Welcome, one and all, to the third part of this lovely work of fiction! For all those interested, there's a new poll on my profile page, asking which of the minor characters from TWEWY you'd most like to see featured in a future chapter. Don't worry about the major characters; they'll all pop in at one point or another. And finally, though I don't want to sound as though I'm dependant on them, reviews do let me know important things, such as whether or not people are actually reading this story. Anyways, on with the show!
Day 3 of 7: Trends
"Gracias, hombres! Enjoy your meal!"
It had been no more than fifteen minutes since Sho and Yodai awoke on the third day of this twisted week. To Sho's enjoyment, they had not been dragged around the city during the night, and were still in front of the Mexican Dog. So, they decided to have a bite to eat, and have just recently left the restaurant.
"So, Steroids, I've gotta ask; what kinda chef were you in the RG?" Minamimoto inquired, after taking a brief sip of his OJ. "Were you mostly into pastries, adding and subtracting materials like yeast and flour to produce a delicious result? Or, were your formulas more of the gourmet variety?"
"I can assure you, my meals were of the highest caliber," Yodai replied, as he steadily held his Definito Chili Dog. "Our current meals would be an appetizer in comparison to some of the dishes I used to cook up."
Sho was about to reply to that, when he realized something. Yesterday, he placed a finger on that 10-yen piece, and moved it around, the mathlete thought. Today, he's holding his meal steadily in order to stop the condiments from falling. But, didn't he say his entry fee was the use of his hands? This calculation certainly doesn't add up…
Before the mathlete could ponder on this tidbit some more, his phone began to ring. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out the small device. "Trnds cn mak R brak U N Shibuya," Yodai read aloud, peering over Sho's shoulder in order to see the message. "Chk yer pkts 4 a pn. Mak it #1 N yr dstrikt, R B hemmd. U gotz 100 minetz."
"…What the iterator?! This looks like it was typed by a kindergartner!" Sho stated. He then cringed, as the timer took that moment to appear on his hand.
"Regardless of the way the message was presented, it appears as though we've got to market some pins," Yodai replied. "Now, could you reach into my shirt pocket and pull out the object I feel pressing against my chest? I'd do it myself, but-"
"You already told me about the 'you gave up your hands' thing on Day 1, Big Guy. I don't need a recap of something that zetta recent," Sho told the man as he, with some hesitance, reached into Mr. Higashizawa's shirt pocket, and pulled out the pin inside it. Looking at it, he was a tad surprised by the design. Unlike his expectations, it was not something strange and unique. Instead, it was the Lolita Bat pin that Lapin Angelique commonly marketed.
"So, how exactly are we going to make these things zetta popular?" Sho asked, looking over the pin. "It's not like we can go up to somebody like Eiji Oji and say, 'Hey, Prince! We need people to think this pin is trendy by the end of a one hour and forty minute deadline, or else we'll die! So, in order to save us, and a whole bunch of other players, we need you to strut around Shibuya wearing these things, since people will buy anything that you're seen wearing!' I mean, there are so many flaws with that equation, I'm not even going to attempt to solve it."
"Simple, stir-fry; WE will be the ones to wear the pins and strut around Shibuya," Yodai replied. "Though we may be invisible, our presence can still be sensed by those around us. Our auras are faint, but still noticeable enough for people to sense things like what styles of clothing and pins we choose to wear. I should add that, by wearing popular equipment and pins, their hidden powers will increase, so this mission should become easier as we progress."
"…Even when you're iterated, it looks like Shibuya is a city of trends," Sho remarked, slightly disappointed that people can feel clothing and pin brands more than they could the spirits of the people wearing the branded stuff.
"Can you believe today's mission?" Shiki asked Rhyme. The pair was at their favorite location to spy on players: the top of the AMX building. "The only thing that girl cares about is trends. Yesterday, it was subliminally advertising a popular new game. Now, it's getting Lapin Angelique some business."
"I'm still cringing after seeing that she typed up the mission herself," Rhyme replied. "I think the only word she spelt correctly was 'Shibuya'."
"I know! And the worst part is," Shiki continued, "that she doesn't respect us Reapers one bit! Why else would she specifically tell us to use only Noise that even the wimpiest players could beat up? It makes me sick!"
"Well, it could be that this is a mission she WANTS everyone to succeed at," Rhyme told her friend.
"What sense does that make?! The Reaper's Game is supposed to challenge souls to see if they're worthy of reincarnation! And by denying us from giving them that challenge, what's the point in being a Reaper? Now, come on!" Shiki told her friend, as she headed towards the exit from the roof. "We're going to prove to her that we can dish out a challenge like the best of them!"
Meanwhile, Sho and Yodai were fighting the Noise local to Spain Hill…well, Yodai was fighting; Sho was still too zetta nervous to be of any help.
"According to this thing," the fan of arithmetic told Yodai as he checked his cell after a battle, "Lapin Angelique is currently the 2nd-most zetta popular in the area. Just one more scuffle ought to do it. It also says that it's become the most popular in every other area, thanks to the other players…that's a good thing, since we can't seem to leave this district, and I doubt the other hectograms can leave their own. And also, the palm of my hand tells me that we've got fifteen minutes left."
