Level 2: Welcome to Hyria

It has been six months since the release of Hyria, and slowly but surely, everyone was going crazy over it.

The graphics, the human-like NPCs, the freedom the world offers, the unique quests…

Everything greatly surpassed what had been created till now.

The first two months or so, information about Hyria was scarce, but as more and more people joined the game, even if truly important tips and secrets weren’t disclosed, new information popped up frequently, being spread by the normal players for the majority.

Closing her laptop, Lia left her room, went downstairs and entered their house’s ‘Capsule Room’.

Her mother, like every other important personnel of Crathos Inc., naturally received the newest Crathos capsules each time a new version was released to the public, plus as someone who worked on the game, she was also given free subscriptions to Hyria for her family, meaning that any of her close relatives, if they decided to play, they did not have to pay the monthly subscription needed to play the game.

Elisabeth and her colleagues had already started playing the game for a few months before its release to play test, search for bugs and many other things, but Lia, even after half a year went by since the public joined in too, was still wondering if she really wanted to try this ‘game’ or if she was doing so just to appease her mother.

Going near her mother’s capsule, she pressed the ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Low Priority’ options on the touch screen to have the system send a message to the player inside to alert them that someone outside the game needed their attention.

Around five minutes later, the capsule opened and a woman wearing some tight-fitting, comfortable-looking clothes, which weren’t normally worn outside, came out.

“I take it you have decided to start today?”

Yawning, Elisabeth asked her daughter. Many people straight up slept in-game, since with 2 hours of real time, you’d be sleeping for 8 hours.

“More or less; it’s 1 pm, let’s eat something mom.”

Elisabeth nodded her head to her daughter’s request and climbed out of the capsule before following Lia to the kitchen, where the two started preparing lunch while chit-chatting about this or that.

When the food was ready they sat to eat at the large table in the dining room, this time not speaking a word. It wasn’t an awkward silence, since both of them had always disliked talking while eating. Well, maybe it was only Elisabeth that didn’t like it, while Lia just didn’t care. Like usual.

“Yvonne, if you want I can let you join my guild, like that, you wouldn’t have to worry about leveling up, you’d be provided the best items and you’d be able to participate in the most exciting raids!”

It was Elisabeth who broke the silence as she stood up to take the dirty plates back to the kitchen to wash them. She was smiling all the while she talked to her daughter.

She did briefly consider that maybe she was pushing her luck, after all even if she was the guild master, she couldn’t easily use the resources that were mostly obtained through her precious friends and subordinates’ efforts, but if those things had the capability of attracting Lia’s interest, then even if she had to make it up to them, she would give her daughter what she had just spoken about.

Elisabeth just wanted to spend more time with her daughter, apart from the fact that she and Lia already spent a lot of time together when she wasn’t at the company or playing working inside Hyria, like during meals, in the weekends or when she brought Lia to train, and more.

“… It’s okay, you don’t have to do that. You know I’m just going to play to get used to seeing with both eyes again.”

Even though Lia lived until now by seeing the world through only her right eye, while her left eye remained covered by various cute embroidered white eyepatches handmade by her grandmas, lately, since her body seemed to have stopped growing further, her mother was pushing her to get an artificial eye.

Or maybe it was because of that recent incident at school.

Anyway, Dr. Kris had already said that Lia could feel disoriented if she was suddenly given a new left eye, so he, as an employee of Crathos Inc.’s medical division, quickly suggested to make her accustomed to having a bigger field of vision through Virtual Reality.

At that point, her mother convinced the two to use Hyria as rehab instead of the standard software, not for any reason other than wishing to show Lia the beautiful world her mother and father had helped to create.

After all the plates were in the dishwasher, the two went to the capsule room where Elisabeth checked out the settings of the second capsule reserved for Lia for a few short minutes before she nodded satisfactorily.

“Yvonne, dear, you can go ahead take off all your clothes now. I placed your own suit in the wardrobe over there, remember to use it next time you go inside.”

