Wednesday. Week 1. Year 1.
[You have triggered nightmarish sleep. Hidden stat: paranoia increased by 25% Defense down by 10% Attack increased by 7% Speed increased by 5% Will increased by 5% Special defense down by 15% Luck down by 3% Hidden stat: Composure down by 5% Hidden stat: Evasion up by 1%]
[Let it be known that hidden stats will be revealed by their trigger conditions or if someone triggers them within a vicinity of you. You have only revealed a taste of the hidden stats.]
[Quest: Meet with Harumi at 8 PM. This quest is mandatory and cannot be refused.]
Clyde felt like a shitty combination of sore, tired, and annoyed. Why are there hidden stats? Who came up with such a painfully inconvenient system? He stretched but then noticed a large round shape beneath his blankets. He felt his blood drain. What could it be? Should he just slip away? He felt paranoia rack his brain, threatening to make him burn down his entire apartment. Sweat trickled down his chin. He breathed deeper. What could be beneath the covers? A monster hellbent on avenging a buddy? The Viper turning out to be something disgusting and cruel and frightening?
His will snapped back into play, fixing the lost composure with some reliable logic. Well, reliable in this world. His hostile detection detected nothing.
He mustered some courage then quickly pulled back the covers only to see a sleeping half-naked Harumi. What the fuck just happened? He poked the girl. She slowly awoke, yawned, looked around confusedly, then smiled.
"Well, good morning."
[Your relationship with Harumi has changed from friendly-associate to curious.]
Clyde gave himself a soft facepalm. He didn't drink or do anything eventful after going home, except check his stats. How did she get into his place? And if she could easily break in, who or what else can? His apartment was supposed to be some kind of safe zone, right?
"Harumi, as much as it pleases me to wake up to the face of a beautiful girl, what are you doing in here? You know, two things were about to play out. One, me dying of a heart attack or two, running away, possibly pissing myself."
"I came over late last night, hoping to speak with you about power levels and stuff. You were really beat, so you sort of just went to your room, listened to me a little while half-asleep then passed out. It was kind of cute actually." She smirked. Clyde slightly groaned. "I stayed a little while to make sure the use of magic didn't strain you too badly. Rare skills tend to be the most draining. You also needed healing. But, I kind of fell asleep too." She gave Clyde an apologetic smile. As if on cue, Clyde's midnight memories did return. He took in Harumi's half-naked body and felt another part of him rise to the occasion. The pink-haired anime girl noticed the elevated boxers and grinned.
"Well now, if that isn't someone happy to see me—" Suddenly, she kissed Clyde. "There's only one way to take care of a problem like this," she whispered while grabbing his horn. "We're friends, right? And partners against crime."
[Your relationship with Harumi has changed from curious to friend].
Clyde wasn't going to object to a morning rumble with a cute woman, like some dopey main character from a bad anime. Too bad the time didn't let him be. The alarm on his phone sounded, loudly and in a way that completely shattered the mood, even for him. The duo both knew they attended a strict academy that didn't tolerate tardiness. Harumi sighed.
"And you had such a perverted look in your eyes. Too bad we attend a strict academy." She winked then crawled out of his bed, but not without allowing Clyde to see a full view of her body.
When the duo stepped past the front gates of the college, they spotted Toru with both of his hands clasps together, seemingly begging something of Chika. The indignation in the silver-haired girl's eyes revealed that whatever he was hoping for would probably not happen. As if someone poured water onto her blazing anger, Chika's face lit up when she noticed Clyde.
"Just leave me alone about it," she barked to the rich boy then surprising pretty much everyone around, did an anime dive into Clyde's arms.
"Good morning," she sung. She only spared a tiny glare at Harumi then completely ignored her. The pink-haired anime girl didn't back down, barging between the two, soliciting a silent duel of jealousy.
Oh fuck. As if being struck by lightning, Clyde realized the next anime trope that was attacking him. He hated this one the most. The harem. If he got trapped into that, awkward anime falls would be the least of his problems. In the shows, the main character would never, ever, get anything. Well, sometimes he was stupidly dense.
Not that this was his goal—he had to get home—back to the real world, but for a man stuck in this place for possible years, well, yeah. His privacy would be at risk too.
It all made sense now… Suddenly finding a beautiful woman in his bed. Two girls that didn't know him well enough fighting over him. They'd try to get close enough to make him indecisive like the dumb-fuck main characters of nearly every harem. His luck would fall. Everything bad would happen to him just to give the girls a chance to make his life even more awkward. And impossible.
Well, fuck that. Clyde was never indecisive. He didn't plan to let some system force that into him. He also didn't want a bunch of people showing up at his apartment every goddamn hour of the day, attempting to ruin his private life. He valued his privacy. And how was he supposed to level-grind if he never got any free time?
"Morning to you too and we're going to be late for class if we don't move," he said, removing himself from the nestle of women. He moved in a grace that prevented any chance for the anime fall or grope to occur. He pretended that his hand didn't stay on Chika's butt longer than necessary.
During lunch, he predictably received invites from both women.
"You've got to be shitting me," Clyde said softly. "How did this happen?" His other thoughts were, why wasn't he this good in real life. He stomped out those thoughts. How dare his mind attempt to make him jealous of his anime self. As if the universe wanted to mock him, a prompt appeared within his mind.
[Quest: Choose a lunch date. Reward: 20 EXP. Accept?]
Clyde chose no. He could sense the trap with that. The harem trap. He wished this was just an arrogant thought, because the two women were nice. Chika and he laughed and cracked jokes while watching movies. Harumi went out of her way to show him around, showing genuine hospitality. The other side of her that morning…Clyde wanted to see more of that.
Still, there was shit to be done...
He decided in the end to just focus on important matters. Like how he had to raise three hundred dollars to waste on a goddamn printer. If it wasn't a quest, he'd just use the school's ink.
He neared the front doors, prep in his step, when a green-haired girl approached him, papers in her hand.
"Here take one. Courtesy of the newspaper club," she said.
"No thanks, not interested," Clyde said without missing a beat. He stepped around the girl, flaring her anger. She blocked his path.
"Well, aren't you the rude one," she said. "Take it! You'll find helpful news."
Clyde gave her a blank glare.
"Who reads newspapers these days?"
That hit the girl like a giant knife. She seemed baffled. Her shoulders sagged.
"Alright, alright, give me the paper," he said, but she pulled away, triumphant smile on her face.
Clyde analyzed the annoying young woman.
Stats: Relationship isn't high enough.
Special abilities: see above, doofus.
Skills: see above numbnuts.
Magic abilities: see above dunderhead.
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