Season 1, Episode 2
“Heh! Someone’s got a huge crush on Rosalie!”
Just the other day, his friend Uehara was teasing him about it.
“Shut up! I do not!”
‘Dragon Bless’ was one of the most popular game series in Japan.
That morning, when Shun got his hands on the third series in the game trilogy, he set eyes on Rosalie, the princess cum heroine of the game.
It was love at first sight.
Rosalie, who had inherited the will of a selfless hero from her father, was incredibly innocent, sincere and true. Through fire and blood would she fight, to save her people, to give them that ever-elusive happiness; With dragons and warlords would she battle, to make the world a better place.
To live in service of the people – that was the pinnacle of her pride and joy.
Her soul was of light and purity, so much so that it hurt to look. But look Shun must, and look Shun did.
“Did I manage to bring some happiness into your life?”
To anyone she had helped, she would ask that question, and when the other person grinned and nodded, she would reply with a smile on her face, “If so, then I’m happy too!”
Such was Rosalie’s motto.
When faced with such a kind and beautiful girl, it was no wonder that Shun was drawn to her.
In the game’s storyline, Rosalie had welcomed her impending fate as a hero and handled everything with elegance and optimism to spare.
However, having to bear the will of such a noble hero – such a noble, undeniably male hero, Rosalie had, inevitably, developed a complex about her gender and her body.
To know that her strength would never match that of her father’s was a cruel fate.
As such, upon assuming the mantle of a hero, Rosalie had done her utmost to fit the mould. She altered her appearance as much as she could, utilized a man’s swordplay complete with manly poses and positions, all in order to overcome her handicapped gender.
Then came the day when the people had finally recognized her efforts. They called her the “Princess of Heroes” and they praised her to the heavens for her all her heroic deeds.
The gratitude that had overflowed that day had reached her heart and warmed it, ridding from it her inferiority complex for evermore. That day, she had looked to the skies and cried, calling out to her departed father for him to see what she had done and to be proud of her.
It was touching, yet it was magnificent.
Shun, watching from beyond the television screen, had cried too. Her adventure was his, and there was no way he would ever forget it.
She was graceful, dignified; beautiful in her innocence. In her, Shun had found perfection – a perfection named Rosalie, and he fell in love.
This was the first time ever that he had felt so strongly towards a game character.
In fact, his feelings were so strong, that when they were just about to enter into a fight with the final boss in the game, his heart bled in its sorrow. He would have done anything, run through blazing fire, start a never ending rebellion in her name, even buy over the entire game company, just to keep her.
But he couldn’t.
All he could do was watch her through the television screen as she gained in power and strength, her levels increasing at a shocking rate, until, at long last, she hit the level cap at lvl. 99. Her other stats too had been nearly maxed out, standing close to 300 points respectively.
But, if he had to find a flaw with her, it’d be her ‘wisdom’ stat, which had stayed stock still at 40 points, refusing all efforts to increase it, despite the wisdom roots and potions that he had painstakingly fed her with.
Well, must be a bug then, he thought.
The level cap was a bother, but there really was nothing left to do now but to clear the game.
Dejectedly, Shun paused from his enthusiastic perusal of the controller, and stared at the space on the carpet beside him.
If only Rosalie were here, he found himself thinking.
If only she were here, he’d be able to talk to her, see her pretty, animated features, touch her soft skin…
The image that hit him was so real, he practically salivated.
For the first time in his life, Kanda Shun actually found himself using all his powers of thought to ‘imagine’ the ideal situation – Rosalie sitting there, laughing at his jokes, actually talking to him.
And then –