My life is boring.
I know, I know.
You're probably saying to yourself that everyone thinks his or her life is boring. I'm not going to deny that. I know that full well.
But still…my life is REALLY boring.
I have no friends. I have no skills or talents. I have no interesting family members. I have no money. I'm not even particularly smart.
I am the mundane of the mundane. My life is such a banal existence that others don't even want to approach me.
And so I spend my days at home reading manga, watching anime, playing video games. The typical otaku life if you will. I'm not quite a hikikomori, but I can see myself becoming one.
And, I'll admit, that does scare me a bit.
Still, I'm not quite sure what I can do to break out of this pitifully boring track my life has been placed on. If only someone would appear before me to guide me on a path of enlightenment.
But this is the real world…not a manga. Things like that don't just happen, at least not to someone as unlucky as I am.
"I wouldn't think like that. It can't be good for your health."
Those words made me freeze. Who had said that? Nobody was supposed to be home for hours. And why did it seem like they knew what I had been thinking?!
I slowly turned around, unsure if I really wanted to see whom those mystery words belonged to. I have to say, though, that after turning around…I was thankful I had.
An absolutely beautiful girl was in front of me. She had long black hair that traveled down to her hips. A multicolored blouse covered her body, while tight black jeans fit snugly around her lower portion. A red hairband was situated on top of her head, and a bright gold earring rested in each of her ears.
"You seem to be drooling. I'd clean myself up if I were you."
I blushed furiously, desperately trying to erase the dribble leaking from my mouth. How embarrassing! This beautiful girl appears and all I can do is drool all over her.
Actually…just who was this girl?
"Uhh…who are you?"
"I'm the one you called for, silly. You wished for a guide to make your life less boring. Isn't that correct?"
I had wished for such a guide, but I certainly didn't expect one, a beautiful one - no less, to suddenly appear in my home.
"Are you for real? This is like something-"
"Something out of a manga, right? I'm fully aware how absurd this must seem, especially to someone who so utterly defines the word dull."
I winced at that remark. She didn't have to be so blunt about it.
"So, you're really here to make my life more interesting?"
The girl smiled at me, but it wasn't the kind of smile you would want to receive from a girl. No, this smile simply depressed me. It was the kind of smile you give when you watch a dog scratch its own ass.
She didn't see me as an equal. She likely didn't even see me as being of the same species.
"That is correct. I'm a mere wish attendant. I travel between worlds, looking for people that could use my services. You seemed like a nice case to take on next."
"Wish attendant?" I asked without thinking. None of this made any sense.
"Yes, I'm a wish attendant." The girl repeated, continuing to smile. "I work for an organization that makes wishes come true. Here on Earth there exists the Make-A-Wish Foundation, right? We're sort of like that, but we don't even require you to be ill. You should be thankful."
I gulped at that explanation. Something was off with this. I had read too many manga and watched too many anime to simply believe there was no catch. This girl could be an Incubator in disguise. I wasn't about to make the same mistake countless magical girls had!
"I understand your apprehension, but I can assure you that I'm no Kyubey. You won't be signing any contracts or be required to give up anything in return. Our organization simply exists to make wishes come true. However, if you still doubt me then I can leave. There are numerous others who would be overjoyed with my visit."
Her words cut through me like a knife. I really was nothing to her. I was just another tool she was using to fulfill her wish quota.
But was that really so bad? Even if this were a trap…why should I care? It would still be better than living this pitiful life. The answer was clear.
"No, I believe you." I assured her, as I got down on my hands and knees. "Please be my wish attendant."
I felt like shit doing this. It must have looked so unsightly to her. She probably didn't even want to grant my wish anymore. But I needed this. I would beg, grovel and plead for the chance to get out of this mundane quagmire.
"Please get up. Contrary to your thoughts, the only one looking bad in this situation is myself. I really don't feel like explaining why you're begging me to grant your wish. If you desire for me to grant it, then I shall."
The girl walked toward me, stretching her right arm out. I was suddenly lifted up, and placed back on my feet. The girl cupped my face in her soft hands, proceeding to lean in and kiss me on the lips.
That wasn't exactly how I expected my first kiss to go, but I also didn't expect it to be with someone so beautiful. The sensation of her lips pressing against mine was unbeatable. I dare say that it was the greatest feeling I've felt in my sixteen years of life!
She broke the kiss, grinning shyly at me. "It's done. I am now tied to you as your wish attendant. It is forbidden for me to leave Earth until your wish has been granted in full."
Heh, I should have known that the kiss was what sealed the deal. How manga like. I didn't expect her to be tied to this planet now, though. I guess this was their way of forcing the attendants to grant the wish quickly.
"By the way, you really looked pathetic groveling like that. It definitely succeeded in making you look like an unsightly character. But you know…I don't particularly dislike that."
The grin on her face both scared me and turned me on. This girl…she was an unprecedented figure. She was the kind of figure that someone like myself would never meet. Yet, here she was right in front of me.
She looked at me curiously, seemingly expecting me to do something. "I must admit that I'm surprised. You're not even curious to find out my name? How hurtful."
Her name! How could something like that slip my mind? I didn't even know her name yet!
"I'm sorry!" I apologized profusely. "I'm Jack Renner. What's your name?"
She chuckled, clearly amused at my apology. "You didn't need to state your name. I know everything about you, Jack Renner. Your past, your darkest secrets, your hopes, your dreams, your weight, your height. I even know the length of your instrument. Nothing can escape these eyes of mine."
