Chapter 19:

With us 1

Game Gyaru

After everything that had happened leading up to and during sports day. Both Hakuta and Shiuka were both elated to enjoy their weekend as lazily as possible. For the former, that involved trying out another cheap game he downloaded for his Toystation.

“Wait a second, I know this game.” Which caught her attention seeing as it was a popular title that had taken the world by storm. Casual gamers and even those who didn’t play games at all knew about it with how many videos and streams there were online.

“Yeah I know, it’s ‘Someone’s Sus’.” He responded. Admittedly, he didn’t get into it when the game first launched into popularity. That being he wasn’t interested in the social aspect of most games and didn’t have many friends to fill a lobby like those who steamed the title. So most of his experiences with it were lived vicariously through others.

He wasn’t surprised she knew of this game. It was a popular game across the world and Rouko appeared to be aware of it when she used to famous words uttered by this game. “Anyway, we can’t play at the same time.” Without a split screen mode like the other ones they usually shared with each other. Only one of them could properly play the mini-games within it.

“That’s fine.” It didn’t stop her from leaping onto the couch to join his side. “I’ll keep my eyes on places you didn’t notice. That way, we’ll know who the fakers are.” Since the mini-games weren’t challenging at all, he didn’t think it was necessary. Then again, it was nice to be able to have some help in this online game when his attention was placed elsewhere.

The rules of this game were simple. Most players were given tasks to complete in order to win the game. However, for each lobby of ten, there were either one or two fakers hidden among them. Those players had the goal of sabotaging and preventing the players from succeeding in their goals.

This was done multiple ways. The most common and popular method was to kill off enough people in order to secure a victory. However, there were risks involved with it. Were one caught in the act of murder, then they’d easily get voted off and killed via the crusher machine on the spaceship. A rather brutal way of death, but apparently required according to the game’s lore about killing the fakers. Not that anyone cared about lore in a game like this.

There was another way for the fakers to win. This required a bit more thinking since the risk involved meant possibly giving the good guys a chance to finish their tasks in time. Fakers could sabotage certain parts of hardware to force the players into tough choices in order to save the ship. Generally most were able to fix them and get on their merry way, so this was mainly to create traps to kill more people.

The benefit was generally not worth the effort, so most players strive for the first way.

“I’ve only played a couple of rounds, but I think I’ve gotten into the swing of things.” He said as they got matched into a new lobby. Things started off simple enough as he was one of the good guys trying to keep this ship up and running. Most players didn’t care for sticking together, so he was left wondering the halls towards each objective.

As stated before, the mini-games were simple that pretty much anyone could do them, even a toddler. They mainly consisted of gathering samples of plant life, reconnecting some wires, and apparently calling someone’s mother in a prank call. However, each game required the player be vulnerable to attack while doing them, as well as taking away vision of their surroundings so they wouldn’t spot fakers going for kills.

As he walked into the room of his next task. There Hakuta found the first one killed on this round. Immediately, he call a report to get the others to be aware of the death and discuss possible suspects.

“I think I saw the purple guy going in there when you were about to start that other task.” Shiuka had her eyes glued to the screen, mainly around the edges. So she was able to discern the smaller pixels that he didn’t notice. “He must’ve killed blue and vented out.”

“Okay…” He wasn’t completely certain, but chose to trust her on the matter. So the boy called out the person and was immediately left with resistance. Somehow, despite being the one who called out the body and even called out a potential suspect. The other players grew suspicious of him.

The tables were turned as he attempted to cover for himself and describe what he was doing before finding the body. Sadly, no one seemed to believe him and the entire crew voted him out. “I hate this game sometimes.” Online, it seemed much funner when one had their friends along for the ride. Going against strangers was just frustration because no one seemed to have a clue.

“Hold on, let’s follow purple.” She said after he spawned in as a ghost to finish his remaining tasks. Of course, that was also his plan as Hakuta went everywhere that player went. As expected for the both of them, purple immediately killed someone the moment they were alone and self reported on the death.

