

The players began looking at the menu and some decided to log out and contact the administrators or look up community sites for posts about the issue, but Sinon had a bad feeling about things and refrained from logging out.

And to Sinon's surprise, the ten players that logged out... had their avatars remain on the spot. So, this wasn't a safe "town", but rather a field map... or more like ruins, since no NPCs were around.

Just then, multiple 80 cm long mishmashes of a centipede and an earwig entered the scene. Although they didn't look like a tough monster... all the GGO players were sitting ducks... She reflexively went for her MP7... but stopped at the last moment. Can't risk drawing in even more of them, in case the five she's seeing aren't the only ones around.

Her MP7 did have a suppressor... but she had stored it away into her storage to reduce the weight of her equipment. Meanwhile, the monsters started eating peoples' napes.

Sinon was expecting the players to last awhile, since the monsters were smallfry while the men were equipped with high-class gear... but they started dying out in just ten seconds.

At that point, Sinon instantly opened up her menu to look at her stats. Gulping when she noticed that she was level 1 with only 200 HP. Stats reset. Not to mention MP, TP, SP bars that weren't present in GGO.

Sinon finally took out her MP7 to save the five players still alive. After a detailed description of how she prepared her MP7 for firing, Sinon realised that the Bullet Circle system wasn't functioning.

Since there were apparently monsters that could jam Bullet Circles, Sinon didn't pay much attention to that and fired out two bursts at one of the monsters, easily killing it. Though it didn't burst into fragments like they usually would in GGO.

At that point, the remaining four monsters began targeting Sinon. Trying to stay calm, Sinon took out a second one, while the remaining three started climbing the wall.

Switching to full-auto, Sinon killed the third one, followed by the fourth. But the fifth one reached the window and attacked with its huge jaw and tail pincer. So, Sinon kicked off from the window and fired again, killing the last monster. 【Sinon reached level 2】.
P.S., Sinon had reached level 107 in GGO just three days ago, so level 2 was a bit disappointing.

Sinon then poked the monster with her MP7's muzzle, before tapping on it with her finger when she was sure it was dead. This brought up the property window: 【Akahara Hasami-mukade (Red-bellied pincer-centipede) carcass Material Weight 5.82】.

Sinon returned her MP7 to its holster to take out her knife... but her beloved survival knife was nowhere to be found... so she picked up a kitchen knife she found in the building. Not much use in a fight, but enough to dissect a carcass. Sinon nearly threw away the knife in horror when she began the dissection, but luckily for her, the game finished the dissection for her. 【Dissection Skill Aquired. Proficiency Reached 1】.

For her troubles, Sinon got several 【Low Quality Centipede Shells】 and 2 x 【Low Quality Centipede Pincers】. Sinon didn't what she could do with them, but decided to store them away anyway, before stepping outside.

Since the remaining players hadn't returned yet, Sinon dissected the other centipedes... before noticing blackish bags where the fice players had died. When she touched one of them, she got a notification that she acquired an AK74M and a Tactical Vest.

Feeling that looting the drops wasn't ethical, Sinon was about to return the items back... but then thought that the players would respawn somewhere and come looking for their items... however, items left lying on the ground would disappear after awhile. So, she decided to pick up the other stuff to give it back later.

Sinon was worried about her storage space after storing all that stuff, but her storage was only 20% full. So, she investigated her inventory and found that all she had in it were the ten items she retrieved from the players and the centipede materials. None of her GGO stuff was there.

Just as Sinon thought how she should keep her Hecate II and MP7 safe until a rollback returned her stuff... she realised that all her ammo was gone too. So, she only had 7 Hecate bullets in her sniper's magazine and about forty MP7 bullets in her spare magazine on her belt.

Thinking that it would be best to team up with the five players against any monsters in the area, Sinon waited for the players to log back in. However, when the first one came back three minutes later, shouting that everyone needed to gather at the center of the ruins... and learnt that his buddies were dead, he accused Sinon of being a PKer before she could explain that they were attacked by monsters. Only then did she realise that her "They're dead, too bad." phrase could be taken as the words of some guy doing an assassin roleplay... whoops... doesn't help that she's currently armed with her MP7.

Sinon tries to tell the guy that she saved them from centipedes, but since she already dissected all of the carcasses, the player doesn't believe her. She wanted to take out the mats as proof, but the player mistook that action for hostility and pointed his rifle at her. Just as Sinon was considering her options to avoid losing her Hecate, a second guy came back with news that GGO wasn't the only game affected... when he noticed the hostile situation and was told that Sinon "murdered" five sitting ducks in an underhanded manner, so he took out his revolver.

While Sinon desperately looked for a way out of the situation, the three remaining players came back. Just as Sinon prayed that at least one of them was calm enough to hold a conversation, Sinon noticed that the centipedes had respawned. But the men hadn't noticed them over the first guy's incessant shouting.

Sinon thus tried to warn them to look behind, but the players just took it for a hackneyed trick... until some shouting from the other players finally clued him in to the more than ten centipedes coming at them. When the five men jumped back in surprise, Sinon decided to use this chance to escape, seeing as the men wouldn't take long to handle the smallfry mobs.

Since the first player shouted about gathering at the center of the ruins when he logged back in, Sinon assumed that there should be a safe zone there... but since she was accused of being a PKer... going to a large gathering of players wasn't the best idea, so she considered going outside the city. But first, she had to lose the overreactive players. So, she found a side road where she could get out of sight and hid herself behind some boxes she found there.

Several moments later, the players caught up to her enough that she could hear them talking about wanting to get their hands on her sniper rifle. On the one hand, Sinon didn't want to lose her Hecate to some lowlifes who abbreviate the word "sniper rifle" to "snarai", on the other hand, Sinon didn't want to become an actual PKer. As she prayed that the guys wouldn't come to her alley... they stopped at her alley.

Sinon kept her hand on the Hecate's bolt handle so she could quickly load it if she had to fight back... but just then, one of the guys shot at one of the boxes with a submachine gun, grazing her hair and combat suit. Sinon just barely restrained herself from reflexively jumping out... and that ended up saving her, as the men concluded she wasn't there, since nobody reacted to their shooting.

After barely getting out of the situation alive, Sinon whispered in her mind that the men would come to regret wasting their ammo like that soon enough, before continuing on deeper into the alley.

-----

And so Sinon made her way out of the city. She encountered more centipedes, spiders and scorpions, but to conserve her ammo, she just avoided them by running away. At this point, she cursed that she didn't switch from an MP7 to a photon sword.

After more than twenty minutes, she reached a tall stone wall. It was a rampart that surrounded the town and it was impossible to climb it. So, Sinon used a stone throw to decided which direction to go in next. In less than a minute, she found a large gate. Before crossing the gate, Sinon weighed whether her choice to leave the town was correct, but all she concluded was that she couldn't go near any other GGO players until the PK misunderstanding was resolved.

Sinon's goal now was to find a safe place to log out. Since the city was crawling with monsters, she had no choice but to seek refuge outside of it. Beyond the rampart, Sinon was surprised by the scope of the field that awaited her. Although GGO boasted large maps itself (the wasteland surrounding SBC Glocken needed five hours to cross on foot, for example), but UR's map was also off-the-charts HD. She was surprised by how clear even the dry land in the horizon and the mountains beyond it looked. A world on the scale of Underworld.

Growing even more interested in logging out to find out what was going on, she surveyed the area (that looks like the Sonoran Desert in Mexico) and realised that she could also use her Hecate's scope to zoom in and look for a safe spot. And thus she spotted a cave near the top of a rocky mountain around 700-800 metres away.

So, she began running towards the mountain, avoiding monsters along the way and safely arrived at her destination. There, she planned out her climbing route and began climbing the ~15 m tall mountain. The trick to climbing in VRMMOs was to climb up fast before a state of exhaustion was incurred by the system. At the 5 m point, she got the message: 【Climbing (登攀) Skill Acquired. Profficiency reached 1】... the abruptness of which caused Sinon to lose her hold. Luckily, she grabbed on to a gap before she could fall down entirely. Even a level 1 skill made it easier for her to climb up the rest of the way safely.