"Yes…shame there's no more Noise in the area," Yodai replied. Their auras were more noticeable during combat, so they had picked a fight with all of the local monsters. Sadly for them, L. A. was the last on the trendiness list when they started, so it took many battles and a great deal of time just to get it to its current position.
"Did I hear some gorilla say he needs more Noise to fight?"
Sho looked down the street, thinking he heard a voice. He was correct; two girls, one looking older than the other, were staring at them from the other end of the district. "Let me take an educated guess: you're Reapers, right?" Sho asked, noticing their black wings.
"That's correct," the younger of the two Reapers replied. "I'm Rhyme, and my good friend is named Shiki."
"And you'd better not forget it, you pig!" Shiki piped in, pointing at Sho. "When's the last time you've taken a bath? You smell like you spend all your time in a dump!"
"…Well, it's the best place to find new pieces of scrap to add to my art," Sho told her, not being able to deny that last comment. "Now, do your jobs, and give us something to fight against so we can finish this stupid mission."
"Whatever you say, pig," Shiki told him, a smirk on her lips. With a snap of her fingers, a new Noise symbol appeared before them. However, this one was colored differently than the others. Since Yodai had yet to see a Blue Noise Symbol, as other players had handled any missions with a boss in them before he could, he just shrugged and kicked it. In a flash, the Reapers were gone, and the duo was now facing what looked to be a fox with nine tails.
"Looks like the Reapers are taking a page out of mythology with this guy…that, or some anime series about ninja," Yodai remarked as he stared at the creature before him. "But, I do not care how powerful nine-tailed beasts may be in legends. I'll still charbroil it and finish this mission!"
And so, the incredibly-strong Yodai battled against the foe, while Sho did what he usually did and hid behind a nearby object. However, there was something different about this fight; Mr. Higashizawa wasn't doing too well. The beast itself wasn't too powerful, but it was awfully quick, and many fast, light attacks could be just as damaging as slow, heavy ones. It wasn't too long until it was apparent that Yodai might not be able to win this one singlehandedly.
"…Okay, Sho, get a grip on yourself," Mr. Minamimoto told himself as he stared at his cell's screen. He had figured out how to use it to view the zone his partner was fighting in, and Yodai was on his knees. "It's a being that defies plenty of the laws of physics, and Muscles is barely surviving its attacks, while the beast itself is as fresh as a daisy. There's no possible way that I can do this…but if I just give up, all we've done so for has been for naught! And there's no way I'm going to just sit back and be added to the heap without trying!"
Sho immediately pulled out the pins clipped to the inside of his coat. First, he pressed the one with a can of soda; it was supposed to provide healing, which Yodai could really use right now. Then, he unclipped the one with the image of fire, and held it in his hand. "Yo, Kyuubi!" he called out to the creature as he jumped out from behind the sign he was hiding behind before. "Come and get me!"
As he predicted the unique Noise would do, it dashed directly towards him. Acting fast, Sho unleashed the power of the pin, letting the beast run directly into a wall of flames. Since Yodai had fought back with great strength after being recently rejuvenated, that last attack was enough to eliminate the beast once and for all. As the chef was teleported back into his view, Sho checked his phone again; Lapin Angelique was now the most popular brand in every single district.
"Hmm…though you are still lacking that touch of spicy confidence in your actions, you are still brave enough to face the challenges you doubt you will succeed in. I'm impressed," Yodai told his partner as he held out his left hand, wanting to shake it with Sho's as a sign of trust. When the mathematician glared at his appendage, though, Yodai could tell that his gesture had the opposite effect.
"…I thought so," Sho remarked. "Steroids, it looks to me like your hands are perfectly fine. You zetta lousy liar!"
"…I can explain," Yodai tried to tell his partner, but the living calculator just turned his back to the chef.
"Shut up. Just shut up, and listen to me! You see…I've always been told that I'm not a 'team player' by others," Sho told the more masculine man. "They say that I never cooperate, and that I never try to open up to others. But I've got a reason for that, and it's a zetta good one! It's because the whole world is freakin' garbage! Don't deny it; you know as well as I do that people treat each other like trash! Even on the roughest days of their life, in the worst scenarios, people in this world never give each other a chance! They block each other out, keeping their problems to themselves, not caring whether or not salvation is as far as the next guy they see! You probably think I'm zetta nuts, but if it weren't for people like that…I'd still be alive!"
More words would probably have been spoken, if the two players had not fallen into a coma a second after Sho's outburst.
"Heh, just as planned, yo!" Beat told a friend of his in his crib at the Shibuya River. "Not even the Reapers know what's up, dawg! Since I put Emi in charge this week, they didn't bat an eyelash when she asked the players to market those pins! I'm tellin' ya, sir; things are movin' just as smoothly as you wanted 'em to!"
"Sounds good," the Composer of the Reaper's Game replied, "but what about-"
"Don't sweat it, man!" Beat answered before the question was even fully asked. "Trust me when I say that it's only a matter of time!"
WEEK 1, DAY 3, END