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The Protagonist Has to be Mine

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Jana Tesoro should not be considered as a loner, yet she is one, according to the app 'Patfinder's Guide'. She's a college student bored out of her wits trying to skip her swimming lessons. What she thought to be a harmless online game turned out to be scary, and deadly. Jana transmigrated inside the game of love and betrayal. Now she only had no one but her system, Vivien, who claimed to be trustworthy but always failed miserably. Jana has two important tasks; Save herself from dying, and prevent the main couple from ending up together in every task world. Things have gone smoothly at first. She even had the optimism to come back alive and kicking in reality. Until she met a man that is said to be her angel, yet put her through hell instead. The promised safety was gone as the game entered the mode level she's been so frightened of; the devastation.

Task World 1: Love Knows No Bounds

FIRST INSTANCE:

Love Knows No Bounds

Jana felt conflicted about what had just occurred in the initial task world. She swore it went fast— like how days easily went by during vacation week. Jana doesn’t know the magic behind it. And with the things that are going to proceed after this, she lacked the confidence and the fighting spirit that her AI, Vivien, had initially given her.

Thinking idly about everything, she realized that what had brought her inside this game world is that app that someone shared to her during school recess.

‘Who was it again?’

Her memories are starting to deteriorate. Jana worried about her state for a long time until Vivien comfortingly divulged that her memories will be carefully constructed back once she returned to reality. But when will that happen?

She had just finished the training simulation. As Jana rests in the four cornered waiting room with no door or windows, she recalled what transpired earlier.

‘I was named Queenie Servantes in my first mission, and that, I am a villain of someone else’s love story.’

___________

It was midnight when Jana woke up in an unfamiliar room. The transfer was successful. She is now Player 1262, on her way to finish the training mission. Vivien said it will be fine, that the training simulation is nothing to be scared about. It's an introduction to the whole structure of the game.

Jana was dressed in a white nightgown that went past her ankles, laying in bed. Her hair running loose and uncomfortable on her shoulders, with her eyes blurry.

She pursed her lips in discomfort.

Jana tried to pull herself out of bed when she noticed the most horrible thing that could happen to her.

She can't feel her legs.

Her nerves began to jump in her brain. Common sense recognizes that this happening is in no way normal. It can’t be! The moment she was about to open her mouth and shout for help, Vivien, the ‘trusted’ Ai's voice, rang.

“Great host, how are you feeling?”

“Where am I?” Jana gasped. Her voice doesn't sound the same. It was the cherry atop of her nightmare. Her scalp tingled with dread. “Where am I? My voice isn't like this! Wait.. my, my face too...”

Her face seemed to have more defined features!

“Great host, I know. Have you forgotten? You accepted the conditions. Now, would you like to open the plot summary and begin the task world mission?”

“What?” Jana demanded, “I'd like to go back—now! Let me out of this!”

She had an unfortunate decision to press the play button. A schoolmate recommended this application called 'Pathfinder's Guide'. It was supposed to be an honest and simple role playing game but things turned to worst and she had contact with Vivien.

“I'm sorry, host. That's not a part of my job as a trusted system. If the host wishes to leave, then she must complete the instances given consecutively and not die.”

“I… don't know how.” Jana hugged herself. Her tone seemed lost and full of anxiety. “I…can't feel my legs! What do you want me to do?”

“To know more about the world mission, we must learn the plot summary, host.” Vivien launched, “The protagonist in this level is Hailey Greystone. She is a businesswoman, running five stores including the bakery right in front of the condo building the host is currently staying in. Hailey had experienced scarcity in every way when she was young. Now that she is old enough, she ventured to make a name of her own. That's when the male lead, Giovanni Qiamco came to the part. She is Queenie Servantes' secretary slash personal aid. Queenie is the owner of the host's current body...”

Jana’s eyebrow started to twitch. The information unfolding in front of her made no sense— all she can see is a mildly blinking screen of blue light and no more. She not only had disabled legs but faulty eyes too!

Vivien continued with ease. “…Queenie had an accident which changed not just her life but her personality as well. The car accident ruined both of her legs. She was an outgoing woman before and loved to travel the world. Because of being disabled, she needed to hire a secretary just for signing papers and pushing her wheelchair. Queenie does not treat Giovanni well. Often calling him names. Giovanni is not from a well-off family. That's why when the protagonist and male lead met, they felt an instant connection.”

