The Coffee Werewolf
The Coffee Werewolf
Author: Akkoneko

Chapter 1: Friendly Proposal


A coffee mug was seen broken on the floor, spilling its caffeine-laden contents into the space between the wood panels. The mug in question fell from a table that was filled with books, papers, and a laptop.

The youthful-looking dark-haired man who was witness to the sight breathed a sigh of relief. None of the items on the table were damaged in the incident. However, he was now worried about something, or rather, someone else.

He carefully made his way to the bathroom, where that person had gone to in panic. At first, he tried to talk to the one inside, but hearing no answer, he opened the door ever so slightly…

…and was attacked by a beast.

The Berserker, with the brand new claws that he had equipped, dealt the finishing blow on the boss of the Hollow Wilds. After its obligatory death sequence, a large loot box dropped in its place, and its contents were received by the members of the two-member party that had slain the monster, the aforementioned Berserker and a Shadowblade.

As the list of items showed up on the small screen of a smartphone, Benedict Pine, the young man behind the Berserker character breathed a sigh of relief. It was another challenging yet fun session in Grimblaze, with the first, and possibly the only friend that he ever had, in the game and online in general.

“Hey, great job there, man,” a voice from the other side spoke. It was his friend, who had the username Evil_Weevil. Most people found it silly, but it had a ring to it that he liked.

“Haha, thanks. Those claws you bought me really were something. I’m kind of embarrassed now… I didn’t really do that much except for that last blow.”

“Come on, don’t be so modest. Look, equipment are just tools. The real winner is still the player behind the character, and you did great,” said his friend. “Actually, I still can’t believe you’re like, this really soft cinnamon roll kind of guy. If we weren’t on voice chat terms, I would’ve thought you were like your character. Wild.”

If only his friend knew how he felt whenever they went on a co-op quest in the game. His heart always started to race in anxiousness, and he’d feel as if there’s something in him that just wanted to get out and destroy or do some damage. Thankfully, the game was there, and that he could do what his urges told him to without fearing for his things or the people around him.

Unfortunately, this would likely be his last gaming session. His college admission test results had already come in, and he passed. He would have to find a place to live in the city, and in the next few months, he would probably be too busy for any sort of game. He’d have to put even more effort into studying this time around, unlike in high school.

Thinking about it was already bringing tears to his eyes, and a gripping pain in his chest. He wouldn’t be able to interact with his friend like he’s doing now.

But this is all the more reason that he would need to tell him.

“Hey, Weevil…” he said.

“What is it, man? You sound kinda down.”

It took him a while to say what he needed to. “I… The results of the college entrance test just came in.”

“Oh cool!” There was a notable pause before his friend continued. “So, did you pass?”

“Yeah… I…” Ben said with great hesitation. “I may not be able to play for a while because of that… Possibly a long while…”

“Is that so…?” The guy on the other side didn’t sound sad, but rather, was slowly taking in the information. “Well, actually, I’m also going to college.”

“Oh, really? Where are you attending?” the anxious young man asked, barely keeping his anticipation in check. In his heart, he held hope that they would be studying in the same college. Maybe, he thought, they would be able to at least see each other.

“Duwood College,” said the voice from the phone.

Ben almost couldn’t believe his ears. He was already teary-eyed because of the possibility that he won’t meet with his friend ever. Now, he’s outright crying because of joy. “R-Really? That’s where I’m going too!”

“Whoa man, cool!” said the excited voice on the other side. “But wait… are you… crying?”

“Ah, sorry!” Ben blew into and wiped his nose on his shirt.

“No, it’s all right, man. Just… let it out, okay?” His friend let out a chuckle afterward, which sparked a bout of laughter between the two of them. When they’ve finally settled down, they continued their conversation.

“Maybe we can visit each other when I move to the city.”

“Hmmmmm… You know what? I’ve got a much better idea.”

“What is it?”

What could be better than the simple idea of visiting each other? They couldn’t possibly room with each other in some dinky dorm. After all, Ben knew that his friend was loaded, and likely lived in a house of his own. He wouldn’t need to go to a lower level or residence and pay rent.

“How about you live here with me?” his friend suggested. “The house is pretty big, and the college is nearby too. We can even, like, go there together if our schedules sync up.”

Of course, there was that option. How could he have been so stupid?

That’s because he wasn’t a user, that’s why. While he appreciated what his friend has been doing for him in-game, he never thought of taking advantage of his financial resources. This guy was practically his only friend, and he wouldn’t want their relationship to be ruined because of a shallow thing such as money.

“I don’t know… I mean, game items are one thing, but isn’t living with you a bit too much? I can’t trouble you any more…”

“You’re not gonna be trouble!” said the voice on the other side, sounding almost angry with concern. “Money isn’t even an issue. It’s just that… I know what it feels like to be lonely, and I thought you might feel the same way when you’re finally rooming with complete strangers. Well, you can say I’m also kinda a stranger, but anyway… That’s all.”

Now that he thought about it, his friend may already be feeling the pangs of loneliness right at that moment. Maybe part of why the person was such an avid gamer was to stave at least part of it off. He didn’t like the thought that someone else he knew was feeling such a thing.

“A-Are you sure it won’t be a problem?” asked Ben.

“It won’t, trust me. So, do you agree?”

“I’ll… talk about it with my parents. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll just wait for your decision…”

At dinner that night, Ben talked about his friend’s proposal for his college accommodation.

“I’m so proud of you, son! I knew you could do it!” said his mom.

“I’m really happy for you,” said his dad. “Now, we’ll have to work out where you’re going to stay, huh?”

“Can’t he just stay here, dear?”

“The city’s too far away for him to keep going back and forth. It’s not just going to waste money, but also his energy. The boy needs it so he could study, you know.”


“Well, about that…” said Ben. “A friend of mine offered to let me stay at his house. For free.”

“Who? That Weevil fellow? The rich kid?” said his mom. “He’s practically the only friend you’ve talked about with us.”

“Yeah… That’s him. His name is Nico, by the way.”

“Hmm… If you don’t mind, could we talk to him? Even just on the phone,” said his dad. “I would just like to get a feel for this guy, since we haven’t exactly had a good conversation with him yet. I know you choose the people you’re with, and I trust you on your judgement, but still…”

“It’s all right, Dad. I’ll message and call him.”

Ben was excited. He immediately pulled up the messaging app, CloudWord, to ask Nico if it was all right to call. Since his friend was usually online, a reply came within a few minutes. It said, “Yeah, sure.”

He then activated the call function and put the phone on speaker mode.

“Hello?” said Nico.

“Hello, young man. I’m Ben’s dad.”

“Hi! Sorry for suddenly asking your son to live with me. You can still choose to let him dorm, if you want.”

“No, I’m not going to. In fact, I’m going to thank you for your offer.”

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