Chapter 39:

Dystopia Online (Part 3) - Zashiki-Watashi

Tales of Virtual Shopkeeper

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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“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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You may be wondering how I’m still able to narrate this story, even though I died? Don’t be such a smartass, there’s a perfectly normal explanation… Well, ‘normal’ might be a bit of a stretch, but we’ll get there when we get there. But as of current, my body was lying dead on the forest floor.Bookmark here

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Rose_the_Deathbringer, REX and ~Schrödinger~ stared vacantly at my corpse.Bookmark here

“YOU MONSTER,” Rose screamed, punching Zashiki-Watashi’s body to no effect.Bookmark here

His head turned one-hundred-and-eighty degrees to stare at the Crusader.Bookmark here

“Do you want to die, too?” he snarled aggressively, waiting for a response.Bookmark here

The Crimson Kings just stared at each other, completely silent.Bookmark here

“Heh. That’s what I thought,” the ghost boy smirked, putting his gun back in his inventory, “If you don’t want to suffer the same fate as your friend, I suggest you take off your headsets and never come back to Utopia.”Bookmark here

“…I refuse,” ~Schrödinger~ butted in.Bookmark here

“What was that, punk?” Nagi asked.Bookmark here

“I said that I refuse,” ~Schrödinger~ barked, “One of ~Schrödinger~’s favorite things to do is to find someone who thinks they're all high and mighty, and say ‘no’ right to their face!”Bookmark here

“I agree,” Rose beamed, standing next to her Therianthrope Guildmate, “And what about you, Smooth Criminal?”Bookmark here

…REX was nowhere to be seen.Bookmark here

“Hmph, at least your leader knows when to call it quits,” Zashiki-Watashi grinned, waltzing over to the remaining Crimson Kings and withdrawing his gun.Bookmark here

~Schrödinger~ threw a bunch of knives at the serial killer, but –as expected– they did nothing.Bookmark here

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-BLAM! BLAM!-Bookmark here

And just like that, Rose and ~Schrödinger~ had died too. The Crusader’s body fell to my left whereas the Therianthrope’s fell straight on top of my slowly disintegrating carcass.Bookmark here

With that, Nagi proudly walked away to find more helpless victims and all hope seemed lost… However, REX quickly reappeared – He had only taken off his headset momentarily to avoid Zashiki-Watashi’s wrath, but now he was back.Bookmark here

“I hope this works,” the Necromancer muttered, taking out a staff and holding it over our dying bodies, “And now… REVIVE!”Bookmark here

The staff began to glow and our bodies began to repair themselves, one by one. I guess that Necromancers were able to revive anyone from a state of non-living, provided that their body hadn’t completely disappeared? How convenient.Bookmark here

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I gasped for air as I returned from the dead, my brain immediately getting to work. If there was a way to use the game’s mechanics to revive someone from death, then perhaps there was also a way to kill an immortal? But before I could come up with a plan, there was something that I had to do first.Bookmark here

“Uh, ~Schrödinger~,” I began, “You’re kind of… lying on top of me. Do you mind getting up?”Bookmark here

“Eep,” the catboy yelped, his face as red as a beetroot as he leapt up onto his feet, “I-it was an accident! Don’t get the wrong idea!”Bookmark here

“Tee-hee,” the Crusader who was lying beside me laughed, “I can see up your tunic, ~Schrödinger~! I never thought you’d be the type to wear print boxer shorts!”Bookmark here

“C-can it,” he scowled, his face even redder than before as he covered the bottom of his tunic with one of his clawed hands, “Th-this isn’t the time for jokes! Have you forgotten that an unkillable murderer is running amok as we speak?!”Bookmark here

“As much as I hate to admit it, the catboy’s right,” I sighed, adjusting my red-framed glasses as I stood up, “But I think I’ve figured out how we can destroy Zashiki-Watashi!”Bookmark here

“Really?!” REX exclaimed as he helped pull Rose upright, “Don’t just stand there, tell us what we have to do!”Bookmark here

