Translation of Sword Art Online’s volume 12, afterword.
Just a note, italics are for English words written in katakana. Full caps are English words written in English. (this only applies if there’s actually some significance in using those English words in the original)
Thank you very much for reading Sword Art Online 12, ‘Alicization Rising’. The Alicization arc has progressed along ‘Beginning’, ‘Running’, and ‘Turning’, getting to the fourth volume before I knew it and the end should be getting within sight, but… it feels like Kirito-san and Eugeo-san have been going up the whole time, doesn’t it… Well, you see, the Central Cathedral is a hundred-story building like Aincrad, so it must be horrible to climb up, definitely. They should reach the highest floor in the next volume, so I would be glad if you could accompany them as they climb the stairs for a little longer!
Of course, the ‘Rising’ subtitle was appended with the connotation of ‘ascending’, but when talking about stairs, it seems the right term would be go up, rather than rise. Please don’t get it wrong if it comes out in your sacred tongue, or rather, English tests. go up the stairs means to ‘go up the stairs’!
The 1st volume was published in April 2009, so the 12th volume’s release date in April 2013, would mean the SAO series has been going on for four whole years. In the story, if we take the beginning to be when SAO started its service in November 2022, then as the Alicization Arc is in June 2026, roughly three years and seven months have passed, haven’t they. (Kirito did spend another two years in the Underworld, though…)
I am of the mind that Kirito, as well as Asuna and the rest, have gone through various experiences both in the real world and the virtual world throughout that time span and developed further, but on the other hand, I draw a complete blank when I think about how I, the author, have changed. Are both my own self and my living conditions due to Administrator-sama?! They have stayed so utterly constant that I am conversely surprised. Behold, not even the notebook PC I have used for writing has changed! (the paint on the keyboard has been worn out from the abuse, though)
I wonder if this essentially means that I find all sorts of change scary and troublesome. In actual fact, the bother of adapting to a different environment overpowered my desire to switch to a new PC and the course I ride on my bicycle each week has stayed the same down to those turns I take… But I feel that my mind’s idea output will be reduced if I don’t come into contact with new worlds every now and then, so I hope to make this year, a year of various changes. First will be to get a brand-new notebook PC… I want to do that, but pasting on the protective film is such a bother……
To the editors-in-charge who have taken care of me for so long, Miki-san and Tsuchiya-san, and the one who has drawn the illustrations with such spirit each time even throughout that relentless schedule, abec-san, and also all of the readers who have accompanied me on the SAO series thus far, I hope for your support in the fifth year as well!
- Translation – Tap