.hack//Legacy

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Kuukai
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.hack//Legacy

Post by Kuukai »

In recognition of CyberConnect2's 20th anniversary and the start of Project N.U., here is a translation of .hack//Legacy, the short novel that serves as an epilogue to Kite and BlackRose's story. This was translated by me and my girlfriend—who is on here as @0!Tori—as a fun side project. We will be doing some editing and releasing the chapters over a period of time.

Bonus Novel
.hack//Legacy

“.hack” Complete Background Reference Collection .hack//Archives_03
Special Novel


Supervision: Hiroshi Matsuyama & Hiroto Niizato
Written by: Masayuki Yano
Illustrated by: Yukie Kaneyama


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Kuukai
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kuukai »

1 - First

"Evolution... does not always mean progress."
He pressed a switch, and audio data began to play.
It was a speech he had already listened to countless times.
“Evolution sometimes leads to an undesired vector. It is arrogant for one to reject change because it is undesirable.”

As he listened to the voice, Lios snorted. He thought it was meaningless nonsense. It seemed to him that anyone who would start forcefully applying a vague concept like “evolution” was trying to pass judgment by bending and twisting everything in a way that conveniently fit in with one’s own circumstances. Meaningless nonsense nonetheless, if these were the words left behind by the developer of “The World,” Lios couldn’t disregard them. Frustrating though it was, therein lay the problem.

Image

“Rejection of change is the rejection of possibilities. Allow diversity.”
Lios stopped the audio data, closed his eyes, and sighed.
What he would be attempting to do after this was by no means his idea. However, he had to carry it out. Having carefully considered it many times over, that was the conclusion he had reached.

Lios flipped the communication switch.
“It’s me. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I still wouldn’t believe it.”
Lios checked the connection and began speaking gravely.
“Everything’s in place. I’ve already sent them all the e-mail.”
He checked the time out of the corner of his eye.

“It’s almost time. They should be logging in any second now. Everything’s going according to plan. … Yeah. … Ah, right. That’s not a problem. I’ll explain. I’ll leave the flow in the area to your discretion... What?”
The person on the other end of the line pointed out that he was trailing off.
“Shut up!!” he barked without thinking.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kazetrigger »

Hey Kuukai! Good stuff. I look forward to more.

Out of curiosity. Where did you get the .hack//Archives? I found them on Amazon Japan, but they're fairly expensive to import. Did you find any good prices? I usually don't care for art books, but if there's any canon story whatsoever, I want it. haha
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by SSJScygoku »

d(^__^) Thanking you for taking on the task of translating this~
Kazetrigger wrote:I found them on Amazon Japan, but they're fairly expensive to import.
What about getting the LIGHT version which is only around 3000 yen? I know they ship it internationally and its cheaper than the other versions @.@
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kazetrigger »

SSJScygoku wrote:d(^__^) Thanking you for taking on the task of translating this~
Kazetrigger wrote:I found them on Amazon Japan, but they're fairly expensive to import.
What about getting the LIGHT version which is only around 3000 yen? I know they ship it internationally and its cheaper than the other versions @.@
I could get the LIGHT versions. Is there much of a difference between the versions or is it just that the LIGHT version is printed on a different material?
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by SSJScygoku »

Kazetrigger wrote:I could get the LIGHT versions. Is there much of a difference between the versions or is it just that the LIGHT version is printed on a different material?
As I understand it, the LIGHT versions have the same content but are softcover releases and ofcourse don't have any extras like the Limited Edition versions of 02 WHITE or 03 had.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kazetrigger »

SSJScygoku wrote:
Kazetrigger wrote:I could get the LIGHT versions. Is there much of a difference between the versions or is it just that the LIGHT version is printed on a different material?
As I understand it, the LIGHT versions have the same content but are softcover releases and ofcourse don't have any extras like the Limited Edition versions of 02 WHITE or 03 had.
Thanks for the info. I found them all, and 01 is on it's way. I'll be saving up to get the rest of them over the ensuing months. If I find any useful things to translate, they may end up on .hack//Translate.