Jana closed her eyes. That's just like those TV shows she had seen in the past! Mumbling to herself, she rolled closer to the nightstand. Feeling up the glossy wood, her hand caught a grip of something hard. It was a box. After pinching it open, a pair of glasses presented itself. Jana tried to put it on and instantly, the blurry images became clear.

Yet no Vivien was in sight. She could still hear the system speaking but nothing suspicious could be seen in front of her. Jana nodded her head, understanding that the Ai is inside her consciousness.

The story follows when Queenie continued to bully Giovanni. Hailey will comfort the aching man and the feelings of the two will continue to expand. The male lead fell for the protagonist's great skill in cooking. Later on, Queenie will realize how important Giovanni was to her. The protagonist and the male lead are now exclusively dating when Queenie decided to get the man back.

Giovanni quits as Queenie's secretary. Leaving the woman with no one beside her. No one can stand Queenie like Gio does. Queenie tried to apologize but then Hailey held Gio tight, promising to make their future together. Gio only bid Queenie his last goodbye.

Disappointed and forlorn, Queenie decided to throw everybody out. She learned something about her family that made her question her existence. With her frustration, she decided to stop breathing for life. Queenie ended her own pain.

Jana can’t really blame Queenie’s decision. She can’t judge the woman because she has no idea how painful it is to live almost all her life to the fullest only to wake up one day and lose everything that she has. She’s only 18 in reality, whereas Queenie is 27 years old.

If one spent their whole time walking with two legs, it would be more than a shock to find out that they could only crawl for the rest of their remaining life. It’s devastating.

Giovanni heard the news about Queenie's demise and blamed himself for it. He then became absent-minded. Extremely guilty that he did not talk with Queenie properly.

The female protagonist fought with the male lead and reasoned for all that she could. It's not his fault that he is just a human. He needed love, and love is where Hailey is. Queenie should have just accepted it. After their conversation, Hailey hugged Giovanni. Done resolving their conflict, the male lead proposed, and the story ended with their wedding.

It was a good story. Jana heard of something like this before. Not the same characters, but the struggles were equal. Jana inquired, “The story is perfect. What needs to be done?"

She didn't know getting hit by a stray ball in the middle of playing a game may lead her in this problem. If she had only known, then maybe she wouldn't even think about using her phone for a year!

“Tsk! The great host is not paying attention. Attentiveness can save lives, host.” After the mechanical laugh, the Ai said with a strict tone, “The host must prevent her own death and preserve her clean reputation up until the end.”

Jana was quiet for a second before she blinked furiously. “What?”

‘Why do I have a bad feeling about this?’

“Each instance issues different tasks. But one of these tasks remains certain and unchangeable; you must prevent the main couple from ending up together. In this mission, you are tasked to change Queenie Servantes' ending and prevent the protagonist's from falling in love.” Vivien cheered, “Host, I wish you luck—enjoy your time here!”

Jana busied herself when the system went silent. She ran a critical eye to every clause in her contract written on the faint hologram in front of her.

Dying inside the instances had no damage on her real body once she went back to the present world. She's basically immortal inside the game. Yet, that doesn't mean that every injury won't hurt her as if it's not real.

Once her character dies, she can have rebirth just by spending some points— something she doesn’t have at the moment so dying is a no way to go.

Even though this condition looks good, she would still likely feel the pain of being murdered or anything related to sickness. This might be all virtual but the feelings here are real-life. That's what scares her the most.

‘What if I get... attached to these characters?’

The time spent inside the game is a hundred times slower in reality. Once she passes all these then she should still be able to eat dinner at home by ten. Her landlord would be full of litany again if she got home later than usual— which is 11 PM.

Jana told herself to be optimistic. However, settling low in her gut is a feeling where as though everything right now sounds ominous.

Like a great doom is just ahead.

2

Despite her worry, Jana calmly settled on the bed and started to think about this mission. There's no way this game is just a dream. She slapped her face a few times before confirming that this is real. Jana loathes to recall the reason why she ended up inside this mission. She had chosen this herself. She practically accepted everything that Vivien told her when she fainted.

She decided to focus on the problem at hand.

Queenie Servantes, her role in this mission, is a human ladder created to make the protagonist have her own happy ending with the male lead. Her death was the catalyst to their conflict, which they will pass without much sweat, and then they would go fly towards happily ever after with holding hands.

Although Jana loves happy endings, she can't help but feel sorry for this character.

Not fair. It was not given justice. It wasn’t even realistic. Queenie’s life being given just like that just to move the plot forward.

Heroes

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