A Worthy Adversary
After greeting each other upon meeting at our headquarters (Mister Donuts Restraunt in Takarazuka City), we prepared ourselves for a night of adventure. The journey started first with a trip to the Izakaiya, where too much Nihonshu was consumed. This was the first step of fate trying to strip me of what was rightfully mine, as I could sense motor skills gradually deteriorating. After our feast was finished, which consisted of much karage (think Japanese chicken-nuggets) falling victim to my chopsticks, we trekked across the street to our usual battlegrounds of Round 1... Japan's mega-chain arcade and gaming center.
It is here that me and my friends have fallen many times before to the defeat of the powerful UFO games.
Time and time again we have struggled against our opponent, endlessly popping in 100 yen coins (roughly a dollar) in an attempt to gain meager rewards. The prize in question this time? Candy. The bane of the hungry Gaijin. Yes, any one of us could have walked down the street and gained, without much trouble mind you, candy of a higher caliber, and undoubtedly at a fraction of the cost. But that is not good enough. We wanted THIS candy... and nothing in the world, except us running out of money, would stop us. Many times, my friends and I have waged war against this one machine, only to see defeat rear its ugly head. But tonight was going to be different, it was destiny.
I must remind you though, there was a great power at work here, a power that none of us understood. It is this power that I blame for gracing me with the generosity to donate a couple coins to one of my friends to play a different game with me. It was at this time, right before our journey home, that I decided to try once more at our ancient foe. It was also at this time that I stuck my hands in my pockets and saw that, subtracting train ticket cost, I was... not graced with wealth. Damn you generosity. This is your work at fault. Feeling the inner pains of being bested by my foe once again, and letting my friends down, as they were wishing for someone to draw them out of the depths of despair, we headed to the lockers to gather our belongings.
Then, as I inserted the key to open my clothes stash... like a shining beacon in the night, a 100 yen coin rolls out of the machine as it refunded my deposit. My eyes locked on to the coin, the possibilities of redemption lighting up within me. My eyes even stayed locked on the coin as it fell out of the locker's grasp down to the floor. Never leaving it for a second, my eyes traced its path as it quickly hit the ground and rolled away, ducking beneath a nearby arcade.
Once again, the greater force was against me. doing everything it could to prevent me from getting that coin. The speed of which the coin was travelling was near supernatural, and I knew that the chances of recovery were slim at most. But one glance upon the faces of my friends, and the hopes that I could see within their eyes, drove me to the ground. Let no embarrassment brook my path as I sent my hand spelunking underneath the arcade that claimed my coin of salvation. No Japanese person questioning why a Gaijin was crawling around on the floor beneath them would be listened too. No floor, tainted with the grudge of ages of never seeing the light within a poorly ventilated area, would forbid me from seeking my treasure.
I credit sheer determination in my conquest that eventually provided me with the fruits of my labor... the lost coin of salvation. It was then that I took this coin and presented it to our foe. Dropping it inside the coin slot was nothing short of a battle cry from me and my friends as the buttons on the UFO game lit up, signaling the start of my challenge.
I could feel it working against me. My sight was upon the plastic bucket full of chocolate... the same plastic bucket with the same chocolate I have been pursuing for months... but whatever it was against me, whatever creature was guiding my fate... I could not let it thwart me now.
The button was pressed. With antagonizing slowness, the crane jerked to life and began to drift.
When the crane's horizontal journey came to a stop, so did the breathe of my friends and I. The crane drifted back, torturing me mentally as it plodded along before creeping to a stop as I released the button.
It was the moment of destiny.
As the crane began its final descent, it was like the descent of angels from the sky. Never a more perfect strike has been made within the history of man-kind as my chocolaty prize was securely grasped. A blast of trumpets could be heard echoing throughout the world, heralding my victory as my prize rose from its grave of gravity to be dropped over a hatch awaiting my grasp. It was a beautiful sight that slowed time itself as it dropped from the clutches of the enemy to the waiting opening to be gathered by the rightful owners.
I did it. I overcame fate trying to stop me in every way possible from allowing me the one chance I desired to defeat the infamous UFO game. Never again will we shy away from the fluorescent stare of our rival as we cross its pass again. We will always proudly declare our victory over it to the new-comers to our gatherings, so they may spread the word of our legendary battle in pursuit of a greater candy. After months of trying, and thousands upon thousands of yen that will undoubtedly be pocketed by some rich Japanese salary man... "I" am victorious. For my valiant actions against the UFO's soulless ones, my friends bestowed upon me the title of "Eien no Eiyuu"... or "Eternity's Hero."
Now if you excuse me, I must go wash my hands from the filth of victory before I taste the rancid bitterness of my aged confection.