It started with a console.
A sleek piece of plastic and wires, the likes of which Lous had never seen before.
Louis was not the most technologically gifted person to walk the earth, but he was at the very least decent. But he was able to use the basic so a gaming console was not that big of a deal, but he was totally unprepared for it when Clement, his classmate, suddenly dropped a box of something in his lap and sat down by the table with him and in not times the rest of his close group of friends were with them surrounding the table.
And that was when the guild: Divine Court was created.
2126, February 2, Arles, a small city in Europe, you probably don't know about it.
"Clement, what is this?" Louis said, eyeing the suspicious piece of technology in his hands. It looked like a helmet, but it was way too scientifically advanced and delicate for it to be used for protection.
"It's a gaming console. I bought it last night when its latest game had a grand premiere. I even bought the limited edition of it for both of us." His friend said while he drank the water from the bottle he brought for them just minutes ago. "It's my present to you for your birthday, and for finally getting a girlfriend, it was time."
He stared at him, expecting him to explain his true reason. Receiving no explanation, he sought one for himself. "I don't think having a casual sexual relationship with a women makes her my girlfriend." He protested loudly. Noticing that his other friends sitting around the table and his other classmates were looking at him amusedly he said with a more lowered voice and blushing face. "Why did you buy this game? I thought we decided to take some time to prepare for our exams?" He sighed.
"Well, you remember when I asked what kind of games you liked and you answered you liked game about Role-Playing Games?" He asked.
"I don't really remember, but I believe that I could have said something like that," Louis answered.
"Good, because what you hold in your hands is the latest game console for a new game that will be open for all in two days, a game that is said to be the greatest of all for its immersion and extended customization."
"What kind of game?" he asked curiously, looking around him he saw that his other friends and classmate also had intrigued look on their faces.
"Yggdrasil." Mysteriously he answered with nothing but a whisper.
"Yggdrasil?" Asked Louis.
"Yggdrasil." Confirmed Clement with a nod of his head. "A DMMO-RPG, the first of its kind. Total immersion in the game! At least partial immersion as I've heard that we can't feel or taste inside the game. But imagine that we could see the sky! The stars!"
At his words, everyone stirred a bit, after all since the 21st Century the destruction of the environment had continued at ever-increasing speed to the point where the surface of the Earth was hopelessly polluted; gorgeous nature existed only in video games. The sky was always hidden behind black smog, while the sun making only brief appearances every now and then. Thick, toxic fog frequently covered the cities, so almost no one went out without wearing a gas mask beforehand.
So knowing that a game was able to replicate such environment was quite tempting, and never mind the price as every student were at least from family part of the middle-class, some even living in Arcology, artificially created environment with a city for the more wealthy.
"Count me in!" Excitedly shouted one of his friends named Robb.
"And me!" Added Augustin.
"So?" Pressed Clement staring at Louis seeing his hesitation.
"Alright!" Conceded Louis before adding as he saw Clement grinning slyly. "But I shall be the Guild Master!"
"Agreed!" Replied everyone to the utter shock of Louis which made everyone laugh at his expense thankfully at this moment the bell of the school was heard, and taking the helmet and the battery for the nano-machines before leaving the school, heading back toward the Arcology of Europe number 4 with light step imagining what he could do in that Yggdrasil game.
_-* Scene Break *-_
"Well, I have to learn how to play this game now, let's read the guide a bit." He murmured cheerfully to himself as he walked to the computer in the living room, his helmet in his hand.
Sitting down he began to scroll on the research bar, finding no real information apart from the official one, which was not really helpful he decided to prepare for the opening of the game that would happen in two more days. He opened the cardboard box, pulling out the console itself and all of its components. Just like the cover advertised, the black helmet looked more futuristic than the previous game console he had owned.
Fumbling around with the wires and the power cord, it took him a whole hour to get everything ready to play. He had moved to his bedroom by that point, seeing how his mother and dad would probably get mad at him for occupying the living room. Reading through the manual one last time, he made sure he knew everything that was said about the mechanics and how to log out. It wouldn't be funny if he found himself stuck inside the video game with thousands of people, kidnapped by the developer for some kind of sich enjoyment.
Meh, he probably thought a bit too much about it, who would be so foolish to do something like that?
2022, November 6, Tokyo, in a different multiverse.
Akihiko Kayaba suddenly at the urge to beat the living hell of a black-haired student, shrugging, he paused for a moment in front of his computer before chuckling evilly as he pressed on the button enter, effectively trapping thousands of innocent player inside a death game.
'Ah, I love my job.'
As Louis was about to surrender himself to the sweet world of dreams a thought suddenly came into his mind.
"Wait, how did Clement know I had fun with her?"
Suddenly realization began to settle in, as he understood that he got tricked by Clement once again.
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