The first time one used a capsule, or when one’s body had changed significantly and wanted to ‘update’ their avatar in VR, they had to be completely naked, enter the capsule, and then be covered with nano-liquid for 5~7 minutes.

After that one could wear whatever one wanted, but of course there were already ll kinds of clothes and suits specially designed for this.

Following her mother’s instructions, Lia calmly undressed and entered the capsule.

A white panel quickly appeared in front of her once the lid was closed.

New user detected

Lying inside it, with the darkness surrounding her, she could feel the interior of the capsule slowly filling up after the system message disappeared.

She remembered she forgot to ask her mother how one could breath once submerged, but since it actually didn’t really interest her that much, she simply gave a mental shrug and waited for the capsule and nano-bots to finish analyzing her body.

Registered current body fitness

It didn’t take long and while she was waiting she also discovered that while it was called ‘liquid,’ she could still breathe inside it like normal. After the second message, the liquid started draining soundlessly and in a short amount of time.

With the nano-liquid gone, new messages appeared.

Please input your information or log in to an existing account

As a connection to her mind was formed, Lia could quickly fill the obligatory form with her personal data by simply logging in. While it was her first time, as the daughter of Elisabeth Ashenworth, her account had long been set up.

Soon after, a menu appeared where she could navigate to access to various resources, like her software library, Silknet, the settings and much more, but she wasn’t interested in them. She followed her mother’s instruction and entered the software, then games sections, where, as expected, a new message popped up.

Detected the presence of a new game available to you: 〖Hyria〗
Will you proceed with the registration?

Lia watched as the game was linked to her account, where it detected her free subscription status. If it had been anyone else, they would’ve found the wait incredibly boring, thus choosing to download the game in background while they did something else, but to Lia it was nothing. She felt nothing.

She was already used to feeling so empty and bored, she simply spaced out and didn’t even notice that Hyria was only being linked to her account and wasn’t downloading or installing. After all, her mother had already done all the preparations beforehand, how could she allow her darling daughter to wait for so long just to play the game?

Lia came to herself a few seconds later due to the strikingly white message in front of her eyes.

Do you wish to start playing Hyria?

“Yes”

Beginning the transition of the consciousness…

Closing her eyes, Lia felt a strange sensation, as if her mind was exiting her body and going somewhere else, and then she found herself standing naked in the middle of a white room. She remained expressionless as she looked around a bit, and exactly a second later, a female voice filled the room.

〖Which race do you choose?〗

A list appeared before Lia, but, not even sparing it a glance, she uttered “Human.”

The voice then rang out again.

〖Would you like to modify your current avatar?〗

Considering the question for a very short time, Lia said “no” in response to the omnipresent voice. She wondered whether the whole thing should be considered grand, eerie or simply mysterious, but she quickly discarded the thought, as it would only have been a waste of time to try to understand such emotions she didn’t recognise or feel anymore.

〖What nickname would you like to use?〗

“Yvonne.”

〖We don’t recommend using your real name inside the game.
What nickname would you like to use?〗

“… Aisha.”

After thinking for a minute or two, Lia finally gave the voice a proper answer.

〖Checking availability.
Found correspondences, checking name slots.
Name slots 2 to 100 are taken, assigning slot number 1.
Player “Aisha” shall be identified by the system as “Aisha”.〗

Lia was puzzled for a while as she thought about how illogical it was to assign her the first name slot when she actually wasn’t the first person to choose the name ‘Aisha,’ but the voice didn’t give her time to think about this for now as it continued speaking to her.

〖Where would you like to start?〗

She wasn’t actually interested in playing this game for long as she intended to stop once she was accustomed to seeing with both eyes, moreover she didn’t want to deal with other people, be they Players or NPCs.

She ignored the simple map presented to her and instead made a request.

“I’d like to start in a quiet place without too many people. It doesn’t matter where.”

〖Request accepted.〗

Darkness enveloped her once again while a system message appeared before her.

Welcome to Hyria

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