Chapter 13:

Aya Murphy's Law

Tales of Virtual Shopkeeper

Have you ever heard the tale of Excalibur, the Sword in the Stone wielded by the fabled King Arthur? According to the legend, the sword was wedged deep inside an anvil that mysteriously appeared atop a stone slab on Christmas Eve. Only a chosen one could remove it, and in doing so they would prove themselves to be worthy of the title King or Queen of Britain. Apparently the developers of Utopia Online were familiar with this legend, as they had recently released an update placing a replica of the famous sword and anvil in the Town Square.

According to Lady Kaguya, this was a one-of-a-kind weapon, and also the strongest sword in the entire game, but no player had been able to remove it from the anvil. Allegedly, a player with a good enough Strength Stat would easily be able to lift the sword, but even the strongest Crusaders and Berserkers had attempted such a feat to no avail.


I looked over to the Rogue who had just entered my shop.

“What’s the craic, Yuu?” she smiled.

Aya Murphy – Level 213 Rogue

“Good morning, Dorothy,” I smiled, “It looks like your Level’s skyrocketed since the last time I saw you! How’d you manage to pull that off?”

“No time for questions, Yuu! Come with me!”

“Eh? But I’ve got a shop to run,” I protested.

“Whatever, that’s not important,” she shrugged as we exited the Fantasy Shoppe.


“Where are we going, anyway?”

“Oh, didn’t I tell you?” she asked, “We’re going to pull the sword from the doctor!” [TL note: The Japanese word for doctor (isha) is pronounced similarly to the Japanese word for stone (ishi). In kanji, the two words are spelled completely differently, although Dorothy mainly struggles with spoken Japanese (as opposed to written Japanese), so that doesn’t really make it any easier for her…]


The two of us walked together to the Town Square. As we walked, I wondered what the foreigner was planning. Rogues weren’t exactly known for their Strength. If even the strongest players on the server weren’t able to remove the sword from the anvil, I had no idea how she could possibly do it. Maybe she just wanted the two of us to pull on the sword together with all our might, in the small chance that our combined Strength would be enough to make it budge? …No, I wouldn’t expect such naïveté from her. Even if she did fumble her words every now and then, Dorothy O’Doughterty was still a pretty intelligent player, so she must have had a better plan than that.

“Hey, Dorothy,” I asked, “How exactly are we going to ‘pull the sword from the isha’? Shopkeepers and Rogues aren’t exactly the strongest Classes in the game or anything…”

“How many times do I have to tell you, Yuu? When we’re playing Utopia Online, you have to call me Aya Murphy,” she pouted, placing her avatar’s hands on her hips.

“Whatever you say, Dorothy,” I replied smugly, “So, anyway, are you going to answer my question?”

“Oh, right! It’s actually quite simple,” she smirked, “Remember those knickers you gave me as a joke? The baby blue ones with the clover print?”

I quickly placed a hand over her mouth as a group of townsfolk, both other players and NPCs, looked in our direction. Who just blurts out something like that in public?!

“Heh… You really are a pervert, huh?”


Once again, I had received a devastating blow from the Rogue’s iron gauntlet, knocking me down to the ground. To be fair, I did deserve that. I probably should have learned my lesson after the last time. As I lay down on the dusty road, I caught a glimpse of the aforementioned underpants peeking out from underneath her skirt. Karma sure does work in mysterious ways.

“Hey, Dorothy. I can, uh… see your panties,” I informed her, my cheeks bright red.

Before I knew it, she had slammed her metal shoe into my skull. Yeah, I probably deserved that too. Although the blow did hurt, I had barely even lost any Hit Points, proving to me that I was correct to assume that her Strength Stat wasn’t very high. Since she brought them up, I had thought that she might have equipped her underpants with Strength Crystals or a powerful Skill, but that clearly wasn’t the case. I slowly pulled myself up off the ground, dusting off my men’s kimono and adjusting my ovular specs.

“You don’t have to be so rough,” I complained.

“That’s what you get for being a hippopotamus,” she pouted, sticking her tongue out. [TL note: The Japanese word for hippopotamus (kaba) is spelled with the same kanji as the Japanese word for idiot (baka), except in reverse.]

“Anyway, about the sword…?”

“Oh, right! I’m not going to use my Strength to remove the sword,” Aya began, proudly puffing out her chest, “I’m going to be using Luck!”

“Luck?” I asked.

“That’s right,” she affirmed, “Did you know that the four-leafed clover is considered a symbol of good luck in my motherland?”

