Disclaimer: I don't own any .hack/ series and everything from it.

.Hack/Our World

Chapter 6: .hack/our world/welcoming wish

BlackRose's POV

The golden rings vanished and I opened my eyes. The watery resonance of the river greeted my arrival and the sincere music loomed everywhere, bringing me back previous memories of this place. Everything around me felt new. A feeling of excitement and nervousness came over my body. It was the same feeling when I first came to here. The Water Capital Mac Anu. The World.

Here I am again, my smile crooked. Players passed by and some chatted there way to the inner-city. Slowly walking away from the warp gate, I felt a light tap on my shoulder, giving me a startling jolt. My shoulders relaxed when I saw the person. "Don't do that to me! Giving me a heart attack!" I gave a sigh.

The character in front of me had blue green hair with dim azure eyes, wearing a unique red outfit imprinted with golden symbols. "Sorry, Akira. I didn't mean to scare you," Kite apologized.

"Shhh!" I placed my index finger on my lips. "Let's stick with BlackRose," I looked around cautiously, hoping my other school friends weren't online.

"It's great to see you online. I've missed having you around," my partner chuckled.

"Eh? What do you mean? You sound like you haven't seen me in ages. I just saw you after school,"my cheeks reddened a little.

"Oh right," he scratched his head.

I rolled my eyes but smiled. Though, it is great to see The World again, even if Kite talked his way into making me login. I did miss everything about it, excluding the risk of getting into a coma. Yet, if the Twilight Incident didn't occur, I might not have met Kite at all. Not that I'm sounding gratefully about the troublesome event. I'm happy to be friends with him.

"What now?" I asked, killing the silence we had. "Come on we don't got all day! I'm pumped up and ready for some questing!" I held up my heavy blade by my shoulder.

He smiled. "Let's go over to town first, then maybe we can decide on what to do," he said assuredly.

I nodded and followed. When we entered the main part of town, I noticed some changes with the stores and background settings. The place looked bigger and it had wider routes. I slowed down my pace in every corner of buildings we pass by, trying to become familiar with some of them and at the same time admiring the new graphical buildings.


I shook my head, turning to face Kite. "What happened? Mac Anu is totally…"

"Different?" he continued. "Lios and Balmung have recently been updating the game for the past months."

"Hah! Those two working together again?" I snorted, studying the graphics of the area. "I suppose they did good with the updates," I nodded acceptingly.

"From what I heard from Lios, he says Balmung is responsible for the gaming events," Kite looked up wonderingly with his hand on his chin. "Now that I mention it. Balmung, did gave me an e-mail before he put it up on the Board."

I tilted my head curiously. "Huh? Isn't that unfair? You already know what the event is about."

"Well not really. He didn't give me any details about the event." My online partner bowed his head down sheepishly. "He just said something weird and it kinda bothers me," he chuckled tensely.

"Forward me the e-mail. I want to read it," I pulled my hand out. He nodded and not too soon, I received a flash mail. "Thanks. Alright let's see…" Before I could open my inbox, a black pop-up appeared on my FMD.


Attention to all players.

Current updates are being performed soon. An auto-log out program will be presented in the game.

Please Stand By…


I was automatically logged off. "Argh!"

My screen turned light scarlet and I was back on the main menu. I sighed, So much for playing The World. While I boringly stared at the screen, I spotted a tiny envelope on my Mail. I clicked it and it was the forward e-mail that Kite gave me.


-FW: Flashmail-

Sender: Balmung

Subject: New Event


Do you know what today is? Are you familiar with the story between two star-crossed lovers who were to only meet once a year? Perhaps today you will find your 'Orihime.'


"What the heck is Balmung trying to tell Kite?" I weirdly stared at the screen. "He has a weird way of expressing words. No wonder Kite is so bothered by it! It's creeping me out too," I felt goosebumps on my arms. I read the last sentence again and my brain tweaked as if I remembered something but soon forgot.

An 'Orihime?' Could it be?

Suddenly, another mail popped out.


We apologize for the interruption earlier. New updates are set up. Please read the Board for information.

The World is now available. Thank you for your patience.


Immediately, I clicked the very top icon on my screen then continued to the message board. The first topic was brightly lighting and I clicked it.


July Event

To: All

Author: Balmung, CC Corp Administrator

Tonight will be a wonderful evening for everyone--especially in The World! We will be having another first new special event! This special celebration is for the commemoration of two star-crossed lovers! So in the name of love! Join us! It will be held in The Water Capital Mac Anu and the prize will be announced live! This special event lasts once a year and only today!

And remember don't stick in the water too long!


With both hands, I covered my mouth trying to avoid my burst of laughter. "You've got to be kidding!" I exclaimed. 'In the name of love!' Ahahaha! Hilarious! Balmung and his corny writing style! After a couple of minutes my laughter died down and I logged in back to The World.

Soon enough, after being warped back, I found myself wearing a violet-pink cherry blossom kimono. "Whoa!" I tugged the pixeled clothing. I've never seen this before!

"Whaaa! BlackRose! You finally came back!" a cheery voice called.

I twirled around and to my surprise the person who called me was Mistral. "Mistral!" She was wearing a white kimono designed with sky blue clouds and a cute yellow sun on one side. I ran up to her and we greeted each other with a warm hug. "It's been so long! How are you and your baby?" we released our embrace.

