Exciting New Skill

[A/N: We don’t get a lot of MMO anime with female leads, so I was curious what Bofuri was going to be like based on that alone. Turns out it’s pretty awesome and wholesome. We definitely don’t get a lot of unabashed power fantasies for girls, and this one has a lot of heart and clever ideas. It’s nice.

I also really love the strong chemistry Kaede and Risa have. They seem very close and comfortable with each other, and even though they’re very different personality-wise, they know how to talk to each other. And it’s really adorable how Risa seems to have looked up a guide on the most romantic spots to take someone in NWO. So I decided to play a little with that idea. I don’t know how far the show or novel are going to go with it (I am at about equal progress with both, and they do things slightly differently), but it’s still nice to just see them together.]

They were at the beach again, though a different kind. Hidden away in a snow-covered area was a portal that had taken Kaede/Maple and Risa/Sally to a tropical island.

“Whooooaaaaaaa~!” Maple was looking around with wide eyes.

As amazing as VR tech had become, the ability to feel temperature was rather limited, though honestly that was probably for the best. It might be a bit of a shame that they couldn’t feel the warmth of the sun, or the nice tropical breeze, but if it was possible to feel the full chill of winter in the area they had passed through, or the blazing heat of a volcanic area, the amount of players willing to adventure in such areas would probably be greatly reduced.

Other senses were easier to replicate.

“Here, try this,” Sally said. She had cracked open what looked like an orange coconut, and offered to it Maple.

Maple took a sip of it. “Mmmm~! It’s so fruity!” She took a bigger sip.

“Amazing, right?” Sally grinned wide. “It’s like they put all citrus fruits into one juice,” she said. On the one hand she had been a little disappointed there was no coconut taste to it, but on the other she knew Maple didn’t like coconut, so it was probably for the best.

“Mhm, just like that!” Maple agreed. She sat down on the sand to look out at the simulated sea. “It’s so pretty… I’m amazed that you know of all these places, Sally,” she said.

“Well…” Sally sat down next to her. “I may have done some research,” she said, and winked at Maple. In fact she had found a thread on the message boards talking about hidden places just like this. And thankfully it wasn’t hard to find occasions to take Maple to see them.

Maple smiled warmly at Sally. “I’m glad you’re so diligent,” she said. “Thank you for sharing this with me.”

Sally blushed a little. Maple had just as pretty a smile in game as Kaede had in real life. While she was oblivious to it herself, Kaede was actually fairly popular at school. She was short, cute, and very pretty, something that several people had noticed. Sally wouldn’t be surprised if that was part of why she’d become such a celebrity in the game as well.

Wait, she suddenly thought. This is a pretty nice mood, isn’t it? Maybe this is my chance.

“Hey, Maple?”

“Hm?”

“Um… speaking of research,” Sally said, then immediately thought that might not have been the best opener. Even so, she was determined to charge forward. “It’s pretty amazing how well we’re able to taste things in the game, huh?”

“Yeah!” Maple agreed with an eager nod. “Even things you could never get in real life!” Her expression suddenly turned a little funny, as if something in particular had come to mind.

Sally was still not deterred. “W-well, what do you think kisses taste like?” she asked.

“Huh?”

“Do you want to find out?” I actually said it! While she seemed calm on the outside, Sally was screaming on the inside.

“Uh…” Maple gave her a curious look, then crossed her arms. “Hm…” She looked to be just staring at the sand while Sally grew increasingly nervous. “Yeah, okay.”

That didn’t make Sally calm down at all, in fact her heart started beating wildly as the two of them drew closer. Their lips touched, and it felt like she got hit with static electricity. She jumped back on reflex.

“Uh…”

“Um…”

“Sorry…” Sally felt embarrassed, but Maple was blushing too. Amazing that they had bothered to include a visual for that.

“Maybe we should try again?” Maple suggested.

“Yeah…”

They met again, and the shock wasn’t as severe that time.

“That was…”

“It tasted…” Nice, was Sally’s immediate thought, though she couldn’t ascribe a flavour to it.

“Mm… not sure…” Maple said.

“One more?”

“Yeah.”

