Part 4: The Wife is a Summoner
Yuuto then use 『Instant Movement』 and teleport to just near the Upper Garden. There seems to be a quite a commotion going in one of its corner since a numbers of Castle guards and staffs was gathering on it. When one of them seen Yuuto, they open a path while giving a deep bow. A 『Guardian』 NPC with long bluish hair in frilly and lacy maid outfit then come out from the path, bows, and greets Yuuto.
“Greetings, Lord Highness.”
“Would you care to inform me about what happens here Veniosa?”
Of course Yuuto knows this because there is a nametag in her chest.
“Yes. Lord Highness! After I greet Her Lady Highness Melbiena’s arrival in the Grand Gallery, for unknown reason Her Lady Highness suddenly ran to the outside and disappeared from our sight. After asking the cooperation of Castle’s staffs and guards, we finally located Her Lady Highness in the Upper Garden lying exhausted and immobile. Several staffs had tried to offer help to Her Lady Highness, but she denied all of them and ordered us to wait for Lord Highness Yusis to come and pick Her Lady Highness.”
Yuuto put his palm on his face, ‘This Melbiena, really...’
“Thank you Veniosa for the information. Please ask the staffs and guards to go back to their post. You too, Veniosa, are also relieved from this and can resume your usual duties. Thank you for your hard work. Now, please leave us alone.”
In the now vacant garden corner, Yuuto move toward the lying young maiden of tender age that sleeps like a sleeping beauty. Well... She is a beauty. With her dark straight hair that flowing gently caressed by the wind, a small symmetrical face, and the robe that can’t hide the perfect curves silhouette, it can’t be denied that the young maiden is a great beauty, once again for emphasis because this is important, a great beauty. Really a Yamato Nadeshiko incarnation, in the flesh. Even if Yuuto never saw the ‘real’ her before, Yuuto’s gut hunch said this is Melbiena, no doubt about it. Rather, she must be Melbiena. I mean she was a cute girl! Damn it!
“What are you doing Melbiena?”
Yuuto asked as if he was to scold a misbehaving daughter.
“Oh, Dear Husband (Danna-sama)!”
Said Melbiena when she opens her eyes. Yuuto is a little surprised by how Melbiena knew his identity when she can’t see the floating name text now or saw his real face before. But based on his experience with Melbiena he better doesn’t ask.
“I only was running for some time... But I can’t feel my leg anymore... *sob*sob*”
The last sobbing part is unnecessary, Yuuto want to retort.
“I don’t really understand. But you can’t walk?”
“Yeah... The Stamina Bar is empty... The regeneration is just to slow...”
Melbiena raise her hand to touch a window that she only can see. Yuuto only wondering how long did she run until all her stamina depleted. Yuuto shakes his head in disbelieve.
“Your job is magic-oriented so it’s a given that the regeneration is slow...”
Melbiena main job is a 『Summoner』 which although really powerful and versatile, had the lowest physical capabilities among the jobs.
“So... Please give me the princess’ carry!”
Melbiena raise her both hands while giving a pleading stare.
“That’s unreasonable you know?”
Yuuto evade by using his cold reasoning.
“If that... Please give me the piggy back!”
She changes her attack course.
“I had Hi-Stamina Potion in my inventory. Let me give it for you...”
Yuuto evaded once more time.
“You are very heartless to your wife, Dear Husband.”
Melbiena now launch a direct attack on his personality.
“We only married in the game.”
“But it seems the game had become reality... So...”
His counterattack is not effective and using this chance, Melbiena launch a killing blow.
“I get it... I get it... Is piggy back okay?”
The lost Yuuto, conceded and offered his back to Melbiena.
“Yes! My dear husband is the kindest in the world.”
Melbiena happily get into Yuuto wide back and hug him tightly from behind. Yuuto could feel something soft pressing his back. The fresh scent from Melbiena that entering his nose and the stroking hair that comes from a beautiful face that rest on his shoulder. These makes his calm state of mind started to have a very large ripples, scratch that, this is a tsunami. This is really bad for his mental health in various obvious reasons.
“Hah.... You sure are troublesome, but since you are cute, I forgive you.”
This is not wrong, 『Cuteness is Justice』 after all, this is Ultimate Life Fact #1.
Although he can’t see it, Melbiena face is now had a tomato cherry strawberry apple, etc red color in it.
“NETTOJUU JUST EXPLODE!!!”
An inhuman voice rang in the Upper Garden. Yuuto can see various people watch Yuuto and Melbiena from the veranda of the『Central Round Room』.
“Ah... That’s must be Stellahymne...”
