Chapter 17:

Putting the "Pro" Into "Prostitute"


Men were simple creatures.

The sight of a woman's cleavage reduced a man's ability to think clearly by 50%. Per boob.

Virginia leaned ever so slightly, revealing the bottomless gutter nestled between her bosom. It peeked at Jason, who in turn, was piqued.

He felt his saliva crawling down his throat in a gulp. The blood from his brain rushed downwards to his other brain. He had to pick his words carefully. For what he said next would not only determine his fate, but all 300 million of him as well.

“How old are you?”

“What?” Virginia was caught off-guard.

“I said, how old are you?”

“Wow, that’s the first thing you say to me? Are you shitting me right now?”

“Likewise. Answer the question.”


“Pfft,” despite her best efforts, Alice failed to contain her laughter.

“You got ID? Anything to back that up?”

“You think I’m stupid enough to show you or something?”

“And you think I’m stupid enough to fall for your game? Here you are, wasting your life away gambling, and suddenly you’re generous enough to give me a free trial? Nah, you’re planning to dump the fact that you’re underage later on so you can wrap your slimy finger around me.”

“Tch,” she turned back to her slot machine.

“Hah! I knew you had it in ya, Jason! As expected of my party member,” Alice puffed her chest out in pride.

“If you two don’t have anything better to do, scram. You’re messing up the feng shui.”

Alice rested her arm against the slot machine, leaning towards her, “Got a job for you, V.”



“Jesus Christ, Alice! Again? How many goddamn times do you want to get your ass party wiped before your brain starts functioning?”

“It’s diff—”

“—erent this time. I know. Have you ever heard what the definition of insanity is?”

Jason chimed in, “Pulling the lever over and over again and expecting triple sevens?”

“Zip it, soy boy,” the Elf snapped. “Your friend here needs to wake. The hell. Up!”

Alice sighed, “Just shut up and listen for once, slut. Jason here is glitched out. His HP’s stuck at zero out of zero. Dude can’t die. Trust me, already tested it myself.”

Virginia stayed silent, looking at the slots as they spin for the umpteenth time.

“Look, why else would I bring him here? This is the best shot we’ll ever have. And I need you in this raid.”

An uncomfortably long pause passed by. Alice and Virginia refused to budge, both sides adamant on having their way. Finally, the Elf got up from her seat.

“Jason,” he could feel the weight in her tone, “What’s in this for you?”

He smiled, matching her seriousness with confidence.

“I’m gonna turn this server upside down and force Black Hat to talk to me.”

Virginia’s face began to contort, “Hmhm….hehe…hahahaha!”

A shrill unhinged laughter pierced through the entire casino. For the other gamblers, it was nothing new. Someone hit the jackpot, they thought. Little did they know, Virginia hit something even sweeter.

“And here I thought this server was starting to bore me...Count me in, bitches!”


Alice pumped her fist in the air, but Virginia was quick to push it down.

“Hold your horses, Satan. We have a little discussion to do.”

“Eh?” her wings folded in, mirroring her confusion.

“Excuse us, Jason. But Alice and moi need to have our own girl talk. No boys allowed. So why not you take your cute little butt and skedaddle? Grab a drink, place some bets, fly a kite or whatever. Shoo shoo!”


“God, men are so slow,” Virginia shook her head. Placing her hands onto Alice’s shoulders, she pushed them like a shopping cart.

“W-Wait, V!”


And thus, the ladies have taken their leave. Jason scratched his head, wondering what was that all about.

Now that he had a bit of alone time, he opted to do a bit of investigation into Black Hat. The air in this place was heavy with sin. There had to be some sort of connection, at least. Running a business like this had to be the work of a group of sorts. In his mind, no other culprit fit the bill as well as Black Hat did.

Taking Virginia’s advice, Jason found himself by the bar. Not a soul was there besides the bartender, a Lizardman who looked the part. Whereas everyone else was too busy winning or losing money, the bartender spent his time polishing the tableware, wholly absorbed in his role.

