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Haruyuki Arita (有田 春雪, Arita Haruyuki) is the main protagonist of the Accel World series. He becomes the Burst Linker Silver Crow (シルバー・クロウ, Shirubā Kurō) after he receives the Brain Burst program from Kuroyukihime. He now works together with her to reach Level 10 and meet the creator of the Accelerated World by defeating the Six Kings of Pure Color.

Personality

Haru is rather timid at first due to Araya bullying him. However, after meeting Kuroyukihime and receiving Brain Burst, he can stand up for himself and help Kuroyukihime in achieving her dreams. Later on in the course of the plot, he begins to admit that beyond helping her with her goal of reaching level 10 and knowing the purpose of Brain Burst, little by little he discovers that his dream is in fact, to always be by her side for Kuroyukihime is the person he loves the most even though he does not have the courage to tell her, despite knowing that she also loves him unconditionally. He is also very determined to keep his friendship with Taku and Chiyu after the many problems between them and because of that determination, he strives for the best. Haruyuki is also rather indecisive and often doubts himself. However, as Silver Crow, he is more confident and rather crafty to the point that it was comparable to Yellow Radio.

Background

Haruyuki is the child of Saya Arita who met and married Haruyuki's father while studying for a Master's degree in Tokyo. They then divorced when Haruyuki was seven. It had been hinted that Haruyuki overheard his parent's conversation before their divorce.[3] In the light novel it was stated that it was about neither of them wanting Haruyuki. This is implied to be the reason why his duel avatar is a metal colour.[4]  As a child, he was friends with Takumu Mayuzumi and Chiyuri Kurashima. After his parent's divorce, his custody was given to Saya. However Saya is rarely home. Haruyuki spends most of his times after his parent's divorce playing with Takumu and Chiyuri. At night, he will often get dinner at Chiyuri's place with her mother Momoe cooking for them before going back to his empty house. In their late year of elementary school, Chiyuri started dating Takumu causing Haruyuki to become more distant. After joining Umesato Junior High, he still remained friends with them. However, he also started to get bullied by Araya and his gang because of his appearance.

Appearance

Haru is a rather short and large person. He has brown hair and black eyes. For his attire, it is usually the school uniform that consists of a white dress shirt, a blue blazer on top and a blue tie (as of the Dusk Robber arc). It was stated by Chiyuri that Haruyuki used to have a normal weight before the divorce of his parents.

Plot Outline

Return of the Black Snow Princess Arc

During the middle of class, Haruyuki receives an email from Araya stating that he had to bring him lunch to the rooftop. During lunchtime, he complied with their demands, but only managed to obtain one rice bread. Araya, furious, gave him a new order, stating that it was his last chance. Locking himself in a bathroom stall, Haruyuki rages at Araya, wishing that he could say everything he wanted to say in person. He then full-dives into the school's local network to play some squash. During his squash game, he was found by his childhood friend, Chiyuri, who had been searching him. After reprimanding him for wasting his life on games, she forces him out of full-dive and offers him a homemade sandwich. Haruyuki, sick of being pitied, smashes her sandwich into the wall. Despite realizing that he had severely hurt his childhood friend, he forces himself to run away.

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Vol 01 - 002-003.png
Arriving at the library, he dives back into the school's local network to resume his game of squash. However, he notices that an unknown person had reached lvl. 166, far surpassing him. Shocked to the core, he breaks down, believing that the only thing he could take pride in was once again stolen away. Suddenly, a stranger appears at the entrance and asks if he was the one who had obtained the previous high scores. Looking up, he is shocked to find the student council vice president, Kuroyukihime. Asking if he wanted to accelerate even further, she instructs him to visit the student lounge the next day at lunch.

Going with the order, Haruyuki cautiously approaches the lounge the next day, and is stopped by Megumi and another member of the student council. He tries to explain that he was looking for Kuroyukihime, but stutters too badly to explain. Kuroyukihime then intervenes, saying that he was with her.

Kuroyukihime signals Haruyuki to have the seat in front of her. She then pulls out an XSB cable and asks for Haruyuki to Direct Connect with her. As only close couples direct connected in public, both Haruyuki and the rest of the student lounge are shocked to the core. As he shakily accepts, Kuroyukihime begins to explain the topic of the meeting. Kuroyukihime explains that she was going to send a program that would shatter his current reality.

Brain Burst's Installation
After briefly pondering the decision, Haruyuki accepts the program. As the program, titled “BB2039.exe”, was installing, Haruyuki asks Kuroyukihime what the program was about. She then tells him that she would answer all of his questions only after the program successfully installed. However, as soon as the program finished installing, Araya and his gang stormed into the lounge, as Haruyuki had not fulfilled their demands. Kuroyukihime interrupts their conversation and taunts Araya into attacking Haruyuki. However, before Araya could complete his punch, Kuroyukihime commands Haruyuki to shout the words “Burst Link”. Haruyuki obeys, and is abruptly sucked into a blue-tinted world

With a start, he realizes that time had seemingly frozen. Kuroyukihime soon appears beside him and explains the situation. She explains that they had accelerated and were currently in the “Initial Acceleration Space”, a blue world created by the Social Cameras where time was accelerated a thousand times. She then tells Haruyuki that using the commands “Burst Link” and “Burst Out”, he could freely enter and exit the Initial Acceleration Space. Haruyuki realizes that with this new power, he could easily dodge Araya’s punch. However, Kuroyukihime commands him to instead take the punch and fall back into her so as to maximize the damage.

Upon exiting the Initial Acceleration Space, Haruyuki complies with Kuroyukihime’s orders, taking the punch and falling into Kuroyukihime. Immediately, police show up and arrest Araya and his gang. With Araya gone, Kuroyukihime commands Haruyuki to withhold his Global Net Connection until the next morning. With that, the school day ends and he walks back home.

While walking home, he runs into Chiyuri, who was also heading home. The two also run into their other childhood friend, Takumu and decide to all head home together. However, during their conversation, Haruyuki mistakenly comes to the conclusion that Chiyuri had told Takumu about his bullying. Ashamed, he decides to run ahead home by himself.

That night, he has the worst nightmare of his life. He dreams of all the people who he had met in his life taking turns tormenting him while Chiyuri and Takumu watched from a distance. As he was oppressed by the circle of people abusing him, he reached out towards the vast sky, where a figure was flying. As he cried out his wish to fly somewhere higher, farther, and greater, a mysterious voice asks if that was his wish.

The next morning, forgetting his promise to Kuroyukihime the day before, he turns on his Global Net Connection to obtain lunch money from his mother. However, as soon as he leaves the apartment complex, he is abruptly forcefully accelerated. His surroundings are rapidly destroyed, and an alternate world is built up around him. Greatly confused, he looks down at his body. To his surprise, he had neither his real-life appearance nor his “pink pig” virtual appearance. Instead, his body was covered by gray armor. Suddenly, he realized that they were several groups of people watching him from all directions. However, before he could comprehend the situation, another avatar appeared in the distance. This avatar, who possessed a skull-shaped helmet while riding on a large gasoline powered motorcycle, shouts out several insults and begins charging at him. Abruptly realizing that he was inside a fighting game, he tries to run. However, he is quickly run over, losing the duel.

Afterward, in the cafeteria, Kuroyukihime reprimands Haruyuki on his disobedience. She then challenges Haruyuki to a duel in order for her to explain the basics of Brain Burst. She explains the concepts of “duels”, avatar creation, Burst Points, and avatar skills. Realizing that he is still inexperienced, Haruyuki promises that he would become stronger so that he could follow and support Kuroyukihime to the very end.

After returning to the real world, the two are interrupted by Megumi, who is curious about the relationship between them. In the presence of all the members in the lounge, Kuroyukihime calmly explains that she had confessed her love, and Haruyuki had rejected her, much to Haruyuki’s chagrin. After school ended, Kuroyukihime cheered Haruyuki on, pushing him outside into the Global Network.

Ash Roller on his bike
With the newly gained information given by Kuroyukihime, Haruyuki challenges Ash Roller to a rematch. By ambushing Ash Roller from the top of a bridge, he manages to separate Ash Roller from his bike, gaining the upper hand. He then retreats to the safety of a high building, preparing to initiate the same attack once again. However, to his surprise, Ash Roller drives up the wall of the building, ruining Haruyuki’s plan. Rapidly losing confidence, Haruyuki attempts to use his sole special move, “Headbutt”. However, the ability backfires and he is run over by Ash Roller’s bike.

Depressed at how his avatar was weak, just like his real-life persona, Haruyuki begins to cry. However, as he catches sight of Kuroyukihime’s spectator avatar far in the distance, he realizes that no matter how many times he was beaten down, he had to rise up once again. With renewed determination, he takes stock of his opponent’s weaknesses. Realizing that only the back wheel of Ash Roller’s bike could spin, he sought to take advantage of this fact. He latches on to the back end of the bike, lifting it off the ground. With the back wheel disabled, Ash Roller’s bike was completely immobilized. Forced to fight in direct hand-to-hand combat, Ash Roller charges at Haruyuki. However, Haruyuki, as a specialized close-ranged fighter, easily defeats him, thus winning the duel.

As Haruyuki bursts out, he is congratulated by Kuroyukihime. However, at this moment, Chiyuri confronts the two, demanding to know what Kuroyukihime was doing to Haruyuki.Kuroyukihime nonchalantly states that she had confessed to Haruyuki, taking advantage of the stunned silence that followed to drag Haruyuki away.

Six Kings of Pure Color
The two visit a coffee shop and Direct Connect. Kuroyukihime begins to explain the backstory behind Brain Burst, telling Haruyuki about the Six Kings of Pure Color, their Mutual Non-Aggression Pact, and how she had rebelled and killed the Red King. She then gives Haruyuki a choice to either follow her on her mission to attain Level 10, or to reject her philosophy and find his own path. He chooses to follow her, stating that a world ending in stagnation is the saddest thing that could happen.

Kuroyukihime then changes the topic, explaining how a Burst Linker from the school by the name of Cyan Pile was hunting her down during classes. She had tried to uncover the assailant’s real identity, but she was unable to find the attacker’s name on the matching list. Thus, she proposes to use the Guide Cursor function to discover the attacker’s true identity. With two guide cursor lines, they could pinpoint the location of the attacker in the real world.  However, Kuroyukihime already has a hunch who the attacker is. She believes that the assailant is Haruyuki’s childhood friend, Chiyuri. Haruyuki, in disbelief, claims that Chiyuri would never do something like that, promising to prove her innocence by Direct Connecting with her and checking her Neurolinker storage.

Going along with his promise, Haruyuki visits Chiyuri’s house after parting with Kuroyukihime. Upon seeing Haruyuki, Chiyuri leads him to his room to talk. Haruyuki uses the claim of apologizing to her as an excuse to Direct Connect. As they Direct Connect with a thirty-centimeter cable, Chiyuri begins to convey her stored up feelings. She explains how she, Haruyuki, and Takumu had been the best of friends during childhood, but they had grown apart. She wanted things to go back to how they were before. While Chiyuri explained her inner turmoil, Haruyuki took the opportunity to check her Neurolinker storage. Surprised by the amount of lag present, he checks Chiyuri’s network connections. Finding unreasonably large packets being sent through an unidentified program, he realizes that someone had installed a Backdoor program onto her Neurolinker. As whoever had installed the program was likely watching his actions at that very moment, he stops his investigation and closes the windows. Thanking Chiyuri, he disconnects the cable.

The next day, Kuroyukihime meets with him during the walk to school, apologizing for the quarrel yesterday in the café. However, Haruyuki surprises her by saying that he had succeeded in the Direct Connection with Chiyuri. When he mentions how the cable was only thirty centimeters long, Kuroyukihime storms off into the distance, and the oblivious Haruyuki couldn’t keep up with her walking speed.

At lunch, the newspaper club interviews Haruyuki on the claims that he was dating Kuroyukihime. When Haruyuki mentions how she was mad at him when he talked about another girl, the newspaper club members suggest that it was because Kuroyukihime was jealous. Completely shocked at the possibility that Kuroyukihime might actually like him, Haruyuki barricades himself into his usual bathroom stall. Determined that someone that beautiful would never truly love someone as ugly as himself, he convinces himself that Kuroyukihime only pretended to like him because she wanted to deprecate herself. With this mindset, Haruyuki went on with his daily classes.

