TWGOK: Post Game Content
Chapter 1: After the dust settles
I haven't been here in a very long time. I have my (inexcusable) reasons, that being that I wasn't satisfied with my previous work. Whenever I looked back upon it, I know the story I wanted to write was in the correct direction, at least, generally speaking. However, how I approached my goal was lackluster to say the least. So, while I'm going to reach the same goal for this fanfic, I plan on approaching it in a completely different way. I've spent the last 4-5+ years theory crafting and coming up with ideas dead set on returning here to publish this. Is it going to end up as wasted effort? Only god knows.
Also, I'm going to be upfront about this fanfic and why it even exists, I hated the end to the manga. Although I don't feel it detracted from the series as a whole, it felt extremely rushed and out of nowhere. My plan with this is to fill the unanswered questions the end created us with as well as others that were never answered that had existed for a while. I have spent far too long in agony realizing there will never be a satisfying ending unless the author decides to pull a Blue Exorcist on us and return to revise the ending. While this fanfic is focused on a more conclusive ending to the series, even if it isn't official, I plan on creatively turning it into its own final arc set right after the final chapter of the manga as if the author himself decided to finish the series properly. I just want to provide some closure to this series, with everything resolved.
This isn't what Keima anticipated, not in the slightest. When a game has been successfully finished, that was supposed to be the end of it. Play the soothing BGM with the main heroine and protagonist embraced together with their lips locked together as the camera pans away revealing 'THE END' over the scene. Credits roll and it's on to the next game. At the absolute most, there will be a post-game scene after the events of the game where you get to hear the thoughts of all the other heroines you interacted with over the course of the game, but that is an acceptable exception!
So why is he stuck here having an awkward face off with the girl sitting across from him at the local family diner? Well, it was less of a face off and more like the two of them were just poking each other with a quick glance. However, it was a face off in the sense that the two of them were trying to get the other to say something, anything.
The girl in question he was dealing with is Kosaka Chihiro, who he had just confessed to and rejected by on this very day. The real world, being the joker as usual, played a strange card however and instead of the rejection being the end of it, Chihiro had done a complete 180 on him and asked him out on a tea date just under an hour later.
He had no idea how it turned out like that, Chihiro had always defied his expectations, but that's probably what made him fall for her in the first place. A heroine who he had no expectations of, who was so normal in character design that she could have easily fallen into a large crowd and you wouldn't be able to distinguish her from the rest of the mob. Her parameters were so weak that not even her strongest one was even worth mentioning. She didn't have any special talent nor was she affiliated with any club or activity. In short, she had no routes to be followed. Despite all that, she managed to exceed all his expectations by a wide margin, not just by 'real' girls but even the glorious ideal girls of the gaming world.
Keima couldn't get over what he did to her though. During her initial conquest, he couldn't read any of her obvious flags, focusing solely on trying to avoid his own responsibility and shoving it on some other guy that Chihiro only had a passing infatuation for.
Secondly, during the goddess mess, when he realized that Chihiro was not the host of the final goddess, in the heat of the moment added upon the stress of lurking death flags and a rapidly approaching time limit, he dumped her in the worst possible way possible. A decision he guarantees will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Lastly, he dragged her around as a tool for the conquest of Ayumi right after.
Chihiro who asked Keima out here was acting just as awkward as him. Unlike him, she had good reason though! They were a young couple sitting across from each other at a family diner at 9 in the morning. Not only was it way too early for a date for a couple as young as them, but they were dead silent to each other and would only look over at each other for a moment before swiftly breaking eye contact and looking away again.
To top things off, Katsuragi had a giant box resting on the table with what could possibly be a hundred dusty PFPs jumbled in there. Every once in a while, that boy would dig around in that box and open up the disk tray for the console before creepily giggling in some sort of nostalgia trip. Naturally this led to some odd looks from the old diners here before they went back to their newspapers muttering about the youth being failures in life.
However, it wouldn't be Katsuragi if that creep wasn't immersing himself in some strange fictional world of fictional heroines. A small wistful smile crept up her face before she realized that and dug her face into her cup of Matcha tea that she had ordered for herself. After everything that's happened over the past few weeks, she longed for the past as she sneaked the occasional glance at Keima in class.