“That’s the best part,” I winked, “We don’t have to do anything!”Bookmark here

I opened up Utopia Online’s in-game messenger and began typing.Bookmark here

“Who are you messaging, Watanabe?” the catboy asked me.Bookmark here

“Do you remember when Aya and I defeated you and MIO-nee?”Bookmark here

“Don’t remind me,” ~Schrödinger~ hissed, “It was very uncool of you to get my sister banned like that!”Bookmark here

“Anyway… If Lady Kaguya permanently bans someone who doesn’t have a mortal body in the real world,” I began, “Where do you think their consciousness will go?”Bookmark here

“You think that the Princess will be able to kill Zashiki-Watashi by banning him?” Rose questioned.Bookmark here

“It’s worth I try,” I shrugged, sending the message to Lady Kaguya, “I explained the situation to the Princess and told her to meet us at the Town Square. Since that’s the nearest player hotspot, I assume that’s probably where Nagisa is heading.”Bookmark here

“Well then, what are we waiting for?” REX smiled, “Let’s freakin’ go and kick his ass!”Bookmark here

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When the four of us arrived in the Town Square, Lady Kaguya was already waiting for us.Bookmark here

“Greetings, Yuu Watanabe! Where is this ‘Zashiki-Watashi’ that you warned me about?”Bookmark here

Kaguya Fujiwara – Level 1000 PrincessBookmark here

“He’ll be coming soon,” I assured the AI, “Do you remember what I told you, Lady Kaguya?”Bookmark here

“Sure do,” she nodded, “You and the Crimson Kings will distract Zashiki-Watashi, while I prepare to hit him with my Banhammer!”Bookmark here

-THUMP! THUMP!-Bookmark here

“That’s the sound of his footsteps,” I told Lady Kaguya, “Get into position!”Bookmark here

Within the blink of an eye, the Princess had run behind a nearby building, ready to ambush Nagi. I furrowed my brow as Zashiki-Watashi appeared over the horizon. His new kimono was besmirched with fresh blood, presumably from some unfortunate players that he had encountered on his way here.Bookmark here

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“Now then,” he chortled, “Who should I kill next?”Bookmark here

“How about one of us?” I called out.Bookmark here

Nagi looked over at my group in both disgust and confusion. Even though he was wearing a mask, I could tell that his face had contorted to that of a grimace.Bookmark here

“How the Hell are you still alive, Yui Shiotani?!”Bookmark here

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” I retorted, sticking my tongue out.Bookmark here

“Whatever, it doesn’t really matter,” he bellowed, “I’LL JUST HAVE TO KILL YOU AGAIN!Bookmark here

Zashiki-Watashi lunged forward, ready to tear me apart with his bare hands. I quickly withdrew my shield, holding it out in front of me and blocking a punch!Bookmark here

“Now, REX,” I yelled, “Hold him in place!”Bookmark here

From the ground, a horde of skeleton arms had risen up, grabbing Nagisa’s legs.Bookmark here

“L-let go of me!”Bookmark here

The four of us stepped back, leaving Watashi completely exposed.Bookmark here

“NOW! DO IT, LADY KAGUYA!”Bookmark here

The artificial intelligence leapt out from her hiding spot and sprinted toward the serial killer at Mach 20 speed. She jumped into the air, comically large hammer in hand, and swung down! It was over, Zashiki-Watashi was defeated! …Or so I had hoped. Everyone watched on in shock and awe as Nagi caught the Banhammer mid-swing! Neither he nor the Princess were willing to let go of the weapon.Bookmark here

“So, you’re Kaguya Fujiwara?” the ghost boy asked, “My father told me so much about you – An artificial intelligence capable of thought and emotion akin to human, you were his most prized accomplishment… It will be so satisfying to kill you where you stand.”Bookmark here

A pistol materialized in Nagisa’s free hand, aiming at Kaguya!Bookmark here

“I’m not sure if an AI can be perma-killed during this new update… Let’s find out, shall we?”Bookmark here

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Lady Kaguya braced for impact as Zashiki-Watashi held his finger over the trigger, ready to shoot at any moment. Just then, something caught my eye – A rubber ball bouncing in Watashi’s direction!Bookmark here