After school, Haruyuki meets with Kuroyukihime at the school gate, and they walk together while talking about the Cyan Pile situation. Haruyuki mechanically reports his findings on the Backdoor program. Noticing that something was wrong, Kuroyukihime asks him if something had happened. Haruyuki calmly says that everything was alright, and continues in an aggressive tone. Here, he states the conclusion that he had come to during lunch. He claims that Kuroyukihime hated herself, and spoke to him only so that she could deprecate herself. He says that she should stop pretending to like him, and that she should instead just use him as a tool and throw him away when she was done. At this point, Kuroyukihime slaps him with tears in her eyes, repeatedly calling him an “idiot”. However, before she could elaborate, a car driven by Araya came speeding towards them.

Kuroyukihime using "Physical Full Burst"
On instinct, both of them accelerate. In the Initial Acceleration Space, Kuroyukihime states that she is determined to protect Haruyuki. Confessing her love and bidding him farewell, she activates the Physical Full Burst command. This command, only available to Level 9 Burst Linkers, allowed one to move their physical body at a hundred times the normal speed at the cost of 99% of their Burst Points. Kuroyukihime manages to push Haruyuki away from Araya’s car, saving him. However, she herself was caught in the direct path of the car, sustaining heavy injuries.

The next few minutes were a blur to Haruyuki. An ambulance arrived, sending Kuroyukihime to the hospital with him as a passenger. At the hospital, Haruyuki could only stare at the red “In Operation” light while pondering what he could have done to prevent what had happened. After a duration, a nurse came out to explain Kuroyukihime’s status. She explains that they were doing their best to treat her condition, and then asks if he was Kuroyukihime’s boyfriend. Shocked, Haruyuki questioned how she had come to this conclusion. She flips Kuroyukihime’s student handbook to the last page and hands it to him. There, right next to Kuroyukihime's own face-shot, was a photo of Haruyuki’s surprised expression taken from the day before. Overwhelmed with emotion, Haruyuki began to cry.

A few hours later, the doctor in charge once again reported Kuroyukihime’s condition. They had managed to stop the bleeding, but many of her organs were severely damaged. Thus, she had to remain in a capsule for twelve hours. Noticing that her Neurolinker was still connected, Haruyuki asks the nurse about it. The nurse explains that the Neurolinker was equipped to monitor her brainwaves. Realizing that Cyan Pile might take advantage of the situation to attack the unconscious Black Lotus, he decides to guard the entrance of the hospital, challenging any person who entered. Staring at the entrance hall, he remained in that position all night long.

When the hospital finally opened at 8:30, Haruyuki repeatedly accelerated to check the matching list as people walked by. At around 8:45, Haruyuki saw his childhood friend Takumu enter the hospital. Raising his hand to greet him, Haruyuki suddenly felt a sense of unease. Seeing Takumu cover his mouth and whisper silent words, Haruyuki realized that Takumu was a likely candidate for the real identity of Cyan Pile. Accelerating and operating his menu as fast as he could, he confirmed the appearance of the name “Cyan Pile” on the hospital’s matching list. Without hesitation, he pressed the duel button.

Cyan Pile
Haruyuki finds himself in the Purgatory stage, facing towards his long-time childhood friend and current opponent: Takumu, a.k.a. Cyan Pile. Haruyuki is intimidated by Takumu’s muscular duel avatar, which he describes as a “blue giant”. Meanwhile, Takumu also expresses his surprise at the revelation of Haruyuki being a Burst Linker.  

He explains how, seeking Chiyuri’s approval, he had begun using Acceleration to earn good grades and win Kendo competitions. However, no matter how much he achieved, Chiyuri always seemed to yearn to spend time with Haruyuki instead. Out of his depression and disappointment, he began to despise Haruyuki. The breaking point came the previous night, when Haruyuki had Direct Connected to Chiyuri on her own bed while Takumu was watching through the Backdoor program. Haruyuki wanted to resolve the misunderstanding, but he realized that he had no choice but to defeat his former friend and guard Kuroyukihime, who was still in a coma.

As the fight begins, Haruyuki plans to flank Takumu and move to a more spacious area, but his left arm was immediately pierced from a distance by Cyan Pile’s pile-driver Enhanced Armament, which he had mistakenly judged to be a melee type armament. However, undaunted, he stood up and ran to the elevator leading up to the roof.

When both of them arrive on the roof, Haruyuki takes advantage of his speed and manages to chip Takumu’s health gauge to 60%. He manages to beat Takumu to the ground, relentless pounding him while explaining Chiyuri’s true wishes. However, Takumu activates his special technique, «Splash Stinger», heavily damaging Haruyuki and forcing him off. Haruyuki once again tries to perform his previous combo attack, but his right leg breaks off, removing his ability to move. Seeing this, Takumu walks up to the disabled Haruyuki, and proclaims that he should disappear. Pressing his pile-driver onto Haruyuki’s chest, he activates «Spiral Gravity Driver», impaling Haruyuki all the way down to the first floor.

After his apparent victory, Cyan Pile boasts to the spectators, saying that they should forgive him for wasting a few points. Meanwhile, Haruyuki, still alive with a bare minimum of health, finds himself in the same room as Kuroyukihime, who had been transferred to the duel as a spectator. Crawling to her capsule, he laments his inability to protect her.

However, he begins to hear Kuroyukihime’s heartbeat. Realizing that this was the manifestation of her will to keep going, he realizes that the true meaning of strength was to look up to the sky even after being cruelly thrown to the ground. His renewed will to persevere crystallizes itself into a pair of silver wings that burst out of his back. Looking up to the distant sky that he had always reached towards, Haruyuki shoots upward with his new wings.

The spectators, in awe, proclaim Silver Crow as the first avatar in the history of the Accelerated World who possessed the ability to fly. Cyan Pile, livid with rage at his opponent’s rebirth, shoots his long-ranged Lightning Cyan Spike at the flying Crow. Haruyuki easily dodges the projectile and punches deep into Cyan Pile’s body, lifting him high into the sky.

In the sky, Takumu begs Haruyuki to surrender the match, since his point deficiency meant that losing would rob him of Brain Burst itself. In response, Haruyuki forces his childhood friend to admit that he would always be inferior to himself in a virtual battleground. Depressed, Takumu admits as such, and Haruyuki explains that because of this, for the first time since they were born, they were equals. Therefore, he proposes for them to work together in Nega Nebulus instead of fighting each other. Takumu abruptly begins to feel the weight of his many sins weighing on his back, and with a new paradigm, accepts Haruyuki’s offer.

Black Lotus' Duel Avatar
The two childhood friends descend together onto the ground of the Purgatory stage. Suddenly, Kuroyukihime, now awakened from her coma, ascended the elevator and arrived at the roof. Ecstatic, Haruyuki ran towards her, and the two embraced in a hug. Stroking Haruyuki’s newfound wings, she proclaims that Haruyuki was the fastest Burst Linker across the Accelerated World. She then thanks Haruyuki for all of his struggles in protecting her. After apologizing to Cyan Pile for running away during their duels, she decides to end her two-year recluse and restore her sealed Duel Avatar. Stripping away her dummy avatar, she reveals her true form to the Accelerated World for the first time in two years, and asks Haruyuki to carry her into the sky. High in the air, the resurrected Black Lotus, head of Nega Nebulus, declares war on the Six Great Legions.

After the battle, he and Takumu both visited Chiyuri’s house to explain everything. Chiyuri was initially furious, but gradually forgave them after being treated to various parfaits.

Three weeks later, Haruyuki visited Kuroyukihime in the general recovery ward, bringing a bouquet of black lotuses as a gift. He reports to her that Brain Burst had fixed the Backdoor program exploit with a new update and that Takumu’s parent, who had given the program to Takumu, had been executed by the Blue King. He also explains that the newly born Nega Nebulus now occupied Suginami III and IV.

Here, Haruyuki remembers that he still had Kuroyukihime’s student handbook. Seeing that it was in Haruyuki’s possession, Kuroyukihime gets flustered and snatches it back. After realizing that Haruyuki had never looked inside it, however, Kuroyukihime calms down and tells Haruyuki her real name.

The Sound of Water on a Distant Day

A few weeks after the events of "Kuroyukihime's Return", Haruyuki and Takumu team up in tag-team matches. After winning several duels, Haruyuki total Burst Point sum rises to 308, enough to reach Level 2. Without thinking, Haruyuki presses the confirmation button, draining him of three hundred points and leaving him a mere eight remaining Burst Points.

In the real world, the panicking Takumu rushes to Haruyuki’s location and pulls off his Neurolinker. Trembling, Takumu begins to apologize for not warning Haruyuki about the level-up point reduction. He then suggests for them to go to Haruyuki’s house to discuss the situation in more detail.

Arriving at Haruyuki’s room, Takumu offers for Haruyuki to take half of his remaining points through Direct Connect Duels. Haruyuki stubbornly refuses, remembering how Kuroyukihime had never asked for him to share points even after her 99% point-reduction through Physical Full Burst. Insisting on finding another way, Haruyuki repeatedly declines Takumu’s offer.

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Suddenly, Takumu is struck by an alternative method to restore Haruyuki’s points: to hire a Bouncer. Takumu explains that a certain Burst Linker by the name of Aqua Current helped guard low-point Burst Linkers on their journey to regain their points. This mysterious bouncer had a few quirks: they only helped Burst Linkers who were no higher than level 2, and they themselves were only level 1. In spite of their low level, the Bouncer has never failed to protect a client. However, in return for their service, they demanded the Burst Linker’s real-life information as compensation.

That night, Haruyuki contacted the mysterious Aqua Current. The Bouncer accepted, designating the café of a bookstore as the meeting place. As per the instructions, Haruyuki entered the café alone the next day. Sitting down at the specified table, Haruyuki finds a tablet with the words “Input Name” written on it. Inputting his name as “Silver Crow”, the tablet suddenly takes a photograph of his face, thus tracking his real life information. After accepting the payment, the tablet instructs him to wait until 13:40.

Aqua Current's real identity
While waiting, Haruyuki decides to use the restroom. However, on the way there, he accidentally trips and crashes into an androgynous girl with red glasses. Apologizing, Haruyuki tries to hand her bag back to her, but accidentally pours out its contents. Recognizing Aqua Current’s tablet among the items, Haruyuki realizes that the girl he had tripped into was Aqua Current’s real-life identity. Giving up on concealing her identity, the girl leads Haruyuki to the predesignated table to complete their mission.

When they arrive at the table, Aqua Current hands Haruyuki a Direct Connect Cable. Talking through the cable, she questions whether he was a mastermind who had intentionally tripped to expose her identity, or simply a clumsy birdbrain. Replying that it was the latter, Haruyuki explains how he had managed to reduce himself to a mere eight points in an attempt to prove himself. Believing him, Aqua Current instructs him to call her “Karen”.

Quickly getting down to business, she suggests that they register as tag-team partners and challenge another team. When they both arrive in the Initial Acceleration Space, Haruyuki notices that Aqua Current’s network avatar is an otter with red-rimmed glasses. Aqua Current quickly selects two opponents of levels three and four, explaining that if they were to lose, Haruyuki would not suffer total point-loss. Without further delay, the two entered the duel as a tag-team.

Aqua Current's duel avatar
Arriving in the duel field, Haruyuki examines Aqua Current’s duel avatar, which was the strangest he had ever seen. The amorphous avatar was completely covered by a layer of flowing water. Ignoring Haruyuki’s stares, Aqua Current suggests that they go meet their opponents, who went by the names of Sand Duct and Nickel Doll.

Suddenly, their aforementioned opponents burst through the “Primeval Forest” stage. After briefly greeting them, Sand Duct activates his special attack “Sand Blast”. However, Aqua Current simply absorbs the sand particles into her armor of water, calmly explaining that she was immune to particle attacks. After shooting the sand particles back at Sand Duct, she leads Sand Duct away, leaving Nickel Doll to Haruyuki.

Charging towards her, Haruyuki attempts to use his special attack “Headbutt”. However, Nickel Doll counters with a shock of electricity, repelling him backwards. After a couple of quick exchanges, both are thrown into the poisonous swamps dotting the map. Haruyuki realizes that this situation was tilted towards his advantage, as his silver armor was resistant to poison. However, Nickel Doll thrusts her hands into the super-conductive swamp water and activates her special move “Anode-Cathode”. Victoriously exclaiming that silver was the best electrical conductor among all metals, she continues to pulse electricity into Silver Crow’s avatar body.

At this point, Haruyuki’s special ability gauge was also almost fully charged, and he flies upwards to escape the electrical field. Chaining this into a high-altitude dive kick, he takes out a massive portion of Nickel Doll’s health gauge. However, before she could be killed by terrain impact, she was caught by her partner, Sand Duct. Likewise, Aqua Current also returned back to Haruyuki’s side.

