A tall handsome man is looking at the skies from the view of his office. With hands behind his back he look calm and noble.
From his features he is an Asian man.
With black hair and brown eyes he looked like a typical Asian male if you discount the fact that he is unusually tall for an Asian which is 6’7.
He was old yet his back was straight. He has wrinkle on his face but that only added the prestigious air around him.
He looked down and he saw people. Hundreds of people, rushing in the morning all seems to have their eyes looking at their phones.
‘There is not excitement. No sense of adventure in this world’ he mused. Sanding behind him holding a document labeled Projects he seems to be waiting for him to speak.
“Is it done?” He ask without turning his back, still looking down at the people rushing and running
“Yes, Sir. All systems are functioning normally. The AI is efficient as ever. Among new users there are no complaints. Our Head of Program truly outdid himself this time.”
“Good. Very good” He nodded in satisfaction and there is a smile in his face. For a while there is only silence. He seems to be contemplating something.
‘Julia’ he whispered.
‘If only you could see this’ he thought to himself.
Gulping in anxiety the subordinate then cautiously ask
“Is there anything else President?”
“No, you can go” The man looking down finally broke from his contemplation
“Thank you, Sir” The subordinates quickly make himself scarce and release a relived breath when he has get out from the President Office.
Sweats were already forming on his forehead because of his nervousness.
It’s not that their President is a monster boss but his presence was too big making a low level subordinate like him to feel pressured.
Of course the man in question did not know this.
He returned back to see the view outside from my office. ‘The same, monotonous world’ he said to himself.
In this luxurious office this man was the man that is the head of this large corporation. He is the president of probably the richest company in the world right now.
About 10 years ago, he and his current Head of Program Design, Matsuo Sugihara embarked on a journey to create a new world and they succeeded.
Now with the recent success of the technology they developed, their company skyrocketed to fame and wealth.
Overnight they became the most influential corporation in the world. What they created was a virtual reality application.
The man sighed as he could still remember the difficulty during the initial stage of creation.
‘Thankfully, with Keiko help we scored many contracts with the military’ he said smiling a bit thinking of his secretary.
He was never that business minded.
(Turns out they really like our system because they can train their soldiers more effectively without risk) and I was able to achieve my dream.
But that was not the only thing they used their newfound technology. They created a game.
The game has been launched for three months already starting from Japan to other countries in Asia and now we’re already expanding towards European countries.
However, this game they created is not only a game.
No, it’s not just a game. He created this game with a purpose. As he felt his heart beating he shrug the pain that he is feeling. Looking at the young people below he sighed
‘I don’t have many years to live.’
‘I’m already this old.’
The reason he created this game is because I want to see players that like adventures, have ingenuity, strengths and all the things they could achieve.
It’s not a game. It was never a game. It’s a simulation. A second chance for some. A place where they can be whoever they want to be.
A world where adventure will find the players. You can’t sit it out. You can’t hide. You must fight.
Ce’st la vie. But, there might even a chance for him to be something else. Smiling like only he knows what that means he avert his gaze from looking down.
While looking down in the street the view is quite spectacular. But it was not exciting as when you sitting at the top.
A frog that wanted to fly in the white skies. He is no longer a frog that was trapped in a dark well but a great bird that soars in the sky.
And dying? It was not something he would accept willingly.
‘It’s just another wall I have to overcome’
To be as high as he is today.
‘What I have sacrificed. What I have gained. The pain. The love. The scars. With all of that I keep moving forward. Death?’ and he smirked
Did you think death can deter me? He said laughing as his eyes looked at the skies.
Turning back, looking at the document of his masterpiece and his last chance he laughed joyously as he imagine the scene he will saw now.
“HAHAHA, will you all show me?’
‘The Greatest Adventure.’ he whispered
I just checked my email. Looking at the rejection letter, it stings a bit. ‘Haish’ I could not help but sighed.
Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. All of my work applications are rejected. This is getting frustrating.
My name is Daniel. A high school graduate. I flunked college and I don’t have a lot of money which explains my current predicament.
And my savings are running out. Before long I had to eat only the bare minimum.
At first I just held back one semester to take care of my mom, but after too long absence and my mother needing money for the treatment I used the money for my mother.
But like people said bad things always come in pairs. Who said that anyway?
My father died, leaving me with mom. I tried to search for a job, and I thought it’s going to be easy but reality sucks.
Without certification, or any acknowledgement even though you know how to do the job, you still can’t apply.
Idiotic. It has been a month without any work. Without a job this will become an issue that affects my mother health.
And that is a serious issue.
Rubbing my forehead in frustration I could not help but lean back on my chair. Another popup ads appears showing the promo vids of Brave World.
‘You think I have time to play games?’ I could not help but ask my computer when I just sighed as I close down the browser and exhaled my breath.
It didn’t work. I thought it would at least relax my heart or something but clearly it didn’t work.
My phone then rang. Lazily taking the phone I saw from the screen the name of the caller.
‘Michael’ I said before sighing again. It seems recently all I do is sigh. Michael is a friend of mine and help me a lot in many things.
There is not many I could call my friend but Michael is the few I could proudly admit as my friend.
“Hello, Mike” I immediately greeted him
“Hello. So, how did it go?’
“Still nothing. What are you doing?”
“I’m playing Brave World.” He said. My eyebrows creased. That game is popping a lot this days.
“That’s the VRMMORPG, right?” I asked.
Brave World is the first of its kind. A virtual reality game. After it’s launched 6 months ago, it became a worldwide phenomenon.
The company that made it the Vega Corp became an international organization overnight. And the President, Takenaka Takashi become an instant powerhouse in the economic circle with ties to many powerful people.
