Chapter 26:

"A beach chapter? Isn't that a bit clichéd?"

Tales of Virtual Shopkeeper

Isn’t it strange how there’s always one player in the hero’s group who has the role of a Shopkeeper? Haven’t you ever wondered who, in a world of endless possibilities, would ever choose to play the mundane role of a Shopkeeper? …That would be me, Yuu Watanabe. I get tons of customers with interesting tales to tell. The smiles on their faces as they tell me all about their latest quests and achievements is the greatest high in the world. And that is why I chose to be a Shopkeeper in Utopia Online... Of course, as I’m sure you’ve probably already guessed, I don’t spend all of my time playing this game. When I’m offline, I’m just your typical everyday third-year highschool girl.Bookmark here

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I sat behind the Fantasy Shoppe's counter singing a song, in order to test that my new voice-changing headset was working properly.Bookmark here

Yume tagae, maboroshi no asamoya no sekai no kioku o…Bookmark here

-DINAGLING!-Bookmark here

I was interrupted by a familiar kappa walking into the Fantasy Shoppe, wearing a goofy grin on his face.Bookmark here

가람 – Level 1000 InventorBookmark here

“Hey there, Mister Mul,” I smiled.Bookmark here

“If it isn’t my good friend, the demon slayer himself – Duu Watari!”Bookmark here

“My name is ‘Yuu Watanabe’,” I sighed.Bookmark here

“Yeah, whatever you say,” GaRam Mul shrugged, “Listen, I’ve got good news.”Bookmark here

“Oh? What kind of news?”Bookmark here

“Due to your victory over the Demon King Mao, you and Miss Murphy have won a VIP trip to Utopia Online’s newest attraction!”Bookmark here

“Newest attraction?” I asked.Bookmark here

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Welcome to Utopia Beach!’ That’s what the sign read.Bookmark here

“So this is Utopia Online’s newest attraction?” I asked.Bookmark here

There were already a ton of people here. So much for ‘VIP trip’!Bookmark here

“Hey, Yuu! You finally made it,” a familiar voice called out.Bookmark here

I turned around to see my Rogue friend wearing a green bikini with white polka-dots.Bookmark here

Aya Murphy – Level 493 RogueBookmark here

“Oh, hey Dorothy. Nice bikini,” I said whilst slightly blushing.Bookmark here

“I told you to call me ‘Aya Murphy’ when we’re playing this game,” she pouted, “Anyway, where’s your chakusui?” [TL note: Chakusui = Water landing. Dorothy gets chakusui confused with the word mizugi (swimsuit), due to the fact that the characters in chakusui (着水) are the same ones used in mizugi, but reversed.]Bookmark here

“That’s not even close,” I sighed, “And no, I don’t have a swimsuit with me. Mister Mul didn’t tell me where we were going.”Bookmark here

“Didn’t I?” the kappa Inventor asked, “Whoops-a-daisy, my bad.”Bookmark here

“You omitted that on purpose, didn’t you?” I asked, my eyes narrowing as I stared daggers at Mister Mul.Bookmark here

“What can I say,” he shrugged, “I’m not into shirtless men.”Bookmark here

I didn’t even hesitate to give him a smack on the back of the head.Bookmark here

You have failed the test,” I jeered.Bookmark here

“Ow,” he muttered, “Why does it matter? You can just strip down to your boxer shorts anyway.”Bookmark here

“I’m going commando,” I stated bluntly.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Yuu,” Dorothy interjected, “I’ve got a spare chakusui!”Bookmark here

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Mister Mul had left to attend to ‘other matters’, leaving me and Dorothy alone.Bookmark here

“You have got to be joking,” I sulked, adjusting Dorothy’s spare swimsuit.Bookmark here

“What’s wrong? It’s cute,” the Rogue cooed.Bookmark here

“It’s a bikini-bottom,” I complained, pulling the tight garment out of my buttcrack with a loud ‘snap!’, “A bikini-bottom for women. It doesn’t exactly fit my avatar’s… figure.”Bookmark here

A pink bikini with a floral print. While I personally prefer one-piece swimsuits, I could probably pull off this look in real life nevertheless... Unfortunately for me, this isn’t real life and, quite frankly, I currently look completely ridiculous.Bookmark here

“I think it’s a pretty nice fit,” Dorothy smirked, wiggling her eyebrows as she stared down at my avatar’s crotch.Bookmark here

“What if we run into someone I know? I’d die of embarrassment!”Bookmark here

“Hey,” a male voice called out, “Aren’t you that High Elf Shopkeeper?”Bookmark here

I looked around to locate the source of the voice and (surprise, surprise) it was someone that I knew.Bookmark here

Dan Steele – Level 62 KnightBookmark here

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“Long time no see, Watanabe” the Knight beamed, running up to us.Bookmark here

“It’s only been a couple of weeks,” I stated, “Nice swimwear by the way.”Bookmark here

His plain blue swimming trunks were quite skimpy, showing off a larger-than-average portion of his rather muscular legs. I’d love nothing more than to frolic on the beach with this hunky dreamboat all day long! But I clearly wasn’t the only one smitten by his physique – Dorothy was practically salivating, her fingers twitching as she stared up at the man’s bare muscles. (Wow, I guess she really is a pervert, huh?)Bookmark here

“Your swimwear is cute too, Watanabe,” Dan smiled, “Those flowers are very pretty!”Bookmark here

“Th-thanks,” I blushed, covering the front of my embarrassing bikini-bottoms with one of my avatar’s hands.Bookmark here

“Who’s your friend, Yuu?” Dorothy asked, getting extremely close to Dan and nonchalantly running a finger down the center of his chest.Bookmark here

