Former Magical Girls and their Daily Lives
"And this is how to turn this computer on," Megumi said, pressing the power button on the desktop computer.
Risa nodded. She brought the parts to the computers a couple days ago when she saw a "cheap" computer build video on the internet. She thought that it was a good investment. It could run Predicament, which was a game with good graphics or something. What was the game about? She had no idea, but the guy in the video says that it could run Predicament in an impressed tone. So, it must be a powerful computer.
The building of the computer wasn't that hard. She invited Megumi because why not. The parts fit together rather easily. As long as you didn't bend any of the pins of the CPU or something, you should be able to make all of this work. Everything about the building process was easily explained by the same guy who showed off the PC build that Risa flat-out copied.
"And that's how you build your PC build. Not that hard, right? I am Winus Wech Wips. And as always, thanks for watching," Winus said as the credits rolled. They weren't really credits in the traditional sense. It was more like a list of people who donated any amount of money to Winus. It was supposed to be an award to motivate people to donate money. However, the list has gotten too long over the years, and it made the 12-minute video into 3 hours.
"Thanks for helping with this, Megumi," Risa said, "I appreciate it."
"Thanks for letting me help," Megumi said, "I never built a PC before. So, do you like Winus Wech Wips?"
"Yeah, I found him on the internet. He's rather entertaining. Do you like him?"
"Well, I don't really know about him. I heard that people complain that he's a rip-off of some other guy, but I also heard that he built his own brand either way and worked his way up to the top of DuckPipe. He was a rip-off, but it seemed to work fine for him."
"Interesting. Who do people think he ripped off?"
"I can't remember. But I do think that he is far from that anymore. The amount of supporters alone is impressive." Megumi looked at the still moving supporters list. "I don't think it really matters anymore."
"Some people do say that the original anything is superior and a mere copy can't stand against it."
"I don't know about that. The original object might have some value, but humanity doesn't really care about originality. If it works, it works. It's not like people demand that we bring back the original Woca Wola that had cocaine in it."
"No, no. I meant more like copies and stuff. Not changing recipes. Imagine an old painting. It was made by a famous artist, but the artist is dead now. Now, imagine the same painting. But it's just a copy that an art student made. These two paintings look exactly the same, but the copy is worth much less than the original. Stuff like that."
"Oh, well, I guess the reason why the original is worth more is that it has more history and that it was painted by the original artist. It's much rarer and more desired than the copy. Technically, the copy may fulfill the same purpose as a painting. It looks just as good and it supposedly looks exactly the same as the original. So, if you are looking for a nice thing to look at, then it's just as good as the original. However, the original is a real status symbol. It's much harder to get and it's definitely much more expensive. So, that's why paintings depend on whether or not it's original or not."
"So, is Winus worse than the guy he copied?"
"That goes into some weird territory. Being a copy of another person is weird. I can't really think of too many examples that really make sense. Some people claim that some musician is ripping off this other musician from 20 years ago, but it really depends on what else is brought to the table. If I straight out copy some guy's videos, it wouldn't be that helpful for the world or for my popularity. I would definitely be worse than the original if I just do what the original did, but worse. That makes sense, but if you steal some elements of the original guy and probably take from other people, you could potentially repackage the whole thing to be something better. I don't know enough about Winus to claim that he made it better or worse or different or anything of that nature."
"Wait, you mentioned musicians from the past. What if you copied someone to the tee, but you did it after that person retired or died? Wouldn't that be useful since the person you are copying isn't around to compete with you?"
"Well, I'm assuming that you are copying someone popular or influential. Otherwise, there wouldn't be many benefits in straight out copying the person. In that case, you might not be alone. In any field, everyone is inspired by the people who came before them. So, if you picked someone big to copy, well, someone else is already kinda copying that person, except that someone else actually brought something new to the table by being somewhat different. So, you are competing against other people who did take inspiration from the person you are copying, but they have changed to fit in with the newer times. You haven't. So, you are at a big disadvantage in that field. Just being the old superstar isn't going to make you the superstar today."
"That is great. My plan to become the greatest vlogger is ruined."
"Who were you going to copy?"
"That doesn't sound like a good idea. You'll end up in prison."
"Well, I then I will make a vlog about me escaping prison. Problem solved."
"You can't just make a vlog about escaping prison. You'll just end up back in prison."
"Wrong. Wanjiro from Wemon Wlayer did it. And he isn't back in prison."
"When did Wanjiro make a vlog about escaping from prison?! And either way, he's a shounen protagonist with supernatural powers. You can't do that. No one can!"
"Who said that I'm not a shounen protagonist? Girls are just as supernaturally inclined as boys are."
"Well, I can't prove that you aren't a protagonist, but you don't have any supernatural powers for sure."