Nickel Doll's "Anode-Cathode"
Nickel Doll and Sand Duct begin their combination attack, with Sand Duct using his “Turbo Molecular” in combination with Nickel Doll’s “Anode-Cathode”, creating a high-voltage vacuum. Sucked into the cloud of electricity, Haruyuki almost loses all of his HP. However, Aqua Current interferes, using her water armor to insulate the electricity. Calmly explaining the phenomenon to the shocked Nickel Doll, she states that pure water with no impurities is a perfect insulator. With the opponent’s combination attack nullified, Haruyuki and Aqua Current go on to win the duel.

After winning four straight duels with Aqua Current, Haruyuki regains seventy Burst Points, returning to a safe amount. However, as Haruyuki thanks her, Aqua Current suddenly accelerates once again, challenging him to a duel. She explains to the shocked Haruyuki that she planned to take all of his remaining Burst Points as extra payment. However, even though she encourages Haruyuki to protect his life in a duel, he stubbornly refuses to fight her. He states that he had always believed that Aqua Current was a good person, and that she would never take all of his points.

Hearing Haruyuki’s sincere exclamation, Aqua Current steps backward and explains that what she had said previously was a lie. As Haruyuki had discovered her true identity, she simply wanted to threaten him a bit. Hinting toward her past, Aqua Current explains that she had also had friends long ago. But due to a certain incident, her Legion broke up, and she was left alone ever since. However, she still believes that one day, her broken Legion would rise back up from its ashes. Turning towards Haruyuki, she explains that she still had to collect the extra payment: his memories of her. After stating that it was too early for the “Elements” to interfere, she uses her Incarnate Skill “Memory Leak” to suppress Haruyuki’s memories of her.

Haruyuki wakes up at the empty table, remembering that his points were restored. However, his memories of Aqua Current were still suppressed. Walking out the door, he passes a girl with red rimmed glasses, and hears the trickling of water. Brushing it off as his imagination, he runs off to tell Takumu about the successful operation.

Crimson Storm Princess Arc

The flight ability has given Haruyuki a huge advantage in the Accelerated World, allowing him to reach level 2 in a mere week and level 3 in only a month. However, now at level 3, his opponents were beginning to analyze the shortcomings of his flying ability – mainly, his weakness to long-ranged, high-speed projectiles. Now, in Territory Battles, the attacking side would always have a “anti-crow” ranged avatar on their side to exploit his huge weakness. As his win-rate plummeted, Haruyuki grew desperate to prove himself – and to stay by Kuroyukihime’s side.

Thus, he began to train. Haruyuki built a training program consisting of a blank white space with a single large revolver placed in the center. When the “start” button was pressed, a thirty-minute countdown began. At a random moment within the thirty-minutes, the gun would fire, and Haruyuki would have to react fast enough to dodge it at a distance of twenty meters. Furthermore, the program contained an illegal patch that nullified the pain-absorber, allowing him to feel the pain of each bullet.

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One day, a month later, Haruyuki practiced as usual in his training program. As his attention faltered for a split second, the gun fired. Although Haruyuki managed to avoid a direct hit, the bullet nevertheless blew off his left ear. Feeling the full pain of the bullet, he began thrashing on the virtual space’s floor. Detecting the abnormalities in his brain waves, his Neurolinker automatically logged him out.

Finding himself facing the door of the toilet stall, Haruyuki abruptly turned around and vomited into the toilet. Pondering his failure in the training program, Haruyuki begins to worry about the disappointment Kuroyukihime must have felt at the recent Territory Battles. Promising to become stronger, he exits the toilet stall and walks home.

Yuniko's first appearance
As Haruyuki enters his apartment, he is greeted by the voice of a young girl. With his mind on autopilot, he answers the voice without thought and begins to walk to his room. However, at this point, he suddenly remembers that he didn’t have a younger sister, and whirls back to investigate the source of the voice. Arriving in the kitchen, he finds a cute, red-headed girl baking cookies. Convinced that it was simply Neurolinker virus, he walked up and began pinching the girl’s cheek. Suddenly, the girl began screaming, and Haruyuki jumped back in shock. Pulling off his Neurolinker, he realizes that the girl is a real flesh-and-blood person.

It was only here that Haruyuki noticed the message from his mother. Her mother says that the daughter of a relative, named Tomoko Saitou, was going to stay over for a few days. Now knowing this, Haruyuki and the girl begin to talk.

That night, while Haruyuki was taking a bath, he thought over the day’s unexpected events. Realizing that it all seemed to “perfect”, he began to become a bit suspicious. Equipping his Neurolinker, he begins to browse through his family’s net for any mention of “Tomoko Saitou”. However, the moment he found a match, the girl in question walked into the bathroom.

Innocently smiling towards the shocked Haruyuki, she asks if it was okay to get into the bath with him. After blubbering excuses for a bit, Haruyuki looks over to the picture of “Tomoko Saitou” that he had found on the net. Realizing that his cousin and the girl in front of him looked completely different, he asks the girl if she was a new Burst Linker.

The girl’s reaction was immediate. Her face turned red, and her eye jerked. However, after a split second, she returned to her previous expression and questioned Haruyuki’s words in a cute voice. Undaunted, Haruyuki began to explain his findings. Finally dropping the act, the girl’s facial expression and tone of voice immediately changed, and explained how she had arranged their meeting after three days of social engineering. After listening to her explanation, Haruyuki guesses that she was trying to hack Black Lotus through him, since she did not have the power to defeat Lotus in an actual duel.

Taking great offense to this declaration, the girl exclaims that he had shown great disrespect towards the famed “Scarlet Rain”, and that he was going to suffer great punishment. However, as she ran to get her Neurolinker, she slipped on a towel and fell into the bathtub. On impact, her towel was blown away.

Realizing that they were both completely naked in the bathtub, the girl screams and leaps out. However, before running out of the bathroom, she declares that she is going to kill Haruyuki. With that, she ran off to grab her Neurolinker – and a pair of clothes.

His mind slowly recovering from the shock of the situation, Haruyuki ponders on the name the girl had mentioned. Calling Kuroyukihime, he asks her about a Burst Linker named “Scarlet Rain”. Slightly shocked, she answers that Scarlet Rain, also known as “Immobile Fortress” and “Bloody Storm”, was the ‘’’Second Red King’’’.

At this moment, the girl who was Scarlet Rain entered the bathroom, this time with her Neurolinker. Without any delay, she accelerated, challenging Haruyuki to a duel.

Scarlet Rain's "Invincible"
Landing in the duel field, Haruyuki examines his opponent. Scarlet Rain’s duel avatar was small and red, resembling a doll. However, just as he began to question whether this doll-like avatar was a fearsome level 9 King, a strange phenomenon occurred. Massive red blocks appeared one after another from the space behind the small avatar, connecting with huge legs and cannons to form a humongous Fortress.

Haruyuki attempts to attack the back of the avatar. However, huge jets of flame blew through, blowing him away. Immediately after, Scarlet Rain’s fortress turned around and released a massive barrage of missiles, forcing him to flee. Flying out of the building, Haruyuki turns around to examine the destruction. His apartment building had been completely destroyed, reduced to a large pile of rubble. Thinking that Rain had buried herself under the rubble, he lets his guard down. However, at this moment, Scarlet Rain unleashed her Heat Blast Saturation, a giant laser that incinerated the rubble and pierced through Silver Crow’s left arms. Haruyuki is left speechless at the massive destruction left behind by a single attack.

Seeing the flying Crow, Scarlet Rain unleashes her anti-aircraft Hailstorm Domination. Haruyuki somehow manages to dodge the barrage of missiles and bullets shot from the fortress. Suddenly, he is struck by an interesting thought: how was he able to dodge all these hundreds of bullets now, when he could not manage to dodge even a single one during the Territory Battles?

Dodging the heat-seeking missiles, Haruyuki finds a blind spot and takes the opportunity to unleash a dive kick at the stationary fortress underneath. However, just as he is about to make contact, Scarlet Rain dismantled her Enhanced Armament and dodged with a single step. Completely missing his target, Haruyuki crashes into the ground in an unsightly manner. Now stuck, he could only watch as Scarlet Rain triumphantly walked over to him. However, instead of killing him, Rain makes a shocking request: she wanted to meet with Black Lotus in the real world.

The next morning, Haruyuki meets with Kuroyukihime to talk about the Red King’s request. Although initially shocked, Kuroyukihime congratulates Haruyuki for his efforts in the duel. Suggesting that they meet somewhere more private, they call a Nega Nebulus meeting on the school’s roof.

Now with Takumu, Haruyuki explains his meeting with the Red King. Takumu, living up to his nickname of “Professor”, theorizes that the Red King had initially planned to manipulate Haruyuki into temporarily joining the Red Legion, Prominence. Then, using the possibility of Judgement Blow, she would have threatened Haruyuki into doing something. In the end, Kuroyukihime agrees to meet with the Red King, arranging Haruyuki’s living room as the meeting place.

Tension at the meeting

Stressing over the condition of his house, Haruyuki leads Kuroyukihime to his house. To his horror, he finds that Scarlet Rain had found his stash of violent video games and was currently playing them on his home television. Seeing Kuroyukihime, Rain pauses her game and stands up to confront her. Sensing the dangerous amount of tension present, Haruyuki butts in with a stupid comment. Although he ended up pulling the death stares of the two Kings onto himself, he successfully lessened the tension.

After Takumu arrives, the meeting between the Red and Black Kings begin. Starting off with an introduction, the Red King introduces herself as Kozuki Yuniko, Niko for short. After the members of Nega Nebulus do the same – Kuroyukihime somehow hacked her identification card – the meeting got down to business.

First, Kuroyukihime questions how Niko had managed to crack Haruyuki’s real life identity. She answers that she had accelerated at every school she visited in Suginami to check the matching list. Once discovering Umesato, she used an alternative plan to accelerate every time a student walked out of the school. Using around two hundred Burst Points, she managed to find Haruyuki’s real life identity.

After this matter is cleared, Kuroyukihime questions Niko’s motive – the reason why she had gone to such lengths to crack Haruyuki’s identity. In a grim voice, the Red King answers that she needed to borrow Silver Crow’s flight ability to destroy the Armor of Catastrophe.

At this revelation, the shocked Kuroyukihime exclaims in a terror-filled voice that the Armor has already been defeated. Confused, Haruyuki questions about the “Armor”. Kuroyukihime, after calming down, explains the concept of Enhanced Armaments. These powerful weapons could be obtained through a variety of methods. One such method is to rob a player in possession of an Enhanced Armament of all their Burst Points. In such a case, there is a low possibility that the Enhanced Armament will be transferred to the killer – a low rate random event. However, the cursed Armor of Catastrophe has a perfect transfer rate of 100%.

Severely disturbed, Kuroyukihime once again clarifies that the Armor has already been destroyed. In fact, she had confirmed its annihilation two and a half years ago.

Then, she explains to the perplexed Haruyuki the history of the Armor of Catastrophe. At the dawn of the Accelerated World, there was a Burst Linker known as Chrome Disaster. Covered by a metallic armor, the tyrant drove many Burst Linkers to total point-loss with his berserker fighting style. Perceiving him as a threat, the highest-levelled Burst Linkers at that time banded together to end the Disaster’s reign. Finally, the day came when he was deprived of all his points. On the verge of death, Chrome Disaster cursed the world, proclaiming that he would return again and again. Fulfilling the promise, the cursed Enhanced Armament, known as the Armor of Catastrophe, remained after the original Chrome Disaster’s death. Infecting Burst Linkers one after another one, the same cycle of subjugation repeated itself three times. However, after taking part in the Fourth subjugation mission, Kuroyukihime believed that the Armor had been destroyed for good.

In order to demonstrate the monstrous power of Chrome Disaster, Kuroyukihime offers to show them a video recording of the Fourth Disaster’s death. Direct Connecting to each other in a daisy chain net of cables, the four Burst Linkers dove into the virtual net. Guiding them towards the correct access gate, Kuroyukihime began to play the recording.

The Fourth Chrome Disaster

Haruyuki watched as Kuroyukihime and the Green King, Green Grandé, planned an ambush. Hiding behind a few rocks, the two Kings awaited the arrival of the Fourth Chrome Disaster. At this moment, the monster in question appeared. Seeing through the ambush, the Disaster immediately attacked the rock of the Green King. Forced to evade, Grandé leapt out from the cover of the rock. Activating his cross-shield The Strife, he blocked the Disaster’s attacks. Watching the monster’s enraged strikes, Haruyuki felt himself pierced to the core with overwhelming fear.

