Chapter 38:

Dystopia Online (Part 2) - Yuu's Fight to the Finish!

Tales of Virtual Shopkeeper

Bonnie and I had formed this plan while we ran to my house, but we both agreed not to tell my father. If he found out what I was about to do, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have tried to stop me.Bookmark here

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I stepped into my bedroom, tossing my glasses aside as I reached for my VR headset. If I know Watashi as well as I think I do, then there’s a high probability that he’s playing Utopia Online right now, killing any players unfortunate enough to cross his path. I highly doubt that my virtual avatar will be strong enough to defeat him, but I’m his childhood best friend. If there’s anyone who can convince him to stop this madness, then it’s me. I took a deep breath as I equipped the headset.Bookmark here

“Okay… Here goes nothing…”Bookmark here

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I spawned in front of the Fantasy Shoppe. Watashi could be anywhere. Maybe Mayoi would be able to locate him using her ghostly powers. It was a bit of a stretch, but I had no other ideas of how I could possibly track down one specific individual in Utopia’s constantly expanding overworld. I opened the door and stepped inside.Bookmark here

“Mayoi, are you there?” I called out, “I’d like to ask you something.”Bookmark here

“Well, well, well… I knew you’d show up,” a distressingly familiar synthetic voice cackled, “After all, you are addicted to this stupid game.”Bookmark here

I looked over to the Therianthrope who was leaning smugly behind my counter – Watashi.Bookmark here

綿死 – Level 1000 TherianthropeBookmark here

His Level had already increased from 4 to 1000 in the short time since I last saw him?! How many players has he killed?!Bookmark here

“Are you foolish enough to try and fight me, Yui Shiotani?”Bookmark here

“Hmph,” I smirked, “I wouldn’t have it any other way… Nagisa Mul.”Bookmark here

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Nagi pointed a gun in my direction.Bookmark here

“I didn’t want to do this,” he sighed, “But I gave you plenty of opportunities to stop playing Utopia Online, and you never listened. Now you leave me no choice.”Bookmark here

“Why are you doing this,” I asked, withdrawing a sword from my inventory, “Why are you killing innocent people?! What do you have against Utopia Online?!”Bookmark here

“Isn’t it obvious, Yui? I suffered through absolute Hell to help my father make this game possible, and he wasn’t even willing to share his lifelike VR technology with me – His own son!”Bookmark here

“So you callously murdered tens of people because you thought you were entitled to Mister Mul’s tech?!” I yelled.Bookmark here

“I didn’t think that I was entitled, I knew that I was entitled. There’s a difference,” he scoffed, “But an idiot like you wouldn’t understand what I’ve been through. I’ll admit that it’s been fun hanging out with you, but anyone who gets in my way is destined to die! So I bid you adieu, Yui!”Bookmark here

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-BLAM!-Bookmark here

Watashi fired off a shot from his pistol, but I was able to deflect it with my blade. I watched as the bullet ricocheted around the room, just barely missing Nagi’s avatar.Bookmark here

“Ha, is that the best you’ve got?” he smirked, “You’ve been playing this game far longer than I have, Yui! I expected more from you!”Bookmark here

“Oh, really?” I replied smugly, “I wasn’t aiming for you, genius!”Bookmark here

The bullet continued to bounce around my tiny shop, building up speed and momentum until it eventually collided with the porcelain vase that sat on the nearby coffee table. Watashi’s eyes widened as the vase was hurled into the air, smashing right into his masked face and knocking him down to the ground.Bookmark here

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“Yuu Watanabe,” a voice exclaimed as the zashiki-warashi materialized in front of me, “That blow isn’t going to keep Watashi down for long, you have to get out of here!”Bookmark here

“But I have to finish him off,” I protested.Bookmark here

“No you don’t! It’s too dangerous for you! I don’t want to lose another soul to Watashi,” Mayoi sobbed, “His attacks won’t kill me since I’m already dead, so I’ll be the one to take care of him! I’ll send you a message once he’s dead!”Bookmark here