"No, I do. Well, it's more like I did. You see-"
A pillow came flying from the other side of the room and slammed into Risa's face, knocking her over. Kasumi walked over to Risa's body, dragged into her futon, tucked her in, and patted her on the head.
"Nice seeing you, Megumi," Kasumi said, "As you see, it's getting quite late, and Risa is already asleep. I think it may be time to go back home for you."
"But it's 6 pm. You don't go to sleep that early."
Kasumi looked at the clock on the wall. It was in fact 6, but she couldn't confirm it, because she didn't buy a clock for the house yet.
"Well, I don't think that it's that early."
"It says that it's six on my phone." Megumi pulled out her phone and it did say that it was six.
"Daylight Savings Time."
"Japan doesn't follow Daylight Savings. Even if we did, the latest that it could be would be seven, which isn't that late either."
"Didn't you hear about the Extreme Daylight Savings? They added it to make life more stressful and more productive. The hours change randomly and it's a really weird process."
"That doesn't make any sense. Random changes in time would likely drive people insane. Also, let's say that an airplane flight is at 9 am tomorrow, but then the time changes so that it is actually 6 am. The plane wouldn't get to the airport in time, but everyone would be expected to arrive 3 hours earlier? That doesn't make any sense. I'm sure that if a system like that existed, people will just create a new stable time system. As such the problem is solved."
"Well, governments do weird stuff sometimes. Even if it doesn't work."
"Kasumi, it's 6 pm. You aren't going to sleep this early. You didn't even have dinner. What's going on?"
"Fine, you got me. I just didn't want Risa to stay conscious for longer."
"Is it because of the computer?"
"No, it's because... Wait, what do you mean computer?"
Kasumi turned her head towards the brand new computer. It looked expensive. Kasumi opened a window. She grabbed Risa's futon with Risa in it and threw both of them out of the window. She then closed the window. Kasumi sat crossed-legged next to the computer.
"Well, this is a pickle," Kasumi told Megumi, "I didn't approve of this purchase. What a mess. Do you know how much this cost?"
"About 50,000 yen. But that doesn't include the monitor, keyboard, speakers, or mouse."
"I see. She didn't buy those other things, however."
"I don't think I asked her, but they didn't get here yet if she ordered them of course."
"That seems weird. Why didn't she ask me before buying it?"
"I don't know."
"Ugh." Kasumi stomped to the window, opened it, and yelled, "Risa, why did you buy a computer without my permission?!"
Risa was calmly asleep on the floor below. She didn't have any kind of sign on her face that even hinted that she heard Kasumi.
Kasumi gave up and stomped back to the computer.
"Can we return this?" Kasumi asked.
"I would assume that it is possible, but I do think that you wouldn't get a refund for the shipping costs."
"How can it be the current year, and we still have to pay for the shipping? Companies are dropping their merchandise with drones from the sky, and the mailman is an almost extinct breed. How much money do we have to spend?"
Megumi decided that it was safer to simply not say anything.
"Sigh. Maybe this could work out fine. We do still need a computer for school and stuff. I can't imagine typing out an essay with the keyboard on my phone. Wait, couldn't I just get a normal typewriter and do my essays there?"
"Well, I believe our teachers want a digital copy of our essays, and you would be losing out on copy and paste abilities."
"Darn." Kasumi took a hard look at the desktop computer. "We need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at the least. That could be expensive. I guess we could afford it, but it will cost money."
"How much money do you have?"
"Yuri, count the money," Kasumi said.
Yuri didn't count the money as she wasn't there. She was somewhere else, not in the house.
"Yuri isn't here," Megumi said.
"Damn. Um. I do think we have enough money for a computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse. How much are those?"
"I can't imagine it being over 20,000 yen."
"Is it really that cheap? Wasn't the computer 50,000 yen?"
"Well, yes, but the hardware is quite expensive compared to everything else. The keyboard and mouse are quite cheap honestly. I remember seeing a keyboard and mouse bundle for about 1,000 yen in the computer store."
"Okay, that's cheap. That means that we could afford a couple of couches and probably a couple of beds for the house."
"Wait, furniture is very expensive. Are you sure that you can afford that kind of stuff?"
"Well, we do get an allowance of 1,000,000 yen per month, but that's for everything. Food, rent, everything."
"Wait, 1,000,000 yen a month is a truckload of money. That's like a doctor's salary. How rich are your parents?"
"Parents? Oh, no. Yuri, Risa, and I aren't related."
"That wasn't my concern. Where does the money come from?"
"I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it."
"You don't know? Are you part of a human trafficking scheme? Is the Yakuza going to break down my door and break my neck?"
"No, it's nothing like that."
"Then what is it?"
"My grandparents... My parents died when I was young. So, my grandparents have been taking care of all of us. I'll rather not talk about it."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to push you that far."
"It's fine. Either way, I don't want to spend all of my money too quickly. So, I have to save something to be safe."
"Ah, yes. Safety first."