Melbiena laughed a little.
“Voice Amplification Magic? That’s something not in the game. And what the heck with Nettojuu?”
Yuuto tilt his head.
“Some kind of monster (juu)?”
Mebiena also tilt her head.
Several minutes ago,
After Yuuto said that he would fetch Melbiena, Saki asked what kind of person is she. So, Ichiko as the one who hold the highest playing hours after Yuuto and Chie explained the outline of Yusis and Melbiena relationship, while they were observing Yuuto and Melbiena’s interaction in the Upper Garden from the 『Central Round Room』 veranda.
“So in short... When the 〚Third Update: Elysium Bastion〛 is released; RAHO had a new feature of 『Marriage』. There are no real benefits from it other than several exclusive instances, quest, skill, equipment and shared optional item storage, but nothing that game breaking or overpowered.”
Saki, Mizuki and Tsumiki are interested in it, since they only played after the Fifth Update rolled.
“Still, many real life couple, who also play the game, utilizes this new feature. Players even married with each other just to enter the exclusive instance or quest and then break up after they finished it.”
“That’s why the game which allow this feature just go to hell...!!!”
Stella is getting irritated looking at Yuuto and Melbiena.
“Now... now... Nozomi... Don’t interfere in the story.”
Ichiko said while ignoring Stella’s protest of ‘Don’t call me by my real name’.
“But after the 〚Fourth Update: Cosmic Crusade〛 released, the marriage fad is no longer popular. As the Marriage NPC is located in 『Heaven River Bridge』 an area for intermediate players, many new players didn’t know about it if they didn’t read the In Game Manual or the Official Website. The husband-wife number is also declining and only few remaining.”
Because many players dissatisfied by what they considered a ‘worst expansion ever’, many veteran player stop playing and the new players ignored the older features, marriage is become an obscure entity.
“So... who propose to whom?”
Tsukimi asked with ‘I’m curious’ expression. The three girl’s eyes are glittering. They still in age where they still interested with romance anyway...
“Yes... yes... How was it... Under the moonlight? Candlelight Dinner? Midnight Sonata? Confession under The Legendary World Tree?”
Saki is very enthusiastic; well, she really loves romance talk...
“This is back when RAHO is just a game you know...”
Ichiko chuckles. In the game it was impossible to make complex gesture, since the characters are only manipulated by controller button.
“The story is not that romantic...”
Ichiko then resumes her story.
“That Summer one year ago, Yusis was asked by a certain guild member to imbue an effect to his armor set. The effect he requested is 『100% Confusion Abnormal Status Resist』 since he wants to try clear 『Miasmatic Fog Trench』 instance without taking any status recovery item in large numbers for the purpose of optimizing materials farming outcome.
The usual catalyst needed for that effect is a rare drop (~8%) from 『Cerebralich』, an Instance Boss in 『Cursed Tower of Lexpy』. As Yusis hate that instances tendency to reduce physical damage by several percent depending on in-game Moon Cycle, he chooses to procure a relative easier alternative catalyst. That is the super-rare drop (~2%) from 『Fluffy the Terrible』, an Instance Boss from the exclusive couple instance 『SugarHoneyMoon Castle』. So he needs to find a 『partner』 for 『Marriage』.”
The three girls are now entranced by Ichiko story.
“Well... Yusis had known Melbiena for some time and had help her raising her DSL at several occasions. As her main job is a 『Summoner』, she can go offensive or defensive depending on the situation. So she is a perfect partner candidate. Then Yusis asked her to marry him, and she accepted.”
The guild at that time was in commotion on this, the Guild Master even threw a sudden raiding party to commemorate this event and giving out high-tier equipment to Yusis and Melbiena.
“But as her DSL is still insufficient to enter 『SugarHoneyMoon Castle』, Yusis had to help her raise her DSL for some time. Even after they can enter the instance, as the drop chance is quite low, they spend almost one week raiding it together many times. When it finally drop, the guild member that asked for it before said he didn’t need any more since he had bought some armor from the Player Bazaar. Yusis was outraged and even stop playing for some time. Even after he actively played again and never interested in Couple Instance anymore, Yusis didn’t divorce Melbiena. They even raiding instance together in the weekend. It can be said those two people relationship is very good.”
It was around this time that the girls’ eyes become enlarged and sparkled when they see Yuuto giving Melbiena a piggy back. It was during this time that Stella yelled out her soul cry.
(The real reason Yuuto stop playing that Summer is because Yuuto is preoccupied with his college paper that makes him had less time to play, and he always log-on if Melbiena call him using in-game messenger function.)
