Hello again everyone! It’s been a long Golden Week so I figured I might as well finish up reading some volumes during that time. That proved to work out since I just finished reading volume 14 and 15 of Netoge no Yome. Though right now, I’m delaying starting on reading volume 16 so I can finish up the current volume 3’s translation. I’ve seen some JP threads on Netoge no Yome talking about Mikan (who? you’ll find out eventually, hopefully) and how some people are thinking the series might be ending soon so I just felt like catching up (currently, it’s on volume 19).
But, I was just so caught up in reading that I completely forgot about the translation for a bit there. What can I say? It’s fun stuff. Getting to see the group go to USO (Universal Studios Osaka), doing a large scale raid for the first time, and so much more is just so fun to read. I also read up a bunch of the references to which leads to me just discovering some stuff I haven’t before.
Did you know that there’s a Super Nintendo World attraction that’s due to be finished construction next year in USO? Me neither! Another important reference in the novel was the supposed model for the bridge where Ako first proposed to Rusian (and got shot down in the process). The location in-game was in the bridge over Poaring Lake (probably Poring Isle in Ragnarok) which in itself is supposedly modeled after one of the wharfs in Lake Biwa. Beside those things, Rusian’s mother also gets introduced in volume 14, full name: Nishimura Yuki!
Speaking of mothers, remember to greet yours this coming Sunday! I originally planned to release this on Saturday as well after looking it over, but since I’ll be on an overnight trip that day, I figured I’d just do that today. That should give you some time if you’re trying to cook something up for Mother’s Day.
I’ll leave the chatter up to here for now. There’s only about 60 pages of volume 3 left so please also look forward to that.
All that aside, please enjoy part 2 of chapter 3!Chapter 3 Part 2
"Finishing all that in one go just needlessly increased our item count."
"But we got a lot of cute stuff right!"
"And on top of that, they're pretty strong items too."
Having tie-up event items like this being excessively overpowered is quite the problem. These items just end up being one of those 'you've got to have them' kind of deals.
"Well then, we've generally finished the tour… I think it's about time we checked in and look at our rooms which we haven't visited yet."
I wanted to drop off my luggage there before, but we haven't even gone to check it once.
"It's already way into the evening, so how about we disband here for now and let's all take a break shall we?"
Sensei said this as she did a bit of a stretch.
I don't know if this is something particular to sports-oriented people, but Sensei seems a bit worn-out from our little indoor adventure. I'm pretty sure it's the other way around for most people.
"Then let's meet up later at dinner time and then we'll have a meeting about what we'll do for tomorrow. In case of an emergency, just contact the others via mail or the chat in-game."
"So were using LA's chat as an emergency hotline?"
In response to our faces that just spell out, 'Is that going to work out?', Master showed us a lax smile.
"For this collaboration, the rooms are equipped with PCs connected to the internet. This means that everyone can go test our the collab items they just received."
She really had this thought out.
Also, I guess getting rooms booked side by side was a bit of a stretch as well, since each of our rooms were quite distant from each other.
After that, we parted ways at the elevator and headed to each of our respective rooms.
"Ooh, this really gives off the feeling of a collab."
They really had a PC with internet access in each room. Just what's with this room? It's really calming.
I placed down the Poaring stuffed toy that we got beside the pillow and proceeded to log in to LA for the time being.
I— that is, Rusian, was near the souvenir shop where I last left him.
Schwein: You're late! Where the heck were you messing around at?
As always, there's really a large gap between you and your in-game persona isn't there?
Ako: Rusian, Rusian!
Ako was looking around at the souvenir shop (in-game) when she suddenly dashed towards me.
Ako: It's amazing! There's another event going on inside the hotel as well!
Apricot: It says here that if you can answer a quiz related to the hotel, you'll get a Poaring earphone jack during checkout.
Rusian: Don't need it…
Ako: I need it!
Ako firmly grasped the air with her fist.
Ako: It's a fluffy Poaring earphone jack you know! I can already see its cuteness just by thinking about it!
Ah, so it's like that huh. I understand everything now. I don't get it at all.
Rusian: Well, if you want it then that's fine… but how hard is that quiz? Do you know the answers to it?
Ako: I have no idea at all!
Ooh… Useless as always I see…
Apricot: I think this is probably the type of event where the hotel NPCs hold the correct answers to the questions.
Schwein: Well, as expected of my bad self, I've already figured out that some of the answers are written on the pamphlet in the room.
Ako: Uhm, uhm… Pamphlet…
I walked around the room looking for it.
There were some trivia questions regarding the hotel included in the quiz, so generally, the answer to those could be found in the hotel's pamphlet. I'm a bit annoyed that I'm made to know more about this hotel.
Schwein: These questions are really something. You won't find the answer even if you look at the Wiki.
You can feel just how little the participants in this event are. But well, I guess there's not really much players who would go stay at this collab hotel.
