Chapter 4:

The Casino

St. Clover's Golden Academy [Cancelled, to be reworked]

Arthur grinned in amusement as the two bicker over the dresses and whose fault it was.

"Man, as much as I like the show, we'd like to eat!" He called out, getting the attention of everyone, including the two bickering.

Evangeline and Ellis frown. "What did you say?"

"I'm saying, that even if it was an accident, the one who got hit isn't at fault!"

The other nobles started to agree as the traffic began to annoy them.

Albert frowned at Arthur. "Now, Now, it was still an accident– let us all be professional and handle this at a later time."

The murmuring died down and people started to enter the Hall. Ellis was none too pleased with the verdict. He was a prince, after all, he outranked them all.

"Unbelievable!" she exclaimed, walking out of the hall with a ruined dress.

As she passed by, Arthur got down from George's shoulders and shook his head. "I tried Milady," he said, before proceeding into the hall.

[Ellis Favorability: +00.01] [00.01/100.00%]

"An increase in favorability? That was possible? I thought it was only a game thing." Arthur thought.

The students stream into the hall and take their seats, Arthur, David, and George taking a seat on the far corner by the entrance.

"Dude! Why did you do that?" David elbowed a smirking Arthur.

Arthur just shrugged. "I was hungry and the argument was pointless."

George tilted his head back and forth. "He has a point you know, instead of apologizing, that girl didn't even try to appease the situation."

David hummed. "Perhaps you're right. The lady in red was definitely Ellis Simmons of the Simmons house. The commoner should've apologized, it would have been the smart thing to do."

Arthur was contemplating the sudden increase of favorability.

"That was surprising, does that mean that this world is a game?" Arthur pondered. "If it was like a game, then how do I accept quests and level up?"

They took their portion from the buffet and returned to their seats to eat.

"Ah! Do I perhaps involve myself with the main casts? That would mean I could receive missions and potentially level up!" Arthur beamed. "Alright boys, I have something I need to do."

George watched as Arthur picked up another plate and served himself another serving. He sneakily took two wine glasses and a whole bottle of wine.

Miraculously, everyone was too preoccupied with discussing the interlude from earlier to notice him.

George just shrugged, counting to eat. "God this is so good!"

Respectively in a bathroom closest to the banquet hall, Ellis was cursing up a storm. Her favorite red dress, her favorite, least formal dress was ruined.

"This accursed condiment has ruined it!" She gasped, trying not to scream. That would be unladylike, and that wouldn't do for her reputation– or what's left of it anyway.

She exited the restroom with a partly cleaned dress, it was no longer presentable. Lucky for her, after today's banquet, she could just go home without being rude.

She turned the corner for the Cherry blossom pond. Perhaps she could stay at her favorite spot for the remainder of the gathering, alone.

She turned to see a thug-like student, dressed in a baggy shirt and cargo pants. He had a thick black jacket tied around his waist. He was pouring wine onto a wine glass next to a plate full of food. The finest food of the banquet, all arranged in a presentable manner.

He poured half a glass of wine and was about to move on to the next one, but decided not to. He threw the spare glass into the pond and drank straight out of the bottle.

She didn't stop walking and met up with him. He noticed her presence and gasped. He hid the bottle behind his back and pointed at the food.

"Uhm, Hello. I thought that you wouldn't go to the banquet in a damaged dress. So I brought you them instead."

Ellis appreciated the gesture. "Well thank you, how thoughtful of you."

He turned away to leave before sighing. "If I may be so bold, may I accompany you? I like the ventilation of this place."

Ellis raised her eyebrow slightly. It could be the least she could do in thanks. "Of course."

She sat down on a rock and enjoyed her meal, surprised that it was still warm.

He sat a good distance from her and continued to drink the wine in large gulps while playing around with a zippo lighter.

Ellis watched as he repeatedly twirled it around his fingers in a smooth, fluid motion before it landed in an opening position and he struck the sparker.


But there was no flame. He took a cigarette tin from his many pockets and opened it up to reveal stacks of cigarettes.

She watched him hold it with his teeth and light it with a snap of his finger. He took a large puff of smoke and exhaled, watching it dissipate almost instantly.

"Why do you smoke?" she asked out of curiosity.

He almost jumped from his skin. "U-Uhm, I like the soothing warmth."

"Why are you nervous?" Ellis tilted her head in confusion.

He gulped. "Uhm, it's because of your…" He sighed, portioning to her chest area.

She looked down to see her dress wet from water, clearly revealing the outline of her bust. "P-Pardon the shameful display!"

"It wasn’t exactly shameful– here, please use this." He said, passing her his jacket. "It's pretty thick so it can absorb plenty of water."

Ellis nodded, trying to hide her shame. "I promise to repay this debt. I swear it on the Simmons house."

He nodded. "Well, I'll look forward to it. Have a good meal milady."

Ellis watched him leave, forgetting that his jacket was covering her. "He forgot his jacket… I will return it when I can."

Arthur returned to the banquet hall. "I was right!" He rejoiced internally. "When I associate myself with the main cast, I get a boost in favorability. Once I have enough, I can unlock the status screen."

