“This is enough for today.”
Erika announced and she pressed【Logout】. Mina and Vivi complained about Erika’s meager progress, but it was already late and Erika had to head home.
Once the 10 seconds counter struck 0, Erika’s DiVe popped up and swallowed her whole. There was darkness for a moment, then Erika opened her eyes and stared at the white ceiling.
She slowly put down the helmet and tried to stand up. Her body was a little numb at first and she struggled to leave the bed, but she regained her senses faster than yesterday; her brain was definitely adapting to the black magic VR technology.
“Hey, Titan! Why are ya quitting so early!? Ya haven’t done shit!”
“My, don’t be so harsh, Mini.”
Erika tried to cover up everything with a smile. In truth, she was aware: she was taking it easy. The urgency of reaching Trilz City and curing Mina were both important missions... which were pushed to the back of Erika’s head when she played.
Once she was inside the immersive VR, Erika was tempted to fool around. The RPG veteran in her greatly valued exploration and knowledge, for they were the tools required for truly mastering an RPG.
“I learned many important things about the game today. I’m sure they’ll help us in achieving our primary goal.”
“What dumb stuff did ya actually learn? All I heard were some snoozers about farming.”
“It’s important to know all your options, Mini. Farming may prove useful for us in some way.”
“Bah! Farming is dumb, unless you can grow shit like missiles.”
Mina’s negative opinion about farming was difficult to bend. This was largely thanks to Zack, who unintentionally painted farming as a quitter’s occupation. Mina was already of low opinion about everything that didn’t contribute to combat, and Zack openly admitted that he used farming as an excuse to not fight.
“Well, we also learned many things about runes and trading, didn’t we?”
Erika twisted the subject and tried to appeal from another angle.
“I bet you didn’t know half of it, right Mini? For example, how Trilz isn’t the third city to aim for.”
“H-hmph! I still think it was a waste of damn time! I wanna see how ya use all that boring shit to play better.”
Mina insisted to deny the importance of wisdom to the very end. She refused to admit that Erika and Zack discussed many topics that flew over her head.
“We also got our first ally today. We need just a few more and we could storm Death’s Rift with ease.”
“Bah! Ya think that dumb farm boy gonna be any help?”
“W-well, at least Alicia looks promising.”
As a player who abandoned combat, Zack’s contribution for the future operation was questionable. Hopefully, Alicia would remain by Zack’s side when the time to tackle Death’s Rift would come.
Realizing it was nigh impossible to satisfy the little beastie, Erika wheeled the conversation away.
“How is your left hand doing?”
Mina stared at her tiny palm as she tried to stretch her fingers.
“Still a useless fuck.”
“My, this Vireco sure is persistent. I really think you should visit a doc-”
“Oh! Look how smoothly my dumb arm can move!”
Mina started waving her left arm... by pulling it around with her right hand. Erika made a face, but didn’t bother to retort.
“Anyways! Tomorrow is Saturday! Come to play early so ya can freakin’ reach somewhere for a change!”
Mina was yelling, but she wore an excited grin. Despite their unfortunate clash in the morning, their relationship restored to full health by now. Spending the weekend playing games was bound to be fun!
Alas, Mina’s hopes were crushed.
“Sorry, Mini. I have student council work tomorrow. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to come over... if at all.”
“Huuuh!? School on Saturday?! That’s so dumb!”
Mina turned grumpy and rebellious. Erika tried to soothe the little beastie by promising to spend the whole Sunday on GoVe, but Mina still wasn’t entirely satisfied. No matter what, it was impossible to please the beastie once she turned sour.
Before heading out, Erika made sure to confirm that the little child could survive through Saturday on her own, without Erika’s motherly supervision.
“As you promised: no VR games until your arm recovers.”
“Are you alright with food? Eating only instant noodles is bad for you.”
“Bah, I can order some pizza or whatever.”
“Make sure you lock the door.”
“Bah! Are ya my mom or something? Just go already!”
Mina pushed Erika out of the apartment. They said their goodbyes and the door was slammed. However, Erika didn’t leave right away.
My, what a careless little Mini.
Small steps tapped away from the door. Yet, the door remained unlocked.
“Mini~ What about the door~?”
Erika pushed the door’s handle and peeked inside.
Mina darted back to the door and slammed it again. She looked around for the key, but... she had no idea where it was, or whether her parents left her a copy in the first place.
“Bah, stubborn Titan...”
Mina hoped for Erika to give up and leave at some point. However, Erika firmly stood on the other side of the door.
“Bah, what a pain...”
Mina had no choice; she had to find a way to lock the door.
“You fucker, making fun of me...”
Mina glared at the door chain towering above her. Her short arms were laughly far from reaching the chain, even when she stood on her toes. She could reach it with a jump, but sliding the chain into the lock in midair - it was an olympic challenge.
“BAH! Here goes nothin’!”
Mina leapt high and grabbed the chain with her right hand. However, she was already falling downwards by the time she could slide the chain into the metal lock.
“Bah! Fuck! Screw ya!”
She jumped again and again, crashing into the door every time.
W-what is going on...?
Erika had no idea what chaos was taking place on the other side of the door. It sounded like tracks were ramming the door from within Mina’s apartment.
Once she peered inside, Erika learned about the missing key and Mina’s short reach. They spent half an hour on finding a spare key in the house.
Truly, mommy was very worried when she finally left the house. Erika promised herself to pay Mina a visit tomorrow, just to ensure that the careless critter was still breathing.