They meet back up with Mireille, Ouka, Hotaru and find themselves in-front of a haunted old mansion. Inside the mansion they encounter invisibles - which Shugo vanquishes. They finish their battle in time to return to the City of Watr Mac Anu for the fireworks to start. The programing for the fireworks though begins to act up. It begins to rain and an odd tune begins to be carried in the air.
Shugo, Rena, Mireille, Ouka, and Hotaru begin to look for the odd music. The music has also caught the attention of an CC Administrator - who isn't friendly.
They find the source of the singing, it's a little girl, who Shugo thinks is Aura. In the 1st volume, Aura saves Shugo's life and gives him a very rare and powerful bracelet. Aura is also a mystery that the admins want to delete. Every time she shows up something bad happens. However the little girl is not Aura but Zefie who is an NPC (Non-personal character) who believes that Aura is her mother. The gang take it upon themselves to help find Aura (they also believe it is a mission inside the game.)
The kids have attracted the attention of both Balmug and Kamui but for very different reasons. Balmug and Kamui are both administrators for the CC Corp. but work in different departments. Balmug is interested in Shugo because of his (Shugo's) interaction with Aura. Balmug believes that watching and waiting will help uncover the final mystery. Kamui is the head knight of CC Corps.' own "Colbat Knight Brigade" which looks for cheaters and hackers and punishes them. She is interested in Shugo because she was "tipped" that he was cheating, also because of Zefie - whom Kamui wants to delete permanently.
In volume 2 we learn a little more about The World and the catastrophic event that happened 4 years ago. The event was that some player became unconscious while playing the game and that a whole city lost power and internet connection. They still don't know what caused the event but believe it had to deal with Aura. The unconscious were the original dot hackers who got a glimpse into the core of the world - and since then no one has been able to see it.
In this volume they also introduced some Japanese slang words. The words are:
ganguro - trendy Japanese teen look of tanned skin and white makeup (p39)
kogal - a trendy teen girl into fashion and makeup (p 44)
When I googled ganguro to find images, it was very interesting. Some of the "tanned" skin looked like oompa-loompa skin - I mean it was that very dark orange skin. They had white lips and white around their eyes and blonde hair. It is a very interesting look and I wonder what inspired that look.
Volumes in this Manga
I don't know if this .hack has a volume 4, but after doing some research I've found that there are other .hack story lines out there including but not limited:
1) .hack/AI Buster
2) .hack/Another Birth
For more information on the whole .hack story (there are many spinoffs) please visit the Wiki page on it. I'm just sad that my library doesn't have the other .hack books. I find this Sci-Fi manga very interesting and I would love to read the other stories surrounding The World.
Oh! And apparently this .hack is actually called .hack//Legends of the Twilight Bracelet - the one that Aura gave Shugo. I found that interesting because our English books don't have the title and I wonder why they took off bracelet. Perhaps because boys wouldn't want to read a book that dealt with a piece of jewelry? ;)
.hack//Legend of the Twilight Volume 2 by Tatsuya Hamazaki. Japan (c) 2003 - English (c) 2004