Chapter 4: The Missing Student

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"Elizabeth?"

"Yes!"

"Erika?"

"Yes."

Roll call proceed smoothly in class A-2 that morning. All the students on the list were faithfully present in the classroom... until the teacher reached that name.

"Mina?"

"..........."

"Mina Park?"

The teacher examined Mina's empty seat.

"Hah, again...?"

The teacher mumbled and skipped Mina's name on his tablet. Mina was absent for two days now. Normally, it wasn't a big deal.

However, Mina was a special case. Gossip quickly spread across the classroom.

"You think she finally decided to ditch school for good?"

"Haha, I bet she forgot that school even exists!"

"Heh, yeah. Anything is possible with that weirdo."

In class A-2, the girl known as Mina Park was a peculiar creature. She was a gamer girl and she was very public about this fact.

Erika could secretly attest that Mina wasn't the only girl in class with gaming hobbies. However, no other "gamer girl" went around and proudly pronounced "I play games!".

Erika avoided participating in the gossip, but she listened to it with mild curiosity. As the class president, she deemed it important to know all the main troubles in class.

Her attention was drawn to a particular pack of boys. They were gamers who knew Mina a little better than others.

"Ya think she became a shut-in for good?"

"Dunno, bro. Didn't she mention playing GoVe?"

"Then a VR shut-in she is, haha."

The boys laughed at the odd creature that was Mina Park. They were fellow gamers just like Mina, but they didn't consider her "one of them".

Erika was familiar with the game mentioned in the boys' conversation. "GoVe" was the stylized acronym for "God Vessel Online". It the same virtual reality game in which RosemaryQueen showcased fluffy bunnies.

Depending on how the situation will escalate, Mina might be tagged as a "shut-in student".

And this is why we can't have nice things.

Such incidents were great at giving bad reputation to gamers. Erika sighed and hoped that Mina was missing school for legitimate reasons, and that the infamous gamer girl will properly attend school tomorrow.

Meanwhile...

"Haaa!!!"

A skeleton was smashed by a big axe.

"Haa... haa..."

Mina panted in daze. She hardly stood on her feet. Her left arm was bandaged and completely numb. Her right arm trembled as she pushed herself to hold the heavy axe.

She felt strange weariness and fatigue which weren't caused directly by fighting.

【WARNING】【Your health appears to be unstable. Immediate logout is strongly advised.】

A countdown appeared below the warning message. It indicted the time left until Mina will be forced to logout from the game.

"S... shut up, you dumb system..."

Mina tightened the grip around the axe and poked the【Abort】option. Both the countdown and the message disappeared.

"Heh! Who... who the hell do you think I am?"

She laughed in confidence, even though she could easily collapse at any moment. She struggled to even keep track of her dangerous surroundings.

"Ugh!!!"

Her defenseless back was slashed.

"You dumb shithead- UGH!!"

She was stabbed in the arm by another blade.

"Fuck..."

Her reactions were too numb. Mina collapsed on her knees and crashed into the ground. The vicious skeletons continued to stab her defenseless body, but Mina was too hazy to feel any of that.

"Ah... I need to... reach... Trilz..."

She stretched her shaking arm toward the distant city. How many times has it already been? She lost count after the twenties.

The more she tried - the farther away her destination seemed. In the end, she died again.

When she respawned in the nearby village, Mina stared at the sky in daze. Something at the back of her mind was nagging her.

"Why do I feel like I'm forgetting something...?"

The clear sky didn't yield an answer.

"Bah, whatever... probably nothing important. Off to Trilz again!"

She pointed her axe forward and marched in confidence, despite tripping every other step. Thus, Mina remained absent for another day.


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/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ Don't forget to vote if you liked the chapter!

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