Season 1, Episode 4
Shun walked out of the living room and into the hallway for some privacy, his phone clutched to his ear.
“What is it, Uehara?”
“What do you mean by, ‘what is it’? Didn’t you play Dragon Bless today?”
Even over the receiver, Uehara’s voice seemed calm and unperturbed. It was only because Shun knew Uehara as well as he did that he managed to catch a rare hint of excitement in his friend’s voice. (In fact, he’d think that his friend was a physic, given the timing that mail of his)
“Err… Yeah, I’ve played today.”
“Then you know that Rosalie has disappeared?”
The words came tumbling out of his friend’s mouth. His eagerness was apparent.
“Like, there’s a huge uproar over this, just check the internet! People are saying it’s impossible! There is no way that every single game in the world has the same bug at the exact same time. And what’s more, Dragon Bless isn’t played online, so no main server to blame here.”
“A bug, huh?”
“If you were to play now, you’d know. It’s like, Rosalie’s suddenly disappeared and the screen is permanently frozen. Then, when you try to restart the game, the same thing happens. The saved data and everything, it’s gone too! I’ve not really played D.R. since clearing the final stage, but just now, I went to check and it’s just like everyone says. It’s horrible!”
Uehara’s description, sloppy as it was, resounded in Shun’s mind. It was more than likely that Shun was a witness to that incident, too.
He was watching her swing her sword on the screen, and for a split second, thought how amazing it would be if she really were here, when suddenly she disappeared and the television screen blanked out.
It was just as Uehara described it.
Except that in his case, she disappeared from his screen, only to appear right in front of him.
“All those online discussion forums, such as 2-channel and the like, are going crazy! A lot of people out there have this insane theory that this is part of a large scale terrorist operation that’ll hit Japan! Then, like, there have been people saying that they’ve called the game producers to find out the cause of this, while others are speculating that another country has terrorist designs on Japan – ”
Uehara rattled on, with Shun barely ingesting half of what he said.
Wasn’t his fault, anyway. Words like ‘futaba’ and ‘beeper’ were only meant to be understood by people like Uehara, who was neck-deep in otaku culture.
The world had turned completely upside-down.
Shun was on the verge of giving up. He seriously had no idea what to think of anymore.
Well, not that anyone could blame him. The so-called ‘bug’ that had quaked the internet was standing right in the middle of his living room.
Rosalie had really appeared in the real world, hadn’t she?
“Hey, you still there Kanda?”
“Wha – Ah, sorry, Uehara.”
“Well, I guess in your case, it’s the shock talking isn’t it. Have you finally cleared that last level yet?”
“E-Err… No, not yet.”
A tap on his shoulder and a soft voice uttered his name.
Frightened out of his wits, he nearly dropped his phone in shock. Rosalie was standing right behind him now.
“H-Hey, what was that – Wait, is that a girl’s voice I hear?”
“Sorry, I’ll call you back!”
Shun hung up, and cut the power, just in case.
And again, “Shun.”
His stutter did nothing to hide the fact he was panicking inside. Her proximity didn’t help either. If anything, it only made things worse, considering that a few moments ago he was flush against those generous mounds.
He felt his face redden.
Somehow though that stuttered acknowledgement was sufficient. Shun watched as Rosalie lifted her head, her face alight with awe, to gaze at him with something akin to respect.
And then –
“I, Rosalie, heroine and princess of my people, hereby promise myself to you as your bride!”
Had he not borne witness to the fact that Rosalie, the beautiful heroine, the princess and the only character worthy of notice in the game “Dragon Bless”, had proposed to him, Kanda Shun, on bended knee, he would never have believed it.
No, not even if his life depended on it.
You see, coincidence really was a bitch.
In order to defeat the true Demon Overlord in Dragon Bless’s in-game story plot, the character had to manoeuvre Rosalie into entering a marriage, albeit only in name, to the Dragon King Spirit. As the name suggested, the Dragon King Spirit was merely a spiritual presence, unable to take physical manifestation, and after the marriage ritual, Rosalie would gain a new power that was needed in order to win against the Demon Overlord.
And here’s where the coincidence comes into play. The name of the Dragon King Spirit just happened to be – Shun.
As there would be no going back after gaining the power – it was a straight road from there to the battle with the Demon Overlord. Shun had not yet played past that particular story flag in-game.
“I finally understand.” Rosalie’s voice interrupted his train of thought.
“This is a completely different world. None of those that I’ve mentioned before were correct.”
Shun shot her a hopeful look. Rosalie might have managed to figure out that this was the real world after all!
A small nod, and then, “This is the world of the Dragon King Spirit.”
Shun slapped a hand to his forehead.
Oh dear God. This was going to be a piece of work.
“W-Wait! You’re making a huge mistake!”
At this point, Shun was willing to try anything to get her to understand her situation.
“I’m not the Dragon King Spirit! Yes, you’re right, this is a completely different world, but it’s not the one you imagine it to be! I’ll explain everything to you in a minute, so if you’ll just stay calm and listen t – “
Great, she wasn’t even listening to him.
“Let us now exchange our vows!”
He really needed to explain it all to her soon, or else – Wait, what did she just say?
“Wait, what? Exchange vows?”
In a flash, Rosalie had stood up. Drawing herself up to full height, she closed in on Shun. With nowhere to run or hide, Shun found himself, once again, backed against a wall.
“Eek!” An unmanly squeak sounded from the back of his throat.
Rosalie pressed on.
“O Great one, please offer me your protection.”
Shun, never one to defy others, even on the best of days, found his resistance crumbling. Rosalie really was overwhelming. In fact, with her bending low in front of him, almost mounting him, he had already lost in the battle of wills.
Atop of him, Rosalie once again put forth her request, “I would like for you to marry me.”