Though, the questions related to the game are also quite difficult. They're pretty much as hard as the hotel related ones.
Ah, that's right. Since I'm here and all, I might as well check the room I'm staying at too.
"…Eh? It's asking for the token ID and pass."
When I clicked at the door of the room I was staying at, for some reason, a window asking for the token ID and password suddenly appeared.
For now, I guess I'll input it… Oh, it worked.
Hee, so this is the room I'm staying at huh.
Rusian: Heeey, I went up to the same floor as my room and found out you could stay in your own room in here as well.
Apricot: That's quite the attention to detail. Not bad.
It looks like you could get a full heal by staying here for free. What a needlessly well-made setup.
Ako: Oh, it's true! It's my own room!
Schwein: This doesn't help with the quiz at all. How useless.
Schew, you really want those earphone jacks, don't you?
It's an item that didn't really interest me so I just stayed in my room, sorting out the items in my inventory. These VIT +10 dishes may be a limited offer, but they are really valuable. I'll keep it in storage for safekeeping.
Just then, a 'Pikon!' sound effect rang out.
In the corner of the screen, I could see a PM being displayed.
Ako: Rusian, can you hear me?
Rusian: Yeah, what's the matter?
I gave her a reply while I was sorting the items in my inventory.
I patiently waited while wondering what it was she wanted.
Ako: Rusian, won't you come to my room right now?
"Mm!? Uwa, what a waste!"
Because of her unexpected question, I ended up using one of the food buffs! Darn it, I was planning to save them up to use for something important!
Err, so what was that again?
Me going to your room right now you say?
That's, err, what did you mean by that exactly?
For Ako, who's usually very direct with stuff like this, to suddenly me ask me something like that in a shy, roundabout way, it actually made my heart skip a bit.
This feels like I'm getting invited into a girl's room while on a field trip— well, not that I have that kind of experience but— it's just that kind of heart pounding experience.
Rusian: Well, it's fine with me.
Just what do you want us to do after I go to your room anyway?
If you tell me that you want to do things a husband and wife would do, then well… We can't do that you know?
Ako: Thank goodness. I'll tell you the number on my token so that Rusian can go in my room too okay?
Why would the token suddenly come into the conversation there?
Ako: Yup. After all, you need it to get into the room right?
Rusian: Ah… The room, right…
Ako wasn't talking about the real room she was staying at, she meant her room in the game…
"…That's what I thought. That's completely what I was thinking about so I wasn't expecting anything else…"
Damn it, it even made my heart skip for a second there.
Ah well. I'm curious about how the other rooms are designed too anyway.
Rusian: What number was your room again Ako?
Ako: It's room 402—
I had a long trek in-game before I stopped in front of her room.
I entered the token details just as she told me and I was able to go in afterwards.
Rusian: This room seems to be a bit larger than mine.
Ako: Is Rusian's room that cramped?
Ako is sitting on the bed.
I went to sit down beside her without any meaning into my actions.
Ako: This position… It reminds me of that time we were going around trying to find a new hangout spot right?
I thought I told you to stop talking about that.
Rusian: Come now, if you called me just to joke around about that then I'm leaving.
Ako: Eeeh? But we're husband and wife you know?
Ah geez, every single time this girl just…
The way that you're able to talk about that so carefree just proves that— well, nothing really happened.
As I was in the middle of typing 'Just because we're married doesn't', my screen suddenly changed.
It was a screen I'm used to, actually no, way used to seeing.
And in the middle of the screen a text read:
Another player has logged in to this account
Disconnected from server
TL note: This is a reference to Ragnarok Online's system message that shows when someone else logs on your account while you're still logged (Yes, it shows the login message as the first window, then shows the disconnect notice in a different window). The person currently logged is booted to make way for the other login. The thing about RO though is, it doesn't send you back to the login screen right away. It just displays the notice that you're logged off with your current screen still intact (albeit you cannot interact with it anymore). This is an important point since they also make use of this feature in volume 15 when Master gets kicked due to maintenance but still gets to keep her display. I'm guessing this is just an oversight on the author's part.
It was that kind of system message.
"Oh come on, dced?"
TL note: The way they refer to disconnects is 鯖缶 (reads as sabakan) which literally means can of mackerel. Servers are called 鯖 (mackerel which reads as saba) and the kan part comes from cancel shortened to can. The english equivalent isn't as witty since the widespread term for such an occurrence is just a disconnect or DC.
Ah geez, this is annoying.
I thought it was just one of those weird dcs you get so I tried entering my ID and password again.
When I did, the following message came out:
Cold sweat began to flow down my back.
I do rotate my password on a regular basis, but it was still something I'm used to typing. Right now, I don't think I entered that incorrectly.
However, I gave it another try.
