The New Gate
A Beginning And An End Preview

Prologue

The depths of the gate to another world 【THE NEW GATE】

There, two figures were squaring off against each other.

One was the figure of a monster.
The name of the Gatekeeper{monster protecting the gate} was 【Origin】, the very end of the VRMMORPG 【THE NEW GATE】, and its strongest monster.
It was a humanoid dragon type, with a humanoid body, a dragon's head, wings, and a tail.
It's total length was roughly 20m. It's eyes were dyed a sky blue, and its horns and the scales that covered its body glittered golden. A golden armour also concealed a figure like that of a trained warrior. The unadorned spear it held was also golden.
Though its colour scheme could be very possible taken as ugly, but though you could feel a sublime divinity from its physique and overwhelming pressure, there was no hate.
It was no exaggeration to call it a divine beast, and could be said to be a monster worthy of the title 'strongest'.

The other figure was a person.
His name was Shin, and his real name was Kiritani Shinya.
A veteran player who held top class combat ability.
His height was a little over 180cm. If you had to choose between bulky or skinny, he'd be the latter.
Black hair and black eyes. Despite facing off Origin, from his plain face that could neither be called beautiful nor ugly, not a shred of nervousness could be felt.
Around his neck was a light muffler, black-coloured with red zigzags. What he was wearing was a long coat with pants of the same design. His arms and legs were wearing crimson tekkou1 and kyakkou 2, but besides those there wasn't anything else that resembled armour.
As for weapons, there was only the black katana in his right hand. Both the handle and the tsuba were black, but the blade alone faintly sparkled red, as though it had rubies mixed in.

Shin took a step forward. In response, Origin readied its guard. In contrast to Shin who seemingly wore no armour besides his arm and leg guards, Origin was armed and guarded from head to toe. From an outsider's point of view, it was a sight that was the epitome of recklessness. You couldn't imagine anything except Origin turning Shin into a piece of meat with a single swing of its spear.

Once Shin took yet another step forward, Origin responded by thrusting its spear. With a speed unimaginable for its size, the attack with the spear was like a fast approaching wall.
The spear bore into the tiled floor. Where the point pierced the floor, not only were stone tiles sent flying, but the spear gouged even the floor beneath the tiles.

However, Shin's figure wasn't there.

Shin was by Origin's feet.
A moment before the attack, Shin had used the Support-Type Martial Skill 【Shingan [mind's eye]】 to predict the location of the attack, and furthermore relocated himself at high speeds with the Movement-Type Martial Skill 【Shukuchi】3.

Aiming for Origin's right leg, having left its sight, Shin activated the Toujutsu-Type Martial Skill 【Kogetsusen [Arc Moon Flash]】.4
Together with the activation of the skill, the blade of his katana started to glow red. For just an instant, the sharpness and speed of his attack was amplified by 1.5 times, and he slashed into Origin with all his might.

"Shii!"

A single yell and strike.
Leaving behind a bright red trail, the blade bisected the armour around Origin's right leg.
The blade continued and cut apart the leg about halfway up, and the flowing blood dyed its golden scales red.
Origin's HP gauge decreased by 1/50. Considering it was a single blow against the strongest monster, it was a shocking amount of damage.

"■■■■■■■■■■■■■■――!!"

Origin let out a cry at the pain that assailed its leg.
A high pitched cry like the screeching of metal resounded through the room. Immediately reacting due to 【Shingan】's attack prediction, Shin swiftly made a big jump out of the way. The leg strength that had been strengthened to its limit made Shin fast enough that he left behind an afterimage.

Immediately after Shin moved, the butt of the spear smacked down like it was trying to crush the afterimage. Probably because it had weakened, there were fewer smashed tiles than last time. Even so, it goes without saying that even so, it was with force beyond the norm.

"How quick. As expected of the last boss."

Even seeing the fearsome strength of the spear, Shin had enough leisure to admire it. The final Gatekeeper. Filled with fighting spirit worthy of being an opponent.

Though Shin had a lot of leisure to spare, he was definitely not being careless.

If the HP gauge that floated in the corner of his vision emptied, he would die. Not only did he understand this, he had made it this far.

【THE NEW GATE】 had been turned into a death game, it was for the sake of clearing it that Shin was here right now.

The comrades he had fought along with weren't here in the death game, but people who supported him were.
Almost all of the gear Shin was using were his own creations, and though the items he had been given were basically all useless in boss fights. Even so, the feelings of his allies that had supported them him with all their strength were important[heavy].

There was a girl who cried from missing her family. There was a boy who was at a loss having lost his older brother. There was a man who refused to lose, and challenged himself. There was a woman who would come running to help those who were troubled. All of them had struggled, given up, challenged, fought, and a number of them had disappeared.

It had ben a year since they had been trapped here. Shin wasn't sure if that was a long time, or a shrot time.

However, what filled Shin's heart right now was but one word――――

『Win』.

He'd defeat Origin, and he'd release those who had support him, and those who had pushed him forward, from this game.

It was because of this――――

"I'll take that head of yours!!"

Against Origin who glared over at him, Shin once again took a stance with his sword.

