Part 4: Delusion TriggerPart 4 - Delusion Trigger
This update will include the following:
Discussion of New Gen, homophobia
Yesterday, I didn't get to watch Burachu in real time. But after that, I watched it on Mewtube, so it wasn't a real problem.
Even after watching it something still felt wrong.
What Shogun said right before I closed the chat window-
It was almost as if he'd seen through the fact that I cowered in fear of "God's gaze." It was too much for a mere coincidence.
Maybe my personal information was leaked on ESO. Maybe it was someone who didn't like Neidhardt. I thought about the different possibilities.
A god-like existence like mine has many allies, but also many enemies.
Well, the enemies were basically a kind of side effect of the popularity. Of course they'd be there. People who envied Neidhardt's strength and popularity childishly tried to provoke me. It was just a matter of ignoring them.
But this was different.
The fact that I had no clue who Shogun was worried me to the point where when I logged into ESO, I couldn't concentrate at all on hunting.
On top of it all, today was...
I really didn't want to, but if I didn't go by my "minimum attendance shift chart," my calculations would get messed up, and in the worst case scenario, I might have to repeat a year.
"Even though I'm sleepy..."
I fought off a yawn and trugged off toward school. It takes about ten minutes to walk from my base to school.
My body felt heavy, it was hard to breathe, and I started to sweat. It's always like this when I go to school.
Why do I have to go to school? It's such a painful event. Muttering balefully to myself, I kept moving my feet forward all the same, head down, watching the asphalt's white line.
Housewives took their morning walks, and salarymen sat on the benches reading sports newspapers around the park's pond.
Even though Shibuya was so crowded and noisy, the park on the outskirts was quiet and perfectly fit the expression, "a place for relaxation."
I sat down on one of the benches too.
On the way to school, it was a habit of mine to eat breakfast while gazing at the surface of the pond brimming with serene water. It was a nice time of year and the trees were gradually gaining color.
Today's menu was some breakfast bread I'd bought at a convenience store along the way. It would be enough to tide me over until night.
I wouldn't normally eat lunch.
No one wanted to eat lunch with a creepy otaku like me, and I had no interest in eating lunch by myself while everyone around me merrily ate together.
After finishing my cream-filled bread with some Coke, I gazed listlessly up at the sky.
My parents' house was only a few stations down along a river, but there's a distinctly different feeling between there and here.
That said, I kinda liked the dullness of the sky. Although I really don't know why.
If I didn't get going soon, I'd be late. I had to avoid that at all costs.
As someone who only goes to school 2.5 times a week, I couldn't do anything to make myself stand out.
In any case, it was important to just be there, kinda like the air.
To safely and peacefully make it through the day without catching the eyes of the teachers or any delinquent types, and without having anyone interfere with me... that was the goal of my school life.
SFX:Faint babble of voices in the distance, the school bell rings occasionally
It doesn't have much of a history; I hear that it was founded about ten years ago. The building is nice and trim-looking, and a lot of TV dramas about teaching are shot there.
The uniforms were apparently designed by a famous designer, so quite a few of the girls are airheads who entered the school just because they wanted to wear the uniform.
It's ostensibly a prep school, but the percent of people who continue on to college is at the upper-middle level.
Hilariously enough, they use the blurb "a free, creative school atmosphere" as a selling point for new students, regardless of the fact that the school regulations are very strict.
Although the rules are in the process of becoming rules in name only. Besides, it isn't entirely off the mark to describe it as a free, creative school atmosphere I guess.
After all, someone like me, who only comes 2.5 times per week, can keep rising to the next grade like anyone else.
As might have been expected, when I reached the front of school, the other students on their way there started getting noisy. But since I'm not so good with crowds, I hunched over as I passed through the school gates.
SFX: Bell has stopped ringing, but the voices are louder, though still indistinct
My little sister, who's one year younger, goes to this school too, but she lives with my parents.
A day when I run into her is a tragic day indeed.