Here's the list I currently want:

.hack Archives_01 to 05 (I have 01 ordered)
.hack//Guilty Dragon Visual Works #1-3
.hack//Quantum Complete Guide

There are a few others, but I don't really need them badly since they don't have new story in them as far as I know.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by SSJScygoku »

Kazetrigger wrote: Thanks for the info. I found them all, and 01 is on it's way. I'll be saving up to get the rest of them over the ensuing months. If I find any useful things to translate, they may end up on .hack//Translate.

There are a few others, but I don't really need them badly since they don't have new story in them as far as I know.
d(@.@) no problem! Luckily you should beable to order all the archives (LIGHT) from amazon without needing a forwarding service.

A good list and if you get all the LIGHT versions then the archives will match :D

They recently released a 4th Visual Works,i'm always hopeful for more to cover the remaining cards ^^'

I'm sure Kuukai could tell if any others had a new story in it.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Xu Yuan »

Oh man! Some more characterization of Lios! This is off to a fantastic start, even having Harald play a key role in whatever is going on. I can't wait to see where this goes! Thank you very much Kuukai!
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Falions »

Kazetrigger wrote:
SSJScygoku wrote:d(^__^) Thanking you for taking on the task of translating this~
Kazetrigger wrote:I found them on Amazon Japan, but they're fairly expensive to import.
What about getting the LIGHT version which is only around 3000 yen? I know they ship it internationally and its cheaper than the other versions @.@
I could get the LIGHT versions. Is there much of a difference between the versions or is it just that the LIGHT version is printed on a different material?
I bought the hardcover version and spent a good $100 on it, and don't regret it at all (Mind you I am Canadian and our dollar isn't that great. I think it was about $80 USD)
Definitely get the hardcover if you are a dedicated .hack fan. It's like an exact replica of the Book of Twilight, and a year later I'm still pulling it out just to look at the damn thing. It's beautiful!

As for this novel...
Thanks again as usual, Kuukai. Harald has always been one of (if not the) my favourite .hack characters ever. Ever since I came across him in the upside down dungeon in SIGN, he left an impression on me I'll never forget. In fact, the protagonist of my first published short story was named Harald too (and his wife was named Emma, accordingly).
Can't wait to see where this goes.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Avatar_Crim »

Falions wrote:the protagonist of my first published short story was named Harald too (and his wife was named Emma, accordingly).
Can't wait to see where this goes.
hold up. you have a short story published? that's awesome.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Falions »

Avatar_Crim wrote:
Falions wrote:the protagonist of my first published short story was named Harald too (and his wife was named Emma, accordingly).
Can't wait to see where this goes.
hold up. you have a short story published? that's awesome.
Yes! I am first and foremost a history student but writing has always been my main passion. That and .hack :lol:
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Avatar_Crim »

Falions wrote:Yes! I am first and foremost a history student but writing has always been my main passion. That and .hack :lol:
That is awesome. Congrats dude.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kuukai »

2 - Second

Before I was even sure the Chaos Gate had flashed, I was already standing at the entrance of Highland City Dun Loireag.

A blue sky reminiscent of early summer. The strong rays of the sun. Long, winding wooden bridges that jutted out in midair, coiling around the mountain faces like a three-dimensional labyrinth. Far below, a sea of white clouds gently rolled by, pushed by the breeze.

Image

About to start running toward the center of the root town, I wondered just how high up it was. Since it was called "Highland City," I figured the height should be something worthy of the name. Could it be higher than Mt. Fuji? I’ve only ever been to Mt. Fuji once, on a family trip a long time ago. Instead of climbing it, we drove around the base in the car, sightseeing along the way. I was a third-year in elementary school. That’s the extent of my experience with mountains. I did once go to a picnic on the hill behind my school, but that of course wasn’t a true mountain. It was more of a mound than anything.

