Misaki Takahashi and Shinobu Takatsuki were gamers. They had been since they were young and they still were now, as high school students. Both thought they could live simple and happy lives, playing video games, getting a job, playing video games, getting married, playing video games. It would be great, they thought, they could make good lives for themselves and still do all that normal stuff. As if.
It began with a late night gaming session. Shinobu and Misaki planned to meet in the Mitsuhashi high school library to knock out a couple of hours of levelling up on their latest RPGs. Misaki walked quickly from his final class towards the library, where he could see the younger boy waiting for him.
“Shinobu! sorry I’m late! Kamijou-sensei went way over today!” The younger boy did not look impressed
“Don’t waste my time.” Misaki laughed uncertainly, he was never sure how serious Shinobu was when he said those kinds of things. They walked into the empty library and headed straight for the computers in the back corner of the room. They were just sitting down when they heard a tut from behind them.
“Are you studying boys?” the librarian said with a frown. Misaki blanked but Shinobu quickly replied
“So you aren’t playing video games in here against school rules?” Shinobu knew the game was up. The librarian threw them out, expressing a desire to never see their faces in her library again.
“What should we do now? I don’t have a computer?” Misaki said disheartened. Shionbu frowned and then started walking “where are we going?”
“It’s justdown here, I’m sure…”
“What is? Shinobu!” the boy escorted Misaki deep into the school, through doors he had never even seen and down several flights of stairs. They only stopped once they had reached an old and flaking door. From outside they could see through the small dusty window. Inside were three computer moniters all of which were glowing green with life.
“We can play in here, I’m sure no one will care, it’s not like anyone was using it anyway.” Misaki nodded and pushed the door open.
They had barely just touched the mouse when a game popped up on the screen.
“Someone must have had the same idea as us” Misaki said surprised. The game was called ‘Marukawa Knights: the quest” the graphics were poor and the name promised only a stereotypical fantasy RPG. Shinobu rolled his eyes and tutted in frustration
“the computer won’t let me exit.”
“we could just play it, I mean, what harm could it do?” Shinobu slumped back
“Fine, at least it kills the time I guess.” Without realising, both men sat up straighter and moved their mouses. Simultaneously both Misaki and Shinobu clicked ‘begin’.
For a moment everything was binary and then there was only darkness. When Shinobu opened his eyes he was lying alone in the middle of a lush green field. He sat up quickly, stunned. He could have sworn he was in the computer room only moments ago. he got to his feet and looked around. Sure enough he was now in a very real and green field. Just ahead of him he could see a fence and a stone pathway which wound it way up a steep green hill. He had no clue where he was, but one thing was certain, Misaki was nowhere to be seen.
“Misaki!?” He called out cautiously. only the rustling of trees greeted him. “Misaki where are you?” nothing. he threw his head back in frustration, and froze staring at the sky. Above his head, in spindly golden letters were the words “Street Dancer, lvl 1”. He stared at them for a moment
“I-I can’t be, in the game?” he shook his head vigorously “of course I’m not, I’m just confused.” he walked purposefully towards the wooden gate and pushed it open. A golden window of light appeared before him “ahh!” He jumped back squinting at it.
Would you like to begin your quest?
Shinobu gaped at it. “my quest?” he thought. A horrible thought suddenly occurred to him. If he was in a game, surely the only way out was to finish the quest? He heaved a sigh
“Yes.” he said clearly to thin air.
you are a Street Dancer, you know how people think, you know what they like. You can use this knowledge as power or leverage. Play your cards right and the city could be in the palm of your hands. But you are poor and of common blood. First you must learn you trade. Travel to the city to meet your sister who will share her knowledge.
Sister? It couldn’t be… He gulped and walked straight through the golden window. There was only one path, surely it would lead him to some kind of destiny?
on the other side of the kingdom, Misaki Takahashi found himself in a remarkable situation. He had woken up on the back of a cantering horse, with a strange sign that read “Rookie Knight” above his head and a sword on his hip. He pulled the horse to and sat still for a moment. He gulped nervously and looked around the area. He had pulled up outside a tiny inn on an old road.
“s-someone in there has to know what is going on.” He stumbled off his horse and walked shakily towards the inn. there was a large golden arrow above the door which disappeared as he pushed it open. “Am I in the game?” he muttered to himself.
“Hello young knight, I am Gilda the Bar maid, would you care for a pint of mead?” Misaki stared at her, confused. behind her was an option bar.
