difference in views between retro games and VR games was like night and day.
The name of the game was…

‘Ta-da! The NSO Official Channel Live Stream is about to begin-nyon!’


As I had been opening a separate window, the sudden sound from the stream surprised me…
This happens quite often.
Also, is that how they wanted to start it? It seemed a little random?
And what’s with the ‘nyon’?

‘Famous in some corners! But I think there are 125 times more people who don’t know about it than do! Medalion Online… I’m the artificial intelligence idol that is famous in these parts, Charin-nyon!’

Did I open the wrong page…

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No, that wasn’t it.
This was the official NSO channel.

‘As I already said, I’m originally a different game’s idol/mascot/chief of advertising, but because I also work solo as an idol, it was decided that I would collaborate with Next Stage Online-nyon.”

I see.
In spite of saying that they were going to wait for a while, they had suddenly announced this event.
And now it turns out they were collaborating with a different company.
I suppose it was already planned and they couldn’t just call it off because the previous event hadn’t gone very well.
After all, it was a different company…!

That being said, the girl on screen was definitely unique.
She had long, blonde pigtails and many accessories made of golden medals.
It didn’t really match with her youthful face…

Regardless, unlike the NPCs of NSO, she was a highly capable AI.
And she had thinking ability that matched humans and much stronger computational processing power.
There had been a time when it was the latest technology, and it seemed like every company was creating their own AI as a way of attracting attention.
But these days, due to the expense and other issues, the number of new ones being made has fallen drastically.

They were like a new race that were created by advancements in technology.
A new territory that humans had stepped into.
This was the kind of SF being I used to dream of…only she didn’t really feel like it.
Perhaps it was because of how they made her character.
I felt like the creators had outdated tastes… Like making her say ‘nyon,’ for instance.
However, at least it made her less intimidating.

‘But that’s enough about me.
I’m going to tell you all about the event now-nyon! First, look at this!’

What appeared on the screen was a large map of the world of Nextaria.
Pins made of light were being pushed into it.
There were 12 in all.

‘As for the name of this event! It is Zodiac Maze! While the name sounds very grand, it’s really like a stamp rally! You must go to all 12 points and clear trials in order to collect medals-nyon!’

Details appeared on the screen.
While it was called Zodiac Maze, not all of the trials were dungeons.
Some of them seemed more like mini games.
But you wouldn’t know everything until you actually went there.

However, there were some hints.
Each point was named after the zodiac.

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And the trials themselves would be related to constellations…

‘Furthermore, if you clear the trials with good scores, there will be other prizes aside from medals-nyon! This won’t be a commemorative event item with little use later on, but an item that is already in NSO but is rare due to being very difficult to acquire-nyon!’

So they would give us an item that was usually very difficult to get.
Did she also help plan this event?
If that was the case, she was definitely capable of seeing from the user’s point of view.
For a user, a rare item was the best kind of reward.

‘And that’s not all! Players who finish all 12 trials and acquire the 12 medals will be given the right to take on a final trial-nyon!’

A new light appeared close to the center of the map.
And the words ‘Serpent Palace’ appeared.

‘Those with 12 medals can come to the Serpent Palace for a final battle against me-nyon! And if you are victorious, you will be given an equipable medal with special powers-nyon!’

So she could fight as well.
AI were amazing.
That being said, that was a lot of content.
12 trials + final trial.
The event will have to be pretty long for us to have enough time to go through it all.
Well, it wasn’t a problem for someone like me, who did nothing but play games…

‘We have set the event period to be quite long, so you can take your time with the challenges.
If you think one trial is hard, then try a different one, or finish quests that are unrelated to the event and then come back later-nyon.”

Yes, she really did understand.
In spite of calling herself the idol/mascot/chief of advertising, maybe she was part of management as well?
When she first came out, I had rather rudely thought, ‘what the hell is that!?’ But now I was looking forward to the event.

‘If you want to read further details, then check the official site-nyon! Well, it’s a simple event, so I think I explained most of it-nyon! After this, there will be an in-game concert on this special stage-nyon! It will also be live-streamed, so please watch it-nyon!’

Well, I suppose I’ll watch the concert and think of strategies for the event… Wait, when did it start anyway?
While the explanation had been easy to understand, did she forget the important part?
But Charin had already started to sing.
AI weren’t perfect…

In any case, I would wait for the official site to update.
Surely it was just that she forgot, and it wasn’t that they hadn’t decided on an actual date yet…I hope.
Surely, yes.
Must be…

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