“Yes, I’m aware,” I explained, “Like its three-leafed counterpart, the shamrock, the leaves are said to symbolize faith, hope, and love. The additional fourth leaf is then said to bring good luck. Did I get that right?”

“Hmph! I’m impressed, Yuu Watanabe! You’ve done your research,” she smirked, “Of course, you’re one-hundred per cent correct! So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you that those clover-print knickers you gave me have an incredible Luck Stat!”

“So you think you’re going to get lucky enough to remove the sword from the anvil? No offense, but I highly doubt that will work,” I began, “I just don’t think it’s physically possible to have enough Luck stored in those underpants to succeed where Berserkers and Crusaders have failed.”

“Fufufu,” the girl laughed, “Watch this.”

She removed a rubber ball from her inventory, closing her eyes and tossing it behind her as hard as she could. My eyes darted left and right as I watched the ball bounce off of the various surroundings behind us. If this were a game of pinball, the Rogue would have set the new high score! After an unbelievable amount of time of ricocheting between two roofs in particular, the rubber ball flew back towards us. Dorothy jumped up, eyes still closed the entire time, and caught the ball in her left hand!

“Pretty impressive, huh?” she smirked, opening her eyes, “That’s a little something I like to call ‘Luck of the Irish’!”

I gave her a flabbergasted look. “H-how did you do that?!”

“I’ve completely reinvented my playstyle, Yuu! It’s not just my undies that are lucky,” she grinned, “I’ve maxed out the Luck on all of my Gear!”

Damn, that was pretty clever. Most players tried to evenly distribute their Stats. I had never actually thought to put all of my Ability Crystals into one Stat, especially not one as passive as Luck. Maybe Dorothy really was onto something? With that much Luck on her side, maybe she really would be lucky enough to become the chosen one spoken of in Arthurian legend?

“Well, what are we waiting for?” I asked, “Let’s freaking go and get that sword already!”

Ten in-game minutes later, we arrived at the Town Square. At the center of town we could see it, the object of O’Doughterty’s desire – The anvil and the sword! …Except the sword was nowhere to be seen.

“KANI?!” [TL note: Kani = Crab.]

“The word you’re looking for is nani,” I sighed. [TL note: Nani = What.]

“I-I don’t understand,” Dorothy stammered, “It should be right here! Where is it?!”

A nearby player had walked over in our direction after hearing all the commotion.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“The sword,” Aya Murphy stated, pointing at the anvil, “Where the Hell is the sword?! It’s supposed to be right here!”

“You mean Excalibur? Damn, you just missed it,” the boy chuckled, “Some busty redhead with a large tail and horns just uprooted the sword! Oh, man! You should’ve seen the looks on everyone’s faces!”

“Ah, I-I see…”

Aya sat down on the anvil where Excalibur once was. If we had arrived just a little bit sooner, she might have been able to successfully remove the legendary blade before that redheaded girl did. I sat down beside her, placing a hand on her lap.

“Better luck next time, Aya.”

“Next time?!” she asked, “That was a one-of-a-kind weapon, Yuu! There won’t be a next time!”

“Hey, I know what will cheer you up!”

I opened up my inventory, removing a pair of nylon bike shorts and handing them to the Rogue.

“Here you go! You can put these on under your skirt,” I smiled, “They’ll give you an even bigger boost to your Luck Stat, plus they’ll cover up your panties to avoid any repeats of today’s earlier mishap.”

“Heh. Thanks, hippopotamus,” she winked, standing up as she slowly pulled her new spats over her legs. Both I and the boy from earlier blushed as we watched Dorothy struggle to put on her new bike shorts. (They may have been a size too small for her avatar’s body. Oops.)

“S-so, what do you think, Dorothy?”

“They’re a bit tight,” she sighed, “I guess today isn’t my lucky day after all…”

I began to head back towards the Fantasy Shoppe. The last thing that I wanted was for someone to steal my wares while I was gone. As I approached the shop, I saw a girl in red armor standing by the window. Another member of Rose’s Guild, I assumed. Just when I thought this day couldn’t get any worse.

“Can I help you, Miss?”

She turned to face me, revealing three large horns poking out from her head.

“Ohoho,” she smiled, pressing her eyewear against her face, “Don’t mind me. I was just doing a bit of window shopping. I’ll be off now.”

And with that, she turned around and left, her bushy raccoon-like tail wagging behind her. That’s when I spotted it. Attached to her belt was the hilt of a familiar looking weapon – Excalibur.

“Of course,” I sighed, “Of all the Guilds that could have gotten their hands on that sword, it had to be the Crimson Kings… Why am I not surprised?”

...So much for ‘Luck of the Irish’.