3 Returning Home

Hearing the staff member's words caused Yuki to jump up and grab the man's hands while shouting: "How much!?"

"Huh? Ahh! Y-Yes, we have them ranging from twenty crowns to eighty crowns." The staff member was completely caught by surprise by Yuki's actions causing him to fumble his words.

Hearing that one would only cost her twenty crowns, Yuki's eyes opened wide with excitement. "Can the twenty crown one run Soul Fusion Online?"

"It can with a few upgrades." The staff member replied. But he quickly saw the light in Yuki's eyes dim.

She knew when he said upgrades, it would cost her more money, and those upgrades would more than likely end up costing more than she could afford. Seeing the excitement suddenly disappear, the staff member began to feel pity for the young man. He could tell from the clothes he was wearing that he was not from a well off family. "How about this… If you buy the game at full price, I will give you the cheaper helmet and its upgrades for the sticker price that is on it. So it will only cost you fifty crowns plus tax. Does that work?"

"It does! Thank you!" Yuki quickly nodded her head and beamed a smile. This caused the young man's heart to skip before suddenly feeling very awkward as he told himself repeatedly in his head: 'This is a man, not a woman!'. His sudden reaction to Yuki was not uncalled for. Right now, she does look like a young pretty boy. If she actually dressed like a girl and fixed her hair, she would be very pretty. But her current life did not allow for such things.

With her new game and equipment and her wallet now fifty three crowns lighter, Yuki made her way home. The place she lived was basically an old hotel turned into a boarding house for females. But to her, it was more of a hooker hot spot because no matter the time of day, all you could hear was either moaning or yelling. Usually, the yelling part was two neighbors arguing about noise, or there was one time when two girls went at it over one guy. After punching, kicking, and pulling hair, the guy ended up paying a bit more to have both of them at the same time. These girls were all on drugs as well, so finding needles lying around was also the norm.

As for Yuki, she could only lower her head and walk as fast as she could to her room which had three locks on the door. Luckily she had not run into any serious problems yet. Every once and a while, a man would be hanging out on the pathway drugged out of his mind. There had been a few times where someone tried to grab her, only for her to throw them off and run away.

But this was something that Yuki was used to. Ever since childhood, she has had to live in places like this. Even the orphanage she grew up in after her parents died was run in a bad part of the city. On this night, though, as Yuki climbed the stairs, one of the girls had just come out of her room. This was Mary. She was one of the girls she grew up with and was also highly addicted to neo. A drug that became popular after the technology boom when the war ended. It was said to be the only drug that never gave you a bad trip. This was, of course, what Yuki had heard since she never wanted any part of that scene.

"Yuki! There is a handsome young man on my bed right now passed out. How bout I do you a favor and let you take a little ride. You have to lose that virginity of yours some time, right? Hehe..." Mary said with a smile as she pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. From what Yuki could tell, Mary had barely anything on, just a long white shirt that hung over her shoulder. But just taking one look at her made Yuki feel some pity for the girl. At the orphanage, she was a bright and cheery girl, but when she turned sixteen, she fell into the wrong crowd and got addicted to neo, and began selling herself to cover her habit. Back then, they were close, and Mary was still very kind. Just her personality got warped. Since living here, Mary has helped her on a number of occasions from guys trying to get her to sell herself. It was also thanks to Mary she could live as safely as she was now.

"No thanks, Mary. I will wait for the day I find someone I truly love and will love me back." Yuki gave a forced smile to Mary as she answered: "I got a paper to do. Be careful, don't overdo it."

"Your loss! Hehe… Take care, Yuki, and don't worry, I can never overdo it~!" Mary said, smiling away. She snuffed out her cigarette and returned to her room.

Yuki also returned to her room and walked in. She was only three doors down from Mary's place, and her neighbors were both paranoid drug addicts that only came out once and a while to go buy more drugs. Other than that, they were fairly quiet. It was only the lady under her that would cause Yuki a headache. Yuki was starting to wonder if the girl was actually a sex robot with how much sex the girl has. Luckily she found an old set of headphones in the trash and was able to wear them while at home to listen to music on the world net.

The world net was the only way to go online now and was completely free. If this was the days of old, she would have had to pay a monthly fee to a service provider. But after the Evergreen family took over the world, they changed all that. Electricity and the internet, and all other necessary things became free of charge, which made the cost of living much cheaper and caused the price of rent to drop. Otherwise, she would not be able to live where she lived if that was the case.

Putting her things down and taking off her hat and face mask, Yuki pulled the stick holding her bun in place out and let her black hair fall down. Yuki was someone who was always inside, so her skin was fair and white. Her big brown eyes that were normally hidden under the brim of her hat also came into view. She quickly took off her sweatshirt and removed her shoes. After triple checking to make sure her doors and windows were locked. Yuki finally pulled the helmet out of the bag. She had the store load Soul Fusion Online into the helmet already. So all she had to do was lay down and start it up.

"My paper is not due for two days, and I need to figure out how to make money from the game, so I guess it would be best to research that before logging in..." Yuki walked over to her small desk and pulled out her laptop. This laptop was something she found on the side of the road. She got lucky when she brought it in to get it fixed up. Instead of spending a few hundred crowns for a used one, she only needed to spend fifty crowns to get it fixed up.

After it started up, Yuki quickly went to check the world net. In the search bar for Fuoogle she typed in: "How to make money in Soul Fusion Online..."

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