The next day, after school,
It was only one day after the 'inauguration' of our Clotaku Club -- I ended up calling it 'Clotaku Club' myself -- and we gathered at the infirmary to continue our club activities.
In this newly created club, the unbounded enthusiasm generated by its members truly pierced the skies; the members' growing excitement physically heated up this small club room.
The members were eager to serve, and the supervising teacher selflessly offered them guidance. The club president had made great use of her awe-inspiring leadership to induct the geniuses of Eunsung into the club.
In a single day, the club's name became widely known in the school. Numerous Otakus emerged from hiding to apply for the club, crowding the infirmary, and the club was growing bigger by every passing second.
Little did they know by then, Eunsung High School's students were the first to witness the great beginnings of a powerful wave that would sweep the country...
... would be what Yeonji could only dream for.
At that moment, our club members' activities were as follows:
1. Seo Yeonji, reading a light novel while having a drink that she had raided from the fridge as soon as she had arrived. Not a single noise was heard from her since then, other than the occasional giggling.
2. Yu Youngseon (supervisor), who had been seated at her computer ever since I entered this room, playing a visual novel; she hadn't moved an inch from her seat. It was quite unsettling how she was staring intently into the monitor as if she were lovingly caressing it.
3. Me, who entered the club room, witnessed the above two, then thought it would be for the best to not disturb them, and began playing a game on my PXP. The atmosphere of this room was seriouslyveryamazinglyextremely bothersome.
'... What the hell is going on here? It's like I'm having deja vu; I thought I'd already seen this scene play out before in my life...
... And this is the exact same crap we did yesterday! We're even sitting precisely at the same places as before!'
It almost felt like I had gotten in a time machine and went back to the previous day.
'Th-this is strange... does this happen all the time in school clubs? There's no way.'
My expectation for a club activity was something more cheerful and energetic, where I could get in touch with my teenage soul and mind. Even if that's asking for too much, I'm sure 'club activities' don't involve scattering around the room and not exchanging a single word for hours!
The level of awkwardness I was feeling at the moment was akin to the level of an Otaku who had been forced into a blind date with a bunch of non-Otakus.
It was a terribly, horridly awkward moment.
With the atmosphere like that, I couldn't continue playing my PXP quietly. I halfheartedly mashed the buttons as I patiently waited for the two others to make a move.
After thirty minutes of aimless mashing, Yeonji finally closed her novel. Oh, finally.
Yeonji put the closed book in her bag as she sighed deeply. It must have been a decent read.
She slid off from the couch and began stretching, turning her upper body from side to side. Cracking and snapping sounds came from her waist. She sat in the same posture for an entire day, that was to be expected.
After shaking her small body around for a while, she nodded to herself, satisfied. She looked like a kitten after a long yawn.
Yeonji sat back down in her seat, stretching her neck. Then, right before my desperation-filled eyes, she scrounged around in her backpack, and produced the next novel to read--
I shouted with all my might.
"Agh! Why'd you scream like that, all of a sudden?!"
Yeonji briefly squirmed, and then angrily glared at me. She was honestly surprised, apparently. This time, however, I did not just stand idly.
"Oh, come on! How can you people just do nothing all day?! It's been two whole hours since I got here, and everyone's been doing their own crap all this time! We went through so damn much to get this club, and what we're doing is exactly the same as what we normally do when we're by ourselves! I don't even remember why I'm here in the first place!"
My pent-up emotions burst out as if I were casting the Five-Finger MeraOOOO. Yeonji was momentarily stunned by my outburst, but she quickly recovered and then nodded in agreement.
"Nyu-n... ...You're right, I guess. Since we're all here, we might as well do something together."
"Did I really have to shout to make you realize that?!"
I thought I should shut up and let her continue, but...
"Then, should we play a dating sim together?"
"That's not a group activity--!!"
...Of course, Yeonji just said something stupid again.
"No no, even dating sims can be played as a group. People make co-op modes for that now, you know."
"Co-op dating sim?!"
That was the first I had ever heard of it! What even is that?
"Yeah, it's in a 2D fighting game format."
"What kind of dating sim plays out like a fighting game?!"