"Wa-wa-wait!" I stammered, blushing beet red. "By instrument…do you mean what I think you mean?!"
"You're pretty cute when you're embarrassed." She commented, licking her lips. "As I said, these eyes see all. It's a pleasure to meet you, Jack. My name is Machi. I'll be in your care from now on."
"Machi, huh? Isn't one meaning for that name in Japanese true happiness? So, you're a wish granter whose name means true happiness… This really is like something out of a manga."
Machi's amber eyes stared at me, as she pressed a finger against her cheek thoughtfully. "Like a manga? Indeed. If the coincidences are scaring you now, then you might want to buckle up for the ride. Things are about to get a lot more troperiffic."
I stared at her uncomprehendingly. What was she implying?
"You seem confused. Allow me to explain, dear Jack-kun. You seek to make your life have more meaning. That isn't something that I can just make happen. Providing you with wealth, friends and power won't suddenly change your outlook on life. You'll still end up thinking your life is mundane soon enough. Thus, I need to change you from the inside."
I couldn't deny that she had a point. My life wasn't just mundane. I was mundane.
"How do you propose to do that?" I asked curiously.
"I thought about the solution to that question for quite a while. I didn't even bother to appear before you until I had come up with a satisfactory answer. You love manga and anime right? Haven't you wished that you lived a life like the main characters of those shows? Don't you wish that you were born the chosen one? Don't you wish that you were the mage with unrivaled potential? Don't you wish that you were the youthful mecha pilot with the fate of the world on his shoulders? Don't you wish that you were the brother with the eroge-obsessed imouto? My answer is simple. You'll become what you wish to be. I will make you live out those anime. You shall become the main character."
I wasn't sure what to say. What could I say? This was absolutely ludicrous. She was going to make me live out some of my favorite anime? Did she even possess such power?
A shiver ran down my spine as I watched Machi smirk. She had no doubt heard those last couple thoughts.
"I assure you that I possess such power. It would not be wise to underestimate me, Jack-kun."
"Uhh…why do you keep adding kun to the end of my name?" I asked, running a hand through my hair.
"I'm getting in the spirit!" She chirped. She really said that far too energetically. "We're going to be visiting worlds like those of your favorite anime. I might as well get in the swing of things. Don't you agree?"
"You're serious about this, huh? You're really going to take me into the worlds of various anime?"
"Well…" She began slowly, shifting her eyes away from me. "I wouldn't say that exactly. We have to deal with copyright issues, you know! I'll simply be taking you into worlds that greatly reflect some of your favorite anime."
My brow twitched in response. "Copyright issues? Are you sure that you're mentally capable of doing this wish thing?"
Machi's eyes twinkled, as she stared at me longingly. Honestly, her staring was beginning to creep me out a bit.
"Kukuku, you're certainly the cheeky one. I am prepared for the task that lies ahead. The question is: are you?"
I scratched my chin in apprehension. What should I do? This whole thing sounded batshit insane, but what if it was true? What if this really was my way out of this mundane hell?
"Yeah." I answered, clutching my fists together. "Let's do this. I'm prepared to become the main character."
"Hohoho, that's what I like to hear. I'd say it's about time for this shitty side story to end. Let's get on with the slightly less shitty main event!"
I started to ask what the hell she meant by that, but that quickly became the least of my concerns. Machi had disappeared from sight, and the room around me to began swirl heavily.
I gripped my head tight, trying to steel myself. However, it didn't work, and I easily passed out.
"Can you get up already? My beautiful skin is going to get burnt to a crisp at this rate. I really should have picked a better world for this first attempt."
That annoying voice snapped me out of my stupor. I opened up my eyes, which turned out to be a bad idea. The bright sun blinded my awakening vision, forcing me to shut my eyes once more.
"I see that you're finally awake." Machi said haughtily. "I wish you had awoken sooner. This heat is a pain in the ass."
I slowly opened my eyes again, managing to adjust to the sun this time. I looked around, noticing that we were at some kind of beach. I glanced toward Machi, only to do a double take. She wasn't wearing her clothes from before. Instead, she was now wearing what looked like a typical shrine maiden outfit.
"Oh? My clothes surprise you? You had best look at what you're wearing then."
I did not like the sound of that. I slowly looked down at what I was wearing and blanched at the sight. I was wearing a burgundy red kimono.
"What the hell?" I exclaimed toward Machi. "Do you think I'm Kenshin or something?"
Machi chuckled, looking me over. "Kenshin? You could say that. More importantly, I'd say it's about time we start this shitty story. Don't you agree?"
"What do you mean?" I asked suspiciously.
Machi blinked. "I thought the meaning was quite clear. You are now the main character of this story. It's time for you to show the people here why."
I was about to respond, but the sounds of an explosion stopped me. I glanced toward the location of the sound, spotting an eruption of flames. It seemed that the village nearby was under some kind of attack.
Machi grinned ominously at the sight. She looked like a sociopath.
"I'm not a sociopath." She corrected me matter-of-factly. "I'm simply enjoying the view. That is, after all, the location where you'll show everyone why you're the main character."
"Wait…you want me to go up to where that explosion just happened?"
"Of course." She answered, as if that was the most obvious thing in the world. "Who else is going to stop the bandits from ravaging town?"
I said nothing in response. The word bandits simply circled through my brain like a bad headache. Bandits? She wanted me to go stop a group of bandits?
What the hell had I gotten myself into?