Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 33: A Player with an NPC!!
As I was walking out of the back alley, talking to Vidello-san about getting back to Tre by stagecoach, a voice called out to me from behind.
“Is that you, Mac? What happened? How’d you make it to Quattro? If you had told me, I would have come with you.”
When I turned around, Seven was standing there behind me.
I had overtaken Seven on the way here, but even so, did he only arrive just now? That went to show the convenience of taking a carriage, I suppose.
“Don’t worry, I have someone who came with me. Are you planning on setting up base here, Seven?”
Vidello-san turned around at the same time as me and lifted an eyebrow when he saw Seven.
“There’s someone who came with you? You’re alone right now, though?” said Seven.
“Eh, he’s right here.”
I tugged at Vidello-san’s sleeve. He lowered his head apologetically and whispered softly in my ear so that only I could hear.
“Mac, to be honest, you’re the only foreigner I’ve told my name to.”
Did that mean he didn’t want me to tell other players his name?
You had to get to know the person himself before you could learn his name. It wasn’t my place to tell it to Seven.
I nodded slightly to Vidello-san and turned back to Seven.
“Eh, but isn’t he an NPC? Mac, you’re walking around with an NPC?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“But normally, you’d form a party with other players and walk around with them. Don’t you have any player friends?”
“No, I do have them.”
Somehow, talking with Seven was, how should I say, tiring. Or maybe irritating?
I could tell he only saw the townspeople as part of the game.
“I want to be together with him, what’s the problem?”
“Is that really a fun way to play the game?”
“Yep. The best, in fact!”
I felt like Seven, who was frowning, didn’t understand what I was saying. Well, it seemed like we had irreconcilable opinions on this subject.
I was pretty sure Seven saw me as a lonely player who couldn’t make friends and had to walk with NPCs instead. Yep, definitely.
I didn’t want to say words like ‘NPC’ and ‘player’ in front of Vidello-san, so I couldn’t argue back either.
Vidello-san’s smile from before was nowhere to be seen. He looked expressionless, like how he was when he was a gatekeeper. Was this facial expression reserved for people with low favorability ratings? Would that kind of thing be incorporated into the system? I didn’t want to think about anything concerning artificial intelligence, because that would mean the smile he had shown when he was with me was only because of my high favorability rating with him. And, if we also only had sex because of my favourability rating, it was already…
The end would already be in view.
I didn’t want that.
The things he said, that he liked me and loved me, none of that would be real anymore.
That was why I didn’t want to get too involved with people who lumped Vidello-san and everyone else together as NPCs.
“How can you say it’s the best with a face like that? I mean, isn’t that why you made friends with me? Ah, if that’s the case, how about forming a party with me? You’re lonely, right?”
“I don’t need it. I already have this person. I don’t feel like forming a party with anyone.”
I refused Seven’s invitation, grasping Vidello-san’s arm.
Vidello-san looked down at me and called my name, “Mac…” worriedly.
It was supposed to be a day out for us in the next town over, and yet…
I offered a short apology.
Even I didn’t know if the apology was towards Seven or Vidello-san.
However, I had no intention of responding to Seven’s words, and I was frustrated that my date with Vidello-san had ended on such a sour note.
It seemed like I was saying sorry to both of them.
“Mac, it’s almost time for the carriage. We’d better get going.”
“Huh, is it that time already?”
I looked up with a start when Vidello-san told me.
When I took a glance at the clock that was displayed on the minimized status screen on the edges of my field of vision, I saw we still had plenty of time before the carriage left. (PK: why so long? It’s just time shown on the status window. Gosh!)
A mere game NPC could never be this clever or resourceful. Why couldn’t some people understand that?
Well, I would go along with Vidello-san’s clever lie.
“Seven, I’m sorry. It’s about time for me to go. If you want to continue on to the next city, be careful. It’s pretty tough to pass through the desert. I had a hard time getting out of the desert by myself. See you later.”
“Mac? Desert? You mean, you went alone…?”
I just waved at Seven, whose brows were furrowed in thought, grabbed Vidello-san’s arm, and started walking in the direction opposite of Seven.
When we turned the corner and Seven was out of sight, I couldn’t bear it anymore and clung to Vidello-san’s arm.
“Mac… Don’t make that face. You’re making me sad too. Don’t worry. I will always love you.”
He didn’t look annoyed at me clinging to him and instead patted me on my head and said so, smiling wryly.
Somehow, he seemed to understand what I was thinking.
“I also like you, Vidello-san. I love you.”
If even these feelings were fake, I was sure I’d be unable to ever fall in love…
I stuck to Vidello-san the entire ride home in the carriage.
There were three other passengers who were riding with us, and they looked at me with warm eyes.
One uncle said, “Are you afraid of the carriage, kid? Hang in there. Here, let me give this to you.” He gave me a small tortoiseshell candy.1 He wasn’t quite right about me, but the candy was delicious. Probably homemade.
When I tried to give him a potion as thanks he replied, “Chibi, just take it.” and stubbornly refused to accept it.
“Vidello-san, this time, when the monsters appear, let me defeat them. I want to let off some steam.”
“Hahaha, I understand. But if it gets dangerous, it’ll be my turn.”
And thus, I directed my frustration at the monsters that had been targeting the carriage.
When a bear-like monster came out, though everyone cried out in worry for me, I still got out of the carriage with great enthusiasm.
“Thanks for coming out at the right time.”
I was sure my expression looked extremely villainous at the moment.
I smirked and, aiming carefully, I dosed the bear’s eyes with blinding eyedrops.
The monster stood up, holding his eyes while sniffling in pain, and I fiercely slashed him through the abdomen with my sword!
After taking three slices to the stomach, the bear dissolved into light and disappeared.
“Kid, you’re strong!”
“You’re stronger than you look!”
“Thanks, little guy!”
I took my seat on the carriage, dejected, despite being showered with generous praise.
Little guy! I wasn’t that small, was I?! If I was short even in-game, then the me in real life would be considered minisc-… Haaa, don’t even think about it.
Vidello-san chuckled and said, “Mac, you were very cool.” The smile on his face, however, told me he was trying to refrain from laughing out loud. Or was it just my imagination?
I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Don’t worry about me! I’ll be as tall as you once I finish growing!”
The uncle said, “Do your best. Eat fish. Eat it, bones and all, too.” Stop looking at me like that! I was telling the truth. I’d already proven it! It was just something I couldn’t explain out loud!
Just like that, I arrived at the city of Tre, still frustrated.
It didn’t really matter, but I hoped everyone in the carriage would please just stop patting my head and calling out, “Good Luck!” to me when I got off the carriage.
It was quite frustrating to see Vidello-san looking at me with warm eyes instead of getting annoyed, like how he was with Kyle-san that one time.
Holding the gifts from the other passengers in our arms, Vidello-san and I walked together to the guard station.
Today’s gatekeeper was the one who had called me ‘tiny’ earlier.
I couldn’t help but rush up to him and ask, “I’m not that small, am I?”
“Yep, you’re tiny. I can even see the hair whorl at the top of your head,” he replied back.
Was it just my imagination, or did I hear Vidello-san’s voice from behind my shocked back as he finally burst into laughter?
Wait! If my eyes lined up with his Adam’s apple, just how much taller was he? About 15 cm…?
It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t disappointed! I was sooo disappointed!
“Well, th-this height difference between us is the perfect height difference for lovers!!”
In a moment of frustration, I shouted out what I had read in a magazine, and, in front of the gatekeepers, was caught in a hot embrace by Vidello-san.
The gatekeepers were staring at us, but I was happy he would do such a thing in front of everyone, so I forgave him.
I like you❣️