"I'm less bloaty now. My little baby already made her first baby steps today," Mistral proudly announced.

"Wow! Congratulations! Last time I saw her, she was just cradling by your arms. Can I come visit you sometimes and see her?"

The wave master nodded happily. "Kyuuu! I can't believe you finally came back! Especially today!" She jumped up and down joyfully. "You're so cute in your kimono," she studied my clothes carefully, like a rare item.

I sweat dropped. Same old Mistral. Lately, I keep Mrs. Kurokawa in mind about what's been happening in my life and vice versa on hers'. I already told her about Kai enrolling in my high school and the 'date' we had. She sounded more excited than me but I wouldn't consider that as a 'date', since Kai and I are just friends.

"Oh! Oh!" she blurted. "Is Kite here? I sent him a party meet but no response. Wonder why."

"Maybe. Let's go look for him," I suggested as we walked by the crowded streets of Mac Anu.

At last, we escaped the crowded sea of players and ended up by a deserted bamboo area. "When did the town grow bamboos?" I scratched my head, clueless.

"No silly!" Mistral lightly patted my arm. "Remember in real life? We usually hang parchments on the bamboos with our wishes, hoping it will be answered?" she stated and I nodded. "It's the same here!"

"Ah! Today is the Tanabata festival?" I counted my fingers to make sure. "Wait a second. No that can't be right… Tomorrow is the official date for it," I pouted. "What the heck? Balmung got the date wrong!"

"No, no, no," Mistral giggled. "In every event, they normally hold it before the real thing. It gives all of us time to both enjoy the online and real life festivals!" she explained.

"Oh… Makes sense," I replied.

"Here, write something!" she happily handed me a parchment and we both started writing. After I was done with mine, I searched for a suitable place somewhere by the bamboos to hung my card. A few steps later, I found the perfect bamboo area. I stood straight, holding the paper firmly by my chest, praying that it may answer my wish. Once I was finished, I hung it delicately on the bamboo and watched it sway smoothly with the breeze.

While the wind whistled, I heard a rustle by the bushes. I hesitated and I hid inside the bamboo shrubs. Heavy breathing and foot steps came beside me and it halted, just standing there, sounding tired. Someone's here…! I felt the bamboos rustle against me.

Unexpectedly, I felt a hand on my arm and I frightfully jumped out of my hiding place. "AHHHH!" I shrieked loudly and felt something break my fall.


I blinked, seeing the person who I landed unto. "Kite!?"

"Ouch…" he rubbed his forehead. "That was some fall…" he looked up and gazed right at me. "BlackRose?" Like his regular outfit, Kite wore the same bright crimson clothing, except it was a yukata-style.

"I-I.. I-I was just…" I stuttered nervously. Even if we were online it still felt like we were in an awkward position. I could hardly breathe. My face was too close and I could feel his soft breathing against my flustered cheeks. "W-what a-are you doing here?"

"I uhh… just taking a stroll," he promptly scratched his head. "Sorry I didn't mean to scare you." I wobbly got up and helped Kite stand. "Thanks," he smiled.

"Whaa! BlackRose! I heard a scream!" Mistral popped out with her wand, swinging it aimlessly and she walked over us. "Are you…alright…?" she asked and I nodded. The wave master looked over behind me and noticed Kite. "Oh! You found him! Great! The Tanabata Event is going to start any minute now!" She directly pulled his hand and grabbed mine too, "Come on you slowpokes! I don't wanna miss this for the world!" Mistral dragged us out of the forest.

Kite's POV

My computer screen blinked and loaded. I clutch my FMD goggles over my head and wore it. Like other days, Akira and I would make plans after school and hang-out but since she was busy with tennis practice, I was able to convince her into playing The World with me when she arrives home instead. She sounded unsure about the idea at first, but she decided she needed to make up for it, given that we didn't get to spend time after school. I smirked happily and I was in the main menu. Scanning my mouse around the left-side icons, my mailer had a tiny mail attached to it. I clicked and the window opened.


Sender: Balmung

Subject: New Event


Do you know what today is? Are you familiar with the story between two star-crossed lovers who were to only meet once a year? Perhaps today you will find your 'Orihime.'


I rotated my chair, checking my calendar. July 6th. Nothing special, I shrugged and lingered about the next two sentence.Star-crossed lovers? My 'Orihime?' Now, I was really confused. Whatever it was, Balmung's e-mail gave me bad shivers behind my spine.

Putting aside the thoughts running through my head, I exit out of my mail and went straight to the game. Once I was warped behind the rotating circled-gate, I saw a player with a familiar outfit; violet tights, a cottony white skirt attached with violet armor leggings, and her only top an armored bra. I blushed at the fact that her only top clothing was a bra. It was revealing and from our past adventures I had these bad gut feeling that the guys would only approach our way when I'm with her. This person was my online partner, BlackRose.

I advance a step or two towards her and poked her shoulder. She backed away but relaxed when she turned around facing me.

"Don't do that to me! Giving me a heart attack!" she pouted angrily.

I gesture my hands to her, trying to calm her down. I didn't want to upset her. "Sorry, Akira. I didn't mean to scare you."

"Shhh! Let's stick with BlackRose," she doggedly shushed me.

I nodded and continued. "It's great to see you online. I've missed having you around."