Sinon went deeper inside the cave with her MP7's flashlight to ensure there wasn't a monster nest inside. The cave was 1.5 metres high and 3 metres deep. While there were no monsters inside, she did find a wooden box. Sinon approached it, thinking that it was possibly a treasure chest. But it had a keyhole. Sinon's attempts to open it were in vain.
P.S. Treasure chests in GGO are called "Treasure Boxes" (トレジャーボックス) and can have either digital or physical locks. The former can be opened with a Hacking skill, while the latter with a Picking skill. The latter could also be brute forced by shooting the lock, though it rarely succeeded and either ended up making it impossible to open the chest at all, or destroying its contents.

After some hesitation while looking at her MP7, Sinon decided not to take the risk with a brute force option. She did at least want to try picking the lock, but her lockpicking toolset was gone and instead all she had were the men's guns and centipede mats... and that's when she had an idea. She took out one of the Low Quality Centipede Pincers... with sharp tips. She stuffed one of the tips into the keyhole. While not as good as her locking tools, the pincer was sufficient for fiddling with the lock. As she did so, 【Lockpicking (解錠) Skill Acquired. Proficiency reached 1】.

After three minutes of fiddling, Sinon raised her lockpicking proficiency to 2 just as he heard a snap in the lock... and her pincer exhausted its durability. Inside she found: a handful of coins, a worn leather bag, and a blue, rusty key. She picked up the only silver coin in the bunch and investigated it. Didn't seem like GGO's credits or ALO's Yrd. The number 100 was written on one side, and two tree leaves on the back side. When she tapped on it, she saw the property window: 【100 El Silver Coin Coin Weight 0.1】.

Sinon stored the coins into her storage and then picked up the rusty key with a flower engraving on the handle. Sinon tried gaining info from its property window: 【Bronze Key Tool Weight 0.72】, but nothing of use in it. She stashed the key and then investigated the leather bag. Since it was rather heavy, Sinon got her expectations up for some gold coins or a magic item, but what she found was... a pachinko ball-sized, black lead sphere that didn't seem to have any value... and the bag was full of them. When she tapped on one of them: 【Crude Musket Bullet Weapon/Bullet Attack:Piercing 28.42 Weight 3.67】.

Just as she was about to throw away the bullets in disappointment... she suddenly recalled that she had never heard of such a gun category in GGO. And in GGO's setting, NPC could only make optical guns, as they lost the knowledge on creating live ammo guns, so those could only be salvaged from ruins. But even the oldest guns that have been salvaged from city ruins were at least from the 20th century. Not to mention that muskets have to be reloaded for each shot, so they'd be hardly useful even against the weakest monsters.

After deciding to store away the bullets after all, Sinon leaned against the wall. It was now 6:00 PM. She wanted to log out and find out what was going on since there were no monsters in the cave. But first, she decided to rest up. While thinking about what she'd eat when she logged out, Sinon.... fell asleep...

----------

Sinon was awakened by a noise that sounded like countless bells ringing in the distance. After a moment of confusion, she realised that she fell asleep in-game.... and the time was now 9:55 PM... so she had slept for slightly over THREE hours. Since she didn't awake in her own bed, Sinon concluded that the sleep logout function wasn't working here... though she also concluded that she would have slept for an entire eight hours if she had been in her own bed, so she was at least a bit lucky.

When she stepped outside to investigate the sound that awoke her... and found an aurora... and then heard a voice that sounded like it belonged to an innocent girl... and a wise sage at the same time, say the following phrase from v21: [The seeds have sprouted, the branches and leaves have spread, forming a ring gate. Those of you summoned to the land of dying hopes, protect your single life to the end. To the first one to endure the many hardships, survive multiple predicaments, and arrive at the land indicated by the aurora, I/we (?) shall grant thee everything].

Just as Sinon was about to investigate where the aurora was pointing exactly... but she couldn't manage to finish doing so, as the moment the aurora suddenly disappeared, the was assailed by a great weight on her back... and Sinon realised that the weight came from her MP7 that seemed like a kitten in weight a mere second ago... but now felt like a lion was trampling her. But it didn't end there. Even when she removed the MP7, the weight didn't disappear. She realised that her favourite combat suit (officially named 《Sniper's Jacket》 (スナイパーズジャケット)) was exceeding her weight limit as well. After stashing away the jacket, as well as her boots and muffler, finally felt lighter.

So now, Sinon was only in her underwear. Since she couldn't use her gear anymore, she stashed them away into her storage. By then, Sinon that she was feeling thirsty. And her small water flask was missing, just like her survival knife. For a moment, Sinon thought that it was no big deal and she could just rough it out like in any other game, but then she noticed that her TP meter was decreasing (her SP bar was also decreasing, but not as quickly), so Sinon quickly realised what TP stood for. The bar was decreasing at a speed of 1% per minute.

Sinon had to find some water... in a pretty barren wasteland. What's more, all she had on her was her underwear and a belt... as well as the rusty kitchen knife she picked up in the city.... but she did have something else in her storage. She found five entries in her inventory with bag icons: 【Elkamyno's Mementos】, 【Stocks's Mementos】, 【練練 (Renren)'s Mementos】, 【Mishoka's Mementos】, and 【増岡一郎 (Masuoka Ichirou)'s Mementos】.

Sinon was repulsed by the idea of touching items she had picked up just to hold on for the players, but her concerns about that couldn't win against the throat-stabbing sensation of her thirst. So, she went through them looking for stuff even a level 2 could equip. While the five players had looked pretty well-equipped, she hoped that at least one of them was an AGI build player... and she found one. The player named Stocks's bundle included a weapon called 《Belatrix SL2》 (laser gun) and a set of armour called 《Weasel Suit》 (yellowish-brown combat suit), both of which just barely fit under her weight limit. While Sinon did have concerns about how much the Weasel Suit exposed and optical guns weren't to her liking, it was better than running around in her underwear with a kitchen knife. Also, bullet count isn't displayed on the player's UI in UR, so she had to inspect the energy gauge on the gun itself (63% charged).


And so, Sinon set out in search for water.

-------


End of Flashback


Back in the present - past 10 PM that same day. In that one hour, Sinon had no luck finding any water. Her TP bar was below 20% now and it was already hard to bear. And so, Sinon concluded that she had made three great mistakes: 1) taking the items of the centipede victims out of merch; 2) falling asleep in the cave, rather than logging out; 3) deciding to go further away from the ruins instead of returning to them when she left the cave. By the time she realised that there should be a well or something in the ruins where she could stock up on water, her TP bar was already below 50%, so it was impossible to turn back.

Although she had acquired something of a 《Night Vision》 skill, with only the stars giving light, she couldn't make out stuff in the shadows, so she had to take great detours around rocks where monsters could be hiding.

But just when she was only a hundred meters away from the rocky mountain she was aiming for... her eyes and ears caught sight/sound of something and she immediately bent over. She saw a tiny light at the base of the mountain. Something was reflecting the light of the stars... which was likely a water source. While her ears caught a thunder-like roar. The kind of sound that cliched large monsters... or even field boss-class monsters would make.

All she had to use as a weapon was the Belatrix SL2 handgun... but her TP bar was nearly at the 10% mark, so she no longer had the time to find a different water source. So, her options were to either to die from dehydration... or take her chances with what lay beyond the mountain. And she remembered a line she once told Dyne in GGO: "At least in-game, have the guts to die facing a muzzle." So, if she was doomed to die either way, she decided to die fighting, rather than dehydrate to death.

In order to at least see what the monster looked like, Sinon took out her MP7's flashlight and equipped it on her handgun... and she basically used up the remainder of her weight capacity for it. Since the light couldn't reach an entire hundred metres away, Sinon carefully closed in around the rock. When she was only 50 metres away from the rock, she noticed water running down along it... which only made her sensation of thirst worse. Her TP bar was only at 8% by now.

At that point, she found the source of the roar. A large shadow was going counter-clockwise along the base of the rock. As if protecting its turf. She had to do something if she wanted to drink some of that water. Sinon considered opening fire on it to draw the monster away from the water for at least a minute, so she could at least get a bit to drink.

Thinking that she wanted to see Kirito and co's faces when she told them how she managed to solve at least some of her problems here, Sinon resolved to survive and took her handgun into both hands. Meanwhile, a large monster appeared from beyond the rock. Sinon planned to light up her flashlight, find some good place to shoot in three seconds, and fire...