TL note: I'd just like to point out that the correct notice for this one should be incorrect username or password. Fidelity to the referenced game aside, if you work in a business that manages user accounts, you should always know not to leak information. Saying incorrect password here means that you're basically telling them that the account name exists.
I opened the password recovery window in the official site.
After sending in a password reset for the email I was currently using, I logged in to the email address I often used. It was the address that I used to receive the item code earlier.
For some strange reason, there were two password reset emails in my inbox.
And what's more, the first one has already been marked as read. For now, I just opened it. I don't remember having read this though.
Was someone snooping around in my mail? …!
"This is bad! I've been had!"
This is bad! My account just got hacked!
That fact sank into me just now, but it's too late!
I didn't think I would be this confused before realizing I got hacked. Darn it!
These past few days, I've been logging in using connections and terminals that I don't normally use. Since it's like that, there's no wonder that it would come to this. Ah, damn.
I logged in using the password I just got from the reset email and as soon as I did, the message: Server still recognizes your last login appeared.
This message comes up if you log in the same account ID on different PCs at the same time.
And when it comes up, it forcefully disconnects both clients from the game.
TL note: I just used the actual messages in Ragnarok Online for when you're the one getting double logged on, and when you're the one doing it. That way, it might look more familiar to those who have actually played the game.
So that means…
Just now, there was someone else who was logged on my account from another PC.
Someone just logged on to my 'Rusian'.
"…Hey, hey, hey…"
Chills ran down my spine.
Ako, who had an alarmingly dangerous amount of trust placed in me, was all alone in a hotel room with that fake 'Rusian'. Just what is that bastard doing?!
"This is bad! This is bad! This is bad!"
I have to log in quickly again!
Damn it! They've already changed the password!
If this keeps up, we'd just be going in circles. What's more, the other party could be using some kind of third party application to log in quickly. Compared to the old PC I'm using right now, there's no chance to beat them in a game of speed!
A temporary password has already been sent to my email, now all I have to do is log in with this and… Darn it! I was too slow!
"Eei! Time for emergency measures!"
Now that it's come to this, I can't be picky about my options!
I typed in my password into the official site. And I kept logging in and in with random passwords.
After entering incorrect passwords again and again and again, after the 10th time, the safety lock for my account was turned on.
With this, no one would be able to log in to my account for at least an hour.
"Alright, now that that's settled…"
I tried calling Ako on cellphone… but, she didn't pick up.
What's the matter Ako? Did something really happen?
If that's the case, then I still have the offline option.
I knew where Ako's room was. After all, her room ingame and in real life should be the same.
"Please don't be fooled…"
I put up with the emotions welling up within me and made a dash for her room. I didn't think I'd be doing physical activities again today.
Waiting for the elevator would take forever so I ran up the stairs.
Room 402 should be right around here. I hurriedly banged on the door and rang the doorbell multiple times.
No voice could be heard from inside. There was no reply either.
"That's not me! It's a fake! Hey! Do you hear me?"
Ako! Can you not hear me?! Ako!
I tried banging on the door with my fist again but this time, it slided open a bit.
Slowly, the door opened.
Ako's face was wrecked with tears, flowing down her cheeks.
Seeing Ako, who was coming on to me in tears, I stopped her in her tracks with a hug.
"Sorry. That must've shocked you right."
While I was apologizing, Ako desperately tried to get her voice out while clinging on to me.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"
"Why are you the one apologizing?"
Ako was trembling as she shook her head.
"Also, what was the fake me up to? Did he do something to you?"
Ako's body trembled and then froze up in surprise.
"I, I'm sorry."
What are you apologizing— No, I'll confirm it myself.
"Sorry Ako, but I'm letting myself in."
"Ah… Rusian wait—"
I went into the room, dragging her with me. The inside looked the same as the room ingame earlier. It has the exact same design.
I peeked at the PC which was located in the same place as well.
There, I could see Ako's 'Ako', alone. I then carefully looked at our chat log.
Ako: This position… It reminds me of that time we were going around trying to find a new hangout spot right?
Rusian: Come now, if you called me just to joke around about that then I'm leaving.
Ako: Eeeh? But we're husband and wife you know?
That's right. It was still me typing up to this point. That was me talking.
It was right then that my connection got cut off while typing a message.
And then, after a bit of time— 'Rusian' logged back in.
Ako: Welcome back Rusian. Is the wiring in the hotel bad?
I wonder if it's because there wasn't a response right away, but Ako typed something again.
Ako: Rusian? What's the matter?
Rusian: Ah, hotel. Hotel, right?
'Rusian' spoke up.
The 'Rusian' that wasn't me turned towards Ako.
Rusian: Ah, oh.
Ako: Are you okay? Did something happen?
Rusian: Nah, I'm just not used to this PC.
It was the log of the guy pretending to be me while talking to Ako.
I clenched my fist harder.
