With a loud thump as her book was slammed shut, Weiss was finally done with her homework that her private tutor had assigned her. Weiss's Father insisted that she continued studying over summer break and hired a very expensive tutor for her. She quickly glanced at her clock by her bed, she notices she has twenty mins left before she had to meet her friend.
'guess I better get ready to jump online, don't want to be late to meet Pyrrha.' Weiss pondered as she walked up to the side of her bed. A black skintight article of clothing that resembled a wetsuit sat on her bed, neatly folded and ready to be worn.
The suit had a front zipper that started from the top of the neck and ended just a centimeter or so above the waistline. Weiss began the process of changing into the suit and once she had it on, she decided to check herself out in the full-size mirror standing by her dresser.
"a-a bit tighter than I thought it would be…" she grumbled, adjusting the material against her pale skin. The suit hugged her body rather tightly. It was so tight that it fit her body so perfectly as if it were a second layer of skin.
Satisfied with the fit, Weiss finally laid down on her bed. Grabbing the helmet that was sitting on her nightstand and securely strapped it to her head. Laying down as straight as possible, she was ready despite how anxious she was. She has never used a Full Real VR device (or FRVR for short) before. FRVR was a rather new gaming tech, only existing for about 4 years. Using a skintight suit and a helmet combination to block the brain signals from reaching the rest of your body, instead using them as inputs into whatever game you were playing. As a safety feature, the suit also monitors the brainwaves, breathing, and heartbeat as well as the player's temperature. Weiss reminded herself of these things before taking a deep breath.
'they spent a whole decade perfecting the safety system alone, it's not like you'll get stuck in the game or anything.' Weiss reassured herself, shoving her anxiety to the side.
Weiss took one more deep breath and closed her eyes. "game start" she commanded and the helmet flicked on. A slight numbness slowly engulfed her and grew slowly, it felt like she was being forced to sleep by an unknown entity. After a few seconds, everything became white. Weiss couldn't feel anything as if she didn't have a body to command, but that quickly changed as room faded into existence around her. The room appeared to have a medieval aesthetic to it, completely made of wood. It wasn't too big, just enough space for one person to be satisfied with. Weiss quickly realized she finally had a body. Looking around the room, she noticed a oval shaped mirror in the corner of the room. a floating interface panel that was translucent appeared in front of said mirror. Walking up to the mirror, Weiss looked herself over, she was wearing a white button up shirt and brown trousers and boots. Her hair was brown and went to her shoulders instead of her alabaster hair that nearly reached her waistline back in the real world. At first she was confused by her reflection, but quickly reminded herself that this was probably the default hairstyle for girls entering Beacon of Remnants Online, also known as BRO. Weiss chuckled a little at the shortened name. not the best abbreviation she had ever seen, but she guessed it had its charm.
Shifting her gaze to the interface, she noticed there were little pictures of hair styles and colors, eye colors was also displayed below the hair options. She was a bit disappointed by the lack of character customization but that was sadly due to the nature of the suit and helmet her real body was wearing, it limited player customization due to concerns of how a player's character model and its proportions might affect the player's brain. For example, if the model had longer legs than in the player's real-life body, the brain would have trouble with balancing and walking. So to play it safe, the designers made the suit create the player's character model based off the player's own real life body proportions via the skintight suit.
Weiss was amazed at all the different hairstyles, she tried counting all of them out of pure curiosity but gave up at fifty, with maybe a hundred or so more remaining. One particular hairstyle caught her eyes, a ponytail that was slightly off set to the right. Such a simple design yet she couldn't help but feel like it was perfect for her, quickly touching the style with her index finger, her hair immediately changed to the desired haircut. Shifting her head side to side, she noticed the ponytail swayed with her movements. "perfect." Weiss said, looking at herself wearing a genuine smile. A smile she hadn't seen in a long time. Shifting back to the interface, she browsed the hair colors. Apparently, there were even choices for coloring certain parts of the hair, such as the tips for example. Deciding to go with a simple single color, Weiss chose an icy blue, she chose the same color for her eyes as well so that they matched.
She Looked herself over in the mirror for the fourth time, she wanted to make sure everything was perfect. "I am definitely gonna try this hairstyle in the real world someday." Weiss said, letting out a playful giggle. Wait. A giggle? Weiss felt weird; she couldn't remember the last time she giggled. Shaking her head, she shoved those thoughts away. Weiss clicked the finish button and a door along the wall on her right appeared. "ok, time to go out and find Pyrrha" Weiss opened the door and passed through the doorway. It was bright, it was as if she had just walked out into the sun for the first time in 6 months. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the light, and she was quickly overwhelmed. She was in a city, one that looked like the kinda she would have seen in fantasy movies. People were everywhere, sitting on benches, chatting at cafes, running down the streets with friends. The city she found herself in certainly felt like a city.