So I had no means of determining just how high up Dun Loireag was, nor how precisely it had been recreated. The howl of the wind coming through the FMD gave me the feeling it was really high up, but again, I had no way of knowing for sure.

Ah, but it wasn't the time to think about things like that. The time for our meeting had long since past. I started running across the bridge.

If this were real life, there’s absolutely no way I’d be able to run so quickly over such a rickety structure. With footwork I possessed only inside the game, I slipped past the other PCs coming and going, glancing at the rocky crags extending upward as I ran. I passed the bridges that led to the equipment shop and the magic shop, and before long my destination, the grunty farm, came into view.

I stopped just before the entrance and jumped a few times with both feet. It was something of a habit of mine within the game.

When I’m logged into “The World,” I sometimes get a strange feeling, almost like vertigo. I guess it’s something like a vague sense of discomfort I get from slipping from reality into the virtual game space. There's a strange disconnect in sensation. To shake that off, I hop up and down a few times to better sync my body with the virtual version of it compiled in the game as my PC. At least that’s the theory BlackRose came up with when she called me out on my hopping the other day. I can’t say myself what the real reason is. Well, I guess habits are just like that.

Inside the fence of the grunty farm, that very same BlackRose was idly standing around, leaning against a sword as tall as she was. A young grunty frolicked around her feet.

“Oink! Oink!”

When I passed the grunty shop NPC and entered the farm, BlackRose noticed me. The look she gave me was half relieved and half exasperated.

Image

“You’re late, Kite! Laaaate!”

“Sorry. My homework took longer than I thought.”

After apologizing for my tardiness, I pointed at the baby grunty at BlackRose’s feet. “Seems like you’ve grown pretty attached. Are you going to try raising him?”

BlackRose picked up the grunty and peered closely at the ugly tip of its nose, appraising. She shook her head. “Emm, I think I’ll pass. Whenever I raise them, for some reason they all end up turning into Noble Grunties.”

BlackRose set the wriggling grunty back down, pulled her hair back with her left hand, looked at me, and smiled. In her expression I saw not BlackRose, but the player Hayami Akira. I quickly looked away.

Six months had passed since the end of our battle with Morganna.

Six months ago, BlackRose and I, along with our friends, put an end to the incident occurring within “The World” that began blurring the line between the virtual space and reality.

I joined the fight to help my friend Yasuhiko, who had fallen into a coma while playing the game. Likewise, BlackRose fought to save her younger brother, who had suffered the same fate. Everyone joined for their own reasons, and we came together to take on the “god” within “The World,” the autonomous program Morganna Mode Gone.

Once it was over, everyone started talking about meeting up offline. I immediately agreed. I wanted to better get to know the friends I had made playing “The World,” and more than anything I wanted to meet BlackRose and thank her in-person.

Akira got to the café a little late, and when she came in, it was just like BlackRose herself had burst out of the game. I could see the tanned female warrior in every single one of her mannerisms. I knew from the e-mails we’d exchanged that she was two years older than me, but she looked truly stunning in her high school blazer. For some reason I got strangely nervous sitting next to her, and I ended up spilling my cola all over the floor. In my scramble to mop it up, I didn’t get to express my gratitude to her, which had been my plan from the start. Even now I’m mortified thinking about it.

“So, what about Lios? He isn’t with you?” BlackRose asked.

“No. I’m by myself. He isn’t here yet.”

I looked around the grunty farm. The wasn’t any need to check; BlackRose and I were the only ones in the farm. The only others were the young grunty and the grunty shopkeeper.

“What’s with that guy? Calling people in and then showing up late,” complained BlackRose, who didn’t harbor many great feelings about Lios.

“I mean, whenever Lios e-mails us, he never has anything good to say, does he? I have a really bad feeling about this. He’s going to push something really annoying on us, I’m sure of it. Isn’t that how it always goes?”

“Sorry about that.”