He was the Otamega, the most repulsive gaming freak that anybody who had ever laid their eyes upon. He would sit in his seat and do nothing but play his PFP from first thing in the morning to the end of the day. He would only ever get up for lunch where a few curious onlookers reported seeing him making his way to the school rooftop, probably to game in silence.
He never spoke to anybody if he could help it and if he was forced to, usually by a fresh faced teacher on their first few days, he would be sure to make a sly remark to put the teacher in their place, ironic as it may seem. Before long, most teachers would storm out of the room in a fit of rage before learning not to even deal with it anymore. After all, he was a perfect straight A student who didn't disrupt the class, it's not worth the effort.
To anybody else, Katsuragi's actions came off as less than endearing and before long, everyone just knew to avoid him. He was also the subject of ridicule anytime he did anything that deviated from his typical unapproachable behavior. Even if he wanted to clear his name and image, he had a steep uphill battle.
Chihiro shook her head in protest at the thought of Katsuragi suddenly wanting to get more popular, incidentally spilling some of her tea. She liked him for who he was, despite that on the outside, he's rude, insensitive, annoying, sleazy, arrogant, patronizing, inconsiderate, dishonest, untrustworthy, stubborn, tactless, and apparently a playboy to top it all off!
Yet, at the same time, there were times when he proved to be the opposite of all those negatives. Although her time with him was brief, he showed off a side of his that he had never revealed to her, even if it was faked, there was something inside of her that told her he was at least not completely dishonest.
Chihiro was emotionally confused. Did she still like Katsuragi or not? She was certain she did feel something for him, every time he looked her way, her heart would throb, and her face would start to feel hot.
However, she can't deny that what he did to her on the roof of the school on the fateful night of the Mai High Festival was soul crushing. Not a day has passed since then where she hasn't thought back to that moment.
Thinking back on it however, the day after, on the second day of the festival, things were not quite as they seemed. A strange air of tension seemed to envelope Katsuragi as he even forcibly dragged her around against her will.
After that previous night, acting like that was odd in of itself. What really lost her was what followed later into the day. The 'thing' inside Ayumi that Katsuragi was trying to extract, the desperation in which he tried to court her, and the girl in the blue hair donning a menacing scythe who supported this ridiculous activity.
Somehow, she even managed to go completely invisible like some sort of strange Sci-fi flick.
As Chihiro thought about it harder and harder, the more confused she got. Was all of this nonsense the reason he dumped her right then and there? The 'thing' he was seeking was not within her, so he had to jump ship and go for Ayumi?
So maybe he didn't dump her because he was trying to 'pull one on a real girl', but had a very real reason to do so?
But then, couldn't that mean that everything he had said and done for her all in an attempt just to extract this thing from her, and just didn't know she didn't possess it? Was she just a means to an end?
Contradicting herself yet again, Chihiro audibly groaned as he dug her nails into her hair, disforming her already unkempt hair.
It's seemed like forever since the both of them had sat down at the diner. Yet, not a word has been exchanged between the two of them! Katsuragi is the one in the wrong here, he's the one who ought to be explaining himself right about now!
'This is an interrogation, not a date!' Chihiro had to try and remind herself as she boldly reached over the table and clasped her hands over Keima's to try and grab his full attention. Locking eyes for a moment, they both blushed slightly, but at least they had each other's attention.
Keima, having quickly gotten over the brief moment of embarrassment, motioned with his hands towards one of the servers to refill their drinks.
"You want answers, for everything, don't you?" At long last, Keima had finally broken the endless Shiori-like silence between Chihiro and himself.
He knew this was going to happen. For Chihiro's safety, he had willingly dragged her into his business with demons and goddesses. Even if she didn't have the full picture, she knew enough to know that something was up and that he had the answers.
Chihiro stared deep into his eyes and nodded with a serious look. One that was forceful yet patient at the same time. By a simple glance, she could tell he was hesitant to respond as he bit his lip and gripped his coffee mug tightly.
She needed answers though, to put her heart at ease for the first time in weeks.
"Everything, Keima", she pleaded as she brought her face uncomfortably close to his own.
Keima took one last long moment of consideration before he broke hands with Chihiro and leaned back in his seat.