"ok, Pyrrha said that there is a fountain down the street from where you enter the game." Weiss recalled Pyrrha's directions on how to meet her. Beginning her trek down a street that resembled the street Pyrrha described to her back at Lunch on Tuesday.
Weiss arrived at the large fountain which sat in the center of a round plaza with various shops built into the surrounding buildings. The fountain was made of stone with a marble angel statue sitting in the center with its hands clasped together in a praying gesture. 6 marble roses surrounded the marble angel at its feet, gushing out water from deep inside the center of the roses.
Weiss began looking around for someone that might resemble Pyrrha's character model that she described to her back on Tuesday. "I wonder if she's late?" Weiss pondered out loud to no one but herself. She summoned a small menu interface, showing the time in the top right corner, telling her that she was still five minutes early. "or I am just early…" grumbling to herself, she quickly closed the menu interface and walked up towards the fountain.
Weiss sat the edge of the fountain to wait for her friend, observing all the players and various shops around her. Ten minutes fly by and Weiss was quickly becoming impatient, tapping her foot on the ground with her arms crossed. "Where the hell is she?" Weiss growled. "it's not like Pyrrha to keep people waiting like this." Only a few seconds pass before a player with a bright red cape and hood caught her attention, or rather it was what the hooded player had on her back that stuck out from under her crimson cape. If she had to guess, it was a giant sword that was probably as big as the hooded player.
'someone is certainly compensating for something' Weiss scoffed with a smug look.
Suddenly, she noticed the other player that the hooded figure was talking to pointed towards Weiss. The hooded figure turned their head, revealing a very young and round looking face. Weiss swears she saw the hooded figure have a giant grin on her face. Wait. Her? A girl was wielding such a large sword? before she knew it, the hooded girl ran up to Weiss, pulling her hood down to reveal herself. The girl was maybe only three inches taller than Weiss, which irritated Weiss greatly since she was so used to wearing heels in the real world, without her heels she was greatly diminished to her small stature of a measly five feet. Weiss noticed the girl had short red tipped black hair and blood red eyes, wore a black corset over a red blouse and a black skirt to match the corset. She had silver looking shoulder pads and matching bracers and finally a pair of black combat boots. Weiss had to admit, the girl looked badass. With a cute face to top it off.
"You wouldn't happen to be Myrtenaster, right?" The girl had a cute voice Weiss thought. The girl was looking directly into Weiss' eyes, icy blue meeting Scarlet Red.
Weiss was simply confused, who was this person and how did she know her? "Yes?"
The girl grew a giant smile resembling a puppy who just received a brand-new toy. "I finally found you! I am so sorry I am late! Pyrrha told me to meet you at the fountain but I had just gotten home after some errands and then I had to get ready to log in which takes me a REALLY long time and-" Weiss cut off the girl's rambling by placing a finger on the girl's lips.
"hold up, Pyrrha sent you? And what do you mean she told you to meet me? Why wasn't I informed of this?" Weiss quickly barraged the girl with questions, not bothering to hide her frustrated tone.
"she said she texted you that something came up with the guild and wouldn't make it in time, so she sent me." The girl stated, removing Weiss' finger from her lips. Weiss guessed that Pyrrha must have sent the text after Weiss had already logged onto the game. "anyways, you can just call me Crescent." The girl chimed with a big grin.
Weiss just sighed, this 'Crescent' girl was is going to be a handful. "You may call me Myrtenaster." Weiss stated. The crimsonette quickly returned to smiling.
Crescent grabbed Weiss' hand without warning and started dragging her through the city. "Alright Myrtenaster, were gonna get you rolling." Crescent chirped, almost skipping with Weiss in tow. "we need you to select a Role, get you some gear, complete a few quests to get you leveled up a couple of times and after that we'll meet Pyrrha and the others at the Inn!" Weiss was a bit overwhelmed, her anxiety from earlier in her bedroom was quickly returning. Weiss never played a video game before let alone a FRVR MMO, the only reason she was even here is because Pyrrha convinced her that it would be a great stress reliever back at the café last Tuesday. Weiss tried to slow down Crescent. "w-wait, slow down. I am completely new to all this!" Weiss whined as she stumbled around, struggling to keep up with Crescent's pace
Crescent complied, slowing her pace and deciding to walk beside Weiss instead of dragging her. "Sorry…I just got really excited I guess, it's been a while since I got to make a new friend." Crescent scratched the back of her head sheepishly. She quickly realized she should try to socialize with her new blue haired friend. "so…Myrtenaster, how do you know Pyrrha?"
