Chapter 3:

Those I Cherish (Part I)

Life is Just a Bugless Game


‘’AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, 2 days until school starts again! It’s still summer vacation but I don’t know what to doooooooooooooo! I’m so booooooooooooooooooored!‘’


My name is Kodo Yuusuke. I’m your average high school student who sits in front of a screen when he doesn’t know what to do. I don’t like going to school, I don’t like lessons, I sit in the last seat in the row by the window in my class and stare outside whenever I feel like it -so 99% of the time-, I get decent grades without even putting the minimum of effort –the RL version of plot armor, if I may.


So what the hell do I like? If you asked me what I would want to disappear from my school for eternity, I’d answer ‘everything but the I.T. Club.’ Technology can do anything and everything! I do love technology as a whole, but I’m specifically really fond of coding. It’s not unheard of, but definitely not something you hear everyday from a high schooler.


I also love anime and manga. Call me an otaku if you want, I don’t mind at all. I love everything related to them; visual novels, light novels, collectibles, conventions… I could go on forever! ‘What do you like about them?’ I hear you asking. It’s easy; I’m captivated by the unimaginable situations a student of my age can find themselves in.


But there are always two sides to a coin. So tell me: How is it possible for a 14-year-old boy to suddenly become the strongest creature in existence just because he has an innate power even he didn’t know of, lose all of his friends –beheading a likeable character in episode 3 is always an option for the creators, for your information-, take part in a hellish bloodbath, have the disadvantage in the deciding battle, but ends up winning due to ‘’the power of friendship’’ when his friends are FREAKING DEAD? And all that in just 13 episodes?!


Plot armor aside, how is it possible for a 15-year-old girl’s boobs to be bigger than her own head -I know that has crossed your mind too, no use denying it- ? How the hell do harems work? Why does a character have to eat a slice of bread everytime they are late for school? Is there any logic behind all of these in anime?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Answer is ‘no’ by the way.


What about real life though? How do we get to explain everything happening around us? There is only one thing I can think of that answers the question. Life is just a perfect, flawless game.


*


‘’Hey, idiot!’’ I hear an angered voice saying.


Oh, her? She’s my little sister, Enju. Our relationship in two words: The worst. She’s annoying, irritating, arrogant, thick-headed, stubborn, selfish… Words aren’t enough to describe her attitude. Since I’m her older brother though, I have to act like her guardian, and all the fingers are pointed at me if anything happens to her.


‘’Where are they?’’


‘’Where’s what?’’ I reply with a straight face.


‘’Don’t play dumb!’’


‘’If you want me to answer, you have to give me more details on what you’re talking about. That’s common knowledge.’’


‘’How obnoxious can you be?!’’ -Yeah, look who’s talking…- ‘’I’m talking about my underwear! The panties you took!’’


H-Her panties… I supposedly took them… She doesn’t even have some sense of shame… This girl’s got no future ahead of her…


‘’H-How should I know? And talking about panties in front of teenage boys is like adding fuel to the fire of their soul! So never mention them again!


‘’F-Fuel to the fire of the soul? Are you giving yourself in?’’


Cut me some slack here, how insistent are you anyways?


‘’Objection! Why are you blaming me?’’


‘’Who else would have taken them? Mum? Dad? You’re the only pervert in this house!’’


Please put an end to my misery already…


‘’Are you sure you’re not wearing them already?’’


‘’Eh?’’ she gasps in surprise and gets out of the room for a few moments. When she enters again, the only thing she mutters is ‘’You got lucky this time-‘’


I’m really not looking forward to the conclusion of this...


‘’-pervert…’’


‘’Don’t you ‘Eh?’ or call me a pervert again!’’ It’s not like she heard me or anything though, she had already closed the door before I started objecting.


Maybe it’s that time of the month again. Or was it last week? Meh, who cares, she was always like that.


My phone conveniently rings at the time I was looking for something to do, so I pick it up for reason’s sake.


‘’Hello?’’


‘’Yuusuke, I got great news!’’


It’s [him] again.


‘’Oh really? I’m all ears.’’


‘’The producers and VAs of Akame ga Kill are going to be at the animecon next month! There’s an official announcement too dude!’’


‘’Wait, for reals!?’’


AgK is one of my favorite anime. It’s a 50/50 one, so you either love it or despise it. And the case for me is obviously the former.


I open my laptop’s browser to find that announcement ASAP, unable to contain my hype over it.


‘’You’re right!’’


