Before I knew it, I found myself standing in a dungeon with a sword and a shield.

[……Eh?]

I couldnt help but do a double-take at the sword in my hand.

Its a double-edged Western sword commonly seen in video games, with a shiny, polished blade that could virtually reflect my image and a lion ornament at the hilt, which is very cool.

Its cool and all, but… thats not the main point here.

[Eh? Whats this? Eh?]

Im just your average salaryman. I dont remember having anything to do with dangerous items like swords and shields at any point in my life.

Moreover, this place Im standing at right now……

At first glance, it looked like a cave that formed naturally from a hollowed-out rock surface, but upon taking a closer look, there were strange murals painted on key points of the wall and a mysterious light source provided just enough light to explore the area.

No, even with that, I couldnt just convince myself that this is some unexplored historical ruins. There was a decisive thing that completely ruled that idea out—I could see a large treasure chest with the lid open at the end of the passage.

[Isnt this just exactly like a dungeon in a video game!?]

My sudden outcry echoed pointlessly through the cave.

I dont get this.

I really dont understand what any of this was at all.

(Wait! Wait a minute! Im pretty sure that yesterday……)

It was a day like any other.

As per routine, I did my work and left the office as usual, and then……

Ah, thats right……

While I was waiting for the traffic light on my way to the train station, I found an interesting article while I was killing time on my phone.

[————An in-depth analysis of the classic RPG thats been buried in time————]

When I was a student, I was really into an RPG called “Brave&Blade” or B&B for short.

It was quite a tragic game. Although it was a big project that the company invested a great fortune in, putting the future of the company at stake, it never took flight and fell flat due to various reasons. 

Drawn in by the nostalgia factor, I clicked on the link without a second thought.

『Five things you need to know to get the most out of「B&B」』

『A profound multi-scenario, multi-ending game that has been re-evaluated over time!』

『Weave your own history with the History Junction System!』

『Real-time sword-fighting battles where instincts and wits collide!』

『How to save your favorite characters from a Fatal Event?』

『A hell for game challenge playthroughs?! A substantial amount of additional elements and changes.』

The link opened to a web page that filled my entire screen with bright dancing words.

Just the titles alone were enough to wash over me with a wave of nostalgia.

The page also attached an illustration of two of the most popular characters in the game and ready in position for an intense clash. I couldnt help but smile at the sight of that. But right at that moment, from the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a girl in a sailor uniform who was also waiting for the traffic light suddenly move and I hurriedly put my phone away……

————The bright, blinding white light from the headlights of a car.

————A girl in uniform frozen in the middle of a pedestrian crossing.

————“Look out!”, someone screamed.

[……Ahh…… Thats right.]

Why did I forget?

I wonder if its because I felt uplifted from seeing something I had missed.

I did something uncharacteristic of me and jumped out onto the road to help that girl……

————And so, I was run over by a car and died.

The moment the girl was pushed out of the way, I felt the world before my eyes being blown away in an instant.

Before I knew it, my body was lying on the ground.

Its dark……

I wonder if that girl was safe……

If only I could play B&B again……

Such helpless thoughts popped into my mind, things that I wouldnt be able to do anything about anymore.

And then, after that……

In a pitch-black world, a flame was lit……

<————Your wish… Ive heard it.>

Far…… I heard a voice coming from the far distance————

[————Gyaaa Gyaa!!!]

Feeling as if cold water had been suddenly splashed on me, a very realistic squawk came from behind me, snapping me back to reality.

[T- The heck is it this time……]

I cautiously turned around to the sound and when I realized what it was, I stiffened.

A green-skinned dwarf that was clearly not a human emerged from the depths of the cave.

[……Gob…… lin.]

My legs turned to jelly.

Goblins were the weakest monsters in most games and their purpose was to serve as prey for players.

I had never thought of them as scary and even actively sought them out for the EXP they gave.

However……

The thing I thought only existed in games was now looking at me with its dirty teeth bared, a crude club in one hand as its murky yellow eyes glowed with a vile light.

I was completely shaken by this overwhelming presence.

[U- Uwaahhh……]

I was so nervous I could barely breathe as my breath got caught.

Both the sword and shield I held in either hand suddenly felt heavy.

I thought to myself that I had to make a break for it but my legs wouldnt move.

[Gyiii.]

That goblin sneered, seemingly mocking me.

Then, with a swing of the club in its right hand, the goblin lunged at me with a speed that did not match its body. 

[U- Uwaaaaah!]

As the goblins grotesque face closed in, convinced of its victory, it raised its weapon, ready to take a big swing at me.

Im not kidding, the words “Im dead” seriously surfaced in my mind.

However……

What actually happened was quite the opposite.

[Gyaaa……?]

The moment it felt like the goblin had entered within range of my blade, my body moved instinctively———— not moving backwards to retreat but instead charging forward.

My body moved as if it was faithfully reproducing movements it had been trained to do for many years.

I took a step to the side to dodge the club swinging down at me and with my right hand I drew my sword and cut off the goblins head.

[————Eh?]

The body of the tiny goblin lost all momentum and fell to the ground.

Meanwhile, the club which had lost its owner bounced off the ground and rolled to the side.

I couldnt process what had just happened.

I could only stand there, stunned.

[D- Did I do that?]

I naturally had no idea how to wield a sword.

For me to be capable of something like that…… Someone like me isnt……

However, the strange occurrences did not simply end there.

The body of the fallen goblin glowed, and its flesh broke down into tiny particles.

[Wha!?]

The particles dancing in the air flew at my left hand as if being sucked in.

A few seconds later, silence returned to the dungeon as if there were no goblins around, to begin with.

[W-What on earth is this? It feels like a game……]

Then it hit me the instant those words left my lips.

[Game……? Brave&Blade……?]

In that game, Im sure there was a setting where the magic of a defeated monster is sucked into the left hand of the character who defeats it which is then converted into EXP.

Nah, it cant be. Theres no way that would be the case.

However, when I thought about it, the appearance of the goblin and the design of the sword I wielded, it all gave me a strange sense of familiarity.

If I connected it to the scenes I saw in the game, Brave&Blade…

I hurriedly raised the sword in my right hand to double-check. Staring at the blade that was so polished it could double up as a mirror, my eyes rounded in surprise at the reflection———— “my” reflection—that I saw.

[No way, youve got to be kidding me……]

I was shocked because the face reflected on the blade shouldve been “mine” but it was one that looked nothing like”me”.

It was the face that belonged to the in the illustration I saw right before my death.

It was the face of , a character from the game .

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