“I’ll take an Old Fashioned,” Jason broke the Lizardman’s concentration. “On the rocks.”

The Lizardman scanned the Newblood top to bottom, squinting his reptilian eye.

“Forty tokens.”

Jason clicked his tongue. The bartender was poor shaming him. He reached to pull out fifty Winter Tokens from his inventory, when suddenly—

“Zero,” Another player sat right next to Jason. “That’ll be zero Winter Tokens.”

The bartender’s eyes widened. He instantly recomposed himself, “As you wish, sir. The usual?”

As the gentleman nodded, the bartender left him and Jason to their own designs.

The man beside Jason was a Human in his late thirties, dressed in a black kimono. There was an air of sophistication to him, from the way he sat to the way he spoke.

“T-Thanks, er…”


He immediately suppressed the urge to laugh. This was the guy who ran the whole town!

“I appreciate the kind gesture, but may I know why?”

“You saw right through the Whore of Windburg. Consider this a token of my amazement.”

That’s one hell of a title. Don’t know whether to clap or laugh, Virginia.

He started to imagine what would happen if he accepted her invitation. Sex and other NSFW stuff were obviously not allowed in the official release. But here in Maniavolution, people like Virginia could merrily prostitute themselves thanks to the lack of moderation. While not exactly common knowledge, erotic pleasure was one of the many signals the VirtuaSim could transmit. Doing the deed in-game would almost be identical to real life. The only problem would be dirtying the bed.

What other vices lay in store for him as he delved deeper into the server?

As he thought about that, the Old Fashioned he ordered finally made its way in front of him.

Taking a sip from his glass, a familiar bar appeared in his vision. Dubbed the drunkenness meter, the bar’s purpose was self-explanatory. The sweet spot would be right in the middle of the bar, representing the nice, warm feeling of being tipsy, but not too drunk. If he filled the meter all the way, however, he would actually pass out both in-game and in real life due to how his brain simulated the sensation.

“You are special, Jason. I can feel it.”

Despite receiving a compliment, all he felt was worry.

Not only was Nidma observing him this whole time, he spoke with this weird sense of familiarity. Jason could be dead drunk and still pick up on the ulterior vibes this guy was setting off.

“What is it you want from me?” he cut to the chase.

“An interview, Jason. That’s what you’re here for, no? To make a documentary?”

Just how in the hell does this guy know so damn much?!

“Ah, pardon me. You must feel rather odd, wondering how I know all this. Well, if it eases you, I have eyes and ears all over the server. Both a blessing and a curse, that is.”

“N-Nah, it’s cool,” he took a big gulp from his drink. “So I take it you know something about Black Hat, then?”

“Before that, I’d like to know—what is your opinion of Sakura-chan?

The acrimony was starting to get unbearable. Hearing someone refer to Alice as Sakura-chan felt very, very wrong. He really didn’t like this Nidma person, but he knew he had to grit his teeth and hold it in if he wanted to get something meaningful for his documentary.

“She’s very misunderstood.”


“Everyone thinks of her as an outcast. A weirdo obsessed with killing. But if you ask me, after visiting your humble town, I think it’s the other way round. No offence, but everyone here’s the weirdo.

The players here aren’t playing, at all. Wasting their life and tokens away. Doing nothing. Alice’s the one who’s still keen on playing. Everyone else is better off gambling in real life instead of some shady server.”

“Hmm,” Nidma smiled as he sipped on his liquor. “With such an observation, I certainly feel at ease. Now, we can have that interview. But it’s probably best that we have it somewhere private.”

“What’s wrong with he—”

In an instant, there was no longer a casino. The only thing left was the half-finished glass in his hand.

The entire room…no, the world itself had changed. He was now in a void of pure white that stretched for eternity.

An illusion? Teleportation? What in blazes just happened?!

“Relax, Jason,” bantered Nidma casually. “The ball is now in your court. You wanted an interview with Black Hat.”

Putting on a black bamboo jingasa over his head, the smile crawling up his face was nothing compared to what his words had in store.

“Well, now you have it.”