But just before she could hit the switch for the flashlight, she heard a large-caliber live ammo gun firing. The monster now roared in anger. Straining her eyes, Sinon noticed blood-like damage effects on various spots of the monster's body. Then Sinon noticed several orange flashes from a slightly high hill to her right. A moment later, the light effect of the monster's left flank being hit lit it up, allowing Sinon to see what it looked like: a dinosaur.

Apparently, Sinon lives in Bunkyō Ward, Yushima, 4-chome (文京区湯島四丁目) and she goes to a nearby art gallery and museum at times. At the museum, she happened to see a dinosaur exposition, even if she had no real interest in them. The Deinocheirus from that exposition looked just like the monster she faced now. But unlike the dinosaur at the exposition, this one didn't have feathers. Instead, it had armour-like skin. 5 metres tall, 10 metres long.

The dinosaur faced its attackers and rushed off after them, causing tremors each time it kicked off the ground. The attackers were protected by a rather steep cliff, making it hard to run up, but the people on the hill quieted down for some reason, instead of unleashing a third or fourth simultaneous volley. As Sinon looked on bewildered, the dinosaur rammed the cliff with its head, creating radial cracks in it. Then it went back a bit and rammed again. At this point, the third volley finally came, but it seemed its back was well-armoured, so the monster didn't stagger this time.

The dinosaur roared as it kicked off the ground and slammed the cliff again with great force. The cracks reached all the way up to the top of the cliff, causing a lump of it to fall down.

Sinon strained her eyes at the 10 metre high slope, noticing that a guy was falling along with the lump. At that point, Sinon gave up on her plan to sneak up to the spring during the commotion and jumped out of her hideout. While she didn't know who the guys were, she concluded that cooperating with them was her best chance of getting rid of the dinosaur to get some water.

She approached the cliff from the south. The players atop the cliff fired a fourth volley, but they were apparently running low on ammo. The dinosaur paid them no heed as it swung to slash the falling player with its claws. So, Sinon drew its attention with a shout and her flashlight. As the dinosaur was momentarily stunned by the light, she fired at its yellow eyes with her handgun. The yellow laser pierced its right eye, causing it to let out a shrill roar as it crashed into the slope. More of the earth and bolders fell down as a red cursor appeared above the dinosaur's head that looked like something between a crocodile and a bird, but Sinon didn't have the time to read its name.

Having turned off her light, Sinon rushed over to the collapsed player, pushing away a large boulder that had fallen on his left leg with a bodyslam. Just as Sinon extended her hand to the guy... her eyes flew open in surprise. For that "player" wasn't even a human. While it could be considered humanoid, GGO didn't have avatars like that. On the ground there was a 《birdman》 with brown feathers all over its body and a bird of prey head. More birdlike than even ALO's harpy monsters. But it was wearing armour made out of cloth and leather... and held an unrefined rifle in its right hand. Sinon guessed that it was neither a player, nor a monster... but an NPC.

Although Sinon had been about to draw her hand back, she thrust it out again, convinced that a fellow gunman would understand the gesture, even if it was 70% bird. The hawk-like birdman blinked once, before grasping Sinon's hand, who then pulled him up. The birdman was about five centimetres shorter than Sinon. She then tried asking if the birdman could run, but the NPC just responded ℵℵℵℵ in the weird NPC language.

Sinon couldn't understand what it said, but didn't have the time to ask again and began running to the back of the hill, with the birdman following suit. The hill was thirty metres wide and fifteen metres tall, circle-shaped. Sinon was running along it, searching for a way to climb up, when she heard the birdman shouting... and pointing to the cliff with its talons. Sinon couldn't see it all that clearly, but it seemd to be a ladder, so she jumped onto it. The ladder was made on a foundation of stakes, so it wasn't a temporary one, meaning that the birdmen didn't just happen to aim for the dinosaur today, but rather had been attempting attacking it from the hill for awhile now.

Atop the hill, all she saw were small trees, rocks, and sand. Not even a bit of water. And her TP bar was at 4%, assailing her with such a sensation of thirst that she fell to her knees. A moment later, the birdman climbed up as well, so Sinon tried asking it for water out of desperation. But the birdman didn't understand her, nor did it seem to be carrying any flasks... and NPCs didn't have any storage, so all she saw was all it had. So, if Sinon didn't kill the dinosaur in 3 minutes and 10 seconds, she'd die.

Refusing to die, Sinon stood up and ran over to the western side, where she found several more birdmen with their back to her as they aimed their rifles down the cliff, planning a fifth volley. However, Sinon saw that the dinosaur's HP bar was still close to 80%, so a single volley didn't take more than 10% out of it. While the birdmen avoided direct attacks from the dinosaur from the hill, they had to resort to aiming for its armoured back, so they couldn't deal much damage. And looking at their bags, they didn't seem to have much ammo either.

At that moment, Sinon suddenly shouted at the birdmen to wait, startling them. The birdmen suddenly turned around, pointing their guns at her, as they shouted something in their language. Sinon desperately attempted to talk to them that she wanted to help, but it didn't seem any of them were able to understand her. Her TP bar was at 3%.

Just as Sinon was about to give up, the dinosaur slammed the cliff again, causing some of it to crumble again, while the birdmen jumped back. The birdmen shouting brought back Sinon's fighting spirit, as she thought to herself: ""I'll have all the time in the world for despair AFTER I die. For as long as I have even a pixel of TP, I'll continue struggling to live. I will convey my will to the birdmen and defeat the dinosaur with their help. There has to be a way to do that".

At that point, Sinon woudered what would Kirito do. She thought that he wouldn't rely on words at a time like this. He always relied on actions— the brilliance of his sword, filled with his overwhelming willpower, to encourage everyone. Sinon didn't have a sword, but she did have a partner. And she was the only one Sinon could rely on. So, she took out her beloved gun from her storage.

The birdmen were surprised upon seeing her gun. Sinon tried to get them to help her support her gun, but they didn't understand her, tilting their heads in a birdlike manner that almost caused her to laugh. She tried again to get them to help her kill the dinosaur, but the birdmen didn't move. Finally, on her third attempt, the birdman she had rescued jumped in from behind her, placing Hecate's barrel on its right shoulder. [Preview ends here mid-sentence]

[Kirito's GGW] 4th Night


To my pleasant surprise, when I woke up today, I found a message from Mtt that he had finished another GGW chapter. Seeing as our last release took nearly a full year, I had to double check if I hadn't somehow woken up in 2020 already, but since I'm apparently still in 2019, I guess we can consider this progress in speeding up our releases.

Anyway, the 4th Night chapter was bundled with the 3rd Night chapter in the original magazine. As such, the two chapters focused on the infamous More Deban pair: Silica and Lisbeth, even using the same gimmick for the plot of the chapter. And by that, I mean that Zeliska's invisisuit is getting more deban! Enjoy the shenanigans!

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Cleaning: Mttblue2
Redrawing: Mttblue2
Typesetting: Mttblue2

[Full Translation] Rainbow Bridge


So, Volume 22 was released in Japan just 9 days ago. Instead of continuing the Unital Ring storyline, this volume was made into a side story collection. However, unlike v2 and v8, this volume compiled four previously released SAO Blu-Ray and DVD side stories. One of these stories was Rainbow Bridge, one of my very first translation projects (technically, the Ordeals of Kirito drama CD was the first, but it was reviewed at a later point). I had published a full translation of the story back in 2014 or something; however, I was very unexperienced as a translator at the time, while Rainbow Bridge turned out to have quite a few difficult phrasings for a beginner to understand... and to top it off, more than half of it wasn't even edited, so my original translation was both difficult to read due to style issues, and had some inaccuracies or misinterpretations throughout the translation. In short, it was horribly amateurish and messy. We did intend to publish an edited version of the translation one day, but we got distracted with newer projects that we wanted to work on, while my editors eventually went MIA. So, Rainbow Bridge ended up in editing hell as a low-priority project that we never had the time to actually clean up.

That's not to say that it was never touched during those five years. In 2017, I was approached by someone who volunteered to help edit my translations, so this prompted me to pick out the old drafts from my metaphorical dusty shelf for a second look. And I have to say... it was horribly painful to look through my beginnerish translation... like, my gawd, I could honestly have died from shame back then. However, I stomached through it and actually did edits parts 3-5 of it with my more honed-over-the-years skills. After I was done, the guy I mentioned went through the docs to offer his own suggestions, but for some reason, the translation ended up back in the metaphorical dusty shelf for another two years... don't even ask me why, because I no longer remember. I was probably too sick after reading my newbish translation, or got distracted by new stuff again... most likely a combination of both.