They had one more. And another. Then Sally put an arm around Maple to pull her even closer for yet another. It was important to be thorough if they wanted to get to the bottom of this.

*Ding!*

A sudden system alert startled them out of it.

“Huh?” Sally was confused, not immediately recognising the sound.

“What’s this?” Maple said, looking at a text-box floating in front of her. “Skill gained: Paramour [I].” She read out loud.

Sally noticed she had gotten the same box, and clicked on it to see the description. “Gain a 2% boost to all status points while in a party with the person you love.” Huh?

Maple kept reading out loud. “Requirements: Kiss the person you love 10 times. Huh?!” Her shock was evident. “How does it know I love you?!”

That wasn’t the reaction Sally expected. Also… “W-wait, you love me?!” she asked.

“Well, duh,” Maple said. “Why else would I kiss you? Ooohhh, maybe that’s how it knows…”

Sally couldn’t help staring at her. “If you love me, why didn’t you tell me sooner?” she asked. It would have saved her a lot of worry and nerves.

“Um… you never asked,” Maple replied. “I thought it was so obvious I didn’t need to…”

“I swear… you never change, Maple,” Sally said with a sigh.

“Ehe~… wait, you also got the skill. Does that mean you love me too, Sally?”

“I… yes,” Sally admitted. There was really no use in denying it.

Maple suddenly hugged her. “Yay!”

Even though she had been thinking earlier about how you couldn’t feel temperature in VR, Sally felt very warm.

“Hang on…” Maple leaned back, and frowned at Sally. “Then why didn’t you tell me sooner?” she asked.

“Uh…” Sally awkwardly scratched at her cheek. “I was nervous… I guess…”

Maple grinned. “Hehe~. You’re always so cute, Sally,” she said.

“What? No, you’re cute, Maple,” Sally insisted.

“Yeah, I guess I’m pretty awesome,” Maple said smugly.

Sally heaved a dramatic sigh. “What am I going to do with you?” she asked.

“You could kiss me more,” Maple suggested.

“I could,” Sally agreed.

“Um… didn’t the skill description say one more thing?” Maple looked at it again. “Warning: The more ranks you gain in this skill, the more obvious it will be to others that you’re in love.” She gave Sally a confused look. “What do you think that means?”

“I don’t know…” Sally said. “Also, who cares?”

“Good point.”

They embraced, and went back to it. Kissing felt pretty good, actually.

*Ding!*

Really good, even. Maybe they should try it in real life, too…

*Ding!*

* * *

{ Maple-chan Sightings Thread }

Anonymous Hammer User: “I saw Maple-chan with her friend again today.”

Anonymous Magic User: “Yeah, they always seem to be together these days.”

Anonymous Hammer User: “There was something different about them today though.”

Anonymous Large Shield User: “Oh? How so?”

Anonymous Hammer User: “Both of them looked like they were surrounded by a pink glow, or aura.”

Anonymous Bow User: “Wait, what?”

Anonymous Hammer User: “I wasn’t super bright or anything, but it was definitely there.”

Anonymous Spear User: “Now that you mention it, I think I saw that too.”

Anonymous Magic User: “Weird. A new type of buff, or skill? Has Maple-chan become even more OP?”

Anonymous Large Shield User: “You’re sure it was pink?”

Anonymous Hammer User: “Yup.”

Anonymous Large Shield User: “I think I saw a thread mentioning that a little while ago. I’m gonna see if I can find it.”

Anonymous Bow User: “I’ll look too.”

Anonymous Spear User: “I think I found it.”

Anonymous Spear User: “Oh.”

Anonymous Short Sword User: “What’s going on? What does it say?”

Anonymous Large Shield User: “Oh.”

Anonymous Bow User: “Oh.”

Anonymous Magic User: “What do you mean ‘oh’?”

Anonymous Large Shield User: “It’s probably best if you read for yourself.”

Anonymous Magic User: “Why?”

Anonymous Magic User: “Oh.”

Anonymous Short Sword User: “Oh.”

Anonymous Hammer User: “Good for you, Maple-chan.”

~Wulf

Posted on January 26, 2020, in Fiction, Storytime and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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