“Uh… h-hi there, ma’am,” he blushed, his eyes clearly fixated on the Rogue’s exposed cleavage. Either she was completely oblivious to his awkward staring, or else she just didn’t care.Bookmark here

“This is Dan Steele,” I said, stepping in between the two newly-established lovebirds and pushing them apart, “He came to the Fantasy Shoppe looking for some cloth--”Bookmark here

“I don’t care,” Dorothy interrupted, shoving me out of the way to continue flirting with Dan.Bookmark here

“Hey, big boy~ Can you help me put on some suntan lotion please?”Bookmark here

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Darn it, I was just about to ask him the exact same thing! Now Dorothy O’Dougherty is going to have that dreamboat all to herself!Bookmark here

“I-I’d love to, ma’am. In fact, I could use some sunscreen as well… B-but I’m afraid that I didn’t bring any with me.”Bookmark here

Suddenly, I had a brilliant, spectacular idea. It was so brilliant and so simple that I even surprised myself. I’d have my hands all over Dan’s abs in no time!Bookmark here

“I have sunscreen,” I stated, materializing a bottle of lotion from within my inventory.Bookmark here

“You’re a lifesaver, Watanabe,” Dan smiled, “Do you mind applying some of your creamy goodness to my avatar’s body?”Bookmark here

“Not at all,” I replied.Bookmark here

Dorothy leered at me. Not so slick now, are you, O’Dougherty?Bookmark here

“Fine, whatever,” she sighed, giving into her defeat, “But make sure that there’s enough suntan lotion for me, too.”Bookmark here

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Dorothy had taken a blanket out of her inventory and lay it down on the sand. Dan was currently lying on his back while she was lying on her front. I couldn’t help but take a quick glance over to her avatar’s backside – Her O-ring bikini-bottoms had wedged themselves quite far between her cheeks, making her butt look extra perky, but that wasn’t what I was after. I was looking for something far juicier…Bookmark here

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I looked over at the Knight, the sweat drops all over his sexy body were gleaming brightly in the sunlight. I bit my lip as I squirted some sunscreen into my hands. Without hesitation, I placed one hand on each of his pecs and began to rub them slowly.Bookmark here

“Ah,” he moaned, his eyes closed underneath his sunglasses, “You’re pretty good at this, Watanabe.”Bookmark here

“W-well, it isn’t really that difficult.”Bookmark here

I moved my hands further down his body, caressing his six-pack as I applied the sunscreen. I made sure to spend time rubbing each and every one of his abs individually. His avatar’s body was beautiful – A work of art that had to be appreciated, right down to the finest of details. It was as if Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni himself had come back from beyond the grave to sculpt this masterpiece.Bookmark here

“Hey! What about me, Yuu?” the Rogue asked, ruining my special moment.Bookmark here

I momentarily stopped rubbing Dan’s glorious body as I stood over Dorothy. I squirted a line of sunscreen right down the center of her back.Bookmark here

“There you go, Aya. Knock yourself out.”Bookmark here

“You have to rub it in, Yuu.”Bookmark here

“Rub it in yourself, I’m busy.”Bookmark here

I turned back towards Dan Steele and started rubbing my hands down his bulbous legs. As I finished lathering his body in sunscreen, I stared out in front of me, examining the other beachgoers. There were actually quite a few people that I knew here.Bookmark here

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Asami Usami was playing beach volleyball with Chris Hacksaw and a girl that I didn’t recognize (presumably Homura Usami, the third member of the Modern Crusaders Guild), her bikini-clad breasts bouncing with each spike. (Not that I was focusing on her breasts of anything…)Bookmark here

Rose_the_Deathbringer and Smooth Criminal were splashing each other in the water, while ~Schrödinger~ watched nervously. (I guess the catboy had a fear of water? How fitting.) He was wearing a frilled black and purple one-piece swimsuit, which definitely wasn’t helping to avoid the confusion about his avatar’s sex.Bookmark here

Kiran and Lyre Sonnet were sharing an ice-cream cone with each other while wearing matching swimwear. (I guess Mii’s confession must have worked out? Well, good for him I guess.)Bookmark here

Meiko and Jo from the Basilisk no Shita restaurant were having a conversation with Lyca Wolfgang Barker about who-knows-what, while relaxing on some deck chairs.Bookmark here

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Mister Mul was definitely exaggerating earlier when he said that this was a ‘VIP trip’, but I guess I didn’t really care. It was nice to see everyone I knew having a good time. Plus, the next time that they visited the Fantasy Shoppe, they’d probably have interesting stories to share about this place.Bookmark here

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The next day, I sat in my usual position behind the counter minding my own business, when I heard the doorbell ring.Bookmark here

-DINGALING!-Bookmark here

Before me stood a rather annoyed Aya Murphy.Bookmark here

“What’s the craic, Dorothy?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Don’t you ‘what’s the craic’ me, Yuu! Look at me,” she yelled, gesturing her body. Her avatar’s skin normally had a slight tan, but it looked a lot darker today.Bookmark here

“What happened?”Bookmark here

“What do you think happened? You forgot to rub that suntan lotion onto my skin!”Bookmark here

“Chill out, Dorothy,” I said, “It’s just a game, so it doesn’t really matter if your body is sunburned.”Bookmark here

“Yes, this is a game... A game with very real pain physics! And you think it doesn’t matter?!”Bookmark here

“My bad,” I shrugged.Bookmark here

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Dorothy O’Dougherty sighed, before equipping her trademark iron gauntlet from her inventory.Bookmark here

“D-Dorothy,” I stammered, “Wh-what are you going to do with that gauntlet?”Bookmark here

“It’s time for a little Fukushima,” she smirked. [TL note: Fukushima is a prefecture in Japan. Dorothy gets the word confused with fukushuu (payback).]Bookmark here

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END OF PURCHASEBookmark here

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