Haseo, also known as “The Terror of Death,” is a player in The World, an expansive online role-playing game. Having suffered the loss of his close friend Shino at the hands of a mysterious player known as Tri-Edge, Haseo has become a feared force in the world, a player-killer who will do anything for information on Tri-Edge. Tri-Edge’s atack on Shino mysteriously left her in a real-life coma and Haseo is determined to draw her out of it, and miracle that apparently can be achieved by beating the tar of Tri-Edge. He is unnerved to encounter Atoli, the spitting image of his lost friend, but cleverly disguises his true feelings by treating her like dog crap stuck to the heel of his boot. Atoli tries to reign in Haseo’s destructive impulses, with inevitably romantic results. When Atoli is struck down by the same virus that was apparently responsible for Shino’s condition, Haseo must muster all of his abilities to save her from the infection, from her own demons, and ultimately from an enemy who has his own equally compelling reasons for destroying her.