There's two ways you choose to live. One, you seek comfort with your friends and family, confide all your feelings to someone you could see, hear, touch. They existed right in front of you, you knew that they'd be there when you needed them.

Two, you don't have friends, your family is on another continent, with no connection of any sort, or comfort, and all their words feel empty. You then spend all your time as a lonely recluse, playing games and the stock market as you lay on bed.

The main character of our little story was a perfect example of the latter. After getting dumped by his girlfriend, Honda Kiku seemed to have shut out the entire world, and only focus on himself. He wasn't one to socialize either, so you could consider him a shut in.

Right when he was thinking about his poor, pathetic self, his phone beeped. It was an update for World's Game, one of his favourite games. It was an MMORPG where you played in a server and made alliances and annexed fictional countries which belonged to other players.

"It's done." he said. "Now, it's time to battle."

He opened the World's Game application, only to be greeted by a white haired knight.

"Hello sir, hope you are doing well, like me."

"Huh, what do you mean by that? Also, where's my default anime girl?"

"That thick chick? I don't know." The knight replied, nonchalantly. Kiku gasped in surprise, after all, it wasn't normal to see game characters respond to your voice.

"Anyway, what's this update about?" He asked, now desperate to know more about the game's new specs.

"Oh, yeah, I'll get to it right away. But before that, could you verify your details?" the guide replied. He then pointed to two blanks. "Username and password please?"

"Okay." He agreed. He then pressed the first space, intended for his username, but the keyboard didn't appear on the screen. He then asked, "So am I supposed to tell you my username? And pass?"

"Basically." The other replied. "So, shoot. Your username?"

"Kiku underscore 112." He replied. "No spaces."

"Okay, that's quirky. Now for your password."

"Password."

"Yes?" the character onscreen asked.

"No, that's the password. Password. No caps." Kiku replied, now embarrassed.

"Wow, that's not creative. At all."

"Can we finish with all of this?" He asked, now impatient.

"Sure, but before that, a little questionnaire."

"Seriously?"

"You can skip if you want, but it is a request from the devs. They need to know how an elite player such as yourself feels about the game."

"Elite, huh? Guess it wouldn't do much harm. Any other perks?"

"First question. Do you care for a living being at all?"

"I mean...not really.. "

"Oh...anyway, second question. Would you like your life to have adventure? You know, spice?"

"Hmm...why not? As long as I won't be ridiculed for it."

"Ahh, you are the kind that needs society to accept you. Sad life. Anyway, last question. It's important." The knight replied, his voice a little lower.

"Yes, do ask. Fast." The gamer replied.

"If you died by any chance, do you think anyone will miss you? Or, will anyone miss you, at least? In short, does anyone care for your existence?"

The question was pretty serious, Kiku had to admit.

"My parents aren't really fond of me, I'm pretty useless, and all the people I know try to distance themselves from me. So, I guess nobody would miss me... and I won't miss anyone either, like that.." he replied, his voice a bit shaky now.

The registration portal was then suddenly replaced by a competition form.

"Now, all you need to do is sign, and you'll be registered. Keep in mind that you are to play as 'Japan' by default. Your goal is to conquer as many countries as you can. The ones who lose will lose their former accounts for a while."

You serious? Kiku thought. It wasn't really the best penalty, but it wasn't the worst. I mean, there's a lot of other games you can play, right? "But what if you win?"

"If you win, you'll have a special medal to take back to your headquarters! Along with that, you will place first on the leaderboard, and an entire treasure trove of game cash! That's pretty awesome, huh?"

"Well, sounds good. When do we begin?"

"Right away." the NPC replied, as the screen began radiating a weird light..and then...


Author's notes:

MMORPG: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Basically an online roleplaying game with lots of players. Online.

NPC: Non-playable character, a character who normally has only one route to go in the game. Mostly a guide.

If my English sucks, I'm sorry, it's a third language for me.

Also, yeah, I'm back! I plan to update some of my other books as well, so do look out for new chapters and stuff.