Weiss took note on how Crescent freely said Pyrrha's name. Pyrrha must not mind if her online friends knew her real name. "from school, we'll be starting our 2nd year in high school." Weiss stated, observing the shops they were passing.
"I'll be starting school soon too." Crescent quietly said, a hint of sadness accompanied her voice.
Before Weiss could respond, Crescent brought them to a large building with a sign that said Guild Hall above the large twin doors. "you can select your role here, but you can't change it afterwards. choose carefully." She chirped as she led Weiss inside, acting as if that sad response earlier never happened.
Crescent lead Weiss to an NPC standing behind a counter that had a menu interface. "go ahead and select a role, I'm just gonna go over to the NPC over there to grab some coins from the Guild Bank so we can buy you some gear." Ruby gestured over to an NPC just on the other side of the room. Weiss nodded and Crescent ran off to get some money.
Weiss watched the crimsonette run off, noting how the cute girl had a slight sway in her hips. 'well, she may talk a lot and is maybe a tad bit…energetic…but at least she seems nice, plus she is kinda cute and-…N-NO, bad Weiss! You just met her!' Weiss quickly shook her head to rid it of her gay thoughts. The last thing she needed was to be a useless lesbian no more than five minutes after meeting the cute girl. She proceeds to select her role, remembering that Pyrrha had recommended her the Mage role. Weiss may have never played a game before, but she wasn't ignorant of certain aspects of the fantasy genre, so she knew a Mage used magic to fight and cast spells.
"oh! You're gonna be a Mage?" a cheery voice come from behind Weiss
Weiss quickly turned her head toward her left side. Crescent was looking at the interface Weiss was using from over her left shoulder, oblivious to the fact that she was lightly pressing her body against Weiss' back. "Y-Yeah, Pyrrha recommended it. S-She said I seemed to be the mage type." Weiss stated. 'Why does she have to be so close!?'
"Cool, we've been needed a mage in our party for a really long time." Crescent chimed, smiling earnestly. Weiss couldn't tell if she just ignored Weiss' stuttering and blush or was just oblivious. Weiss hoped for the latter.
"Well, I suppose the next stop is the weapons and armor shop we passed earlier?" Weiss asked as she recalled the activities for the day.
Crescent started walking before she even began speaking. "yep, but you won't really need a weapon if you're gonna be a mage."
Weiss followed Crescent who seemed to be even more eager than before, which Weiss thought wasn't possible. "what do you mean? Shouldn't I have a sword or something in case my magic fails?"
Crescent grabbed Weiss by the arm and pulled her into the weapons and armor shop. "Nope" Crescent simply said, popping the 'P'. "you'll be carrying around a staff"
They walked up to a blonde player who was behind the counter, using a forge to create items. "Hey Jaune, fancy seeing you here." the crimsonette chirped as she gestured for Weiss to go ahead and look for some gear. "Wei- err, I mean…Myrtenaster, go ahead and look for a mage set. I'll pay for it so don't worry about the cost, just make sure it's for your level…which is level one by the way." Weiss nodded, fighting back the urge to tell the girl she knew what level she was, but she didn't want to argue with anyone on the first day of meeting them.
Jaune looked over his shoulder, then back to the forge. Clearly focusing on whatever he was trying to make. "Hey Crescent, I didn't see you online past couple of days, you've been online nearly 24/7 all summer, everything ok?" Jaune asked, a small hint of concern hid behind his cheery exterior.
Crescent rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly. "yeah, I…I was just busy last couple of days."
Weiss couldn't help but noticed that the girl looked like she was trying to hide something for a second. Deciding to think nothing of it, she resumed looking at the mage section. However, she was a bit disappointed that all the robes available for level one players were unspeakably bland, mostly consisting of just one color and that was it.
Finally, after a couple minutes of looking, she found a robe that caught her eyes. It was white with a blue belt. Sure, it wasn't anything fancy but it was the only one that Weiss thought would complement the Icy blue hair and eyes of her character model.
"Hey Crescent, I found the perfect robe for me." Weiss stated, maybe a little too happily
A few hours and a couple of beginner quets later...
"Get it off! Get it off!" Weiss whined, trying to pry a slime monster off her leg with her plain wooden staff. The slime was slowly eating away at her health.
Crescent sat on a rock and laughed at her new friend's antics. "it's just a slime! They are literally, THE weakest thing to fight!" She explained in between laughing fits. Weiss felt her pride shrink a little after hearing that.
Finally getting the slime off her leg, Weiss summoned a blue magic circle which fired an ice shard at the slime, killing it instantly. Sighing in relief, she quickly turned to the girl who had been laughing at her suffering and gave the crimsonette a deadly glare. "you are such a dolt." Weiss thought 'Dolt' was the perfect nickname for the giant sword wielding girl. She was hyperactive, easily distracted, spazzy…cute…maybe a little thick around her thighs….where was she going with this? Weiss shook her head, trying shift her focus away from Crescent.