[ Ellis Favorability: +00.01] [Favorability:00.02%/100.00%]

[ Exp needed before Level up: 00.98 ]

"My goal of being the strongest is not so impossible after all." Arthur hummed, entering the Hall and returning to George and David.

“I also wasn’t prepared for how beautiful she is, I thought the game did her justice with her appearance and character– but maybe there's more to her than I thought,” Arthur smirked.

The banquet ended with nothing else noteworthy happening. Arthur observed from a distance Evangeline talking with Albert, who was invested in the conversation.

David just sighed. "At least someone's comfortable with the proclaimed equality thing. I still can't wrap my head around the concept."

Arthur and George watch him as he continues to mumble. "Society is built upon Hierarchy, taking away hierarchy– society falls into chaos."

The two just exit the banquet hall and arrive at the shared boarding house.

"Hey! We're in the same room! How lucky is that?" George bellowed.

Arthur plugged his ears, not sure if this was a blessing or a curse. "Sure."

There was a bunk bed, which David immediately claimed the top corner, diligently defending it like how a dragon would defend his tower. George took the bottom bunk and Arthur took the mattress on the floor by the window.

"This is really happening…" George whispered. "We're in the famous academy. I need to work hard and make mom and dad proud!"

Night Had fallen and both boys were snoring away in their soft mattresses. George was snoring with the power of a truck and David was reciting magic formulas.

Arthur, however, was awake. He had a plan. A plan to sneak out of the academy walls.

"If my intuition is correct it's already 12 pm. Perfect time to sneak out."

Arthur got up from his bed, already dressed in dark clothing. Opening the window, he peeked out. “The fourth floor huh?”

At the bottom was a tree and then a wide lawn. After the lawn was a tall wall with guards patrolling– or there should’ve been. “This is real life now, and human nature is too strong to resist. This academy is proof of it– greed, laziness, debauchery, drunkenness, lust– it's disgusting.”Arthur sighed internally.

He jumped out of the window before catching the branch and swinging off of it, crossing half the distance.

“Knowing these things is what’s going to save my skin. Information is key, and I have 20 years playing this game, scrounging the forums for solutions or making my own”

Arthur sprints and covers himself with a tree.

“Whose there?” The guard gasped, groggily rubbing his eyes. “Must be hearing things again, I need sleep.”

He carried on, flashing his flashlight on the road he was walking. Arthur breathed a sigh of relief. “That was quite close.”

He climbed the tree to its highest branch, before jumping out of the tree, and over the electric fence. Arthur landed on an empty street, beside a broken lamp post that gave no light.

“Alright,” he said, putting on his hood. “I need to source out magic artifacts.”

Magic artifacts, machines made by ancient artisans and mages. They are considered ancient and incredibly valuable. These artifacts don’t conform to the standard six elements, and have effects ranging from increasing luck or increasing one’s mana capacity.

“Let's see… In the game, there was this one news article on one of the missions. A local casino owner had been caught cheating the games with a magic artifact.” "It was a high-profile case because of the death of an Earl."

Arthur traveled the dark alleys and avoided people before he arrived at a sketchy-looking building five blocks from town.

“This is the place.”

He knocked on the door. A Small slit opened and an angry eye peeked out. “Password.”

“Moonlight Sonata.” 

"Good to know that password is still valid."

The slit closed and the door opened to Arthur. Two large men in suits then pat him around for weapons. “He’s clean.”

Arthur was then ushered to the true casino. The run-down walls transitioned to perfect, white-washed walls and golden chandeliers. The area was filled with machines, roulette tables, cards, and even–

“Russian Roulette- or as it's called, Northwest Roulette.”

A Death game where two people bet on their lives. With a six-shot revolver and one bullet in the cylinder, the two contestants bet their lives. A favorite amongst the deranged sadists that like to watch.

The money is absolutely god-like, the winning bets split eighty-twenty but because of the deaths of many important men and women, they added a mercy rule. You can choose to put a blank bullet and the end money is split twenty to eighty– still good odds– or you can forfeit and all the money goes to the other.“ Arthur concluded in his mind.

Arthur walks to the crowded potion. Half of them were celebrating and half were disgruntled. Men in suits carried the body of a hoodlum away. Arthur pushed in and took a seat on the bloody chair.

“This is a game with nerves, where the contestants try to make the other forfeit.”

“Well? Shall we continue?” Arthur stretched in the chair, fiddling with the revolver on the desk.

The man in front of him was fit and well dressed. He had a three-piece suit and rolled-back sleeves. His arms were covered in gear and snake tattoos. The man had a mask covering his face and he noticed Arthur.

“This isn't a game for boys.”

“I know.”

“This game is too risky for you. You still have your life ahead of you.”

“Not exactly, I had a life and I died, staring at the barrel of a gun. I’m practically worthless in this world as a side character.” Arthur corrected him in his mind.

“Don't give me that bullshit. Hurry and load in a bullet.”

The man was appalled by the boy’s boldness. He sighed and set the large money pouch on his lap. He took the revolver in the boy’s hand and loaded it with one bullet. He spun the cylinder with force before it stopped.

“You will regret this.”

“I don’t think I will.”

The man passes the gun to the boy who held it with firm determination. He looked at the man with a smirk.


The cylinder cycled, and the bullet didn't shoot.