Tynan was already on his way to the store he worked at when his phone rang. It was an unknown number but the programmer decided to pick it up anyway. Chances were, it was an insurance agent trying to sell him something but being the nice person he was, the man simply couldn't decline calls.
"You doofus! You left your wallet at home!"
Startled, the half-Asian nearly dropped his phone. "You- Laura? How did you get my number?"
If he could see the e-ghost, he would have seen Laura rolling her eyes. "I have skills. That's not important, come back and get your wallet before you starve!"
The conversation made Tynan smile. Having someone care for him just made him feel very warm on the inside. "I understand. How about I run back to get it during lunch break? I don't work very far from where I live, a ten-minute walk would suffice. Can you wait until then? Is there something you'd like me to get you?"
Laura paused. Is there anything she could possibly use as an e-ghost? Then she remembered the thing on her reminder menu.
"How about a light bulb to replace the broken one?"
Tynan nodded. "Ok, I'm going to have to go to work now, see you later. Bye!"
"Goodbye," Laura agreed and ended the call. Who knew that her very first Google Consultant chance would be used to make an internet call? Still, it was worth it.
With nothing better to do, Laura decided to take a look at the new features from levelling up. Not much had changed but there was a new category of skills that she could now train in by completing tasks instead of purchasing the skills for upgrades with soul points. This made the biker very happy for a while but her face darkened as soon as she found out what they were.
"Training skills for a Good Wife?! What the fuck? Why do I need to cook and clean for that lazy bum?! What do I get in return when it is just going to be messy all over again the next day?"
As if the System heard her ranting, there was a notification prompt.
[User feedback taken into consideration. System upgrading, please wait a moment.]
Laura wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. The system could upgrade too? Does this mean she would lose all her progress so far? Maybe she should have kept her mouth shut.
There was a chime sound as the system completed its upgrade and the e-ghost waited patiently. Eventually, another system notification window appeared.
[Thank you for waiting. The system has been upgraded to version alpha 1.1, and new features can be found in the developer notes in your Observation Journal.]
The biker decided to check that out first. She wasn't a very tech-savvy person but luckily, the notes were simple enough to understand.
"I will now be able to train wife skills to upgrade the purchased skills using a shared XP function? Isn't this like an RPG now? Being a ghost can really be convenient. Alright, let's start purchasing the other two skills first with the points I earned from levelling up."
The racer was quite happy with the results as she experimented with the new skills. Telekinesis only allowed her to move objects a little but when paired with the cleaning skill, a lot could be done.
Cooking was something Laura didn't have a lot of knowledge about. She was always travelling the world as a teenager so there was never any need for her to learn how to make food. Thankfully, learning cooking recipes wouldn't use up Internet Consultant chances. The ghost decided to work on that secretly for now. Besides, she had yet to understand how the Wider Window skill would benefit her. The last wife skill was Comforting and Laura didn't know what it meant. Comforting wasn't as straightforward as cooking and cleaning. It involved a Happiness Meter that had no explanation for the fluctuations. Cooking and Cleaning were easier to monitor because Laura could understand the Wellness Meter. If she kept the home good enough for Tynan to be well rested and in a good physical condition for work the next day, she succeeded. So what exactly was the Happiness Meter? Tynan wasn't doing very well at 32% now. Laura also didn't know what she could do to increase that.
When in doubt, do what you can. Win the small battles and break the big battles down to conquer the hill. That has always been the Dirt Queen's life motto. It has never failed her before and it wouldn't fail her now either.
"Let's start with cleaning, this place is a pigsty!" she decided. Although Laura's understanding of XP sharing was slightly wrong, the system did not correct her. Sharing XP only meant that while she levelled up a wife skill, half the XP will go to the wife skill and the remaining half will be shared among the rest of her purchased skills evenly. The system was also smart. It didn't want to let Laura get away without spending soul points after the initial purchase. Any good business would know that you can only grow your revenue by converting new leads into recurring customers.
As Laura happily picked up the trash and sorted out clothes, Tynan was facing the wrath of his manager at the convenience store. Kamie only watched from the cash register as the gentle giant bowed his head in apology over and over again. While the owner of the shop was a nice person, the manager was a nasty person who only knew how to lick the boots of the higher-ups. When the owner was not around, the manager would often abuse the employees beneath him. It was also the reason why the turnover rate for employees at the shop was so high. Tynan had been lasting a year here and Kamie took her hat off to the man. She was ready to quit next month as she had saved enough for her summer school fees.
The college student was surprised to see Tynan still act so cheerful during lunch. Normally, after a run-in with the manager, Tynan would often eat in silence and listen to some music in a corner. Kamie would often accompany the poor man so that he didn't have to suffer in silence. However, today the man let the incident roll off his back and was genuinely looking forward to something, just like yesterday. Could it be that Tynan finally had a girlfriend?