"If you fight and take damage, you character's clothes rip off. Once one character's health gets depleted, the winner does all sorts of terrible things to the loser."
"That's not a dating sim! There's none of the 'dating' in there!"
What's worse is that you actually want to play that with a guy!
"Hmph, if that's not good enough for you, there's always an MMO-style dating sim."
"MMO dating sim?!"
Even more new-age concepts entered the fray.
"Yep. Like a normal MMORPG, you just make your account and character, and get right into playing it."
"...I have a feeling that game will fail, since everyone will be male characters."
"That's okay. In that game, the heroines are basically AI characters that spawn randomly across the world."
"...Before we move on, it actually is about dating, right? You don't just hack and slash the heroines down, right?"
"Of course not! You date them normally."
"Well, that's surprisingly norm--"
"When you enter the first village, a gentle-looking old man gives you a quest, like, 'go to the east of this village, win over 20 brunettes, and bring back their panties.' As you finish those quests, you level up and take on higher-level girls."
"--Not normal at all!"
That is a seriously messed up system. What kind of gentle-looking old man gives a screwed up quest like that, anyway?! And I don't even get how the 'combat' system works. What do you even do with the girls?
"Oh, you just give them presents or say nice things to them."
"That's just horribly-..."
...People let that kind of thing in our country? Are our game publishers actually owned by monsters? It was almost impressive how twisted the game is.
"And you can go on big raids, too, since some girls are impossible to beat with only one player... so you'd need at least a group of 20 people working on them at the same time to win them over."
"...And I almost thought it might be a decent game..."
It gave me a headache to imagine a huge group of male characters surrounding a single heroine to all court(!) with her at the same time.
"While joining a party is primarily for those big raids, playing solo still gets frustrating when there are jerks around who steal your heroines at the very last moment. It's infuriating when that happens."
"You can even get date-stolen..."
I gave up thinking about the game seriously.
"If that's not enough, you can always make other players look bad to make yourself look better to the heroines in comparison. Or you can quietly knock the heroines out with a baseball bat, so you can force a hospital scene, though you'd probably be doomed if you get found out."
"That puts other open-world games to shame, huh."
According to Yeonji, the game takes place in some lawless dystopian world.
After my repeated visions of terror, I no longer had the energy to continue listening. Before I shut up entirely, I asked Yeonji a final question:
"So, what is that game? Where's it from?"
It seemed probable that the game may have been produced in this country, but at the same time, it seemed amazingly unlikely that such a game would be allowed in the first place. Though I have zero interest in gaming, if such a game existed, at least some of the websites I browse would have had something about it. A game that was close to its release, maybe?
"Huh? You really believed it? Of course a game like that wouldn't exist. I just made it up."
"Oh, screeeewwww yooouuu--!"
I've been had.
"Heh, even if South Korea is known for mass-producing all sorts of online games, what kind of brainless company would decide to make a game like that? I thought, 'what if I made a game myself?' And so I ended up with those ideas. Wasn't it pretty great?"
I should have known from the steady stream of horrifying ideas that she had been spouting; she came prepared. Thanks to that, I felt pretty idiotic.
Yeonji crossed her arms and mischievously grinned, obviously happy that I foolishly believed her.
"Fufufu... Well, from your reaction, I can see that the ideas aren't completely unusable. While we probably can't make that game with our current technology, once I become a ruler of this country and our technology is at a good level... Nii-hee-hee-hee!"
Yeonji laughed like a maniac. I learned at that moment that she wasn't just interested in ruining the South Korean government, but also our gaming industry.
Since the scale of the game was indeed too huge, I stopped worrying about her plan. At least she wasn't likely going to suddenly give up on high school to become an indie game developer.
...But honestly, if a game like that existed, I'd play it just so see what it would be like. As long as I don't end up getting involved in its production.
After some more banter on similar topics, it was already time to go back home.
At one point, the nurse also became engaged in our scholarly discussion about dating sims-- and after that was the end of our daily club activity.
When I looked at my watch after our discussion, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly time had passed while I was engrossed in the conversation.
Although the fact that we accomplished nothing important did not change...
Somehow, I had more fun than I did yesterday.