Marry her? As in, like, the exchanging of vows an–
Suddenly, a window appeared in Shun’s direct line of sight.
-Do not marry her
Any more of this, and his heart would give way.
Rosalie seemed to be paused above him, suspended in time. She could blink and seemed to be capable of deliberate actions, but as the situation stood she would most likely be unable to move until Shun gave his command.
His palms were sweating and Shun cursed his virility. He was supposed to be looking at the command window, not Rosalie’s breasts behind it, damn it!
Her generous bosoms were heaving with each breathe, and her short skirt seemed to lead to miles of long, beautiful legs.
And now she was giving him a chance to marry all perfection found in a woman, and all these would be all his for the taking, and, and –
No, no, no, no!
How could he even think of Rosalie, the pure princess Rosalie, in such a lewd manner!
As raw desire and common sense battled for dominance, Shun felt sick enough to throw up.
At last, “No, I won’t marry her!”
“No, I won’t marry her!”
As before, the command window disappeared. Shun got up from underneath Rosalie as her capacities of movement returned to her.
Rosalie turned to face Shun.
“What do you mean by ‘why not’?! How can you get married, let alone exchange vows with someone out of the blue like that?!”
Shun’s indignant retort was met with silence on her end. The young princess appeared to be contemplating his worries. Hopeful eyes stared at her before –
“I see. So we can get married, as long as it’s not out of the blue.”
Amidst the hopelessness of the situation, Shun had a sudden flashback. Her stats, her intelligence stats, were only around 40 points, at best.
“I know that before getting married, a male and a female would have to overcome various trails.”
Wait. W-What? Where was she taking this?
“Well, there was this time when I helped the prince and princess of two opposing countries, who were secretly in love with each other, in the process of their elopement, later acknowledged by all as their official marriage.”
She nodded, trying to convey her absolute confidence in her own knowledge.
“First comes the ‘exchange of letters’.”
Shun would have laughed if not for her solemn voice which brooked no contradictions.
“The first letter should go along the lines ‘I would like to express my deep reverence and affection for thee’. Then you should answer with something akin to ‘Me too, my love’. Next, we need to have a midnight rendezvous. We can meet secretly by a lake, (there is a lake nearby, isn’t there?) in the cover of the night. Then, we’ll hug each other passionately while I lament your birth right, saying phrases such as ‘Wherefore art thou Henry?’ Finally, we’ll elope. This is where we’ll run away from our respective castles and then pledge to stay with each other, forever. We’ll run to some tiny village where there will be a church and a pastor awaiting our arrival, and then we can get married.”
Shun was speechless. She had just completely dictated the flow of the in-game marriage event.
40 points max in intelligence.
The image of her stats chart flashed again in his mind.
Shun shook his head, but it seemed that Rosalie was not yet ready to stop.
“Therefore, O Great Shun,”
“Let’s start with the exchange of letters.”
“Pen and papers.”
Rosalie’s sudden movements left Shun scratching his head in confusion.
“Pen and papers. I’ve written letters before. We need pen and papers to write a letter.”
With firm, quick steps, Rosalie walked down the hallway, reaching for the nearest door.
Really, how hero-like of her – without even waiting for the owner’s permission, she had already set out on her search for pens and papers.
Not wanting her to cause any more trouble, Shun ran after her.
Too late. Rosalie was already twisting the knob of a nearby door, and then she pushed it open.
“N-No wait, you don’t understand, that’s the – “
A gleam of white, and of all places, she found herself in the toilet.
Shun’s parents had decided on a western style toilet, complete with a gleaming white toilet seat and cover, as well as bidet functions. Rosalie, whom Shun guessed to have never seen a toilet in her entire life, was staring avidly at it.
Just then, that annoying little command window appeared, again.
-Go to the toilet
-Do not go to the toilet
Wait a minute, there was even a choice for that?
In the recesses of his mind, Shun thought that maybe it would be a good thing for Rosalie to go to the toilet. It would be amusing. He’d never seen her do it before anyways.
His decision must have been telepathically transferred to that command window again.
It disappeared from his sight and the next moment Rosalie had already entered the toilet and lifted the toilet seat cover. Then, reaching under her skirt, without so much as a second’s warning, she had already pulled down her panties.
Screaming like a girl, Shun banged the door shut. Breathing hard, Shun backed against the wall. The image of those dainty, white panties would forever be imprinted in his mind.
Moments later, a flush sounded and Rosalie appeared from within, droplets of water still glistening on her hands. The relieved smile that adorned her features was enough to melt even a heart of stone.
However, it was not to last. Soon, her face had regained its determined line and she strode purposefully to the living room.
Oh no. This was bad. Mikoto was still in there. What if –
Feeling the familiar panic setting in, Shun hurried to catch up to her.
“H-Hey, come on. Can’t this letter business wait for a bit?”
“Wait? Of course it can’t.”
Rosalie’s voice now held a small note of reproach, as if chiding him for being such an irresponsible person.
She entered the living room.
The same sorry state greeted them, just like it did when they moved to the hallway just now. The smashed vase, the ripped wallpaper, and of course, Mikoto, passed out on the floor.
Thank god for that. Now, he just needed to get Rosalie out of there as soon as possible.
Oh, she really did have a beautiful voice. Shun wanted to sink into it forever and –
Oh no. Was that the song of awakening she just sang?
Grabbing Rosalie by the shoulders, Shun was sweating with desperation as he asked, “Why the hell did you do that for?!”
Judging from her surprised look, Rosalie clearly had no idea what she had just done.
“W-Why are you angry?”
But already, it was too late. Mikoto’s body started glowing eerily. Her breathes were coming in long, even pants.
And then – her eyes opened.