Beginning~

Aincrad, a world inside the infamous VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) with 10,000 users who played the game. It supposed to be a fun and thrilling, however that incident which announced the entrapment of ten thousands people inside that virtual world has changed this game into the game of death.

My name is Yukimura Ando (24), a novelist that specialized in mystery genre. I'm not that famous, but at least my books still sell well. In order to relieve boredom after one of my book finished, I went to the nearby gamestore and bought a PS V, the newest gaming console that lots of people use nowadays.

After bought that and played few of its games for several months, I got tired and started to get bored again by the lack of the challenge. I dreamed to move my body freely in game and determine the outcome of battle through pure body and soul skills rather than just relying on character skills and button mashing.

Then at August 2022, I heard about this game from my nephew, Sword Art Online or SAO, the first and revolutionary VRMMORPG. My nephew Akio, was one of the beta tester of that game. He excitingly told me about how awesome that game is with shiny eyes when I went into his house that day in order to get a novel material that my brother, Akio's father possess. I could ask him to send it to my place but I thought that's rude, besides playing with my nephew and niece would relieve the stresses from my job. After talking a lot about that game, I got interested with it and did a research about it.

Apparently I need to get the Nerve Gear which is sold together with the game in order to play it. Since the beta phase has already ended, I need to wait until they launched live server. I found out that will be only 10,000 Nerve Gear that would be sold at 6 November 2022. I planned to do midnight line-up but since it might caused ruckus, I need to find another way.

Then at the end of October I was assigned as the writer of a famous romance fantasy manga by my editor, Shiba-san. He said the mangaka, Asakushi-sensei really loves my works and want to collaborate with me by creating a Light Novel based on his manga.

Since I didn't mind and I thought it was a good idea to promote my other books, I agreed when Shiba-san told me about this join-project. I also thought that was a good reason for me to made Shiba-san bought a copy of SAO by lining-up from midnight. Firstly, Shiba-san refused, but when I told him it was an important material that I need in order to do this collaboration project with Asakushi-sensei, he finally gave up and promised to line up from evening.

I felt little bad for sending Shiba-san there, but that feeling suddenly disappeared when I remembered about his nagging when it was close to deadline. Then, I spent that week calmly and sometimes went to Kyuudo Dojo (Archery Range) that my friend owns. I'm a hired instructor there and that's where I got income outside from novelist activities.

Then that day finally arrived. When I wrote the storyboard for Asakushi-sensei, Shiba-san entered my room. He looks like a zombie when he handed me the SAO package and the Nerve Gear. I thanked him and apologized for made him went through that situation.

After short chat, he went back to his house and told me that he wanted to sleep first before checking the storyboard. When I make sure he finally closed the door, I furiously opened the package and activated the Nerve Gear. I did some installation and reading the guide before finally start up and get ready. I saw the clock at my desktop PC, 5 more minutes before the server online. I really got impatient that it felt longer than it supposed to be. I played few MMO when I was young, though I stopped played them when my workload as Novelist and Kyuudo instructor increased dramatically. My first MMORPG after several years is a Virtual Reality one, there's no way I won't get this excited.

I sent an e-mail to Akio and told him to gave me his IGN (In Game Name) so I could contact him instantly when I finally get inside. He replied instantly and told me to quickly message him once I got online.

The clock at my PC finally showed two zeroes at the minute mark. I quickly put my Nerve Gear and said the keyword…

"LINK START!"