‘’When aren’t I right! They’ll be signing the anime BDs and merch too! It’s the chance you've been waiting for!’’


Indeed, I was expecting this to happen eventually, I can’t miss it!


‘’When is it taking place?’’


‘’September 25th, if I’m not mistaken.’’


‘’The 25th, huh? If I recall correctly, that day...’’


I check the calendar on my phone just to check if my hunch is spot on. Turns out it is.


‘’Sorry bro, I got important plans on that day I can't cancel. Maybe some other time.’’


He lets out such a huge sigh that I’m able to hear it echoing from the phone. ‘’Are you serious? I was so excited about it…’’


It was obvious he was displeased with my answer.


‘’Th-There’s always the next convention, right?’’


‘’Don’t worry man! I don’t mind at all! It’s as you said, there’s always next time!’’ His tone suddenly became much more cheerful. I guess that’s always the case for him. ‘’Oh, before I forget! Evangelion: 3.0+1.0's premiere is in 3 weeks! We should go watch it!’’


‘’In your dreams! How many times do I have to tell you I don’t like that anime?’’


‘’Chill dude, it’s gonna be good! The critics are already praising it!’’


‘’The same goes for the series. It’s a hit-or-miss. I might have liked it more if it were more Gundam-ish, but I guess they weren’t focusing as much on the mecha parts as I had expected.’’


‘’It will have such an IMPACT on you, I swear!’’


Dammit, he always finds a way to slip his references in our conversations.


‘’I’m preordering the tickets then! It’s on me this time! See ya!’’


‘’I said don- Hello? You kicked the bucket?’’


The only thing I was hearing was the phone beeping, meaning the call had ended.


That was my best friend, Hirigaya Kazuto. We’ve known each other since we were kids -Yeah, I know that’s cliché!-, but no matter how much I yell and scold him, he’s always energetic and kind to me. He knows my attitude inside out after all. He’s a huge anime otaku, huger than me to be honest. He was the one who brought me to ‘’the dark side’’, as he calls it.


I suddenly hear the door opening slightly.


‘’U-Um, Onii-san, did anything happen? I heard you shout and got worried.’’


I forgot to mention. I have two little sisters. This is Anzu, Enzu’s twin -cliché twins having similar names and appearances, yeah yeah, I know it’s as cliché as it goes!


Unlike Enzu, Anzu is kind, loving, mature and helps a lot around the house -willingly, if I may-. She may be exactly like Enzu on the outside, but on the inside, she has the heart of an angel. Looking at you, life destroyer demon, Kodo Enzu.


‘’ Is everything okay, Onii-san?’’


‘’Y-Yeah, everything’s fine.’’


‘’Are you sure?’’


‘’I am sure.’’


‘’Are you surely sure?’’


‘’I am surely sure.’’


‘’I see. Do you want to drink anything before lunch is ready?’’


‘’No need to-‘’ Don’t answer ‘no’, you jerk! Don’t refuse! ‘’No, I’m okay.’’ You moron! Why did you do that?! Do you know what’s going to happen?!


‘’Are you sure?’’


Oh boy… There we go again…


‘’I am sure.’’


‘’Are you surely sure?’’


Choose!
1) Confirm
2) Change your mind


My decision affects the route this will take. #2 seems more reasonable than not.


‘’Come to think of it, a cup of warm tea wouldn’t hurt, right?’’


‘’I thought you would want that!’’ she rejoices and gives me the cup she was holding since she entered the room.


So she had planned this all along.


‘’Ah, thank you.’’


As always, she expects me to pat her head and I can’t turn down the offer. She seems to enjoy getting her head patted –and so do I patting it. I wish you could see her expression! It is just too adorable! But if you ask me, if that's what she considers a ''reward'', then it’s close to nothing compared to what she has done for us.


As much as I love her, I have to point out that her insistence to agree to what she wants to do is inconceivable and sometimes annoying. The reason she does that is because she wants to feel proud of helping others even a little bit. What a noble and innocent objective~!


Unlike me, she will have her own harem in a few years… Now I got depressed over my own life again…


But boy am I happy that Enzu will never get a boyfriend! She doesn’t stand a chance against Anzu, even if she has the same face!


‘’You’d better drink it slowly, it’s still hot.’’


‘’I’ll keep that in mind.’’


‘’I’m going to prepare lunch then. See you later!’’ she says and closes the door behind her slowly, as if she was just about to part ways with someone who’s close to her heart.


‘’Let’s see how tasty this tea is, shall we?’’