Now that the story was republished as part of volume 22, I've decided to finally get the story out of editing hell. Honestly, I still think it would have been simpler and more efficient to just burn my old translation to the ground and start over with a fresh mind, pretending that the old version never existed... but I honestly didn't have the free time to redo the entire translation from scratch. So, instead, I just looked over the unreleased parts (parts 3-5), reviewed the suggestions left by that surprise guest editor... and then also made major stylistic revisions throughout the reviewed parts of the translation (as you may have guessed by now, I can be quite the perfectionist...). Part 3 got me depressed again, since I had to make a whole ton of revisions there, but part 4 and part 5 were apparently not too bad in comparison... guess my 2017 run through them was rather decent.

Anyway, after that long journey, Rainbow Bridge now finally has a more-or-less (yes, I'm still not satisfied with it... there's a reason why I absolutely hate going through my old stuff...) translation. I decided to compile the entire translation into a single page and throw in the illustrations from V22 for good measure your reading pleasure. Please note that I did not touch the translation for parts 1 and 2 since they were released on the blog, aside from standardising some names, terms, and format.

P.S., I can confirm that Kawahara has not laid a finger on the manuscript of this story for the V22 release, as there is absolutely no change between the original raw I had, and the text in volume 22. Kawahara didn't even bother to fix all the blatant and corny typos in it (e.g., Lord --> Load, Lurk --> Diving), including timeline mixups... even though he somehow managed to catch the infamous corny typo in Sisters' Prayer ("daddy loves you" --> "daddy lover you").

Click here to read the greatly polished story.

If you wish to see how much has changed in the translation from my original shitty draft... or you are just a masochist who enjoys reading shitty translations for some reason (I won't mention any names, but I know who you are), you can find my original translation here.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raw: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Gsimenas, Pryun, M. Oosting, Dennis, 1caiser

Rainbow Bridge 5

Markup explanation:
  • Itallics mark text that was written in katakana English (I only highlighted the cases where the author uses both English and actual Japanese equivalents for the same thing, or when I needed to emphasise that an English word is used there).
  • Single quotation marks (') are quotes that weren't in the original text but were added for the convenience of English speakers to mark implied quotations. I used it mostly to separate Kirito's internal monologue from his narration, as well as mark sound effects and so on. Actual dialogue lines or quotations (with 「」 punctuation marks) within a narration line are indicated with the usual double (") quotation marks.

Credits

Raw: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Gsimenas, M. Oosting

Rainbow Bridge 4

Markup explanation:
  • Itallics mark text that was written in katakana English (I only highlighted the cases where the author uses both English and actual Japanese equivalents for the same thing, or when I needed to emphasise that an English word is used there).
  • Full-width text indicates non-Japanese text that was written in the Latin/English alphabet, rather than katakana. Basically, what you see is exactly how it's written in the raw.
  • Courier font indicates that the original word was written in kana for emphasis (when such a word usually isn't written in kana)
  • Single quotation marks (') are quotes that weren't in the original text but were added for the convenience of English speakers to mark implied quotations. I used it mostly to separate Kirito's internal monologue from his narration, as well as mark sound effects and so on. Actual dialogue lines or quotations (with 「」 punctuation marks) within a narration line are indicated with the usual double (") quotation marks.
  • Comic sans indicates emphasis added by myself when I needed to stress something to get the meaning across properly.
  • In some instances, the original text used furigana. In cases where the furigana wasn't exact match for the underlying text (usually when the author uses furigana to translate or describe foreign words in Japanese), I maintained the furigana format. Furigana text should be read as follows: #Japanese translation/description of what the term/name means#(What was actually said) (e.g. #shadow fairy race#(Spriggans) - "Spriggans" is what was actually said in text, while "shadow fairy race" is just a brief description of what Spriggans are to help differentiate between the different fairies.
  • In some instances, the author decided to use both English and Japanese equivalents for the exact same word one after the other; in such cases, I marked the English variant in itallics, while the Japanese variant will be emphasised with furigana like this: #Translation into English#(Japanese word) (e.g. #long hair#(chouhatsu) - "long hair" here is a translation of the Japanese word, while "chouhatsu" is a romanisation of the Japanese word in the original text to emphasise that this specific word is in Japanese).

Credits

Raw: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Gsimenas, M. Oosting

[OS] Chapter 7-8


Since 18 October marks the anniversary of Yuuna's death, we decided to make another double OS manga release to commemorate the occasion. With this release, we've covered the entirety of volume 2 of the manga. Like last time, we included the afterword and a bonus 4-koma while we were at it. Since Yen Press hasn't licensed this manga yet, we're likely going to continue with volume 3 as well, especially since volume 3 starts adapting scenes from Hopeful Chant.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Redrawing, typesetting: Nguyên Milk and Mttblue2

Rainbow Bridge 3

Seeing as Rainbow Bridge has been included among the stories compiled in volume 22 of the main SAO series, I decided it's about time to get this old project out of editing hell. I had published my original translation of the story around 4 or so years ago when I was just starting to work on translations; since it was one of my very first translations, it left a lot to be desired (both readability- and accuracy-wise), but I could never get around to finishing it. So, now that the story has been incorporated into the main series, I thought it's the perfect time to get a more refined translation out. I'll be publishing the rest of it (as well as a bigger introduction post) within the next few day.

Markup explanation:
  • Itallics mark text that was written in katakana English (I only highlighted the cases where the author uses both English and actual Japanese equivalents for the same thing, or when I needed to emphasise that an English word is used there).
  • Courier font indicates that the original word was written in kana for emphasis (when such a word usually isn't written in kana)
  • Single quotation marks (') are quotes that weren't in the original text but were added for the convenience of English speakers to mark implied quotations. I used it mostly to separate Kirito's internal monologue from his narration, as well as mark sound effects and so on. Actual dialogue lines or quotations (with 「」 punctuation marks) within a narration line are indicated with the usual double (") quotation marks.
  • In some instances, the original text used furigana. In cases where the furigana wasn't exact match for the underlying text (usually when the author uses furigana to translate or describe foreign words in Japanese), I maintained the furigana format. Furigana text should be read as follows: #Japanese translation/description of what the term/name means#(What was actually said) (e.g. #shadow fairy race#(Spriggans) - "Spriggans" is what was actually said in text, while "shadow fairy race" is just a brief description of what Spriggans are to help differentiate between the different fairies.

Credits

Raw: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Gsimenas, Dennis, M. Oosting

[Full Translation] If You Were Here


Today marks the premiere of the Alicization anime's second half, War of Underworld. To celebrate, I laboured hard the past weeks to get the alternate Alicization timeline story "If You Were Here" all translated and spruced up for release... as a fluffy contrast to the War of Underworld's more gruesome route to make it all that much more painful in the end, mwhahahaha. To be honest, I had to double check at times to confirm I didn't somehow wound up in the gameverse with this story. If you love Eugeo and want more of his interactions (especially sick burns) with Kirito, this is the story just for you! And it'll probably make you hate Raios and Humbert even more when you realise how differently things would have gone if those two were out of the picture earlier.

For those out of the loop, the author of SAO, Kawahara Reki, began a series called "32/33" with his doujin Material Editions to explore the idea of what would have happened to the story if Eugeo and Kirito never broke the Taboo Index. But due to lacking time to write another side story to promote the Blu-Ray/DVD sales of Alicization... as well as his lack of time to participate in COMITIA doujin meetups where he releases his MEs, he decided to kill two birds with one stone by taking the incomplete 32/33 series and making it into a BD/DVD bonus story (retitling the story to "If You Were Here"), with some extra original content that wasn't present in the MEs to bring the story to an end.

Notice: This story is only recommended to those who have watched Alicization episodes 1-24, or have read volumes 9-14 of the light novel, since it does make quite a few references to the canon version of the timeline. Disclaimer: the story may or may not cause diabetes. Read at your own risk.