Ako: This kind of stuff is such a bother right? We even had a good mood going on but it's all wasted now.
Ako: See, since we're both alone in a place like this, I thought maybe we could talk about something more intimate.
Normally, I would've bluntly cut off Ako's words right there.
In comparison, that guy…
Rusian: Oh, so you're the type that's OK with those kinds of things huh?
'Rusian' arrogantly said that.
Ako: Eh, uhm… Rusian?
Rusian: I'm cool with that too. Hurry up and let's get it on.
Ako: Y, you're being more assertive than usual, aren't you?
Ako was weirded out by 'Rusian' who was clearly not acting himself.
As if to brush the comment aside, 'Rusian' tried to push her even further.
Rusian: Do you not like that? Do you hate me?
Ako: T, that's…
Ako didn't respond.
She wouldn't say it.
She couldn't answer that she loves him.
Normally, I would be showered with words of love at that point, but for some reason, she didn't say it.
I was so happy that it even surprised me.
Ah, so she understood. She understood that that person wasn't me.
"You're a good wife, you know that?"
I pet Ako on the head while she was looking at the screen and crying beside me.
However, as if to blow away the feeling of relief I had just now, 'Rusian' continued on with his vulgar charade.
Rusian: Hey now— This much is fine right? …Ah, I know. Send me a picture will you? A selfie is good enough.
Rusian: Something a bit sexy, something I can use on my end you know? I'll paste my address here.
Ako: Are you Rusian?
Rusian: Do I look any different to you?
Of course you don't. That is, without a doubt, how 'Rusian' looks like.
Ako: But, but…
Rusian: Aah, I don't really care what you look like so don't worry about it. Chicks that play net games are all nerdy losers anyway. I'll send you mine too. I'm a pretty hot guy you know?
Ako: —! Please stop that!
It was a rare case of Ako typing out her anger.
Ako: Please stop saying things like that with Rusian's face!
Rusian: Face nothing. I am Rusian.
Ako: My beloved Rusian, Rusian…
The chat paused for a while.
She was probably bashing on the keys while typing that. That pause was there to make it even more clear.
Ako: Rusian wouldn't say such things!
And just right after that, I saw the message saying that my character got logged out.
Right after relogging again, he used a teleport item and was nowhere to be found.
Ako trembled in surprise.
Thank goodness… The worst case didn't happen.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"
"Why are you apologizing? You really saw through the guy, honestly."
The fake Rusian got way over his head trying to prey on Ako so this happened. If Ako didn't put her trust in me, things could have gotten way worse.
"The heck is with this awful chat. More than being an online hookup predator… doing something like this is practically criminal."
Damn it. Making my character say things like that, this guy seriously pisses me off.
"I learned something good though. I learned that Ako won't fall for a guy like this."
"I told you, there's nothing you need to be sorry for… Ako?"
Ako had her eyes full of tears.
And then with a face harboring so much regret, she told me this,
"But, I called someone who wasn't Rusian Rusian…"
'I'm sorry', she apologized one more time as the tears poured down from both of her eyes.
It was right then that I realized.
For a moment, for just a few seconds…
For a brief moment, my Ako was taken from me.
In that period of time, Ako stopped being mine.
Once he took my 'Rusian' was from me, he also took 'Ako' along with it.
"…This pisses me off."
And then he made her cry.
She made my Ako cry.
"Unforgivable. Truly unforgivable."
"I'm sorry, I won't ever do something like…"
"You're wrong Ako! It's not your fault! I'm not the least bit mad at you! The one that pisses me off first and foremost is myself!"
It's my fault. I was careless. I was lacking any sense of danger.
And more than that…
"I definitely won't forgive this account hacking bastard!"
I'm so fucking mad at this son of a bitch!
"I did warn everyone but… To think that someone would actually get their account hacked…"
"You just can't pass it off as a joke when it happens to someone close to you right?"
After receiving calls from me, the three of them hurriedly came to Ako's room.
"Before connecting from a public space such as this, we should have at least exercised due diligence. Forgive me, this was my mistake."
"What are you saying Master? You're not the one at fault here."
I was just enjoying everything up until this happened as well. The one that ruined it all was me.
"You got it wrong. The one responsible for when a student faces an incident like this during a camp is… I'm sorry."
Sensei lowered her head.
"Nekohime-san is not at fault for this at all."
You could very well say she's completely unrelated to this.
"It's my fault. I was lacking in security. I should've used features like the one-time password or a token."
"Nishimurkun, that's wrong."
Sensei said that with a firm voice.
"Account hacking sounds like it only relates to games, but it actually violates the Act on 'Prohibition of Unauthorized Access'. This already constitutes a full blown crime you know? Targeting normal everyday students like you… I would say it's actually abnormal for students like you to be fully prepared in this case."
And then, she cast her eyes down and hung her head.
"For making a student become a victim of a crime during camp… This is truly my failure as a teacher."