-BOING!-Bookmark here

The ball made direct contact with the gun, knocking it out of the murderer’s hand!Bookmark here

“What the Hell,” he shouted, “Who dares get in my way?!”Bookmark here

“Direct hit,” a Rogue cheered in her distinct accent, “That’s what I call ‘Luck of the Irish’!”Bookmark here

Aya Murphy – Level 716 RogueBookmark here

“Dorothy,” I beamed.Bookmark here

“How many times do I have to tell you, Yuu?” she sighed, “It’s ‘Aya Murphy’ when I’m playing Utopia Online!”Bookmark here

“What are you doing here?!” I asked, running over to her and giving her a big hug.Bookmark here

She pointed behind her. “The bunnygirl told me that you might be in trouble.”Bookmark here

I looked behind Dorothy and saw Bonnie waving at me.Bookmark here

Asami Usami – Level 969 TherianthropeBookmark here

“When we arrived at Nagisa’s house, he shot himself dead,” she huffed, “I knew that he was planning something, so I came as fast as I could.”Bookmark here

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Asami walked over to Aya and grabbed the legendary sword Excalibur from her belt. Without speaking a word, she began to walk over to Zashiki-Watashi, who was still ensnared by REX’s undead army.Bookmark here

“Wh-what are you doing, Bonabelle?” Nagi stammered.Bookmark here

“This is for Homura,” she stated bluntly, swinging the legendary blade forward and severing Watashi’s hands from his avatar’s body!Bookmark here

“M-my hands! How am I supposed to wield a weapon?!”Bookmark here

“You’re not,” Asami replied matter-of-factly.Bookmark here

Lady Kaguya stared at the whole scene intently as if it were an edge-of-your-seat blockbuster.Bookmark here

“Hey, artificial lack-of-intelligence,” I sighed, “Are you actually going to do something?”Bookmark here

She gave me a confused look, like she was trying to solve the hardest math question ever devised.Bookmark here

“The Banhammer, you idiot,” ~Schrödinger~ screeched, “Zashiki-Watashi isn’t holding the Banhammer anymore! It’s all yours!”Bookmark here

“Oh,” she said, sticking out her tongue and tapping her forehead with her fist, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?”Bookmark here

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Lady Kaguya leapt into the air once more, holding her hammer above her head, ready to strike. A crowd of players and NPCs alike had gathered, cheering her on as she prepared to vanquish the evil that plagued the server.Bookmark here

“It’s hammer time,” she giggled, slamming her massive Banhammer down onto Watashi’s body with a mighty crash!Bookmark here

Everyone stared at the criminal as his body began to disappear.Bookmark here

“Yui, I’m dying,” he shrieked, “Y-you have to help me, I’m your best friend!”Bookmark here

“Nagisa,” I sighed, flipping him off, “You and I aren’t friends. You said it yourself; If I’m not willing to stop playing this ‘stupid game’, then we can’t be friends anymore.”Bookmark here

He paused for a moment, before exhaling, “…No, you’re right. I deserve this. All the lives I took in order to tank my father’s reputation can never be recovered. What’s one more casualty, huh?”Bookmark here

And with that, Nagisa had disappeared from Utopia Online –and the real world– forever. The crowd erupted into a cacophony of claps and cheers, crowding around me, Aya Murphy, Asami Usami, the Crimson Kings and Lady Kaguya Fujiwara.Bookmark here

“Drinks are on me,” a large breasted girl with pink hair smiled, before turning to ~Schrödinger~, “Except for you, you’re still banned from my pub after last time.”Bookmark here

“What did I do?” he protested.Bookmark here

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And so, everyone drank and partied long into the night. I had decided to skip out on the drinks. While it was perfectly legal to drink underage in Utopia Online, I just didn’t want to get flatout drunk. I wanted to be able to remember this night for years to come. Everyone else, however, was completely pissed up. Not that I really minded. After all, people were a lot more susceptible to telling juicy stories when they were drunk. I knew that I was going to hear a lot of interesting tales tonight…Bookmark here

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END OF PURCHASEBookmark here


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