Akira tilted her head with a weird out facial expression. "Eh? What do you mean? You sound like you haven't seen me in ages. I just saw you after school."

"Oh right," I retorted. I mean in The World. With the way she looked, I felt that she didn't want to be here. Of course she wouldn't, I thought. This was the cause of her brother's coma. It meant life or death in this game. It was no joke playing around and searching for virus cores then battling the phases. This game was dangerous to her, why else would Akira play this game, she wouldn't even let Fumikazu play again after we defeated Cubia. It's just a bad memory for her. I might as well just cancel out, I sighed.

"What now?" she uttered.

Hn? I scratched my head.

"Come on we don't got all day!" BlackRose crossed her arms with an annoyed smile on her face.

I was laughing in the inside. I just noticed that BlackRose was Akira's alter ego. Tough in the outside but sincere in the inside.

"I'm pumped up and ready for some questing!" she exclaimed strong-mindedly.

My face lit up. She wants to stay? "Let's go over to town first, then maybe we can decide on what to do," I pointed straight ahead and started walking. I was wrong after all. BlackRose wanted to be here as much I wanted. The World brought me good memories of my friends and I assume she does too.

After a short amount of walking, I noticed BlackRose was following behind me fairly slow. So I approached her and ask her what's wrong.

"What happened? Mac Anu is totally…"

"Different?" I finished. I explained to her that Balmung had made an alliance with Lios, helping him with The World. BlackRose laughed at the thought but she let me continue on with the explanations. As far as talking about this topic, I decided to tell her about Balmung's e-mail earlier.

"Now that I mention it. Balmung, did gave me an e-mail before he put it up on the Board."

She frowned. "Huh? Isn't that unfair? You already know what the event is about."

I shook my head, "He just said something weird and it kinda bothers me."

She instantly took her hand out and demandingly asked what the e-mail was about. I nodded and sent her a forward e-mail. She thanked me but before we could talk about it my FMD goggles blackened and an announcement of an auto-logout appeared. I took the device off my head and sulked down my chair. When it comes to mysterious e-mails, BlackRose and I work well together solving it. But since Lios needed to update the game, it had to wait. Great timing, I sarcastically thought.

While I waited, I checked the calendar again. It was the 6th of July, no holiday or whatsoever was going to happen today. When I looked at the next day, it was July 7th. Before I came home, Yasuhiko was telling me about the types of events that Balmung was going to create. He did mention something about the Tanabata festival appearing as an event but he was unsure of it.


"Hey Kai! Got a sec?" my best friend asked, promptly sitting himself down beside me.

"Hn?" I nodded unknowingly while I was absorbedly reading my new sci-fi book.

"Did you know tomorrow is the Tanabata Festival?"

"Uh-huh," I continued, still reading my book.

"Well did you know there's a story behind the festival? It's about…" Yasuhiko started telling the story. Although, I was so fixed with the book I was reading, I decided to keep nodding like I was paying attention.

"Hey…" I felt a nudge. "Hey! Kai!" Yasuhiko yelled. "Are you listening to my story?"

I snapped back and nodded. "Uh, yeah. I already know the story. I think…" I scratched my head, trying to remember the story from elementary school. "Err, it's about this girl name Orihime and some guy who falls in love with her and stuff…" I manage to summarize the main parts. Yasuhiko's face was giving 'you-weren't-listening-to-me' expression. "Bah! Yeah you're somewhat right. But you could have at least listened to my story a bit more. You never know… a teacher might suddenly give a pop-quiz about it!" he fixed his glasses.

I chuckled, "Yeah, right."

"So are you going down to the shrines? Cause if you are Fumikazu and I are going."

"Sure," I went back reading my book but before I could read a sentence Yasuhiko snatched it from me.

End of Flashback

"Damn, Yasuhiko still has my book," I lightly hit my forehead then suddenly, the word 'Orihime' popped out of my head. It could be possible… It was a hunch. The e-mail and the Tanabata festival were somehow connected. I really wanted to know what Balmung was trying to say. But before I could carry on meditating, I received a new mail, telling me that The World has updated and everyone can login.Finally! I put my FMD goggles and I went to the Board where it had the word 'new' appeared shiningly. I clicked it and read the new topic.

"It's an event," I mumbled to myself, while reading.


July Event

To: All

Author: Balmung, CC Corp Administrator

Tonight will be a wonderful evening for everyone--especially in The World! We will be having another first new special event! This special celebration is for the commemoration of two star-crossed lovers! So in the name of love! Join us! It will be held in The Water Capital Mac Anu and the prize will be announced live! This special event lasts once a year and only today!

And remember don't stick in the water too long!


My mind was still filled with question marks and from Balmung's announcement, filled with exclamation marks. The e-mail I got earlier and this event were by some means related, yet I couldn't put a finger on it. I know the Tanabata festival was about two star-crossed lovers but does it have to do with the e-mail? I shook my head. Right now, my priority was playing The World with BlackRose. I should put aside this shenanigan and will just solve it later.

When I entered The World in Mac Anu the first thing I saw were a multiple warp ins from players.Looks like they're here for the event. While I sneakily walked around, I detected that everyone weren't wearing their armors. The girls were wearing kimonos while the guys wore yukatas. I glanced down on my clothes and I was also wearing a red yukata. I checked to see if I was still wearing my hat--it was gone. I shrugged and commence my way out of the busy streets heading towards the roomier vicinity.