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!"

With a yell, his slash cut off Origin's wing from the base.

Toujutsu-Type Martial Skill 【Hazan [Mountain Crusher]】.

It was a vigorous slash from above.
And, as the as the name suggested, it boasted enough power to cut a mountain; a massive 2.5 damage to enemies larger than oneself.

The one-winged Origin fell to its knees from the damage it had sustained.

Shin thought 'Alright!', in his mind. The cooldown from the skill was covered by the collapse of the opponent.

The armour that Origin was wearing was now broken and cracked all over.
Not only was one of its wings missing, but its left arm had been cut off, and even the tip of its golden horn was broken off.
Only a little HP remained in its HP gauge.

"Hahh, hahh, hahh."

Origin was wounded all over, but Shin wasn't uninjured either. His equipment durability was still okay, but he had repeated warded off the huge Origin's blows, repelled its blows, and occasionally blocked its blows. Though his HP gauge was in the safety zone, he was mentally exhausted, so he was panting as though he really was tired.

"Hahh, hahh, suuuuuu haaaahhh…"

He breathed in, then out.

Even if it was needless because of the game system, to Shin, it was a necessary action.

As though to calm his anxious heart, he took control of his breathing.

With 【Hazan】, he'd need only need one more hit to finish things, but the cooldown[delay time] for this skill was long. It was long enough that if not the longest, it had at least the second longest cooldown of all skills. He probably wouldn't be able to use it again in this fight.

(It's not so easy an opponent that it'll just take huge moves one after another, after all. But that's only one of my skills. There's no reason to worry.)

He didn't only have the high damage 【Hazan】. If they lacked in quality, then he'd make up for it in quantity.

"Don't get hasty, me."

Though Origin had little HP left, it wasn't zero. If he got done in at the very end because he lost focus for a moment, it'd be terribly pathetic. [there should be limits to being pathetic]

There was still fighting spirit left in those eyes that stared at Shin. Though it should've been just graphics, that was what Shin felt.

Immediately afterwards, a monotonous female voice reached Shin's ears.

――――【Survival Instinct】 Activate: Attack and Speed increased
――――【Golden Wave】 Activate: HP, damaged parts, and broken armour, steadily recover

Shin's Autoskill, 【Analysis – Ⅹ】5 activated and let him know that Origin was reinforcing its abilities.

And at the same time, Origin's HP gauge began to recover just a little. At the subs of its lost arm and wing, a goldened light formed and grew just a little, slowly regenerating its arms and wing.

If he left Origin alone, at this rate it would return to its original status.
Of course, Shin wouldn't.

At the same time he received the information from 【Analysis Ⅹ】, Shin used 【Shukuchi】 to move, and came down hard on the still kneeling Origin.

"■■■■■■–!!"

In response to Shin's movement, Origin roared and at the same time mowed the spear in its right hand across.
GOU-!! rang the sound of the spear cutting through the air as it approached Shin.

Without a pause, Shin activated the Toujutsu-Type Martial Skill 【Shirahanagashi [Drawn Sword Diversion]】 and the Barehanded-Type Martial Skill 【Steel Repel】.
Lowering his centre of gravity, using 【Shiraha Nagashi】 he blocked the spear with his katana, and shifting the top of the blade, he diverted the power of the spear strike away. On top of that, his right hand propped the blade, and using 【Steel Repel】, he reduced the power of the spear.
However, because the strike was strengthened with 【Survival Instinct】, Shin was unable to fully ward off the blow, and a little of his HP gauge was shaved off.

"Hu-!"

Whilst taking damage, the moment he part his blade from the spear, from his crouched position, Shin increased the power of the strike of the spear above him.
Because of that, the spear struck faster than Origin had intended, and as a result, Origin's posture was destroyed.

Shin immediately activated the Toujutsu-Type Martial Skill 【Gekkou Zanmai [Moonlight Beheading Dance]】. Silver light like the light of the moon wrapped the blade katana, and took the form of a silver blade. The blade length would be temporarily extended by two times.

"Sehhhhyaaaaaah!"

The light blade struck into Origin's defenceless torso.

One!

Two!

Three!

Each time the blade swung with a speed that left afterimages, a trail of silver was drawn in the air. The three strikes had whittled away the amount of HP that 【Golden Wave】 had recovered.

Four!

Five!

Six!

Seven!

Eight!

Nine!

Ten!

The seven strikes that followed depleted Origin's remaining HP in one go.

The moment ten silver trails were etched into the air, the light disappeared from the blade, and let Shin know that the skill had completed.

【Gekkou Zanmai】 was a skill that increased the attack speed and range for ten strikes. The speed of the attack would be increased 1.3 times, and the range by 2 times.

Though the damage given by one of the strikes wasn't that high, because of the increased range and number of strikes, the combined damage taken from the attack was greater than a simple power-increased skill.

Though it certainly didn't reach a 【Hazan】 that was performed with Shin's STR, weapons and attack power, it was able to deal damage close to it.

And truly, the intense attacks from the 【Gekkou Zanmai】 ten-strike combination left Origin's HP gauge with almost nothing left.