To make things easier (seeing as ME28 and ME29 content was already published separately and each had a varying amount of parts), I compiled the entire translation of the story into a single webpage straight away, instead of making separate posts for each part (I also added in some bookmarks to help you find where you left off, you can thank me later).

Click here to read the story.

Now, I did give this story a once-over before publishing it, but I'm only one man and could have easily missed some blatant fuckups, so if anyone notices anything wrong, be sure to inform me. Feel free to drop any other suggestions or impressions in the comments below as well.

Credits

Raws: Takazuki, Celest
Translation: Gsimenas

[Choukansha Fair 2018 AGGO] Mizugi de Tatakaeru ka - Online (MTO)


Those who have read the recent Summer Memories or other translations will probably know this already, but Dengeki Bunko hosts an annual gratitude event called the Dengeki Choukansha (great gratitude) Fair, during which people can receive various bonuses for buying select Dengeki Bunko LNs marked with a special band. These bonuses include things like keychains, and leaflets with 4 page short stories for popular Dengeki series. There were raws for the AGGO story from 2018's Choukansha fair, but I kinda forgot all about it due to other stuff going on at the time... and because I kinda forgot to save the raws to my personal raw folder for some reason and the raws post got buried over time... whoopsie. Anyway, I dug up the raws a couple of weeks ago while looking for something else and figured I should get this translated eventually. Since my next project is going to be If You Were Here... and that story will take a bit of time to finish since it does have 50 new pages to translate, I figured I'd get this AGGO short done for a quick release to avoid a long period with no releases whatsoever (after all, no amount of bugging appears to be enough to get Mtt to finish up with some manga chapter, it seems...).

For those not proficient enough in Japanese (or Weebese, if that's how you roll), the title of the story literally means "Can You Fight in a Swimsuit - Online" (possibly with a dash of sarcasm). I decided to leave the Japanese version of the title as is, since Sigsawa decided to make an abbreviation for it for some Sigsawa-ish reason. The story technically takes place after SJ3 (v5 of AGGO), but the story is self-contained and doesn't actually reference anything from SJ3, so you're safe to read it. Might want to have at least watched the anime or read v2 to know who Fuka is, but other than that, you're free to read this short at any time.

Strangely, no markup was used for this story. There were quite a few bits of Engrishy stuff in there, but since there were no instances of synonym spam, I didn't bother highlighting the Engrishy stuff.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas

[Choukansha Fair 2019 SAO] Summer Memories

As per their annual tradition, this summer Dengeki Bunko hosted their gratitude event called the Dengeki Choukansha (great gratitude) Fair, during which people can receive various bonuses for buying select Dengeki Bunko LNs, marked with a special seal. This year's fair was a little bit different in that a lot of the bonuses are given away via lottery principle, rather than buy x books to get y bonus. However, each store chain is also offering their own bonuses for the event. Some of these stores, such as Gamers and Animate, were offering the annual SAO Choukansha leaflet short story for purchasing any SAO volume at their stores. The short for this year is called "Summer Memories" (夏の思い出) and is set early on in the Alicization arc - 5 months after Eugeo and Kirito left Rulid, but less than a month before the Zakkaria tournament. Since Takazuki graciously helped providing the raws for the story... and seeing as I've done the leaflet shorts for the previous years (excluding the 2017 leaflet that Defan somehow swiped from me, apparently, but let's not fret the details), so it's kinda my thing at this point, I decided to translate this one as well.

The unusual thing with this year's story — well, while it's a first for this type of story, it's actually very typical of Kawahara — is that Kawahara once again wrote too much content for the story... and that extra stuff didn't make it on the leaflet due to size restrictions. So instead, Kawahara released half of the story in leaflet format, while the second half was published on his own website (http://wordgear.x0.com/novel/omoide.htm). Heck, Kawahara went so much over the page limit that the part on the website is about twice the size of the leaflet portion, so this "short" ended up half as long as a typical Material Edition. As for the story itself... it basically summer ice v2.0, which was probably one of the reasons for the title.

Like in my previous translation, I'll put some technical stuff about the translation itself here to avoid translation notes about minor stuff and my translation choices (feel free to skip this paragraph if you don't care about this stuff... oh, and you might want to read the story itself before stopping here due to possible spoilers). For starters, in one instance I used the word "mister" in the translation; the original text was おやっさん (oyassan), which would literally mean "dad", but I treated it as a way to indicate the head male of the household and I couldn't come up with a better way to account for it other than just "mister". One of the Sacred Arts elements is mentioned in the story; the formal name for the element is "cryogenic" (クライオゼニック), but it was only referred to by its Japanese name (凍素) in this story, so I translated it literally as "freezing element". In one instance, Kirito merges the names Telure (テルル, pronounced "teh-lur") and Teline (テリン, pronounced "teh-leen") into a combo "Teluline" (テルリン, pronounced "teh-lu-leen). On that note, I decided to just go with Yen Press's translations for the girls' given names and surnames. On the other hand, Yen Press translated the tournament's name as "Northern Norlangarth Swordfighting Tournament", but I decided to go with a more literal translation, especially since region names in Underworld have a set format that Yen Press broke with that translation. I hope that covers everything.

Now, I did give this story a once-over before publishing it, but I'm only one man and could have easily missed some blatant fuckups, so if anyone notices anything wrong, be sure to inform me. Feel free to drop any other suggestions or impressions in the comments below as well.

Markup explanation:
Itallics mark text that was written in katakana English (I only highlighted the cases where the author uses both English and actual Japanese equivalents for the same thing, or when I needed to emphasise that an English word is used there). Some instances of the original text used furigana (ruby text) and I maintained this format for instances where the furigana differed from the base text or used some English word for it; the furigana format should be understood as follows: #What it means#(What is said). Courier font indicates that the original word was written in kana for emphasis (when such a word usually isn't written in kana). I used single quotation marks (') for when Kirito went into an inner monologue in the middle of a narration, as it wasn't separated by an actual punctuation in the raw; actual dialogue lines or quotations (with 「」 punctuation marks) within a narration line are indicated with the usual double (") quotation marks.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Takazuki (leaflet), Kawahara's website
Translation: Gsimenas

Material Edition 29 - Sword Art Online Gaiden X3 [32/33] ②


It took me a bit longer than I had originally anticipated, but here's the continuation of the "What if Raios and Humbert were bitten by poisonous crabs and never stopped Eugeo and Kirito from graduating from the academy" what-if story from ME28. The content of this and the previous one will apparently be collected into the Alicization BD v8 bonus novel, along with a continuation (and supposed conclusion) of this storyline. Since I've already translated half of it, guess I'll finish it up when the BD comes out in 2 days (and I actually get raws from someone, of course). As the latter might take awhile, I might translate this year's choukansha short next while waiting for the raws.

The story here picks off where ME28 ended. The first portion of the text still belongs to part 3 from ME28, apparently, so there is no separate heading for it, while the next portion is titled as "4". The new named character in this ME was named コルシェ, which is awfully similar to Porsche (ポルシェ), so I decided to run with "Corsche" as the translation. There is also a fruit named カーシャ (read as "kāsha") introduced in this ME; the first syllable sounded like "car", so I went with "carsha" (I totally didn't pick this spelling to complement the Porsche reference...). The "Corsche" character I mentioned before speaks in humble (kenjougo) tone, so I tried making her sound excessively formal and polite, while the other new character speaks in old-man style, so I tried to make his language sound more colloquial with various non-standard spelling variants and colloquial abbreviations. The "H'llo" instance accounts for the fact that Kirito shortened "こんにちは" to "こんちは" (not sure if this is intentional, or Kawahara just made an oppsie here). I hope this covers all the technical stuff for this ME.

Now, I did give this story a once-over before publishing it, but I'm only one man and could have easily missed some blatant fuckups, so if anyone notices anything wrong, be sure to inform me. Feel free to drop any other suggestions or impressions in the comments below as well.

On a side note, we might get an OS release soonish, since the initial typesetting for c7 is done. Also, we revised the "MAID iN AINCRAD" comic anthology story with better raws (and slightly refined translation + typesetting), so feel free to give it another look if you want.