Passing by some parties, I overheard a couple of girls gossiping about the announcement.

"Eeek! I'm so excited!" a girl squealed. "This event is going to be so romantic! Eeep!"

"For sure!" another cheered. "I wonder how it'll turn out. What the prize will be. Got any guesses?"

"Ah, maybe a rare weapon…" a serious tone said.

"Uhmm… maybe a rare Golden Grunty as a pet!"

"Maybe a rare armor…"

"Perhaps… a new super deluxe edition outfit. Like cat ears or wolf ears! So cuute!"

"Maybe a rare shield…"

"Oooo! Maybe the moderators will select one of the girls and make them a princess 'Orihime'!"

Princess Orihime? I went closer to hear clearer.

"Or…" the previous girl who asked, wondered. "Or, it could be a date with the Descendants of Fianna!"

"OMG! OMG! EEEK!" the squealing girl yelped loudly. "NO WAY!"

"Yeah. That'd make an even better prize," she winked. "You can make Balmung of The Azure Sky sweep you off your feet with his beautiful angelic wings."

The other girl nodded with her eyes closed. "Or fight hard-core bosses with Orca of The Azure Sea."

"Awww! Only two?" the squeaky girl pouted. "Oooo! Isn't there another cutie?"

A jolt came to me. I felt a strange feeling that I'm involved with this. But I'm not part of Descendants of Fianna. Am I?

"Hold on a sec… Are you talking about the new recruiter, The Legendary TwinBlader, Kite?" the other girl asked the hyper one.

Me?! When did I become 'legendary!?'

"Oh! Yep! That's him!" she shrieked. "Even if Balmung is the coolest and best looking. Kite-san's the cutest!"

"You've heard too?" the stern voice spoke. "Lately, my sources said that he's been titled as Kite of The Azure Flame. One of the strongest Twinblader in The World and now part of the legendary group. Holder of the rarest twinblade."

"Added to that idea, he always takes his time helping newbies. It's hard to get a glimpse of him," the girl sighed.

"Yeah," the other girl heaved. "I wish we can see him someday."

"Oh whatever. We'll just see what happens in the event, later."

The three girls made me wonder--they could be right about this event. The Tanabata Festival. Star-crossed lovers. Orihime. Balmung's e-mail. It sums up. I ruffled my hair, trying to remember the story behind the Tanabata Festival. If only I listened! From what I know from elementary, the story was about a daughter of a Sky King, Orihime who falls in love with that Cow Herder.

I set my back against a cold brick wall. Wait… if I'm figuring this right. Balmung's message was talking about… 'Perhaps today you will find your Orihime…'

"I'M THE COW HERDER, HIKOBOSHI?!" I involuntarily shouted out loud.

The noisy chatting stopped. The calming sound of the river and the melodically music was only heard behind me. All eyes were on me.

"Oh by golly! It's him! It's Kite of The Azure Flame!"

One word came to mind. Run! The soft steps were now becoming loud stampedes chasing after me. I ran for my sake. I could have easily logged off but that would be a cowardice and bad example to the public. After hearing the girls talk about me, I already set a good example for them. All I could do was run and they would think that the event already started. I kept running and dodging the players blocking my way. Further away, I was beginning to approach an unusual green region.

Finally, I reached the area and to my relief it was filled with bamboos especially set up for the Tanabata Event. I'll be able to lose them here, I breathed tiredly. I struggled going through the bamboos enclosing me. The clothing from yukata were sometimes stuck to it and so I cut some bamboos on my way, giving myself a clear path.

At last, the bamboos stopped appearing and I ended up in a circled location with a small shroud of bamboos in the middle. I stop to catch my breathe and properly straightened my yukata, taking the leaves off my hair. I inspected the place and I stared at the plant in front of me while I drew near it. There was a paper hanging on one of the bamboos.

A parchment? Who could have--?

Out of the blue, I sense that I wasn't alone in the area. I heard a crunching sound from the grassy leaves inside the covered bamboos and felt somebody's clothes. Hn?


I covered my ears from the scream and before I knew what was happening a person landed on top of me.


"Ouch. That was some fall," I grunted, rubbing my head from the sudden jump. I blinked and saw a pink-haired girl wearing a designed cherry-blossom kimono. "BlackRose?"

We were face to face and I could see her cheeks turning red. She was stuttering but managed to speak. "W-what a-are you doing here?"

"I uhh… just taking a stroll," I replied and gulped. "Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you," she offered me a hand and I took it, helping me get up. "Thanks."

Another crackle noise appeared and it was coming from the other side. "Whaa! BlackRose! I heard a scream!" It's Mistral. "Are you…alright…?" she asked BlackRose and turned to me. "Oh! You found him! Great! The Tanabata Event is going to start any minute now! Come on you slowpokes! I don't wanna miss this for the world!" She eagerly took our hands and yanked us away from the bamboo region and to the river area.

While we walked I looked over at my online partner. "BlackRose, I have to tell you something. I figured it out," I whispered.

"Huh?" she placed her hand on her ear, trying to hear me. "What?"

We arrived by the crowded area of the river where the gamers stood and hanged-out for awhile, waiting for the event to start. Mistral released her grip and she jumped up and down checking to see what was happening in front.