I had the feeling that the group of girls chatting nearby tossed me a look, but it was only for a second, and they went back to their conversation without saying anything.
Deep down they viewed me as a creep, no doubt about it.
Hmmph, from my point of view, 3-D girls are far more creepy.
It's fine by me if they think I'm a creep. If they don't notice I'm here, all the better.
If they do just that, then I'll go on living in silence, without giving them any trouble.
I often wonder what's wrong with the people who call me "creepy." I don't get it.
It almost seems like they want the attention of the people they're calling creeps.
I was in my seat, just hunched over my desk staring at it's surface-
Suddenly, someone smacked me lightly on the back.
It startled me, and I raised my head.
My classmate, Misumi Daisuke-kun, was giving me a grin. He was pretty good looking and all the girls seemed to like him.
He himself openly declared how much he like women, and for him to say he was dating several people at once. From my perspective, he was a guy who'd jumped fully into delinquent territory.
If possible, I'd have preferred to not have any connection to him at all, but...
"You always look down. Too much gaming and not enough sleep?"
"N, not really..."
He was the only person in the entire class who talked to me.
I wonder why he always started talking to me? Our hobbies and personalities aren't even slightly similar.
It had been on my mind since we became classmates this year.
If, hypothetically, I were a girl, I would kind of understand. But, being a guy, I don't know why he talked to me.
"I guess there's no avoiding it, you are a hikikomori, but come on, try answering a little more cheerfully."
If I could, I'd have done so a long time ago.
It was almost painful for me to talk to 3-D human beings.
Anxiety keeps my voice from coming out properly. Since I don't normally talk much, I can't articulate myself well through speech, and I shrink back because I'm scared I might say something stupid and be made fun of.
I wish people wouldn't talk about stuff they know nothing about. They have no clue how hard it is for me.
Oh, but I'm no hikikomori. A hikikomori is someone who shuts himself up in his room 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I'm different.
"Being nervous around chicks is one thing, but you act like that around me, and people are gonna think I'm a homo."
Hold up, he really doesn't like girls, and he's really into guys-!?
In a hurry to put some distance between us, I pulled away. I almost fell out of my chair. Flustered, I had to grab onto my desk.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Mi, Misumi-kun, are you gay...?"
"O, oh, yeah. Haaa-, you scared the crap out of me..."
Misumi-kun quickly checked out our surroundings, grinned, and lowered his voice.
"Yesterday, I got my third girl from this class. Wanna know who?"
"Tha, that's okay. Not really..."
"C'mon, show some more interest. It was Tanaka, I'm telling you man, Tanaka."
"It's almost October, and you still don't know your classmates' names?"
"But I guess that's natural, since you're not interested in the third dimension."
Exasperated, he shrugged his shoulders and let out a sigh.
However, up until the present he had never once belittled me for my hobby-that is, the fact that I love 2-D characters.
He didn't call me "creepy" or anything. It wasn't to his tastes, so he didn't overstep himself.
Looking at that side of him, he didn't seem like such a bad guy. This might have been why I unintentionally fell into conversations with him whenever he started talking to me.
"With this, I've finished capturing all the cute girls in our class."
"I'm thinking that it's about time to expand my hunting grounds to the class next door."
.....Maybe he isn't that good of a guy after all. If the girls overheard this, I think they'd be appalled.
"I hear there's a real hottie in Class D, but she only comes to school every once in a while."
"Somehow, doesn't the thought of that get you moe'd up?"
"Ah, but in your case it's more like the warm and fuzzy kind of moe~ than the getting fired up kind of moe."
...I wish people wouldn't toss around the word moe without knowing what it means.
"well, let's stop talking about stuff you aren't into."
Honestly, it surprised me to hear those words coming out of his mouth. I had thought he was a person who didn't think about anything other than women.
I couldn't picture him watching the news or reading the paper.
"According to the rumours, the group dive case was murder, too."
"I, is that so..."
"I'm not joshing you. It was written in the sports newspaper."