Seeing that his repeated strikes bore no fruit, the Fourth Disaster opted for another mode of attack. Opening his mouth, the beast extended its tongue to use “Health Drain”. However, at this moment, the Black King intervened. Dashing towards the Disaster, Kuroyukihime severed the tongue with a clean hit. Together with Green Grandé, she managed to kill the Fourth Chrome Disaster.

Returning to the real world, Haruyuki found himself in cold sweat, unable to believe that a Burst Linker like himself dwelled within that feral monster. Niko, upon waking up, repeats her claim that Chrome Disaster has once again returned to the Accelerated World. Not believing her, Kuroyukihime stubbornly insists that she had personally confirmed the Armor’s annihilation after the Fourth Disaster’s death. Exasperated, the Red King retorts that if the Armor was indeed destroyed, then how had the Fifth Disaster appeared?

At this point, Kuroyukihime begins to question the current Disaster’s characteristics. In a shaking voice, Niko explains that the Fifth Disaster was originally a Prominence legionnaire by the name of Cherry Rook. Surprised that the Disaster was not one of the Kings, Kuroyukihime begins to muse over the dilemma. Takumu offers a possible explanation: one of the Kings at the previous subjugation raid had lied about the Armor’s disappearance, keeping it for themselves. Then, two and a half years later, they gave the cursed Armor to Prominence’s Cherry Rook.

Haruyuki finds it hard to believe that the Armor of Catastrophe, a mere item in a game, could erode a player’s mental state to such an extent. Kuroyukihime explains that it was definitely possible – information from the Brain Burst system could potentially flow backwards into the Burst Linker’s brain, influencing their thoughts and emotions.

Continuing, Niko explains that she decided to end Cherry Rook’s life with Judgement Blow. However, when she had tried to do so ten days ago, the Fifth Disaster had escaped with a huge jump – an ability that almost resembled flight. Thus, she explains her motive for visiting Haruyuki: she needed Silver Crow to use his flight ability to capture the Fifth Chrome Disaster. After overcoming his shock, Haruyuki agrees to the request.

However, he still has one last question: where were they going to confront the Disaster? If they challenged the Disaster to a three against one Battle Royale with two Kings present, there was no way that he was going to accept. Niko answers that the battle was going to take place in the Unlimited Neutral Field.

Upon hearing this, Takumu immediately protested – the Unlimited Neutral Field was far too dangerous. Besides, they did not know whether the Red King was being truthful; for all they knew, she could be leading them into a deadly trap. In response to this allegation, the Red King offered her real life information: her name, her address, everything. If the subjugation mission turned out to be a trap, they could take revenge with a Real Life PK.

With this, the Black and Red legions reached a consensus. Nega Nebulus would help the Red King subjugate the Fifth Chrome Disaster. In return, Prominence would cease all Territory attacks on Black Legion territory. Agreeing to carry out the mission the next day at Haruyuki’s house, the meeting concluded.

Kuroyukihime and Niko after bathing

However, while she was leaving, Kuroyukihime realized that Niko would be staying with Haruyuki for the night. Immediately stopping in place, she proclaims that she would also spend the night at the Arita apartment. Stunned, Haruyuki could only stand there as Kuroyukihime walked back into his house.

That night, the three of them slept together in the living room. In the middle of the night, Haruyuki woke up to a surprising sight: the two Kings who were supposed to be a whole meter apart were now asleep in an embrace. Niko had her head buried in Kuroyukihime chest, while Kuroyukihime cradled Niko’s head. These two fearsome Level 9 Kings were supposed to be sworn enemies, bound by the Level 9 Sudden Death Rule. Yet here they were, wrapped in a sleeping embrace. Feeling that he had arrived on something unfathomably beautiful, tears began pouring out of his eyes. However, unable to put his thoughts into words, he could only stare at the two sleeping Kings.

The next morning, Haruyuki leaves the house with Kuroyukihime to attend school. However, he accidentally runs into Kurashima Chiyuri in the elevator. Surprised and slightly irritated to find Kuroyukihime together with Haruyuki, she demands an explanation. Fumbling, Haruyuki texts Takumu for help. Upon arriving on the scene, Takumu explains to Chiyuri that he and Kuroyukihime had both stayed at Haruyuki’s house to discuss Brain Burst matters. Unconvinced that a mere game could warrant such time and attention, she states that she wanted to see for herself what Brain Burst actually was. After promising to raise her virtual aptitude, she runs off.

On the matter of lending Chiyuri Brain Burst, Kuroyukihime explains that Brain Burst could only be given to one other person. Thus, giving Chiyuri Brain Burst would be a huge gamble – such an important decision had to be thought out further. Haruyuki states that Chiyuri already satisfies the first condition of Brain Burst, which is to have equipped a Neurolinker since birth, so there was a large chance that the installation would succeed. Suddenly, Haruyuki is struck by a thought: who was Kuroyukihime’s Parent? However, before he could voice his question, they arrived at the school.

During his classes, his earlier question continued to bug him. Unable to resist, he scheduled to meet with Kuroyukihime at the virtual squash court. Kuroyukihime manages to guess Haruyuki’s question, but doesn’t answer it directly. Instead, she cryptically states that her Parent used to be her greatest friend, the person whom her life revolved around. However, one day, their acquaintance was brutally shattered. Now, her Parent was her greatest enemy.

Kuroyukihime explains that, while the Parent-Child bond is the strongest bond in the Accelerated World, it is not always positive. If such a bond was to become negative, the effects would reach outside the realm of Brain Burst to affect their real-world relationship. Haruyuki vows that if his bond with Kuroyukihime ever turned south, he would voluntarily uninstall Brain Burst. Hearing his words, Kuroyukihime promises that, no matter what happened in the future, she would never regret choosing him as her Child.

That afternoon, Haruyuki walks home by himself. Arriving in his living room, he greets Niko, who was sitting silently on the sofa. In a businesslike tone, she states that they should be able to make it in time to confront Chrome Disaster.

Niko sitting on the sofa with a serious expression

Here, Haruyuki is struck by a sudden thought: What if the Red King held a grudge against Kuroyukihime for killing her predecessor? As such, he directly asks her whether she hates Kuroyukihime. A bit surprised, Niko answers that she didn’t hate her; as she had hardly even met the previous Red King, she didn’t hold much hatred towards the Black King for killing him. In fact, it was because of Red Rider’s death that she was able to rise to the rank of Legion Master. A bit embarrassed, she explains that she actually admired Black Lotus. The other Kings hypocritically advocated for the Mutual Nonaggression Pact while secretly aiming for Level 10 themselves. Meanwhile, only the Black King had the guts to openly declare her intentions.

Niko explains that there was a theory that Brain Burst would end and automatically delete itself when a player reached Level 10. As such, the Mutual Nonaggression Pact might potentially help prolong the game’s life. However, it also led to the world’s stagnation – it was getting progressively more difficult to earn points and levels. This thought had tormented Cherry Rook, the current Chrome Disaster, driving him to turn to the Armor.

At the mention of Cherry Rook, Niko begins to tear up. Shouting at Haruyuki to turn away, she wipes her eyes with her arm. Recovering, she commands him to forget everything that she had just said and begins kicking him. However, Haruyuki grabs her legs and begins to reassure her. He explains that he had seen many MMOs quietly die out because of such stagnation, watching the familiar parts of the beloved world vanish one by one. This, he believed, was the saddest type of ending possible; he would not allow Brain Burst to die out in such a manner.

After thinking quietly for a moment, Niko states that she was beginning to understand what he was trying to convey. However, immediately after, she begins shouting at him to let go of her feet. Just as she successfully kicks Haruyuki to the ground, the doorbell rings, signaling the arrival of the other members of Nega Nebulus.

After a quick greeting, Kuroyukihime explains the mission’s plan. The confrontation with Chrome Disaster was going to take place in the Unlimited Neutral Field, the true battleground of the Accelerated World. Instructing him to speak the initiation command “Unlimited Burst”, they dive into the Unlimited Neutral Field.

Unlimited Neutral Field

Diving into the Unlimited Neutral Field for the first time, Haruyuki abruptly realizes that the time limit, which was usually displayed on the top of the user interface, was gone. Niko explains that the Unlimited Neutral Field had no time limit – with just ten points, the user could accelerate for an unlimited length of time. Furthermore, the Unlimited Neutral Field had no boundaries; it stretched throughout all of the Social Camera Network.

However, Takumu warns him against frequent long-duration dives. If one were to spend an extended duration of time in the Unlimited Neutral Field, their mental and physical ages would slowly drift apart.

Changing the topic, Niko states that they should get going soon, suggesting for Haruyuki to carry them through the air. After arguing about the arrangement for a while, the four Burst Linkers finally agree on the following formation: Kuroyukihime and Niko in each of Haruyuki’s arms, while Takumu hung on to his legs.

While flying, Haruyuki notices a gargantuan four-legged beast crawling through the field below. Kuroyukihime explains that the creature was known as an “Enemy”, a monster created by the system. Watching as a group of Burst Linkers attacked the Enemy, she explains that Enemies could be hunted for Burst Points. As such, hunting parties frequented the Unlimited Neutral Field for Enemy hunts.

Suddenly, lasers, missiles, and bullets begin to target them from the ground. Barely managing to dodge the first barrage, Haruyuki flies down to middle of a huge crater in the ground. Safely landing in the crater, they take stock of their surroundings. However, immediately after, more than thirty Burst Linkers line the edge of the crater, firmly surrounding them. Lastly, the crowd parted for the entrance of a yellow clown-like avatar – the Yellow King, Yellow Radio.

Yellow Radio

Realizing that it was an ambush planned by the Yellow King, Niko begins to shout accusations at the yellow avatar. However, Radio calmly denies her allegations, saying that the Mutual Nonaggression Pact stated that if a Burst Linker was forced to total point-loss by a member of another legion in violation of the Pact, then the legion of the deceased Burst Linker could also drive the first avatar from the attacking legion that they find to total point-loss as well – an eye for an eye. And since the current Chrome Disaster, a former member of the Red Legion Prominence had driven members of the Yellow Legion to total point-loss, going by the Pact, Yellow Radio was waiting in the Unlimited Neutral Field with thirty more Burst Linkers to ambush the first Red avatar they meet. However, this supposedly random Red avatar just happened to be the Red King herself – or at least, allegedly.

Knowing that this was no coincidence, Haruyuki theorizes that it was Yellow Radio who had kept the Armor of Catastrophe after the death of the Fourth Chrome Disaster. Afterwards, he had given it to Cherry Rook, turning him into the current Fifth Disaster. However, he had no way to prove his theory. With no way to get around the situation, Haruyuki suggests for them to log-out of the Unlimited Neutral Field to avoid the ambush. However, Niko responds that immediate log-out was not possible in the Unlimited Neutral Field; in order to log out, one must reach a portal. As such, they could only fight.

However, Yellow Radio has another trick up his sleeve. Pulling out a recording of the death of the First Red King, Red Rider, he plays the video in front of Kuroyukihime. Haruyuki watches as Red Rider, after conveying his wish to be friends with Black Lotus, offers her a handshake. However, since her hands were blades, she instead pulls him into a hug. At this moment, she activates her Death By Embracing attack, instantly decapitating Rider. With this, the recording ends.

Forced to watch the recording, the lights of Kuroyukihime’s avatar suddenly went out. Collapsing on the floor of the crater, she ceases to move. Laughing at the spectacle, Yellow Radio commands his troops to commence the ambush.

Immediately, a hail of bullets, lasers, and missiles begin to rain down on the crater’s floor. Barely surviving the barrage, Takumu commands Haruyuki to carry Kuroyukihime and escape with Niko to the crater’s edge. However, Yellow Radio activates his special attack “Silly Go Round”, distorting their vision and robbing them of the ability to escape. At this moment, the second barrage of attacks commences. Standing in front of his friends, Takumu blocks the rain of bullets with his own body. After taking a couple more attacks and killing a few close-ranged avatars who had come to engage them in close quarters, Takumu’s health gauge runs out.

Holding Kuroyukihime’s limp body, Haruyuki begins to ask why she couldn’t move. Niko explains that she was currently in a state of Zero Fill – a phenomenon in which a lack of willpower and a sense of hopelessness robs a Burst Linker of the ability to control their avatar. In other words, a Burst Linker without the strength to face their own wounds could not move.

Instructing Haruyuki to take Kuroyukihime and fly away, she asserts that she was going to stand her ground and fight. However, Haruyuki rejects her command, stating that as her friend, he was also going to help. Surprised, Niko responds that he could do what he wanted. Turning around to face Yellow Radio, she calls out the command to summon the Immobile Fortress, the Enhanced Armament Invincible.