“Good luck,” I nodded as I left the Fantasy Shoppe.Bookmark here

Even though Mayoi was certain that she couldn’t be killed by Watashi, I still feared the worst. Nagi was clearly an adept killing machine, so I knew that he’d give the poor ghost girl quite a challenge. Still, there was nothing that I could do to help her, so I just decided to head far away from the action and wait for Mayoi to message me…Bookmark here

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I sat in a dark forest, the same one where Aya Murphy and I had fought ~Schrödinger~ while searching for the Demon King Mao. With everything that had happened since, that felt like so long ago. After all of this was finally over, I could return to my more humble days of listening to customers tell me about a slice of their lives.Bookmark here

-THUMP! THUMP!-Bookmark here

My thinking was disturbed by the sound of crunching feet on the dank forest floor. Was it a random monster? Another player? Either way I withdrew my sword and shield and held them out in front of me. Now that Nagi had turned Utopia Online into a death game, I had to be ready to defend myself just in case.Bookmark here

“Where are you hiding, Yuu Watanabe?”Bookmark here

That was Watashi’s synthesized voice. Does that mean that Mayoi was unable to defeat him?Bookmark here

“Just because I can’t destroy a zashiki-warashi, I can still knock them unconscious,” he jeered, as if to answer my question.Bookmark here

“You should give up, Nagi. You’ve already lost,” I called out from the depths of the forest, “The cops are heading for your house as we speak. They’re gonna detain your sorry ass and probably sentence you to life in prison.”Bookmark here

Give up,” he laughed, “Why would I do that when I’ve got an ace up my sleeve?!”Bookmark here

An ace up his sleeve?! What was he talking about?Bookmark here

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-THUMP! THUMP!-Bookmark here

The sound was getting closer. I could tell that Watashi was nearby, ready to murder me whenever he felt like it.Bookmark here

“You’re the one who should give up, Yui! My weapon is a gun, and your sword can’t beat my gun!”Bookmark here

“What did you say?” I cooed, “You’re gonna beat my bum? So that’s what you’re into!”Bookmark here

“I’m gonna freaking kill you,” he yelled, leaping out from behind a tree, gun in hand and aimed straight at me!Bookmark here

It happened so suddenly that I didn’t even have time to react! I was sure that I was done for, but at that moment I saw something gleaming in the distance. Could it be…?Bookmark here

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Before Watashi was able to fire a shot a knife flew out of thin air and pierced his hand, causing him to drop the gun.Bookmark here

“AAAAARRRRGGGHH,” he screamed clasping his bloodied hand, “MY HAND! WHAT DID YOU DO?!”Bookmark here

“Don’t look at me,” I shrugged, “I didn’t do it.”Bookmark here

“Then who--”Bookmark here

“Nyaa~ It was me. I threw it,” a voice hissed from behind Watashi.Bookmark here

I looked over and –just as I had expected– ~Schrödinger~ was standing there smugly.Bookmark here

“~Schrödinger~,” I beamed, “Boy, am I glad to see you? …Which is a phrase I never thought I’d be uttering in my life.”Bookmark here

“Shove it, Watanabe,” the catboy ordered, “I’m not doing this because I like you or anything, i-idiot.”Bookmark here

“I… never said that you were.”Bookmark here

“I said ‘shove it’,” he repeated, his cheeks becoming slightly flushed, “I just don’t want someone else to be the one to defeat the Demon King is all, so don’t get the wrong idea!”Bookmark here

“How touching. When’s the wedding?” Watashi scoffed, reaching down for his gun.Bookmark here

“Oh, no you don’t,” a familiar voice taunted as Watashi found a sword pointed at the left side of his face, “You’re the guy who turned this game into a hellhole, aren’t you?! You think I’ll let you get away with this?!”Bookmark here