"I.see.a.stage," she said while bouncing her feet into each word. "Some.one.is.over.there.with.a.micro.phone," she continued.

"So, Kite what did you want to tell me?" BlackRose reminded.

"Remember the forward I gave you?" she nodded. "Balmung is going to--"

Rather than resuming the details to BlackRose, the loud speakers interrupted. "Ladies and Gentlemen! Thank you for coming! I'm pleased to personally be the host of this year's first Tanabata Event!" The NPC announcer welcomed.

"BlackRose! Listen to me!" I moved her, face to face with me. "Balmung! Is planning to--"

"It's time for the main event! We will be doing a reenactment of the two star-crossed lovers meeting in their only day! Lunar day…" the NPC continued. "It is called the 'River Race'."

"Speak louder, Kite!" BlackRose responded.

"Among the popularity votes in The World. We have already selected a part for the Cow Herder, Hikoboshi! The rest of you will compete and play as the Princess Orihime."

"I know what the e-mail is about!" she nodded, giving me a sign that she heard me. "Balmung is making me become part of this event!"

"What!?" she scooted closer. "I can't hear you!"

I took in a large sum of air in order to speak louder.

"Now, without further ado this year's Cow Herder is…"

I closed my eyes, ready to blurt it out to her, "I'M--"

"None other than…"


BlackRose's POV

The event was starting. Kite who was beside me, tried to tell me something important concerning Balmung's e-mail but seeing that everything in our surroundings was noisy, we couldn't communicate very well. All I was able to hear was NPC's announcement and the cheering online players.

Kite looked pretty annoyed by the deafening, so he pulled my shoulders, scooting me closer. I blushed a bit. He took a deep breathe, so I'm guessing he was going to speak up louder than usual.

"I'M--" he spoke but from out of nowhere, Kite unexpectedly vanished before my eyes.

"Kite!? How'd you? Where'd you go!?"

"--HIKOBOSHI!" his voice was heard on the other side.

I looked over and spotted the stage where Kite was now standing. H-how'd he get over there? What's going on?! I shifted through the crowds going closer to the stage.

"Thaaaat's right!" Hundreds of confetti and balloons flew up the air. "Now will our young romantic Cow Herder, do the honors of introducing himself to the audience?" the NPC host handed Kite his microphone.

"I… uhh… Hi everyone!" I could see Kite's red face. "Err, I'm Kite… I'm fourteen. My favorite color is aqua green and uhh," he's face eased. "I'm in high school. I like to play soccer with my friends and I like socializing and helping new people who I meet in The World."

The crowd of girls abruptly boomed with a crazy cheer.

"What's your e-mail address?!"

"Kite I think your super cute!"

"What high school do you go to?!"

"Do you have a girlfriend?!"

"Ack!" people were squeezing me in and it was getting harder to see Kite.

"People settled down! Save the questions for later!" the announcer calmed the crowd. "That is if you are going to…" he smirked. "…win the date."

Balmung was standing next to Kite and that's when I realized that this was all his doing. The forward message that Kite gave me, made final sense. What?! Is he serious? No way I'm letting him do that! I forcefully pass through the crowds, ready to go up to the stage and pulp Balmung's wings out.Who does he think he is taking Kite without his approval! Almost reaching the wooden stage, the ground suddenly rumbled.

"We shall now set the area of the event!"

Whoa! What's happening? The setting was altered. The river looked wider and bigger. It lead to an island surrounded by water, where Kite was held hostage.

"Everyone knows that at the night of the Tanabata festival is the one night when the Princess and Cow Herder were suppose to meet." the host began. "Both lovers had to cross the Amanogawa River in order to see each other. Now! We'll see who can cross this vast river for a date with Kite of the Azure Flames!"

Don't worry Kite! I'm coming to get you! I switched back to my battle suit and held my heavy blade by shoulder, positioning myself near the river's water, ready to cross.

"I would never have predicted that you would return to The World, BlackRose. "Especially on the night of the Star Festival."

I looked to my right. The owner of the voice had light brunette hair, blue eyes, and her character was wearing a white dress with a halo on her head and angel wings on her back. "T-Terajima Ryoko?" Great just what I needed. Competition. Terajima Ryoko. My rival at the same time a friend. She and I seem to have a competitive attitude to one another being around Kite. The time we went as a party in 'that place' came to mind. Ω Raging Facing Mirror's Virgin.It was a maze which made the situation worst. Terajima and I were having a disagreement in which way we should go and we ended up in an argument. Eventually, when we angrily ganged up on Kite and disband the quest. But we settled the issue in a mature manner and apologized. We even made a prank on Kite because it was his fault for being indecisive. I still didn't like her guts.

"This race will likely determine anybody who is worthy for Kite, wouldn't you agree?" she falsely smiled.

I irritatingly nodded.

"BlackRose! It's good to see you again. I don't see you anymore," the person to my left greeted. It was my good friend Natsume who I still keep in contact through e-mail.

"Oh, hey Natsume," I returned. "Yeah, same here."

"By the way," she paused. "Did you get my e-mail yesterday? I want to talk about it."

Natsume is quite the talker when it comes to me. "Um, let's catch up with the talking after the event, alright?"

She nodded and smiled, "Good luck."

"You too."

"Everyone ready?!" the NPC announced. The people behind me were pumped up and ready to swim.

This is it!

