Clover's Regret (officially known as Sword Art Online Alternative: Clover's Regret (ソードアート・オンライン オルタナティブ クローバーズリグレット)) is a novel-format SAO spin-off by Watase Sōichirō that is serialised in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE as part of the Dengeki Bunko Resurrection Series project. According to the synopsis released with the announcement, the story is about a certain SAO survivor who is a "detective". The first chapter was released on the 10th of June, with the second chapter to be released in August. The first chapter is actually kinda long - about 1/4-1/5 of the size of a regular light novel or about 3 regular SAOAGGO chapters.
Since I had some free time, I decided to give this latest SAO spin-off a try. And so, I'll be doing a translation of the first chapter as a teaser project. As it would be hard to manage both SAOAGGO and Clover's Regret concurrently, I'll use the first chapter to gauge interest in the series to see if it's worth it. If I see enough interest, I may take up more chapters in the future. I have already finished translating the chapter and it will probably be released in one go as soon as editing is done.
For those interested, I'll include some info about the characters and plot. Some spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk. :P
Credits to the SAO scans project for the raws and illustrations, including the cover.
SettingThe story is set in Asuka Empire (a Japanese-style game introduced in Sisters' Prayer). Specifically, a newly implemented area in the game that comes with a Halloween-ish town.
Nayuta (the girl in the middle of the cover). Seems to be the protagonist. A Battle Miko (an advanced version of the Miko class, I suppose) who focuses on agility, despite most Battle Mikos usually choosing to be more of a tank class. She's a level-headed, shy and modest character. In real life, she's a high-school student named Kushiida Yurina. Possibly a former SAO player.
Koyomi (the girl in the front of the cover). Nayuta's friend who she met when an NPC waiter mixed up Nayuta and Koyomi's orders (that's apparently a pre-programmed character trait for the NPC) at a bakeneko (mythical cat monster) restaurant, and have frequently partied since then. She's a Ninja. Usually rather blunt, outgoing and comical (e.g. she keeps pestering Nayuta to marry her and comments about her huge boobs; maybe she's related to Lisbeth?), but can't handle scary stuff. Loves Nayuta for her manly bravery, but has no problem falling for handsome NPCs for their looks. In real life, she's a working adult, which is kinda ironic since she looks more like a kid in the game.
Clevel (the guy in the background of the cover). Supposedly a detective, but he apparently handles anything from in-game tourism and helping people with quests to in-game market scouting. For a price (in real money) of course. Although he's a high-levelled player, he has allotted most of his skill points to Luck. He is confirmed to be a former SAO player.
Yanagi. An old man Monk who has just started the game. Desperately wants to complete a certain quest in the game within a week for unknown reasons.
More detailed synopsis
Nayuta and Koyomi are in the aforementioned restaurant, preparing to take on a quest, when an old man suddenly enters the bar and asks whether they know the way to Mitsuba's Detective Agency. As the old man is a new player and doesn't know the way around, the two girls decide to guide them to the detective agency he's seeking. There, they find out that the old man is desperate to complete a certain quest within a week and decide to help him.