We were surprised when the grunty farm owner we had thought was just an NPC suddenly started speaking.

“Lios, you’re here?”

BlackRose and I were both taken aback.

“Yes. It’s me. I got here before either of you and I’ve been waiting.”

The rugged grunty shopkeeper folded his arms and looked sharply at us from the eye that didn’t have a patch. His pompous attitude pretty much confirmed that he was the C.C. Corp. system administrator Lios.

“Hey buddy, quit going around pretending to be an NPC. You’ve got pretty bad taste to be doing that.”

“You’re the ones who mistook me. I simply chose the most suitable body to come here and logged in. There’s no problem with that,” Lios said moodily, his tone grouchy.

When I first met him, I wondered why he was always in such a huff and if there wasn’t some sort of deep reason for it. Now that I know it’s just his personality, I’m used to it and don’t think much of it.

If you really think about it, using an NPC body to surprise the people he’s meeting with could be his way of being playful, which is to say it could be his way of showing affection. But it could also not be. Actually, I don’t think it is. Nope. Probably not.

While I was thinking this BlackRose’s face began to turn an alarming color, so I stepped forward and put myself between them.

“So what is it, Lios? What did you call us about?”

“Right. The truth is, an area concealing a remnant of Morganna was discovered.”

“A remwhat?”

“The unfavorable legacy left behind by Morganna Mode Gone. In other words, a surviving Data Bug. We believe this could be the last one.”

BlackRose and I looked at each other.

After Morganna disappeared from “The World,” the illegal monsters dependent on her, Data Bugs, had seldom shown signs of existence. After the incident, to reopen operation of “The World,” CC Corp performed a thorough long-term investigation, and concluded that the Data Bugs in “The World” had ceased to exist.

And yet, one did.

“Late last night a distinctive data wavelength indicative of a Data Bug was detected in an area, and as a result of our analysis, we’ve concluded it to be the last monster outside of the system specifications within ‘The World,’” Lios explained gravely.

“There’s one thing I should say. If we delete that databug…” Lios paused there.

“That is, if you data drain it, your bracelet will probably disappear.”

I was shocked by Lios’s admission.

“Huh?! What’s that supposed to mean?” BlackRose shouted, equally surprised.

“The data wavelength the bracelet gives off and the data wavelength of the newly discovered databug are inverse matches. It's similar to when you fought Cubia. Back then, you destroyed the bracelet and eliminated Cubia. This time, it’s likely the bracelet will disappear when you data drain the databug.”

I looked at my right wrist. Of course there wasn’t anything there. Only when I unleashed the power of the Bracelet of Daybreak, which bestowed upon me the divine protection of Aura, the goddess of “The World,” did the geometric patterns of the data sequence take shape and appear on my arm.

“There must be some mistake. That’s…”

“No, I think Lios might be right.”

BlackRose looked at me, shocked.

This whole time I’d been wondering why Aura entrusted this bracelet to me after the incident. Until Lios’s revelation, I’d thought it was simply my duty to protect it.

But hearing it said out loud, it was actually quite simple.

I would restore peace and stability to the world, because that was the will of Aura and the bracelet.

I looked to Lios and nodded. “If there aren’t any databugs, there won’t be any reason for the bracelet to exist, either. It makes sense that it would disappear.”

“I understand. So this will be my last task as the owner of the bracelet.”

I felt a dull ache in my chest at my own words.

Lios folded his arms and turned away from us, trying to avert his eyes.

“Then go. The enemy should be lurking on the lowest level of the dungeon. The keywords are…”
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Xu Yuan »

This is a great buildup. I do have to admit until they reached BlackRose I had no idea who was talking, I thought at first it was Lios, which was a kind of silly thought but it's great to finally see some of Kite's internal monologues. The games, though he was the main character, rarely did that. I especially loved the bit about the reasoning why he jumps up and down, which is in order to sync his body with his virtual avatar. (Granted it's the default animation for all Twin Blades in IMOQ but a nice bit of thought). You get a more concrete sense that mannerisms and the like are carried over from the real world into the avatars, a concept that was lightly touched upon in AI Buster and Another Birth, but never so blatantly stated as here.