“I knew it.” He said. Even though the only reason he was suspicious of that player was because she pointed him out. “Forget it.” With that, the boy rage quit and left the lobby. Not a big deal to the players still alive as it simply lowered the requirement of what they’d need to fix now that he was no longer around. “I’ll just come back to this later.”

“When you do, you should let me give it a try.” She said as Shiuka got up and headed towards the kitchen. “Maybe I’ll have better luck.”

“If we had voice chat, then you’d definitely have better luck.” Well, only knowing her voice didn’t tell anyone how cute of a girl she was. But he knew if everyone playing knew what she looked like, they’d believe anything she told them. “But it’s not a big deal if I win or lose. It’s just some silly game anyway.”

“Yeah.” She giggled as she got out some snacks. It was way more than what two people should, or would normally eat. However, Shiuka was one of the two, so this was more like eating for five. “At least you know I trust you.”

“Should you?” He asked in the context of the game. “Those fakers apparently used to be friends with some of the little guys in suits.” So while normally it was nice to be trusted. That trust could easily be taken advantage of by the monsters in the game just by copying over friends. “What if I got killed and replaced with one of those things?”

“Well, you’d be smarter than.” She poked fun in how those creatures seemed to usual win in the end. “Besides, would one of those things really want to kill someone like me?”

“I doubt they care about looks.”

“How about, what if I was one of those things?” She playfully walked towards him with all the snacks hanging in her arms. “Watch out I might open my mouth and impale you!” She continued giggling, which was contagious and got him to laugh along with her, playing along to this act. “Or…” Then, she pull her arm out slight and formed a gun with her fingers. “Bang! I’ll just shoot you.”

“Ahh, I guess I should’ve been sus of you in the first place.” He fell over backwards, pretending to be killed by her shot. As they were laughing and having fun with each other. The pair didn’t hear the front door to her house being unlocked. However, when it opened they both came to a sudden stop as they heard the voices of those entering.

“Man, it’s been a while since we’ve come here.” Said Ninka. She was joined along with Rouko, which wasn’t a surprise seeing as they were both Shiuka’s closest friends. What was a shock to the two of them were the boys following in with them. The first one Hakuta wasn’t familiar with, but was apparently Ninka’s boyfriend.

The other two were very much familiar to him, seeing as it was Yuusen and Itsuku. What were they doing here?

The surprise happened to quickly for either of the two to do anything about it. So unfortunately, Hakuta was unable to hide from their view.

“Eh?” His friends were the first ones to notice his presence. “Hakuta, what are you doing here?”

“Oh well…” This was a bad look. What could he say so that they wouldn’t get the wrong idea between him and her. Or worse, find out about their living situation.

“Isn’t it obvious.” Said Rouko, pointing over to his Toystation. “They’re clearly playing ‘Someone’s Sus’ together.” He thanked his lucky stars that girl came up with an excuse for them. A bit odd she’d come to his side after everything that had happened, but unknown to the pair was that this was her small apology for what she did during sports day.

“Yeah, I just downloaded the game today.” He took what she said in stride and came up with a story. This was the first lie he or Shiuka had ever told in regards to their living situation. Hopefully they wouldn’t have to do this often or eventually someone was going to find the contradictions. “And I heard about how she thought it was cool, so I decided to drop by and we’d play together.”

“Mmhmm.” She agreed to his story without adding anymore words to it.

“How’d they get in?” He whispered over to her as the others made their way to the living room.

“I kind of… Gave them both a copy of the key to my house.” She answered. It was fine back when she did it, as they were both girls she trusted with her life. And while that still was the case, things in her own life had changed. So them having such easy access was more of an inconvenience. He only wished he was made aware of this fact sooner. They were lucky they were caught in this context and not any other time when he was home here alone. There would be no possible explanation to get them out of that situation.

Unfortunately, they were now trapped in a situation neither of them wanted to be in. Now the only thing running through their minds was on how to get out of this without blowing their cover.

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