"Ready!" he started. We all went closer to the water. "Begin!" he declared.

I hurriedly stepped over the water and it almost reached my shoulder. It's getting deeper. I kept swimming when out of nowhere, I felt a sudden movement below my ankles. What the--?! A blue triangle shaped-object circled around a group of guys and it jerked upwards. It was a sting-ray shark! To my other side there were a couple of players who sank. A huge green crab came out and grabbed them. There are monsters?!

"Oh. And a reminder." the NPC spoke. "Beware of lurking sharks, crawling crabs and other monsters underwater. One of them has a special prize so keep a look out! Swim safely!"

What the hell?! Swim safely?! Cautiously, I swam straight ahead to the areas of the river that had overhead rocks. It was so far a good strategy, to avoid the monsters. While I was moving smoothly without enemies interrupting me, I spotted Natsume who was in trouble.

"Ahhh! Ola Reph!" Natsume cried, casting a healing spell on herself while two Hammer Sharks circled her.

Without thinking, I rushed by her side and swung my weapon at the shark, causing a minor damage on its' fin. "Are you alright?"

"Y-yeah, thanks BlackRose," she smiled thankfully.

"No problem," I smirked, struggling to block the shark's attack. These monster's are strong! "Let's do a combo attack!" At the same time, Natsume and I used an attack skill.

"Rai Divider!"

"Tiger Claw!"

The hits were a success but the monsters counterattacked, knocking us deep underwater. Another shark came up behind me and I lost most of my hit points. Three sharks. This is bad. I thought. We breathe our way up and we were surrounded. Any sudden moves and surely we were going to be beaten.

"Rairaku!" a deep voice appeared, bashing the sharks out the way.

"Sanjuro!" Natsume exclaimed happily.

"Here!" he tossed us two healing elixirs. "Take 'em," he whacked another one off a rock, defeating it. We drank the potions and our hit points were fully recovered. "Thanks for weakening them for me BlackRose."

"Ah-heh. You're welcome."

"What took you so long?" Natsume asked him.

"Sorry, I got an important call from school," he apologized.

"BlackRose," Natsume called, looking at me. "Thanks, but we can take it from here."

"Wait, but I-- you still need my help."

She shook her head. "Don't worry Sanjuro and I can usually handle it. These were our opponents to begin with."

I nodded. "Alright then. Don't die on me!" I swam backwards still watching them fight.

"The Hanged Man!" Sanjuro used a magical scroll. The monsters were instantly paralyzed and they began beating them at an advantage. They gave me a thumbs up and I smiled, resuming my way to the island.

Before I knew it, I was one length away from the finish line. Kite stood there smiling right in front of me. Yes! Almost there!

"Yaah!" From a far, I heard another shriek and it was from Terajima Ryoko.

I bit my lip and ran back to the distressed petite heavy axe. I knew I was going to regret it but I needed to help her. The monster was a gigantic crab, named The Great Jaws. Right when it was about to hit Terajima, I came in just on time and pushed her off. Luckily, I only lost a small amount of hit points from the impact.

"B-BlackRose?!" she looked astonished.

"Just don't stand there! Do something!" I grunted, defending myself from the crab's claws.

"R-right!" she swung her axe carelessly but fortunately it hit the crab's protective shell.

"Hey! Be careful with that thing! You could hurt someone!" I scolded. I jumped up the air and executed an attack skill, "Calamity!" The crab fell on the ground, yet it wasn't dead. Terajima kept swerving her weapon back and forth which nearly hit me. It was getting on my nerves. "Terajima, get out of here! You're in the way," I bashed the monster again. "Go to the finish line already!"

"You do not have the right to tell me what to do."

"Argh!" I shoved her aside, moving her away from the monster. "Just go to the finish line and end stupid event!" I waved my hand signaling her to leave.

"Ack! Fine!" She swam at a near distant. "This does not change anything between us, BlackRose!" she declared and she headed to were Kite was.

"Psh! Whatever!" I smugly smirked. I'd take that as a 'thank you.' My sword clashed blades with the crab's claw, forcing me to move backwards. The Great Jaws used its' other claw and knocked me off to the water. I frustratingly gritted my teeth from the huge lost of hit points I received. I constantly used up all of my recovery drinks but it wasn't enough to fully recover my bar. Damn! No good!

"Ola Repth!"

To my amazement, Mistral showed up, recuperating my health bar. "Thank god, you're here!" I said, relieve.

"Yeeep! Mistral at your service!" she winked and dodged the monster's attack. "Lanceor Ch!" she summoned the God of Thunder, causing a massive thundershock around the crab, paralyzing it.

"Go! Go! BlackRose! Kick ass!" the hyper-wave master rooted, casting magical boosts on my character.

My strength, defense, accuracy, and intelligence increased, enhancing my battle moves and skills. I swiftly evaded our enemy's assaults. One by one I clobbered its' defensive shell and finally it crumbled to pieces, leaving it's bare film. Although, it was still strong. It launched a special attack that I haven't seen before and flung me back. Mistral threw several high-offensive magic spells and restored my health. I could see the creature's life bar in its red zone and I knew it was time to finish it. I took up all my energy and charged straight towards it.

"Rai Divider!" The monster roared, falling with a huge splash. It disappeared and a shining golden treasure box materialized.

