Back in her original world…
She was bored. Since her mother was interested in fashion, she took up design classes and even became a model. She had the figure for it. Every day, people looked at her and praised her. Everything was as it should. However, at home, she was a total lazy good-for-nothing. All day she would spend reading, playing games, or hanging out online.
When she went in to model, that was to appease the rest of the world. No one liked others who were geeky or nerdy. Yet, everyone did it. They all had a favorite thing that they would go crazy for. So why was she distanced for her enjoyments? As a girl, she should be thinking about cooking, dresses, and makeup, right?
Wrong. She liked stories. She liked how things were supposed to be. The clichés were her favorite part. She liked the constant scenes that remained the same no matter who wrote the story. Of course, there were often times where people went against the cliché, but it was still in the realm of following a script, the person just didn’t react properly.
Of course, the script would be the same, regardless of the lines, so the clichés in those stories happened continuously. She wasn’t too upset.
It was the stories that resembled stories she liked but ended up tossing the script away and adding completely different scenes that she wasn’t prepared for that made her upset. She hated surprises, she hated changes in her schedule. She had to have things go her way.
So when she arrived at the location for her next shoot and no one came, she was frustrated. The crew was stuck in traffic so they decided to call it off as rain was supposed to arrive shortly.
She was left outside in the rain by herself. She would have to take the bus back home if she wanted to sleep in her bed. However, she didn’t bring the money as she expected the crew to drop her off like they normally did.
She took a seat under the cover of the gazebo in the park and waited for a ride. She had called her mom, but she too was stuck in traffic. So while she thought she was alone, she began reading a new novel that was criticized for its overuse of templates and ideas from other novels.
“Oh! It’s here! The newbie adventurer has to deal with a veteran!”
“Ack, that cliché? You know, ‘Don’t underestimate us adventurers, kid!’ It got old fast. If you want to use that trope, make it a legitimate hurdle or challenge they have to complete before joining, not some showdown with a ruffian.”
She was surprised by the words of a young man and turned around. Sitting beside her was a chubby guy with an apron filled with…balloons?
“Uh…yes. That is why I like it.”
“Huh? Look, in the first place, it is common knowledge that joining the adventurer’s guild is dangerous and can and will result in death. There is no point to have such a thing anyway. Of course, there will always be stupid people, so I can understand if someone wants to be a nice guy. However, in most cases, they are ruffians that just want to cause trouble!”
“So? What works doesn’t need to be fixed.”
“It is because it is broken that it needs to be fixed. For example, a favorite novel of mine is the one where the main character is already known to be strong, so when someone pulls that cliché, the others stop him.”
“But then the main character can’t showcase his skills in a cool manner!”
“He already did the moment he brought a mountain of dangerous rabbits into the building!”
“Eh? I read that one. It was really good.”
“No, that only proves my point! Stories need that kind of moment, even if the result is different.”
“No, the result isn’t different.”
“In the end, the ruffian gets humiliated or taught a lesson while the main character is paraded as a cool person.”
“You do get it!”
“No! That is why I am saying it sucks!”
She couldn’t help but be startled at the words of the young man. Then again, she had never spoken so deeply about this topic with anyone face to face before.
“Look, when you add that to the story, the reader can already tell what is going to happen. If that is the case, the stories can get all mixed up. If I mentioned a story with the guild intro scene, would you know which one I was talking about?”
“But you recognized the rabbit mountain.”
“See? For a story to be memorable, it needs to strike out at the reader in new ways. It needs to grab the attention and keep them coming back for more.”
“But…no, I see.”
The man looked out and saw a car pull up.
“It looks like your ride is here. Before you go, let’s have a clichéd scene right here.”
“That destiny moment where we become linked to never forget each other.”
She was weirded out and backed away. The man reached into his apron and started blowing up a balloon. She could feel her phone vibrating, but stayed to watch. He took out another balloon and combined the two into what looked like a rose.
“A beautiful flower…for you.”
She took the flower and felt her face heat up. Was it really that easy to not understand where this was going? This was dangerous! She barely even knew the guy! No, she knew nothing about him!
“Because you need something to detract from your ugly face! Hahaha!”
He laughed as he got up and walked away. She was surprised and left there in a dazed moment. She pulled out her phone to answer her ride’s call but then noticed her reflection. She forgot to rub off her makeup and it had run down her face from the moisture in the air. She was too busy reading earlier!
She was so embarrassed, but he was right. She never forgot about him, even though she never saw him again.
Tetra woke up feeling uncomfortable.
“I knew I remembered balloons from somewhere. Ugh, now I can’t go to sleep. I get stress just thinking about whether or not my makeup is okay. You…I hate you, you pervert!”
Somewhere in the boy’s dormitory, a person sneezed.
“Is someone cursing me?”