“I… Don’t… Can’t even…”
“What did I just see…”
“This gotta be a dream.”
“I must admit I didn’t expect that.”
While hearing their words of disbelief, I simply smiled satisfied while seeing the screen before me, watching as the massive dragon-like fortress exploded over and over as its HP reaches zero.
While I did have a less than stellar start, after getting a bit more serious about the game for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they were laughing at me, the game was actually fairly easy.
Well, my ridiculous stats are probably the reason behind that, but well, it’s not like I’m cheating, right? Riiiight?
I feel like this is when Sophy would chime in with ‘your very existence is a cheat’ or something. Oh well, for now, I have more pressing matters to attend to.
As the game finished, the screen turned to a black one with a few white letters and numbers taking all the space. It was asking for me to input my name for the scoreboard, but it was limited to five letters only. Well, my actual name would fit just fine, but it’s probably wrong to put it, right?
After some time thinking, I quickly imputed the letters K-T-S-N-E. Kitsune! Sounds just right.
After pressing the shooting button to confirm my entry, the screen changed into one where many names and numbers were listed accordingly to their scores. There I was at the top with twenty millions points. Around twenty times more than the second place, some XDDR guy who had a bit less than one million.
“So… Who said that this game was hard again?” I asked while turning back to the group who still had their eyes glued to the screen.
“Aah… ” The guy who had taunted me earlier couldn’t even reply as he simply stared at the screen blankly.
For a moment I noticed how some of them started to whisper the words ‘cheating’ or ‘hack’, which I found odd, I mean, why the hell would hacking a machine even count as cheating? That’s more like being a sore loser and slicing the machine apart, right?
No, wait… Didn’t hack have a different meaning in this world? Something related to computer and whatnot?
Well, anyway, I’m still clean. They saw that I had my hands on the controller all the time, and being a lot shorter than most of them, they couldn’t even say that I somehow managed to sneak in some kind of apparel or something.
“Say… Can anyone tell me the time?” I asked after noticing that some time had already passed since I came in.
I was never very good at keeping track of the time… I should probably buy a wristwatch for myself. Do they have something that can resist sonic booms I wonder?
“It’s still nine thirty.” The older one said, to which I frowned.
If I make some quick calculations, I left Clarie at school around eight o’ clock, but stayed there using analyse on the students for around half an hour. Afterwards I think I spent around half an hour window-shopping, so this means that I managed to spend at most half an hour with this game.
“Do you have plans for something?” One of the boys asked.
“Well… I was half planning on killing my time here until my friend left class but it seems that this game can only last so long…” I sighed. “Now, what to do what to do…” I said while eyeing around me, but since I was still inside the store, all I saw were the gaming machines around me. “Muuh… Seems like I’ll have come back later to earn the title of Queen of the arcade.” I thought out in a loud voice.
“Queen of the arcade… You say?” The one who had been playing earlier asked curious.
“Yeah… I mean… If I beat all high scores from here, I get to be known as the queen of this place, isn’t that right?” I asked confused. I mean, it makes sense that the best one gets to be known as the leade… Damnit. This logic doesn’t apply here, right?
“…I would usually laugh it off, but I can really see you doing that right now…” He replied with a dry tone. I smiled awkwardly for a moment and became ready to say that it was a joke, but before I had the chance, he suddenly widened his eyes and made a horrified expression. “WAIT! MY HIGH SCORE ON BACKSTREET BRAWLER!” He shouted while eyeing me in horror. “Oh… Oh my god… Anything but that…”
Prankster senses tingling… Seeing as he backed away towards one of the other game machines, I made an evil smile while tapping my forefinger on my lips.
“I think I see where I should start my conquest when I come back.” I said amused. “Sooo… Anyone else have a high score they want to protect?” I said while looking around.
Except for the older one, all of them either eyed me in fear or looked away awkwardly. The elder of the group simply laughed amused at the scene with his arm crossed.
“Well, it’s been quite some time since something interesting happened here.” He said before his eyes went to a certain machine on the corner of the store. “But I can bet that there is one game that you can’t beat us here.”
I blinked and followed his gaze to the machine. However, different from the other machines that had a screen and a control stick or wheel, this one had nothing of the kind. Instead it was a long metal post with an horizontal protrusion from which hung a leather bag of sorts. On the bottom of the machine was a display that showed various numbers and such.
Curious, I eyed the machine for a moment while imagining what exactly it could be.
“…OH! YEAH!” The younger boys said surprised before nodding. “There’s no way a girl can beat us there!”
“Huh? Why’s that?” I asked confused as I tried to understand what exactly the game was, but no matter how much I looked at it, nothing came to mind.
“That’s a punching machine.” The older one said. “The high score is defined by how strong you can punch the leather bag. No offense, but I don’t think that a girl can throw a stronger punch than a man.”
“So… It’s a strength game…?” I asked surprised while looking at him, and when he made a slightly smug expression, I couldn’t help but let out a brief snort of amusement.
Seeing the guys going pale at my words, I smiled evilly once again while flexing my muscle amusedly.
“I may not look like it, but I’m actually very strong, you know?” I said before taking my hand to my waist, and frowning slightly for a moment. “I actually trained a lot with swords, so I actually have quite the arm strength!”
“Well, crap.” The elder guy said depressed before blinking and looking at me. “Wait, swords?”