Telling Haruyuki to take care of any closer-ranged avatars that tried to attack her base, she begins a long-ranged attack. Barrages of missiles and heat beams incinerated any avatars that attempted to get close. Laying Kuroyukihime down on the floor of the crater, Haruyuki begins to engage the melee avatars who had managed to survive Niko’s initial volley.

After defeating a few avatars, however, he falls prey to an immobilizing stun attack by a neighboring avatar. Meanwhile, a jamming avatar in the ranks of the ambushers had removed the Red King’s ability to attack. Unable to move, he could watch as the melee avatars clambered onto her fortress and began ripping parts off. Helpless, he cries out to the limp Kuroyukihime, encouraging her to get up and fight.

Kuroyukihime's Awakening

Slowly, the lights in the duel avatar ignited once more, and the Black King rose back up. Stating that the way Haruyuki had spoken before made it sound like she and Rider were in love, she tells him that it was not the case; Haruyuki was her first. Furthermore, she instructs him to simply stick his hands into the ground.

Doing as such, Haruyuki felt the electricity immobilizing him instantly dissipate – the earth had absorbed the electrical charge. Easily defeating the avatar that had been holding him in place, he begins to engage the other melee avatars in combat. Meanwhile, Kuroyukihime dashed towards the enemies atop Niko’s armor. Weaving through their ranks, she dismembers their limbs one by one, effortlessly massacring the entire group.

Seeing the Black King back in action, Yellow Radio once again tries to return her to Zero Fill, taunting her with words of Rider’s death. However, Kuroyukihime simply states that taking his head would not weigh on her the same way Rider’s did, and dashes towards the Yellow King on the edge of the crater.

Meanwhile, Haruyuki flies upwards in search of the jamming avatar. Finding him, he realizes that the avatar was protected by a long-ranged red avatar with a rifle. Seeing him, the ranged avatar points his gun towards the flying Haruyuki. Realizing that he had to dodge the bullet, something that he had failed to do in his training program, Haruyuki’s anxiety kicks back in. However, he quickly realizes something: the current situation was different. Now, he could see not only the gun, but also the avatar holding the gun. Thus, he could watch the avatar’s movements to determine the timing of the bullet. Going off of his newfound theory, Haruyuki manages to dodge the bullet. Performing a dive kick, he easily defeats both the long-ranged sniper avatar and the jamming avatar. With her guns now freed, Niko mows down the rest of the attacking avatars.

Kuroyukihime's Death by Piercing

On the other hand, Kuroyukihime is battling against Yellow Radio. The two face off – Kuroyukihime using her blades, and Radio using a yellow baton. In awe, all of the remaining combatants stop their battles and watch the two Kings. Niko declares that this was the first time that two Level 9 Kings fought against each other in a serious battle to the death. In the next moment, the battle would be decided: each of their special attack gauges were almost full. Whoever could attack first would be the winner of the death battle.

At about the same time, Kuroyukihime begins her Death By Piercing incantation and Radio begins his Futile Fortune Wheel. However, at this moment, Radio’s chant is interrupted by a sword bursting through his chest. Slowly, a dark knight wielding a gigantic sword materializes in the darkness behind him – The Fifth Chrome Disaster. Paralyzed with fear, Radio is unable to act. However, coming to his senses, he quickly activates his Deceit Firecracker and manages to escape. Gathering his troops, Yellow Radio and his ambush group flees to the nearest portal, exiting the Unlimited Neutral Field.

Overcome with fear, Haruyuki momentarily enters a state of Zero Fill. However, Kuroyukihime dashes forwards and intercepts Chrome Disaster’s incoming blade. Under the pressure of the huge sword, she begins to encourage Haruyuki. She tells him that he feared defeat – he believed that with every loss, his own worth decreased. Progressively getting more and more discouraged, his victories in the recent Territory Battles had also begun to decrease. Declaring that this was not at all the case, she begins a fierce onslaught directed at Chrome Disaster.

The Fifth Chrome Disaster

Haruyuki begins to wonder what was giving her the strength to face such a terrifying opponent. While stubbornly standing her ground, Kuroyukihime conveys to him that once on the battlefield, there was nothing else to do but fight, to fight with all their might regardless of the possibility of defeat. Finally understanding what Kuroyukihime was trying to say, Haruyuki overcomes his fear and rises out of Zero Fill. However, the moment they prepare to fight Chrome Disaster together, a red beam of light washes over them, blowing them away along with the Disaster.

Looking at Kuroyukihime’s broken avatar, he realizes that the laser came from Niko. He begins to scream at the Red King, questioning why she had attacked them even though she knew that Kuroyukihime would lose all her points if she died. Coldly walking towards the half dead Chrome Disaster, she cynically states that all Burst Linkers other than oneself was an enemy – there was no such thing as friends in the cruel world. Instructing them to leave now while they still could, she stands atop the broken knight, preparing the Judgement Blow.

Watching this scene, Haruyuki is hit with a wave of indescribable sadness. Remembering the previous night’s scene of the two Kings peacefully sleeping, he wonders if that sight had simply been an illusion, a coincidence. However, at this moment, he hears a metallic screech. Looking up, he sees Chrome Disaster holding Niko up into the air. Had Niko not activated Judgement Blow?

From the side, Kuroyukihime asserts that the two Burst Linkers, Cherry Rook and Scarlet Rain, were parent and child – Niko had not been able to bring herself to kill her Parent. Kuroyukihime states that Niko, more than anyone, wished to trust someone. Following, she tells him to go help Niko – their friend. Kicking off the ground, he dashes towards the chrome knight and punches him to the side, freeing Niko from his grasp. Surprised, the Red King asks him why he had come to help. In response, Haruyuki answers that they were friends, above all else. Calling him a jerk, she turns to the Fifth Chrome Disaster and declares that it was time to end everything.

However, at this moment, the Disaster raises his hand skywards and leaps to the nearest building. Realizing that this was the long-distance jump, Haruyuki flies off to pursue him. Aiming a dive kick, he shoots towards the fleeing knight. However, the Disaster suddenly changes direction midair, dodging Haruyuki’s kick. Surprised, he approaches the Disaster once again and tries to launch a punch. Once again, Chrome Disaster changes trajectory midair, miraculously dodging his strike. However, in this brief encounter, Haruyuki’s eyes caught a surprising sight: a thin wire stretching out from the Disaster’s hand. Realizing that he was using the wire as a grappling hook to swing from building to building, Haruyuki comes up with a suicidal plan.

Flying at a high speed, he moves in front of the Disaster, catching the wire’s hook with his own back. Carrying the monstrous weight, he slams the Disaster’s body into the metal wall of the Sunshine City. Smashing through the solid wall, Chrome Disaster suffers heavy damage. However, the broken knight suddenly reaches out its hand once more, pulling Haruyuki towards him. Realizing that he could not be eaten at all costs, Haruyuki counters the wire’s pull with the thrust of his wings. Pulling the Disaster behind him, he flies all the way to the summit of the tower, then doubles back to activate a dive kick, driving his foot into the Disaster’s throat.

Cherry Rook's face within the Armor of Catastrophe

At this moment, the Disaster’s visor slides apart, revealing Cherry Rook’s face within. The innocent face quietly speaks that he had only wanted to get stronger. Haruyuki screams back that “wanting to get stronger” was no excuse to hurt others – everyone, not just him, desired to get stronger, to improve themselves. Plunging downwards at an even greater speed, he drives the Disaster into the ground.

The dive kick from the extreme height creates a tremendous explosion. Haruyuki manages to survive, but the Fifth Chrome Disaster’s armor is completely shattered. However, even though the wire had snapped, the hook was still attached to his back. Ignoring this small detail, Haruyuki raises his face and looks towards the small cherry-pink avatar lying in the crater’s center. At this moment, Niko appears behind him, telling him that he had done well. Walking towards the pink avatar, she put the gun to his chest. After exchanging a few words, she activates Judgement Blow. Immediately, the cherry avatar disintegrates into countless ribbons of light, drifting upwards into the sky – Cherry Rook has permanently left the Accelerated World.

Walking back towards him, Niko explains her relationship with the former Cherry Rook. The two were both enrolled in a school for abandoned children – both had been left by their parents from a young age. A few years ago, she was approached by Cherry’s real-life persona. Stuttering, he gave Niko the Brain Burst program. In the time that followed, he taught Niko all about the game, protecting her from danger and assisting her in battles. However, at some point, Niko surpassed him in level and became a Level 9 King. Slowly, their interactions began to lessen. Wanting to continue being her parent and protecting her, yet not having the power to do so, Cherry Rook had turned to the Armor of Catastrophe.

At this point, Niko begins sobbing. Comforting her, Haruyuki tells her that Brain Burst was not the only reality – the real world was equally important. In both worlds, they were friends. Slowly regaining her original attitude, Niko exclaims that he was at most a subordinate. Afterwards, they regroup with Kuroyukihime and the revived Takumu and travel to the nearest portal. However, right before that, Haruyuki hears a strange voice whispering to him. Brushing it off as his imagination, he walks through the portal.

Niko offering cookies

In the next Territory Battle that Saturday, Haruyuki successfully dodges the sniper’s bullets by watching their avatar itself instead of the gun. Congratulating him on the victory, Kuroyukihime explains that winning or losing wasn’t the most important thing – he shouldn’t beat himself up over a few losses.

That afternoon, when Haruyuki enters his apartment, he finds a message from his mother saying that the child of one of her co-workers was coming to stay over. Suspecting something, he opens his bedroom door to find Niko lying on his bed. Greeting him in her “angel-mode”, Niko says that Cherry Rook was moving out of Tokyo. Realizing that he could no longer gain Burst Points in the remote area, he had become impatient and ended up accepting the Armor of Catastrophe.

After this brief explanation, Niko pulls out a bag of cookies and gives it to Haruyuki as a thank-you gift. Eating the cookies, Haruyuki begins to cry. Seeing this, Niko, embarrassed, calls him an idiot and yells at him to stop.

Dusk Robber Arc

Chiyuri and Takumu visit Haruyuki’s apartment to give Chiyuri the Brain Burst 2039 program. After the three Direct Connect, Takumu sends Chiyuri the program.

That night, Chiyuri calls Haruyuki to talk about the program she had received. Inviting him into her private virtual space, she uses his pig avatar as a pillow. While expressing her wish for the times to return to how they used to be, with the three of them hanging out every day, she slowly drifts off to sleep.

The next day was the first day of the school year. After the short welcoming ceremony, Haruyuki anxiously enters his new homeroom, hoping that his peers would be friendly. To his relief, both Chiyuri and Takumu were in his new class. After greeting each other, Haruyuki offers to challenge Chiyuri to a Brain Burst duel to check out her duel avatar while Takumu watches from the gallery. Both Takumu and Chiyuri agree, and Haruyuki accelerates.

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Lime Bell's avatar

Landing on the hard ground of the Factory stage, Haruyuki turns towards his opponent. Chiyuri’s duel avatar, which went by the name of “Lime Bell”, possessed brilliant green coloration with a wide-brimmed witch-like hat. However, the most striking feature of the avatar was the large bell-shaped Enhanced Armament attached to the right arm.

After commenting on Chiyuri’s appearance, Haruyuki instructs her to open her menu to examine her skills. Noticing the special attack by the name of Citron Call, Chiyuri attempts to use it. However, since her special-attack gauge was empty, the attack has no effect. After Haruyuki explains that destroying stage objects would fill the gauge, she goes off to destroy the machines scattered around the Factory stage.

After her special-attack gauge is charged to fifty percent, Chiyuri aims her bell towards Haruyuki and activates her attack. However, the wave of green particles brought about no effect; Haruyuki was completely unharmed. While the two begin bantering over the effects of the ability, Takumu butts in and suggests for Chiyuri to hit Haruyuki with her bell. After Haruyuki’s health is drilled down to about seventy percent, Chiyuri once again activates Citron Call. This time, when the wave of green particles flowed over his duel avatar, his health gauge miraculously began to fill back up. Realizing this, they were hit by a new revelation: Lime Bell was a healer.

Two days later, Haruyuki met with Kuroyukihime to talk about Chiyuri’s debut. Shocked at the news of Lime Bell being a healer, Kuroyukihime explains that throughout the history of the Accelerated World, only two healers had ever appeared. Furthermore, one of them had voluntarily uninstalled the program, leaving only one active healer.

