The three leave Ikaruga behind by returning to town. Immediately after, the Tribal Grappler and ★ (Kira) who are on standby near the Serpent of Lore initiate the area isolation. Divine wasn’t able to figure out Ikaruga’s circumstances, but she does prevent his “disappearance.”
Haseo confronts Yata the moment they enter the Raven’s @HOME. “What is it with you always putting off explaining everything! How about trying something different?”
“Now, now, calm yourself. Thanks to you, we were able to understand a lot about Ikaruga. Yata will tell you everything now.”
Haseo looks towards the voice and finds Divine by his feet. A guild’s @HOME can’t be entered by non-guild member PC. This realization coupled with Divine’s arrogant tone surges his wrath. “Bastard, didn’t you already quit the C.C. Corporation and become a normal player? How are you here?”
Divine wasn’t smiling to begin with. Now, her eyes widen and then narrow into slits. She says, “…This is my last task.”
…—Skeith is me.
Divine says, “He’s also an Epitaph User. His avatar is the first phase, [The Terror of Death] Skeith, just like you.”
Haseo can’t accept suddenly being told that an Epitaph User has the same Avatar as him. “Hold on, then what about my Skeith?”
Yata pushes up his glasses and continues the explanation. “There was a PC who was selected to be Skeith’s Epitaph User before you. That PC is Ikaruga.”
Skeith is also a composition of data in the form of 1’s and 0’s. Part of that data has fused with Ikaruga’s data. Haseo’s custody over Skeith’s data is almost perfect. The small percentage inside Ikaruga is all that’s missing. Therefore, whenever the two are near one another, the imperfect Skeith of Ikaruga is strained by the Skeith of Haseo.
Divine, having just received Ikaruga’s data from ★ says, “Hence, Ikaruga said, ‘I’ll take it.’ From what I understand, your Skeith tried incorporating Ikaruga’s data.
“So, why not just give me that guy’s data of Skeith?”
“We thought the same thing, but it’s impossible.”
Divine glances towards Yata while giving the back of her ear a light scratch. At Yata’s nod, she says, “About Ikaruga, he’s an unrepatriated player. From what he’s told me, his consciousness isn’t the only thing trapped within The World, but his senses as well. Haseo, don’t you also feel the flow of time here in The World?”
“……Did AIDA get involved with him when he became an avatar?”
“In other words, Ikaruga isn’t just an unrepatriated player, he is an Avatar and Skeith itself. As such, restoring Skeith’s data to you would come with Ikaruga’s data.”
Silence stems once Divine finishes. There are no players in the closed area to disturb them, but an interruption eventually does occur. The graphic updates server displays a scene where time has stopped. The clouds, plants, and lake’s surface are still like in a picture. Regardless, there is a fluctuation of movement within the display. First is the eyelids, then the hair, the neck, the arms…
Ikaruga grimaces from his headache as he slowly rises. This headache, however, is different from his previous ones. While suffering from it, he remembers.
He clenches his right hand as he confirms his thoughts one by one. “…I, know Skeith. I know the way Skeith calls out to me. I know the other avatars too.”
He straightens his disheveled clothes and once more looks up at the sky. The unchanging clouds may as well be drawn on blue paper. As his gaze returns to him, he recalls the conversation of the two men called Haseo and Yata.
“So, that’s why I “can’t hear”…… your voice.”
The world that was always on Ikaruga’s side up until now is not that place. Within the world, what speaks to Ikaruga is The World. His partner is the very goddess who abruptly vanished.
“…Aura, I can’t return if you aren’t here.”
Ikaruga’s ability to transfer without a gate is because he can speak with the world. Right now, however, his present area is isolated. The place is similar to fragments that spilled out from the goddess’s bosom. Even with a Chaos Gate, he wouldn’t be able to leave. He isn’t able to operate gates.
…I’ll just walk. I’ll go crazy if I just stay still. Even though other fields are visible, they are still and silent. It’s the same as going in the dark.
Ikaruga eventually reaches a temple with the beast statue. The Chaos Gate isn’t spinning.
The ceremony for calling back the goddess was supposed to be instantaneous, yet the goddess didn’t reveal herself on the stage Amagi prepared. Instead, everyone was struck by a crash. The area was attacked and everything stopped.
Ikaruga is collapsed on the ground. From what he sees, time has been stolen from the area. More importantly, he can’t find Amagi. That Epitaph User is no longer around. But, in the distance, something is moving.
He runs towards that direction and spots 5 human PC covered in black standing around something. At their feet is a large, light pink, hat. It belongs to the Epitaph User of Innis, Ikaruga’s “real” friend.
They speak among themselves. “I suppose this PC is useless now too.”
“Contact the medical division and initiate Kodachi Makoto.”
“…Amagi also had to go and cause trouble.”
“Well, at least it’s something that can be cleaned up within the company.”
“It’s too bad for them, but we’ll be able to cut time and effort by concealing the project.”
Ikaruga draws his tachi without even realizing it. A PC notices and signals for his companions to scatter. Ikaruga’s slash splits the sky and as a result destroys the little balance remaining after the recent impact.
A person appears before Ikaruga like a black wall. Ikaruga glares at the person’s white mask while focusing more strength into his hand. He says, “…C.C. Corporation personnel.”
“Correct, but pal, you don’t need to know anything more than that.”
An arm flew out of the shadow and a fist connected with Ikaruga’s stomach. Even though they are in a net game, pain courses through his body. He collapses while holding his stomach within his arms. At the edge of his blurry vision are true PCs. He won’t be able to reach them no matter how hard he stretches his arm.
They say, “What phase is he in?”
“I’m pretty sure he’s in the first phase.”
“If he can move this much, then it’s still inside…”
Ikaruga can barely hear their conversation anymore. Losing consciousness releases him of his anger and regret. Afterwards, he can only wait as his fear and pain are slowly peeled away along with his identity.
Ikaruga is confined within a bluish green space as Skeith’s data is stripped away from him. Along with it flows his memories. In the end, the collection of Skeith’s data is imperfect. The C.C. Corporation can only halt their operation and return Ikaruga to The World.
“…That’s right, that’s who I am.” Ikaruga once more draws his taichi as he recalls the black PCs. He’ll cut down the next administrator that appears before him.
Those far off administrators, however, can vanish without making a sound. Are they taking advantage of their administrator privileges to utilize an isolated area? Or did the last bits of my consciousness show me a dream?
“I swear, next time, I’ll cut down each one of them…”
A breeze brushes through Ikaruga’s hair as he eases his taichi back into its sheath. Time has returned, the area is back to normal.
Isolation, the incident within a small world.
《A piece from a small room》
T/N: It’s been so long since we last met Ikaruga! I had to double check on some chapters to make sure some translations stayed consistent. Still, it was nice doing .hack again. It’s short and simple compared to my main translations. Like usual, there isn’t much to say about .hack chapters. Well, there’s probably a lot to say, but too much of it would be speculative.
Thanks for reading,
 PC = Player Character
 It isn’t clear if this is Divine or Yata speaking. From the context, I think it’s Divine.
 The literal word is, “and everything became calm.”
 Or headwear. It doesn’t specify. Just think of something that goes on your head.
 I’m not sure what kodachi makoto is. It translates to the True Groove of Trees.
 It’s fragmented, I’m not sure what they could have been saying. 『では…、……を連…い…』