Chapter 5:

Dialogue Options

Game Gyaru

This was bad. Hakuta found himself cornered by the two girls as they both put up an arm on both sides. This made any potential escapes impossible for him. The look on both their eyes were filled with suspicion towards him.

“What are you trying to hide?” The first one spoke. This one was Ninka Ichida. She had tanned skin and was the one who recently got a boyfriend given what he had heard from their loud conversation. That was the girl he didn’t want to get on the wrong side of, seeing as she was larger than him.

“You were acting so sus back in class.” The other one was Rouko Sugisawa. There wasn’t much he could say about her other than the amount of tricks she pulled on her own friends was staggering. This would be considered a person he’d say was a wild card in that friend group.

Also, he couldn’t help but notice the choice of words she used to him. Despite having his life being threatened, Hakuta had to give a stare of displeasure towards the girl on his right. Did she really just say he was ‘sus’? Obviously he knew where she got that vocabulary from, even if it was unlikely any of these gyarus even played the game it originated from.

Great… Now he was given some bad memories of being called such a term while playing it with online friends. As he learned, normal people made for horrible detectives.

But getting back on track, there were other things for him to be worried about. Such as how he was going to get out of this situation without giving up the secret. That meant his goals were to convince them he meant nothing strange with his actions. Then afterwards, be allowed to go back home without them following him. Somehow, he was to gain their trust in order to be allowed something so sacred.

How was he going to plan on pulling that off? He wasn’t a boy known for being a smooth talker. Plus, Ninka didn’t seem like the type who wanted to talk right now. Actually, now that he was taking a view of the situation, this was reminding him of something. Right, that RPG game he was playing yesterday. It had put his character through circumstances just like this one.

There were dialogue options placed before every major decision. Bad ones took him on more challenging paths, or ruined relationships that were important to the plot. However, good ones allowed him to gain some powerful items and allies. So that was how he needed to view what he was in right now. To consider that out of all the options available to him, one, or even more, were the correct ones to save the day.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with taking concern over a sick classmate.” It was time to begin his efforts. One wrong move and he’d be a goner.

“But you know we’re, like, friends with her?” It was a good point brought up by Rouko. Wouldn’t it have made more sense that those close to the person in question be the ones to drop by?

“And that’s the problem.” Which is why his counter was to use the idea against itself. “You’re too close. Aside from the obvious you goofing off with her and forgeting about her homework, did you forget she’s sick?” If they decided to spent the day with her as she got better. It was entirely possible they’d end up with the same illness she caught.

“But why does it have to be you?” Asked Ninka. He could feel the force she was using to push up against the wall. Their interrogation continued on him, and they were certainly putting the pressure on him. That was mainly caused by their rather large bosoms getting up closer to his face. “Do you even know where she lives?”

“Our fathers work together.” Again, he used the advantage of the truth to go against them. Though his glasses were fogging up from the heat gathering between them, he was able to maintain composure by not lying at the moment. They’d probably be able to pick up on his nervousness if he did so. “So we know where each other lives.”

“I’ve never heard her say that before.” Though since the pair hadn’t been known for a history of positive interactions, they were able to assume she simply didn’t mention it because Hakuta and Shiuka weren’t friends. However, that meant there was another line of questioning that needed answers. “But why do you want to do it?”

Indeed, if they weren’t friends, then why would he care to bring her homework to her house. What could he say? On one hand, he could say something about responsibility, but that wouldn’t answer his desire to do this. Obviously telling the truth was out of the question here, but what other dialogue options could he choose to sneak out of this circumstance? The boy scanned down the list, trying to think of something to get them off the trail.

“You see…” He hoped this was going to be the right choice. Otherwise, their living arrangement secret was going to be over before it even began. “She didn’t want you to know, but she’s actually in bad shape.” Hakuta came up with a lie to convince them that it would be wise to trust him, as well as get them to not come with him to her place. So he went with the excuse that her illness had also caused the girl to look tremendously ugly.

“Really?” The took him at face value. Those girls gasped from the shock of the story he told them.

“Right, like I said, our dads know each other. So he told me about it and wanted me to be the one to get her homework because she didn’t want to see the two of you the way she is.”

“Wow, she must look real bad then.” Said Rouko. “Do you got a pic of it?”

