When he stepped outside, he opened the instruction manual. The pages shimmered then burst into a display of dust and he just knew. Clyde smiled. With this, he now had the ability to defend himself. This was an impressive superpower. The power to learn anything and use it to strengthen himself.
Just then, he noticed a red outline surrounding a man like radiation. Like a small aura... A man who walked toward him.
Not wanting to stick around for that, Clyde started for a bus stop, but the man continued to follow him, grinning.
Clyde stopped and analyzed the creeper. A red prompt showed up this time to his surprise. The description was different from normal too.
Common street thug.
Type: enemy of the city.
Work under: Your hostile detection isn't high enough for this nor do you know the information to fill this in.
Special: Your hostile detection isn't high enough for this. Trial and error is your only method of finding out. Ouch.
Weakness: Your hostile detection isn't high enough for this, doofus. You're stuck with trial and error.
Resistances: See above.
Secret: Your hostile detection, luck, and will isn't high enough for this.
Clyde sighed then made a run for it. He'd be stupid to attempt to take on a freaking level fourteen guy with his pathetic stats. What if he had a gun?
"Hey!" the man shouted behind him. "Dammit. I'll see you again. And I'll fuck you up, kid. No one humiliates us."
Clyde let out a breath of relief as the bus door closed behind him. His phone buzzed. Chika. She thanked Clyde for the advice. She no longer had to marry. Her father even apologized in tears. She asked Clyde for his address.
"Why?" Clyde said, curious.
"I want to stop by to see you and thank you in person. I also need someone to try the new sweets I made."
Clyde shrugged, not seeing the harm in it. Besides, a girl coming to visit him? What could possibly stroke his ego harder? Then again, maybe this wasn't exactly a bright idea. Good thing he was armed now.
"Sure, I guess," he said then gave her the address.
"I'll be over in a few."
Sure enough, ten minutes after he got home, there was a knock on his door. He answered. The pretty girl smiled as she stepped in, first leaving her shoes at the door.
"Welcome to my man cave," Clyde said. "It's not much but make yourself at home I guess."
"Not much?" Chika said as she sat a plastic bag of desserts on the counter. "This is nice. Are you hiding out on everyone?"
Clyde chuckled but changed the subject. He made sure his footing was correct, hands in pocket, and in a position to prevent any awkward anime fall or groping. He would not be some dopy main character. He still had a personality, so that had to mean something right? Did he have a personality?
He eyed the bag of sweets. His enemy. The diet killer. He wasn't overly health conscious, but as an athlete, limitations existed. Besides, if he started with one, he'd probably eat another and another and another.
"I see you and I have an eye in common," Chika said in his ear, causing him to blush.
"Sorry," Clyde said then laughed slightly nervously. "No lunch."
That wasn't a lie.
"Let's order a pizza then," Chika said. "If you don't mind celebrating a new friendship and all that lame jizz."
He heard his wallet scream. Before he could object, Chika continued. "I know a place that will bring us one for free. Any move to impress my dad."
"Well if you insist," Clyde said then sat down in the living room. "Take it away. Anyone that offers free food is a friend to me." He grinned. Chika laughed then sent out a few texts.
[Your relationship with Chika has changed from curious to friend.]
Clyde felt a little strange. He broke the slice of life thing, preventing Harumi from being imposed on him, but he did like her. She was kind. Treated him with hospitality no one has ever done for him until getting to know him. Gentle spirit.
Of course, he wasn't stupid enough to invite her over like some idiot. Girls had their pride too. Both she and Chika would probably feel insulted if he pulled an arrogant move like that. He needed allies and friends to get home. Not enemies.
Chika sat beside him. Close. Like, beyond the "just friends" space, breaking the personal bubble. Her perfume was hypnotic. One could smell the expensiveness of it. Clyde's anime trope senses rang. Oh well.
"You're different from everyone else," Chika said, gray eyes twinkling with joy. "No one…no one ever reached out to help before. They make assumptions, never take the time to actually get to know me. They let my father's reputation shape up their image of me, like I'm some spoiled brat. But you were kind with your words. Offered to even let me stay here, a complete stranger. That's why…I'd like to get to know you. If you don't mind. I don't really have any friends here because of my father."
Clyde felt bad for her, but he refused to show her some look of pity. That's not what she needed.
"If you give me the honor, then I'd love to be your first and finest," he said then grinned.
She gave him a sly smile.
"Finest. Well, you're doing pretty good in that department."
Clyde sighed. Chika laughed then leaned over toward him. To Clyde's annoyance, the doorbell sounded, breaking the moment. His heart pounded. He could imagine the awkwardness if that turned out to be the Harumi.
"Hello," a feminine voice said. A voice that definitely sounded identical to Harumi's. Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
"I'll answer," Clyde said. Chika gave him a playful pouty face but she stood too.
"Let's pretend to be a hyped-up married couple," she said.
Before Clyde could object—because he strongly wanted to object—she grabbed his arm, walking him to the door. To his relief, it was simply a delivery girl.
"Here you go."
The duo watched a couple of movies and talked, getting to know each other. Clyde didn't tell her about his paranormal encounter that got him in this situation, but he gave out vague truths. She did push him for as much possible. Sometimes as if she just wanted to hear him talk.
Chika told a nice chunk without involving a single thing about her father. She used to be apart of a garage band, just for fun, before moving to Satovia. Her two old friends still talk to her every now and then, even visited, but in this city, she felt alone.
[Your relationship with Chika has changed from friend to friend- closer level 1. Warning, advancing beyond this point will dramatically increase sexual tension. Getting closer to any other female will be difficult if Chika is present at level 2 or higher. Jealousy can lead to dangerous or hilarious situations. Whatever tickles your thrill seeking. Take caution if jealousy levels are high.]
Chika leaned over and whispered something into Clyde's ear. He'd ask himself later why he was letting an anime girl get him excited. As she moved in for the starting kiss which promised more, her phone rang. She frowned, grudgingly answering the call.
"Yeah. I know. I'm on the way. He's a friend. Goes to my…okay…whatever. You did?" She sighed. "Fine, fine." She hung up. "Apparently there's a cab waiting for me outside."
"Yep. Gave me the 'young college girl shouldn't be at some guy's house this late' speech." Chika stood up, quickly kissed Clyde on the cheek then started for the door. She turned to him. "See you in class tomorrow?"
When Chika left, Clyde internally questioned himself. What the fuck was he doing? Allowing himself to get seduced by an anime girl? Sure, she was nearly irresistible, especially up close, and if the phone call didn't happen, he'd have a story that could never be told to friends. They'd accuse him of playing with himself to hentai.
Even if he did progress his relationship with the anime girl, he'd return to his dimension. She shouldn't devote her time to someone who was only in this world temporarily.
Clyde looked at the time. Eight. Time to go see if the monster appearances were true. Sure it was a stupid idea, but he had to progress the "story" or get stuck in this world.
He held out his hand, willing the new sword from the inventory. With a spark of electric-white light, it worked. The sword was in his grasps. He took a second to let this soak in before taking off.
The empty streets gave him chills. It felt like this place changed into something else entirely. A battlefield or some kind of dead zone, Clyde wasn't sure.
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