Markup explanation:
Itallics mark text that was written in katakana English (I only highlighted the cases where the author uses both English and actual Japanese equivalents for the same thing, or when I needed to emphasise that an English word is used there). In some instances, the author decided to use both English and Japanese equivalents for the exact same word one after the other; in such cases, I marked the English variant in itallics, while the Japanese variant will be emphasised with furigana like this: #Translation into English#(Japanese word) (e.g. #long hair#(chouhatsu) - "long hair" here is a translation of the Japanese word, while "chouhatsu" is a romanisation of the Japanese word in the original text to emphasise that this specific word is in Japanese). I hope this explanation will help avoid any confusion this time (*looks at a certain Cel*).

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas

[OS] Chapter 5-6


Although we didn't manage to finish while it was still the 29th in Japan, it's still Monday in America, so I guess we still technically kinda sorta still made it in time. As promised, to celebrate Yuna's birthday, we're making an OS release. Surprise! It's a double chapter release!

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Redrawing, typesetting: Nguyên Milk and Mttblue2

[Project Announcement] Ordinal Scale manga v2


After a gruelling June of exam hell and a similarly busy July of working at a hospital, as of yesterday, I can finally enjoy the mystical thing called summer... for like a month before uni starts again and the cycle repeats itself. Anyway, since I'm finally on holiday for what little remains of summer, I'll finally have the time to work on translations. I had hoped to work on something on July, but hospital work turned out to be more exhausting than I had anticipated (probably because I was already pretty exhausted after my exams and didn't have much of any break after them), which resulted in me feeling too tired to work on anything when I actually returned home (ah, the joys of an afternoon nap...).

Now, since Yuna's birthday is around the corner (29 July) and Yen Press has, strangely, not yet licensed the Ordinal Scale manga for some reason, we decided to continue our work with volume 2 of the manga. We hope (!) to have a chapter ready for Monday to commemorate the birthday of SAO's best idol. The chapter had been translated and mostly typeset for a while now, but we couldn't find the time to finish up with the final touches due to RL being a bitch, so it's about time we actually released it. The volume consists of chapters 5-8 and covers up to the scene where Kirito learns that Asuna has lost her memories of SAO. While most of the volume is basically a manga version of the movie's scenes, it does add a few extra stuff here and there (such as the coloured illustrations at the beginning or a visual for Fuka for those who missed the reference in the movie itself), plus the manga's art is pretty nice, so we do hope you'll enjoy it.

As for our other projects, as some of you may have heard, the 32/33 story from the latest MEs will be turned into a Blu-ray story and will be released at the end of August. Although it's a shame that the promised BD story won't be original material (seeing as half of it will just be MEs 28-29; poor Kawahara must be swamped if he has to reuse material to save time like this), this means that 32/33 will have a conclusion sooner than expected (and we might get some good illustrations from abec as a bonus). Seeing as we did ME28, we will probably be translating this BD story once it comes out. Till then, my next focus will be translating ME29, as translating it will mean that I can finish up the BD story faster. Rough ETA: hopefully done in the next week or two. Maybe I'll work on another character book afterwards (while working on our manga projects on the side), since there doesn't seem to be anything else to work on? I was hoping to have a new side story to work on, but guess dreams don't always come true... Oh wait, there's still Clover's Regret... guess I could also work on that if there is interest in it? Next GGW release is still TBD, since it depends on when our typesetters have the time for it (hopefully, soon). I guess that covers everything? (totally haven't forgotten about the Comic Anthologies... because we just don't have any hands free for those atm) If I missed anything or if you guys have any requests, feel free to leave a comment below (disclaimer: no promise that I'll work on it if it doesn't interest me (or our typesetters, if it's a manga request)!).

Hope to see you all on Monday. Cheers!

-Gsimenas

[Kirito's GGW] 3rd Night


It's the middle of June, which means that I'm still only midway through my summer exam hell (at least I'm done with the big ones already...). For understandable reasons, I've been unable to work much on new translations. However, after a veeeeeeeeery long break (I mean, holy shit, last chapter release was nearly a year ago... though chapter 3 was released around August in Japan, so it's more like 10 months late, I guess? Uni life sure sucks...), we've finished up work on the third chapter of the Kirito's Gun Gale Wars manga.

Now, this chapter actually came bundled with chapter 4. So, the mangaka decided to dedicate them to the Siliz duo, one for Silica, one for Lisbeth. The two chapters also share a similar theme (namely, Zeliska's invisibility "suit"), so don't be surprised if he invisibility "suit" looks a bit different; it'll come up in the next chapter.

Finally, a standard thank you to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.
Any feedback is appreciated.

P.S./Disclaimer: A special version of the chapter was made for a certain someone by Mttblue2. This version wasn't in the original; it was made by Mtt because one of his fans wanted an NSFW version of the chapter. It may or may not have been the reason why the chapter took so long.

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Cleaning: Mttblue2
Redrawing: Mttblue2
Typesetting: Mttblue2

[Distant Journey] Part 3

As summer comes closer and closer, I found myself swamped in Uni stuff the past few weeks, so I didn't have time to work on Distant Journey lately. Luckily, I managed to get a short breather this week —— just before I get swamped with exams after the next week —— so I was finally able to finish tying the loose ends with Distant Journey. This short part brings an unexpected happy end to the side story. It was nice seeing some Kirito & Eugeo interactions again, though I hope the next BD side story will be a little more eventful (more Eugeo wouldn't hurt either).

P.S. I didn't have any editors for this and only gave it a once over, so please excuse any oopsies I may have made. If anyone notices anything weird (be it weird phrasings, obvious mistakes, or anything else you feel might need improvement), please let me know.

Italic text indicates English words in katakana, where it was important to make a distinction from actual Japanese.

Any feedback is appreciated.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Celest
Translation: Gsimenas

[Distant Journey] Part 2

Happy Easter everyone. Since I had a week off from uni this week, I managed to finish up translating part 2 of Distant Journey just in time to commemorate the holidays.

Surprise surprise, the antagonist in this story turns out to be Raios's buddy (the same guy with deadly crab-infested lakes in ME28 that I translated a couple of weeks ago). And, of course, since he's Raios's buddy, he's a total scumbag. While he's not (yet) raping innocent little girls like his sempai in sleazebagness, what he does when he's not dumping trash in his lake is apparently not far behind Raios's shit. Seems like he's also becoming a reoccuring character at this point.

All that remains is a 6 page long part 3. Oh, and the story is apparently ending with a plot twist at the last moment.

P.S. I didn't have any editors for this and only gave it a once over, so please excuse any oopsies I may have made. If anyone notices anything weird (be it weird phrasings, obvious mistakes, or anything else you feel might need improvement), please let me know.

Italic text indicates English words in katakana, where it was important to make a distinction from actual Japanese. Furigana (ruby text) was used in an instance where I needed to emphasise that a Japanese word was being used there (mostly because Kawahara was throwing around both English and Japanese words for the same thing). Double em dashes (——) were present in the raw; instances with single em dashes (—) were added by me to make it easier to adapt complicated grammar in the raw into readable English.

Any feedback is appreciated.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Celest
Translation: Gsimenas

Material Edition 28 - Sword Art Online Gaiden X3 [32/33]


So, as of now, the 24th episode of the Alicization anime has finished airing in Japan, bringing an end to the first half of the Alicization anime... as well as killing off the best boi of the series. To commemorate this milestone and rub a load of salt in those oh so fresh wounds, here's an alternative universe where Eugeo and Kirito never cut down Raios and Humbert (as the two asses were conveniently bitten by poisonous crabs) and thus continued with their academy life without breaking the Taboo Index, getting into the Central Cathedral the conventional way. Basically, a version of the story where Eugeo doesn't get bisected...hopefully... just to make the canon tragic ending feel even more heart-wrenching.

I had intentionally planned to do Distant Journey part 2 for this occasion, but then I realised that this might be even more evil (and possibly involve slightly less work, making it easier to get it done on time), so I decided to do ME28 first. For those wondering what a material edition is, these are basically short stories that Kawahara Reki, the author of SAO, self-publishes during a doujin convention called COMITIA. Anyway, now that I'm done with this, I'll probably get back to working on Distant Journey for the next release.

Italic font marks Engrish (English written in katakana) where it's important to point out that the characters aren't using actual Japanese in the instance.