"This finishes it!!"

Shin ran up to Origin, who was collapsed from 【Gekkou Zanmai】's damage. Even in this time, Origin's HP had recovered a little, but Shin judged that he would make it.

Perhaps as a final struggle, Origin's right hand let go of his spear, and let loose a backfist. Shin leapt over it, and set up a joudan guard in mid-air. [Note: Joudan no Kamae. Oberhut. Vom Dach.]

His eyes met with the collapsing Origin's. Despite the fact that this blow would truly spell the end for it, for some reason Shin felt not anger in its eyes, but a quiet calm.

However, even if he could feel no animosity from those eyes, the power in shin's blade didn't let up an inch.

Having decided on victory, his heart didn't waver.

"This is the end!"

Along with those words, Shin brought down his blade blade on Origin's forehead.

-

――――『You have defeated Gatekeeper 【Origin】. Accordingly, you will be given the boss defeating bonus.』
――――『You have gained Gift(s) 【Limit Breaker】, 【Accomplished One】 and 【Liberator】.』
――――『You have learned Skill(s) 【Wave of the Dark King】, 【Focus Wave】 and 【Scattered Wave】.』
――――『You have gained Items(s) 【Corpse of the Guardian】, 【Soul of the Guardian】 and 【Heart of the Guardian】.』
6

Hearing the voice of the announcer, Shin stood still.

The place filled with light.

Origin's body turned into light and scattered, and filled the room with light.
The light glittered for a few moments, and disappeared. After that, all that remained in the tattered room were an undamaged door, and Shin.

When the light faded, the announcer spoke again.

『The Gatekeeper of the Depths of the Gate to Another World, 【Origin】, has been defeated, and the dungeon has been cleared.』

It announced Shin's victory to his companions.

『Accordingly, all players are now able to log out.』

It let all the players that fought in THE NEW GATE know that they were released from the game.

"It's over…"

Right, it was over.
The death game they had been trapped in for a year was now over.
Just to be sure, Shin confirmed that at the very bottom of the menu, the 【Log Out】 command was certainly there.
Shin opened up his friends menu to see, and even at that moment, the names of the players were changing from 【Online】 to 【Offline】.
It seemed that everyone was able to log out safely.

"I kept my promise. Right, Marino?"

His chest brimmed with a sense of accomplishment.
Would the girl who had fallen in this world have praised him?

So wondered Shin.

"Now then! Shall I wait to make sure everyone else has logged off?"

Deciding to stop thinking about the depressing, Shin switched his mood and sat down on the floor.
Shin had decided to make sure everyone else made it home before logging out himself.

Shin took out something like a rolled parchment from his item box; the Survivor's List, and quietly spread it. This list was an item that showed the names of the surviving players in real-time.
A companion alchemist who sympathised with Shin's thoughts had spent 7 days and 7 nights coming up with the item. If the player died, or otherwise logged out, their name would disappear from the list.
Whilst feeling grateful towards that alchemist friend, Shin continued to watch the list for a short while longer.

The time it took was roughly 3 minutes. Finally, the only name left on the list was 【Shin】.

"I'm the last one, huh?"

He unconsciously let out those words.

While he was fighting, he did nothing but focus on what was ahead, but now that now that he was about to end things, it felt somehow deeply moving.

After logging out, he probably wouldn't return here again. For a game that had been turned into a death game to continue running; no matter how you thought about it, it was impossible.

(It ended up as a death game in the end, but excluding that, I really had a lot of fun times with it.)

For Shin, the time he had spent playing THE NEW GATE actually equated to a 1/3 of his life. For better or worse, he had spent a long time in this game.

"Cya, THE NEW GATE."

Muttering words of farewell, Shin made to log out, but at that moment, the door before his eyes let out a groan.

"Mn?"

Preoccupied with the gate, the finger that made to touch the words Log Out, stopped.

The gorgeously decorated, and dignified doors were slowly opening with a groan. Light shone from the opened gap, and from where Shin was, it was impossible to tell what was happening beyond the doors.

"What's this? There shouldn't be anymore events…"

Shin was bewildered.
Besides Shin, the door continued to open, and the overflowing light dyed the room white.

"Something is wrong."

Feeling a sense of abnormality, a moment faster than Shin's finger managed to touch the words 'Log Out', the light filled the room.
As though swallowed by the light, Shin lost consciousness.

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  1. 手甲, arm guards
  2. 脚甲, legs guards
  3. Shukuchi on Wikipedia
  4. Here, Toujutsu = katana swordsmanship
  5. analysis ten
  6. First of all, 'gifts' are what would be called 'titles' in other games. The kanji says 'title', but in the light novel, the furigana reads 'gift'.
    Also, I have seen 臨界者(rinkaisha) used before in D. Gray Man as well, but the translators there couldn't find a good English equivalent either. In light of the rest of the series, will write it as 'Limit Breaker' for now. It more literally means something that has hit the critical point. Ah, also, Dark King (冥王) sort of equates to Pluto/Hades in a sense, esp. planet (冥王星).]

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