"But the one that was targeted by the crime wasn't Rusian but the data held by the admins right?"
"It's the same thing."
Though true, officially, that would be the case.
But in reality, people who play net games believe that security against getting hacked is a private matter. Whatever the case may be with the law, people who get hacked normally don't expect anyone to help them like that after the fact.
I believe this is simply just my own miss.
"For now, I'll contact the hotel staff and tell them what happened."
"Please and thank you."
We'll leave that matter to Sensei. I think she can settle that better than I could.
"So then, they completely stole your LA account right? Is it alright now?"
"It wasn't my LA account that they got, it was my free email address that got hit. Most of LA's safety features are connected to the email address so it was a pretty big mess. But changing the password for my email goes through much more formalities so I at least secured it again."
If you the email you used to register for LA gets hacked, they could pretty much do whatever they want with your account. It's that kind of system.
Stuff like password resets and forgotten IDs are all sent to your registered email using this system.
If you don't use one-time passwords or a token, getting your email address stolen could result into them having free reign over your LA account.
TL note: One-time passwords are passwords sent to a device (usually your phone) that is required as an input along with the usual ID/pass. This functions very much like the RSA token I've put in a TL note in the earlier part of the chapter. The token method however is where you download the token to a physical device and you'll need the hardware (usually USB storage devices) connected before you can log in.
Old net games were all like that so I should have known this by now. I've been too naive. If I had just taken a little bit of security measures, I could have prevented the guy from doing as he pleased with my account.
"To change any settings in your email address, you usually need your birthdate or a sub account that you already linked right? Thanks to that, even though they got to my account, they couldn't fully take hold of it. I've already updated everything on it so it should be okay now."
If they could take ownership of my email account, then my game account would be completely gone too.
At least for now, things have calmed down a bit.
"Did you figure out the cause of the hacking? Any hint from somewhere?"
"It was probably around the Melodious OCEAN restAuRanT…"
That very PC that was stationed right in front of the restaurant.
"I logged my email account there to get the item codes before but, during that time, the PC was acting strange. Even though I entered my ID and password, nothing happened and I was just sent back to the same page. And then when I entered it again, I could successfully log in."
"A phishing scam huh… what a classic."
Master nodded her head. It's a scam that's really hard to notice after you've been had.
"Uhm… sorry, the heck is that? Hey Ako, do you know what they're talking about?"
Ako meekly shook her head as Segawa asked that.
Ako looks as frightened as when she was being left alone at school.
Damn it, this is all that bastard's fault. This is unforgivable.
I'm seething with rage right now, but in order not to let Ako know, I explained what it was as if nothing had happened.
"A phishing scam is exactly as it sounds, fishing. It's exactly as it means in net slang. You know this right?"
"This is low quality bait."
"Yeah, it's that kind of thing."
TL note: The Japanese have their own version for the low quality bait jokes where a bear (kuma) goes そんなエサでオレが釣れると思ったか？甘いんd…クマー！ (literally translated as: You think you can hook me with such bait? You're too nai… kuma!). In the same sense, replying with this joke means even though you're aware, you already fell for the bait.
I fell for that low quality bait this time around.
"How it works is simple. Just take a net game for instance. Create a site which copies the design of the official site, and put the login page on there. Just tweak the address a little and you're good to go."
People who then mistakenly visit the site instead of the official one would actually fall for it.
The design is an exact replica after all.
"And then those who fall for it would be sending their info once they hit the login button. The phishing site, only taking the information that was sent via the login, would then redirect the user to the official site as if nothing had happened."
"…They're taken back to the official site?"
"Right. So the ones who fell for it would think they just had a typo and try logging in again. Once they do that, they'll be able to actually log in since they're now on the official site."
And then they would go about playing, unknowing of what had just transpired—
"And when they least expect it, they get hacked."
"Ah, so the reason why I get those verification emails from popular games I don't even play is because…"
"It's not actually from the management. It's a fake mail. That's definitely going to link you to a phishing site."
'Security Alert – Possible unauthorized access has been detected, please login with your account and verify activity'— it's those kinds of mail.
"What's worse for me is that what they got was my email account. Since they set it up in an LA collab-use PC, of course they would be interested in my account as well."
"What about in-game? Were there any casualties?"
"The one hour lock should be lifting soon. I'll know that once I get to log in…"
Honestly, I'm prepared for the worst.
"Calm down, calm down."
Seeing Ako still trembling and shivering, I patted her on the head.
Seriously, getting more worried than the actual owner of the account… You're the complete opposite of me right now.
"…Alright, it's lifted."
I changed my password to a complex one and logged in.
It's the login screen I was used to seeing. Next that came was the character select screen.
And right there was…
My 'Rusian' was deleted.
Ako suddenly fell on her knees.
Come on, it's alright. Don't make that kind of face, alright?