The past - 『Heaven River Bridge』
The electronic rendering displays heavenly scenery of a gigantic wooden bridge that spans atop a river made from millions glittering stars between nebula clouds like landscape. Two pulsating large stars can be seen dancing in the star-filled celestial dome above the bridge.
In the middle of it, there are two avatars standing near a NPC who wears glistening Hanfu clothing. It was Yusis (a rather macho man with spiky hair and large scar in his left eye) and Melbiena (a rather tall serene looking Alfar woman with metallic blue and intricately braided long hair that surrounds her Nautillus-like swirly horn). They ignored the other players who showered their screen with random message since they both are in a profound yet serene conversation.
“Well... I already tried to consider about several other people but it’s still no good...”
When Yusis think he should get married to access the Couple Instance, he thinks that he needs a marriage partner that is strong enough to complete the rather hard instance raid just by two of them. It would be great if Iusticia, his usual duo raid partner, was a female character but it couldn’t be helped.
Yusis already considered 5 potential candidates. Stellahymne, Renaria, Applehaus, Fortemicyn, and Melbiena.
Stella although a very strong mage but her defense is fragile like glass; Yusis can’t spend his whole time protecting Stella in mob heavy instance like SugarHoneyMoon Castle. So she wasn’t chosen.
Renaria is a Peruvian in real life, the time difference makes Yusis think it would be hard synchronizing raiding time with her, so she also wasn’t chosen.
Applehaus is Chinese so the time difference is not large, but her job is 『Artificier』 who didn’t specialize in fighting, so she also was out.
At first Fortemycin the 『MagicKnight』 said she is interested, but suddenly real life commitments make her shirking at the last time.
So only Melbiena is left.
“In the end, the reasoning in my mind still results in choosing you above the others.”
Melbiena is a 『Summoner』. Depending on playing style, Summoner is very versatile as it can change it summoned 『Eidolon』in the middle of battle from offensive ones or defensive ones. Melbiena also had Oracle as her other job, that can use Star Magic that had large Area of Effect that useful for mob-control and had some healing magic capabilities. Even if 『Summoner』 defense is very crappy, Melbiena didn’t need to fight directly. It’s perfect; Melbiena is the one Yusis is seeking.
“Even if it bothersome for you. Please accept it. If you reject this proposal, I think I won’t ask anyone anymore.”
If Melbiena reject this proposition, Yusis think he just gather the material directly from Player Bazaar, even if the price is ridiculously high and the supply is hard to come by.
But Yusis didn’t know that the barrage of easily misunderstand sentence is making Melbiena inner heart into turmoil she never seen before.
“If you okay with ‘the me’ that is still inexperienced and full of flaw.”
At the time, due to various real life reasons, Melbiena had a very low confidence in herself. She didn’t think that there would be someone that would sincerely need her; she even thinks that she only a burden for her family.
“It’s okay; in the future I think you will become splendidly. After all, there will be me that will always guide and help you.”
Yusis think that Melbiena mean her low DSL and rather limited and weak 『Eidolon』repertoire, if it just that Yusis can help her raise the DSL and collect more stronger 『Eidolon』, since Yusis had several high DSL 『Summoner』 friend that he could asking at. Melbiena can and will become a high DSL 『Summoner』, he’ll make sure of it. Ho-boy... He never has been so wrong.
“If... if that so... Then I... I’ll... Please take care of me for now and forever.”
If only Melbiena character can perform Mitsuyubi, but the game lack the animation frame for it, so Melbiena only make a light bow.
(Mitsuyubi is a very formal way of bowing.)
“Huh? Okay... I guess... So we’re going to married then?”
“Yes! May I call you Dear Husband now?”
“Going straight to roleplaying? Sure... why not? We are going to husband and wife anyway. Now or later is not different for me.”
“I’m so happy right now...”
In the background some fireworks then lighted up like a clichéd drama scene.
Back to the present reality.
“What are you thinking? Smiling by yourself in my back?”
Yuuto asked Melbiena that was smiling happily while being carried in his back. She’s light, maybe because Yuuto Physical Stats is very high. Also, whatever happen, 『Woman’s Weight Is Light! Never the opposite』 was something that was ingrained in Yuuto since his middle-school days as Life Fact No #5.
“Un... Just thinking about the happy past.”
“It’s nothing that Dear Husband should worry about. Let’s meet the others, isn’t that what you come for?”
“Hold a second.”
Yuuto activated 『Instant Movement』 from the menu.
Yuuto thinks that Melbiena surprised voice was rather cute!