"I'll tell you everything from the beginning to the present, in full honesty, and nothing held back. However, I have three conditions you must accept and adhere to in doing so. If you cannot meet these conditions, we will be done here, and we can go about our normal lives. Are you prepared to hear the conditions out?"
Chihiro internally broke out in a cold sweat hearing Keima's curt proposition. Was she really ready to for him to spill everything?
Even if it hurt her more than she already was? No, she can't be scared. Even if it hurt her, even if he laughed and revealed it all to be some whacky reality prank show just meant to toy with her heart.
She had to find out, otherwise the question still lingering would never die out and the tight constriction surrounding her heart would keep getting tighter and tighter.
She slowly nodded at Keima, staring deep into his eyes and pressed him to continue on with the explanation of the conditions to be laid out.
"1.) I will not tell you anything until an unspecified time tomorrow during or after school."
"WHAT!?" Chihiro suddenly lashed out across the table grabbing his shirt collar in the process.
"How long are you going to hold out on this for!? Do you know how much I'm hurting inside with every passing day? You pretended to fall in love with me. You set up the mood, listened to me sing me heart out, led me to the rooftop, and then… and then you just abandoned me." She tightened her grip on Keima's shirt with tears starting to swell in her eyes.
"The nerve! Even after that, you came back to me and demanded that I help you chase another skirt?! My best friends at that! And now you just want me to sit around even longer. I don't know what to think anymore. I don't care if it might only be one more day, I don't know how much longer I can hold on like this before I just completely lose it!"
Chihiro was causing quite the commotion in the diner as all the other diners and even the servers holding trays of food and drink had stopped to look over at what appeared to be a lover's quarrel, which honestly wasn't too far off the mark.
Keima could only look at her apologetically, but wouldn't say a word, he just wanted her answer.
Her breathing had become ragged and her clenched fist had paled from her tightening grip. She suddenly released it, sitting back down with her covered her face with her hands.
"Fine, I'll manage one more day. But you have to accept my own single condition as well, right now." She muttered under her breath.
"You have to answer this one question truthfully, none of your strange words games neither. Just like what you did for Ayumi back then."
Keima recoiled a slight bit. The one person who could throw him off his tempo wanted him to play by one of her own rules. There was too much information for her to digest. The demons, Elsie, the Runaway Spirit Squad, Haqua, the Goddesses, Vintage, Satyr, time travel, the many conquests he's performed, Kanon's stabbing, just to name a few.
He wasn't sure what she was going to ask, that's just how Chihiro is. Whatever it is though, it's was all very touchy and confidential subjects that he wasn't prepared to discuss with her just yet, hence why he proposed the condition he previously mentioned.
If it's for her sake though, he was just going to have to bite the bullet and answer the question. He hoped she was mentally prepared for whatever she was about to drag herself into as he sighed deeply and told her to hit him with the question.
Chihiro slowly lifted her hands from her face, revealing a watery mess from the stream of tears running down her face.
"Do you love me?" she asked softly, turning her face away as if expecting the worst from him.
Keima was shocked at what she asked and even more shocked as he realized that he was shocked by such a simple question he should have seen coming. Was this the effect of the real world finally seeming to worm its way into his heart?
It was the same question Ayumi had asked on the Akanemaru ship on the night he got 'married' to her. In fact, there were a lot of similarities between then and now. It was an incredibly intelligent play on Chihiro's part.
If he had to answer the same question in the same way he did for Ayumi, he had to answer truthfully instead of answer it in a way that benefitted one of his conquests.
When Ayumi presented the question, he did promise to answer truthfully which he did follow up on to which he denied his love for her, something that would normally be considered lethal to a conquest. However, as the God of Conquest, he was able to pull through anyway and reveal the final goddess.
This time was no difference as he answered Chihiro's pressing question.
"I love you." He confessed for the second time now; his eyes unwavering as he stared straight at her.
Chihiro shot up like a rocket and leaned over the table, her hands slamming down on the table causing the now refilled tea and coffee to shake and nearly spill over on the table.
"Again!" She shouted; her face was now just inches from his own.
"I love you." he repeated matter-of-factly.
Her eyes now glistened as she pressed Keima yet again to say it once again.
"Dammit, I've already said it enough, but I'll keep saying it if I really have to. I love you, Kosaka Chihiro!" He stood up also leaning over the table slightly to meet her own face.