Once this topic was covered, Kuroyukihime imparts some news of her own. Ten days later, she, along with all of the other third years, would be going on a weeklong school trip to Okinawa. Since Haruyuki and Takumu would have to defend the Legion’s territory all by themselves the weekend of the trip, Kuroyukihime proposes an offer: if he managed to defend Nega Nebulus’ territory, she would grant him one wish.

Work In Progress

Hermes Cord Race Arc

Haruyuki travels to the top of the government office building with Chiyuri to enroll in a tag-team battle. There, they are challenged by Frost Horn and Tourmaline Shell of the Blue Legion, Leonids. Haruyuki and Chiyuri manage to get the first attack by performing a surprise dive kick from the top of the government office building. However, the two blue legionnaires recovered quickly. Frost Horn attacked Haruyuki, while his partner Tourmaline Shell attacked Chiyuri.

Frost Horn activated his special technique, Frosted Circle. This technique froze a small radius of the duel field, changing the characteristics of the surroundings. Haruyuki tried to open his wings to fly, but he realized that Frost Horn’s technique had frozen his wings, preventing them from opening. Seizing this opportunity, Frost Horn charged towards Haruyuki. At this moment, Chiyuri fired her Citron Call, turning a nearby Enemy back into the form of an egg. However, Frost Horn did not notice this, and continued to charge Haruyuki. Haruyuki managed to dodge at the last minute, and Frost Horn charged directly into the newly created egg. The broken egg attracted a large beetle-type Enemy, who began to attack Frost Horn, who was forced to flee to the edges of the duel field. While Frost Horn was distracted, Haruyuki and Chiyuri managed to defeat Tourmaline Shell. After Tourmaline Shell was defeated, the two Nega Nebulus members easily won the tag-team duel.

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After the tag-team battle with Chiyuri, Haruyuki returned home to his apartment building. There, he began reading a news article about the newly built Hermes Cord, a space elevator built in the Pacific Ocean. The news article explains how Japanese Social Cameras were to be installed in the Hermes Cord. Since the Brain Burst world is created using the social cameras, Haruyuki begins to theorize whether Brain Burst would integrate the Hermes Cord as a new area. Realizing the possible implications, he opens a dive call with Kuroyukihime to consult with her.

During the dive call, Haruyuki explains his theory to Kuroyukihime. After explaining the workings of Hermes Cord, Kuroyukihime concludes that the theory was plausible. However, she then brings up a potential problem. The Hermes Cord floated in the sky one-hundred fifty kilometers about the Brain Burst surface, which was a hundred times higher than even Silver Crow’s maximum altitude. Thus, the Hermes Cord would be inaccessible even if it was implemented. Disappointed, Haruyuki explains that he wanted to reach the Hermes Cord to help Fūko achieve her yearning for the sky. In response, Kuroyukihime discloses an alternative possibility for reaching the Hermes Cord.

Kuroyukihime explains that Brain Burst would not add a new area to the game if there was no way to travel there. Thus, it was likely that Brain Burst would secretly create a method of transportation in a specific place at a specific time. Kuroyukihime deduces that if Brain Burst was to create a path to the Hermes Cord, it would be located at the Tokyo Sky Tree and would open at 5:35 PM on June 5, which was two days from the present.

Going along with Kuroyukihime’s predictions, Haruyuki travelled alone to the Tokyo Sky Tree two days later. After waiting for a short duration in the Initial Acceleration Space, a portal suddenly materialized. Going through the portal, Haruyuki was transported to bottom of the Hermes Cord.

Vol 05 - 003.png
There, he accidently runs into Blood Leopard, who had also anticipated the portal’s appearance. Together, they explore the new area. At the opposite side of the Hermes Cord, they discover a line of ten space shuttles. Haruyuki registers as the driver for Shuttle #1, while Pard registers as the driver for Shuttle #2. Afterwards, they were each given a card. In doing so, the two had acquired participation in the “Hermes Cord Race” that was to take place in a little less than four days. Before leaving, Pard offers to carry Haruyuki back to Suginami on her motorbike. Haruyuki accepts, and the two Burst Out.

As promised, Haruyuki meets Pard after he leaves the Accelerated World. However, instead of taking him directly back to Suginami as originally planned, Pard instead takes him to eat at a fast food restaurant. While they eat, Pard explains a few things about the Hermes Cord Race. The card that they had acquired allowed for up to ten Burst Linkers to teleport together to the start of the Hermes Cord, allowing easy transportation for the racers. Here, Haruyuki questions why the inclusion of a new area had suddenly turned into a race. Pard explains that with large-scale updates in the Accelerated World, Brain Burst would often create one-time events to commemorate. The upcoming Hermes Cord Race was one such event. Finally, the last quirk of the event was that the health gauges of the competitors were locked, and they could not be damaged while racing.

After Pard transports him back to Suginami, Haruyuki muses over the upcoming race. Suddenly, an aggressive voice assaults his mind. The voice speaks of the hatred Haruyuki should feel for his enemies and persuades him to devour them. However, Haruyuki forces the voice in his mind to cease.

On June 8, three days later, Haruyuki participates in the Territory Battles against Great Wall. The battle had Haruyuki, Takumu, and Fūko of Nega Nebulus on the defending side, while the attacking side included Ash Roller and Bush Utan. Haruyuki fought against Bush Utan while Fuko fought against Ash Roller. They both won their respective battles, and Nega Nebulus won the territories.

Fifteen minutes later, the five members of Nega Nebulus gathered together, and Haruyuki explains the outline of the Hermes Cord Race that was to take place the following day. Fuko, believing that her legless avatar would only be deadweight, offers to stay out of the race. While Haruyuki tries to convince her otherwise, Chiyuri suggests restoring her legs with Citron Call Mode II, which rewound an avatar’s time in terms of status changes. Believing that it would work, Chiyuri directed her Citron Call onto Fuko. However, just as her legs began to grow back, they suddenly vanished. Fuko explains that the disappearance of her legs was likely due to her unconscious influence on the Incarnate System, which prevented the Brain Burst system from restoring her legs. Nevertheless, Haruyuki continues to persuade Fuko to join them in the Hermes Cord Race. In the end, she agrees, and the five Nega Nebulus members leave the duel stage.

Returning back to his bed in the real world, Haruyuki ponders his growth as a Burst Linker during the last eight months. Unwittingly, he calls out Kuroyukihime’s name. Then, Haruyuki somehow hears Kuroyukihime’s voice answer his call. Believing it to only be his imagination, he turns around to find… Kuroyukihime in his bed. Still believing it to be either his imagination or a bug in his Neurolinker, Haruyuki begins pulling on her skirt to test his theory. At this moment, Kuroyukihime screams and smacks his hand away. Suddenly realizing that it was the real person in his bed, Haruyuki also screams in shock. After calming down, Kuroyukihime explains that she had come to visit his house after the Legion meeting.

After talking with Haruyuki for two hours, Kuroyukihime explains that she should be leaving soon. However, Haruyuki suddenly realizes that her footsteps were heavier than normal. Sensing that something was wrong, Haruyuki invites her to stay over for the night.

That night, Kuroyukihime comes into Haruyuki’s room to talk with him. She theorizes that part of the reason why Fuko’s legs weren’t growing back was because of her own interfering Incarnation. She believes that her piled up anger, resentment, and despair had caused Fuko’s legs to be permanently amputated. Seeing her overwhelming amount of self-hatred, Haruyuki begins to comfort her. In order to convey his feelings in full, Haruyuki offers to engage in a duel with her.

Vol 05 - 183.png
In the following duel, Haruyuki unleashes his newly learned technique which he had dubbed Aerial Combo. Using the instantaneous thrust of his wings, he could freely change his direction midair to launch a continuous barrage of attacks in all three dimensions. Feeling Haruyuki’s heartfelt rush of attacks, Kuroyukihime realizes that despite her many regrets, her actions in the Accelerated World had also brought good to many people. In the end, Kuroyukihime manages to defeat Haruyuki, and uses her Death By Embracing attack, which she had not used in two and a half years out of guilt, to end his life.

Returning to the real world, Haruyuki finds that Kuroyukihime had fallen on top of him in the bed. While hugging him, Kuroyukihime says that she was proud of him for everything that he had accomplished. As this was the first time that anyone had said that they were proud of him, Haruyuki begins to cry. Soon, they both fall asleep in Haruyuki’s bed.

The next morning, Haruyuki is awakened by the sound of the door chime. Thinking that it was simply a delivery man, he opens the door. To Haruyuki’s surprise, it was Fūko. Fūko walks in and begins talking to Haruyuki. However, at this moment, Kuroyukihime walks out of the bedroom, still in her pajamas. Still half-asleep, Kuroyukihime nonchalantly greets the them and walks away to the bathroom. Fūko, in shock, interrogates Haruyuki about the situation. After Haruyuki explains, Chiyuri and Takumu also arrive to attend the Hermes Cord Race. Emotionally impacted by the close friendships within the second Nega Nebulus, Haruyuki vows to protect his new “family”.

Soon after, the Nega Nebulus legionnaires dive into the Accelerated World to participate in the Hermes Cord Race. The moment they arrive, they are greeted by loud cheers from all directions. Stunned, Haruyuki looks around, realizing that three huge audience stands were now arranged around the Hermes Cord. The Burst Linkers filling the stands cheered on the arriving racers.

Blood Leopard walks up to the Nega Nebulus group and approaches her longtime rival, Sky Raker. After promising to compete with all their heart, Pard and Fūko return to their respective groups.

Ash Roller is also a participant in the race. After greeting Haruyuki in his usual way, he tells Haruyuki that he had discovered something suspicious. In contrast with shuttles one through nine, which shined with bright colors, shuttle number ten was completely covered in rust. However, before the two could investigate further, the race countdown clock reached three minutes. After parting with their usual abusive language, they returned to their own legions. With this, the Hermes Cord Race began.

Starting as soon as the countdown reached zero, Haruyuki quickly accelerated the shuttle to the maximum speed of 500 km/h. Soon afterwards, Prominence shuttle began attacking the Leonids shuttle adjacent to them with long ranged attacks. The blue team's shuttle was soon eliminated. Prominence then set their sights on the Nega Nebulus group beside them and began a barrage of bullets. However, Kuroyukihime and Takumu defended against the bullets, protecting the shuttle from direct damage. Once again, Fūko offers to exit the shuttle to lighten the load. However, Haruyuki manages to persuade her to instead use her Enhanced ArmamentGale Thruster” to boost them.

After equipping the Enhanced Armament, Fūko navigates to the back of the shuttle and activates her thruster, pushing the shuttle forward to achieve greater velocity. Soon after, a warp zone appears in front of them, and the shuttle speeds through it. While travelling through the warp zone, the mysterious voice once again assaults Haruyuki. This time, the effect is much stronger than it was previously. However, Fūko manages to shake him out of his trance. Disturbed, Kuroyukihime reports that Haruyuki’s body was momentarily colored by what looked like a dark colored Incarnate OverRay. However, they brush off the phenomenon as a strange trick of light.

Soon, they exit the warp zone back into the main stage of the Hermes Cord. At this moment, a large, black plate emerged out of the shadow of their shuttle. Then, the plate split in half to reveal a shuttle hidden inside. The shuttle was the same rusted shuttle that Ash Roller had investigated beforehand. Recognizing the black plate and the driver of the shuttle as Black Vise and Rust Jigsaw of the Acceleration Research Society, Haruyuki begins to question Jigsaw. However, Jigsaw immediately tells Haruyuki to be quiet and begins to form an Incarnate OverRay over his body. Jigsaw uses the Incarnate skill "Rust Order", covering the entire surface of the Hermes Cord in corroding rust. Three of the shuttles were immediately covered. As their bodies were covered in rust, the avatars inside of the shuttles immediately died in spite of the locked HP gauges. The rust even spread to the spectator stands, instantly destroying one of them and killing a hundred of the gallery viewers.

Accelerating the shuttle to its limits, Haruyuki attempts to escape the spreading rust. However, the rust eventually catches up, destroying the back of the shuttle and even spreading to the avatars inside the shuttle. Fūko attempts to counter the negative Incarnation using her own Incarnate skill “Wind Veil”, successfully warding off the spreading rust.

However, Rust Jigsaw’s shuttle is far ahead of them at this point. In an all-or-nothing decision, Haruyuki launches himself at Jigsaw’s shuttle using his aviation ability. He successfully latches onto Jigsaw’s shuttle and attempts to attack him using “Laser Sword”. However, the rust emanating from Jigsaw destroys Haruyuki's attacking arm. Easily incapacitating him, Jigsaw begins to torture Haruyuki, cutting his limbs one by one using an Incarnate saw. After amputating both of his arms, Jigsaw begins moving the saw towards Haruyuki’s neck.