This is perfectly like stepping back more than ten years ago and reading something fresh from the first generation. So far I can say whoever put this together seems to have understood the first generation extremely well.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Adhemas »

I can only agree with Xu Yuan's post here. And it's a great time being a .hack fan, considering all the stuff we're getting. One of the things I always missed to some degree were epilogues or short stories which take place a few months or years after the big events (I would also like to know what happened with the SIGN cast in that regard). So it's nice to see BlackRose and Kite interacting again - it still feels faithful to the style the first games and LNs had.

I am kinda looking forward to that bug too. Considering that it is some kind of inversed Bracelet (at least data wise) it will probably be more than just some monster. Makes me wonder if they'll reference human Cubia from the (non-canon) manga here in one way or another, even though I doubt it. Anyway, great read. Thank you, Kuukai.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Falions »

I'm glad they're offering some sort of conclusion to Kite getting the bracelet again in the post-game of Quarantine, other than it having to be a necessity to keep playing after you've cleared the story. It feels like a good final chapter to their story.

It is also always fun to hear about the offline side of things! There just never was enough in R:1, but that was part of the charm.
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kuukai »

Our destination was a jungle. It looked like a normal area, with nothing out of the ordinary.

So far, all of the areas we’d been to containing databugs had some serious data corruption or caused connection problems, but there wasn’t any sign of that here. Somewhere off in the distance I heard the call of a bird or a monkey. It was soothing.

Image

But of course we couldn’t let our guard down.

Careful not to overlook even the slightest irregularity, we sought out the dungeon entrance and started making our way there.

Fields for jungle areas consisted of a series of small ground parts linked together, like dungeons. Normal monsters appeared in our path several times along the way, but they weren’t any match for our level. We defeated them without difficulty.

Before long, we reached an area without a Magic Portal and took a break to recharge our SP.

“Ha!” BlackRose looked at me and chuckled.

“Huh? What is it?”

“You’re hopping again.”

I hadn’t even noticed I’d been hopping until she pointed it out.

“…Oh, sorry. Is it bothering you?”

“No, it’s not that. It seems like you’re checking your footing when you do it.”

“My footing?”

What was she talking about? I’d understand being concerned about watching my step in a place like Dun Loireag, but this was a normal area. I wasn’t really worried about where I was walking.

“No, that’s not what I mean. ‘Footing’ isn’t quite right...”

BlackRose looked thoughtful, searching for just the right expression, and then her face lit up.

“Oh! It’s like you’re confirming where you are.”

I was a bit surprised. I hadn’t had that thought.

“Huh. I don’t think it’s something that significant.”

“It definitely is,” BlackRose said confidently. A small light particle effect traced out a string of characters, slowly crossing in front of her face.

“I mean, isn’t it just like that?”

“Could be.”

“It is.”

Hearing her say it so definitively made me think she could be right. Well, I guess habits are that sort of thing. Following our silly chat, BlackRose’s expression suddenly grew serious as she spoke again.

“...The bracelet’s going to disappear, huh?”

“Yeah.”

“After the fight with Cubia, you got it back again, but this time it’ll be gone for good…”

I recalled what Lios had said in Dun Loireag: “It’s similar to when you fought Cubia. Back then, you destroyed the bracelet and defeated Cubia…”

Cubia was, in a way, the foe that had tormented us the most.

Cubia was the anti-existence of the bracelet, and as both the bracelet and its owner grew stronger, Cubia grew to formidable strength as well. In the end, to defeat Cubia we had no choice but to destroy the bracelet. There was likely no way we could have beaten him without destroying it, because Cubia and the bracelet were two sides of the same coin.