Daniel might be a college dropout but that doesn’t mean he is stupid.
To play the game you have to buy the capsule the size of a single sized bed though they do have other sizes to accommodate the people with bigger physique which is more expensive.
“Oh, that’s ok then”
“No, no, Daniel, let’s meet, okay?”
“You don’t have to, Mike”
“You’re my friend. Let’s go to the usual place.” Combing my black messy hair into a manageable mess, and spraying myself with some deodorant I was ready to go.
Waiting outside the café we always frequent I look at my phone pretending to be reading something.
15 minutes later he came. Joyfully greeting me by instantly hugging me I could only smile. His hug is tight and with his height of 6’6 which is only an inch taller than me, sometimes I look like his younger brother.
Michael is one of my closest friends. To be honest, I don’t have many friends. I have quite the personality so not many can stand me.
”Let’s go in. It’s my treat” That was the first thing he says.
And he says it so naturally. He knows I’m in a tough spot and he knows I sometimes have a high pride but for some reason he always knows how to deal with me.
Thank God. I don’t have much money this month. After taking a seat on the back, our usual spot, we talked.
About our lives, about what TV drams we see this week, and he was careful not to tocu the issues about my mother.
Then I talked about my frustration about not having a job and Mike started speaking about his adventures in BW.
“…..and you know, this guy got a Rare item. He sold it in the auction and he got almost 10 thousand dollars.”
I almost spurted out the tea in my mouth.
“Yes, that’s true.’ Mike said nonchalantly. My heart started racing by then
‘There are some people like that. Pro gamers. Some people just want to enjoy the game but there are also people who use it to make money.’ Mike then explained
“Is that so?’
An idea came to my mind. An idea that was risky and may not have a chance of being anything, but still. On the way back to my house, I think why not.
Looking at the walls, it looked like a wall in detective TV series when the detective is hunting some serial murderer.
My walls are filled with information about BW. After hearing Mike story, I’m interested to play BW.
Though it’s primarily because I want to make money.
A pro gamer. You don’t need qualification. All you need is ingenuity and your smarts. Even though, I didn’t graduate from any college, I did play a lot of games in the past.
And to be honest, I’m pretty good at it. After doing extensive research I found that what you do and the state of your body could affect your stats in BW.
So starting from that information, I signed up in many martial art classes. I learned taekwondo, jujitsu, karate and few others martial arts.
Though all I learns is a few basic but what important is I got the basic down like grappling, deflecting, punching, kicking and basic body training.
It was not like I was signing up to become some martial artist prodigy.
Most of martial arts classes blooms after the emergence of BW with many people began setting up gyms, martial arts classes to meet the demands of gamers who wanted to familiarize themselves with basic combat to aid them in the game.
I used the money from my father life insurance to pay for all these classes. I have already determined what I want to be.
A warrior. With possible advancement to Paladin or Knight, I can get stronger faster, which means I could join Clans and go on raids.
For the next 4 months I’m going to prepare myself.
The flashes of cameras and the sound of finger tapping on the keypad of laptops could fill the large hall.
Hundreds of people are focusing on an elegant woman standing there on the stage as she was answering a question.
“BW is controlled and maintained by seven AI we created. When you first enter there won’t be an instruction how to play the game. You must forge your own path.’ She said before smiling and then opening her arms in an embracing manner and said
‘After all its motto is “Be Anything” The reporters quickly jotted down their article wanting to not miss the deadlines.
Next question? She asked as hundreds of reporters held up their hands. She chose people from Nihon Television as a woman quickly ask
“Vice President Kitagawa, I hear you cannot choose your gender?”
“Yes, that’s true. It just enhances the player experience towards the virtual reality.’ She said though her face was stony as ever.
Then she almost smirked before she calms herself down.
That was because she knows the real reason why people could not choose their gender. It was a childish reason.
But Takashi has always been childish.
‘It’s because Takashi was once fooled by a guy pretending to be woman when he was playing online game, during his teenage years. He wanted to date the girl only then finding out he was a muscly dude. We still laugh about that story till this day. Old times, old times’
‘Next question’ as she chooses another reporter from Fuji TV.
“What about the capsule Vice President Kitagawa?” Another reporter asked. Many reporters are also curios of this point.
Keiko responded by saying
“The capsule could also give benefit to the players. It linked directly to the brain nerves. To put it in simple terms, if you work out in the VR it will also give the benefit like you’re exercising in the real world. Hence the many equipment attached to the body. But the effect will not be so obvious. After all, if it’s applied fully fatigue of the players will also be affected right. The motor function will remember what you do in the VR. “
‘Which is why the military is so eager to get their hands on the program’ though she did not blurt this out
‘Final question’ she said as she picked a Caucasian man on the front row.
“For the final question, what is the objective of the game?” A reporter from the Times asked
After a brief silence, Keiko looked to the crowd and said with a smile
“To show the greatest adventure this world has ever seen”
With that exclamation, the studio applauded.
“This is what you want right, Takashi?’ she whispered under her breath
With this interview by so many media station, the number of players will definitely increase.
And maybe then, Takashi objectives could be fulfilled.
‘I hope you know what you are doing, Takashi’ she thought to herself before ending the conference and return back to the company.
As she rides back to the company, someone called him. Looking at her phone and knowing who is calling her she frowned.
She didn’t like dealing with the triads but this particular jobs require their specialties.
Answering the phone, she nodded a few times before her face turns grave
‘I understand. Keep searching for her’
The stories of AOA revamped. With many details and question addressed and will surpass the previous AOA. There will be a lot of changes past the 60 chapter mark.