At this point, Haruyuki is once again assaulted by the mysterious voice. Succumbing to the hatred emanating from the voice, Haruyuki releases his built-up rage. A large tail bursts out of his back, instantly destroying Jigsaw's saw that was cutting into his neck. Freed, Haruyuki jumps into the air, and calls out the name of the myserious voice's owner: "CHROME DISASTER”.

Haruyuki as the Sixth Chrome Disaster
A system message scrolls through Haruyuki's vision, informing him that he had equipped the Enhanced Armament, “THE DISASTER”. Dark, jagged armor begins to spread across Haruyuki’s body, restoring his lost limbs and turning his hands into large talons. His almost depleted health gauge is instantly completely restored. Finally, a gray visor covers his face, greatly enhancing his vision.

Haruyuki has fully transformed into Chrome Disaster.

Shocked, Rust Jigsaw again tries to attack Haruyuki, who is now the Sixth Chrome Disaster. However, before Rust Jigsaw even released his attack, text spread across Haruyuki’s visor, informing him of the exact type of the attack and the predicted path. This was the future prediction ability of the Armor of Catastrophe, which predicted attacks based on the accumulated experience of the past Disasters.

Jigsaw’s rust attack is completely ineffective against Haruyuki’s chrome armor. Seeing this, Jigsaw again tries to attack Haruyuki, launching boomerang saws that curved to attack from behind his back. However, using the future prediction function of the Armor, Haruyuki effortlessly deflects the attacks without even looking.

Then, Haruyuki forms an incarnate Katar sword in his right hand. Diving from the air, he begins to rush Jigsaw. Using a perfected version of his Aerial Combo, he easily dismembers all of Jigsaw’s limbs. Finally, using his hands, which had turned into large talons, Haruyuki crushes Jigsaw’s head.

Looking up to the many gallery members watching the carnage, the Sixth Chrome Disaster prepares to fly towards his new prey. However, Haruyuki’s consciousness begins to resurface. As he fights against the Armor’s desire to devour, the material of the Armor began to dissolve and his original helmet emerged once again. However, Haruyuki could not resist any further. As his will began to crumble, the Armor solidified once again. At this point, the rest of the Nega Nebulus team arrived on the scene. Chiyuri immediately used her Citron Call Mode II ability, rewinding Haruyuki’s avatar status to before he equipped the Armor of Catastrophe.

However, right before the Armor returned to its dormant state, it admonishes Haruyuki, saying that out of all of the previous Disasters, he was one who was able to fuse the strongest with the Armor since its original creator. With these last words, the Armor fell back to sleep. As Haruyuki began to fall back to Earth, the members of Nega Nebulus are there to catch him. Kuroyukihime, Fūko, and Chiyuri reassure him.

The Green and Red teams were also still alive, and Ash Roller and Blood Leopard approached the Nega Nebulus group. The two proposed for the three teams to work together to reach the race’s endpoint. According to their plan, Ash Roller and Blood Leopard would carry Haruyuki and Fūko until their special-move gauges were depleted. Then, Haruyuki would fly Fūko as far as he could go. Finally, Fūko would fly by herself to the end of the race.

The four Burst Linkers proceed with their plan. Ash Roller and Blood Leopard carry Haruyuki and Fūko as far as they could, but their gauges ran out in the end. They exchanged a few heartfelt words, and finally fell down to Earth.

Haruyuki and Fūko travel the rest of the distance on their own. As the atmosphere thinned, Haruyuki could no longer fly with his wings, since they relied on striking the molecules in the air. However, Fūko’s Gale Thruster was not limited by this characteristic as it used jet propulsion instead.

Haruyuki tells Fūko that she had never actually reached for the sky. Instead, she had reached for what lay beyond it. She had longed for a place much higher than clouds, much higher than even the stratosphere; she had always wished to reach the world of stars. As such, her avatar was designed for use in Space.

Haruyuki and Fuko look at Earth from Space
Struck by this revelation, Fūko slowly looks towards the Earth below them, and begins to cry. Finally, hugging him, she thanks Haruyuki for helping her realize her true wish. She realizes that what had kept her legs from returning was not her obsession of flight, but her fear of reaching the sky’s limits and ending her dream. However, in their current position, looking to the stars at the border of space, she finally realized that the world was infinite and that the possibilities were endless.

With this, Fūko began to fly towards the top of the Hermes Cord using her space-oriented Enhanced Armament. As Haruyuki’s wings gave out, he began to fall down to Earth. However, before he was expelled from the world, he saw particles of blue light gather at Fūko’s knees, restoring her lost legs. With this, Haruyuki left the Hermes Cord Race.

After all of the Nega Nebulus members returned to the real world, they began to discuss the matter of Haruyuki’s transformation into Chrome Disaster. They come to the conclusion that the hook left on his back by the previous Chrome Disaster’s wire had a parasitic attribute. This parasitic attribute allowed the Armor of Catastrophe to attach to a new host after the previous Disaster’s destruction. Haruyuki realizes that even though Chiyuri had returned the Armor to its dormant form, the parasite was still attached to him. In response, Kuroyukihime says that the matter of the Armor of Catastrophe would be discussed at the next meeting of the Seven Kings of Pure Color.

Afterwards, the meeting was disbanded, and Chiyuri and Takumu were the first to leave. However, before Kuroyukihime left, Fūko stopped her to talk about her restored legs. Shocked, Kuroyukihime embraces Fūko, and the wall that had appeared between the two friends was finally broken down.

Avatar

Network Avatar

Haruyuki's network avatar

Haru's normal network avatar is a pink pig that is able to walk on two feet. He was initially forced to use this avatar because of his bully, Araya. However, after Araya was expelled, Chiyu questioned to Haru as to why he still uses his pink pig avatar. Haru replied that he had gotten used to it and decided that it would be better to stick with it.

Silver Crow

Silver Crow

Silver Crow is Haru's Duel Avatar. It has a humanoid shape with a green faceplate that he can open to eat food. His body is mostly colored silver. The armor covers most of his body, with the most prominent areas being around his arms, shoulders, legs, and torso. His most distinguishing features are the wings on his back that grant him the ability to fly; he is the only known Duel Avatar in the entire Accelerated World with such an ability.

His silver color places him on the left end of the metal color chart, giving him decent close-combat abilities. It also grants him defensive properties in line with silver – resistances to slashing, piercing, and heat-based attacks, but weaknesses to blunt, electric-based, corrosion attacks.

Enhanced Armaments

  • Metatron Wings – An Enhanced Armament obtained from Metatron. It gives Silver Crow an additional pair of wings. The mechanics of it is currently unknown. When used in conjunction to Aviation, it gives him a tremendous boost in speed.[5] This Armament can also be equipped without using voice commands or manipulating the menu, as this was granted to him via the link between himself and Metatron.[6]
    • Ektenia – When Ektenia is used while the wings are in the form of an Enchanced Armament, one of the two wings stretch out to strike a target.
  • Lucid Blade - Silver Crow's level 6 level-up bonus, chosen to rectify his lack of attack power. By default, this Enhanced Armament is a double-edged, hand-and-a-half straight sword. It has the same color as Silver Crow's armor.[7]
    • Conversion – While attacking with Lucid Blade, an internal gauge charges up if it is in its default mode of a metallic sword. The gauge can then be expended to convert and maintain Lucid Blade in the form of a high-temperature energy blade which glows brightly.[8]

Abilities

  • Punch – A basic punching ability. It's implied that using it powers up his punch, as punching something isn't Ability-worthy. During his first fight with Cyan Pile, he uses this at the end.
  • Kick – A basic kicking Ability. It's implied that using it powers up his kick, such as when he uses his Dive Kick attack.
  • Aviation – A gauge-limited Ability that allows Silver Crow to fly. His wings can be taken out without much, if any, gauge usage. In addition, he is able to float along horizontally without using any gauge. His maximum altitude with a full Special Gauge, as of volume 4, is 1500 meters. It is the only known true flight Ability in the Accelerated World. He gains this Ability as he is being defeated by Cyan Pile.
  • Optical Conduction – By utilizing the inherent properties of his silver Avatar, Silver Crow can redirect light-based attacks. The difficulty of doing this increases as the redirection angle decreases, reaching its peak at pure reflection, or 180 degrees. He gains this Ability out of desperation, attempting to burn through Avocado Avoider's soft exterior to rescue Chocolate Puppeteer.
  • Headbutt – Silver Crow's level 1 special move. By performing a few basic motions, Silver Crow can summon a large amount of energy to his head and use it to deliver an extremely powerful blow at very close range. He has only used this move three times: once against Ash Roller in their second battle, once against Wolfram Cerberus in their second battle, and once during the territory battle against Blaze Heart, Peach Parasol, and Ochre Prison. This move does both striking and light damage, and, like typical close-range special attacks, cancel out recoil damage.[9]

Techniques

  • Dive Kick – A technique that utilizes Aviation and Kick in unison.
  • Aerial Combo – By using his wings to change his direction unpredictably, Silver Crow can perform a "combo" of punches and kicks while bringing himself and his opponent into the air.
  • Guard Reversal – A technique taught to him by Black Lotus. By only moving a little bit in order to dodge attacks, or by blocking, he can parry attacks. He finally masters it during his second battle with Wolfram Cerberus by parrying the metal color's physical attacks into holds and throws.
  • Omega Style - A sword style learned from Centaurea Sentry. By applying a large amount of force onto an infinitely small point, the force of a slice can be multiplied infinitely. Using this basic technique of the Omega Style, Haruyuki can cut through almost all objects with ease.[10]

Incarnate

  • Laser Sword – A first-quadrant firing range expansion-type Incarnate skill. Creates an energy-based sword that extends from his hands.
  • Laser Lance – A first-quadrant firing range expansion-type Incarnate skill. Like Laser Sword, but it extends much farther.
  • Laser Javelin – A first-quadrant firing range expansion-type Incarnate skill. It involves performing Laser Lance first, and then severing his body's connection with the lance. Doing this causes it to shoot out in front of him at a very high speed, but it is difficult to control its trajectory.
  • Light Speed – A second order movement expansion-type Incarnate skill. He uses this to fly at incredibly fast speeds. The Over Rays take the shape of a raptor's wings. He invents this in order to escape from the Imperial Palace and Suzaku during the rescue of Ardor Maiden.[11]
  • Light Shell – A defensive-type Incarnate skill. Using Light Shell, Haruyuki can create a massive shell of defensive light. He invents this defensive-type Incarnate skill to protect the army of the Six Great Legions against the Apocalypse God Tezcatlipoca.[12]

Level-Up Bonuses

When Silver Crow levelled up to level 2, the 4 level-up bonuses presented were:[13]

  • Special move Radial Shot – This special move would have allowed Silver Crow to shoot 3 metal arrows in a fan-like pattern from the armor on his arms.
  • Special move Rapid Knuckle – This special move would have allowed Silver Crow to dash towards his target then rapidly release a flurry of punches.
  • Enhanced Armament Hard Armor – This Enhanced Armament would have boosted the defense of Silver Crow's torso.
  • Aviation enhancement – Chosen.

When Silver Crow levelled up to level 6, the 4 level-up bonuses presented were:[7]

  • Special move Digit Pursuit – This special move would have allowed Silver Crow to shoot off the tips of his fingers as homing missiles.
  • Special move Bulletproof – This special move would have greatly raised Silver Crow's defense against physical bullets.
  • Enhanced Armament Lucid Blade – Chosen. See above.
  • Aviation enhancement

Relationships

Kuroyukihime

Kuroyukihime

Kuroyukihime is the person that Haruyuki looks up to the most. Seeing her as the savior who had pulled him out the depths of hell, he wishes to support her on her path to reach Level 10. However, he has recently begun to support her on matters other than attaining Level 10, such as her trauma over Red Rider’s death and her insecurities about her friendship with the other Nega Nebulus members.

Kuroyukihime is Haruyuki’s “Parent”, the person who had given him Brain Burst. Impressed by his virtual squash high scores, she had initially recruited him to help with Cyan Pile’s attacks. Because of his low self-esteem, Haruyuki had initially been suspicious of her reach, asserting that she should simply use him as a tool and throw him away when she was done. However, after Kuroyukihime was put into critical condition after sacrificing herself in a car crash orchestrated by Araya, Haruyuki realized that her feelings towards him were genuine. At this revelation, he pledges to support her on her journey throughout the Accelerated World.

