Chapter 2: Books!
Next thing Hikaru knew was Koibito passing out right in the middle of a sentence. Hikaru caught her and tried to wake her up again. “Koibito! Koibi! Are you alright? Wake up!”
Her frantic screeching was interrupted by Yuugi, who tugged at her arm once again. “Hika-chan… I think something is wrong…” Hikaru was about to tell Yuugi that she knew that, that she wasn’t stupid, when she turned around to face him and saw that everybody around them was laying on the ground.
No movement. Nowhere was a single person still awake. Koibito murmured something Hikaru couldn’t quite understand, but Yuugi seemed to get it. “Are they all asleep? Koibito looks like she’s dreaming…”
Dreaming. This was all way too familiar for Hikaru. And it all became even worse when she hearde a voice scream at her.
“Hey, kiddo! Over here!”
Both Hikaru and Yuugi looked at the woman on a bicycle, waving at them. “Do you know her?”, Yuugi asked. Hikaru nodded. “She’s the librarian, Chihon.”
“Ridiculous! I was just out to get some tea!”
Chihon was angry instead of worried, it seemed. “I knew I could just have taken advantage of it and walk out without paying, but that would not end right. I’m sure of it.”
“Would not end right? So this is a good end? What even happened?”, Hikaru replied. “The virus spread to the real world.”, Chihon replied. “At least, this is my theory, seeing the symptoms are the same as what you described to me.” She paused, sitting down on a chair. “There was a weird noise, but seemingly we three are unaffected?” Hikaru nodded. “I heard the noise too…”, she said.
At that moment, Yuugi said: “What virus? Is everybody ill?”
Both females looked at him. Chihon was about to yell at him, when Hikaru motioned her to stay silent. “There is a computer virus spreading. But it’s also spreading to real people right now.”
“That’s… Pretty sci-fi.”, Yuugi said. “Good thing I didn’t catch it!”
Hikaru cleared her throat. “You did, actually.”
“That is why Haruki opened you up. And why you couldn’t remember anything about the last weeks.”
Silence, once more.
“So I am immune now?”, Yuugi asked. “I have no clue.”, Hikaru replied. “Well, it didn’t spread to me, but then again I never use the internet.”, Chihon said calmly. “HOW DO YOU SURVIVE?”, Yuugi replied loudly. Chihon just shrugged. “Books.”
“Okay so you didn’t get it because you have no internet, Yuugi already had it once and doesn’t remember it… But why am I not dreaming?”, Hikaru muttered. “Maybe because-“
She stopped mid-sentence, looking at Yuugi, who tilted his head in confusion.
“Well, your systems asked me for help when you were infected…”, Hikaru explained to him. “Your brother probably copied infected files to inspect them and did something wrong.”, Chihon stated, crossing her arms. “He’s been wrong before.” Hikaru glared at her, getting ready to counter, but Yuugi stopped her. “So… You were infected too?” Hikaru shook her head. “Only affected, if you understand what I mean.”
Yuugi nodded and sighed in reply. “For once, I want to be a book…”
And Hikaru hugged him in reply. “I do not.”, she told him.