"Hey Kamie, do you know where the nearest hardware shop is? I need to go buy a replacement for a light bulb. Mine broke a few days ago."
The co-worker wanted to ask if Tynan was dumb. Why did he wait a few days to buy a replacement for a broken bulb? She would have done it immediately or the next day. Still, she held her tongue and gave him directions. The man bounced off like an overgrown puppy and Kamie was extremely curious as to who Tynan's girlfriend was. They had better not be toying with him because as much of a slob he was, Tynan was a good person. They might not be very close but the man had helped her a lot at work. It was only right that she looked out for the lost puppy in life.
For some reason, Tynan was ecstatic. It didn't matter if the horrible manager scolded him again. All the programmer wanted to do was to go back and check on his new friend in his new phone. Perhaps it was the high from lack of sleep but Tynan simply wasn't feeling tired. He ran back home at top speed just to confirm that everything wasn't a dream.
Or was it a dream? The part-timer was positively confused with the sight that greeted him. The key unlocked the right door so why did he not recognise the studio apartment? Tynan slapped himself hard. Was it a dream? Nope. It hurt. This was reality without a doubt. What exactly happened? Surely the robbers who came to steal his wallet didn't think that his home was so filthy that they decided to clean up as a favour... right?
"Are you back already? Your wallet is on the kitchen counter."
Cautiously and not wanting to believe it, Tynan walked over to where his G-phone was last charging. To his horror, it wasn't there. His fears were confirmed. There was someone holding his new phone and friend hostage in the bathroom where the voice was coming from.
Arming himself with a frying pan, Tynan walked over with unsteady legs. Why would a robber hide in the toilet? Unless... unless they were trying to do perverted things to a poor innocent e-ghost! Fueled by the fire of justice, Tynan barged in and held the frying pan high over his head but found something scarier than the robber. It was as if the cleaning equipment in his house possessed life like in the cursed castle. He felt like Belle watching the household objects move on its own and wondered how much crazier his life could get.
Still, the first words out of his mouth were, "Why are you cleaning?"
Laura was livid. The man still had the nerve to ask? She felt like she'd had her fair share of horror this morning. From a two-year expired milk carton in the fridge to a mould-infested bathroom tile... the man would surely die in a few more years if left on his own. Just cleaning the place over the past four hours made Laura level up twice already. That goes to show how filthy everything was.
"How did you manage to survive in such a place? You could have died trying to drink expired milk in the fridge and I don't think it's liquid any longer. Why didn't you try cleaning it even just a little? This place isn't fit for humans to live in!"
Tynan didn't mind the rants. In fact, looking at Laura's angry expression made him feel cared for. The girl was adorable and he wished that she was real and not just an e-ghost or AI. Still, he made himself silently content and allowed the girl to rant a little more. Lunch break ended in forty more minutes but he was used to going without eating lunch. Instead of listening to depressing music in a corner, Tynan much preferred the company of his new friend. Also, it was entertaining to watch a poltergeist activate their powers for housework. If all ghosts were like Laura, everyone would want one. He didn't think that other G-phones had e-ghosts like Laura because he read the online reviews. The AI companion boasted by G-phone to help users was only as good as a dumbed-down version of the Google assistant.
Eventually Tynan had to excuse himself to go back to work. Before he went, Laura gave him a list of things to shop for, including the light bulb. Tynan was slightly surprised, he didn't know if e-ghosts needed food but it would make sense that they would still require some kind of offering, right? Happy that he could do something to repay his friend for helping him out with his unhealthy lifestyle, Tynan decided that he could afford to splurge a little.
When Tynan came back from work, he was carrying two heavy bags of groceries. It had been so long since he last cooked that he had to get everything from sauce and oil to rice on top of the things Laura requested. The shopping trip took longer than he expected and he was slightly tired from such a long day.Laura was resting and trying to piece back her memories. How did she end up as a ghost inside a phone? Also, it seemed like every time she tried to find out more about herself using the Internet Assistant, the system would deny her request. It was as if it didn't want her to find out how she died. The worst part was how Laura was unable to recall anything about her family. She knew background information like her home and that she had parents and was an only child with a pet cat. However, none of them had a real image to the names she knew. It felt like an implanted memory and at this moment, the ex-biker felt confused about her identity.