Some cheering and some whistling could be heard in the background. The elderly people who had been there the whole time who were previously annoyed and insulted at their presence and strange antics were now ecstatic at the scene befalling their eyes.
The servers and waitresses bunched up as well, seemingly forgetting their jobs, as they squealed in delight.
Even one of the chefs in the background overheard the commotion and offered a thumbs up to Keima.
Keima and Chihiro looked over at everyone before realizing their close proximity and quickly forced each other away. In perfect unison, they both grew a large blush on their faces.
"Ahem." He coughed into his fist as he went to sit down. "Now that we have that out of the way, let's move to my second condition."
"2.) You are to maintain absolute secrecy with anything I tell you. Whether that be with complete strangers or even your best friend, Ayumi."
Although a little ticked off at him for calling Ayumi by her first name, after what she witnessed on the Akanemaru, she at least understood a little bit.
But that's only because she was elated for what happened just a moment a go!
It was also a bit disheartening to hear that she would have to hide things from her. She will accept this however, unless he tries to pull another stunt like manipulating Ayumi's heart the way he did last time.
Chihiro nodded her head in response to his condition, to which he was relieved at the prospect that there was no drama behind this one.
"3.) You are not to get involved with anything dangerous. In cases where there is a potential danger, you are not allowed to get involved with it. I can inform you of anything that happens, but I'm not letting you get physically involved in these situations. I do not care about your feelings in this matter. You can't sway me in this matter so don't even try."
'He must be referring to those masked people who were hunting them down during the festival.' Chihiro thought to herself as she remembered the "film club shoot" that was obviously not what he and the blue haired girl said it was.
Chihiro did not want to approve of him voluntarily putting himself in harm's way while all she did was watch. She started to retort in protest before Katsuragi stomped once and narrowed his eyes. He was not even going to hear her out on this one, huh?
Disapprovingly, she frowned, but accepted these terms.
"Although this is heavily one sided as usual, I suppose I'll accept your conditions."
A rare sight, but she actually could see Katsuragi's shoulders fall slightly as he let out a hefty sigh as if a great burden had been let off his shoulders.
Having been there for way longer than a normal couple as well as the burning eyes of many elderly couples piercing the back of the skull, both Chihiro and Keima decided that it was probably best to head out now.
Keima payed the bill for the two of them as they headed out the door.
Chihiro on the other hand, quickly ran back to give a more favorable tip to the waitress as Keima is way too stingy in these types of situations. She immaturely stuck out her tongue at him when he wasn't looking for being so rude.
They walked together on their way home. It was silent between the two of them, just like how it was when they first arrived at the diner earlier.
While Chihiro was deep in her thought, fixated on what Keima is going to reveal the next day, while Keima was being himself for the first time in a while.
By that of course, he finally managed to have a reasonable excuse to delve into his games again. He looked a bit awkward trying to manage a heavy box of consoles while playing his game, but of course he managed as always.
It was finally time for the part where the two of them see each other off at the fork in the road. Chihiro headed down her road waving good-bye, looking back at the awkward boy still fumbling around with his PFP.
She turned her head back away from him ready to head home as Katsuragi suddenly spoke up and surprised her with what he asked.
"Do you love me?" he asked suddenly looking at the ground in a bashful manner. He was so unexpectedly embarrassed; he even froze mid-button mash.
She turned her head back around to meet his face. This was completely out of left field, for someone so confident in himself, to see him asking for affirmation on something, especially when it comes down to the subject of love is just so uncharacteristic of him.
'He really had changed for the better, hadn't he?' Chihiro internally smiled. Although she liked his previous carefree attitude and unnatural confidence in himself, she was elated to see him open up a bit more. Not too much though!
Given everything that's happened however, despite knowing now that Keima truly did love her, there was a lot on her platter, emotionally speaking. She had too much to think about, and she was sure there was going to be more in the upcoming days. It was time for her to leave Keima waiting for her answer.
"I'll need time to think about it, so I'll throw a 'maybe' your way for now!" she gleamed back at him raising a 'V' with her fingers. Chihiro sprinted off into the distance not looking for the reaction from Keima.
It wasn't his preferred answer, but it was all he was going to get for now it seems.
