His vision blurred for a few seconds when he used the teleport formation.
He can smell the fragrance of nature the moment he entered this place. The smell of unfamiliar grass irritated his nose so he coughed on reflex. He’s still a bit dizzy from the combo attack of being teleported and choked by grass scent.
He raised his head and he rubbed Heaven Gazer before he tried to ascertain his current location. Everywhere he looked, he saw a plaza greater than the widest plaza in Tolbana. Countless medieval European-styled buildings surrounded this plaza in a very aesthetic manner. He can see a few NPCs walking around so this plaza isn’t as desolate at first appeared.
Wu Yan noticed the fountain behind him. In the center of that fountain, he can see what looks like a wizard staff. This staff is bigger than a standard staff. It’s taller than Wu Yan and it’s emitting the stench that irritated Wu Yan’s nose when he first arrived here.
He can’t help but riff on this giant wizard staff. SAO is supposed to be a world of swords and other cold steel weapons. There wasn’t anything like magic or douqi in this world. The closest equivalent to magic would be sword skills. Who’s the genius that placed a giant wizard staff here? Is it a conversation starter? Or maybe it’s not a wizard staff?…
He threw away these useless thoughts and he opened up the map inside the game system.
Inside SAO, there’s no map function inside the labyrinth. Players are expected to make their own maps after exploring and applying legends to the layout of the place. Then, the players can snap a pic of the map they drew to use as a reference. That, or, the player risks running around in circles the next time they enter the maze.
Outside the maze, the fields, villages, towns, and mob hunting areas are marked in the maps of the players. The detail and usefulness of these maps vary depending on whether it’s inside or outside towns. For field monsters and the wilderness, there are just general location markers. Meanwhile, the maps of towns are incredibly intricate and detailed.
Wu Yan found a hotel on the map and he started heading straight for it. The news of the 1st floor being cleared should reach all the players by now. In no time at all, they would be swarming the second floor. He didn’t want to bother with greeting other players. He knew how irresistible he can be to the common folks.
Wu Yan thought for a bit and then he closed his map. He sent Sachi a new email.
“I am on the second floor. Come find me when you come with the other guild members, I am staying at the inn closest to the teleport point.”
Sachi sent a reply very quickly. However, the content was a bit puzzling to Wu Yan.
“Onii-san! You finally contacted me. I thought you’re very busy doing something on the second floor, I didn’t want to bother you so I didn’t send you any mails. You know, you’re very famous on the first floor right now!”
Wu Yan blinked his eyes.
He confirmed that it wasn’t a typo and he didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry.
He was pretty famous already. Beta tester, ex-military personnel, those titles alone are very scintillating on their own. In one month, most players can recognize him from his look and equipment.
What does she mean by famous?
Sachi followed up with another mail.
“I am not talking about that. Onii-san, they are talking about your performance during the raid boss battle. You one-hit-killed the Kobold Sentinels, and you fought 1v1 with the floor boss. You also beat the boss on your own. All the players know about this because it’s just so sensational.”
“From the players waiting to be rescued in the Town of Beginnings to the hardcore gamers leveling themselves up in the fields, to the artisans grinding their sub-jobs, they are all talking about you like you’re a star!”
Wu Yan wasn’t sure what to say, he could see Sachi’s very excited and happy on his behalf.
“Star? That’s putting it a bit…”
“Onii-san, you don’t understand the consequences of your actions, do you?…”
Sachi followed up.
“In SAO, most players are pessimistic at anyone clearing this death game. Even the skillful players are living like zombies, they are afraid of death.”
“But, you changed that, Onii-san. You solo-ed the boss and you lit the flames of hope in every player’s heart. They are also very motivated as they wanted to mimic your achievements. You’re the legend that further stoked their desire to survive!”
Wu Yan made a few typos when he sent his PMs.
“I thought they are hostile towards beta testers? They assumed I’m a beta tester, right? Why would they make me an idol all of a sudden?”
“Sure, they hated beta testers. They are just envious that the beta testers hoarded precious information to themselves while ignoring the interest of other novice players…”
“But, since you’re someone who might be able to clear this death game, they started treating you like a hero!”
“The raid group who fought with you disclosed what happened during the raid, in less than half an hour, nobody took the credit of killing the boss. They are treating you like you’re the strongest player in this game!”
Wu Yan pursed his lips and he rolled his eyes.
“I want to pass on the hero title. I want to clear the 100th floor but it’s not because I want to save everyone, as for the title of the strongest player…”
“Well, that’s just a factual statement so I can’t refute it!”
Sachi didn’t reply for a short while when he fired that message. After that, he got a reply.
“Onii-san is so incredible…”
Wu Yan chuckled to himself. He accepted Sachi’s praise, he steered the conversation towards a lighter end.
Sachi sounded very excited in her PMs. He can practically feel her cheerful aura beaming out of the documents. Wu Yan felt very wholesome when he read her witty mails and elated messages.
When he first met Sachi, she turned into a statue when he rubbed his head. She’s like a wall violet that kept to herself at her quiet corner. After spending about one month with Wu Yan, they exchanged a lot of mails despite not physically meeting up more than a few times a month.
Wu Yan can gauge her changing personality from Sachi’s positive mails. He can see that she’s coming out of her shell. She didn’t wake up and tremble in fear in her room like in the original SAO. He’s glad to see she’s more optimistic by the day.
For Sachi, she changed because she has a superman of a brother she can rely on. It felt like he can punch back the sky should the sky collapse on her. Shion also helped her transformation.
Inside the Moonlit Black Cats, Sachi is the only female member before Sachi joined. Sachi might be friends with Souta & co, but she still bottled her thoughts and feelings from them. This was until she met Shion and she joined their guild. Sachi finally found her soul sister.
With reliable support and Shion’s bouncy personality as the catalyst, Sachi spoke about her fear and other secrets with Shion. All these factors helped Sachi crawl out from the torments of her inner demons, unlike the time when Kirito met Sachi in the original work.
Souta also said Sachi’s a bit timid in the real world, however, she’s very warm and friendly to others. The pressure of death inside this game must have broken her.
Doing great on her recovery, Sachi slowly regained her warm and friendly side. The MVP who should be thanked for all of this is Shion who once wanted to tag along with Wu Yan.
As for Wu Yan, well, he served his purpose as a reliable emotional support.