So his source was a sports newspaper... Wouldn't that make it completely unreliable?
Besides, I'd already heard that news, not that it had caught my interest.
"So, listen and be amazed, will you? An eyewitness reports that the killer is female, and on top of that, a real beauty."
As I watched Misumi-kun tell me this excitedly, the dots finally connected. I saw why Misumi-kun had suddenly started reading the sports paper, which he normally wouldn't have given the time of day.
It had to do with a girl. I guess you could call this a natural development.
Would he be cool with a murderer, so long as she was cute...?
Speaking for myself, I'd be okay with that if she were a 2-D character, but...
Misumi-kun cast his eyes at the blue sky beyond the window. His face took on a far-off look.
Why's he looking like he just achieved enlightenment or something?
"I wonder what kind of person the culprit is? Is she really a hottie? I wanna see her and find out-"
Just now, I became certain of the fact that this is a guy who lives solely through the lower half of his body.
"I'm confident that she won't kill me, at least. After all, look, I'm a pretty cool guy, right? She might be a serial killer, but once she meets me, she'll fall in love on the spot, man."
That's why you won't get killed...?
The frivolity of his train of thought whooshed clear over my expectations.
I reeled back from the Misumi-kun who proved himself able to say such a thing breezily and without hesitation.
"I, I'm... not into that, so..."
"But hey, whether or not it catches your interest, the perp is deeeefinitely wandering around the area, you know? You might end up crossing paths with her somewhere."
No, I can certainly rule that much out, but I couldn't completely deny the possibility that it was one of the students here...
If that were the case, maybe I should say "I have PTSD," to maneuver my way into graduating even with insufficient attendance.
Abbreviation for post-traumatic stress disorder. From DSM-IV ("Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders", an American book on psychiatry), fourth edition, 1994.
A mental condition in which after one suffers shock from an accident, a disaster, or an encounter, where the patient suffers various kinds of symptoms.
Usually patients suffer either mental instability, sleeping disorders, or memory confusion for more than a month.
"Look, wanna come check out the crime scene with me today? We can get there by walking from here. Sounds like there's still blood and stuff left over."
I had absolutely zero interest in doing so.
All I wanted was to peacefully and safely take my classes, hurry up and go home, greet my Seira-tan, and return to the world where I can become a god.
"Kobayashi and Hasegawa say they've already been there to see it."
"I'm into that kinda thing, really..."
So I squeezed out my voice with the intention of somehow refusing him, but he wouldn't listen.
"Then we might have a surprise run in with the perp. Isn't it often said that the criminal returns to the scene of the crime?"
"And, you'll be her next target. Repay your sins with death, that kind of thing. As for the nature of your offense, let's see... how about because you're a shut-in?"
And with that we have finally reached the main gameplay element of Chaos;Head: The Delusion Trigger!
Notice, in the last two screenshots, the Green and Red dots in the corners? That indicates that a Delusion Trigger is possible in this scene.
The long and short of Delusion Triggers is that Takumi has a very active imagination. Occasionally it boils over and he starts having vivid daydreams. These dreams can be of a Positive bent (Green=Positive) or a Negative bent (Red=Negative). Or alternately, he can keep himself from getting detoured by his delusions and focus on what's going on in the real world (the Neutral option).
Usually, Positive delusions tend towards romantic, comedic or rom-com hijinks.
Usually, Negative delusions tend towards nightmarish horror or paranoiac worst-case scenarios.
Usually, Neutral simply keeps Takumi focused on the situation at hand.
Sometimes, delusions deemed Positive can turn terrifying in a flash, as the subconscious goes beyond control.
Sometimes, delusions deemed Negative are of a more darkly humorous bent than anything fearful.
Sometimes, what's in front of your eyes is worse than anything fevered minds can conceive.
There is a little more nuance to all this, but we'll save discussing that for another time.
There is no need for a poll for a choice like this. A simple show of hands will do.
So, what will it be? Positive? Negative? Neutral?
Reply with your vote Bolded. I shall see you all again.