Laura was excited. She was able to see more of the world outside now that Tynan was bringing her to work. In the twenty-first century, it wasn't uncommon to see people holding their phones up and talking to themselves. People would assume that they were on a video call and Laura made it very convincing that she was someone calling from the other side of the line.Tynan showed her around town as he walked to work. The e-ghost smiled at the peaceful town. There were a few cars and only a few people because it was afternoon. Tynan's shift started after lunch and ended around dinner time. He was covering for Kamie who called in for an emergency leave today.The first thing she noticed was how crappy of a human the manager was. He was an overweight man who looked extremely greasy and didn't clean up after himself very well. While Laura tried her best not to judge a person by their looks, it was a clear case of human ga
It was a lazy weekend and Tynan didn't have to go to work. Initially, he intended to spend the day lazing in bed until noon but when he saw his new phone, he was quickly reminded of Lauren and swallowed thickly. The realisation of his feelings last night made him feel a little awkward around the e-ghost who was now very silent.Getting out of bed, Tynan wondered what would be a good breakfast for the snoozing e-ghost. After a few days, Laura and Tynan discovered that while Laura didn't need sleep or food, she would sometimes go offline for a few hours. During that period, the phone would work like any other phone and Laura couldn't be contacted.It was a scary thing but Laura explained it as a power outage of sorts where the system wouldn't allow her to view the outside world and she would feel a very strong feeling lulling her into a half-asleep state where she could not open her eyes yet could still hear faint stuff going on around her. Laura didn't know what she was
Tynan was taking a break. He'd call it a rather productive day as the game was making good progress. The first dungeon stage was complete and he tested it several times to find bugs. Laura even helped out as the game reset, giving him comments about where she found it lacking or difficult to cope with. He didn't know that the e-ghost was a gamer but Laura turned out to be rather decent with games even though she claimed that she didn't play games often in the past."You're actually quite good at this," Laura commented and Tynan rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment."Thanks. I actually wanted to work in a game development company that's why I studied programming. It's hard to get into that market here in Australia. I did think about moving abroad to America but nobody would employ me. The dream company to work for would be Playrix in Russia but I don't speak Russian so that's a huge no-go. Getting a job at that shitty convenience store was the only thing that al
Laura and Tynan settled into an easy routine after a while and just like that, two weeks flew by. The dirt princess was slowly but surely levelling up her housekeeping skills but she was unable to complete the new task the system assigned her. She wasn't able to improve Tynan's financial system and that was becoming a little bit of a nuisance."Why wouldn't the system level up already? Surely it wouldn't take much longer to get Internet Consultant to level 2, right? I'm already level 10 with cleaning, level 3 with cooking and level 7 with comforting!"The system addressed Laura's complaints with patience.[The ratio of xp to level up purchased skills from shared xp in trainable skills is 5:1. Replying, a total of 30 levels must be achieved in trainable skills to level up purchased skills once. Shared xp function works collectively, purchased skills will be levelled up at the same time.]Laura read the explanation twice and threw her hands up in frustratio
The strong chemical smell of hair products invaded Tynan's nose as he entered the salon that he hasn't been to in half a year. His hair was already touching his shoulder and the natural waviness of his red locks was becoming a tangled mess since he hadn't maintained it.It didn't take long for Laura to figure out that Tynan hated the hair salon with passion. The man kept fidgeting and scowling whenever the stylist touched his hair and praised it. The lady with rainbow fringe kept asking him a volley of questions that Tynan didn't know how to answer or particularly care for.Hence, the e-ghost took matters in her own hands and texted Tynan to communicate with the distressed programmer.Laura: Do you want to keep it long or short?Tynan looked up from his phone and asked the hairstylist if he could maintain the length of his hair. It was a pain to keep coming back to the salon because his hair grew as quick as the unattended grass outside. He didn't want to
After the successful image transformation, Laura quickly uploaded a good picture after some editing. Tynan left it in her capable hands and decided to tackle the more important stuff, grabbing discounted groceries from the store. If he was going to save money, he was going to start by cutting down on food expenses. For a while, he wouldn't be taking cooking requests from Laura.Laura didn't question where Tynan was going in such a hurry. She was busy dealing with marketing matters for his new freelancer profile and checking out the competitors on the website while the programmer jostled for discounted vegetables and meat.The grocery shopping trip ended quickly and Laura noticed how many people were looking at Tynan. Perhaps it was his new looks, perhaps it might be the ridiculous amount of grocery bags he was carrying home. Either way, he attracted a lot of attention."Tired already?" the dirt princess asked when Tynan had to stop by at a park to rest before he
HiThanks for reading. This work is a promo. If you liked it, be sure to head over to my Patreon where you can read the full version. Alternatively, you can buy the kindle version when it is out.I write mostly on tapas and Webnovel so be sure to find me there. My social media should also be the same as my pen name (Destiny Aitsuji / destiny_aitsuji). I stream on Twitch and Youtube my writing journey.Edit: New work on Webnovel coming soon titled [Godfather World] so be sure to follow!That's it from me, I hope you enjoyed it.