“No.” Even if what he said was true, the boy didn’t know why he’d consider snapping a pic. Perhaps if he wanted to blackmail her, but despite their differences he’d never do that to her. “Anyway, that’s pretty much the truth. Which is why I didn’t want to tell the two of you. She’d kill me if she found out I told you.”

“Hmm, fine.” Ninka relented from her spot and finally gave the boy some breathing room. “You can go by yourself. And we won’t mention it to her.” She was their friend, if she didn’t want them to know, then they’d avoid that can of worms.”

“Thanks.” He bowed his head, not out of respect, but from relief. Though to them it appeared to be the former. With that, he was able to leave the school and head for her house. Hakuta was glad he was able to run through the right dialogue tree to have a successful conversation with them. However, there was one thing stuck in his head after that encounter. This would be the first of many lies they’d have to tell others about what was going on in their lives. If this kept up, then one of them was bound to slip up in their web of lies. Hopefully their fathers would be getting back from their trip sooner rather than later.

On his way back, there was one detour before arriving back home. That being to pick up some medicine and proper ingredients for dinner. As of right now, she was still sick. Which would pose a problem if she didn’t get better and back in class tomorrow. There was no way he could continue that farce a second day in a row. So despite not wanting to, he resolved to care for her health. At least for the rest of the day.

“Okay, I’m home.” He announced out loud, hoping she would respond and reveal her improved health. Sadly that was not the case as silence was all there was to greet him. A quick peek into her room showed she had done little to move from her spot. This wasn’t good, at this current pace, there was no way she’d be ready to get back to school soon.

“Hmm?” She finally stirred as he made the trek through her rummage. “Who’s there?”

“It’s me.” He answered her. “And It looks like you’re still not feeling well.”

“It’s not as bad as before.” She kept a hand on her head as the girl tried to remember what had happened today. “But I’m still feeling a bit weak. I barely made it to the toilet before I-”

“Don’t care.” He stopped her and explained his plan. “You’re going to be taking some of this then.” In his hands, there appeared to be a bottle of an unknown substance to her. In the other, there was a tiny cup used for measuring out medicine. Since his hands were full, it made the challenge to walk to her bed difficult, but he was able to manage.

“Oh no.” She backed away from him. Unfortunately, her room was a mess and her body was in no condition to quickly run from him. So this put her in a situation where her back was up against the wall to him. “You can’t make me take that.”

“Come on now.” He had a devious look on his face. “It’s for your own good.”

“That’s what papa always says before he makes me do something I don’t wanna.” She countered his actions by putting up her hands and trying to shove him away.

“Just one shot, that’s all I’m asking.” Since he wanted to try and pour some into the cup for her, the attempts to stop him were becoming annoying. Despite the weak power behind it, Shiuka’s pushing was having an effect. “Look, it’s grape flavor.”

“Come on, you know that’s, like, the worst one.” She cried out. This was looking tough for him, but Hakuta did come prepared. Perhaps it was because being forced to use RPG choices had still stuck in his brain, but there was one kind of dialogue option he hadn’t used yet today. The food he picked up wasn’t just for a plain dinner.

“If you take it, I’ll make your favorite dinner.” That being to bargain something of his to get something else he wanted. Normally, in a video game, he avoided doing so because most items were either annoying to get, or were too valuable for him to want to lose.

“Steamed barbecue pork buns!?” Before he was able to answer in the affirmative, the girl immediately took the little medicine cup and drunk its contents. At first, she gagged and appeared to be about to throw it up. After keeping cool, she was able to down it and stuck out her tongue to comment on its bad taste. “That was awful, but it’ll be worth it when you make me food.”

The girl giggled in giddy joy over the prospect. Upon getting the news, she seemed to have regained her energy. “What, but how did you know that?”

“I didn’t.” He had only learned after she said it herself. Fortunately, he picked up a lot of groceries for the two of them. So there were enough of the ingredients for them to be able to make that. It was doubly fortunate that this was her favorite, seeing as it was his too. “Anyway, I’ll get started after I get cleaned up.” As he started to leave, he lifted her arms up as if asking for something from him. “What?”

“Can you carry me to the living room? I’m still a little woozy and it’s hard to walk in this room.” She asked.

“...Fine.” After a long sigh, he did as she requested.

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