Early on, Haruyuki had believed that Kuroyukihime would abandon him if he experienced too many failures. However, during the fight with the Fifth Chrome Disaster, she asserts that his belief was completely unfounded – their relationship went much deeper than mere Territory Battles. Finally accepting their relationship as what it truly was, Haruyuki’s flawed belief dissipates.

Haruyuki’s relationship with Kuroyukihime continues to grow and evolve. Each supporting the other, they gradually help each other mend their own respective mental scars and past traumas.

Mayuzumi Takumu

Takumu

Takumu is Haruyuki’s best friend and a reliable ally. Although they had each initially suppressed negative feelings towards each other in the beginning, they settled their differences and are now best friends.

Takumu, along with Chiyuri, was once a dear childhood friend of Haruyuki. However, as they grew older, the trio slowly grew apart. Takumu began dating Chiyuri, and Haruyuki felt himself unwanted as the third wheel. However, no matter how successful he became, Takumu noticed that Chiyuri still felt happier spending time with Haruyuki. Slowly, the bottled-up frustration began to consolidate into a ball of hatred directed towards his former childhood friend. However, after Haruyuki became a Burst Linker, they fought a battle to the death, releasing all of the suppressed feelings that had built up throughout the years. Takumu gradually realizes the great sins he had committed and pledges to fight alongside Haruyuki amidst the reborn Nega Nebulus.

However, the hurtful words that Haruyuki had forced Takumu to speak had created a sharp thorn in Takumu’s soul. Realizing the pain Takumu was carrying after his defeat against Wolfram Cerberus, Haruyuki invites Takumu over to his house and promptly apologizes to him. Takumu forgives him, but makes a deal – one day, when they were both Level 7 high-rankers, they would fight one more earnest battle with all their heart.

Haruyuki’s lasting friendship with Takumu, forged through challenging trials, has evolved to become one of extraordinary strength. Seeing him as his best friend, Takumu is the first person who Haruyuki turns to when faced with a challenging obstacles.

Kurashima Chiyuri

Chiyuri

Chiyuri is a fellow Nega Nebulus member and used to be Haruyuki’s childhood friend. She enjoys teasing him about various things, such as how he is always surrounded by a large group of girls.

Along with Takumu, Chiyuri was a childhood friend of Haruyuki. When she began dating Takumu, Haruyuki’s relationship with her gradually broke down, and their interactions slowly dwindled. After Haruyuki and Takumu reconciled, however, their old friendship was gradually restored. Now, Chiyuri is a trusted ally in Nega Nebulus.

Kurasaki Fūko

Fūko

Along with Kuroyukihime and Centaurea Sentry, Fūko is one of Haruyuki’s teachers, as well as an executive member of Nega Nebulus.

Haruyuki first met Fūko after his wings were stolen by Dusk Taker. Noticing his depressed state, Ash Roller had taken him up to the top of the Old Tokyo Tower to meet with Fūko, his master. Understanding his situation, Fūko, through merciless Spartan-style training, had trained him in the Incarnate System. Furthermore, she had lent him her Gale Thruster to help him in the battle against Dusk Taker.

During the Hermes Cord Race Arc, Haruyuki took Fūko up to the top of the Hermes Cord space elevator in hopes of restoring her lost legs. Gazing at the beautiful Earth beneath them, Fūko had thanked him for his efforts in helping her realize her true dream of reaching outer space. Through this feat, Haruyuki helped Fūko regain her amputated legs.

Fūko is a valuable friend and teacher to Haruyuki. She had helped him learn the ways of the Incarnate System, lending her assistance for the fight against Dusk Taker. On the other hand, Haruyuki, taking her up to the borders of the exosphere, had helped her regain her lost legs. Both the teacher and the student help each other with their own respective challenges.

Shinomiya Utai

Utai

Utai, the “Fire” of the Elements, is an ally of Haruyuki in Nega Nebulus. She also works with him in the Animal Care Club to take care of Hou.

Haruyuki first met Utai during the first day of the newly formed Animal Care Club, which he had accidentally volunteered for. Both of them oblivious to the fact that the other was also a Burst Linker, they worked together to clean the out-of-use animal pen. Afterwards, much to Haruyuki’s surprise (Utai wasn’t fazed), Kuroyukihime reveals that Utai was the “purification user” that was selected to free Haruyuki from the grasps of the Armor of Catastrophe.

Later on, the two worked together on a variety of Brain Burst missions. In the Sixth Chrome Disaster Arc, the two infiltrated the Imperial Palace together while trying to free Utai from Infinite EK at the Castle gates. Meanwhile, in the ISS Kit Arc, Utai invited Haruyuki over to her house to give him inspiration on attaining the Theoretical Mirror ability.

Utai, the moral pillar of Nega Nebulus, helps Haruyuki overcome many mental difficulties. Incredibly perceptive, she encourages him to take on challenges that he would never have dreamt of attacking on his own. On the path there, she had also taught him many valuable lessons, such as the importance of respecting one’s opponents, as well as oneself.

Himi Akira

Akira

Akira, also known as Aqua Current, had helped Haruyuki recover from his point deficiency after he foolishly rose to Level 2 prematurely. As such, Haruyuki is deeply thankful towards her.

When Haruyuki and Wolfram Cerberus were attacked by Argon Array during a Battle Royale, Akira appeared to save them. After this incident, she rejoined Nega Nebulus as an ally of Haruyuki.

Ash Roller

Ash Roller

As his greatest rival, Ash Roller was the bringer of many “firsts” for Haruyuki. He was Haruyuki’s first opponent, his first loss, as well as his first win. This healthy rivalry has given birth to a duel system in which the two would duel at a set time every two days. These flashy, innovative “Ash-Crow” battles are full of banter between the two, each cussing the other out with vulgar language.

Nevertheless, the two share a strong bond. After Haruyuki had his wings stolen by Dusk Taker, it was Ash Roller who had encouraged him, taking him to the top of the Tokyo Tower to meet Sky Raker. In the Hermes Cord Race, Ash Roller had carried Haruyuki on his motorcycle after their shuttles broke, sacrificing himself to propel the two Nega Nebulus members to the top. Furthermore, when Ash Roller volunteered to uninstall Brain Burst after he was infected with the ISS Kit, Haruyuki stubbornly insisted on finding another way, staging an assault on Tokyo’s Midtown Tower to save his friend.

Ash Roller shows strong feelings towards Haruyuki’s relationship with Rin, his sister. If Haruyuki ever got too close or too far from her, Ash Roller would aggressively attack him in their next Brain Burst duel.

Ash Roller is Haruyuki’s greatest rival, with their regular duels cherished by both sides. In spite of their rivalry, however, both of them will not hesitate to go to great lengths to help the other when they are in danger.

Rin Kusakabe

Rin

Rin Kusakabe, the real-life persona of Ash Roller, is an acquaintance of Haruyuki in the real world. Riding the bus each morning, she had long figured out Haruyuki’s real-life identity, watching him stand on the pedestrian bridge each morning when they dueled.

They had first formally met during the Sixth Chrome Disaster Arc after Haruyuki fully merged with the Armor of Catastrophe. Locking his legion members in his house and running outside to embark on a plan of lose all his points, he was stopped by Rin in the mall beneath the apartment complex. Shocking him with the revelation that she was the real-life Ash Roller, she led him to Fūko’s car, where she calmed him down and deterred him from his suicidal plan.

Later on, during the ISS Kit Arc, Ash Roller was parasitized by an ISS Kit and the effects began to affect Rin in the real world. Noticing the change in her mental state, Haruyuki decided to stage the attack on the ISS Kit main body immediately for her sake.

Metatron

Archangel Metatron

Metatron, a Legend Class Enemy, is an ally of Haruyuki, as well as a good friend.

The two had first met when Haruyuki battled against Metatron’s first form near the Tokyo Midtown Tower. Telepathically giving him advice, Metatron helped him defeat the supposedly invincible Enemy. Afterwards, when Haruyuki chased after Black Vise, Metatron once again entered his consciousness, this time gifting him the Enhanced Armament known as “Metatron Wings”, giving him a large boost in speed.

During the battle against the Disaster Mk. II, Metatron took Haruyuki up to the Highest Level for the first time. There, they made a deal: Metatron would help Haruyuki against the Armor, and Haruyuki would share information with her about the Imperial Palace. After Haruyuki completed his end of the deal, Metatron used her Trisagion to confront the Armor. However, she was forced to sacrifice her health gauge to produce more power, and ended up completely destroying her physical form to defend against the Armor’s attacks. Believing that Metatron was dead, Haruyuki entered the Unlimited Neutral Field afterwards to grieve. However, he was contacted by the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, who gave him instructions on how to resurrect Metatron. Connecting to her Fluctlight through the Highest Level, Haruyuki successfully brought her back.

After Snow Fairy attempted to sever their connection in the Highest Level, Metatron sought to strengthen her bond with Haruyuki. Diving into the Unlimited Neutral Field for several months straight, the two spent time together conversing, playing hide and seek, and other activities to strengthen their connection.

Spoiler Warning - Volume 25. Click to show spoiler

When Haruyuki met with White Cosmos in the Highest Level after being attacked by Apocalypse God Tezcatlipoca, he volunteered to join the White Legion, Oscillatory Universe, in order to have Cosmos save his friends from the Apocalypse God. At this point, Metatron also appeared, stating that if Haruyuki went, then she would also go – she did not want to part with him again. Accepting their offer, Cosmos “knighted” both of them.

Although Metatron is an Enemy and Haruyuki is a Burst Linker, they nevertheless have a strong friendship. Initially, their relationship was strictly a business one: Haruyuki provided information for Metatron, while Metatron helped Haruyuki when he was in danger. However, as time progressed, this relationship slowly developed into true friendship.

Suzukawa Seri

Seri

Seri, also known as Centaurea Sentry, is Haruyuki’s teacher of the Omega Style.

The two had first met during Haruyuki’s fight with the Legend Class Enemy Einherjar. In the midst of the fight, the Fluctlight “ghost” of Seri, which was stored in Brain Burst’s Lightcube Cluster, contacted Haruyuki. Giving him advice, she proclaimed him as the heir of her Omega Style.

Later on, in preparation for the fight against the Sun God Inti, Haruyuki once again reached out to Seri. On ghost-Seri’s instructions, he met with her real-life identity and managed to restore her memories, as well as her Brain Burst program, with a mysterious method. That night, they trained for over a hundred continuous days in the Unlimited Neutral Field.

Along with Kuroyukihime and Fūko, Seri is another one of Haruyuki’s teachers, instructing him on the use of the Omega Style. Furthermore, after her resurrection, she is also an ally in Nega Nebulus.

Wolfram Cerberus

Wolfram Cerberus

Wolfram Cerberus is Haruyuki’s rival and friend who belongs to the Acceleration Research Society.

Haruyuki first encountered Cerberus during a normal Brain Burst duel. Despite Cerberus only being Level 1, Haruyuki was soundly defeated. This first duel started a healthy rivalry between the two – as well as a good friendship.

However, Wolfram Cerberus, a member of the Acceleration Research Society, was forced by the Society to become the host of the Disaster Mk. II. Against his will, he was parasitized by the accumulated negative Incarnation of the ISS Kit main body.

After this incident, Haruyuki vowed to someday save his friend from the jaws of the Armor – as well as from the Acceleration Research Society.

Gallery

See Arita Haruyuki/Image Gallery

Trivia

  • He is often stated to have a habit of staring at a girl's leg though this can be implied to be because he is often looking down due to lack of confidence.
  • He is interested in WW2, particularly in German vehicles. He wanted to put a Tiger tank and a Bf-109 into Chiyuri's world. In episode 24, a model of an Elephant, a German self-propelled gun, can be seen on his shelf. When at the beach, Kuroyukihime is prompted by her friend to show him a fighter plane she saw, knowing Haru's interest in military vehicles.

References

  1. Accel World Volume 20 Chapter 2
  2. Accel World Volume 24 Chapter 2
  3. Accel World OVA 02
  4. Accel World Light Novel Volume 11
  5. Accel World Light Novel Volume 14
  6. Accel World Volume 22 Chapter 4
  7. 7.0 7.1 Accel World Volume 20 Chapter 5
  8. Accel World Volume 21 Chapter 2
  9. Accel World Volume 12 Chapter 9
  10. Accel World Light Novel Volume 24
  11. Accel World Volume 08 Chapter 10
  12. Accel World Light Novel Volume 25
  13. Accel World Volume 17 side story: Two Black Swords, Two Silver Wings Chapter 3

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Pink = Burst Linker | Gray = Former Burst Linker

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