"Oooo! A treasure box! Wonder what's inside?" Mistral opened it. "Neat-o! Another rare item! Goddess Tanabata's Sacred Robe!" she jumped for joy.

"Sooo close! And yes! There she goes!" the event host proclaimed. "This year's winner is Terajima Ryoko!" All the monsters vanished and left many disappointed gamers standing. "And there we have it folks! This year's Tanabata Event is over! Thank you for playing! Good Night!" the NPC concluded and everyone started leaving.

I glanced over the stage where Terajima and Kite were merrily talking to one another. I turned my back and started walking back to shore. That could have been me over there with Kite, I smiled sadly.

"BlackRose, whazzup?" Mistral followed.

"Nothing," I smiled sadly, staring at the dry ground.

"Doesn't seem like a 'nothing'," she pouted. "Is it the prize? You can have it," she held the sacred clothing in front of me.

I shook my head. "No, keep it," I closed her hand. "It's nothing, Mistral. Really," I stopped, faced her and forced a smile.

She tipped her toes and patted the top of my head. "Well e-mail me 'kay? My husband just arrived home and the baby's crying," she grinned sheepishly. "G'nite, BlackRose. I had fun. Come visit me anytime," she stuck her tongue out playfully and warped out.

"Bye. Thanks," I waved. I looked down and let my feet lead me wherever.

Soon, leaves ruffled my hair, taking notice that I ended up in the bamboo area once again. The crickets whirred pleasingly and the game's graphical night sky helped me feel less tensed. I walked to the spot where I hung my wish in the isolated bamboo shroud. A number of fireflies glowed in various directions. I admired the view. It was breathtaking.

While I watched the fireflies, my mind began to wonder about today's turnabouts. Why did I even bother joining this event? It's not like I care about winning it… I tiredly sighed. At least Terajima won it than someone else. No big deal, right? My head buzzed. Wrong. Who am I kidding? I'm deceiving myself. Let's be honest. I wanted to win. I was going to win this event for Kite. My eyes were beginning to give in. "Ah, well no use whining about it," I told myself. It's getting late. I might as well go to bed. I heaved a sigh, "I barely spent some time with him today." I heard a sound of cracking bamboos behind me but I paid no attention to it. I logged out and went to bed.

Kite's POV

"Hn? Hello? Anyone there?" I called out. They must have left. I marched to the previous place where I bumped into BlackRose. For some reason, I felt that this was the perfect spot to hang my parchment. It was quiet and the wind's brisk went well for the bamboos. I hung my wish on the bamboo beside the paper I saw before. I was tempted to read it but decided against it.

It wouldn't be right… I closed my eyes, backing away from the bamboo.

A green light unexpectedly appeared. I blinked and looked around me. The place was filled with fireflies. I sat on the grassy ground for a moment and began reminiscing about today's Tanabata Event.


Bright yellow lights blinded my view and before I could recognize my surroundings, I was on stage where everyone in The World can see me. Balloons rose and popped and the confetti spread everywhere. "Thaaaat's right!" the NPC beside me exclaimed. "Now will our young romantic Cow Herder, do the honors of introducing himself to the audience?"

He gave me a microphone and I took it, slowly bringing it near my lips. "I… uhh…" cold sweat ran on my forehead. Everyone was staring at me and I couldn't help but feel embarrassed. "Hi everyone!" I tried to stay calm. "Err, I'm Kite…" I began steadily. "I'm fourteen…" I was beginning to feel more confident. "My favorite color is aqua green and uhh… I'm in high school." I wiped the sweat off my forehead and smiled. "I like to play soccer with my friends and I like socializing and helping new people who I meet in The World."

The audience went wild and random questions were shouted. The host snatch the microphone from me "People settled down! Save the questions for later!" he looked at me, grinning mischievously. "That is if you are going to…win the date."

"Hmm, I wonder who will win."

I looked over to the corner of my eye and spotted Balmung leaning against the stage's wall prop. "Balmung!"

"Hello Kite," he greeted coolly. "Have you read the e-mail I sent you?"

"Yes, I have," I frowned. "What's your reason for me being involve with this?" I demandingly asked.

"You're the hot topic and most searched player in The World my friend," he showed me a paper with the number of clicks in The World's search engine. '50 million searches?!' "Pretty big numbers. Almost neck-in-neck with my record," he motioned his hand to the players. "So, I gave the people who they wanted. A date with you," he pointed at me.

"But," I respond. "I was suppose to be with BlackRose today."

"Oh? She's online?" he vaguely looked astonished. "Perhaps she'll be your 'Orihime'," he smirked teasingly.

"W-wha?" I blushed. "I'll be rooting for her though," I gulped.

"She sure looks upset," he pointed to a pink-haired player who was scooting pass the crowd.

"BlackRo--" I tried to call her name but an unexpected rumble occurred.

"We shall now set the area of the event!" the NPC beside me yelled.

"Whoa!" I held unto a pole, keeping my balance. At the same time, I watched the stage move away from the building and it turned into an isolate island.

The NPC made a brief summary of the Tanabata Festival's origin. "Now! We'll see who can cross this vast river for a date with Kite of the Azure Flames!" Party streamers popped out. "Everyone ready?!" he asked.

I watched the players move closer to the shore. I saw BlackRose in front of the row of people. 'BlackRose!' Right beside her were two of my other friends. 'Terajima? Natsume? They're competing too?'