“I feel like maybe I’ll miss it, or I’ll feel helpless without it…” BlackRose said somberly, and then added in an odd tone of voice, “Funny I should say that when I’m the one who broke it.”

She was the one who had swung her broadsword and shattered the bracelet during the battle with Cubia.

She and I both laughed.

Just then, I heard a sullen-sounding whisper right behind me.

“You aren’t in very much of a hurry, Kite-san...”

Startled, I turned around. A small girl PC was standing there. I was sure there hadn’t been anyone besides us in the area a moment ago. I hadn’t been at all aware that someone had been approaching us.

“Who are you?” I asked.

The intruder said, “I…” strangely drawing out her words.

“I’m in no rush for time. Also, what I’ve disturbed you with isn’t anything urgent. I don’t mind waiting for you to finish your conversation.”

“Who are you?” BlackRose asked.

“Of course if you don’t mind cutting your talk short on my behalf, I’ll reveal what my business is. But I don’t mind. I’ll wait.”

She looked to be about 10 years old, with fair, androgynous features. Her clothing was simple, made out of unbleached fabric. There was nothing remarkable about her outward appearance, but my eyes were drawn to the weapon she was carrying. It looked like a long iron rod that had forcibly been twisted into shape. It appeared to be a broadsword weapon, but I’d never seen one with such an odd design.

Image

BlackRose shouted, “Then tell us who you are!” She was getting irritated.

“Huh? Oh, me?”

As though BlackRose’s voice had opened her eyes, she blinked furiously and pressed her hands to her face; I couldn’t tell if she was role-playing or being genuine. She casually whispered, “Indeed, who am I? That’s something of considerable interest. Who could I be? But, well, if it’s my present name you’re after, I can tell you right away. Would that be all right?”

A seemingly friendly, innocent smile came across her broad face. “I’m called Spoke. I’m a huge fan of the .hackers. I am very happy to be able to meet both of you.”

Soon after the end of the Morganna Incident, little by little we became known across the Internet via the BBS as the hero team that prevented the worst of the damage from the Second Network Crisis. At the same time, gossip about me personally became common talk. I only learned of it later, but it all started from Orca dubbing us the .hackers and posting on the forums.

It was said that the red Twin Blade who was leader of the group was an unbeatable master PC.

It was said that not only was he incredibly smart, but he was courageous, as well.

It was said that he showed great decisiveness.

It was said that he was empathetic and couldn’t abandon anyone in need. And so on.

Before long, PCs I’d never seen before who called themselves my fans started calling out to me out of nowhere, badgering me to take screenshots, and asking if I could trade them items as commemorative tokens. While this was going on, the .hackers website got flooded with traffic; I had MP3 mics thrust before me, and a famous Internet broadcast requested I make an appearance. (I politely declined.)

Countless imposters using my name began starting threads like, “I’m Kite of the Azure Flame! Ask me anything!” and posting outrageously fake tales of our heroic deeds. Volunteers put together tours that followed the steps of the .hackers. This kind of uproar went on and on following the Morganna Incident.

As one would expect, the fervor had certainly cooled in the six months since the incident, but this Heavy Blade user calling herself Spoke appeared before me as a fan of the .hackers, which hadn’t happened in a while.

“So…” she said, in that polite, but drawn-out and monotonous voice, “would you please let me in your party? I’ll definitely be useful.”
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Kuukai »

(For comparison)
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Re: .hack//Legacy

Post by Xu Yuan »

A possibly similar outfit, everything else looks to be fairly different I would say though. The weapon at first I thought may have been some reference to the Goddess Scythe, but closer inspection of the Goddess Scythe has its folding parts made out of some odd energy rather than bone. Then again the story might go on to further elucidate the theory.

What is interesting here is all but affirmation that Kite's title became "Kite of the Azure Flame" and displays pretty well how the legend of the dot hackers became known. The idea of "tours" were put together to retrace their steps is a strange one though. I wonder how normal players could have pieces those together?
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