Any feedback is appreciated. No, seriously, if you spot some errors, please let me know. I was kinda rushing to get this done for episode 24's release, so I haven't really proofread it yet and could have easily overlooked some mistakes.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas

[Distant Journey] Part 1

Since the Alicization anime has already started covering volume 14 content, I figured it was about time to start releasing a part of Distant Journey as an example of Eugeo and Kirito's good relationship...
If I'm lucky, I might be able to finish up part 2 just as the final cour 2 episode airs. On second thought, I may have something even more fiendish in store for the cour 2 finale... [Insert evil grin]

Anyway, this story is only like 56 pages long, so I wouldn't expect a grand story here. This part alone was nearly half the story, and it was mostly just exposition. Though, if you're craving some Eugeo and Kirito moments, then look no further.

P.S. I didn't have any editors for this and only gave it a once over, so please excuse any oopsies I may have made. If anyone notices anything weird (be it weird phrasings, obvious mistakes, or anything else you feel might need improvement), please let me know.

Italic text indicates English words in katakana, where it was important to make a distinction from actual Japanese.

Any feedback is appreciated.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: Celest
Translation: Gsimenas

Sword Art Online Volume 21 summary

As some may have known, I ended up working on a summary for volume 21 since December due to popular demand on Twitter. Today, that summary was finally completed. Since some people were interested, I decided to make a compilation of the summary from my Twitter account. For this version, I removed my random reactions (at least I hope I didn't miss anything) from the summary tweets, made a few corrections here and there, and organised the entire text into paragraphs. If you wish to read the original Tweet thread, you can find it here.

Notice: This is a summary, not a proper translation. Even if I ended up making it more like a full-blown retelling than an actual summary.

[Project Announcement] Sword Art Online: Distant Journey


As some of you may have known before, the limited edition of the first Alicization Blu-ray and DVD comes with a Sword Art Online side story, titled "Distant Journey". I've also mentioned on my Twitter account that I'm interested in translating it when it comes out. And since the BD/DVD came out earlier today and a friend of mine already has it and sent me material to work from, I've decided make an official post about it. So, I'll be working on the side story starting today. Will take some time to translate it, but I'll probably release it chapter-by-chapter to make the wait shorter. Especially since there's only like 3 chapters in this side story, and they're not exactly short. I'll also have to figure out if I'm going to have anyone who could edit the translation, or will I have to do it myself.

Anyway, here's the outline for the story from the official site:

Kirito and Eugeo have set off on a journey from Rulid Village to the central city of Centoria in order to rescue their kidnapped childhood friend, Alice.
As the day for the entrance examination to the Imperial Swordcraft Academy draws near, the two travellers arrive at the 《Bilzen Inn》. Several years have passed since the inn went out of business and still lacks an owner till this day--
Knowing this, Kirito pushes the reluctant Eugeo into spending a night at the inn. When Kirito awoke from slumber that night, he saw a girl with transparent limbs--!
"Mister...... Are you... not scared of me?"
Who is the 《ghost》 that suddenly came to Kirito and Eugeo?

Since I don't have the full raws yet, I can't exactly tell how long this story is, or how long it'll take me to translate it, but I hope to have something ready soon enough. Perhaps we'll get a manga release ready till then so that the wait wouldn't be so long.

-Gsimenas

[OS] Chapter 4


I'm nearing the end of my exams (finally X.X). Only one final left before I regain my freedom. Despite my hopes, I didn't have the time to work on any new translations, as people wanted some Unital Ring summaries instead.

Fortunately, we were able to finish up with Ordinal Scale chapter 4 in the meantime, so we do have something to release while I'm still going through hell. With this chapter, we finished up with the first volume of the manga. And we decided to include the afterword and a bonus 4-koma while we were at it. Since Yen Press hasn't licensed this manga yet, we're likely going to continue with volume 2 as well.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Redrawing, typesetting: Nguyên Milk and Mttblue2

[OS] Chapter 3


Unfortunately, due to real life time constraints (read: university work and exams), we have been unable to release anything for nearly 2 months now. With the end of the semester finally nigh upon us, we were finally able to find some time to publish a release.

Since we haven't had an Ordinal Scale manga release since April, we decided that it was about time we started working on it. Fortunately, Nguyên Milk has recently joined our team and will be focusing on redrawing and typesetting this manga, so releases should be more frequent from now on (at least, I hope so) as Mttblue 2 won't be bearing the entire load all by himself from now on. Anyway, Nguyên is already typesetting chapter 4, so the next chapter will hopefully be out soon.

As for myself, my exams have already started, so I haven't been able to work on any translations this month. Luckily, I'll be getting a break in-between exams for Christmas, so I hope to get some translation done during that time. Probably another character book release, as I won't have enough time to get something bigger done. Progress this month has also been slow because I somehow ended up making a summary of volume 21 since it was released, which used up what little free time I had this month. For those who aren't aware of this yet, you can find my summary of the volume in this thread. At the moment of writing this, the summary covers up to the end of chapter 4 (excluding the parts that have already been translated by Defan).

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Redrawing, typesetting: Nguyên Milk and Mttblue2

[Character Book] Vol.4 Sinon


Wow, it's been 1.5 months since our last release. I've been so swamped with uni and kendo stuff that I haven't had the time to actually translate anything since the beginning of September... I could squeeze out some time for translating some SAO manga chapters, but since our only typesetter is busy with other stuff, so we couldn't release those manga translations for quite a while anyway... As such, I decided to release the translation of another character book for the time being. This time, the star of the show is Sinon. There weren't much of any spoilers in this one, so it should be safe to read even if you aren't caught up with the latest translations of Alicization.

P.S. If anyone with typesetting experience is interested in helping us release our manga translations, do let us know.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas

[Character Book] Vol.3 Leafa


Well, summer had ended (even though I only had one month of actual summer holidays instead of the usual two months because I spent one month volunteering at a hospital X.X) and a new academic year has started for me as of today, so I won't be able to release as many translations as I did during the summer. As such, I figured it would be nice to release one more translation before I actually have to start studying. Thus, I present you with a translation of the interview in the third character book, dedicated to Leafa/Suguha for all you imouto and/or kendo lovers. This one seems to be a whole page longer than the previous two interviews... my luck is grand as always, apparently...

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws. I've been told that they've been running low on funds to buy new raws lately, so if you enjoy these translations and are feeling generous, I'm sure they would appreciate any support they can get.

Any feedback is appreciated. Especially since I didn't have any editors for this!

P.S. RIP Recon.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas

[Choukansha Fair 2016 AGGO] LLENN and Fukaziroh Talking About Dates

Since I spent the free time I had this week on kendo and translating Kirito's Gun Gale Wars but can't release any of those translations yet because I still need Mtt to typeset the manga, I figured I'd do a quick translation to have something to release this week. And that something quick was another one of those Choukansha (Great Gratitude) Fair leaflets, but this time it's a story for AGGO. This story is from the 2016 fair when the theme was summer dates... so, the title of the story shouldn't be surprising. I had the story for a long time now, but since this story featured Fukaziroh, who was only introduced in volume 2, I figured I'd save it for when I finished translating AGGO's second arc. So, it's about time it got released. Just don't expect anything grand from it. It is a very short leaflet story, after all.

Note that the story features a ton of monster names. In the English translation, the names will be a little redundant, seeing as in the Japanese raw they were given both proper Japanese, as well as English names, but the English name wasn't presented as furigana text over the Japanese one like it's usually the case. So, for clarity, the part of the name before the colon is in proper Japanese, while the part after it is the English one. Also, before anyone asks, the Sherman refers to some WW2 tank.

Any feedback is appreciated, especially since this was just a quick translation with no editing.

Credits

Raws: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas

[Choukansha Fair 2018 SAO] The End of the Summer and the Straw Hat


Those who have read our recent SAOP4.1 translation will probably know this already, but Dengeki Bunko hosts an annual gratitude event called the Dengeki Choukansha (great gratitude) Fair, during which people can receive various bonuses for buying select Dengeki Bunko LNs marked with a special band. These bonuses include things like keychains, and leaflets with 4 page short stories for popular Dengeki series. This year's fair began just a week ago and, as you may have guessed, SAO is one of the series that got a short story (AGGO got one too, but that's a topic for another time). And, as you may have also guessed, I got the raws for the story (thanks to https://twitter.com/Takargo!) and have decided to translate this short, seeing as we had taken a bit of a break at the beginning of the month. This year's theme for the shorts appears to be swimsuits, so we've got a bikini Alice for the cover illustration.

