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.
Recently my childhood best friend Nagisa Mul had stopped hanging out with me. Combine that with the fact that one of my friends was recently killed by the serial killer known as Watashi, and it seemed that my real life had taken quite a sudden nosedive in these past few days. And to make matters worse, an unfunny troll had started squatting in my virtual shop and pretending to be the ghost of one of Watashi’s victims, which only made me feel worse.
As all those negative thoughts flowed through my head, my eyes began to water and, before I knew it, tears were running down my face and landing on my school desk. Thankfully I was sitting at the back of the class, so most people around me probably hadn’t noticed that I was crying like a baby. Emphasis on ‘most people’. I felt a tap on my shoulder, causing me to turn around and notice the familiar girl who was sitting beside me – The short, cape-wearing chuuni girl whose name I still didn’t know. (After her meeting with the principal yesterday, she wasn’t wearing her eyepatch anymore, yet she had somehow managed to make him agree to let her keep the cape on.)
“What’s wrong, Shiotani?”
I removed my black-framed glasses from my face and wiped my tears away.
“H-have you heard of Watashi?”
“You mean the--”
“Attention, everyone,” the homeroom teacher called out, interrupting our conversation, “We have a new exchange-student joining our class today! She came here all the way from the United States of America, so please give a warm welcome to Miss Rabbitte!”
The classroom door opened and in stepped a very obviously foreign woman – Her tan skin, blonde hair and large chest were unlike anyone else in the room. For some reason, I was getting the feeling that I recognized this girl from somewhere, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…
21st PURCHASE – THE RABBITTE HAS LANDED!
Before I knew it, the school day was over and everyone was heading home. The only ones who were left in the classroom were me, the chuuni girl and the foreign exchange-student.
“Is it really you,” the shorter girl asked the busty blonde, “What are you doing here?!”
“Well, duh! I promised that I’d meet up with you someday, dummy” the other girl chuckled.
“You transferred schools just to meet up with me in person?!”
It seems like these two girls know each other from somewhere? If I had to guess, I’d wager that they’re probably part of a Guild together in Utopia Online. (The chuuni girl in particular definitely struck me as the ‘gamer girl’ type.)
“Now that you’re in Japan,” the shorter girl asked her friend, “What do you want to do first, Bonabelle?”
“I’ve always wanted to visit a konbini,” the foreigner who was apparently named Bonabelle beamed, jumping up and down on the spot like an excited child, “Can you take me to one? Pleeeaaase!” [TL note: Konbini –abbreviated from the English phrase ‘convenience store’– is more-or-less exactly what it sounds like – A Japanese convenience store. However, konbini often differ from other convenience stores across the globe, although the specific details aren’t really relevant to this story.]
“Fufufu! Be careful, Bonabelle! If you keep hopping about like that, someone might catch a glimpse of your panties,” the chuuni girl smirked.
“As if,” the other girl retorted, “That kind of thing only happens in sketchy cartoons or trashy fanservice stories!”
If what she said was true, then this must be one of those trashy stories, because I definitely just caught a peek of her orange bunny-print briefs underneath her bouncing skirt.
“Hey,” I called out from the other side of the classroom, “Your friend’s right, Miss Rabbitte. I can, uh, see your undies.”
The girl’s face turned bright red as she quickly tugged down on the hem of her gray pleated skirt, obscuring the smiling rabbit head that rested across her butt. Her cape-wearing friend turned around to face me, before charging forward and hopping onto a nearby desk.
“Foolish mortal,” she howled, “You dare to sneak a peek at Bonabelle’s tight bunny rabbit panties?!”
I looked over to Bonabelle, whose hands were planted firmly on her face while she was muttering for her friend to ‘shut up’.
“Hey, over here! I’m talking to you, mortal,” the other girl huffed.
I turned back to face her and found a gun pointed to my head! …No, upon closer inspection it was just a prop.
“For your crimes against the Modern Crusaders Guild, you shall be banished to the Shadow Realm! LAST… OCCULTISM!”
“That’s enough, Homura,” Bonabelle whined, “You’re embarrassing me!”
“Aww, but I was about to do something really cool…”
Wait a minute. Last Occultism? Homura? Bunny-print panties? Modern Crusaders?!
“Y-you’re Homura Usami,” I asked staring at the chuuni girl in bewilderment, before turning back to look at the foreigner, “And you’re Asami Usami?!”
The two Modern Crusaders looked over at each other, and then looked over at me.
“Do I… know you?” Bonabelle asked.
“Oh, right. You probably don’t recognize me,” I said, clearing my throat and preparing to do my best macho voice, “*Ahem!* Welcome to the Fantasy Shoppe, how may I help you?”
Bonabelle’s eyes lit up as she rushed over towards me and gave me a bear hug, putting my face in an… awkward position.
“You’re Yuu Watanabe?! What a pleasant surprise,” she smiled, tightening her grip, “It’s so nice to meet you!”
“M-miss Rabbitte,” I gasped, “Your boobs… are smothering me…”
“Whoops, sorry about that,” she apologized, letting go of me and taking a step back to get a closer look at my real body, “…Wait, you’re a girl IRL?”
She’s only just noticing that now?!
“Y-yeah,” I replied, still catching my breath, “It’s Shiotani, by the way. Yui Shiotani. It’s a pleasure to meet you in real life, Asami.”
“Hehe,” she giggled, “That’s not my name. It’s Bonabelle Rabbitte, but you can call me Bonnie.”
“Oh, so that’s why you play as a bunnygirl in Utopia Online,” I exclaimed, “Your name sounds like ‘bunny rabbit’! I get it now!”
“Huh, I never noticed that before,” Homura chimed in.
“Excuse Homura, she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed…”
“Screw you, Bonabelle,” Homura pouted, sticking out her tongue and forming the shape of an ‘L’ with her finger and her thumb.
“Homura's parents are forensic scientists, so you’d expect her to be intelligent but, as they say back in New York, ‘the apple fell far from the tree’.”
“What does that mean?” Homura asked innocently.
“It means that you’re an idiot,” Bonnie replied bluntly.
“Please don’t fight,” I sighed.
Bonnie looked at me in confusion.
“We’re not fighting, Yuu. I’m just teasing her,” the blonde giggled, “She’s my best friend, and best friends shouldn’t fight each other!”
How very on-the-nose. It was almost as if Bonnie was taunting me. But she had no way of knowing what I was currently going through, so I decided to let it slide.
“Well, it’s been nice chatting to you, Yuu, but we should be going now! Homura’s going to take me to a konbini!”
“Hey, why don’t you come with us, Shiotani?” Homura smiled.
Truth be told, I had just intended to head straight home and play Utopia Online like usual, but I suppose I could go for a change of pace right now.
“Sure,” I smiled, “I don’t see why not.”
I removed my cellphone from my skirt pocket and sent a text to my dad.
Going shopping with some friends, I’ll be home later than usual. - Yui
And with that, the three of us departed for the nearest konbini.
END OF PURCHASE
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