“So umm, tomorrow morning is a long way away so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow in real time.” You said sadly as you looked from Migata back to the fire. “I kinda like it here, it’s a bit of an escape from reality… but into another reality…”
“I know what you mean.” Migata said with a laugh, “that’s what I like about it, you can be anyone here, live an alternate life almost.”
“This is what I need.” You said with a sigh.
“What do you mean?” Migata asked softly, his large blue eyes watching you tenderly.
“Well,” you said as you dropped your gaze to the mug of hot drink in your lap, “I haven’t really lived a normal life, I’ve been cultivated since my quirk manifested so I don’t have any fun memories, well fun as in; going to the shops with friends, hanging out and doing dumb stuff… it’s all been study or clinical work.”
Migata smiled thoughtfully.
“I’ll make it happen for her, I’ll give her so many memories in this game that it’ll make up for everything she missed out on in real life.” He thought as his gaze fell to his own hot drink in hand.
“Although.” You said with a chuckle as you looked back up with him, “I’ve got plenty of memories with Hansu.”
“Oh?” Migata asked curiously.
“One time I programmed his computer to make a fart noise every time he pressed the space bar.” You said with a laugh.
Migata chuckled happily.
“That is something I would do.” He said with a bright smile, “life is too short to not be silly and make jokes.”
“Hansu has been with me for a long time.” You said with a tender smile on your lips, “so a lot of the fun is with him.”
“Do, uh, do you have feelings for Hansu?” Migata asked softly, immediately worried that your heart belonged to another.
“WHAT?” You gasped with surprise, “Hansu is 30! No, no, no, I don’t see him like that.” You shook your head rapidly.
“Ok.” Migata replied, brightening immediately upon hearing your words.
“Umm, so what about you? What do you like about RFO?” You asked, settling back in your chair. “Have you met anyone special in game?”
“If you’re asking if I have a girlfriend, the answer would be no.” Migata replied with a wink and your heart skipped a beat.
“Ok.” You said with a shy smile and looked down.
“I like this game for the same reason you said, it’s an escape.” He said with a smile, “I’ve worked hard with my friends to clear the floors here, each new floor is a new level to explore and I love it.”
“I’m looking forward to exploring with you.” You said with a bashful smile at him.
“So am I.” He replied with an equally soft smile. “You’re the first person I’ve bought to this house too, I only just recently purchased it.”
“Oh really?!” You commented, “why this level?”
“Well this level doesn’t appear to be guarded by a boss?” Migata explained, “other players, including myself, have seen extremely large footprints in the snow but we haven’t seen what is making them yet.”
“That’s a bit suspicious isn’t it?” You asked, cocking your head curiously, “are all floors/levels guarded?”
“Not necessarily.” Migata replied, taking a sip of his drink. “The second house that Butterfli3 has is on a level that isn’t guarded; level 22.”
“He had 2 houses?” You asked with surprise.
“Well yes, he has a house on level 22 and another on level 44. He and his in-game wife, O/N, live mainly on level 44, I’ll have to introduce you to them, I know them in-game and in real life too.” Migata said proudly, “they’re both really nice people, I’ve known Butterfli3 since childhood.”
“You have?!” You gasped, “we were trying to track him down to help with this mission but he ghosted us, so that’s how you got the job.” You said with a smile.
“And I’m glad I did.” He said again with a smile.
“He’s so cute!” You thought as you smiled gently back at him.
All of a sudden there was a loud roar from outside and the house shook.
“Get down.” Migata ordered as he quickly sat his drink down and grabbed you, taking your drink and putting it on the table nearby before crouching you down and covering you protectively.
“What is that?” You whispered fearfully.
“I think it might be the thing leaving big footprints.” Migata said as he stood up slightly and crept to a window to look out.
“Can you see anything?” You whispered to him from where you were ducked down behind the lounge.
He shook his head.
“It’s starting to get darker outside.” Migata replied in a hushed tone, “I can’t see very well.”
Just then there was another roar and the sound of thumping footsteps.
“M-Migata.” You whimpered, everything feeling so real it was starting to scare you.
“It’s ok, it’s ok.” He said in a calming voice, “dont stress. Hansu, will log you out otherwise. If you want to go though, we can log out now but I want to see what it is so I can figure out how to take it down.” He said, listening to the loud footsteps outside.
“YOU WANT TO TAKE IT ON?!” You whispered harshly with a mortified look on your face, “that thing sounds HUGE!”
“It’s gotta be the boss or something of this level, imagine how many experience points we could get if we defeated it.” He said excitedly.
You looked at him, dumbfounded.
“You’re serious right now?” You deadpanned.
“Yep.” He said softly with a smile, “I’m a hero in training, this is good practice.”
“You’re crazy.” You said with a disbelieving chuckle and head shake, “so what do you want to do?”
“Tell you what, I’ll make us both invisible then we’ll sneak out of the house and try to see this thing, then we can go back inside and log out and talk strategy on how to take it down.”
“Ok?” You replied hesitantly, “what if it can see us somehow?”
“It won’t be able to because I’m a level 75 combat mage.” Migata replied. “My stats are high.”
“Ok, I trust you.” You replied, “let’s go find it.”
Migata cast an invisibility cloak over the two of you and you both stood up, with you; hesitantly following him to the front door.
“Stay close now.” He said softly as you both exited the house.
You stepped out into the biting cold, fingers gripping into the back of his shirt as you pulled yourself in behind him, peaking around him to see if you could see whatever it was that was laying claim to this level.
Another roar from nearby and Migata froze.