|Period 1: The Devil's Game|
|Next||Period 2: The Bonds Of A Curse|
Everyone in class has become obsessed with a new video game; except for Mio Matsuzaki, who doesn't have it. But after getting her own game she is warned not delete her save file, because whatever happens in life or in the game will also happen in the other world.
From her seat Yomi greets the readers and welcomes them. She tells them about the setting and to take their time.
Mio sighs at her desk while listening to her classmates chattering about their video games. She really wants one -and is the only student in class without it- but her mom refuses to buy her a game console because of her poor grades. While lamenting this, Yukari approaches Mio to talk to her until she's called to join the others. She walks off, leaving Mio shocked as she notices Abel -a boy she has a crush on- has a game too.
Depressed and alone, Mio takes off once school ends. She can't ask her mother when she knows the answer, and even if she saves up money it could take a long time to afford one. In the middle of fearing abandonment from her friends, Mio suddenly steps on something and looks down to find a console. As she curiously picks it up she notes never seeing this model before, then the screen turns on to reveal the game "Animal's and Human's Stories". Mio is startled since she didn't turn it on, and she is disappointed by the "cliche" story line of animals encountering events to grow up to become kings of the animal kingdom, but she is enticed after finding out the goal of the game is to gather all of the food and money items to rise in popularity.
She notices that nobody has seen her pick up this strange console, and after seeing the game warning that all progress will be lost should she restart, she hesitantly decides to try it. Mio compliments the cute bunny character she is given and she puts her name in to start it up. The game starts by asking Mio what she should do after encountering fruit within the forest that might belong to someone else. She selects B "return it to the police" and happily continues to play while making her way home. It's then she spots a wallet on the ground and picks it up to return it to the police station. The relieved owner rewards her with 10,000 yen and leaves as she stares at her newfound money. The officer kindly asks if she will be okay to get home on her own and brings up that a suspicious person has been lurking through town lately, but Mio assures them she will be fine.
She takes off and thinks about how she can spend the money when she realizes her bunny was rewarded as well; obtaining 100 seeds for being honest. Mio is delighted, but by now she starts to wonder if it was alright taking the game. She quickly rationalizes that it's fine because someone discarded it anyway and shoves it into her pocket while heading home. If it means she won't be alone anymore then it isn't a big deal.
The following day while making her way to school Mio is still playing the game when she notices a statistic bar she didn't see before. She brushes it off, assuming it's just displaying the consoles energy. She sees her character also goes to school when suddenly, she spots Abel up ahead. She attempts to speak to him as he comes her way but she finds herself unable to say anything and he walks right past her. Turning to her game, she sees that a similar situation is occurring with a male tiger that caught her bunnies attention, and the game asks if she should talk to him or let him walk past. Hoping things go better for her bunny, Mio chooses A "talk to him of course!" and suddenly Abel approaches her. His friend is as surprised as she is when he greets Mio and asks if she would like to walk to class with him. She is shocked by the event but accepts as it dons on her that whatever happened in game has been happening to her. It's too much to just be coincidental.
Initially shaken by the concept, Mio soon finds herself more accepting of it after realizing she can control her life to go the way she wants it to. Not only could she improve her grades, but she could also gain a love life and do better with sports while rising to popularity.
One day, Mio is approached by Yukari and her other friend. They have become concerned for her because of how suspiciously she's been acting -observing her hide the console- but Mio comes up with an excuse to hurry to their next class. She can't let them find out because then they might want the game too.
Once school ends Mio makes her way home when a new event happens. Her character sees something and she can either "Keep walking until they meet" or "Stop to look them in the face", and she chooses the safer option. She pauses momentarily and doesn't see anything, other than a little kid walk by in a hurry. Mio is relieved and she warns him to be careful- when suddenly a bus comes out of nowhere and runs him over. Mio stares in horror as a nearby Teacher screams for help. Blood has smeared on the console as Mio notices how different this was than past events, and she thinks about how she could have been killed if she chose the other option.
During class, the teacher informs the class of the suspicious person lurking around. He warns everyone to leave in groups for safety reasons, but Mio can only focus on the incident until noticing the third statistic bar has decreased from earlier. She finds herself feeling sluggish but blames it on staying up to play the game all night, but she ate such a big breakfast that she can't understand why it had no effect.
After class she gets up to talk to Yukari and her friends, who are discussing the suspicious person. But when they walk off, Mio expresses confusion. Yukari leaves to join them after asking Mio to meet up with her after school.
Mio anxiously meets up with Yukari, who brings up that everyone has become upset with her lately for ignoring them. They tried to speak to her but she only wants to be alone now, and sometimes she doesn't even seem to acknowledge them. While Mio can see what she means, that doesn't leave her feeling any less attacked and stubbornly refuses Yukari's suggestion that she apologizes to the others. She doesn't see why she should after they practically did the same thing before she got her own console, and she ignores Yukari's desperate attempts to reason with her, saying that it was Mio's own unapproachable attitude that made them keep distance. Out of concern she asks Mio if she is hiding something from her, causing Mio to suddenly snap at her and claim that her new game is more fun than being with them. She proclaims that she doesn't need friends and runs away in tears, with Yukari trying to get her to stop until seeing its futile.
Mio runs to a bench behind the school and calms herself down, realizing that nobody else is there. With how late it is she decides she should get home and she turns off the game- but it turns back on. She sees her character is being approached by the "fiend of the forest" and she looks up to find a tall figure before her wielding a hand cycle and a strange hat over his face. Remembering the details she heard of the strange figure, Mio panics and runs away, heading into the school and all the way into the restroom while screaming for help.
She locks the door behind her and takes shelter in a stall, where the figure approaches; dragging their blade against the door. As tears begin to form, Mio can tell the figure is getting closer as she expresses remorse for not apologizing and leaving with Yukari. The game suddenly jingles and alerts her to a new event, saying that her character ran into her home for safety and now she can either A "Open the door from inside" or B "Break the lock on the door", but while panicking she realizes the person has found the stall she is in. She then comes to the realization that the third bar wasn't for energy but her life span, as it continues to get lower.
She collapses to the floor in defeat and the game tells her to clear or reset, and frantically she hits the buttons to reset it in hopes everything will be fine and this person will go away.
The door suddenly opens to reveal two of her classmates in disguise. They begin to tell Mio that they did this because of her not treating them like a friend anymore but to their surprise they see she's missing. Yukari angrily bursts into the room demanding and explanation, and they bring up how they intended on just scaring Mio a little before offering to walk home with her, but she chews them out for doing this. She calls for Mio and says the suspicious person had been caught according to the news, but she looks in the stall to find the game console as Mio helplessly calls for them.
Yomi rises from the seat she had been occupying, saying that if Mio had been more aware of her surroundings and told her friends the truth things might have ended differently.