"Calm down, calm down. It's not like I've disappeared you know?"
"But my Rusian… Rusian disappeared…"
Hey now, it's mine. It's my Rusian.
Actually, what I'm trying to say here is that I'm Rusian.
"I can't do anything about what has been deleted. I can make Rusian again so it's fine. More importantly, I have to start looking for the things that I can never recover."
"Things you can never recover— Ah, the items that Rusian had…"
Yes, it's those things.
Having my important gear or mementos deleted along with my character is no joke.
For now, I'll log in one of my alts and check my storage.
"Let's see… It seems the once he discover that I was on to him, he hurriedly went to run off with my items. Most of the items on the topmost list of my storage is now gone."
"That guy's quick on his feet huh."
"Not at all. Everything besides my main character is still there. It's satisfying enough just knowing that my storage wasn't emptied out. If it weren't for Ako drawing his attention, it probably wouldn't have ended with just this."
It's good enough that there's still some items left on my account.
Also, my other characters besides Rusian weren't deleted either.
"I told you, there's no need to apologize."
"If I just talked a little longer with Rusian then you could have…"
"Hey, don't even go there."
If your talk with that faker went even further than this then that would piss me off even more than just losing stuff.
"Look here Ako. I understand how you feel, but your apologies are no good here."
Her red, uneasy eyes were looking at me.
In response, I firmly looked at her in the eyes.
"You know Ako, whenever something bad happens you're quick to regretting it and then mumble stuff like 'If only I did this, then' right?"
"I'm like that too. But, that's no good. Listen carefully. I'll teach the magic words you need for such an occasion."
I took a deep breath, and with a great force behind my words, I shouted out,
"It's not my fault!"
Ako was staring at me, mouth-agape.
"Come on Ako, say it with me."
"U, uhm… I, it's not my… fault…"
"I can't hear you!"
"It's not… my fault…"
"It's not my fault."
"Your words aren't reaching me! One more time!"
"It's not my fault!"
"Louder! Put your back into it!"
"It's not my fault at aaaaaaall!"
"Alright that topic's dead now! Ako's feelings of guilt are now completely obliterated!"
Alright, that's good!
Ako's eyes were burning with an awesome power.
"It's not our fault! Not one bit! This is all the fault of that account hacking bastard!"
"That person is unforgivable! This is what we're sticking with!"
"Well, I guess that suits you two but…"
Segawa looks like she's fed up with this. What? It's not our fault.
Being pessimistic about it isn't going to help so we have to keep our spirits up.
"So? What do you plan to do from here on? It looks like Sensei's already contacted the hotel staff though."
"Hmm—, to be completely honest with you, I really think that stuff that disappears when you get hack honestly has no hope of returning. This was written in the EULA as well."
"…You got all fired just now and this is all you have to say?"
"'Course not. I mean, generally, the issue here is about taking the appropriate security measures by yourself after all right?"
Basically, there's no guarantee in security in net games.
No matter what I say now, it can't be helped.
If you read the EULA of huge companies such as this, they treat all situations like this without leaving anything behind by adding the words 'If, for whatever reason, something should happen to the account, the company will not be liable for any damages incurred'.
"Even so, since I'm still not satisfied with the situation as it currently stands, then it's a contest of speed from here on out."
I opened the official site in a new window.
"Account hacking is a full blown crime, just as Sensei said. I doubt the management would overlook this issue as well. If we report it right away, then they should be able to trace the IP of the culprit at the time of the incident and track where the items went."
"So you're planning on taking him down with you too huh."
"Ideally, I'm aiming for him to get a permaban."
After the window for the official site had finished loading, I put the details of what happened just now and sent in a report. I went into the specifics as much as I could: the day, time, and the situation when it all happened.
"Can we help out with anything?"
"But of course. I'm going to need help on this one."
And I want to get all the help I could possibly get. Of course, this includes Master and the others as well.
"The other thing I'm concerned about is also a contest of speed. Since he's going to be selling off my stuff anyway, I figured I might as well buy back what I can."
"You're going to hand money over to a hacker?"
"Sure it pisses me off, but there's just some things that I can't let go of."
There are a lot of things that I would definitely not hand over to anyone else.
It's fine if my expensive gear or rare items disappear, but I at least want to get back my precious mementos.
"Alright, gotcha. I'll go around the player shops in the market and take a look around."
"I suppose I'll make use the PC in my room as well. Inform me as soon as possible if there are updates about the current situation."
They both gave my shoulder a tap and hurried out of the room.
The only ones left in the room now are me, Ako, and Sensei.
"I'll be counting on you too, Nekohime-san."
"Let's leave that matter to the police shall we? …I guess that kind of statement isn't going to work here."
They won't bring my items back even if just for show. Ah well, it can't be helped.
"I'll ask some of my friends for help as well."
