Chapter 1:

Life as a Girl on the Internet

Being a Girl Online Made Me Become a Girl in Real Life

Simply be soft and act helpless then boys will come to your rescue. I know precisely how to take advantage of my femininity. Online these boys are practically lined up to try and talk with a girl who plays the same games as them. Give some a chance and they won't disappoint to show off how manly they can be in front of you. But of course, the only way they can demonstrate being manly is by treating us like queens.

“Wow, it was sooo sweet of you to help me level up so much today hehe, it was a bunch of fun!”

I grimace at the over-exaggerated way those words came out of my mouth. I still haven't grown used to the overly girly and fluffy way I can make myself sound.

“No problem, you can send me a message anytime you need help! I’m always free.”

They did most of the work by easily carrying me to the finish of every mission, while I just sat back and enjoyed my time without even putting in any effort. Why does he work so hard for a stranger he recently met? He also paid for some items in the game for me. The least I could do is say thanks one more time.

“Also, thanks for getting me those items I wanted, I can’t wait to try them <3!”

This loser really gifted me at least ¥5000 worth of in-game cosmetics, was this really out of the kindness of his own heart? No way right...? Well… I may have been a bit manipulative with the way I'm interacting with him. I'm not that heartless of a human, I gave him his money's worth. After all, he had the opportunity to spend time with a cute sounding girl.

“So uhh... since we are done playing… What do you want to do now? I was thinking of doing a video call with you as since you have such a nice voice, I bet your face is a really good one.” He sheepishly says while letting out a nervous laugh.

What? Was he trying to flirt with me or something? He sounded so lame that even I’m feeling embarrassed for what he said.

“Yea uh sorry, I can’t video call with you today I’m super sleepy so maybe another timeee!”

“Ah, that’s fine maybe we can---”

I quickly attempt to duck out of any further interactions with him.

“Yea I’m off to bed, thanks for helping me out today! Good nighty! ~ ”

I shamelessly hang up the call before he can get another word in.

Obviously, all along his goal was to try and impress me with his “gaming abilities” and with his wallet. Most people are not randomly super kind to strangers or randomly willing to help new players. It’s all just because I am a girl. He thinks he can win me over by being my so-called knight in shining armor, defending me and showering me with gifts.

Maybe I will toy with him a bit longer and see if I can squeeze more out of him. It’s only been one week since he has been helping me out in this game. It all started when I posted on a message board looking for someone to help me get started in this game. Naturally, I got dozens of messages from guys way more skilled than I am to help me out in these beginner levels. With a girly username and profile photo like mine, this of course was all to be expected.

I close everything then turn off my PC and as I stretch back in my chair, I clear my throat. I did a lot of talking today and it feels as if I strained my vocal cords. I drink some of the tea I had on my desk to clear the scratchiness in my throat. Maybe I should take it easy next time.

Another day of getting “e-boys” to do what I want. It feels effortless to me, just by being a girl that plays video games, all the white knights flock to me. I love them, they protect me, get me what I want, and in general make things easier for me. If they get boring or start being annoying, I can replace them by finding a new one. Simple work. It seems cruel, but I think of it as charity work. Most of these nerds would never even get to talk to girls in real life, so I am simply giving them what they desire. Who wouldn’t want to be “friends” with a cute “girl” like me!

Reflecting on my success of the day I suddenly remember it’s a Sunday night, I look at the clock on the computer and become aware that it's now 1 AM. I really need to get to bed as I have to go to school in the morning. It's fine though, I’m used to the late nights and barely getting enough rest to function properly the next day.

I get off my computer chair to immediately crash into my bed and hastily wrap myself with my sheets. I feel like I can doze off any second now- but not before I do some mindless scrolling on my phone. I open InStarGram to see what's been going on recently. But mostly to see what my friend was up to this weekend.

“Ah, a new post while I was busy playing video games.”

As I was scrolling by, I see my friend Tachikawa, Saya holding a bubble tea and smiling for a selfie. Knowing her she chose to pose like that on purpose. You can see it behind the self-satisfying smirk that posed with. God, what a normie she can be sometimes, going out on the weekends and doing normal people things. Every time I suggest we go to the bookstore on the weekends or go to a café together she says she’s busy with friends or some other excuse. I can never understand people who go out in big groups to places, so annoying.

After seeing that photo I close the app and put the phone on my bedside. Ugh why doesn't she ever spend more time with me, she makes it so hard for me to try and get closer with her. It kinda pisses me off but I know the real answers to my questions.

I am a loser otaku who just keeps to themselves and hates everyone. While she... well she is quite the opposite. She is the kind of person who can have a good conversation with anyone. She is always cool and laid back, I don’t know of anyone who doesn't like her. I wonder why she still even talks to me. We had first met back in elementary school and we have basically grown up together. Maybe it's too hard to cut off a friend you've known for that long...

*Beep Beep Beep*

The alarm on my phone is going off signaling to slug myself out of bed. I think I dozed off right after putting my phone down. It feels like I closed my eyes only a few moments ago.

Still groggy from being half asleep, I roll out of bed and into the washroom across the hall. Standing in front of the sink, the reflection in the mirror catches my attention. It's been quite some time since I've taken a proper look at myself. I’m in my second year of high school already and I still haven’t grown much. When people unlock puberty they get 1000 EXP. As for me, it’s like I only got 10 EXP. My slender frame seems to have not changed in forever, making me look frail. On my face there isn't even a spec of facial hair and there isn't much definition in my face. It gives me a delicate look, nothing “masculine” about me in any way.

I notice my hair has gotten longer than usual as it's now touching my shoulders, it’s been a while since I got it cut. As I try to brush some of my hair back with my hands, my fingers become oily. Gross.

“Maybe it’s time to get a little trim.” I say to myself.

“How about a big chop like last time! Hahaha, I still remember you hated it so much you had tears in your eyes!”

Since I forgot to close the door, my mom walked by the washroom and had to say something to get on my nerves.

“I just don’t like the look of it that short! My face felt really exposed.” I usually have my hair covering most of my face, so I was sensitive to the sudden change.

“Well, I thought you looked cute Shiki.” She practically has her head peering through the door at this point.

“Wow... thanks mom.” I sarcastically say as I go to shut the door.

“I will be home late again today, so make sure to eat something proper!” She says before the door finally closes.

I finish up in the washroom and sloppily put on my uniform. I forget about tying my hair and throw my school bag over my shoulder. Guess I'm all prepared to go.

“I'm headed to school!” I shout out to my mom who is still preparing for work.

“Shiki take care! Have a fun day~!” She shouts back.

I make my way outside my apartment and down the stairs leading to the street. It’s late April so it isn't too hot or humid outside yet. A gentle morning breeze passes through my skin, waking me out of my sleepy state. I look at my phone, I still have plenty of time before I usually meet up with Saya.

“Ah, time for another week of school...” I somberly whisper to myself...