Accept mead/Ask for information on location/stab with sword/exit inn
“s-stab with sword?” he thought to himself in horror. He walked towards the bar and said “Sorry, but could you tell me where I am?” she smiled, above her head the second option glowed green.
“Of course! you have found yourself in the Kingdom of Usami. My tavern is just a short ride from the city where the king himself lives.” Misaki was about to ask who Usami was when he heard some commotion from the table next to him
“Hey Gilda, quit talking to shorty there and come give us a kiss!”
“Yeah give us a kiss, it’s all you’re good for!” The men laughed obnoxiously. Gilda cringed visibly. Suddenly in front of Misaki a golden box appeared
A quest has appeared! Defend Gilda’s honour.
Misaki gulped, doing what the box’s said before seemed to get him somewhere. He stood up a little straighter.
“You should be more respectful towards women!” the laughter suddenly died. The man from the table looked him up and down, he stood up and Misaki could see just how huge this man was. He also noticed the golden name above his head: ‘Sir knight, lvl 27’. Misaki was a level 1. he gulped, this was going to hurt.
when Misaki came to, he was being tended to by Gilda and a black haired man. ‘Rookie Magician?” he thought curiously. Gilda spoke up pitifully
“Thank you. You really didn’t need to do that, Misaki”
“What happened to them?” Gilda smiled
“I can handle those kind of guys on my own.” She smiled. Misaki’s eyes drifted to her name ‘Gilda the Barmaid, lvl 35.
“I’ve healed him as much as I can, he should be ok for now.”
“Thank you.” Misaki said earnestly. The man smiled
“Don’t worry about it. If you don’t mind, Im going to leave now, I need to go to the scholars and get more magic texts.” The man left swiftly leaving Misaki on the floor. He turned to Gilda, he was desperate now
“Gilda, you have to help me, I don’t belong here! I need to get home!” Gilda shook her head
“No Misaki, you can’t go home, you can only go to the city or stay here and drink some mead.” Misaki sighed
“What’s in the City?”
“All trainee knights head to the city to swear fealty to the Usami family. There you will have the opportunity to gain experience by undertaking quests. If you do enough quests in service to the Usami family, then you can become a noble, and go live in your own home.”
“Gilda, if I want to leave the kingdom…is that possible.” Gilda stared at him for a moment he thought that she had understood. But either she chose to ignore his real question or did not understand it
“Who would want to leave this kingdom? there is nowhere else to go.”
Shinobu had walked for what felt like hours before he reached the city gates. They were heavily guarded and closed to outsiders. A golden options bar appeared
approach guards/find a secret entrance/turn back
Yeah right like he was going to sneak around when those guys could probably kill him in a minute. He approached the guards
“Halt, who goes there.”
Seduce guards/ stab with hidden knife/run away
Shinobu groaned internally. Only one of these was even an option. How does one even seduce? He walked closer to the guard. 'I guess I’ll let the character do it for me…' he thought unenthusiastically. He slowly began to move his hips circling them enticingly for the guard coming closer until he was almost touching the man. He was handsome, Shinobu had to admit and he found himself enjoying this more than he thought. He reached up and wrapped his arms around the taller man. he was clearly older, but something about him made Shinobu want to mess him up completely. He was really going for it now, seeing the lust in the man’s eyes, he leant up to his ear
“How about you let me in?” he pulled away from the guard who broke out of his daze and looked down at the younger man. Shinobu could have sworn he saw the shadow of a smirk on his face.
“Why not?” he said at last. The guard unlocked the gate and swung it open. Shinobu walked through the gates and stared in awe of his surroundings. The buildings were all tall and built from rough brick and wood. There were stands all around selling so many useful looking things and some not so. He stared at the crowds in front of him. How would he ever find this sister? He made his way deeper into the city and it became increasingly clear that not only would he never find her, but also that he was therefore, never going home.
Hiroki walked slowly down the corridor. It had been a bad day. He just couldn't understand why everyone in his class was such waste of space? He shook his head. As he passed the disused economics office he saw the light of a few computer monitors still shining through the glass. He rolled his eyes, some stupid kids had been playing around in there again. "Probably those gamer delinquents" he thought. He pushed the door open and walked up to the monitor. "I'll just turn it off." He thought he reached over to the mouse of the third computer. "Whoops" he said, as he accidentally clicked on the "begin" button.