"Thanks, I'll be counting on you."
Alright. First, let me list down my important items and we can single out the culprit from there.
That fucking bastard. I definitely won't forgive him for this.
"Sorry Ako, but could you let me borrow your character for a sec? I'd like to keep the hacked account as it is right now. If I don't add unnecessary logs into their records, it should be easier for them to perform an investigation."
I went and checked if there were any malicious software installed and then logged in to the game with Ako's account.
As expected, Ako's character didn't suffer any damages. That's a relief.
It's just that— one of the additional effects from the ring she had equipped had suddenly disappeared.
With 'Rusian' deleted, Ako's married status is now annulled.
"Uuu… Just when we finally got married…"
"Come on, don't look so down."
"Y, yes. It's not my fault at all."
There, there, that's the spirit. There's no end to it once you start getting depressed, after all.
"So what do we do now then?"
"To start with, let's ask for help from an expert."
I moved Ako and headed to a huge guild hangout spot that I've been to before.
It's evening during a holiday, so I figured that person would definitely be here. And as I expected, he was right there.
†Black Magician†: Err, if I recall correctly you are… The person that Rusian was with that one time…
I occasionally told him about her, but he's never really met her face to face. Yep, I went to see †Black Magician†-san. It looks like apart from his gear looking a lot stronger, nothing's really changed.
Actually, the fact that his gear is now a lot stronger just really makes me feel that nothing's changed about the guy. This person really is amazing, in more ways than one.
Ako: Yes, though the one controlling it right now is me, Rusian. My account just got done in by a hacker.
†Black Magician†: You got done in?
Ako: Not only that, but some of my items were taken from me too. And my character got deleted as well.
†Black Magician†: How merciless.
As expected, a hardcore veteran can really sympathize more with cases like an account hacking.
He's not affected by any bias that his riches would have given him. He just sincerely understands the feeling of loss I have right now.
Ako: So I was going to ask, if there's any people free in your guild, could they help me confirm if my items are being sold at the market?
TL note: When Rusian refers to market here, he meant player shops. This is a system used in Ragnarok Online with the skill Vending where you could put up your own shop and set prices there. The downside is that you had to be online to sell things and leave your character there so most modern MMOs did away with this and just added auction houses where you can list stuff.
†Black Magician†: Ah, but of course. Everyone, could I have second?
He immediately called out to everyone. And it wasn't just the people there who responded. It seems the other characters who were walking around also flocked to him. The crowd eventually larger.
Ako: Thank you very much. This helps out a lot.
†Black Magician†: If you feel like it, Rusian, we could also mobilize right now.
Ako: Err, by mobilize you mean?
†Black Magician†: A protest of course.
†Black Magician† went ahead and bluntly said that.
†Black Magician†: In response to this incident, we are prepared to mobilize. We will contact the other guilds we are usually at war with, and for a short term, we will launch a new guild. It would be a wonderful guild, the likes of no one has seen before!
Ako: U, uhm…
"What is this person saying…"
"Don't ask me, I have no idea either."
Wait, I think this is turning into quite a big issue.
It's just completely flying off in the wrong direction.
†Black Magician†: There's the leaders of the server's top boss hunting guilds, 'The Executive Three'. There's also the famous hero in the server who has been known never to logout ever since the service started. Having over 200 friends registered, he quit his job and capped all of the job classes. He has much more accolades but to list them all here would mean there would be no end to it! I'll show you that I can gather at least thirty of these fine qualified people in our group!
Ako: Please stop it!
I just can't see this as anything but a death flag.
It's fine to just get the people who are free enough to help.
†Black Magician†: Is that so? I was thinking of contacting an acquaintance of mine who happens to be a GM as well though…
Ako: That's pretty scary so it's fine.
†Cloud†: I have grasped the current situation from Nekohime-sama!
Ako: Oh, really?
The next thing I did was to go to the new church of the Nekohime-ism… Ah no, I meant to say the Agit of Nekohime's Elite Guard.
TL note: Agit is what guild castles were called in Ragnarok Online. Having played when it first came out, it was already called like that when it released so I'm not quite sure why it is called as such (no one questioned the word agit either, at least none that I know of).
It seems †Cloud†-san and the others were all fired up from Nekohime-san depending on them.
†Cloud†: We can't idly sit by and watch as one of Nekohime-san's beloved friends are undergoing through such suffering. We've already gone and sent people out to the field to inspect each of the player shops in the market. For what it's worth, it seems someone found one shop in the center of the market selling the items in a full set. The shop is also claiming that he's quitting, thus the sale.
Ako: There should be some items that stand out there so it should be easy to figure out.
It would be easy to figure out if that's really mine since I have some items that are really easy to identify as only mine.
†Cloud†: All right, leave it to us. Let's go you guys!
†Cloud†: Together! Allegiance or Death! Nekohime-sama!