Wait a minute? Was she really going to keep him waiting for her answer? No! The protagonist is the one who's supposed to do that to the Heroine! In games that is! Damn that Chihiro, did she discover his weakness when he's on the defensive?
He already had dealt with Yui always striking him on the offensive. Even if Yui gets switched out for Chihiro, he can't have her being the one dominating him in a relationship. If love is war, he was going to have to be the one who wins!
How could he call himself as The God of Conquest otherwise?
Keima had finally returned home, sweating of course after carrying the heavy box all the way home. He could finally relax for the whole day. He had no more real-world obligations for now, nor the possibility for one unexpectedly creeping up on him for once.
He sat down in his favorite gaming chair in his room, ready to boot up all the consoles and begin his well-deserved break.
Unexpectedly though, he couldn't start up his consoles. No, nothing was broken, the power wasn't out, Elsie obviously didn't barge into his room about loose soul business, and there was no way in hell he just decided not to play his games for once!
What stopped Keima from playing were his own lingering questions. Was it really all over? It didn't feel right.
Yes, he was no longer a buddy of the Loose Souls team, there was no threat around himself or anyone he knew, and the world had turned back to normal again. Though he really needed to test that entering school grounds wouldn't bug out the real world again.
He still had a lot of questions regarding New Hell that had to be answered.
Keima looked over towards his desktop PC and open the desk drawer the monitor sat upon where inside laid the foundation to all his questions.
The now removed and ineffective purple choker that held him a captive of the real world for so long.
Ok, a bit longer than I predicted, but that's a good thing, I guess. I planned on each chapter averaging roughly 3,000ish words (minus author notes) but this one managed to nearly be 1,000 extra words. It's a good start, especially since it focuses mostly on Chihiro, a character I wasn't confident I could right much about.
That being said, I'm not much of a writer normally if it wasn't obvious already. If you can tell that I don't have an established 'writing style' or you see some serious grammatical mistakes or run-ons, there's your reason. This is probably the first thing I've actually attempted in the past 5 years. So basically, my first fanfic since I left the other one.
Again with "that being said", my previous fanfic was called 'The real Ideal Heroine' back in 2014ish I think? This fanfic was originally based on the scraps of that story I abandoned but is looking more like a complete transformation from that. Though the general end of the two stories that I have planned lines up quite nicely. It's kind of like what I eluded to in the beginning notes that could basically be TLDR'd as "Same(ish) ending, different approach." That fanfic was originally a Keima/Elsie paring, but don't expect that for this fanfic.
I'm not sure how many chapters I can reach, especially if I'm dishing out 3-4k words per chapter, again, I'm not a great writer. My stretch goal is roughly 50-80 chapters, but we can only wait and see. Depends how much quality content I can fit in while still maintaining the main goal for this fanfic.
Yes, after 5 years, I confirm that the 'Real Ideal Heroine' is abandoned. Should have updated to say that a long time ago, but I (probably) still had hope that I could somehow revive it from the dead.
Rereading my previous fanfic recently, I couldn't even bear to read it fully as it was that poorly written. Hell, who knows though? Maybe after finishing this story, I will come back to read it in another few years just to struggle to comprehend how I could write something this bad.
I also had a TWGOK/SAO fanfic crossover called 'The World Kayaba Only Knows' around the same time, but that's cancelled as well for poor writing on my part and because I'm not really much into SAO anymore. Not jumping on the everlasting hate train for SAO though, I'm enjoying Alicization a fair bit and looking forward to the second part. Also, loving the abridged series still that is still going, even after what? 7 years?
But what I am into currently… WATCH SYMPHOGEAR. There, I've done my part. Criminally underrated series (except the first season) in the west with 5 seasons that just ended. Fairly high rated series (especially the final season), not 'yet another Isekai', beef stroganoff, great transformations (again, especially the final season), great music, great characters, great action (but "don't try to bring your logic into this" plot).
Sorry for the extremely long Author Notes section, especially here at the bottom, it shouldn't be that long normally, but it's the first chapter so I feel like I have a bunch to talk about.
R&R and all that stuff of course. I seriously love reviews, please, please, leave reviews. I just like reading opinions, criticism, questions, and whatever else you have to say! I'll try to reply when I can, either by PM or in the next Author's notes of course!
Anyway, on to the next stage!