“Yep. I practiced kendo as a hobby.” Well, as much as swinging a sword so I don’t die can count as hobby, I guess? On the other hand, I’m not sure if what I know can even remotely be considered a hobby anymore. “Still… I will have to leave that for later. No more money with me.” I said dejectedly, and saw as all the boys heaved a sigh in relief, but…
“…I actually kind of want to see that now.” The elder one said amused. “If I pay for your token, would you show us your ‘strength’?”
I looked at him for a moment before smiling amused. He took that as a yes and proceeded to search through his pockets while the others all tried to hold him back with desperate expressions.
Following him towards the machine, I saw as he inserted the token and the machine sparked back to life and spouted some pre-programmed lines about showing the strength and so forth. However, one small problem remained…
“…I’ll adjust the height.” He said awkwardly before fiddling with the horizontal metal bar where the leather bag was hung on.
“…This is NOT funny.” I said annoyed while seeing the other boys trying to hold back their laughs.
Even at the lowest height setting, the leather bag was still a bit too far for me to reach with a good angle. While usually height wasn’t a problem for me, I don’t think that floating in front of so many people would be a good idea.
“Err… We could probably… Get you a bench… I think?” The elder one said awkwardly, to which I shook my head.
“Too unstable.” I denied with a sigh before staring at it for a moment. Maybe… ”Ghh… If only I wasn’t wearing something else I could have tried a kick instead.”
“What you mean, something else?”
“Denin pants aren’t exactly made for wide movements, you know?” I said while pointing to the blue pants. While they were fairly comfy, it was a bit difficult to make wide movements with them, so I wasn’t sure I could raise my leg above my head while wearing them, and anything less wouldn’t reach the damned game machine. “Unless…” I said with a thought. “Say, is there anything against a running start?”
“I mean, running then jumping. If it’s only that I think I can manage somewhat.” I explained. “And it’s not like you guys can’t do it, so you can’t blame me for trying, right?”
Without waiting for them to react, I took some distance from the machine and turned back. Swinging my arms around a couple of times to get the feel for it, I took the chance to regulate my strength to an acceptable amount. Once I felt satisfied, I shook my legs a couple of times before leaning forward.
The guys quickly understood what that meant and moved back away from the machine.
For a moment I wondered if I should use one of my skills, but I decided against it, deciding to go through status alone, I dashed forward at a fairly low (for me) speed and leapt once I was a couple of meters away from it.
I pulling back my fist, I saw the leather bag approaching me, and taking the moment to watch the guy’s look of amazement before finally throwing my fist.
At that exact moment I knew that I had done a bit too much, so I had to quickly use a resistance spell on the machine so that it wouldn’t break. Geez, what with the things here! Were they always so weak like that?
Still, feeling a nice impact against my fist, I skidded a bit on the ground before finally stopping just ahead of the machine. However, I frowned a bit thanks to the needlessly loud noise that echoed from the impact.
I flinched for a moment before slowly turning back, only to see the damage I had done and pale slightly.
The leather bag was starting to rip slightly and a tiny sliver of sand was slipping from it, while the transversal metal bar had a small, but noticeable dent on it, thanks to the bag hitting it at full power.
“…Oh crap.” I said worriedly.
“…ha…Haha… HAHAHAHAHAAHAH!” The older one started laughing loudly, much to my surprise. Blinking surprised, we all stared at him confused. “Looks like you were a bit too good!” He said while pointing towards the display.
[ERROR. THE SENSOR DOES NOT RESPOND. PLEASE CALL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.]
“…I’ll pay for the repair.” I said ashamed while hanging my head. GAAAH! WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BE WEAK?
“Don’t worry about that.” He said while waving away. “I was the one who told you to try this, so I am the one to blame. Besides, this machine was mostly eating electricity without anyone ever using it, so it doesn’t make much difference if this is the one that break.”
“Shouldn’t that be something for the shop owner to decide?” I asked confused.
“As I said, don’t worry about it. I’m the manager of this place, and my father is the one who owns this anyway.”
“…Really?” I asked surprised, but the others quickly nodded.
For a moment I stood there, slightly stunned at how I managed to get away from the situation before finally sinking in what he said. If he is the manager of this place…
Before I knew, I was already moving over to the said manager and putting on my “demon queen” smile and resting my hand on my hips.
“Well, then… Isn’t this interesting. Since I’m going to become the queen of this place anyway, I might as well start setting up my court, isn’t that right?” I said while eyeing him. Not only him, but all the others in the room simply looked at me in surprise and confusion. “Well, since you were so kinds as to pay for my usage of this machine, why don’t I give you the position of prime minister of Arcadia?”
“…Ah…” He made an expression as if he understood before smiling amused. “I see.”
“So, young mortal. Do you accept becoming my first subordinate?” I said in my most queenish tone.
(AN: So, as stated in the previous one, fairly short chapter.)
(AN2: For those interested, IO hit the halfway mark in completion. Which means i’m still working on it! Yay! Plan for now is after finishing IO, either to work on a new story idea i had, or start on next MMG. No promises which.)
(AN3: Should i do another poll for the next story once ReTurn reaches its end (aka, catches up with what’s written)?)
(AN4: Anyway, not much happening this chapter besides Inari fooling around and starting on her conquest to become the queen! What could possibly go wrong? And for those hoping for Inari to lose in the game… Let’s just say that as long as the game is reflex based like a bullet hell, she got it covered >.> At least when she isn’t fooling around.(She IS a cheat afterall))