The crimsonette sat up from the rock. "oh yeah? Well, I didn't think you'd be scared of a little slime. Ice Queen." She looked at Weiss with a smug look.
Ah yes, the nickname that Crescent gave her about 20 minutes ago after noticing that Weiss preferred to attack with her ice spells instead of fire ones like most mages tended to do. "I'm beginning to really get tired of that nickname…" Weiss deadpanned to no one in particular. It didn't help much that it was the same nickname that her schoolmates would use behind her back, excluding Pyrrha of course.
"S-Sorry…I'll stop using it if you really don't like it… I didn't mean to insult you or anything…" the confidence in Crescent suddenly disappeared. Was this girl bipolar or something? Where did that smug aura disappear to?
"It's fine Crescent, I'm not insulted….just feel like my pride is damaged from these slimy hell spawns." Weiss stomped her foot on the remains of the slime she killed, trying to change the topic so Crescent didn't look so glum.
"Right, but still…I'll stop using it anyways, since you clearly don't like it." Crescent reassured with a small and earnest smile. she then walked up to Weiss and wrapped one of her arms around Weiss' neck "congratulations by the way, you leveled up a couple times. Ready to go head back and meet everyone else at the Inn, Myrtenaster?"
Weiss nodded, anything to get away from her newly acquired slimy nemesis. She really did hate slimy things, and seeing them move on their own and attack you? That only terrified her, but she won't ever admit it.
After they reached the Inn, Weiss noticed it also acted as a pub of sorts for social gatherings. Crescent lead her to a table by a window, three people already seated, one was Jaune who Weiss saw a bit earlier at the weapons and armor shop. Next to him sat a man who had a pink streak in his long black hair, he wore green leather armor with pink trimming and had two daggers at his hips. Across from them sat a girl who Weiss could only assume was Pyrrha. The girl's Red hair matched but she wore it in a ponytail and had pointed ears like an elf. She also had red and gold armor and carried a sword and round shield that matched her color scheme. Crescent ushered Weiss onto the bench next to Pyrrha, across from the two guys.
"Sorry, Myrtenaster. I hope Crescent didn't cause you any issues. She can be quite a handful sometimes" Yep, that was Pyrrha alright. Always quick to apologize. Plus, that was obviously her voice.
Weiss turned to her red-haired friend, she was glad that Pyrrha knew Weiss wouldn't be comfortable letting everyone know her name just yet and had opted to calling her by her in game name. "It was actually a lot of fun. I have to admit that you were right, I really did need something like this to take my mind off things."
"So, you're the friend Pyrrha told me about, glad to finally meet you." the black-haired man said, he sounded stoic yet sweet. He looked young but yet still a bit older than Weiss.
Crescent perked up. "oh! this is Ren, he uses his last name as his in game name. he's also a freshman at a university!"
"pleasure to meet you, Ren." Weiss stretched her hand out over the table to shake his hand.
Ren accepted her gesture. "the pleasure is all mine."
"careful, don't want Boop to get jealous over a handshake." Jaune teased Ren.
Ren sighed. "she won't get jealous, she would make it very obvious that we're 'together-together'." Ren stated, using finger quotes.
Everyone laughed in response, Weiss however just chuckled a bit to play along since she clearly didn't understand the context of what they were referring to.
They spent the rest of the remaining hour getting to know Weiss and vice versa. Apparently, everyone in the guild was somewhere between level 20 and 30. This gave Weiss hope that she could maybe catch up to their level if she spent all day Sunday tomorrow to level up.
Weiss also made sure not to say too much about her personal life, wanting to just leave all that outside of the game.
Once the hour passed, Weiss said her goodbyes and got ready to log off. "I'll see you guys tomorrow, goodnight." Weiss said, making sure to give her new friends a smile as she logged off and disappeared from the Inn
Slowly opening her eyes, she felt her body once again. Her real body. She removed the helmet and let out her long Alabaster hair. She quietly set the helmet back on the nightstand. Weiss couldn't help but notice that she couldn't wipe the smile off her face. For once, she actually had fun. As she got up, she noticed that night has fallen, it was 9:12pm. Weiss had one more day before the first day of her second year of high school started.
Weiss took a quick shower and changed into her white nightgown and went to bed, thinking about the new friends she made until a sudden realization hit her. Everyone in the guild was calling each other by their real names, all except for the crimsonette. Well, and of course herself. But why wasn't Crescent addressed by her real name? did her friends even know her real name? was she like Weiss? Wanting to leave her personal life outside the game? Weiss quickly ran out of questions however and just as she did, she fell fast asleep. Probably the best sleep she had in a long time