"Ready?!" the broadcaster held a spark gun and triggered it. "Begin!"

Online gamers shouted excitedly while they crossed the river. Everything seem to go well when I watched my friends swim the river when all of a sudden a huge shark came out of nowhere. 'A monster?!' I took out my twin blades and tried to jump off the stage but someone grabbed my yukata.

"Hold it right there, Mr. Hikoboshi," Balmung stopped me. "Your role is to stay here," he compellingly made me sit down.

"But! They're in trouble! Aren't you going to do anything?"

"I didn't say that the event was going to be a piece of cake. Did I?" he gazed at me confidently. "This is a game. Of course there will be monsters. Besides I've already given them a warning in the Board," he smirked.

The NPC reminded the rest of the gamers about monsters prowling about in the river. Shouts of panic and terror came from them. Each one vanishing from the dreaded defeat. I was tempted to help everyone in trouble however Balmung held me back.

I sighed hopelessly and continued watching the event. I kept my eye out for my friends and so far BlackRose hasn't encountered any monsters. Along with Sanjuro, Natsume fought the two sharks without a problem, then until golden rings surrounded Sanjuro, logging him off.

'Oh no! Natsume!' I thought in a panic. She was all alone with a circle of sharks.

The monster was unpredictably knocked off and BlackRose appeared by Natsume, aiding her. I smiled with relieve. The two girls stood strong for awhile, helping each other out but they struggled. Instead of two sharks, another one showed up and wounded BlackRose. They were in danger. In a blink of an eye, Sanjuro appeared, attacking the creatures and pitched a couple of health drinks to the girls. BlackRose left and continued swimming her way here, while Natsume and Sanjuro were finishing their battle. Minutes later, they were able to beat the sharks and continue there way.

I intently watched BlackRose coming to the finish line. 'Almost there! Come on Akira!' I went closer on the edge of the stage, waiting for her. I smiled. BlackRose grinned but halt to a stop. 'Hn?' She spun around, running to the source of a shrieking cry. I looked over to the direction she swam to. It was Terajima.

My partner jumped in just on time, swiftly moving the angel-winged player. I could hear BlackRose's loud lecturing to Terajima which caused a mild bickering in the battlefield. I sweat dropped and lightly chuckled at the silly argument they were having. But the scene soon stopped when BlackRose took over and fought by herself. Terajima carefully swam while she avoided the other combat battles occurring around the river.

"BlackRose!" I shouted but I failed to reach her. I nearly leaped out of the stage but an arm blocked my way.

"Hold it!" Balmung stood beside me and pointed . "Look…"

A loud thunderclap roared. Mistral showed up, casting thunder spells at the monster. She healed BlackRose and both of my companions managed to put some damage on it.

"I wonder," Balmung muttered. "If they can defeat a MVP…" he said without taking his eyes off them.

I swallowed. 'They can do this! I believe in them!' I recommenced watching the battling duo. After a couple of blows, BlackRose finally pierced the crab's armor and it crumbled. The crab was now vulnerable. Mistral threw some more spells and BlackRose made the finishing blow. 'Yes!'

"This year's winner is Terajima Ryoko!" the announcement startled me.

Terajima climbed up the stairs, panting tiredly. I walked over and I patted her back, giving her a thumbs up.

"Good job," Balmung congratulated, shaking her hand.

"Here's your prize," the NPC gave Terajima a bouquet of flowers and pushed me close to her. "And there we have it folks! This year's Tanabata Event is over! Thank you for playing! Good Night!"

"Akira…" I watched BlackRose walk away. My face beamed with a crook frown of disappointment. She puts her friends first before herself. And she demonstrated that sincere action by helping Natsume and Terajima.

"Too bad," Balmung smirked sympathetically. "BlackRose would have won. Am I right?"

I didn't answer. I just watched my partner walk away. 'She must be mad at me. I caused her the trouble of logging on and we didn't even spend time adventuring.' I noticed Terajima staring at me so I shook my head from my thoughts. "That's it?" I turned to ask Balmung.

"What is?" he raised an eyebrow.

A sweat drop fell on my head. "No offense but this event was lame," I chuckled.

"I agree," Terajima supported.

"Lame?! Explain yourselves!" he was taken aback.

"You could have at least given everyone a consolation prize for coming," I grinned.

Terajima giggled, nodding. "Oh! I must go. Father is going to be upset if I stay up too late," she bowed. "Good night Kite! Sweet Dreams!" she logged off.

I waved back and saw the winged-warrior sulk down next to me. I sweat dropped and left the stage, deciding to search for BlackRose.

End of Flashback

I checked my menu screen on the party list but BlackRose wasn't online. "She already logged off…" I dejectedly sighed. From a distance, I glanced behind the bamboos with the papers dangling sweetly. I smiled and warped out.


I wish that I'll have the courage to express my feelings to him…




I wish that Akira can fulfill her wish.



A/N: Heylo! (waves) Finally! An update! Happy? Right? Right?! Whooo! Cause I am! Supah-dupah star! Yeah! (kinda drunk) Today is my 18th birthday. (throws confetti) Party at my house! Holla! Ahaha! Anyways! This chapter is a little filler. Kinda long though... Tell me how it was. I haven't heard from you guys for a long time and I want to hear some talk-the-talk from everyone! I miss my readers! Love you guys!