'Sieg Nekohime! Sieg Nekohime!'
TL note: This is a reference to two old giant robot anime, Big Fire and Gundam. The former's original line was 'Together! Allegiance or Death! Big Fire!' in the dub so I just went with that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mthnzFRLIA). The latter is from the warcry of the Principality of Zeon in Gundam 0079, 'Sieg Zeon'.
"Just what is this, I wonder…"
"They've leveled up…"
I can feel an amazing sense, of unity. The likes of which no one has ever seen before.
The wind… Just what is it? It's blowing… Steadily, surely, in our favor.
Let's stop leaving things half way and let's all see this through to the end.
A lot of our comrades are right there, on the other side of the screen. You are definitely not alone.
Believe. And together, let us fight.
The spies may try and impede us, but you must not let yourself be fooled.
TL note: This long speech is word for word the protest made by someone in 2ch in response to the WaiWai controversy back in 2008 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainichi_Shimbun#WaiWai_controversy_and_cancellation). Basically, the people of 2ch rose up in response to false publications (referencing tabloids) in the Mainichi Shimbun which were passed off in foreign countries as facts. This nationalistic speech came out as a result of that. You can read more here in Japanese ()
Nekohime: Meow got it all wrong… I just wanted to ask for meowr help normally…
Standing behind everyone present, Nekohime-san dejectedly said that out loud.
After asking around here and there, and a short while after we've begun our search, someone has finally contacted us.
Apricot: It's not at this shop, that must mean…
Ako: Right, it's the one over here.
Being sold at this shop was, for better or for worse, an item that I was used to seeing.
"This staff… it's mine!"
"I knew he was selling them off."
It was the Pink Star Twinkle Rod. The same one I confiscated from Ako.
It's the staff that had a useless enchant effect that made it go Twinkle☆ Twinkle☆ and then stars would fly out.
But the success rate for those enchants were actually pretty low, so it's pretty expensive. I figured that this would definitely be sold somewhere.
TL note: I haven't mentioned yet why I chose Pink Star Twinkle Rod over the various translations made by people who subbed the anime. Well, the one who sang the OP is Luce Twinkle Wink ☆ so I felt that this suited it much better. Also, the enchantment system is what made the rod go from Rod to Pink Star Twinkle Rod. The pink star makes that star effect appear and the twinkle makes the twinkle sfx appear separately. Why the heck am I pointing this out you say? Because it becomes important in volume 11.
"I'm sure no one else has made this kind of nonsensical thing. This is definitely yours."
"It's my favorite and yet you call it nonsensical!?"
Makes no sense at all. It's going to trouble me if you're going into shock just because of that.
After confirming the place, name, and character ID of the shop, I took a screenshot.
TL note: If you've never played net games with character IDs before, they're the sensible ones that use a number ID to identify players so they can freely choose the name they can use instead. An example of a currently running MMO like that is FF14.
I sent that screenshot along with my report earlier.
Apricot: Is that much fine?
Ako: Yeah, I recorded everything.
As I answered that, all of the things inside the shop suddenly disappeared.
Apricot: Here, Rusian, your gear— though it's only a small fraction of what you had before.
Master traded over some stuff to me.
There could be stuff that had already been sold and some others that may be yet to be put up.
But, this is undoubtedly pieces of my gear.
Ako: It would have been fine if I had just bought Ako's staff though.
Apricot: Don't mind it. It's only to help alleviate some of the guilt I feel.
There was really no need for Master to go through all of that.
But all of them are just good guys like that, that's why they're needlessly suffering through this with me.
Schwein: Now all we need to do is wait for a response from the management team huh?
Ako: That's right but… There's still one thing that I definitely have to look for.
'Pikon!', a sound effect just rang out.
†Cloud†: Hey, I just got some intel. An acquaintance of mine just happened to pick up something from one of those looter mobs. I'll send it to you via mail.
Ako: Thanks, I'll check it out.
I hurriedly opened up the mailbox.
I think I got something was straightforward subject of the mail he sent. Attached was the item he was talking about.
"Ako's Ring… So they got it."
"It's the ring I gave to Rusian—!"
Attached in the mail was the ring I got from Ako.
In this game, you can buy rings that can be engraved with names.
You use that to propose, and if it's successful, then it would turn into a specialized wedding ring. Originally, it was already named 'Ako's Ring'. After our marriage, it changed into 'Ako's Engagement Ring'.
And if the proposal falls through, the other character gets deleted, or you get a divorce, then it would turn back into being 'Ako's Ring'.
As for why a monster was carrying it, that guy probably probably threw it away thinking he didn't need it. After that, one of the looter type monsters probably just looted it.
"I got the ring back."
There's the ring that Ako has, and then there's mine.
We both match. With this, we can somewhat start up again.
All that's left now is that bastard.
I'm definitely, definitely, definitely going to make him pay.