This story is set in-between Alicization and Unital Ring, so you may want to be caught up with Defan's Alicization translations before reading this story, though it doesn't really spoil much (assuming you already know about Alice). As the cover should imply, the story will be about swimsuits, but don't expect actual swimsuit scenes here just because of that.

On a side note, is it just me, or is this story hinting that Eiji will become relevant again in Unital Ring... Hmm...

Full-width text emphasises that actual English words were used in that instance.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Credits

Raws: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas

[SAO Comic Anthology] Today's Weather is Also Great

The past couple of weeks have been very slow, since I didn't really get around to doing any translations during my vacation. So, while I work on translating something new, here's another story from the SAO Comic Anthology to keep you entertained in the meantime. Note that this story is short and weird. I'm serious about the weird bit; it's very wacky. And it also answers the question why you shouldn't be napping outside when you've got a harem after you. Not like anyone asked such a question in the first place though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also, Mttblue wants to focus all of his attention on the Project Alicization manga from now on since it hasn't had a release in.... a very long time, so we probably won't have any manga releases for a considerable while. Though, if I'm lucky, he'll at least scan the last SAO magazine in the next few days so that I could laugh my ass off reading the next two GGW chapters get some translations done in the meantime.

Any feedback is appreciated.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Mangaka: Puyo
Raw: Mttblue2
Translation: Gsimenas
Redrawing, Cleaning, Typesetting: Mttblue2

Material Edition 21 - SAOP4.2

Hey, everyone. I just returned from my vacation at the beach, so I figured it's about time to make a translation release. Since I was the one who did both Hopeful Chant and SAOP4.1, I decided do SAOP4.2 as well. Not much action here though; mostly just KiriAsu time. While this story is a continuation of SAOP4.1 (and, in turn, Progressive LN volume 4), it doesn't actually continue the story directly, thus reading the two aforementioned publications isn't actually required to read this short (it's basically spoiler free). Chronologically, this story takes place either at the beginning of Progressive volume 5 or in-between volume 4 and 5, since the story is set in an inn on the 6th Floor.

Full-width text marks words written in the Latin/Western alphabet in the original text. Italic font marks Engrish (English written in katakana) where it's important to point out that the characters aren't using actual Japanese in the instance. I use furigana (ruby text) in the following cases: 1) the original text used it and the furigana is not identical to the base text; 2) to make it clear that the original text was in Japanese (i.e., because of puns or because Japanese words are the topic of the conversation/are used to explain English words and their meaning). Furigana works as follows: #What the term/phrase means#(How you're supposed to read the term/phrase).

Any feedback is appreciated. No, seriously, if you spot some errors, please let me know. I didn't have anyone to edit this story, so I could have easily overlooked some mistakes.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Translation: Gsimenas

[Character Book] Vol.2 Asuna


A couple of weeks ago, I made a poll on Twitter (https://twitter.com/gsimenas/status/1013479842661261312) to help decide what to work on next, seeing as I didn't really have much left to choose from. And, surprise surprise, the waifu factor proved to be too OP, as Asuna's character book won by a landslide... I'll probably have to refrain from using character names the next time I think of doing such a poll... As such, this week's release is just that - a translation of an interview with the author, Kawahara Reki, about Asuna. The character book had some other stuff, like fan art and best scenes, but I didn't feel like they were important enough to do at the moment. Might add them in later... if I feel like it... and find the time.

I'm planning to release SAOP4.2 next week, seeing as it ranked #2 in the aforementioned poll. Speaking of polls, I decided to do another one about how I should treat Engrish (pseudo-English in the original text) in my translations. Basically, I had been marking out all Engrish in Sigsawa's work because he loved overusing Engrish so much that it caused a variety of problems, but seeing as I'm no longer going to work on AGGO, I need to decide how I'm going to handle it in future translations where Engrish isn't going to be that big of an issue... or at least I hope it won't be... Anyway, the options are: marking all Engrish in itallic font as before, or only marking it if it's relevant that Engrish is being used in that instance. Both options have their pros and cons, so I figured I'd make it easier for myself and let the readers decide... Or at least that was the intention, but, apparently, the two options are going neck and neck... just as one options takes the lead, the other one catches up mere hours later... It's literally 50/50 at the time of writing this post... If I had known that this would divide the readerbase so much, I would have brought popcorn... Anyway, if you care about how I handle Engrish in my translations, feel free to share your two cents over here:



Thanks to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.

Any feedback is appreciated. Especially since I didn't have any editors for this!

P.S., I don't really understand why Negima is brought up in the conversation when it was apparently released more than a year after Kawahara began writing SAO.

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas

[Kirito's GGW] 2nd Night


As promised, this week we're releasing the second chapter of the Kirito's Gun Gale Wars manga. This night will mostly feature Leafa and Asuna (and, of course, innocently pervy Yui, as always). Due to the spotlight being stolen from her present last chapter, Yui realised that just giving the present will no longer cut it as a surprise, thus it's time to step up the game. Those who have played the side events in Fatal Bullet will likely recognise where the ribbons and tied up situations come from :3 (though I personally don't have the game, so I don't really know the full context for them ^^').

As far as I understand, the latest SAO Magazine should have 2 new chapters of the manga in one release... but I currently don't have the raws yet, so I can't predict when we'll have them ready for release. In the meantime, I plan to release Asuna's character book interview next week, so stay tuned.

Finally, a standard thank you to all of those who contributed to the SAO Scans project for helping us get the raws.
Any feedback is appreciated.

Credits

Raws: SAO Scans
Translation: Gsimenas
Cleaning: Mttblue2
Redrawing: Mttblue2
Typesetting: Mttblue2

[SAO Comic Anthology] Kitty Cat Asuna


As promised, this week we're releasing some neko Asuna. Personally, I don't really like this chapter, but I'm sure others will enjoy some kitty Asuna action. Note that this chapter is kinda NSFW.

Next week, we plan on releasing chapter 2 of Kirito's Gun Gale Wars. Also, for fun (and because I couldn't decide what to work on next), I held a poll on Twitter about what you guys wanted me to work on next: https://twitter.com/gsimenas/status/1013479842661261312. It seems Clover's Regret lacks any love, so I won't hurry working on it yet, I suppose. Guess I'll focus on Asuna's character book next, since waifu factor is apparently too OP...

Anyway, feedback is always appreciated, so please let us know how you enjoyed this story and if you spotted any errors and other issues with it.
The chapter will be uploaded on MangaDex the next day.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Mangaka: Fukuya Manaoto
Raw: Mttblue2
Translation: Gsimenas
Redrawing, Cleaning, Typesetting: Mttblue2

[Choukansha Fair 2016 SAO] SAOP4.1


SAOP4.1 is a little Progressive side story written by Kawahara Reki for the Dengeki Bunko Chokansha (great gratitude) Fair 2016 (https://dengekibunko.jp/fair2016/bookstore/), held August through October 2016. Basically, authors from 12 series, including SAO and AGGO, had to write a short story on the topic of "summer dates" and the story was then given away in the form of a leaflet for purchasing select products (marked with a special band) during the fair. However, leave it to Kawahara to set his "summer" date in winter. The story takes place after the end of Progressive volume 4 (hence the SAOP4 in the name), which means it takes place on 1 January 2023. How does that relate to summer and dates? Well, it has Kirito and Asuna fantasising about beaches, so I guess it sorta counts? Maybe? I dunno ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Anyway, SAOP4.1 also has a sort of a continuation - an SAOP4.2 - that was released later on as Material Edition 21.

Also, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our editor ZeHaffen on his birthday today and dedicate this release to him!

P.S. Our next release will be a Comic Anthology story next week. It's already done and ready for release, but we figured we'd space our release to create a buffer zone that would allow us to work on getting other material ready for release while still having something to release every 1-2 weeks. Gun Gale Wars chapter 2 will be released one week after the Comic Anthology story.

P.P.S. Apparently, P4.1 has been reused as the beginning of Progressive volume 5.

-Gsimenas

Any feedback is appreciated. No, seriously, if you spot some errors, please let me know. I didn't have anyone to edit this story, so I could have easily overlooked some mistakes. Last time I released an unedited chapter, nobody told me that I forgot to actually format my furigana properly :|

Credits

Raws: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas