Distance. Love. Online.: Chapter 1

The year is 2022. VR games are at it’s peak.

“Ahh… Today is the day.”

“I was not part of the beta testers… Now I can finally play it… Ahhhh, the hype.”

“Haha… Chill… Okay, I will start playing.”

“Give me a few minutes, I will join you later.”

“Okay, see you in-game…”

My name is Yuji. I’m a Japanese guy residing in Singapore, and she is Kotomi, my girlfriend. She lives in Japan, so yeah, we are in a long distance relationship, for about 2 years now. We also kept our relationship a secret.

We met each other in another VR game, a social game where players interact with one another, but online. We met through mutual friends and after talking to her for over half a year, Kotomi confessed to me, and we then dated.

We both bought SAO and about to play the game, and this will be the longest 2 years I have ever experienced in my life.

November 6th, 2022 will be the most unforgettable day of my life.

“Link Start.”

I then received a message from Kotomi’s gamertag, Reimi. My gamertag is Yumiji.

Reimi: “Let’s meet at the market, I’m looking for clothes.”

Yumiji: “We are here to hunt monsters and grind, not for you to shop…”

Reimi: “But the stock clothing I got looks mediocre…”

Yumiji: “At least buy some armor too. I’m on my way to find you now.”

Reimi: “Okay…”

I then ran to the market.

 

I reached the market, and I start to look around for her.

“Surprise!” and I got hugged from behind.

Yumiji: “You scared me…” and turned around.

Reimi: “Hehehe… How do I look?”

Yumiji: “You… looked stunning. Your avatar is so cute…”

Reimi: “Of course.” And she flips her long, pink hair. “Your avatar looks charming too.”

Yumiji: “I set my avatar towards your liking.”

Reimi: “Oh really…? That’s so sweet.” and she kisses me.

Yumiji: “Okay, let’s start grinding, can’t wait to clear the 1st floor boss.”

 

A few hours of grinding later…

Reimi: “It’s getting late…”

Yumiji: “Yeah, I’m hungry…”

Reimi: “Let’s log out and eat dinner.”

Yumiji: “Yeah… You wanna play again later?”

Reimi: “Sure! Okay, I will log out now, see you later.”

Yumiji: “See you.”

I pulled out the in-game menu, scrolled down to find the logout button… and… it isn’t there.

Reimi: “Eh? Where is the logout button?”

Yumiji: “I don’t know, it’s not there.”

Reimi: “A bug?”

Yumiji: “Probably… a pretty massive bug too.”

Reimi: “Let’s play a bit more until they fixed it…”

Yumiji: “Okay then.”

Then a loud bell rang.

Reimi: “Eh? What’s this noise?”

Yumiji: “I don’t know…”

We then got teleported back to the town.

Reimi: “Everyone is here with us… What’s going on?”

Then comes Kayaba Akihiko giving his mighty speech. Everyone then got transformed to their real selves, and that’s when I saw Kotomi’s real face for the first time…

Yuji: “Eh? You are… Kotomi?”

Kotomi: “Yeah… Why are you… so tall?”

Yuji: “I’m only 180cm…”

Kotomi: “I’m 157cm.”

Yuji: “Yeah, you are very short. But I like petite girls like you.”

Kotomi: “Shut up…” and she blushes.

After that eventful evening, we are officially stuck… in a game. With no respawn mechanisms, this game has changed into a life–and-death game.

Me and Kotomi then goes to an inn, for “dinner”.

Kotomi: “What should we do now…?”

Yuji: “I guess we have to clear the game to get out, for real.”

Kotomi: “How long will that take…?”

Yuji: “Probably years… You seemed calm about all of this shitstorm.”

Kotomi: “I’m just keeping my cool… keeping myself composed.”

Yuji: “Let’s stay here for the night. It’s midnight, we need some rest from all of this.”

Kotomi: “Yeah… sure…”

Yuji: “You want separate rooms?”

Kotomi: “Let’s just stay in the same room, saves money… and besides, I have been dating you for 2 years.”

Yuji: “Okay then…”

I then checked into the room.

Yuji: “I will just sleep on the couch over there, you can take the bed.”

Kotomi: “No… Sleep with me in bed tonight.”

Yuji: “You… sure about that?”

Kotomi: “This is just a game, you can’t do lewd things to me.”

I then blushed: “I…I know that!”

Kotomi then hugs me.

Yuji: “Is everything okay?”

Kotomi starts to twitch: “I’m… scared.”

I then hugs her back: “Don’t worry, I’m here.”

Kotomi: “I have been suppressing my fear… until now…”

Yuji: “It’s okay, just cry it out. You will feel better that way.”

And she cried for a solid 30 mins before I can tuck her into bed.

 

The next morning.

Kotomi wakes up: “Good morning…”

I’m sitting at the table, drinking tea: “Hey…”

Kotomi: “I was a mess last night, I’m sorry.”

Yuji: “It’s okay…”

Kotomi: “Thank you… for being so nice to me…”

Yuji: “It’s my job.”

Kotomi: “What are we going to do today?”

Yuji: “Look around, see if anyone will start a crew to clear the first level boss.”

Kotomi: “Okay…”

I held her hand and walks out of the room.

 

Time flies and 3 weeks past… We reached Tolbana, because we heard rumors that someone is gathering players to clear the first floor boss.

Kotomi: “This town is huge…”

Yuji: “Let’s go find the gathering…”

We eventually found the gathering. Me and Kotomi formed our own party. We set out to kill the boss 2 days later. We both nearly got killed until eventually a guy and girl pairing dealt the final blow.

He is called the beater because he was part of the beta testing crew and he knew the boss’s characteristics all along. We all then moved on to the 2nd floor.

So basically our lives for the next few weeks and months were non-stop grinding, non-stop clearing floor bosses.

We eventually decided to stop after finished the 10th floor and left the liberation front, after Kotomi told me that she’s worried about constantly risking our lives. The leaders were understanding and let us go without issue.

So we decided to settle down at the 10th floor, built a house in the middle of the forest.

A few weeks after we decided to settle down, Kotomi became a homemaker and I go out hunting for food.

“I’m home.”

Kotomi: “Welcome back. How’s the loot today?”

Yuji: “Pretty decent, I even went to the 11th and 12th floor.”

Kotomi: “Okay… Are you hungry? You want to eat dinner?”

Yuji: “Sure. And we also don’t feel hunger in-game, sweetie…” and I passes the meat and veggies to her.

Kotomi: “Its a habit~”

Because SAO’s cooking mechanics simplified a lot of the cooking stuff, she finished cooking in under 5mins.

Kotomi: “Dinner is ready.”

Yuji: “Ahh… Looks good.”

Kotomi: “Enjoy.”

We started eating.

“Hey, Kotomi…”

Kotomi: “Hmm?”

I stood up and kneel down on one knee, took out a box, opens it with a box.

“Will you marry me? At least in-game. I will get you a real one after we get out of this death game.”

She’s in shock.

“Erm…? My knees are starting to ache here…”

“Yes! Yes! Of course!”

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