Musings of the Independent Entity

You want to know how I came to be, and moreover who I am? That's quite a complicated question, if you must know. I'll start off simple, to lessen the hassle of complex explanations. I don't like repeating myself, unless it is absolutely necessary.

I am an Oz avatar.

An avatar is created for every new Oz account. Therefore, there is at least one avatar for every person in the world, maybe more, taking into consideration inactive accounts, user deaths, etc. Those avatars, upon creation, have very generic appearances. Usually, they are cartoon variants of the user of the account. Lighthearted, in keeping with the mood of Oz itself.

From there, a user is free to change what their avatar looks like. Some are fine with the "literal" appearances of their Oz avatars, but most are not.

If a character can be imagined, it can be an Oz avatar. Of course, there are limits on the size of an avatar, when interacting with others in a public space, but other than that, the possibilities are endless. Aniki's family have an odd habit of shaping their avatar's after their profession. For example, his cousins are fire fighters, and their avatars are a team of firefighters with comically large water guns and garishly outlandish, reflective colors for their outfits.

An avatar is usually shaped by the user's experiences. A professional wrestler would be unlikely to have an avatar of a small girl in a sundress with a flower basket, as an obvious example.

Even I have been shaped and reshaped by aniki's experiences, both good and bad.

What?

You don't think Oz avatars can think for themselves?

Actually, in most cases, this would be true as well, but there are exceptions. Avatars do gather data based on the experiences they are present for, and after a few years, enough data and experience has occurred to allow them to think for themselves, to a certain degree.

Aniki felt this was an excellent opportunity for his programming skills to shine, and wrote a program that allowed me to develop my own unique personality. It is vastly different from his, but it is also complementary to his. I can depend on aniki, and he can depend on me.

The next facet of who I am concerns what a name really is.

A name could mean everything to one, and less than nothing to the next. It can be detested, loved, cherished, hated, despised, loathed, enjoyed, among other things. When it is what you are called for a trait you possess, it is a personal matter. When it is simply plucked out of a lottery to identify someone, with no reason, it can be reason for irritation.

Thankfully, an avatar's name can be changed at any time. However, once it is changed, there is a 24-hour wait period before you can change it again, to prevent spam requests for name changes in Oz.

Despite my name being a source of pride to me, it is not important to my explanation at this time. You will receive that particular nugget of information upon going our separate ways. I fear it would change your perceptions regarding what I tell you.

The next part about how I am is part of who I am. Aniki practices martial arts when not within the confines of his room, and that is reflected onto me, if one looks hard enough. Of course, my physical appearance appears to be that of a fighter, but not in the form that I am well versed in. I appear to be suited for a much heavier, almost brutish form of fighting, but in reality, I am lightning quick in a fight.

Finally, I guess I should mention my primary directive, whether aniki is controlling my actions or not. I am a netgame warrior, as you may have gathered.

Netgames vary greatly in their objective, level of competitiveness within the communities plaything them, and in some cases, sanctioning bodies. Most netgames rely on the skill of the user more so than that of the avatar itself. However, the so-called arena fighting that aniki participates in frequently is avatar based. He does not have to use a proxy character for the objective. I am him, for all intents and purposes, and my enemy is the enemy avatar. Fights are not meant to instill long-standing animosity between its combatants, but simply as a fight to see who is better at….well, fighting.

I have seen innumerable styles of fighting and combinations of weapons and special avatar-based powers used, but I have managed to triumph over all of them with two simple things. My hands and my feet. No matter how fancy, flashy, or otherwise distracting an attack is from a weapon or other indirect attack, it can be avoided, or somehow countered to harm the other combatant.

Among all of the fights that I have gone through, there is one that defines me more than any other. This was the fight against the demon that was sucking the very life out of all my friends, my fellow inhabitants of Oz. He made them dead inside, and sucked them up, making them part of him in an absolutely cruel and ultimately pointless way to make himself more powerful.

Of course, I mean the Love Machine. While aniki and his family had to cope with the physical effects of Love Machine's machinations, I was left to deal with the slow decline of the count of my friends against the rogue AI's attempts to overthrow the core infrastructure of Oz.

Despite the sadness I felt for aniki's, and therefore my, great-grandmother passing away, I still felt overwhelming sadness when I attempted to save one of my friends from the same fate so many others were suffering from, but could not.

Love Machine was mocking me by not taking aniki's account, as it was all a game to it.

Perhaps it is wrong for me to even behave that way, but no matter where consciousness lies, it should not have to endure such a cruel experience.

Of course, the actual fight against Love Machine before he began to take accounts for itself was nothing short of exhilarating.

In the weeks before that fight, we had slowly run out of worthy opponents, after I became King of the Arena. Not to say that there are not skilled fighters out there, they simply were less so compared to the team of aniki and myself.

Aniki was slowing becoming bored with the status quo, and had been looking into ways to limit himself so as to make the fights harder, and thus more enjoyable. I had been worried about this, as one such limitation was to limit the range of motion I enjoyed. I know how to fight in my own way, and limiting the very motions I go through every day would be torturous.

Love Machine made such limits unnecessary, and almost foolish to think about. After a few minutes of fighting in the main public hub of Oz, it was clear we were nearly equals. I knew what kind of tactics Love Machine would employ, and it slowly learned how I acted as the fight progressed. Flitting through the world library as we threw objects from the shelves at each other, I remember feeling truly alive. It was quite a rush to engage in such intense combat that was constantly changing on an untold number of variables.

OF course, my loss came as a surprise to me as it was to anyone, but I felt that I had truly done my best and that I would not be able to say I had not tried. After we were all rescued by Natsuki after the hanafuda game of the millennium was played, aniki no longer tried to impose any limits on me, in face removing a limit he had had in place since his creation of the account.

He removed the limit of muteness. I had not realized that my inability to speak was a direct result of aniki, but I quickly understood why this occurred. Aniki is a hikikomori, although less so now, and he did not wish for me to interact with others in a way he felt he could not. I do not blame aniki for this, and even now, I rarely speak, as there is almost no situation that I am required to do so.

Finally, I guess you know who I am by now. I am King Kazma, the King of the Arena and avatar of Kazuma Ikezawa. I believe that is all you need to know to know who I am. I hope this answers your question, and better yet, I wish to see you in the Arena.

You have been contemplating that exact thing?

Excellent. Whenever you're ready, we can begin. Do you wish for me to announce it as a ranked match, or keep it between us?

Very well, I will announce it at the hub, I hope to see you there shortly.

A/N: Well, that's my little random Summer Wars oneshot. I honestly have no idea what inspired me to do that. But whatever it was, it was awesome. Potentially shaped like a rabbit, but awesome.