And just as I am about to take a sip-


‘’Hey, good-for-nothing!’’


-the door suddenly hits the wall. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, not her again!


‘’Mind the wall, will ya?!’’


‘’Who cares about that, my boyfriend just texted me!’’


This was NOT what I was expecting to hear. My surprise levels are so high that I spit my precious tea. WHY, THANK YOU.


‘’You have a boyfriend?!’’


‘’Why do you assume everyone’s a sore loser like you?’’


‘’Honestly, I don’t even know if I can believe you or not. Gimme a break.’’


‘’See for yourself then!’’ she says proudly and gives her cell phone to me in a split second, as if she were expecting me to doubt her.


Something seems off. Enzu would never let me even look at her cell phone. Could it be-?!


Looking at the screen was a major mistake. That boy's nickname was 'Daaaarling UwU~' and she called him as such in their messages as well. He, on the other hand, was just calling her by her name.


Now I feel like my hopes and dreams have been crushed… Enzu DOES have a boyfriend after all… And the proof is right in front of me…


‘’Fine, I believe you. So what?’’ I ask with my poker face, which I’m trying so hard to keep right now.


‘’ ‘So what’?! You’re 17 and he’s 14! You haven’t even had a single girlfriend yet!’’


You don’t have to remind me, I already know that better than anyone!


‘’And stop looking at our conversations, you boyfriend wannabe! Gimme that!‘’ she grabs her cellphone from my hand and puts it in her jacket's pocket.


‘’Whatever, peepsqueak. We’re not competing on who will get a partner first or anything. So tell me: Did you fall on his feet to make him to go out with you?’’


‘’H-H-H-H-H-H-H-How did that cross your mind?! It’s so absurd!’’


You’re such an open book, Enzu…


‘’For your information, I won’t let Mum and Dad know.’’


‘’I didn’t fall on his feet! HE was the one who asked me out!‘’


You’re expecting me to honestly believe that?


‘’And why do you have to brag at me about it of all people?’’


‘’One: To set a good example for you. Two: To learn to respect the more capable ones here!’’


‘’Me? Respect YOU?’’ I giggle and put my palm on her forehead. ‘’You’re burning! I knew something seemed odd about you today, but you had a fever and didn’t let me know?! How high is it? 38? 39?!’’


‘’Don’t mock me! I’m not sick! Wait…don’t tell me-’’ she changed into smug mode ‘’-you’re jealous because I’m going on a date before you do?’’


This hit home just right…


‘’Just don’t do anything obscene.’’ I sigh. ‘’Other than that, have fun on your date. Out you go now, I’m in the middle of something important.’’


‘’Hey, don’t act like you care about-’’


And before she could even finish talking, I carried her out of my room princess-style, despite her nagging to let her down.


‘’Enough jibber-jabber for today.’’ I say and lock the door.


‘’Hey, shut-in otaku! You’ll never get a girlfriend if you stay like this!’’


‘’I don’t remember asking for your sympathy.’’


‘’Oh, is that so?’’ she replied provocatively. ‘’So you ARE desperate that you don’t have a girlfriend.’’


‘’That’s how I chose to live my life. Please let me enjoy my summer vacation while I still can and don’t ruin it for me.’’


‘’Enzu, did you try to incite Onii-san again?’’


Wait, is that Anzu!? Did she come to save me from my nemesis!?


‘’I’m sure he’ll eventually find a girl he will love from the bottom of his heart.’’


‘’This piece of trash? Not in a million years!’’


‘’A beautiful girl like you shouldn’t talk like that, Enzu.’’


‘’Aren’t you just praising yourself saying that?’’ she replies bashfully, despite her offending tone before.


‘’Who knows!’’


And then they laughed happily ever after. NOT the end.


‘’I’ll be down in a minute, go get yourself ready, Enzu.’’


‘’Y-Yeah.’’


So Enzu can no longer hear me or Anzu.


I found myself enjoying this little conversation of theirs. It seems not even Enzu can resist Anzu’s sense of order. Anzu and Mum are really alike it seems.


‘’You know, Onii-san, locking yourself in your room won’t help change anything. I can still talk to you. And if I can, then so can Enzu.’’


I know that...


Enzu is NOT wrong. I’ll admit I’m a shut-in otaku that lazes in his room most of the time. My inability to get a girlfriend is partly due to this.


Maybe I should disguise myself and see how her date goes! Maybe then I’ll get some hints about what girls like!