Smooth Criminal – Level 18 NecromancerBookmark here

“REX, you’re here too?” I smiled.Bookmark here

“It’s not just me,” he winked.Bookmark here

“That’s right,” a certain Crusader affirmed, pointing her battleaxe at the right side of the killer’s face.Bookmark here

Rose_the_Deathbringer – Level 27 CrusaderBookmark here

“Nyaa~ You seriously think that I’d take on an expert serial killer without any backup?” ~Schrödinger~ grinned.Bookmark here

I never thought I’d see the day when I was actually thrilled to see the Crimson Kings Guild, but there was a first time for everything.Bookmark here

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I stood in front of Watashi, while ~Schrödinger~, Rose and REX were positioned by his back, right and left, respectively. Watashi was completely surrounded.Bookmark here

“You’ve lost, Nagi. The second you aim your gun at one of us, the other three will be ready to strike you down,” I informed him.Bookmark here

“Ha… haha,” he chuckled, “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!Bookmark here

“What’s so funny, wise guy?” ~Schrödinger~ asked, readying another knife in case Watashi tried something.Bookmark here

“You ignorant fools! You’re all sitting ducks! Prepare to face my trump card, the ace up my sleeve!”Bookmark here

The Crimson Kings and I inched our weapons closer to the killer as he laughed maniacally.Bookmark here

“This is your last chance,” I warned him, “The police are gonna arrive at any second. Surrender now and no-one gets hurt.”Bookmark here

“Heh,” Nagisa smirked, “They’ll never take me alive.”Bookmark here

-BANG!-Bookmark here

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The faint sound of a gunshot reverberated around the forest. The Crimson Kings all looked over at each other and then to me, but it didn’t look like any of us were hurt. In fact, Watashi’s gun was still lying on the forest floor. But if that wasn’t Watashi’s gun, then what was the source of that sound. Come to think of it, the gunshot sounded… off somehow. Almost as if it was put through a synthesizer… That sound wasn’t from the game world at all, was it? It was from the real world. Nagisa had killed himself and the sound of the blast was caught by his VR headset.Bookmark here

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Watashi’s body collapsed onto the ground. He was dead. It felt rather anticlimactic, but he was really dead.Bookmark here

“What just happened?” Rose questioned.Bookmark here

I walked over to her and placed my hands on her shoulders. “We won.”Bookmark here

“Won?” a synthetic voice asked.Bookmark here

I looked down in horror as a ghostly kimono formed on top of Watashi’s outfit, the text displaying his Class and Level changing to that of a glitchy abomination of random characters – He was a zashiki-warashi! Of course! That was the ace up his sleeve! Without a mortal body in the real world, he wouldn’t be able to be prosecuted for his actions, while his consciousness was forever free to wreak havoc in Utopia Online for the rest of time without a fear of dying!Bookmark here

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The newly reborn Watashi grabbed his gun and floated off the ground, cackling like a banshee. ~Schrödinger~ hurled a bunch of blades at the fiend, but they all bounced off his new body.Bookmark here

“How do you like me now, Yui?!” he boomed, “Say ‘hello’ to the new and improved Watashi, or should I say… Zashiki-Watashi?”Bookmark here

“No,” I sobbed, falling to my knees, “Y-you turned yourself into a zashiki-warashi?! W-we’ve lost!”Bookmark here

“That’s right,” he smirked, pointing his gun at me, “This isn’t my fault, Yui. I didn’t want it to come to this, truly I didn’t. I gave you plenty of opportunities to stop playing this dumb game! You chose to ignore me! You chose to oppose me! And now, you will pay the price!”Bookmark here

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I felt the tip of the gun press against my head, but I was too dejected to do anything about it. I resigned to my fate.Bookmark here

-BLAM!-Bookmark here

Watashi pulled the trigger and my lifeless body fell to the ground. No matter how you look at it, this was game over for me – I had died.Bookmark here

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END OF PURCHASEBookmark here


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